French (FRE)

Academic Catalog 2011–2012

  • 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 advisor 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 advisors to develop their portfolio throughout their final semester. The portfolio must be revised and approved by the advisor prior to the evaluation by the whole French faculty. The portfolio must be approved by the advisor, completed, and turned in by May 10, 2011, at 4:00 p.m.

101, 102Beginning French Language and Culture I, II(1 course, 1 course) This is a sequential two-semester program designed to introduce students to an understanding of the variety of the French-speaking world. Students acquire elementary reading, listening, speaking and writing skills through varied exercises on different aspects of French and Francophone culture such as manners, gestures, customs, arts and values. FRE-101 is prerequisite for FRE-102. Offered annually.

201, 202Intermediate French Language and Culture I, II(1 course, 1 course) This sequential two-semester program offers an integrated approach to French and Francophone cultures through the reading, discussion, and analysis of a mystery story that takes students from Québec, to Louisiana, France, Sénégal, Martinique, among other places. This detective story gives a narrative tool for students to acquire skills in reading, writing, speaking, and aural comprehension. 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 two courses are complementary and required before taking upper-division courses. They are designed to introduce students to a more profound appreciation of French and Francophone literatures and cultures. Students acquire through discussion and writing, a higher level of competency in speaking, reading, writing, and aural comprehension. Students will study short stories, novels, fairly tales as well as essays on environmental protection, family traditions In varied cultures, and immigration. 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 aims to help students understand the cultural norms that determine how business is done in France. The course encourages students to analyze the differences and similarities between these French norms and those of their own society. Understanding business practices in France requires a good grasp of the political, social, and economic institutions that drive commercial practices in that country. The course will focus on these factors, among others, while enabling students to learn basic business terms and practices. A background in business is not essential for this course. 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, make 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.

365Understanding Recent French History(1 course) This course focuses on French history of the 20th and 21st centuries. The course discusses key topics such as how WWI destroys France’s stability, and how the economy, society, and cultural practices are modernized. With the establishment of the 5th Republic In 1958, France enters the époque of modernity with DeGaulle and Pompidou. The birth of a consumer society occurs, European bases are created, and a new international order creates a structural crisis in French society. The course discusses, among other issues, how French society is in a quest for its equilibrium. Students will discuss, make oral presentations, and write research papers. 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.