Fall 2010

Undergraduate Courses

FREN 3030 - Phonetics: The Sounds of French (Saunders)

French 3030 is an introductory course in French phonetics, intended to present basic concepts in phonetic theory and teach students techniques for improving their own pronunciation. It includes an examination of the physical characteristics of individual French sounds, the relationship between these sounds and their written representations, the rules governing the pronunciation of "standard French", the most salient phonological features of selected regional varieties (e.g. le français méridional), and much more. Taught in French. Counts for major credit in French and in Linguistics.

FREN 3031 - Intensive Grammar and Composition (Staff)

Prerequisite: Completion of FREN 2020 or 2320 or exemption from FREN 2020 by the Placement Test; or a score of 3 on the AP French language exam; or a score of at least 660 on the SAT. Required as preparation for all subsequent courses except FREN 2933 and FREN 3030.

This course offers an introduction to narrative writing in French. Emphasis is placed on writing, revision, and an intensive review of grammar rules as they apply to oral and written communication. A variety of assessment formats include compositions, presentations, short quizzes, dictations, and a mid-term and/or final exam. Preparation and active participation are essential to improve reading, writing, and speaking skills. The course is conducted in French.

FREN 3032 - The Writing and Reading of Texts (Staff)

Prerequisite: French 3031. This course is a prerequisite for all undergraduate courses on a higher level except French 2933 and French 3030.

This course will prepare students for upper-level French courses by introducing them to the skills necessary to analyze literature and to express ideas in a written and oral form. Specifically, students will read literary texts from a variety of periods; they will learn to identify the elements that authors use to construct these texts; and they will learn the technical terms used to analyze poetry, prose, and theater. Grading will largely depend on the student's development of an analytical perspective on literature and on the student's ability to compose well-structured papers in correct French. The minimum writing requirement is a total of 10-15 pages for the semester, with at least one paper assignment of 5 pages. In addition, students will be expected to participate actively in order to advance their speaking skills in French. All discussion, readings, and assignments will be in French.

FREN 3034 - Advanced Oral and Written Expression in French (Staff)

Prerequisite: Students must have completed French 3031 and French 3032 or their equivalent. Counts for major/minor credit.

An intensive course designed to improve more advanced students' oral and written language skills. Assignments include discussion on topics of current interest, presentations, translations, and compositions. All materials are French- or Francophone-related. The course focuses on language development in a Francophone cultural context, so students can get familiar with French and Francophone cultures and comfortable in expressing their viewpoints in French. Of course, consistent attendance and active participation are essential.

FREN 3042 - Royalty and Revolution (Tsien)

This course will present an overview of literature from the Ancien Régime period, most commonly associated with the reigns of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. Sometimes rebelling against church and state, sometimes flattering these institutions, the writers of this period sought above all to show the workings of human nature. In elegant and witty language, they explored the many possible outcomes that arose from conflicts between love, hypocrisy, family, vanity, and religion, among other factors. Readings for this course will include plays by Corneille and Molière, poems by La Fontaine and Voltaire, and other writings by the marquise de La Fayette, Pascal, and Diderot.Prerequisite: FREN 3032.

FREN 3043 - Introduction to 19th-20th Century French Literature: Passion Disorders (Berard)

A survey of major literary works from the 19th and 20th centuries, this course will explore multiple representations of passion disorders, and more specifically of jealousy, in modern works of prose, poetry, theater, and film. What are the causes and effects of jealousy on a love relationship? From the suffering of a desperate lover to a the ridiculous behavior of a hysterical jealous husband, from desire to hatred, this course will examine the various psychological and physiological manifestations of jealousy on men and women, while focusing on the stylistic features of passion disorders.

May include literary works by Maupassant, Mérimée, Hugo, Baudelaire, Proust, Robbe-Grillet, Annie Ernaux.

FREN 3051 - Histoire et Civilisation de la France Contemporaine (Horne)

Beginning with a study of the French Revolution, this course focuses on the cultural and historical influences that have shaped Modern France. We will explore the relationship between culture and political power, the changing role of government, and how ordinary men and women experienced social change. Readings will be drawn from primary documents, memoirs and secondary historical texts. Visual elements will be incorporated in this course as well as selected films. Readings in this course will be done in both French and English. All lectures, discussions and writing will be done exclusively in French.

FREN 3509 - Topics in French Linguistics (Saunders)

This course will explore a wide range of sociolinguistic issues relating to the French language and its role in societies around the world. Topics to be studied include: the diversity of the French-speaking world; the function of French in particular countries and regions (including Belgium, Canada, and Switzerland); the status of French in relation to other languages; individual language features; the "social meaning" of different styles and levels of language; French used by immigrants; and controversies affecting the French language, particularly in France itself. Requirements: group project; mid-term exam; term paper; attendance and daily oral participation. A sound knowledge of practical French is expected but no prior knowledge of socio-linguistics is assumed. The course will be taught exclusively in French. Some readings, however, will be done in English. FREN 3509 counts for major credit in French and in Linguistics Program.

FREN 3584 - Topics in French Cinema (Leveine)

This course provides an introductory overview of French cinema from the silent era to the present. Emphasis will be placed on important directors and styles as well as on acquiring the vocabulary and analytical tools needed to produce excellent written work about film, in print and digital formats. FREN 3585 - French Non-Fiction: French Social Thought and the "Human Condition" (Lyons)

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, Barthes, and Quignard. Four papers, one oral presentation, regular participation in class discussion. Prerequisite: FREN 3032.

FREN 3753 - L'Immigration en France (Bargach)

L'immigration est un sujet de premier plan dans l'actualité quotidienne en Europe et en France en particulier ; c'est aussi un sujet de polémique au cœur du débat politique et social. Le fait que la majorité de l'immigration récente vienne d'Afrique (du Nord et Subsaharienne) et se revendique de l'Islam entraîne des interrogations sur l'identité nationale et sur les principes fondateurs de la République comme celui de la Laïcité. En abordant le thème de l'immigration, on traite divers domaines qui facilitent la compréhension de la France d'aujourd'hui l'histoire à laquelle l'immigration est liée, ses conséquences sociales, culturelles, économiques, politiques et parfois humanitaires. Des œuvres littéraires, des articles de presse et des films illustreront le cours.
Livres : Pascal Blanchard, La fracture coloniale ; Claire Etcherelli, Elise ou la vraie vie ; Jean-Marie Le Clesio, Poisson d'Or; Jean-Marie LeClesio Dese. FREN 4031 - Grammaire et Style (Zunz)

Prerequisite: B+ average in FREN 331 and 332. Grammar review through the traditional method of grammatical analysis; includes free composition.

FREN 4540 - Advanced Topics in Eighteenth-Century Literature: The Fictional Orient (Tsien)

Eighteenth-century France created an imaginary Orient filled with harems, genies, princes, and crafty merchants -- a place of fantastic luxury and excessive cruelty. In this faraway dreamland, which included countries as disparate as Persia, Turkey, India, and China, the expectations of realistic writing were temporarily suspended. The perspective of fictional foreigners also allowed French writers to discuss controversial political and moral issues without openly criticizing their own country.

In this course we will examine the ways in which "the Orient" is depicted in French literature of the eighteenth century. The readings will include fiction by Voltaire (La Princesse de Babylone, Mahomet), Crébillon fils (Le Sopha), Montesquieu (Lettres persanes), as well as excerpts from travel narratives and works from the visual arts.

The grade for the course will be based on one short paper (5 pages), one longer research paper (10-12 pages), an oral presentation, and a final exam.

FREN 4583 - The Frogs and the Eagle: (Mis)representations of America in French Literature (Roger)

While France and America historically stood as allies from the very birth of the United States, anti-Americanism also has a long tradition in France, shaped and nurtured by generations of intellectuals and writers. As early as the 18th century, prominent French philosophers and scientists such as Buffon dwelled upon America's «weaknesses» as a continent, prompting Thomas Jefferson's counter-attack in his Notes on the State of Virginia. In the course of the 19th century, anti-Americanism moved to new topics, ranging from the lack of cultural life to economic greed and military imperialism. From Baudelaire, who coined the French word "américanisation" in the 1850s to Jean Baudrillard, who in 1986 described America as a non-entity, French poets, novelists and writers played a decisive part in the elaboration and diffusion of anti-American stereotypes.

The seminar will explore this tradition, which accounts for a great number of French attitudes towards the US today.

The first four weeks will be devoted to a presentation of the most salient features of French anti-Americanism, in connection with specific historical periods (from the 18th to the 21st century): «L'Amérique invivable», «L'Amérique inculte», «L'Amérique impériale» et «L'Amérique introuvable».

The second half of the seminar will be organized thematically, each week being devoted to a selected, significant topic : «La ville», «La violence», «La voracité», «Le vice et la vertu».

Readings will include an array of sources, ranging from natural history and philosophy to poetry and from short story to political pamphlet. We will discuss pages or chapters in Buffon, De Pauw, Jefferson, Baudelaire, André Siegfried, Luc Durtain, Georges Duhamel, Céline, Sartre, Marcel Aymé, Jean Baudrillard, Bernard-Henri Lévy. We will also have a look at representations of the US in French popular culture : serialized fiction (La Conspiration des milliardaires), comic books (Tintin en Amérique), cartoons (Plantu).

Students will be expected to participate in discussions on the readings; possibly give an oral presentation (in French or in English) in the second half of the seminar; define a research topic and write a paper (10-15 pages) due at the end of the semester. THIS COURSE IS CONDUCTED IN FRENCH.

FREN 4743 - Africa in Cinema (Dramé)

This course is a study of the representation of Africa in American, Western European and African films. It deals with the representations of African cultures by filmmakers from different cultural backgrounds and studies the ways in which their perspectives on Africa are often informed by their own social and ideological positions as well as the demands of exoticism. It also examines the constructions of the African as the "other" and the kinds of responses such constructions have elicited from Africa's filmmakers. These filmic inventions@are analyzed through a selection of French, British, American, and African films by such directors as John Huston, S. Pollack, J-J Annaud, M. Radford, Ngangura Mweze, Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Souleymane Cisse, Gaston Kabore, Amadou Seck, Dani Kouyate, Brian Tilley, Jean-Marie Teno on a variety of subjects relative to the image of Africa in cinema. The final grade will be based on one mid-semester paper (select a film by an African filmmaker and provide a sequential reconstruction of the story based on the methods of P. S. Vieyra and of F.Boughédir), a final paper (7-10 pages), an oral presentation and contributions to discussions. Each oral presentation should contribute to the mid-semester paper and to the final research paper. The final paper should be analytical, well documented and written in clear, grammatical French using correct film terminology. FREN 4813 - Introduction to the Francophone Caribbean (Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Haiti)

This course focuses on the literature, culture and arts of the Francophone Caribbean (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti). Issues of colonialism and postcolonialism, slavery and freedom, exile and immigration, race and gender will be examined through poetry, novels, storytelling, theater, music and film analysis. May include works by Césaire, Condé, Chamoiseau, Trouillot, and films by Palcy, Deslauriers, Peck. FREN 4857– Comedy in France (Lyons)

French comedy from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, including the continuation of the comic tradition in cinema. Topics will include the relationship between comedy and humor, "low" and "high" comic styles, character types and their evolution, the link between comedy and specific historical and social situations, verbal and non-verbal comic gestures, and the relationship between comedy and other dramatic forms such as "tragi-comedy" and "theatre of the absurd." Texts studied will be chosen from among works by authors such as Molière, Corneille, Regnard, Feydeau, Jarry, Tati, Ionesco, and Beckett. Three papers and an oral presentation and several other smaller assignments. Prerequisites: FREN 3032 and at least one additional FREN course 3041 or above.