French (FRE)

Academic Catalog: 2020–2021

  • Laurent Déchery
  • Paschal Kyoore, (On leave, January and Spring 2021)
  • Sharon Marquart

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.


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

French Courses

101, 102 Beginning 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, 202 Intermediate 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 com- prehension. Prerequisite: 101–102 or two years of senior high school French. FRE-201 is prerequisite for FRE-202. GLAFC, Offered annually.

144, 244, 344 Special 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, 252 The Art of Reading, Writing, and Speaking I, II (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, and fairy 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. GLAFC, WRITIL for FRE-251, GLAFC, for FRE-252. Fall semester for FRE-251, and Spring semester for FRE-252.

352 French 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. Spring semester, even years.

355 French 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.

363 Francophone 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. This course counts toward the Gender, Women, and Sexuality major/minor. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. Spring semester, even years.

364 Francophone 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. This course counts toward the African Studies minor and the LALACS major/minor. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. GLAFC, WRITD, Fall semester, odd years.

365 Understanding 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.

366 French and Francophone Cultures and Civilizations (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.

367 North Africa (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. This course counts toward the African Studies minor. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. Fall semester, even years.

370 Revolution & Rebellion in Modern French Culture (1 course) This course engages the rich traditions of revolution, rebellion, and subversion in modern French literature and culture. We will study the works of a variety of rebellious writers, philosophers, artists, and filmmakers from modern French culture. We will also consider these works in the context of rebellious social and historical events in modern France, from historical revolutions to contemporary street protests. HUMN, WRITD, Fall semester, even years.

291, 391 Independent 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.

399 French 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 write papers and do oral presentations. Topics will vary. Prerequisite: FRE-251 or equivalent. Fall semester, odd years.