French Program Courses
Fall 2023 Offerings Summer 2023 Offerings Spring 2023 Offerings Course Info on SIS Archives
The list below includes descriptions of all undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the French Program.
Review specific course requirements for a BA in French or Minor in French. For up-to-date information on course offerings, schedules, room locations and registration, please visit the Student Information System (SIS).
FR 0001 Elementary French I. This course introduces the fundamental grammatical structures and vocabulary of French. Through the development of basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, it promotes the practical use of language in a variety of social settings. Multimedia materials provide the cultural context for linguistic activities. Online lab work is required. Conducted in French. No prerequisites.
FR 0002 Elementary French II. A continuation of French 001, the course advances the study of basic grammar structures, fosters the development of vocabulary, and broadens the range of situations in which the student can understand and impart information. Multimedia materials provide the cultural context for linguistic activities. Online lab work is required. Students are required to register for a recitation section that consists of a weekly 40-minute conversation group. Conducted in French. Prerequisite: French 001 or consent.
FR 0003 Intermediate French I. A review and extension of French grammar and vocabulary with attention to developing all four skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The course aims to foster fluency and the functional use of language. Class discussions will be based on conversations and short literary texts and readings about French society. Regular lab assignments, film discussions, and frequent compositions are required. Conducted in French. Prerequisite: French 002 or consent.
FR 0004 Intermediate French II. The course continues the grammar review begun in French 003, introduces the use of more advanced structures, and promotes the acquisition of a large active vocabulary. It aims to develop language proficiency sufficient to converse about practical concerns and to narrate in past, present, and future tenses. Readings from several different types of prose develop sensitivity to tone and style. Course work consists of regular lab assignments, compositions, and class discussions. Students are required to register for a recitation section that consists of a weekly 40-minute conversation group. Conducted in French. Prerequisite: French 003 or consent.
FR 0021 Composition And Conversation I. This course aims to develop the student's ability to speak and write French, with special emphasis on oral/aural skills and a focus on contemporary French culture. A review of advanced grammar structures promotes correct expression. Readings, in the form of cultural texts and short fiction, and films serve to expand vocabulary and provide subjects for class discussions. Given the focus on oral expression, active participation in class is essential. Course work includes regular aural/oral and written assignments, compositions, oral presentations, and exams. Students are required to register for a recitation section that consists of a weekly 40-minute conversation group. Conducted in French. Prerequisite: French 004 or consent.
FR 0022 Composition And Conversation II. This course, like French 021, provides an advanced grammar review and work on oral/aural skills, but its focus shifts to written expression. Readings are drawn from contemporary French and Francophone texts. To prepare students for upper-level courses, increasing emphasis is placed on analytical skills and on the cogent presentation of ideas and points of view. Course work includes regular aural/oral and written assignments, compositions, oral presentations or creative projects, film discussions, and exams. Students are required to register for a recitation section that consists of a weekly 40-minute conversation group. Conducted in French. Prerequisite: French 021 or consent.
FR 0023 Intensive Composition & Conversation I And II. Two credit intensive course. Meets six hours a week. Recommended for students who wish to make rapid progress in French and particularly for those who plan to study in France in the near future. Sources used as a basis for class discussion may include a text on contemporary French culture, short stories, newspaper and magazine articles, films, and television programs. Thorough review of grammatical structures. Compositions, vocabulary-building exercises, dictations, oral reports, grammar and vocabulary tests, and final oral exam. Students are required to attend a weekly 40-minute conversation section. Conducted in French. Students may not receive credit for FR 23 if they have received credit for FR 21 or FR 22. Recommendations: FR 004 or consent.
FR 0031 Readings In French Literature I. An in-depth study of selected masterworks of French literature representing significant currents of thought and expression from the Middle Ages through the eighteenth century. The course will emphasize close textual analysis and the improvement of critical skills. Class discussions will be encouraged. Lectures, discussions, short papers, midterm exam, exposé(s), and final examination: Conducted in French. Not for senior majors or for students returning from programs abroad. Prerequisite: French 22 or instructor's consent.
FR 0032 From Romanticism to the Twenty-First Century in French Literature. Study of works representing significant currents of thought and expression in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Lectures, discussions, and explications de texte. Conducted in French. Recommendations: FR 22 or equivalent.
FR 0039 Love and Marriage in Medieval French Literature. Twelfth-century France celebrated the cult of love – often adulterous love – at a time when marriage as a modern institution was comparatively new. In so doing, it shed fresh light on the process of psychosexual development and sought to reconcile the happiness of the individual with the common good. The course will begin with the Romance of Tristan and Iseut, whose ideal of amorous fulfillment set the terms of the literary debate. We shall then assess the role of extramarital relationships in Lancelot by Chrétien de Troyes; the contrasting perspective on marriage in his Yvain; the link between growth in love and the spiritual quest in Perceval. Marie de France’s unconventional approach in matters of fidelity to lover, spouse, and God will be explored throughout the term. Class discussions; three exams. Fulfills the Related Field requirement in the French Major and the Humanities requirement for Engineers; counts toward the French Culture Option, the Interdisciplinary Minor in Medieval Studies, and the International Relations Major. No prerequisites. Taught in English.
FR 0040 The Grail Quest in Medieval French Literature. Literary evolution of the Grail from its pagan Celtic origins to its elusive role in the twelfth-century novel by Chrétien de Troyes, its thirteenth-century Christianization in the trilogy by Robert de Boron, and its exaltation in the anonymous Quest of the Holy Grail. In parallel readings the sins of Perceval and Lancelot will bar their way to the full vision of the Grail, provoke the birth of Galahad, lead to warfare based on the adultery with Guinevere, and in the anonymous Death of King Arthur, point to the dramatic end of Camelot. In English. Cross-listed as MDVL 22.
FR 0042 La Belle Epoque. The flowering of the arts in Paris during the Belle Epoque, 1885-1914, with a focus on principal trends. Artistic collaboration between writers in various genres (Maeterlinck, Mallarmé, Gide, Huysmans, Feydeau, Jarry, Apollinaire, Colette) with Post-Impressionist, Fauve and Cubist painters, composers (Debussy, Satie) and choreographers. The development of a new aesthetic sensibility appropriate to a society transformed by new technologies. Conducted in English. No prerequisites.
FR 0043 Introduction to Francophone Literature. Major examples of postcolonial writing from the contemporary Frenchspeaking world. Texts are drawn from within France and beyond, from the Caribbean, from the beur and Caribbean communities in France, and from Maghrebi and sub-Saharan Africa. Readings examine the struggle for regional identity, issues of colonization and cultural difference, patterns of feminine and political oppression, and the stresses of polygamy. In English.
FR 0046 Ethnicity, Migration, and Identity: Interrogating Frenchness. This course will focus on several contemporary novelists whose work highlights the impact of migration and cultural pluralism on contemporary France. We will begin by examining French colonial practice in a number of locations, including the Caribbean, the Maghreb, and sub-Saharan Africa. The texts that we analyze will illuminate the impact of this colonialism on the changing structure of French society through a process of contact, change and exchange that is expanding traditional notions of 'Frenchness.' As these new models of ethnicity and cultural identity challenge long-held assumptions of what it means to be French and the myth of the absence of race in France, these writers illuminate the porousness of borders and the nation’s pervasive patterns of cultural, social, and racial exclusion. In English.
FR 0075 Love and War in French Film. An investigation of the art of French cinema, this course focuses on the themes of love, war, and love and war in 13 French films from the 1930's to the present. How do we think about film? How do we talk about film? We will study film theory and basic cinematic techniques, as well as the historical, social, and cultural contexts of films of the poetic realism, nouvelle vague, and more contemporary movements, by directors Renoir, Clément, Carné, Resnais, Malle, Truffaut, Godard, Demy, Kieslowski, and others. Films include: La grande illusion, Les jeux interdits, Les enfants du paradis, Hiroshima mon amour, Jules et Jim, Les parapluies de Cherbourg, Pierrot le fou, Lacombe Lucien, Les roseaux sauvages, Trois couleurs: Bleu, De rouille d'os, and Amour. Course work includes weekly film viewing, weekly reaction paper, one 5 page paper, one 8 – 10 page final paper, 2 oral exposés, class participation. In English.
FR 0091 Special Topics. (Conducted in English.) Courses on various topics in French literature or civilization, e.g., the Jew in French literature.
FR 0092 Special Topics. (Conducted in English.) Courses on various topics in French literature or civilization, e.g., the Jew in French literature.
FR 0093 Independent Study. (Conducted in English.) Guided individual study of an approved topic in French literature or civilization.
FR 0094 Independent Study. (Conducted in English.) Guided individual study of an approved topic in French literature or civilization.
FR 0121 Advanced French Language: Acting French. Theatre and acting as vehicles for improving French communication skills. Explore questions related to theatre and performance and engage in role-playing activities. Materials include French plays and films. Active participation, grammar assignments, exams, papers, and performance-based assessments. No theatre experience required. In French. Recommended: FR 22 or instructor permission.
FR 0122 Advanced Language: French on the Small Screen. Study of contemporary language and cultural themes using a recent French television series and supplementary readings. Emphasis on grammar review in context, as well as acquisition of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. Class participation, grammar assignments, exams, papers, oral presentation, and creative project. Recommended: FR 22 or instructor permission.
FR 0133 French Women Filmmakers: Subverting the Male Gaze. The work of three French women filmmakers who represent three generations and very different cinematic visions: Agnès Varda, Claire Denis, and Céline Sciamma. The trajectory of women’s filmmaking in France, the ways in which the changing cultural landscape foregrounds women as subjects, and issues such as identity, race, and gender. Readings on film theory and film vocabulary. In French. Prerequisites: FR 31 and FR 32 or instructor permission.
FR 0136 Caribbean Colonization and Decolonization. Examines the colonization of the French-speaking Caribbean. The role of religion, the “civilizing mission,” and other Eurocentric ideologies that gave the colonial project its theoretical foundations and practical means. Topics may include the slave trade, creolization process, plantation system, and anti-slavery and abolitionist struggles. Readings may include historical documents, critical analyses, and excerpts from Christopher Columbus' Journal, the Code Noir, decrees of the abolition of slavery, Montesquieu, Mme de Staël, Césaire, Glissant, Trouillot, and Chauvet. In French. Recommendations: 2 courses taught in French above FR 22 or instructor permission.
FR 0140 Translation And Stylistics. A workshop using the contrastive stylistics of French and English as a key to the art of translation. Texts from a variety of chronological periods, including both literary and extraliterary sources (business, correspondence, journalism, other media). Published literary translations of outstanding merit are also examined. Version, thème, and other exercises. Recommendations: FR 31 and 32, or consent.
FR 0141 La Comédie et le Rire. Analysis of comedic literary works (plays, short stories, poems, novels) as well as films and television series to explore what makes us laugh. Focus on comic devices to determine a work’s creative intent or message. Francophone standup comics and the autobiographical nature of their personal narratives and public confessions. In French. Recommendations: FR 31 and FR 32 or instructor permission.
FR 0145 Studies In French Culture. A study of French and Francophone cultural production since the end of the Second World War, with special focus on the evolution of national identity in a context of decolonization, European dynamics, globalization, and economic crisis. Issues include political tensions related to multiculturalism and immigration; ethical dilemmas concerning minorities (gender, social, ethnic, religious); history and memory; education; racism; violence. Course materials encompass essays, films, novels, plays, articles from the press, and chapters from the textbook (La France contemporaine). Recommendations: 2 courses taught in French above FR 22 or instructor permission.
FR 0147 Business French. This course provides a fundamental knowledge of French as used in the business world, as well as background and information to enable students to communicate effectively in a business context in France and other Francophone countries. We will study technical terminology and practices in such fields as banking, government, industry, and advertising, and broaden our understanding of French political, financial, economic, and educational institutions. Impacts of recent and current developments such as the European Union and euroscepticism, immigration, and climate change. At the end of the semester, students may opt to take the Paris Chamber of Commerce exam for the "diplôme de français des affaires". Midterm exam, final exam, résumés of articles, and a final research project. Recommendations: 2 courses taught in French above FR 22 or instructor permission.
FR 0148 Hystérie/Her Story: A History of Women's Madness. How hysteria, defined by emotions like madness, anger, and melancholy, has evolved, been defined, and reclaimed by women, transforming madness from defining women's sanity to representing their anger and rebellion throughout history in France and the Francophone world. The history of hysteria and the notion that socially constructed femininities and hysteria are natural to being female. Analysis of the link between hysteria, artistic production, and the body. Readings may include works by Flaubert, Calixthe Beyala, feminist Héléne Cixous; Olympe de Gouges and feminist African slam poets. In French. Recommendations: 2 courses taught in French above FR 22 or instructor permission.
FR 0149 Truth and Lies in the French Epistolary Novel. From Instagram feeds to TikTok, our society is obsessed with representing a cultivated first-person narrative to the world. The epistolary novel fictionalizes representation versus reality using a first-person narrative. Truth and lies in the epistolary genre and how French authors play with the first-person narrative of letters to define women’s place in society. Focus on the formal and thematic development of the epistolary genre, or “letter novels,” read against a social and historical background, stretching from the reign of Louis XIV through the French Revolution to Francophone women’s writing in the 20th century. In French. Recommendations: 2 courses taught in French above FR22 or instructor permission.
FR 0151 The French Arthurian Novel. France's greatest medieval novelist, Chrétien de Troyes, and his transformation of the British legend of King Arthur. Lancelot's first appearance as the adulterous lover of Queen Guinevere in Le Chevalier de la charrette, and, in Perceval, the infiltration into the Arthurian material of the Celtic myth of the Grail. Comparison of these works with Chrétien's Yvain, whose hero represents another type of amorous and chivalric ideal. Two anonymous thirteenth-century novels: La Quête du Saint Graal, in which earthly knighthood leads the way to the divine, and La Mort du roi Arthur, which portrays the disintegration of the Arthurian world. Two films: Bresson's Lancelot and Rohmer's Perceval. Recommended: French 31 and 32, or consent.
FR 0152 Marie de France. Close reading of the Lais of Marie de France (brief tales of love based on Celtic tradition), with selections from her Aesopian Fables and her Purgatoire de Saint Patrick (the story of a voyage to the afterworld). Themes include the search for reciprocal affection; the dynamics of intimacy; the interplay of destiny and free will; the competing claims of public and private morality; the respective roles of male and female characters. Recommended: French 31 and 32, or consent.
FR 0154 French Renaissance And Baroque Poetry. Introduction to the thematic innovation and formal perfection of Renaissance and Baroque poetry, with attention to the art of reading poetic texts. Topics include love, death, and the spiritual quest, as envisaged by such authors as Ronsard, Du Bellay, Scève, Louise Labé, Pernette du Guillet, Sponde, La Ceppède, Hopil, Saint-Amant. Recommendations: FR 31 and 32, or consent.
FR 0156 Versailles and the Age of Louis XIV. Why is the 17th century called “the golden age”, the classicism of French literature? Why do the works from this period remain models of eternal human quest for truth and beauty? What is the relevance of these literary masterpieces for students today? This course will explore possible answers through the study of major works of Molière, Racine, Madame de La Fayette, and La Fontaine. In this seminar, we shall examine the thematic and stylistic innovations of 17th-century literary works by exploring the chief literary forms of the time: drama, poetry, maxims, and the novel. We will also examine the relationship between cultural forms and power at the court of Louis XIV. Prerequisites: French 31 and 32, or consent. Active class participation, group discussion, one oral presentation, one short paper, one long paper, and a final exam.
FR 0158 The Making of Modernity: When Europe Spoke French. The French state in the 18th-century as a military power in all European and global affairs. How French culture and government combined to create a new model of culture based on refinement and the projection of power. Philosophical, political, and social ideas in the works of Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. Recommendations: FR 31 and 32, or permission of instructor.
FR 0162 French Romanticism. Are the tenets of Romanticism the same for male and female writers? Do they express the "mal du siecle" in the same fashion? Are their characters gendered in the same way? How does the rehabilitation of a marginalized feminine Romanticism alter our understanding of the dominant and androcentric paradigm? Examination and discussion of how the movement, through various manifestoes (by Stendhal, Hugo, Musset, Sand), set itself apart from Classicism. Chateaubriand's Rene will be studied as a crucial foundation text. Focus on George Sand and Alfred de Musset, nicknamed "les enfants du siecle", as a way to gage the poetic and ideological differences between Romanticism in its masculine and feminine incarnations. One short papter (5-6 pages); one long paper (10-12 pages); frequent exposes and take-home final exam. Active class participation is essential. Recommendations: French 31 and 32, or consent.
FR 0163 19th Century French Novel. From Romantic realism to naturalism. The great age of French fiction seen through the novels of Stendhal, Balzac, Hugo, George Sand, Flaubert, and Zola. Topics may include revolution in the novel, the heroine's plot, idealism and realism. Recommendations: FR 31 and 32, or permission of instructor.
FR 0168 Baudelaire and his Readers. Baudelaire is one of the most complex and puzzling literary figures of the modern period. Particular emphasis on Les Fleurs du mal which will be approached from various critical points of view (sociological, theological, thematic, psychoanalytic, structuralist Other readings may include Le Spleen de Paris (prose poems), L'Art romantique (art criticism), and Mon Coeur mis a nu (journal). Recommended: French 31 and 32, or consent.
FR 0169 Les Poetes Maudits. No description at this time.
FR 0172 Twentieth-century French Novel I. Works by representative novelists from the beginning of the century to 1939, such as Proust, Gide, Martin du Gard, Romains, Mauriac, Céline, Bernanos, Giono, Malraux, and the early Sartre. Recommendations: FR 31 and 32, or permission of instructor.
FR 0175 French Surrealism. An in-depth investigation of the Surrealist movement in France through the study of plays (Ionesco), poems (Breton, Eluard, Desnos, Queneau, Mansour, Prévert), prose narratives (Breton), and films (Buñuel). A variety of texts, films, and plays will be studied for their literary as well as social, cultural, and psychological significance. Recommended: French 31 and 32, or consent.
FR 0177 20th Century French Poetry. A survey of 20th-century French poetry through close readings of four major poets: Guillaume Apollinaire, Pierre Reverdy, Francis Ponge and Yves Bonnefoy. Particular emphasis will be placed on specific seminal volumes (Alcools by Apollinaire; Sources du vent by Reverdy; Le Parti-pris des choses by Ponge; Poèmes by Bonnefoy) and their philosophical implications for modernist, structuralist or post-modern views of the world. Far from being divorced from ideological debates, these texts actually elicited and triggered profound responses from such thinkers as Bachelard, Bergson, Camus, Sartre, Derrida and others. There will be lectures, discussions, two oral reports, three papers. Prerequisites: French 31 and 32, or consent.
FR 0178 Resistance and Collaboration in Occupied France. Literature and films of the French experience of Nazi Occupation to better understand the horrors of this period, the morally ambiguous stance of many in the French population, the heroic actions of the resistance, and the murderous actions of collaborators. Readings may include memoirs, novels, letters, speeches, essays, and political tracts by Hélène Berr, Lucie Aubrac, Marguerite Duras, Lucie Aubrac, Joseph Kessel, Patrick Modiano, Robert Brasillach, Vercors, Simone de Beauvoir, Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, and Hannah Arendt. Films may include Le chagrin et la pitié, L’armée des ombres, Lacombe Lucien, Au revoir les enfants, La bataille du rail. In French. Recommendations: FR31 and FR32 or instructor permission.
FR 0179 Mothers and Daughters. Examination of relationships between mothers and daughters as portrayed in literary genres from autobiography to memoir to autofiction in the works of 20th- and 21st-century French women writers. The mother-daughter relationship from historical, sociological, existential, feminist, colonialist, and post-colonialist perspectives. Readings may include Sido by Colette, Enfance by Nathalie Sarraute, Une mort très douce by Simone de Beauvoir, Une femme by Annie Ernaux, and Impasse Verlaine by Dalie Farah. In French. Recommendations: FR31 and FR32 or instructor permission.
FR 0191 Special Topics. (Conducted in French.) Courses on various topics in French literature or civilization. Topics may include love, marriage, and sexuality in medieval French literature; Balzac, George Sand; Jean Giono; Marguerite Duras; Ionesco; Beckett; Nathalie Sarraute; the Oedipus myth in French literature; and others. Recommendations: FR 31 and 32, or permission of instructor.
FR 0192 Special Topics. (Conducted in French.) Courses on various topics in French literature or civilization. Topics may include love, marriage, and sexuality in medieval French literature; Balzac, George Sand; Jean Giono; Marguerite Duras; Ionesco; Beckett; Nathalie Sarraute; the Oedipus myth in French literature; and others. Recommendations: FR 31 and 32, or permission of instructor.
FR 0193 Independent Study. (Conducted in French.) Guided individual study of an approved topic in French literature or civilization. No more than three credits in Independent Study may be counted toward the major. Recommendations: One 100-level literature course and permission of instructor.
FR 0194 Independent Study. (Conducted in French.) Guided individual study of an approved topic in French literature or civilization. No more than three credits in Independent Study may be counted toward the major. Recommendations: One 100-level literature course and permission of instructor.
FR 0196 Special Tps:study Abroad. No description at this time.
FR 0197 Special Tps:study Abroad. No description at this time.
FR 0199 Honors Thesis A. Honors Thesis. Recommendations: French 31 and 32 and permission of instructor.
This is a yearlong course. Each semester counts as 4 credits towards a student’s credit load. Students will earn 8 credits at the end of the second semester
FR 0199 Honors Thesis B. Honors Thesis. This is a yearlong course. Each semester counts as 4 credits towards a student’s credit load. Students will earn 8 credits at the end of the second semester.
FR 0292 Graduate Seminar. Presentation of individual reports for discussion and criticism.
FR 0293 Special Topics. Guided individual study of an approved topic in French literature or civilization.
FR 0294 Special Topics. Guided individual study of an approved topic in French literature or civilization.
FR 0295 Master's Thesis. Guided research on an approved thesis topic.
FR 0296 Master's Thesis. Guided research on an approved thesis topic.
FR 0309 Foreign Program. No description at this time.
FR 0401 Master's Continuation. Part-time. This is a yearlong course. Students will receive 6 credits at the completion of the second semester.
FR 0402 Master's Continuation. Full-time. No description at this time.