Course Listing

Fall 2017

Departmental Writing Requirements

The following writing requirements apply to courses in which the authorized enrollments do not exceed 20 (French 3031 and 3032) or 25 (literature and civilization courses beyond French 3032): FREN 3031 and 3032: 10-15 pages, typically divided among 4 to 5 papers. Peer editing is introduced during class and practiced outside. 3000-level literature and civilization courses: 10-15 pages, typically divided among 2 to 4 papers. The content is relatively less sophisticated than at the 4000-level. Peer editing outside of class may be offered to students as an option or it may be required. 4000-level literature and civilization courses: 15-20 pages, typically divided among 2 to 4 papers. The content is relatively more sophisticated than at the 3000-level. Peer editing outside of class may be offered to students as an option or it may be required. In all courses, the quality of students' written French (that is, the degree to which their use of grammar and vocabulary is correct and appropriate) affects the grades they receive on their papers, since it affects how comprehensible, persuasive, and impressive their writing is. As students move from 3000- to 4000- level courses, they are expected to show greater sophistication in sentence structure, grammar, and use of idioms.

Course Descriptions

French Translation Courses

FRTR 3584 – Topics in French Cinema:  Masterpieces of French Cinema

An introduction to masterpieces of French cinema, from the earliest short films of the Lumière Brothers and George Meliès, to feature-length works by Jean Cocteau, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, and others. Students will study film genres and movements (Poetic Realism, the New Wave) in relation to social, cultural and aesthetic trends. They will also learn to identify and analyze film techniques (camera angle, camera movement, montage, and more). Students will view approximately one film/week, outside of class, complete accompanying reading assignments, participate in class discussion, digital media activities and audiovisual workshops, write analytical papers, and create original short video projects. All films are in French with English subtitles; all reading, writing, discussion, and audiovisual assignments are in English.

 Questions? Contact the professor: Alison Levine (

TR 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Levine)

Advanced Courses in French

FREN 3030 – Phonetics: The Sounds of French

FREN 3030 is an introductory course in French phonetics. It provides basic concepts in articulatory phonetics and phonological theory, and offers students techniques for improving their own pronunciation. The course will cover the physical characteristics of individual French sounds; the relationship between these sounds and their written representation (orthography); the rules governing the pronunciation of "standard French"; the most salient phonological features of selected French varieties; phonetic differences between French and English sounds; and to some extent, ‘la musique du français’, i.e., prosodic phenomena (le rythme, l’accent, l’intonation, la syllabation). Practical exercises in 'ear-training' (the perception of sounds) and 'phonetic transcription' (using IPA) are also essential components of this dynamic course.

Prerequisite: FREN 2020 (or equivalent).  Course taught in French; counts for major/minor credit in French and Linguistics

TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm  (Saunders)
TR 12:30 pm –   1:45 pm (Saunders)

FREN 3031 –Finding Your Voice in French

Prerequisite: Completion of FREN 2020 or 2320; exemption from FREN 2020 by the UVA (F-Cape) Placement Test; a score of 3 on the AP French Language Exam; or a score of at least 660 on the SAT exam. FREN 3031 is a prerequisite for all undergraduate French courses at a higher level.

This course offers an opportunity for students to explore and develop their own “voice” in written and spoken French. Through reading and viewing a variety of cultural artifacts in French, and completing a series of individual and collaborative creative projects, students will have a chance to develop their own potential for self-expression. They will develop greater confidence in their communicative skills, command of grammar, and ability to revise and edit their own work. The course is conducted entirely in French.

MW   3:30 pm – 4:45 pm  (Tsien)
TR   11:00 am – 12:15 pm (Levine)

TR   12:30 pm –   1:45 pm (Boutaghou)

MWF 9:00 am –   9:50 am (Ogden)

FREN 3032 – Image, Text, Culture

In this course, students will discover and engage critically with a broad sampling of French and Francophone cultural production representing a variety of periods, genres, approaches, and media.  Students will learn how to become more sensitive observers of French and Francophone culture, attuned to the nuances of content and form. They will read, watch, write about, and discuss a range of works that may include poetry, painting, prose, music, theater, films, graphic novels, photographs, essays, and historical documents. They will also make significant progress in their oral and written comprehension and communication in French.  The course is conducted entirely in French.

Prerequisite: French 3031. FREN 3032 is a prerequisite for all French undergraduate courses on a higher level.

MW  2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Ferguson)

TR  11:00 am – 12:15 pm (Lyons)
TR  12:30 pm – 1:45 pm (McGrady)

MW  5:00 pm – 6:15 pm (Lyu)

FREN 3041 – French Speaking World I:  The Trouble with Love in French Literature from the Middle Ages to  
                      the Renaissance

What propels us towards love, and what pushes us away from it?  How many things can we love at once, and what happens when various forms of love are bound for conflict? Where is love located in the body?  How do we know if our feelings of love are authentic or fake?  Is the opposite of love always hate?  And why does love so often elicit or excuse violence?  If love is one of the fundamental aspects of the human experience, the literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance had plenty to say about the meaning and experience of love in everything from physiology, sexuality, nationality, spirituality, femininity, and masculinity.  As we traverse key literary texts from the French Middle Ages and Renaissance, we will ask how artistic production structured, challenged, and transformed the tensions between love and law, love and creativity, and love and community.  Assignments will include group projects, class presentations, written work, and reading quizzes. 

Prerequisites: French 3032

MWF 10:00 am – 10:50 am (Geer)

FREN 3042 – French Speaking World II:  Expansion

During the Classical Era, Louis XIV built Versailles, France colonized Canada and the Caribbean, philosophers dared to challenge the Catholic Church, and in the end, the Revolution changed France forever. In view of this tumultuous historical background, this course will provide an overview of the literature of this era, from the canonical works of Corneille, Molière, Voltaire, and Diderot to the lesser-known but significant works that grapple with issues of slavery, gender roles, atheism, and foreignness. We will examine how writers used wit, emotion, and logic to persuade readers to accept their controversial ideas.

Prerequisite: FREN 3032

MW     2:00 pm –    3:15 pm (Tsien)

FREN 3050 – Middle Ages to Revolution

You love France and are intrigued by its long and rich history? This course offers you the opportunity to explore your interests and deepen your knowledge of the major events, political figures, and the artistic, cultural, and intellectual movements, prior to the Revolution, that have shaped France as we know it and whose legacy is seen and felt to this day. Setting the stage with a survey of prehistoric and Roman Gaul, we will focus on the thousand-year period known as the Middle Ages, followed by the Renaissance, the Classical Age, and the Enlightenment. Subjects will be discussed both in terms of their original historical context and their evolving significance, sometimes contested, to later and present generations. Films, visual images, and primary documents will supplement readings from secondary historical texts. Assignments will include group projects, in-class presentations, written papers, and quizzes.

Prerequisite:  FREN 3031 AND FREN 3032

MW – 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Ferguson)

FREN 3570 – Topics in Francophone African

This course will explore aspects of African literatures and cultures. It will focus on selected issues of special resonance in contemporary African life. Oral literature and its continuing impact on all other art forms. Key issues in French colonial policy and its legacy in Africa: language, politics, education. The course will also examine the image of the post-colonial state and society as found in contemporary arts: painting, sculpture, music, and cinema.

TR 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Dramé)  

FREN: 3585-001 – Topics in Cultural Studies:  The Art of Walking

Flânerie, a word with no English equivalent, identifies a way of walking that is not quite strolling, not quite meandering, not quite sauntering, not quite loitering, and not quite prowling. This course focuses on essays, fiction, and visual texts dealing with flânerie and other ways of walking in relation to culture, the body, solititude, thinking and artistic production. Materials may include works by Baudelaire, Benjamin, Breton, de Baecque, Debord, Duchamp, Duras, Maupassant, Rousseau, and Varda. Students will contribute to the course through: on-line posting and discussion; regular reading and reaction writing; individual presentations; collaborative discussion, problem-solving and mapping; a creative project; and a final paper. The primary goals of the course are to open new paths to a deeper engagement with reading, writing, and contemplation, and to foster thoughtful consideration of how literary and cultural studies relate to daily life and social interaction, online or on the streets.

The course is conducted in French, and the majority of course materials are in French, and few readings in English.

Prerequisites: FREN 3031 and FREN 3032 (or equivalent)

TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm (Krueger)

FREN 3585-002 Topics in Cultural StudiesNon-Fiction.  French Social Thought and the "Human Condition"

One of the great treasures of literature in French is the repertory of non-fiction prose: essays, letters, discourses, treatises, travel narratives and numerous other forms. This course proposes a sampling of such writings from the 16th century to today. To provide a thematic thread through the centuries, we will read mainly texts concerning society and the "human condition" in authors such as Montaigne, Descartes, Pascal, Sévigné, Rousseau, Diderot, de Staël, Tocqueville, Baudelaire, Fanon, de Beauvoir, Barthes, and Quignard. Regular participation in class discussion, quizzes, four papers, one oral presentation, final exam. 

TR  2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Lyons)        

FREN 4110 – Medieval Saints Lives

One of the most popular forms of entertainment, combining exciting themes (transvestism, marvelous journeys, spectacular sins, helpful animals) with edgy commentaries on hot topics (virginity vs. marriage, parent-child conflicts), saints' Lives offer a view of their culture’s theological concerns, worldly interests, and the quest of both ecclesiastical and lay people to fulfill their spiritual and terrestrial responsibilities.

 Readings will be in modern French translation.  Requirements for the course include active participation, a short textual commentary, a research project of 12-15 pages, and a final exam.

Prerequisites : FREN 3032 and at least one FREN 3000-level course beyond 3032 (or the equivalent).

MW  2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Ogden)

FREN 4582 – Advanced Topics in French Poetry:  "Baudelaire et la modernité"

Nous lirons une sélection de textes de Baudelaire (Les Fleurs du mal, Les Petits poèmes en prose, Les Paradis artificiels, et les critiques d'art) pour apprécier l'ensemble de la production littéraire de l'un des poètes les plus célébrés dans la culture occidentale. Nous procèderons par des lectures et des analyses attentives et examinerons la sensibilité et l'esthétique de la modernité baudelairienne: le problème du mal et l'éthique de la poésie, la structure et la déstructuration de la forme poétique, et la question de l'inspiration et de la lucidité dans l'entreprise poétique. De façon plus générale, nous nous intéresserons à la nature et au pouvoir du langage poétique ainsi qu'à la relation entre la poésie et la vie.

Prerequisite: At least one course in French literature, culture, or film beyond 3032 with a grade of B+ or higher.

MW  3:30 pm -  4:45 pm (Lyu)

FREN 4585-001  Advanced Topics in Cultural Studies:  Algeria through Ages   

From the Roman period to the anticolonial war between 1954 and 1962, Algeria stands as an important part of Mediterranean culture. As a bridge between Europe and Africa, Europe and the Middle East, the rich and complex cultural history of this region exemplifies the cultural nexus explaining what is the Mediterranean as a space of circulation and power. The course will address the question of cultural legacy, cultural transfer through literatures, paintings, movies from Algeria and the Algerian diaspora in France and in the World.

TR 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Boutaghou)

FREN 4585-002 Advanced Topics in Cultural Studies :  The History of Paris

This course will explore the history of Paris from the French Revolution to the present. The principal theater of the Revolution, Paris became over the course of the 19th-century not only the central focus of French intellectual, political, and artistic life, but also the model of a 19th-century European city.

Through a broad variety of written and visual texts, we will study the topography, architecture, politics and daily life of nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century Paris as well as the development of the imagined city in art and literature. We will also consider how the traces of the past are inscribed on the modern urban landscape.

Pre-requisite: FREN 3032 plus one additional 3000-level course in French. (N.B. Students who have previously taken FREN 3652: Modern Paris may not enroll for FREN credit in this course.)

TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm (Horne)

FREN 4585-003  Advanced Topics in Cultural Studies:  France and America in the Times of Jefferson

The French-American Treaty of Alliance of 1778 was a defining moment for both nations. But what exactly did the Americans and the French know and think about each other at the time ? This course will address the complex relationship between the two countries in the age of Jefferson. Readings in French and English will include texts by philosophers, travelers, political figures and journalists, as well as fiction and poetry.

Thomas Jefferson, a fervent francophile, will be one the key figures in this course, which is offered in connexion with the Bicentennial of the University of Virginia.

(Taught in French)

TR 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm (Roger)

FREN 4811 Francophone Literature of Africa

Introduction to the Francophone literature of Africa; survey, with special emphasis on post- World War II poets, novelists, and playwrights of Africa. The role of cultural and literary reviews (Légitime Défense, L'Etudiant noir, and Présence Africaine) in the historical and ideological development of this literature will be examined. Special reference will be made to Caribbean writers of the Negritude movement. Documentary videos on African history and cultures will be shown and important audio-tapes will also be played regularly. Supplementary texts will be assigned occasionally. Students will be expected to present response papers on a regular basis. 
In addition to the required reading material, 2 essays (60%), regular class attendance, and contribution to discussions (10%), and a final exam (30%) constitute the course requirements. Papers are due on the dates indicated on the syllabus.

TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm (Dramé)

FREN 4993 Independent Study

TBS (Krueger)

FREN 4998 Pre-Thesis Tutorial

TBD (Krueger)