French and Francophone Studies

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. Carleton's study abroad programs in Paris and Senegal 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 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

French 101, 102, 103, and 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 is 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 AP 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.


Programs Abroad Participation in a Carleton program or in another approved French language program is highly recommended for students majoring or minoring in the above areas. The department operates a program in Paris and 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.

Parish International House: The French Language Associate and the French Council (composed of students) organize numerous cultural activities at Parish House (films, political discussions, game nights, African dinners, crêpe-making gatherings, holiday celebrations) that provide opportunities for speaking French on campus.

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:

  • LCST 245  (Critical Toolbox, usually taken in the junior year)
      Note: HIST 298, (Junior Year History Colloquium) or ENGL 295 (Critical Methods) may be substituted for LCST 245 with departmental approval.
  • Sixty 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 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 minor 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.
  • 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) summarizing 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, subject to approval by the Department

Further details about these options are available on the Department's website.


Requirements for the French Minor

The French minor foregrounds students' proficiency and use of the French Language, since all required courses are taught in French. In order to complete the French Minor, students must fulfill the general requirements  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). No more than 12 credits from non-Carleton off-campus studies programs may be applied toward the minor

Requirements for the French and Francophone Studies Minor

The French and Francophone Studies Minor unites a diversity of disciplinary approaches to France while extending the notion of French and Francophone Studies beyond the specific territorial and linguistic boundaries of France and Parisian French. Relying on a solid language training, courses in Francophone literature and culture (continental Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and North America) as well as in other disciplines, this minor will afford a synthetic view of the evolution and impact of French and Francophone cultural institutions. The majors most organically connected with this interdisciplinary curriculum are history, anthropology, art history, political science, media studies, and international relations, although students majoring in other disciplines may also minor in French and Francophone Studies. No more than 12 credits from non-Carleton off-campus study programs may be applied toward the minor

  • Language Requirement: French 204 or equivalent
  • Six Courses: Four from Group I, one from Group II, and one from Group III.
    Group I:
     French and Francophone Literature and Culture (Four courses required, two of which must be at the 300 level)
    • FREN 206 Contemporary French and Francophone Culture (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 208 Paris Program: Contemporary France: Cultures, Politics, Society
    • FREN 235 The Human Body in the Francophone World
    • FREN 236 Francophone Cinema and the African Experience (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 238 Back to the Future: French Classics Reimagined (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 239 Banned Books (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 241 The Lyric and Other Seductions (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 242 Journeys of Self-Discovery (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 244 Contemporary France and Humor (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 245 Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 246 Contemporary Senegal
    • FREN 248 Murder and Mayhem: Narratives of Suspense (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 250 French History in 10 Objects
    • FREN 257 French and Francophone Autofiction
    • FREN 259 Paris Program: Hybrid Paris
    • FREN 308 France and the African Imagination
    • FREN 309 Expression and Translation: Encounters with Language (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 340 Arts of Brevity: Short Fiction (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 341 Madame Bovary and Her Avatars (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 347 Gender and Sexuality in the Francophone World (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 352 The Arthurian Legend (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 353 The French Chanson
    • FREN 354 The World Beyond (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 357 French and Francophone Autofiction
    • FREN 359 Paris Program: Hybrid Paris
    • FREN 360 The Algerian War of Liberation and Its Representations (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 370 Cultural Mutations in the Francophone World: Theory and Practice
    • FREN 395 The Mande of West Africa (not offered in 2021-22)
    • LCST 245 The Critical Toolbox: Who's Afraid of Theory?

    Group II History and Art History
    (One course required)
    • ARTH 140 African Art and Culture (not offered in 2021-22)
    • ARTH 172 Modern Art: 1890-1945
    • ARTH 236 Baroque Art (not offered in 2021-22)
    • ARTH 245 Modern Architecture (not offered in 2021-22)
    • ARTH 255 Islam in the Eyes of the West
    • ARTH 263 European Architectural Studies Program: Prehistory to Postmodernism
    • EUST 111 The Age of Cathedrals (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 254 Paris Program: French Art in Context
    • HIST 137 Early Medieval Worlds in Transformation
    • HIST 138 Crusades, Mission, and the Expansion of Europe (not offered in 2021-22)
    • HIST 139 Foundations of Modern Europe (not offered in 2021-22)
    • HIST 140 The Age of Revolutions: Modern Europe, 1789-1914 (not offered in 2021-22)
    • HIST 141 Europe in the Twentieth Century
    • HIST 181 West Africa in the Era of the Slave Trade
    • HIST 183 History of Early West Africa (not offered in 2021-22)
    • HIST 184 Colonial West Africa
    • HIST 232 Renaissance Worlds in France and Italy
    • HIST 237 The Enlightenment (not offered in 2021-22)
    • HIST 243 The Peasants are Revolting! Society and Politics in the Making of Modern France (not offered in 2021-22)
    • HIST 244 The Enlightenment and Its Legacies
    • HIST 247 The First World War as Global Phenomenon (not offered in 2021-22)
    • HIST 288 Reason, Authority, and Love in Medieval France (not offered in 2021-22)
    • HIST 289 Gender and Ethics in Late Medieval France (not offered in 2021-22)

    Group III: Anthropology, Political Science, Media Studies
    (One course required)
    • EUST 110 The Nation State in Europe
    • EUST 159 "The Age of Isms" - Ideals, Ideas and Ideologies in Modern Europe
    • FREN 233 French Cinema and Culture (not offered in 2021-22)
    • FREN 255 Paris Program: Islam in France: Historical Approaches and Current Debates
    • POSC 255 Post-Modern Political Thought
    • POSC 277 Religion in Politics: Conflict or Dialogue? (not offered in 2021-22)
    • POSC 278 Memory and Politics
    • POSC 282 Terrorism and Counterterrorism (not offered in 2021-22)
    • POSC 329 Reinventing Humanism: A Dialogue with Tzvetan Todorov
    • POSC 348 Strangers, Foreigners and Exiles* (not offered in 2021-22)
    • POSC 352 Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville* (not offered in 2021-22)
    • POSC 359 Cosmopolitanism (not offered in 2021-22)
    • SOAN 108 In & Out of Africa: How Transnational Black Lives Matter (not offered in 2021-22)
    • SOAN 256 Africa: Representation and Conflict (not offered in 2021-22)

For students who wish to make the most of the French and Francophone Studies Minor, we strongly recommend taking classes that reflect the diverse geography of the French and Francophone world. For courses other than those in the French and Francophone Studies department, students may be expected to do source reading in French, but papers and exams will be written in English. Check with the department for other on- or off-campus courses that may count for the minor.

 

French and Francophone Studies Courses

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; AI, WR1, IS; Fall; Sandra E 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. Prerequisite: None. Placement score for students with previous experience in French. 6 credits; NE; Fall; Christine Lac, Sandra E Rousseau, Stephanie M Cox
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 equivalent. 6 credits; NE; Winter; Christine Lac, Stephanie M Cox, Sandra E Rousseau
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 equivalent. 6 credits; NE; Fall, Spring; Chérif Keïta, Christine Lac, Éva S Pósfay, Sarah Anthony
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. Prerequisite: French 103 or equivalent. 6 credits; Fall, Winter; Éva S Pósfay, 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. Prerequisite: French 204 or equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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. Prerequisite: French 204 or equivalent. 6 credits; HI, IS; Spring; Scott D 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 instructor approval. 2 credits; S/CR/NC; HI, IS; Fall, Winter, Spring; Chérif Keïta, Cathy Yandell
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? Prerequisite: French 204 or equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
FREN 235 The Human Body in the Francophone World What can a body do? How does it mean? Cultural attitudes elicit distinct responses to this question, and French-speaking cultures in France, North Africa, and West Africa produce particular responses, as do gendered and differently abled bodies. At the same time, isn’t every body like every other body, but different? Through literature, cultural readings, podcasts, and film, this course will examine various aspects of the human body in francophone culture, including gender, athletics, manual labor, artistic expression, sexuality, dance, and “personal development.” Taught in French. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Winter; Cathy Yandell
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. Prerequisite: French 204 or equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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. Prerequisite: French 204 or instructor approval. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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 today, Francophone books deemed to be subversive are routinely censored. Through texts, graphic novels, and films by Sade, Baudelaire, Camus, Frantz Fanon, Pontecorvo, Julie Maroh, Hergé (Tintin), and others, we will explore the crucial role of forbidden works in their cultural contexts. Prerequisite: French 204 or equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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 or equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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 equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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 equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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. Prerequisite: French 308 term before. 6 credits; NE; Winter; Chérif Keïta
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.  Prerequisite: French 204 or equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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. Prerequisite: French 204. 6 credits; LA, IS; Spring; Sandra E Rousseau
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. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent and Participation in OCS Paris Program. 6 credits; LA, IS; Spring; Scott D Carpenter
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. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent and participation in Paris OCS program. 6 credits; LA; Spring; Scott D Carpenter
FREN 257 French and Francophone Autofiction How to transcribe the self? How is a self created, examined, or reinvented through storytelling? Is cultural context inextricable from self-writing? Our inquiry will be informed by readings from Montaigne, Descartes, Maryse Condé, and the controversial contemporary author Édouard Louis; a film by Agnès Varda; an autofictional graphic novel; and songs by the Franco-Rwandan singer Gaël Faye. During the course of the term, students will also produce their own autobiographical/autofictional projects. Offered at both the 200 and 300 levels, and coursework will be adjusted accordingly. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Fall; Cathy Yandell
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. Prerequisite: French 204 or the equivalent and participation in OCS Paris program. 6 credits; LA, IS; Spring; Scott D Carpenter
FREN 307 The French Art of Living Well Why is “la joie de vivre” inseparable from the idea of 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. Prerequisite: One course beyond French 204. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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. Prerequisite: One French course beyond French 204 and acceptance in OCS Winter Break French Program in Senegal. 6 credits; LA, IS; Fall; Chérif Keïta
FREN 309 Expression and Translation: Encounters with Language Learn what language can do for you when you use techniques that express ideas with clarity, convince readers and listeners, and create a sense of style. Beyond basic grammar, you will work on various strategies to enliven your writing and speaking and to communicate more effectively with a given audience. Sample projects in the course may include translations, subtitling, blogging, academic and creative writing, and formal oral presentations. Prerequisite: One French course beyond French 204 or permission of instructor. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission. 3 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission. 3 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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. Prerequisite: One course beyond French 204 or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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? Prerequisite: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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. Prerequisite: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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 from Montmartre’s cafés-concerts to the present. We will examine iconic performances in Parisian cabarets, music halls, and nightclubs; the rise of the singer-songwriter; the changing dynamics between lyrics (poetry), music, and performance over time; song categories such as yé-yé, the protest song, and the chanson about Paris; rap and slam’s poetic affiliation with chanson; musical hybridity and identity politics; and the clout of the music industry. No musical experience necessary. Conducted in French. Prerequisite: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IS; Spring; Éva S Pósfay
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. Prerequisite: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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 self-writing? Our inquiry will be informed by readings from Montaigne, Descartes, Maryse Condé, and the controversial contemporary author Édouard Louis; a film by Agnès Varda; an autofictional graphic novel; and songs by the Franco-Rwandan singer Gaël Faye. During the course of the term, students will also produce their own autobiographical/ autofictional projects. Offered at both the 200 and 300 levels, coursework will be adjusted accordingly. Prerequisite: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IS; Fall; 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. Prerequisite: French 230 or beyond and participation in OCS Paris program. 6 credits; LA, IS; Spring; Scott D Carpenter
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: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
FREN 370 Cultural Mutations in the Francophone World: Theory and Practice Racisé, transclasse, personne valide, female gaze are all concepts that have emerged recently in the Francophone world even though they reflect experiences that have existed for a very long time. In this class we will work through such concepts and explore how central they are to the contemporary Francophone world. Through theoretical texts and cultural artefacts (films, songs, BD, literature) from Morocco, France, Belgium, Senegal, and other spaces, this class seeks to develop a deeper understanding of the issues that animate the French-speaking world today. Prerequisite: One French course beyond French 204 or instructor permission. 6 credits; LA, IS; Winter; Sandra E Rousseau
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. Prerequisite: French 200-level course or equivalent. 6 credits; LA, IS; Not offered 2021-22
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; Fall, Winter, Spring