French and Francophone Studies
The Department of French and Francophone Studies sees language as fundamental to the study of literatures and cultures. Committed to helping students attain proficiency in the language sequence (FREN 101-204), the Department strives at all levels to introduce students to the rich and complex endeavors of literary and cultural analysis. Carleton's study abroad programs in Paris provides opportunities for using and enhancing these skills in situ, broadening horizons while also training students in one of the world's major languages. Our courses in literary and cultural studies are appropriate for students wishing to do advanced work in French or who hope to use French language and important critical skills in future careers or studies.
Language courses 101, 102, 103, 204 are a sequential series of courses designed to prepare students in the basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) through the study of grammar, literature, and culture, and/or to provide the foundation for pursuing advanced work in language and literature. French 206 and 309 are designed to develop the students' spoken and written mastery of the language through compositions and intensive oral work based on cultural and literary topics. Admission to these courses is determined either by appropriate high school CEEB or Carleton placement test scores, or by completion of the previous course in the sequence with a grade of C- or better.
French and Francophone Studies Courses
Most courses in the department address both literary and cultural questions, stressing a number of goals: to refine and expand students' linguistic ability, to broaden their cultural understanding, to improve their ability to engage in literary and cultural analysis, to enhance their knowledge of French and Francophone history and literary criticism, and to help students better understand themselves and the human condition. In our discussions, we address universal themes and concerns, but we also try to uncover what is peculiarly French or Francophone about the works.
Requirements for the French and Francophone Studies Major
The major consists of intensive work in language, literature, and culture, and it may include courses in film or other arts. All courses in the Department of French and Francophone Studies are conducted in French.
Sixty-nine credits beyond French 103 including:
1. Core courses: FREN 309 (preferably taken in the sophomore or junior year); and LCST 245 (Critical Toolbox, usually taken in the junior year). HIST 298, (Junior Year History Colloquium) or ENGL 295 (Critical Methods) may be substituted for LCST 245.
2. Fifty-four credits in departmental or other electives. Students should generally begin with courses at the 200 level (FREN 204, 206, 208, 230-259), but at least twenty-four credits (in addition to FREN 309) must be taken at the 300 level (400 does not count in this category). Up to twelve credits may be taken in other departments or programs (see pre-approved courses under the concentration in French and Francophone Studies).
All courses on the Paris program may be applied to this category, as long as the requisite number of 300-level credits is attained.
3. Integrative Exercise (3 credits): During their senior year, students will expand and deepen an essay in French from one of their advanced courses in the major. Normally, but not always, the director for this project will 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: An 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.
Concentration See separate section for French and Francophone Studies Concentration.
Programs Abroad Participation in a Carleton or in another approved foreign study program is highly recommended for students majoring or concentrating in the above areas. The department operates a program in Paris, but non-Carleton programs are also available in France and Francophone Africa. Students interested in study abroad should consult the section on international off-campus programs, and discuss alternatives with faculty in French and with the Director of Off-Campus Studies.
Certificate of Advanced Study in Foreign Language and Literature In order to receive the Certificate of Advanced Study in French, students must fulfill the general requirements (refer to Academic Regulations) in the following course distribution: 36 credits completed with a grade of C- or better in French beyond 103, including at least two upper-level literature courses (300-395). Although courses for the certificate may be taken on a S/CR/NC basis, "CR" level work will not be sufficient to satisfy course requirements. No more than 12 credits from non-Carleton off-campus studies programs may be applied toward the certificate.
Parish International House: Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the language by living in Parish. Students organize and participate in numerous cultural activities in Parish International House, with the help of the French Language Associate who is a native speaker.