• FREN 100: Balloons and Cultures: Graphic Novels of the French Speaking World

    Can everyone read graphic novels? Of course; however, their accessibility doesn’t mean they are simple. In this course, students will learn to read graphic novels as cultural products generated by artists, places, and institutions. Coming from French-speaking countries in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, these texts argue for different (and sometimes contradictory) definitions of the genre; but also bring to the fore political and societal issues at stake in the francophone world. Using the tools of contemporary theory, students will draw connections between art and cultural representations. Conducted in English. Texts in translation.

    6 credits; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Sandra Rousseau
  • FREN 101: Elementary French

    This course introduces the basic structures of the French language and everyday vocabulary in the context of common cultural situations. Students are exposed to all four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). Taught five days a week in French. Prerequisites: None. Placement score for students with previous experience in French 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2020 · Christine Lac, Cédric Briand, Éva Pósfay
  • FREN 102: Elementary French

    Building on the material covered in French 101, this course introduces complex sentences and additional verb tenses. Students apply the tools of narration in context through the reading of short literary and cultural texts. The focus of the course is on all four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). Taught five days a week in French. Prerequisites: French 101 or equivalent 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2021 · Christine Lac, Cédric Briand
  • FREN 103: Intermediate French

    This course continues the study of complex sentence structures and reviews basic patterns in greater depth, partly through the discussion of authentic short stories and cultural topics. Throughout the course, students practice all four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). Taught five days a week in French. Prerequisites: French 102 or equivalent 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2020, Spring 2021 · Stephanie Cox, Christine Lac, Scott Carpenter, Chérif Keïta
  • FREN 204: Intermediate French

    Through discussion of book-length literary and cultural texts (film, graphic novel, theater), and including in-depth grammar review, this course aims to help students acquire greater skill and confidence in both oral and written expression. Taught three days a week in French.

    Prerequisites: French 103 or equivalent 6 credits; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021 · Chérif Keïta, Cathy Yandell, Cédric Briand
  • FREN 206: Contemporary French and Francophone Culture

    Through texts, images and films coming from different continents, this class will present Francophone cultures and discuss the connections and tensions that have emerged between France and other French speaking countries. Focused on oral and written expression this class aims to strengthen students’ linguistic skills while introducing them to the academic discipline of French and Francophone studies. The theme will be school and education in the Francophone world.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Sandra Rousseau
  • FREN 208: Paris Program: Contemporary France: Cultures, Politics, Society

    This course seeks to deepen students’ knowledge of contemporary French culture through a pluridisciplinary approach, using multimedia (books, newspaper and magazine articles, videos, etc.) to generate discussion. It will also promote the practice of both oral and written French through exercises, debates, and oral presentations.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Éva Pósfay
  • FREN 210: Coffee and News

    Keep up your French while learning about current issues in France, as well as world issues from a French perspective. Class meets once a week for an hour. Requirements include reading specific sections of leading French newspapers, (Le Monde, Libération, etc.) on the internet, and then meeting once a week to exchange ideas over coffee with a small group of students.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or instructor approval 2 credits; S/CR/NC; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 · Cathy Yandell, Chérif Keïta
  • FREN 233: French Cinema and Culture

    Incorporating the tools of film analysis, this course focuses on such questions as controversial historical moments, postcolonial culture, immigration, gender/ genre, and contemporary French society. It also attempts to answer the following questions: how does French cinema reflect, contradict, or create cultural norms? What in a particular historical moment incites the production of a particular film and catapults it to fame? In what ways does film provide another medium through which to “read” French culture?

    Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 236: Francophone Cinema and the African Experience

    Born as a response to the colonial gaze (ethnographic films, in particular) and ideological discourse, African cinema has been a determined effort to capture and affirm an African personality and consciousness. Focusing on film production from Francophone Africa and its diaspora over the past few decades, this course will address themes such as slavery, colonialism, and national identity, as well as the immigrant experience in France and in Quebec. It will provide an introduction to African symbolisms, world-views, and narrative techniques.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Chérif Keïta
  • FREN 237: Page and Stage: The Performance of Culture

    What better place to study notions of gender, identity, class, race (and more) than in the performative arena of the theater? In this class we’ll examine a broad range of plays while staging excerpts of many of them. What is the importance of blocking and costume? How do modernizations and other modifications affect the reception of a dramatic work? We’ll put these questions to the test while engaging with such authors as Molière, Marivaux, Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, and Reza.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 238: Back to the Future: French Classics Reimagined

    What if Little Red Riding Hood wore a red burqa? And if Eurydice willingly relocated to the Underworld to join her cancan-crazed lover Pluto? In this course, we will explore bold and inventive acts of rewriting the French classics in a wide assortment of contexts. To do so, we will immerse ourselves in the often irreverent world of literary, musical, comic strip, and film retellings, adaptations, sequels, and spin-offs. Works by Perrault, Molière, Baudelaire, Offenbach, Camus, Ben Jelloun, Daoud, Prévert, Truffaut, and more. Songs from the cabaret era to raï. Special emphasis on developing analytical and communicative skills. Conducted in French.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or instructor approval 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 239: Banned Books

    Recent events in France have highlighted the issues of free speech and religious intolerance, among other cultural questions. Some of the most fascinating and now canonized works in French and Francophone literature were once banned because they called into question the political, religious, or moral sensibilities of the day. Even now, books deemed to be subversive are routinely censored in certain Francophone cultures. Through readings of such writers as Rabelais, Voltaire, Sade, Camus, Franz Fanon, Assia Djebar, and Hergé (Tintin), as well as contemporary articles from Charlie Hebdo, we will explore the crucial role of forbidden works in their cultural contexts. Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 241: The Lyric and Other Seductions

    French lyric poetry occupies a privileged position in the literary landscape of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. However, it also shares a common heritage with less literary siblings, such as popular music and even advertising. Starting with the study of such poets as Lamartine, Desbordes-Valmore, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Valéry, and Bonnefoy, we will also investigate poetic techniques in popular songs and contemporary ads. Conducted in French. Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Scott Carpenter
  • FREN 242: Journeys of Self-Discovery

    What initiates the process of self-discovery? How does one’s environment nurture or hinder this journey? What are the repercussions of being introspective? How do new discoveries about the self inform life choices? Such questions will animate this survey course, which proposes to examine a variety of paths towards self-knowledge through the prism of French and Francophone literature, music, and the visual arts. From ravishing fairy tale fugitives and intrepid travelers to lucid prisoners and uprooted exiles, we will explore the richly diverse literary landscape of the French-speaking world with special attention given to developing analytical and communicative skills. Conducted in French.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 243: Cultural Reading of Food

    Through the thematic lens of food, we will study enduring and variable characteristics of societies in the French and Francophone world, with a comparative nod to the American experience. We will analyze various cultural texts and artifacts (fiction, non-fiction, print, film, and objects) from medieval times to the present with a pinch of theory and a dash of statistics.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 244: Contemporary France and Humor

    This class is an overview of France’s social, cultural, and political history from 1939 onwards. The core units of this class (WWII, decolonization, May 1968, the Women’s liberation movement, the rise of the National Front, globalization, and immigration) will be studied through their comic representations. Sources for this class will include historical, political, literary and journalistic texts as well as photographs, paintings, videos, blogs, and music. The contrast between comical and non-comical texts and objects will highlight the uses and functions of humor in communicating about history, and illustrate the impact of comic discourses in everyday culture. In French.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Sandra Rousseau
  • FREN 245: Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean

    Reading and discussion of literary works, with analysis of social, historical and political issues, with an emphasis on cultural and literary movements such as Négritude (El Negrismo, in Cuba) and their role in shaping ideas of self-determination, Nationalism and Independence in the French colonies of the Caribbean and Black Africa. We will read works by Aimé Césaire (Martinique), Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal), Léon Gontran Damas (French Guiana), Jacques Roumain (Haîti), Laye Camara (Guinea), Mongo Béti (Cameroun), Simone Schwartz-Bart (Guadeloupe) and Alain Mabanckou (Congo). Conducted in French.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or the equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 246: Contemporary Senegal

    This course is the second part of a two-term course sequece beginning with French 308. This course will be a critical examination of the Francophone label within the context of literature, education, history and daily life in Senegal. During the December break field trip, students will visit significant cultural sites in Dakar and Saint Louis and meet with writers, artists, and other major thought leaders. During the winter term, students will complete an independent project based on their experience in Senegal as part of this course.

    Prerequisites: French 308 term before 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 247: The Seven Deadly Sins

    The idea of the Seven Deadly Sins (the source of all vices) captured the medieval western imagination and continues to inspire diverse writers, artists, filmmakers, and graphic novelists to the present day. Through La Fontaine’s fables, Maupassant’s Carmen (and Bizet’s eponymous opera), the African tales of Amadou Koumba, Camus’s The Stranger, and Julie Mazoh’s graphic novel, Blue is the Warmest Color, this course explores literary and filmic representations of such vices as pride, envy, and lust. Interrogating the presence and power of these categories in both historical and contemporary culture, the course also develops students’ skills in analysis, writing, and discussion in French.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 248: Murder and Mayhem: Narratives of Suspense

    Mysteries and detective novels are tied to the French-speaking world: Poe’s foundational tales take place in Paris and are translated by Baudelaire; murder and suspense run through the French fantastic; even Agatha Christie felt compelled to make her favorite detective a Belgian. Through the tradition of suspense in film and literature, we’ll study how themes and techniques intersect with social anxieties to produce white-knuckle narratives. Readings include such authors as Poe, Baudelaire, Mérimée, Simenon, Daeninckx, Jonquet, Khadra, Vargas, Haneke. Conducted in French. 

    Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 250: French History in 10 Objects

    This class is an overview of French history through the analysis of ten cultural objects borrowed from different socio-political, geographic and aesthetic spaces. Starting with the Gauls, this class will take students across centuries and ask how cultural productions (the Vix Krater, the Versailles Palace, the guillotine, etc.) come to represent a mentalité and often become integrated in the French nationalist project.

    Prerequisites: French 204 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 254: Paris Program: French Art in Context

    Home of some of the finest and best known museums in the world, Paris has long been recognized as a center for artistic activity. Students will have the opportunity to study art from various periods on site, including Impressionism, Expressionism, and Surrealism. In-class lectures and discussions will be complemented by guided visits to the unparalleled collections of the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, local art galleries, and other appropriate destinations. Special attention will be paid to the program theme.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or the equivalent and Participation in OCS Paris Program 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Éva Pósfay
  • FREN 255: Paris Program: Islam in France: Historical Approaches and Current Debates

    In this course, students will explore the historical, cultural, social, and religious traces of Islam as they have been woven over time into the modern fabric of French society. Through images drawn from film, photography, television, and museum displays, they will discover the important role this cultural contact zone has played in the French experience. The course will take advantage of the resources of the city of Paris and will include excursions to museums as well as cultural and religious centers.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or the equivalent and participation in Paris OCS program 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis; offered Spring 2021 · Éva Pósfay
  • FREN 259: Paris Program: Hybrid Paris

    Through literature, cultural texts, and experiential learning in the city, this course will explore the development of both the “Frenchness” and the hybridity that constitute contemporary Paris. Immigrant cultures, notably North African, will also be highlighted. Plays, music, and visits to cultural sites will complement the readings.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or the equivalent and participation in OCS Paris program 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Éva Pósfay
  • FREN 307: The French Art of Living Well

    Why is “la joie de vivre” inseparable from the idea French culture? Recognizing that there are as many definitions of what constitutes “la joie de vivre” as there are French speakers in the world, this course will explore and interrogate various approaches to defining–and living–the good life. Philosophers, writers, podcasts, videos, and songs will inform our analyses, from Montaigne to the present.

    Prerequisites: One course beyond French 204 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Cathy Yandell
  • FREN 308: France and the African Imagination

    This course will look at the presence of France and its capital Paris in the imaginary landscape of a number of prominent African writers, filmmakers and musicians such as Bernard Dadié (Côte d’ Ivoire), Ousmane Sembène (Senegal), Calixthe Beyala (Cameroun), Alain Mabanckou (Congo-Brazzaville), Salif Keïta (Mali) and others. The history of Franco-African relations will be used as a background for our analysis of these works. Conducted in French. This course is part of the OCS winter break French Program in Senegal, involving two linked courses in fall and winter terms. This courses is the first in the sequence, students must register for French 246 winter term.

    Prerequisites: One French course beyond French 204 and acceptance in OCS Winter Break French Program in Senegal 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 335: Frenchness: 7 Views

    This course will examine the meaning of “being French” from several historical and contemporary perspectives: the establishment of French as the national language (and the rise of nationalism) in the sixteenth century, the Frenchness of Reason from Descartes to the Revolutionaries, the Romantic hero Cyrano de Bergerac, the Dreyfus Affair (and the current fall-out over Polanski’s new film on the subject), postcolonial French identity as seen from former colonies, the populist anti-immigration party of Marine LePen, and finally, a snapshot of current, multicultural Frenchness. Historical studies, film, literature, podcasts, and songs will inform our discussions. Students taking the course at the the 300 level will be responsible for additional work.

    Prerequisites: French 204 or equivalent not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 340: Arts of Brevity: Short Fiction

    The rise of newspapers and magazines in the nineteenth century promotes a variety of short genres that will remain popular to the present day: short stories, prose poetry, vignettes, theatrical scenes. In this short course (first five weeks of the term) we’ll study short works by such authors as Diderot, Sand, Balzac, Mérimée, Flaubert, Allais, Tardieu, Le Clézio. Conducted in French.

    Prerequisites: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission 3 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 341: Madame Bovary and Her Avatars

    Decried as scandalous, heralded as the first “modern” novel, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (published in 1857) sparked debate, spawned both detractors and followers, and became a permanent fixture in French culture and even the French language. In this five-week course we will read the novel, study its cultural context and impact, and see how it has been variously re-interpreted in film and other media. Conducted in French.

    Prerequisites: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission 3 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 347: Gender and Sexuality in the Francophone World

    From Marie/Germain Garnier, an early modern trans figure, to the contemporary singer of Christine and the Queens (aka “Chris”), from Senghor’s “Femme noire” to Sylvie Chalaye’s “Corps marron” [brown body], conceptions of gender and sexuality are essential to the study of francophone cultures. We will explore examples of historical and contemporary manifestations of gender and sexuality in France, francophone Africa, Lebanon, and Québec. “GPS” (Genre, Politique, Sexualité), including the intersectional questions of race and class in context, will be analyzed through novels, films, graphic novels, sociological studies, poetry, and music. Conducted in French.

    Prerequisites: One course beyond French 204 or instructor permission 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 350: Middle East and French Connection

    PersepolisSyngue SabourLe rocher de Tanios—three prize-winning texts written in French by authors whose native tongue was not French but Arabic or Farsi. In this class we will direct our attention to the close—albeit problematic—relations between France and the Middle East (broadly considered) through an analysis of cultural and literary objects. What has this “French connection” meant for the Middle-Eastern and for French culture?

    Prerequisites: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Sandra Rousseau
  • FREN 351: Love, War and Monsters in Renaissance France

    The French Renaissance continues to intrigue students and critics by its propensity for paradox, ambiguity, and contradiction. Just as literature and the arts reached new levels of aesthetic achievement, the bloodiest civil war in French history was taking shape. Lyric poetry, bawdy tales, essays and chronicles depict beautiful bodies and monsters, war and peace, hatred and love. Through such authors as Rabelais, Marguerite de Navarre, Ronsard, Louise Labé and Montaigne, as well as artistic and musical works, we will investigate the multiple worlds of French Renaissance culture.

    Prerequisites: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 352: The Arthurian Legend

    This course will familiarize students with the legends surrounding King Arthur and the other central figures of Camelot and the Round Table in the context of French and Francophone culture. Students will survey the development of the Arthurian legend from the twelfth century to its most modern adaptations, through multiple genres and media (medieval romance, novel, poetry, film, bande-dessinée, clips, etc.). Together, we will see how the Arthurian legend was –and still is–a persisting landscape for capturing the ideals and assumptions of its time. We will discuss topics like the characterizations, gender representations and performances of central figures (like Merlin, Lancelot and Guenevere), the semiotic implications of each text, and the political aspects they may reveal.

    Prerequisites: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 353: The French Chanson

    In Beaumarchais’s oft-cited words, “Everything ends with songs.” This course will study the distinctiveness of French chanson (song) and its unique role in French history and culture especially since the post-World War II years. We will examine the rise of the singer-songwriter; the changing dynamics between lyrics (poetry), music, and performance over time; song categories such as yéyé, the politically engaged song, and the eclectic nouvelle chanson française; rap and slam’s poetic affiliation with chanson; and the clout of the music industry. Artists may include Trenet, Piaf, Gréco, Brel, Ferré, Brassens, Barbara, François, Aznavour, Renaud, Goldman, MC Solaar, Zaz, Stromae.

    Prerequisites: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 354: The World Beyond

    What do Peruvians, Tahitians, Senegalese and Eldoradians have in common? For one thing, they’re all present in France’s heavily fantasized view of the world beyond its borders. Drawing on travel literature, philosophy, politics, art, and other media, we will examine how the French used the outside world as a screen upon which to project its imaginings about ethnicity, gender, and culture during the period leading to and following the French Revolution. Authors may include Graffigny, Bougainville, Diderot, Voltaire, Sade, De Staël, Voltaire, De Duras, Balzac, and others. Conducted in French.

    Prerequisites: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 357: French and Francophone Autofiction

    How to transcribe the self? How is a self created, examined, or reinvented through storytelling? Is cultural context inextricable from the writing of a memoir? Such readings as Montaigne, Descartes, Nathalie Sarraute, and Assia Djebar, as well as the films of Agnès Varda and Gillaume Galienne, the graphic novel L’Arabe du futur, and the Franco-Rwandan singer Gaël Faye, will inform our inquiry. During the course of the term, students will also produce their own autobiographical/ autofictional projects.

    Prerequisites: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Winter 2021 · Cathy Yandell
  • FREN 359: Paris Program: Hybrid Paris

    Through literature, cultural texts, and experiential learning in the city, this course will explore the development of both the “Frenchness” and the hybridity that constitute contemporary Paris. Immigrant cultures, notably North African, will also be highlighted. Plays, music, and visits to cultural sites will complement the readings.

    Prerequisites: French 230 or beyond and participation in OCS Paris program 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Spring 2021 · Éva Pósfay
  • FREN 360: The Algerian War of Liberation and Its Representations

    Over fifty years after Algeria’s independence from France, discourses and representations about the cause, the violence, and the political and social consequences of that conflict still animate public life in both France and Algeria. This class aims at presenting the Algerian war through its various representations. Starting with discussions about the origins of French colonialism in North Africa, it will develop into an analysis of the war of liberation and the ways it has been recorded in history books, pop culture, and canonical texts. We will reflect on the conflict and on its meanings in the twenty-first century, and analyze how different media become memorial artifacts.

    Prerequisites: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • FREN 395: The Mande of West Africa

    This course examines the main aspects of social change in the area formerly covered by the medieval Empire of Mali, through anthropological texts, oral narratives, novels, films and both traditional and modern music. Some of the writers, film directors and musicians who will be studied are: Amadou Kourouma, Massa Makan Diabaté, Amadou Hampaté Bâ, Souleymane Cissé, Cheick O. Sissoko, Salif Keita, and others. Conducted in French.

    Prerequisites: French 200-level course or equivalent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Fall 2020 · Chérif Keïta
  • FREN 400: Integrative Exercise

    During their senior year students will expand and deepen an essay in French from one of their advanced courses in the major. The director for this project will usually be the professor from that course. This essay may be completed during any term, but must be finished by the end of winter term. In the spring term, students will deliver an oral presentation (in English) of their work. Senior students may choose one of the following: Option One: A substantial individual essay. Option Two: A individual essay that complements work done in a second major (subject to approval by the Department). Option Three: Creation of a group multidisciplinary project (such as those organized by Global Engagement), subject to approval by the Department. Further details about these options are available on the Department’s website. 3 credits; S/NC; offered Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021