Course Listing

Spring 2023

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. 


Priority Boarding”  for French Majors and Minors: Enrollment for classes above 3032 will be reserved for French majors and minors until April 18, and then it’ll be open to all students.

Not a Major or Minor in French? You will be added to the course waitlist during the "Priority Boarding" period.

You can also declare a major or a minor in French here

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about enrolling in a French class this semester. We want to hear from you!

Course Descriptions

FREN 3031-003 — Finding Your Voice in French

This course offers you the opportunity to develop your own voice in written and spoken French while gaining confidence in your command of grammar for effective communication and your ability to revise and edit your own work.  

Engaging with diverse voices from France and the francophone world through short literary texts, documentary film clips, songs, social media sites, and other contemporary media, we will explore how language is used to express identity, narrate the past, communicate opinions about the world’s great challenges, and persuade others to take action. Building on insights from these sources, you will practice both creative and more formal genres of writing (a persuasive essay, for example) with the support of in-class collaborative workshops. Through an informal blog, you will share your individual interests and discoveries with your classmates and establish a regular habit of communicating your thoughts and opinions in French. Integrated in all these activities, a semester-long grammar review will guide you to better understand how form and meaning work together in the process of expressing yourself in French. 

 Pre-requisite: Completion of FREN 2020 or placement in 3031 by appropriate AP or UVA placement test score. 

FREN 3031 is a Pre-requisite for all undergraduate French courses at a higher level.  

MWF 12:00PM – 12:50PM (James) 

FREN 3031 – Finding Your Voice in French

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.

Pre-requisite: Completion of FREN 2020 or 2320; exemption from FREN 2020 by the UVA Placement Test; or a score of 3 on the AP French Language Exam. FREN 3031 is a Pre-requisite for all undergraduate French courses at a higher level.

MWF 1:00 PM – 1:50 PM (Hall)

FREN 3031 – On air! Finding your voice in French: Podcast edition

In French the words voix (voice) and voie (way) are homonyms. Keep that in mind as you set out to find your voice in French, because as you become more fluent in the French language, you will discover new ways of experiencing the world and new pathways for personal and academic growth. This course will offer you the opportunity to explore and develop your voice in written and spoken French through the creation of a podcast. You will cultivate your own sense of style, tone, creativity, and expressiveness by drawing on a variety of cultural artifacts as inspiration for a series of writing and recording activities. Whether it means starting to feel more like yourself when you write and speak in French, or enjoying sounding wonderfully different from yourself, this course will encourage you to deepen your appreciation for the profound and transformative process of starting to think in French and to think of yourself as a Francophone person.  

Pre-requisite: Completion of FREN 2020 or 2320; exemption from FREN 2020 by the UVA Placement Test; or a score of 3 on the AP French Language Exam. FREN 3031 is a Pre-requisite for all undergraduate French courses at a higher level.

TR 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM (Simotas)

FREN 3031 – Finding Your Voice in French

Students in this course co-construct the syllabus, based on their own interest, by assigning and leading discussion of articles in French. They practice listening skills with songs, podcasts, and other audio sources. They explore visual culture via the discussion of films and works of art. Students practice both creative writing and more formal genres (a film review, a persuasive essay) during in-class writing workshops and individual assignments. Integrated in all activities, a semester-long grammar review guides students to better understand how form and meaning work together.

Prerequisite FREN 2020 or AP3 or equivalent placement.

TR 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM (Krueger)

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.

Pre-requisite: French 3031. FREN 3032 is a Pre-requisite for all French undergraduate courses on a higher level.

TR 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM (Ogden)

TR 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM (McGrady

TR 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM (Ferguson)

MW 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM (Tsien

FREN 3034 – Advanced Oral Expression in French

This advanced course in oral expression has two main objectives: to provide students an occasion to practice their oral French skills in a variety of communicative contexts; and to offer them the opportunity to learn and reflect on various aspects of French culture of interest to their French-speaking contemporaries. Topics for discussion will be determined largely by student interests but will likely include aspects of French education and family life; the arts (French music, architecture, museum exhibitions, dance, theatre, haute couture . . . ); Franco-American relations; immigrant contributions; sports; and business culture. All class resources (including articles from French newspapers and magazines, journals, videos, TV and radio) will be available online. Students will be graded on their

engaged involvement in class discussions, their in-class presentations (individual and group), a final oral reflective exam, and an audio and/or video class project or contribution to a class web-journal. FREN 3034 is the only course on offer to emphasize exclusively the skill of speaking French (spontaneously and fluently).

Pre-requisite: FREN 3031 and either completion of FREN 3032 or concurrent enrollment in FREN 3032.

TR 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM (Saunders)

FREN 3037 – French for Global Development and Humanitarian Action

Designed for students seeking to develop advanced linguistic skills in oral and written French and cultural competence in preparation for careers related to global development and humanitarian action. Discussions and assignments revolve around case studies and simulated professional situations drawn from real-life global development and humanitarian aid initiatives, with a focus on francophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Cases and topics will encompass community health, education, economic development, and advocacy for human rights and gender equity.

Course pre-requisites: FREN 3031 and FREN 3032

(This course is not intended for students who are native speakers of French.)

MWF 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM (James)

FREN 3042 – French-Speaking World II: Expansion. Royalty and Revolution

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 the context of this tumultuous history, this course will provide an overview of the writings of this era, from the canonical works of Corneille, Molière, Voltaire, and Diderot to 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.

MW 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM (Tsien)

FREN 3043 – French-Speaking World III: Modernities Tradition and Innovation

In this course, we will reflect upon some of the key questions that arise when we engage in the process of literary, artistic, or intellectual creation. How do we make something new out of what is old? How do we nurture singular originality in the face of mounting societal pressures to conform? How can we learn from the past without becoming subservient to it? By examining the works of modern and contemporary writers, artists, and intellectuals who engage in explicit dialogue with their predecessors, we will explore different ways in which tradition gives birth to innovation. We will read the French writer Colette who, in writing a memoir of her parents, comes to discover how her identity is shaped by what she has inherited from each of them; the French-Chinese writer Cheng who, elected to the French Academy, writes in a French imbued with Chinese language and thought; the Belgian-Rwandan musician Stromae who rewrites and performs in the 21stcentury, the aria of Bizet’s 19th-century opera, which, in turn, was inspired by a short story published earlier by Mérimée; and the Belgian philosopher Despret who revisits the thesis of human exceptionalism that undergirds Descartes’ philosophy of the 17thcentury by reapproaching it from the perspective of the multiple ethical, feminist, and ecological exigencies of our own century.

TR 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM (Lyu)

FRTR 3559 – Black France Musicscape

This interdisciplinary course examines the impact of music and language use in the Black Francophone world. Students will explore, think critically, and discuss the importance of race, space, gender, and language in the formation of a Black France Musicscape in multilingual communities of West and Central Africa, the French Caribbean, and mainland France.

TR 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM (Lydner)

FREN 3559 - Students’ Choice: The Goncourt Book Club

A chance to discover what France is reading now, and to make a mark on the literary scene, through discussion of a selection of books nominated for one of France’s most prestigious literary awards. Students will evaluate six books short-listed by the French Embassy for the Choix Goncourt USA and will cast their vote in April for who will win this year’s prize. Reading and discussion in French. Prerequisite: FREN 3032 or equivalent placement 

1 credit

R 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM (Blatt & Krueger)

FREN 3584 – Topics in French Cinema: Introduction to French Cinema

This class provides an introduction to masterpieces of French cinema, from the earliest short films of the Lumière Brothers and George Meliès, to feature-length works by Godard, Marker, Truffaut, and Varda, as well as contemporary directors. Students will study film genres and movements (Poetic Realism, the New Wave) in relation to social, cultural and aesthetic trends. They will identify and analyze film techniques (camera angle, camera movement, montage, and more). They will discuss French cinema’s place in an international and transnational conversation about cinema, and explore questions such as: What is “French” about French cinema? What does it do well? Where has it failed? What has it taught us about France—about cinema—and about ourselves? Students will view approximately one film/week, outside of class, complete accompanying reading assignments, participate in class discussion, write analytical papers, and create original audiovisual material. Counts toward the French major or minor. All reading, writing, viewing, and discussion is in French.

TR 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM (Levine)

FREN 3585 – Topics in Cultural Studies: Americans in Paris

Paris has always attracted Americans. This course (inspired by David McCullough’s book, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris) studies the remarkable experiences of celebrated, as well as forgotten Americans (inventors, artists, writers, diplomats, medicals, etc.) who traveled to Paris in search of professional betterment, and their interactions with the people, the city and the cultural changes going on around them. Strong emphasis placed on oral communication skills. Requires active class participation and research. Readings from the McCullough book will be in English, but other assigned readings, discussions, lectures, oral presentations, films and writing will be in French. A day trip to the National Gallery of Art in Washington to view the celebrated work of one of America’s finest sculptors (who developed his exceptional talent during his stay in Paris) is planned. Course conducted in French.

TR 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM (Saunders)

FREN 3585 Topics in Cultural Studies: Suspense

An exploration of suspense stories in a variety of text and film genres, with a focus on how narrative elements (pace, perspective, foreshadowing, plot structure, cliffhangers) and the manipulation of sound and images create expectation and tension. How does suspense work, and how does solving the puzzles of detective stories, true crime podcasts, and historical mysteries relate to coping with uncertainty and ambiguity in real life? Assignments include short essays, in-class presentations, online postings, and a final creative writing or multi-media project.

Pre-requisite FREN 3032 or equivalent

TR 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM (Krueger)

FREN 4585 – Advanced Topics in Cultural Studies: Animals in a Posthuman World

This course presents students with a number of leading contemporary French thinkers who, through their innovative, posthuman, ecocritical reassessment of the human-animal relationship, challenge the long-standing Western bias of human exceptionalism. In the first part of the course, we will investigate how Western culture has come to proclaim the idea of human exceptionalism. How does the West construct the difference between humans and nonhuman animals? What parts do religion, philosophy, and science play in constructing models of human-animal divide and/or closeness? In the second part of the course, we will explore the limits of the Western perspective: first, by examining non-Western approaches to human-animal relation; and second, by reflecting on how climate change and the pandemic bankrupt such an anthropocentric worldview and situate us in a posthuman world. We will examine works in a wide range of fields (anthropology, history, philosophy, animal studies, literature, film, art, children’s literature) and practices (domestication, training, farming, experimentation, zoo, rescue/rehabilitation) in order to embark on a collective exploration as to how we can shift from an anthropocentric to an ecological worldview and practice a more equitable posthuman way of sharing our fragile life with all species on the Earth. Authors may include Baratay, Derrida, Descartes, Descola, Despret, Haraway, Hearne, Heidegger, Latour, Pennac, Porcher. In addition to films, we will also look at youtube videos/ podcasts on dog and horse training.

TR 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM (Lyu)

FREN 4585 – Advanced Topics in Cultural Studies: Love, Sex, Marriage, and Friendship in Renaissance France

If passions and emotions are part of human nature, the forms they take and the ways in which they are and can be expressed vary greatly over time and between cultures. How were love, sex, marriage, and friendship understood and lived in sixteenth-century France – in each case between members of the opposite sex and the same sex? How did they evolve in this pivotal period of transition between the Middle Ages and the modern world? How were they inflected by intellectual, social and cultural movements such as the Reformation, Humanism, developing notions of the individual, and ongoing debates about the nature of women? Through the study of a combination of contemporary texts and modern films, we will explore a fascinating culture, at once similar to and different from our own – one whose stories (like that of Romeo and Juliet) still speak to us today and with whose legacy we live and continue to grapple.

Prerequisite: At least one literature or culture course beyond FREN 3032. May be taken for elective credit for WGS.

TR 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM (Ferguson)

FREN 4585 – Advanced Topics in Cultural Studies: Getting Medieval on the Movies

Why isn’t Jamie Foxx cast as Robin Hood, or Zoe Saldana as Lancelot, or Michelle Yeoh as Merlin? When we’re dealing in myths, why do some ideas of “historical realism” seem to matter... and how sure are we that we know what medieval European society really looked like? When we imagine the world of over a thousand years ago, why do 1950s (or even 21st-century) race and gender dynamics so often structure it? Why does it matter how we retell important myths in popular culture anyway?

Writers and artists of the Middle Ages often didn’t share our worries about historical accuracy in representation and gave us the lasting legacies of a white Jesus and a pink-cheeked Virgin Mary—even if regional alternatives in fact existed with various degrees of cultural (in)sensitivity. What legacies are we passing down to future generations in our retellings of stories about Robin Hood, the Holy Grail, and Lancelot’s illicit love for Guenevere? Who benefits from perpetuating a singular image of the Middle Ages? Is there a future for different ways of using these stories, as in the work of French rapper Black M or American artist S. Ross Browne?

This class will look at such stories as told in medieval French texts (in modern French translation) and modern stage and screen adaptations, such as the 2012 musical “Robin des Bois” and classics like Rohmer’s 1964 Perceval. For cultural contrast, we’ll also examine a few Anglo adaptations (like Monty Python and the Holy Grail / “Spamalot,” Black Knight, and the 2018 Robin Hood).

No previous study of film required.

TR 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM (Ogden)

FREN 4838 – French Society & Civilization: La France Contemporaine

Developing cultural literacy is an integral part of becoming an educated citizen of the world. The attainment of cultural literacy includes understanding social norms as well as politics and current events in a particular country. In France, cultural literacy is particularly valued in professional life, where the expectation is that you will be able to converse on a wide range of topics outside your field of specialization. This course is designed to provide you with some tools for developing cultural literacy in the French context. Through an introduction to the politics, culture, and society of present-day France, you should come away from this class with a deeper understanding of social norms and institutional structures, as well as the ability to follow and understand French media coverage of events as they unfold in France. In your future travels in the US or abroad, you should feel comfortable discussing and debating social, political, and cultural issues and current events relating to France. To achieve those goals, we will study the evolution of French society, politics, and culture from the end of the Second World War until the present. We will study major social problems facing contemporary France: the role of women, education, immigration, race, religion, public health as well as France's status in the European Union. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on readings from the French press, the televised news, and other visual sources. Prerequisite: one 3000-level course beyond FREN 3032

TR 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM (Horne)