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French (FREN)

General Information

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. Operating study abroad programs in Mali and Paris, we provide opportunities for using and enhancing these skills in situ, broadening horizons while also training students in one of the world's major languages. Our programs in literary and cultural studies are appropriate for students wishing to do advanced work in French or who hope to use French language or important critical skills in future careers or studies.

Language Courses:

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.

Literature Courses:

We examine literary works for both their aesthetic and human values. Our literature courses have a number of goals: to refine and expand students' linguistic ability, to broaden their cultural understanding, to improve their ability to engage in literary analysis, to enhance their knowledge of literary history and 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 an Arts and Literature Track

The Arts and Literature Track consists of intensive work in language, and literature, and may include courses in film or other arts. All courses in the Arts and Literature Track are conducted in French.

Sixty-nine credits beyond French 103 including:

1. Core courses: French 309, Beyond Words: The Fine Art of Writing in French, preferably taken in the sophomore or junior year; and Literary and Cultural Studies 245, Introduction to Critical Methods: Structure, Gender, Culture (usually taken in the junior year).

2. Fifty-four credits in departmental electives. Students should generally begin with courses at the 200-level (French 204, 206, 238, 239, 240, 241, 243, etc.), but at least thirty credits in addition to French 309 must be taken at the 300-level (400 does not count in this category).

All courses conducted in French on the Paris and Mali programs 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: 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.

Requirements for a Cultural Studies Track

The Cultural Studies Track is interdisciplinary in nature: students will take courses in French and Francophone literature and other media, but also in such fields as history, art history, political science, and anthropology. Courses outside the department will generally not be taught in French.

Sixty-nine credits beyond French 103 including the following (please note that any given course will not count in more than one category):

1. Core courses: French 309, Beyond Words: The Fine Art of Writing in French, preferably taken in the sophomore or junior year; and the capstone seminar (normally French 395).

2. Literature and language: At least twenty-four credits in French language or literature, in addition to the core courses, twelve credits of which must be at the 300-level.

3. At least six credits in cultural studies such as: French 243, Topics in Cultural Studies; French 245, Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean; French 249/349, the Paris Program.

4. At least six credits in history or methodology such as: LCST 245, Introduction to Critical Methods: Structure, Gender Culture; HIST 237, The Enlightenment; HIST 298, Junior Year History Colloquium.

5. Elective courses: 18 credits, in French, or in other departments or programs (see pre-approved courses under the concentration in French and Francophone Studies), with director's approval.

6. The 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: 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.

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 programs in Paris, but non-Carleton programs are available, too. 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, "D" or "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. The Language Associate is a native speaker, and students organize and participate in numerous cultural activities in the Parish International House.

French and Francophone Studies Courses

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. Prerequisite: None. Placement score for students with previous experience in French. 6 cr., NE, FallStaff

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. Prerequisite: French 101 or placement score. 6 cr., NE, WinterStaff

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. Prerequisite: French 102 or placement score. 6 cr., NE, Fall,SpringStaff

FREN 204. Intermediate French Through discussion of book-length literary and cultural texts (film, etc.), 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. Prerequisite: French 103 or placement score. 6 cr., NE, Fall,WinterStaff

FREN 206. Contemporary Francophone Culture This course aims to improve knowledge of France and the Francophone world and written and oral expression. Through an analysis of texts written by novelist and sociologist Azouz Begag, journalist Françoise Laborde and novelist Maryse Condé, we will discuss various aspects of national, racial and family identity in France. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., LA, IS, WinterC. Keïta

FREN 208. Paris Program: Cultural Themes Focusing on topics of current interest in French society, this course is designed to help students gain ease and proficiency in spoken and written French. While providing some focused work on language skills, emphasis will be placed on cultural issues, often drawing on current events. Work will include regular writing, discussion, and short presentations. Prerequisite: French 204. 6 cr., HI, IS, SpringS. Carpenter

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. Prerequisite: French 204 or permission of the instructor. 2 cr., S/CR/NC, HI, IS, Fall,Winter,Spring S. Carpenter,C. Keïta

FREN 225. Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean Reading and discussion of literary works, with analysis of social, historical and political issues. Conducted in English. 6 cr., LA, IS, WinterC. Keïta

FREN 238. 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. In French. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., LA, IS, Offered in alternate years. FallÉ. Pósfay

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. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., LA, IS, WinterC. Yandell

FREN 240. Sexuality and Sagacity What is the relationship between sexuality and knowledge? We will attempt to answer this question through novels, poetry and plays of such authors as Ronsard, Baudelaire, Gide, Sade, Sartre, Kundera and Nimier, as well as films of Téchiné and Kassovitz. This course serves as an introduction to the study of French and Francophone literatures and aims to develop students' skills in analysis and discussion in French. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., LA, IS, Not offered in 2015-2016.

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. Prerequisite: French 204. 6 cr., LA, IS, Not offered in 2015-2016.

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. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., LA, IS, Not offered in 2015-2016.

FREN 243. Topics in Cultural Studies: Cultural Reading of Food "Tell me what you eat, I will tell you who you are." Brillat-Savarin. Through the thematic lens of food, we will study enduring and variable characteristics of French society and compare it to American and other societies when appropriate. 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. Course may be repeated if the topic is different. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., HI, Not offered in 2015-2016.

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. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., LA, IS, SpringS. Rousseau

FREN 245. Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean Reading and discussion of literary works, with analysis of social, historical and political issues. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., LA, IS, Not offered in 2015-2016.

FREN 246. Paris Program: Modern French Art Home of some of the finest and best known museums in the world, Paris has long been recognized as a center for artistic activity. In this course students will have the opportunity to study such movements as Impressionism, Expressionism, and Surrealism on site. 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. No previous Art History required. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., LA, IS, SpringS. Carpenter

FREN 248. Paris Program: Representations of Islam in France 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. Prerequisite: French 204 or equivalent. 6 cr., LA, IS, SpringNon-Carleton Faculty

FREN 249. 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 Moroccan, will also be highlighted. Plays, music, and visits to cultural sites will complement the readings. Prerequisite: French 204. 6 cr., LA, IS, SpringC. Carpenter

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. 6 cr., LA, IS, SpringC. Keïta

FREN 309. Beyond Words: The Fine Art of Writing in French In this course we analyze and use the many linguistic and rhetorical devices the French language offers us. To do so, we study, translate and emulate various types of texts and develop our sense of style in French. In order to contextualize language use, we work on functional projects, which may include subtitling of films, translating picture books, composing an academic paper, or creating a website. Overall, we will focus on developing a continued appreciation for words and language. Required for the major in French. Prerequisite: At least one course above French 204. 6 cr., LA, IS, SpringC. Lac

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. Prerequisite: French 204; recommended preparation: French 206, 240, or 241. 3 cr., LA, IS, Not offered in 2015-2016.

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. Prerequisite: French 204; recommended preparation: French 206, 240, or 241. 3 cr., LA, IS, Not offered in 2015-2016.

FREN 349. 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 Moroccan, will also be highlighted. Plays, music, and visits to cultural sites will complement the readings. Prerequisite: French 204. 6 cr., LA, IS, SpringS. Carpenter

FREN 351. Love, War and Monsters in Early Modern 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. Prerequisite: Recommended preparation: French 240-level course or the equivalent. 6 cr., LA, IS, Not offered in 2015-2016.

FREN 356. Women of Ill Repute: Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century France From the libertine novels of the Marquis de Sade to the decadent tales of Rachilde, the figure of the prostitute pervades French art and literature of the nineteenth-century. We find her various avatars (including the "grisette" and the "courtisane") in works by Balzac, Sand, Mérimée, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Dumas, Zola--not to mention in the art of Manet and others. In this class we'll investigate why these representations rise to prominence--and what they mean. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 cr., LA, IS, Not offered in 2015-2016.

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. Prerequisite: French 230 or beyond, or permission of the instructor. 6 cr., LA, IS, WinterS. Rousseau

FREN 395. French Exoticism What is nature of exoticism, and how can it be construed as a precursor to colonialism or as an extension of it? Exoticism is often seductive in its promise of "otherness" and freedom from stricture, as well as in its plays on affect, nostalgia and the imagination. However, our attempts to provide correctives to exotic visions do not always prove to be accurate--a potential pitfall that the course will also address. What new forms of exoticism have we created in the twenty-first-century? Authors/artists/composers/filmmakers may include Montaigne, Montesquieu, Baudelaire, Delacroix, Franz Fanon, Pierre Loti, Gauguin, Maryse Condé, Amélie Nothomb and Daniel Auteuil. Prerequisite: 230-level French course or beyond, or permission of instructor. 6 cr., LA, IS, FallC. Yandell

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 cr., S/CR/NC, Fall,Winter,SpringC. Yandell