2021-2022


FR125A/Bf – French I

First in a sequence that develops communication skills in a careful progression over three semesters. In addition to working on the four traditional skills of language acquisition–speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing–students will be introduced to the cultural contexts of France and the Francophone world. Use of audio and videotaped material is an integral and required part of class work. Students are placed in the appropriate level by their score on the College Board French SAT Subject test, a placement test during fall orientation, or through consultation with a member of the faculty in French. Four credit hours.

f – Professor Falantin – MTWR / 9-9:50

f – Professor Niang – MTWR / 10-10:50
s – Not offered


FR126A/B – French II

Strengthens and expands the skills introduced and practiced in French 125 by offering a learning environment conducive to the practice and development of writing, reading, listening, and oral performance. Because language practice is closely tied to cultural understanding, we use authentic texts and contexts that foster linguistic competence while highlighting the diversified cultural contribution of the French and Francophone world. Four credit hours.

f – Professor Mauguiere – MTWF / 10-10:50 & 11-11:50
s – TBD


FR127A/B – French III

The last course in the required language sequence (French 125-127) that develops communication skills in a careful progression over three semesters. In addition to working on the four traditional skills of speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing, students are encouraged to develop critical thinking through reading and language learning. Four credit hours.

f – Professor Paliyenko – MTWR / 9-9:50 & 10-10:50
s – TBD


[FR127j] – French III (Paris)

The last of the required language sequence (French 125-127) that develops communication skills in a careful progression over three semesters. In addition to working on the four traditional skills of speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing, students are encouraged to build their personal and cultural knowledge and to develop their critical-thinking skills through language learning. As students move towards greater fluency in French, they begin to do analytical work in the language. Students are also expected to adapt to an immersion environment. Estimated cost: $3,030. Prerequisite:  French 126 or equivalent. Three credit hours.

FR128 – French IV: Cultural Encounters: Engaging with Literature and Media

Builds reading skills in French and broadens cultural knowledge of the Francophone world through a wide variety of texts and media. Emphasis is on the texts and contexts of culture, whether in France and/or in the Francophone world. Engages students in critical thinking and develops writing and oral expression. Prerequisite: French 127. Four credit hours. L.

f – Professor Mauguiere – MWF / 1-1:50
s – TBD


[FR131] – Conversation and Composition

Designed specifically for students wishing to develop oral skills and to acquire an extensive modern vocabulary, with additional practice in writing short compositions. Preparation for further study of French. It will also improve students’ reading skills while fostering their understanding of French culture and society. Through the exploration of a French contemporary novel and of French films, students acquire the skills to critique and interpret while engaging in active thinking. Prerequisite:  French 127 or a score of 60 on the College Board French SAT Subject Test or its equivalent on the placement test. Four credit hours.

[FR223] – French Theater Workshop

This course is designed for students wishing to develop their French language skills in a less traditional environment. Through close study of French plays, students acquire an in-depth knowledge of contemporary French theater. As their final project, students have the unique opportunity to select, direct and perform a French play. This workshop engages students in collaborative and experiential learning. Emphasis on analysis, drama performance, French oral practice, and creativity. No prior acting experience required. Conducted entirely in French. Prerequisite:  French 128 or French 131. Four credit hours.


[FR224] – French Studies Lab Project

Students hone their skills in oral and written French through “hands-on” learning. Projects focused on a specific issue or topic may include: arts initiative involving the community and Colby museum, creative performance or exhibit, design project, Digital Humanities platforms, educational materials for local schools, environmental initiatives, field work, non-profit work and engagement with local organizations, public podcast, social media, and translation. This experiential course fosters intellectual curiosity, collaboration, learning by doing, problem solving, critical and creative thinking along with skills in research and project management. Four credit hours.

FR231 – Advanced Grammar and Composition

Provides a comprehensive overview of French grammar through presentations of the overall structure and frequent practice in writing. Required of majors and open to others wishing to improve their written expression in French. Prerequisite: French 128, 131, or 240D. Four credit hours.

f – Professor Falantin – MW / 11-12:15
s – TBD


[FR232f] – French Cultural History: The Rise and Fall of Versailles

From the end of the Renaissance to the beginnings of revolution: an introduction to the major figures, movements, and works of 17th- and 18th-century France. Continued development of the ability to read, speak, and write in French, while also enhancing analytical skills. Prerequisite: French 128, 131, or 240D. Four credit hours. [Fulfills Early Modern]

FR234 – Intensive Spoken French

Exclusively for French majors or students preparing for study in a French-speaking country. Weekly practice in oral French conducted by the French language assistant under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated once for credit. Nongraded. Prerequisite: Acceptance in a study-abroad program in a French-speaking country. One credit hour.

f – TBD
s – TBD


[FR236] – Introduction to the Francophone World: The Americas

A comprehensive introduction to the French colonial and postcolonial cultural impact across the Americas. Students will examine issues of race, cultural and linguistic identity, cultural survival, and the concept of emerging literature in a minority context. The cultural connection between Louisiana, Haiti, French Guiana, as well as contemporary Francophone migrant literature will be examined. Prerequisite: French 128, 131, or 240D.Four credit hours. I. [Fulfills Francophone]

FR237 – Francophone African Cinema

An introduction to major sub-Saharan Francophone filmmakers and their engagement with certain aspects of African history and cultural practices. Students will discuss and write about the films and the issues they deal with. Supplemental readings will be provided to contextualize the films. Prerequisite:  French 128, 131, or 240D. Four credit hours. [Fulfills Francophone]
f – Professor Niang – MW / 1-2:15

[FR238] – Introduction to the Francophone World: Africa

What does the term “Francophone” mean? Is it free from polemics? What is its history? Introduction to Africa from the 19th to the 21st century surveys many of the multifaceted cultural identities and histories of the former French-speaking colonies on the continent. Topics include colonialism, politics, gender, language, the fight for independence, modernity and tradition, and the major literary trends in Francophone Africa. Course materials will include film, music, folktales, maps, newspaper articles, literary works, and excerpts from scholarly texts. Prerequisite: French 128, 131, or 240D. Four credit hours. [Fulfills Francophone]


[FR239] – Paris: Literary and Historical Topographies

In this course, offered in Paris, we explore the relationship between literary, historical, and contemporary Paris. How are Parisian spaces imagined in texts, in visual sources, and in our own mappings of today’s cityscapes? Our corpus will include novels as well as historical and contemporary artifacts like postcards and posters. The course consists of traditional class sessions and walking tours, the latter of which, led by the students, are organized around both the physical space and our corpus. This course seeks to provide a Francophone learning environment to French majors and other advanced French students, and to encourage us to think interdisciplinarily, particularly concerning the relationships between literature and history, word and image. Prerequisite: French 128, 131, or 240D.  Professor Davies

[FR240] – Surrealism (See AR238)

Listed as Art 238. Four credit hours.

[FR245] – Intermediate French Translation

This hands-on, project-based, and reflective course is intended to provide intermediate students of French with translation method and practice for a variety of English to French (thème) and French to English (version) texts. Students will discover and learn to use various styles of translation, interpretation and adaptation techniques pertaining to literary translation, film dubbing and subtitling, translation for business, and technical translation. They will develop an awareness of the issues arising in passing from one language to the other accurately and idiomatically, as well as strategies for overcoming these issues, including the exploration of computer-mediated translation techniques. Prerequisite: French 231.


[FR252s] – Provocative Texts: A Critical Toolbox

How does one approach print and/or visual culture critically? Students engage with a range of “texts,” such as poetry, works of art, theater, short stories, novels, and/or film, to acquire the tools and methods of critical interpretation and analysis. Significant writing accompanies close reading of what a particular “text” does and thus how it “speaks” or conveys meaning. Students apply genre-specific vocabulary and take interdisciplinary and analytical approaches to response papers, interpretive essays, and/or multifaceted digital/video projects. Prerequisite: French 128, 131, or 240D. Four credit hours. L. I.  [Fulfills Critical Tools/Methods]

FR258 – Provocative Texts: Fake News, Secrets, and Controversies

In this course, we will approach Francophone culture differently, by considering some of the most famous secrets, mysteries or “fake news” in French History, from the Renaissance era to the present. We will ask, for instance, who really was Nostradamus? Who poisoned the court at Versailles in the 17th Century? Was Marie-Antoinette responsible for the French Revolution? Is Bonaparte the creator of the FBI? Using a variety of media (short stories, fairy tales, plays, movies, documentaries, and newspaper articles), we will explore critically how those questions came to exist and circulate often based on economic, judicial or political decisions. The course will include discussions of cross-cultural differences or similarities between the United States and French speaking countries on some of these questions. Prerequisite: French 128, 131, or 240D. Four credit hours. L, I.

f – Professor Falantin – MW / 2:30 – 3:45


[FR297] – Indigenous Resistance to Petrocapitalism (in English)

Pacific activists, writers, and artists are at the forefront of the movement to oppose petrocapitalism and to fight American carbon imperialism. In this Humanities Lab, students will analyze Pacific cultural production, interview climate activists from Oceania, and read critical articles on the opposition to nuclear energy and resource exhaustion. Students will also help to promote the message of Pacific climate activists by transforming handmade documents and embodied performances into digital artefacts. Course and readings in English. French studies majors required to submit all written work in French. Prerequisite: Any W1 course. Four credit hours. I. 

[FR256] – Film for Thought: The Art of French Cinema

A survey of directors, genres, movements, and aesthetics in French cinema from early 20th Century to the present day. Emphasis on the analysis of film style and form: mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, sound, performance, etc. Students will approach film not only as a form of art, but also as a site of memory and/or a tool of socio-political discourse. Film theory will frame our class discussions. Students will develop visual literacy, analytical skills, critical and creative thinking through innovative visual projects, essays and class discussions. Course conducted in French. Prerequisite: French 231.

[FR323] – Holocaust in French Cinema

An investigation of how French cinema has maintained a complex relationship to the Holocaust from 1945 to the present while providing insight into Vichy France and its role in the roundups and deportations of Jews during World War II. We will examine how French film aesthetics mediate the memory of the Holocaust. Emphasis will be placed on critical analysis of films (including film form, language, and theory). An innovative humanities lab project with the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine which will engage students in experiential learning outside Colby. Meetings with Holocaust survivors will complement the course. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours.

[FR324] – Ideologies of Africans: Negritude, Pan-Africanism, and Afroisms

Engages with ideologies of Africans such as negritude, pan-Africanism, Afropolitanism and Afropeanism. We will examine these characteristics of African modernity through a critical study of literary, historical and theoretical works by Léopold Sédar Senghor, Cheikh Anta Diop, Abdourahman Waberi, Achille Mbembe, Léonora Miano, Fatou Diome, etc. What do these ideologies/theories stipulate in terms of identity and space? In what ways are they constructive of a postcolonial alternative modernity? How do they deconstruct epistemic violence, colonial balkanization, and rethink the African’s place in the local and the global? These questions will guide students’ research, presentations, and creative/analytical writing. Humanities lab courseFour credit hours.


[FR326] – Sustainable Development in/of the French-Speaking World

Will examine how cities from throughout the French-speaking world are enacting solutions for sustainable living. Blending the environmental humanities with cultural studies, we will seek to understand the challenges cities face–including legacies of imperialism, fraught relations with indigenous peoples, and social inequalities–and the solutions these cities have introduced. Learning goals include examining how cities from throughout the French-speaking world are responding to climate change; studying how responding to climate change dovetails with the fight for social justice; and solidifying advanced-level proficiency in French. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course. Four credit hours.

 


[FR332] – Voices of Dissent in Early Modern France or the Quest for Freedom

An introduction to free-thinkers and libertines, and an exploration of the concept of freedom. We shall consider great thinkers and provocative writers like Montaigne, Molière, Diderot, and Sade, who challenged religious and social norms in search of a more just society. Through close reading of texts, and discussion of the their historical and cultural context, from the wars of religion to the French revolution, we will study how the writers dissimulate their controversial opinions, while advocating liberté de pensée in the face of fanaticism and dogmatic thinking. This course will conclude with Laclos’ great book Dangerous LiaisonsPrerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours. L. [Fulfills Early Modern]

[FR345] – Advanced French Translation

This hands-on, project-based, and reflective course is intended to provide advanced students of French with translation method and practice for a variety of English to French (thèmes) and French to English (versions) texts; to sensitize them to the various styles, intricacies, and nuances particular to both languages; and to develop an awareness of the issues arising in passing from one language to the other accurately and idiomatically, as well as strategies for overcoming these issues, including an exploration of computer-mediated translation techniques. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours.

[FR351] – Minority Issues and Social Change in the Americas

Examines issues of cultural representation, migration, diaspora, and social change primarily in Quebec, Maine, and Louisiana. Postcolonial, transatlantic, and border theories will be used to better understand the French experience in the Americas. Goals include developing critical reading, presentation, and writing skills. Students will analyze print and visual texts, including films and oral stories, and they will contribute to a digital humanities project as part of an on-going, interdisciplinary effort to remap America and American studies. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours. L. I.  [Fulfills Francophone]

[FR354] – Parisian Encounters: Great Loves, Grand Passions

The sexual and racial selection of genius exposes the weight of prejudice against creative women in French cultural history. In studying the impact of “great” couples during the long 19th century (1789-1914), we shall map and interrogate their legacies across a broad sweep of (colonial) history, the arts, letters, and sciences. Learning goals emphasize the interdisciplinary practice of critical analysis, close study of images and works of art in the Colby Museum, and the development of advanced oral and written expression in French. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours. [Fulfills Critical Tools/Methods]

[FR355] – The Other French Empire, Then and Now

The French trailed behind the British, not abolishing slave trade until 1815 and slavery in 1848. Yet, beginning in 1850, French colonial expansion was dramatic. By 1914, France possessed the second-largest colonial empire in the world. How do different generations of thinkers and artists represent this past, which is ever present? Students gain knowledge of French colonization and skills in cross-cultural analysis. They engage in critical thinking across disciplines not only via the course material but also as they conduct archival research on a topic of their choice to produce an original website or other creative project. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours.

[FR357] – Illuminating Turns to Science in 19th-Century France

Examines how painters, poets and thinkers across the disciplines shed light on the “triumph” of science and its biases in 19th-century France. A chronological study of primary sources, both print and visual, tracks advances in anatomy, physiology, embryology, and psychology during the first half of the century, followed by the impact of experimental medicine, evolution and social Darwinism in the 1860s and beyond. Via this transdisciplinary course exposing the blind spot as well as the limits of human knowledge, students engage critically with new historicism and gain advanced skills in archival research, analytical writing, and creative oral presentations. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours. H. I. [Fulfills Critical Tools/Methods]

[FR358] – Passionate Discontent: The 19th-Century Epidemic

Civil unrest and war along with rapid change that accompanied the industrial revolution spread malaise throughout the French population, giving rise to the study of the human mind and its discontents. Figures of mental suffering reveal how passionate discontent, traditionally associated with the genius of male Romantics, became a “female” malady and then a sign of racial degeneration. Through the study of representative texts, drawn from medicine, art, and literature, students engage in comparative cultural analysis of the development of psychology. Interdisciplinary approach also taken to independent research conducted in the archives. Development of analytical writing and oral presentation skills emphasized. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours. [Fulfills Critical Tools/Methods]

[FR361] – Creolization, Culture, and Society in the Indian Ocean Islands

Explores issues of race, gender, identity, diversity, cultural contact, and conflict in Indian Ocean island cultures and literature written in French through selected writings from Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion, the Seychelles, and the Comoros. We will examine the complex social, cultural and historical context of the region with an interdisciplinary perspective. Topics include slavery, “marronage”, cultural hybridity, “métissage,” “coolitude,” and the development of colonial and postcolonial identities and subjectivities. Students will develop their presentation and writing skills through the production of critical essays and research projects. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours.  [Fulfills Francophone]


[FR370] – Corps, Espace et Genre: Postcolonial Space in Francophone Africa

The transition from the colonial to the postcolonial in Francophone Africa changed how post-independence writers and filmmakers engage with space. These writers and filmmakers treat family and collective anthropological spaces in conjunction with the body and/or self. Through analysis of novels, short stories, essays, and films from the 20th and 21st centuries, along with postcolonial concepts of hybridity, resistance, and the subaltern, we examine the politics and praxis of the body in space as it relates to gender, age, identity, ritualized performance, and belief systems. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours.  [Fulfills Francophone]

[FR371/FR493] – L’écriture de soi

This course explores concepts of memory and self-fashioning in autobiographical writing, and questions the (im)possibilities of writing the self. Through theoretical readings, students will acquire a better understanding of the processes by which memoirs, autobiographies and oral/written testimonies are produced. Particular attention will be paid to narratives that deal with traumatic personal and historical events. Discussions and debates will be informed by theoretical readings and supplementary material through which students will develop their critical and analytical skills. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours. L.  [Fulfills Critical Tools/Methods]


[FR373] – Writing of Place: Migration, Nationalism, and Memory

An exploration of themes of migration, nationalism, and memory through fictional works by authors from the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Francophone Africa living on the continent or in France. Focus is on the migrant experience and its impact on the writing and perception of place, as well as the advent of the nation in the 1960s and the nationalist discourse that serves as its backbone. The narrative of place will be emphasized along with the recent memorializing of the Rwandan genocide. Readings supplemented by theoretical works and films. Students will expand their knowledge and practice of French as it relates to postcolonial Francophone Africa. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours.  [Fulfills Francophone]

 


FR374 – Food for Thought: French Cuisine and Cultural Identities

What is the state of French cuisine today? Has French cuisine embraced a more inclusive, multifaceted mosaic of talents, culinary practices, flavors, and tastes, or is it still a monolithic, elitist institution hermetic to change? This course seeks to re-evaluate and critique French cuisine and gastronomy through a decolonial lens to decenter the narrative on food and culinary traditions in France – main focus on the culinary talents, histories, identities, and traditions of communities of color. Humanities Lab designed around food labs, creative projects, and the analysis of cooking shows, films, cookbooks, menus, food blogs and podcasts. Humanities lab course.Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course. Four credit hours.  I.

f – Professor Brunetaux – MW / 2:30 – 3:45

 


[FR375f] – Narratives of Identities in Francophone African Literature

The quest for and celebration of identity are key thematic and aesthetic components in contemporary Francophone African literature and cinema. We will engage with works of fiction and film that provide a narrative of identity within the framework of African cultures such as sub-Saharan Africa or the Maghreb. Focus will be on communal and individual identities within the framework of ethnicity and/or tribalism. Students will learn how and why these writers and filmmakers narrate identity and will engage with African identities through structured writing, oral presentations, captivating readings of texts, and film screening. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours.  [Fulfills Francophone]

[FR376] – Shadows of the Past: Remembering Vichy France and the Holocaust

The Holocaust and the Nazi occupation left an indelible mark on the French national psyche. This interdisciplinary course explores how writers, filmmakers, and artists represent the Holocaust. Through discussions, presentations, and written assignments, students acquire the skills to critique and interpret historical documents, Holocaust memoirs, and films. They develop and improve their language skills while deepening their understanding of French history and culture. Meetings with Holocaust survivors and visits to Holocaust memorials complement the course material and engage students in active thinking. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours.

FR377f – Staging the Revolution: The Theater of Revolt

French and Francophone theater have a lengthy fascination with revolution–against injustice, despotism, sexism, slavery, and religious and social constraints. We will read, analyze, and discuss plays by Molière, Anouilh, de Gouges, Camus, and Glissant, among others. These dramas, written before, during, and after the French Revolution, will allow us to explore the motivation for rebellion and revolution. As the point of departure for a broader analysis of the revolutionary impulse, we will discuss The Rebel by Camus. Prerequisite: Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours. [Fulfills Early Modern]
f – Professor Dionne – TR / 2:30 – 3:45

[FR378] – French Revolution and Human Rights

The French Revolution ushered in the modern world through the concepts of freedom, equality, and fraternity. We will hone critical skills by analyzing the development of those concepts during the Enlightenment, focusing especially on the questions of natural (human) rights and tolerance in Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Beaumarchais, and Condorcet. We will hone communication skills while examining the consequences of those concepts, interrogating the justification for revolutionary terror, discussing whether the French Revolution was a success or a failure, and considering controversial figures like Marie-Antoinette, Robespierre, and Marat. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours.  [Fulfills Early Modern]

[FR379s] – Race and Gender in France

From Josephine Baker to the blackface controversies of the recent years, France has always had a fraught relationship with race, largely rooted in, and compounded by, its colonial history. Black/African, afro-descendant, brown men and women continue to face racial exclusion, discrimination, and exoticization in color-blind France. This course challenges the country’s problematic discourse on race and gender, and its systemic racism, through a critical analysis of film, performance, art, fashion, online media, advertising, podcasts, and social justice movements. Emphasis placed on black feminisms, critical race theory, and intersectionality. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one 300-level French course. Four credit hours.  [Fulfills Critical Tools/Methods]

[FR392] – French Intellectuals and the Struggle for Social Change

Racism, fanaticism, and feminism: these topics have periodically thrown France into disarray. Again and again French intellectuals like Voltaire, Hugo, Zola, Simone Beauvoir, and Sartre rose to the challenge confronting their times and charted an idealistic course to a better society grounded in reason, principles and sound intellectual arguments. We will discuss how these debates have transformed French society, intellectual life, and political thought, examine the emergence and origins of the public intellectual, and analyze controversial ideas expressed through satire, philosophical texts, and intellectual debates. Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours. [Fulfills Early Modern]

[FR397] – Breaking Free: Coming-of-Age Literature in the Francophone World

Summer 1954: A scandal of international magnitude arises in France. The 18-year-old novelist Françoise Sagan is censored by the Vatican and banned in South Africa, Poland and Spain under penalty of fine and imprisonment for writing a novel deemed morally unacceptable. In 1957, the young Assia Djebar suffers the same fate in Algeria, and this phenomenon spreads to Lebanon, Syria, Haïti, Vietnam and Iran where young women turn to writing to express their need for sexual liberation and emancipation from patriarchy. This course explores this revolutionary literature that challenged conservative societies, while engaging students in discussions on feminism, literary production, civic rights, the concept of freedom, and equality, among others. A close study of pop culture (songs, fashion and lifestyle magazines) will complement the analysis of these coming-of-age stories. This course will include various theoretical and sociological essays, historical films and documentaries to help situate the context in which these texts were produced.Prerequisite: French 231 and at least one other 200-level course.

[FR398A] – Love, Sex, Metamorphosis

From troubadours in the Middle Ages to today’s writers, popular hip-hop artists and performers often have sung the joys and pains of love and sex. Through a close analysis of literary texts, films, and pop-culture productions, we will explore the transformative power of love and sex. Discussions and debates will be informed by theoretical readings and supplementary material through which students will develop their critical and analytical skills. Prerequisite:  French 231 and at least one other 200-level course, preferably two. Four credit hours.  [Fulfills Critical Tools & Methods]

[FR483, 484] – Senior Honors Thesis

The senior honors thesis counts as one of the 10 courses required for the major. The thesis, written in French, is to be a substantial study of a carefully defined topic, supported by critical sources. Prerequisite:  A 3.5 or higher major average at the end of the junior year and permission of the department. Three credit hours. FACULTY

[FR491, 492] – Independent Study

Individual projects in areas where the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. Prerequisite:  Permission of the instructor. Two to four credit hours.   FACULTY

[FR493] – Senior Seminar

The senior seminar may be fulfilled by a 300-level course either in the fall or the spring, with supplementary work authorized by the instructor. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French studies major and permission of the instructor. Four credit hours.

[FR493B] – Seminar: Narrative of Identities in Francophone African Literature

The quest for and celebration of identity are key thematic and aesthetic components in contemporary Francophone African literature and cinema. We will engage with works of fiction and film that provide a narrative of identity within the framework of African cultures such as sub-Saharan Africa or the Maghreb. Focus will be on communal and individual identities within the framework of ethnicity and/or tribalism. Students will learn how and why these writers and filmmakers narrate identity, and will engage with African identities through structured writing, oral presentations, captivating readings of texts, and film screening. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French studies major.

[FR493C] – Seminar: Minority Issues and Social Change in the Americas

Examines issues of cultural representation, migration, diaspora, and social change primarily in Quebec, Maine, and Louisiana. Postcolonial, transatlantic, and border theories will be used to better understand the French experience in the Americas. Goals include developing critical reading, presentation, and writing skills. Students will analyze print and visual texts, including films and oral stories, and they will contribute to a digital humanities project as part of an on-going, interdisciplinary effort to remap America and American studies. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French studies major. Four credit hours L. I.

[FR493D] – Seminar: Parisian Encounters: Great Loves, Grand Passions

Civil unrest and war along with rapid change that accompanied the industrial revolution spread malaise throughout the French population, giving rise to the study of the human mind and its discontents. Figures of mental suffering reveal how passionate discontent, traditionally associated with the genius of male Romantics, became a “female” malady and then a sign of racial degeneration. Through the study of representative texts, drawn from medicine, art, and literature, students engage in comparative cultural analysis of the development of psychology. Interdisciplinary approach also taken to independent research conducted in the archives. Development of analytical writing and oral presentation skills emphasized. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French studies major.


[FR493Es] – Seminar: Creolization, Culture, and Society in the Indian Ocean Islands

Explores issues of race, gender, identity, diversity, cultural contact, and conflict in Indian Ocean island cultures and literature written in French through selected writings from Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion, the Seychelles, and the Comoros. We will examine the complex social, cultural, and historical context of the region with an interdisciplinary perspective. Topics include slavery, “marronage”, cultural hybridity, “métissage,” “coolitude,” and the development of colonial and postcolonial identities and subjectivities. Students will develop their presentation and writing skills through the production of critical essays and research projects. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French studies major.

[FR493F] – Seminar: Corps, Espace et Genre: Postcolonial Space in Francophone Africa

The transition from the colonial to the postcolonial in Francophone Africa changed the way in which post-independence writers and filmmakers engage with space. These writers and filmmakers treat family and collective anthropological spaces in conjunction with the body and/or self. Through analysis of novels, short stories, essays, and films from the 20th and 21st centuries, along with postcolonial concepts of hybridity, resistance, and the subaltern, we examine the politics and praxis of the body in space as it relates to gender, age, identity, ritualized performance, and belief systems. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French studies major.


[FR493G] – Seminar: Francophone Ecocriticism and Postcolonial Theory in Dialogue

While catastrophic climate conditions in the Western world have been the object of much media coverage, the devastating toll that global warming has had on the rest of the world receives much less critical attention. This course engages with contemporary literature by Francophone activists whose communities are directly affected by rising sea levels, unfettered oil drilling practices, and extreme weather conditions that have created the first climate refugees. Students will learn key concepts of ecocritical and postcolonial theory, the Western nature-writing canon, and postcolonial environmentalist literature. They will analyze representations of apocalyptic narratives in popular movies and bestsellers. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French studies major.


[FR493H] – Seminar: French Revolution and Human Rights

The French Revolution ushered in the modern world through the concepts of freedom, equality, and fraternity. We will hone critical skills by analyzing the development of those concepts during the Enlightenment, focusing especially on the questions of natural (human) rights and tolerance in Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Condorcet. We will hone communication skills while examining the consequences of those concepts, interrogating the justification for revolutionary terror, discussing whether the French Revolution was a success or a failure, and considering controversial figures like Marie-Antoinette, Robespierre, and Marat. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French studies major.

[FR493] – Seminar: Voices of Dissent in Early Modern France or in the Quest for Freedom

An introduction to free-thinkers and libertines, and an exploration of the concept of freedom. We shall consider great thinkers and provocative writers like Montaigne, Molière, Diderot, and Sade, who challenged religious and social norms in search of a more just society. Through close reading of texts, and discussion of the their historical and cultural context, from the wars of religion to the French revolution, we will study how the writers dissimulate their controversial opinions, while advocating liberté de pensée in the face of fanaticism and dogmatic thinking. This course will conclude with Laclos’ great book Dangerous LiaisonsPrerequisite: Senior standing as a French Studies major.     Four credit hours.

f – Professor Dionne – T-R / 2:30-3:45


[FR493J] – Seminar: Queering the Maghreb in Francophone Cinema

Explores complex ideas about questions of gender, sexuality and the queer in the context of Francophone Maghrebian cinema. Analysis of contemporary films from three Francophone North African countries–Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia–with a focus on how the French language allows more sexual fluidity in social and political environments where the development of individual identity may be perceived as an anomaly. Students engage critically and actively with various genres and aesthetics of film, gaining tools to conduct scholarly and creative projects. Strong French listening and writing skills preferred. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French studies major.     Four credit hours.


[FR493K] – Seminar: Illuminating Turns to Science in 19th-Century France

Examines how painters, poets and thinkers across the disciplines shed light on the “triumph” of science and its biases in 19th-century France. A chronological study of primary sources, both print and visual, tracks advances in anatomy, physiology, embryology, and psychology during the first half of the century, followed by the impact of experimental medicine, evolution and social Darwinism in the 1860s and beyond. Via this transdisciplinary course exposing the blind spot as well as the limits of human knowledge, students engage critically with new historicism and gain advanced skills in archival research, analytical writing, and creative oral presentations. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French major.     Four credit hours.


[FR493L] – Seminar: Race and Gender in France

From Josephine Baker to the blackface controversies of the recent years, France has always had a fraught relationship with race, largely rooted in, and compounded by, its colonial history. Black/African, afro-descendant, brown men and women continue to face racial exclusion, discrimination, and exoticization in color-blind France. This course challenges the country’s problematic discourse on race and gender, and its systemic racism, through a critical analysis of film, performance, art, fashion, online media, advertising, podcasts, and social justice movements. Emphasis placed on black feminisms, critical race theory, and intersectionality. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French major. Four credit hours.


[FR493M] – Seminar: Staging Justice: The Theater of Revolt

French and Francophone theater have a lengthy fascination with revolution–against injustice, despotism, sexism, slavery, and religious and social constraints. We will read, analyze, and discuss plays by Molière, Anouilh, de Gouges, Camus, and Glissant, among others. These dramas, written before, during, and after the French Revolution, will allow us to explore the motivation for rebellion and revolution. As the point of departure for a broader analysis of the revolutionary impulse, we will discuss The Rebel by Camus. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a French studies major. Four credit hours.