French (FRE)

Academic Catalog 2010–2011

  • Laurent Déchery
  • Anne-Marie Gronhovd
  • Paschal Kyoore

We strongly encourage majors and minors in French to study abroad, and we support the goals of those who are interested in business, government, sociology, etc., where the need for individuals competent in foreign languages is increasing constantly. We believe such students should study a foreign language at least through FRE-251 and then spend a semester abroad taking courses in their area of specialization. French students are encouraged to participate in approved programs in Dijon, Nantes, and Paris.

Major in French:

FRE-251 and seven other courses numbered above it, approved by the adviser from French offerings. Courses must be graded C or higher to fulfill the requirements for the major. In addition, the last semester before their graduation, majors must register for FRE-099 and must work on their senior portfolio. The senior portfolio is a final semester-long project, for which students write a series of reflective papers and other activities that will evidence the student’s competency in the following areas: (a) Aural Comprehension; (b) Speaking; (c) Writing; (d) Literature; (e) Culture. Since the portfolio includes a collection of selected papers/exams completed in courses for the major, students in courses numbered 252 and above are strongly advised to save all papers and exams from these courses. Students will be provided with details about the portfolio process upon declaring the major, which should be done no later than the first semester of the junior year.


FRE-251 and four other courses numbered above it. Courses must be graded C or higher to fulfill the requirements for the minor.

099Senior Portfolio(0 course) This is the final requirement for the French major. Although the portfolio does not carry numerical credit it must be successfully completed before a student can be approved to graduate with a French major. Advisees are responsible for working and consulting with their advisers to develop their portfolio throughout their final semester. The portfolio must be revised and approved by the adviser prior to the evaluation by the whole French faculty. The portfolio must be approved by the adviser, completed, and turned in by May 10, 2011, at 4:00 p.m.

101, 102Beginning French I, II(1 course, 1 course) A sequential two-semester program designed for students who have no previous knowledge of the language, will enable them to acquire basic reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in French. Elementary French patterns are based on culturally oriented materials. FRE-101 is prerequisite for FRE-102. Offered annually.

201, 202Intermediate French I, II(1 course, 1 course) This sequential two-semester program is intended for students who have completed the study of beginning level French language. These courses continue to develop reading, writing, comprehension, and speaking skills. Emphasis is placed on using the language. Even the reading assignments and the grammar review serve to help the student to learn to communicate in French. Prerequisite: 101–102 or two years of senior high school French. FRE-201 is prerequisite for FRE-202. Offered annually.

144, 244, 344Special Topics in French(1 course, 1 course, 1 course) Special topics in French studies. Content will vary. Each course will explore a topic or a problem in depth and students will read, discuss, and write. Offered occasionally.

251, 252Composition and Conversation(1 course, 1 course) These courses are designed to give students the opportunity to further develop their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing French. In FRE-251, the focus is on intensive practice in writing, and grammatical and compositional principles are reviewed. Students work towards coherent discourse, vocabulary build-up and refinement of style by the process of writing weekly compositions. In FRE-252, active writing practice continues, but the course focus is on intensive practice in speaking. Guided discussions, readings, and viewing of French television broadcasts help students to think in French and to express their thoughts clearly, analytically and creatively. Prerequisite: FRE-202 for both courses (with a minimum grade of C) or placement by exam. WRITI for FRE-251. Fall and Spring semester.

351Commercial French(1 course) This course will introduce students to basic business terms and practices. Though the course will generally focus on France, we will also discuss commercial relationship between France and other French-speaking countries. Understanding business practices in France requires an understanding of the political, social, and economic institutions that drive commercial practices in that country. The course is structured to accommodate students who are not necessarily business majors. Students will take tests, write essays, and do oral presentations on specific topics in class. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. Fall semester, even years.

352French Cinema(1 course) A study of the styles, themes and narrative structure of French film. Although scenarios, novels and critical articles on cinema are used, the films themselves are the primary material for the course. This course also examines French cinema’s evolution of styles and themes, using a variety of critical approaches. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. ARTS, Spring semester, even years.

354Advanced Grammar, Translation and Phonetics(1 course) This course is designed to provide an in-depth review of the main points of French grammar and an intensive study of French phonetics. Practice in class will provide the opportunity for perfecting pronunciation. This course will also include translations from French into English and English into French as a way to apply newly studied grammatical points. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. Fall semester, odd years.

355French Art(1 course) This course will focus on different aesthetic movements in painting, sculpture, architecture, and music from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Students will study each artistic period within its historical context and will analyze the achievement of individual artists and the role of the State in promoting the arts in France. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. Fall semester.

361French Prose(1 course) A detailed study of French novels and/or essays, with periods and topics varying from year to year. The course examines trends in the particular type of writing and emphasizes their literary importance, as well as the economic, political, philosophical and social factors that they portray. Through essays, discussion and oral presentations, students analyze works in depth with the aim of developing their analytical skills. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. LARS, WRITD, Fall semester, even years.

363Francophone Women Writers and Artists(1 course) This course analyzes literary works written by Francophone women writers, mostly contemporary. Students will analyze their texts in their personal, political, and social contexts. We will also study women painters and sculptors such as Berthe Morisot, Suzanne Valadon, or Camille Claudel, as well as women directors. We will focus on the values and points of views that we will find in these portrayals of women by women, in the particular society and family in which they are working. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. Spring semester, even years.

364Francophone African/Caribbean Literatures and Cultures(1 course) This course is a study of the literatures and cultures of Francophone African and Caribbean societies. Materials used for the course include literary, historical, sociological, and political texts, as well as films. The course may focus on a specific theme in a particular year but may also involve examining in general the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial experiences of African and Caribbean societies. Topics of interest include the clash between tradition and modernity, governance of modern nation states, gender roles, Négritude, Antillanité, and Créolité. Students will discuss, do presentations, and write research papers. Counts towards the Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies minor. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. LARS, NWEST, WRITD, Fall semester, odd years.

365Recent French History(1 course) This course focuses on France’s history in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will be encouraged to examine and to think critically about the social, economic, and political institutions in order to appreciate France’s role in the contemporary world. Readings for the course will include historical texts, as well as literary texts, when relevant. Students will discuss research topics to write on, and do oral presentations. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. Spring semester, odd years.

366French and Francophone Culture and Civilization(1 course) This course will focus on one or several themes related to France and/or some Francophone country. Subjects of focus will include issues such as political, social, and economic institutions in France and/or a Francophone country (e.g., Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, African countries), immigration in France, France’s role in the European Union, the relationship between France and Francophone countries (Francophonie). Students will discuss research topics to write on, and do oral presentations. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. Spring semester, odd years.

367Le Maghreb(1 course) This course focuses on three countries of the Maghreb—Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco—by analyzing their community of destiny: geography, religion, history, and language. Students will examine this unity, sealed by history, throughout literature and cinema. This literary and filmic analysis will be based on short stories, novels, and films written or directed by Algerian, Moroccan, and Tunisian authors who have chosen French as their language of expression, and are living either in their country of origin or in France as a land of exile and adoption. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. Fall semester, even years.

291, 391Independent Study(Course value to be determined) Independent study project and a scholarly paper. Prerequisite: A minimum of three courses in French literature or permission of the instructor. Fall and Spring semesters.

399French Civilization(1 course) This course will focus on the history and geography of France. It will deal with the main values of French society, such as the role of the Catholic Church and of the government, socialization, marriage and friendship, and images of the body. We will compare the core values of French and American societies. Students will have to prepare a major research paper and presentation. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. Fall semester, odd years.