The Major

French and Francophone Studies Major

The French and Francophone Studies Department 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 Paris (spring term every year) and Sénégal (winter break in alternate years), 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. See our list of learning outcomes for majors.


Language Courses

Language courses 101, 102, 103, 204 are a sequential series of courses designed to prepare the student 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 student's 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 and Culture Courses

Most of our courses address cultural, historical and literary concerns. We examine literary works for both their aesthetic and human values. Our courses have a number of goals: to refine and expand students' students’ linguistic ability, to hone their critical thinking, to improve their ability to engage in literary and cultural analysis, to enhance their knowledge of both French and francophone cultures, 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.

For specific major requirements, see the academic catalog description.

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 and in Sénégal, 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.