Course Listing

Fall 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 – 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 (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 Pre-requisite for all undergraduate French courses at a higher level.

MWF 10:00-10:50 (TBD)

MWF 11:00-11:50 (Hall)

FREN 3031-003 - ON AIR! Finding Your Voice in French: Podcast Edition

Are you looking for a class that is focused on making things and doing creative projects in French?? Ready to put on your headphones and discover the thrilling new voices and perspectives within the French-speaking world of podcasts??  This course will offer you the opportunity to explore the world of French podcasts while also developing your voice in written and spoken French through the creation of your own podcast episode. Over the course of the semester, you’ll tell stories, conduct field recordings and interviews, and find your way through important questions about language, identity, power, and politics.  Come for the podcasts, and stay for the ways you’ll cultivate your own sense of style, tone, creativity, and expressiveness in French!  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. 

TR 11:00-12:15 (Geer)

FREN 3031-004 -  Finding your Voice in French

Finding your voice doesn't happen overnight. Not in the language(s) we have been speaking since we were children, and not in a foreign language. The main goals of this course are to guide you on a life-long journey of self-expression, and to help you become aware of your own best practices for learning French. You will be encouraged to take reflective notes in class on your reactions and thoughts about the materials with which you interact. Who are you when you read, speak, listen, and write in French? What are your strengths? How can you convey your ideas in French without translating your words directly from English or other  languages you already know? How does improving your writing in French help you to better understand how you write in English? How does engagement with French influence your connections in other courses and in the world around you?

Students in this course co-construct the syllabus, based on their own interests, by assigning and leading discussion of articles in French. They hone listening skills with songs, podcasts, and other audio sources, and explore visual culture via works of art and advertising images. 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 equivalent placement

MW 2:00-3:15 (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 12:30-1:45 (Lydner)

TR 9:30-10:45 (Boutaghou)

FREN 3032 001 – Writing Black Francophone Literature and Performances.

This section looks at the literary, political, and artistic works of Black francophone writers, theorists, and performers. Together, we will read and discuss how Black people across the francophone world express themselves through poetry, theatre, novels, comics, film, and music. Students will develop interpretative and analytical skills with broad applicability and practice writing in French in a clear and persuasive manner. 

TuTh 12:30 - 1:45  (Rashana Lydner)

FREN 3032-002 - Sharing Human Experience

In this course, we will examine various cultural and artistic productions of the French and Francophone worlds to gain insights into how they attest to the depth of human experience, both joyful and painful, fleeting and enduring. We will query, and appreciate, the inventiveness, thoughtfulness, courage, and craft that shape a broad selection of works in poetry, theater, prose, and film from the medieval to the modern and contemporary periods. Our aim, in doing so, is to learn how to make the qualities that inform these works become part also of our own practice of the French language in both written and oral forms.

MW 2:00-3:15 (Lyu)

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 11:00-12:15 (TBD)

FREN 3035 - Business French

Dans ce cours, vous développerez un ensemble de compétences linguistiques et culturelles adaptées au monde contemporain des affaires dans le monde francophone. Vous pratiquerez la communication professionnelle orale et écrite, et vous l’utiliserez, afin d’accomplir une variété de tâches spécifiques à l’entreprise. Vous explorerez les principales industries du monde francophone et vous étudierez leur structure organisationnelle. Enfin, vous préparerez votre dossier de candidature pour la demande d’un emploi, et vous passerez un entretien d’embauche. Si vous cherchez une carrière dans le monde francophone, ce cours est un bon point de départ !  

TR 3:30-4:45 (Simotas)

FREN 3041  The Francophone World I: Origins

Globalization.  Love and friendship.  Encounters with other cultures and peoples.  Separation of Church and State.  Bourgeois values.  Law and justice.  Where did these features of modern life come from and—more importantly—what other forms might they have taken or might they still evolve into?  And how might the way we tell the histoire of the Francophone world limit or expand our options now and in the future? 

Virtually visiting the Louvre Museum (our case study of one famous way of presenting Francophone history) and exploring a variety of readings that nuance and even challenge that history outright, we will seek to understand the prevailing story of the Francophone world’s origins, the reasons that story developed, and the alternative histories that have been set aside.  With evidence from historical readings—tales of quests for adventure and powerful women, bawdy ballads and soulful sonnets—we will then imagine new exhibits to tell a fuller picture of the Francophone past and its importance to the present.

Assignments will be appropriate both for students coming directly from FREN 3032 and for more advanced students who want to hone their analytical/persuasive skills in French. Readings in the course will be in modern French translation.

MWF 11:00-11:50 (Ogden)

FREN 3048 – Filmmaking in French

This course introduces students to the basics of filmmaking with a focus on writing, directing, shooting and editing. We will start with fresh materials brought by students and workshop students’ scripts as in a “writers’ room”. It will be a hands-on class where students will learn to use a camera, lighting, sound recording and editing. Each student will have the chance to develop their own script and serve in a different position including writing, directing, filming, acting and editing. We will watch selected clips and sample works, which will exemplify specific aspects of filmmaking and offer inspiration to the shooting, editing styles and theme of each film. By the end of the semester, you will have a fully-finished script and one edited scene.

M 3:30-6:00 (Dia)

FREN 3585 – (Topics in  Cultural Studies): Beasts and Beauties

Werewolves, vampires, phantoms, and fairies: these are some the creatures who inhabit the eerie space of French fiction. In fables, legends, fairy tales, short stories, novels, and film, outer beauty is associated sometimes with virtue, often with inner monstrosity. We will study the presence of menacing fictional creatures in relation to physical and moral beauty, animality, and evocations of good, evil, comfort, fear, kindness, familiarity and the uncanny. For their final project, students in this course write their own supernatural short stories.

Prerequisite: FREN 3032 or concurrent enrollment

MW 2:00-3:15 (Krueger)

FREN 3585 - France – Asia

Japanese macarons, Kpop flashmobs in Paris, chinoiserie: nowadays, we see the influence of French culture in Asia as much as we see Asian culture become part of France. This course explores how this relationship manifests itself in multiple forms, from novels, theater, graphic novels, cuisine, fashion, to politics and institutions. We will look at early French attempts to colonize Asian countries and trade in silks, porcelains, and tea. We will then explore French interventions in Southeast Asia and how, despite political hostilities, both parts of the world still exert a mutual fascination over each other that defies the usual power dynamics of post-colonialism.

TR 3:30-4:45 (Tsien)

FREN 4410 – The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment, or Les Lumières, was one of the most important movements in Western intellectual history. Its proponents fought against superstition and a corrupt monarchy with notoriously witty essays and with fictions that seemed, on the surface, to be about sentimentality, sex, or exotic lands. In this course, we will consider how famous philosophes such as Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau brought France into a new era and inadvertently inspired the American and then the French Revolutions. We will examine how their writings treated issues such as: slavery, women's sexuality, blasphemy, the conflict between religion and science, and moral relativism among various countries. We will also focus on strategies used by the authors to hide their provocative ideas from government censors.

TR 2:00-3:15 (Tsien)

FREN 4585-001 – The City of Paris: Stories of a Living Legend

This course will explore Paris, both as a contemporary metropolis and a multilayered palimpsest of history, legends and myths.

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.)

This course will explore Paris, both as a contemporary metropolis and a multilayered palimpsest of history, legends and myths. A global city, Paris is today so much more than the capital of France; it holds meaning the world over. A real city of grit and struggle, it is also synonym of joie de vivre, as well as symbolic of lofty ideals. The principal theater of the French Revolution, it earned a reputation for insurrection and protest. A hotbed of artistic life and intellectual debate, it has been, and still is a magnet for talent, ambition, and dissent. How did Paris achieve such iconic status on the world stage? What myths and historical moments have defined it? Together, we will explore maps, paintings, and films that illustrate key features of the history, topography, architecture, and neighborhoods of Paris. We will discover the imagined city in art, literature and song. We will also interrogate the “American dream” of Paris, with a special focus on “Black Paris”, its promises and mirages. By the end of this course, Paris will be a familiar place. You will be able “to read” the city, unlock its codes —become a Parisian, even from a distance.

TR 3:30-4:45 (Roger)

FREN 4585-002 - The Good Life?

What is the good life, and what is a good life?  How should a person balance ethical responsibilities with comforts and pleasures?  Is sacrifice required for someone who wants to be good, and if so, how much and of what kind?  How do social expectations help and harm efforts to do the right thing?  We might think of saints as people who live perfectly good lives, but stories about them often grapple with all of these questions and don’t always provide clear answers, instead encouraging audiences to think deeply about their own lives in ways that go beyond any one religious or ethical system.  Above all, such stories can lay bare both how difficult it is to solve moral dilemmas (even for saints) and how closely extreme virtue can resemble appalling vice.  Looking at old and new stories of parent-child struggles, spectacular sinning and redemption, gender transformation, and daily moral predicaments, we will explore a variety of ways to understand what it means to live well.

MW 2:00-3:15 (Ogden)

FREN 4744 – The Occupation and After

While in 2014 the French spent a year commemorating the centenary of the start of the “Great War” (“la Der des Ders,” the so called “war to end all wars”), in the summer of 2015 the nation marked another important anniversary: namely, seventy years since the Liberation of Paris during World War II. The German occupation of France, which lasted from 1940 until 1945, was one of the most consequential periods in the nation’s history, one that left an indelible mark on the French national psyche that continues to rouse the country’s collective memory to this day. After an initial examination of the political and social conditions in France under the Nazi regime, this seminar proposes to explore the enduring legacy of those “Dark Years” by investigating how the complex (and traumatic) history of the Occupation has impacted French culture during the last half of the twentieth century and into the first decades of the twenty first. Discussions will focus on a variety of documentary and artistic sources—novels and films, mostly, though we will also explore photography and the graphic novel—that attest to what historians refer to as contemporary France’s collective “obsession” with the past.

Readings and films may include (but are not limited to) work by Némirovsky, Vercors, Perec, Duras, Modiano, Salvayre, Daeninckx, Claudel, Sartre, Clouzot, Melville, Resnais, Ophüls, Berri, Malle, Chabrol, and Audiard. Course conducted in French. Prerequisite: At least one 3000-level FREN course above 3032.

TR 11:00-12:15 (Blatt)

FREN 7040 - Theories & Methods of Language Teaching

An introduction to pedagogical approaches currently practiced in second-language courses at the university level. Students will examine critically the theories behind various methodologies and the relation of those theories to their own teaching experience and goals. Assignments include readings and case studies on the teaching of French, development and critique of pedagogical materials, peer observation and analysis, and a portfolio project for collecting, sharing, and reflecting on teaching methods.

Required for all GTAs teaching French at UVa for the first time. Restricted to Graduate Teaching Assistants in French. 3 credits. Students will register for the graded (letter grade) option in the SIS. Graduate exchange instructors will take the course as auditors.

MW 2:00-3:15 (Hall)

FREN 7500 - Literary Theory: Classic Thoughts, Modern Texts, Contemporary Debates

This course serves as an introduction to theoretical texts we encounter most frequently in the discourses of literary criticism. Our aim is to gain a deeper understanding of how literature has been thought and debated as well as how literary criticism has been practiced over time.

In the first part of the course, we will read key texts of the critical tradition from antiquity to the early twentieth century. In the second part of the course, we will survey the major theoretical movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries such as formalism/ structuralism/ deconstruction, reader response theory, psychoanalysis, feminism/ gender studies/ queer theory, eco-criticism/ animal studies. (Due to time constraints, we will not cover post-colonial theory and its variations in the francophone context, given that several seminars in the department treat the subject.)

M 3:30-6:00 (Lyu)

FREN 5585/8585-001 – The Violence of Literature

Literature entertains a strong and paradoxical relationship to violence. In the Western (Greek) tradition, the prevailing genres, tragedy and the epic, deal with violent deaths and wars, while at the same they interrogate the meaning of hostility, revenge or cruelty, and suggest ways out of a world dominated by injustice and brutality. Literature since then has never ceased to explore the mystery, and iniquity, of violence through its staging, exposition, or denunciation. Taking clues from texts ranging from Homer to contemporary novelists and playwriters, we will explore the intertwined histories of violence in literature, and literature as violence.

We will scrutinize literary genres that put violence at their core: the epic; prophecies, pamphlets, libelles; tragedy, melodrama, théâtre de la cruauté.

We will pay special attention to gendered violence: literary representations of sexual violence; literature as a forum of discussion about the war between sexes.

All along our readings, we will ask ourselves: “Should it hurt?”. Should literature be ridden of violence, or is violence a defining component of literature? We will thus be able to discuss, in an informed way, controversial issues such as: should literature aim at “healing” —and how? Is “transgressive” literature the only “good literature”? Can literature be used as a weapon, or should it devote itself to caring, and “repairing”? Should disturbing texts be “cancelled”, or praised (and studied) precisely as disturbing?

T 3:30-6:15 (Roger)

FREN 5585/8585-002 – Questioning the Archive in Postcolonial Studies 

This course will question nineteenth century archives in postcolonial francophone studies and their impact in writing cultural history. Colonialism destroyed cultural archives partly or completely. To understand the writing of cultural history in postcolonial contexts, it is urgent to have a better understanding of where the archives are and how we can explore them to write a decolonized cultural history. How do we think the foundation of the archive? What kind of periodization can we imagine? What are the specific questions scholars need to ask when confronted to period of History lacking cultural resources? How can we then fill the gaps left by colonization? 

F 9-11:30 (Boutaghou)