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Courses

SPRING 2024

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.

You can 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!

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FREN 3031- 001 Finding Your Voice in French

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. 

MWF 12:00-12:50 (Geer)

CAB 407

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FREN 3031- 002 Finding your Voice in French

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. 

MWF 1:00-1:50 (Geer)

CAB 407

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FREN 3031- 003 Finding your Voice in French

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.

TuTh 11:00-12:15 (Simotas)

NAU 242

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FREN 3032 – 001 Text, Image, 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 read, view, write about and discuss a range of works that may include poetry, painting, prose, music, theater, films, graphic novels, photographs, essays, and historical documents. Prerequisite: FREN 3031..

TuTh 9:30-10:45 (Boutaghou)

NAU 241

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FREN 3032 - 002  Text, Image, 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 read, view, write about and discuss a range of works that may include poetry, painting, prose, music, theater, films, graphic novels, photographs, essays, and historical documents. Prerequisite: FREN 3031.

Section 002: “Contemplative reading and writing” 

This section will explore ways of using contemplative practices to

- become more observant of how French-speaking artists (authors, filmmakers, poets, etc.) communicate through diverse media;

- rebalance writing habits to transform anxieties into productive energy;

- discover the joys of reading in French and sharing one's enjoyment with others both orally and in writing.

TuTh 11:00 - 12:15  (Ogden)

French House 100

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FREN 3032-003  Text, Image, 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 read, view, write about and discuss a range of works that may include poetry, painting, prose, music, theater, films, graphic novels, photographs, essays, and historical documents. Prerequisite: FREN 3031.

MW 2:00-3:15 (Marks)

CAB 044

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FREN 3032-004  Text, Image, 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 read, view, write about and discuss a range of works that may include poetry, painting, prose, music, theater, films, graphic novels, photographs, essays, and historical documents. Prerequisite: FREN 3031.

MWF 12:00-12:50 (Hall)

CAB 042

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FREN 3034  Advanced oral expression in French- Au cinéma: Film, Culture, Conversation

A focus on speaking, listening, and pronunciation. Activities include guided conversation practice, discussion leading, and other oral activities related to authentic materials in French. Work may include quizzes, presentations, reports, interviews, exams , and projects. Prerequisite: FREN 3031 or concurrent enrollment in FREN 3031. Not intended for students who are native speakers of French or whose secondary education was in French schools.

MWF 10:00-10:50 (Hall)

CAB 407

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FREN 3035 Business French

Imaginez l'entreprise dans laquelle vous aimeriez travailler. Et si cette entreprise était la vôtre? Dans ce cours, vous allez passer de l'imagination à l'action et vous allez travailler méthodiquement pour réaliser, étape par étape, la création de votre entreprise. Dans ce parcours vous allez vous inspirer de jeunes entrepreneurs du monde Francophone et de leurs projets innovants et surtout à impact social. Vous allez aussi former vos propres équipes de partenaires (parmi vos camarades), pour simuler les conditions réelles de création d'une entreprise. À la fin de la réalisation de vos projets vous aurez acquis des compétences professionnelles, culturelles et pratiques nécessaires pour réussir dans les affaires et dans la vie.

TuTh 3:30-4:45 (Simotas)

NAU 241

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FREN 3050 History and Civilization of France : 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 in terms of both their original historical context and their evolving significance – often 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.

MW 3:30-4:45 (Ferguson)

French House 100

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FREN 3559 Students’ Choice: The Choix Goncourt Book Club

Discover what France is reading now, and make your mark on the literary scene, by discussing a selection of books nominated for one of France’s most prestigious literary awards, the Prix Goncourt. Then cast your vote for the French Embassy’s Choix Goncourt USA!
For the second year in a row, the French Department invites students to earn one credit as they participate in a weekly reading group focused on the newest nominated Goncourt Prize novels. The reading list consists of 4-6 books, short-listed by the French Embassy for this year’s Prix Goncourt. Because UVA has been designated a Center of Excellence by the Embassy (along with Duke, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and NYU, among other schools), our students have been invited to participate in this opportunity to engage with contemporary French and Francophone literary creation and to make their voices heard as they cast a vote that will determine who wins this year’s Choix Goncourt USA.

After reading and discussing the books during our weekly meetings, students will elect one representative to present the group’s top choice at a festive awards ceremony at the Villa Albertine in New York in April. The Department of French will fund travel and lodging for the student representative’s trip.

Details:

Copies of the books will be provided to enrolled participants free of charge.
The reading experience is designed to allow students to lead discussion, establish criteria for evaluating the books, and designate a representative to attend the ceremony in New York.
Faculty facilitators: Professor Ari Blatt and special guests.
Reading and discussion in French.
One credit.
Counts toward the French major and minor.
Prerequisite: FREN 3032 or equivalent placement or proficiency.

Th 9:30-10:20 (Blatt)

Pavilion VIII 102

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FREN 3585 /4585 France - Asia

Japanese macarons, Kpop flashmobs in Lyon, Vietnamese crêpes, Louis Vuitton in Shanghai, Chinatown in Sénégal? nowadays, we see the influence of French culture in Asia as much as we see Asian culture become part of France and the Francophone world. In this course, we will begin by considering how much French exploration around the world began with the desire to acquire silks, porcelains, and tea from Asia. This contact inspired artistic styles from rococo to art nouveau. We will then study French attempts at colonizing Indochina and parts of China. In spite of the political hostilities that resulted from these military interventions, both parts of the world remained fascinated by each others' cultures. Finally, we will discuss how, in the present day, both Asia and the Francophone world influence each other commercially and culturally in an ambiguous power relation in which one side does not clearly dominate the other. Course materials will include novels, films, graphic novels, advertisements, and other media.

Students may take the course for 3585 credit or, with additional assignments, for 4585 credit. 

MW 2:00-3:15 (Tsien)

CAB 187

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FREN 3585  Suspense

An exploration of suspense stories in French, 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? Can a poem or a painting be suspenseful? How does solving the puzzles of detective stories, true crime podcasts, and historical mysteries relate to coping with uncertainty and ambiguity in real life? Readings and films in French. Assignments include short essays, in-class presentations, online postings, and a creative writing or multi-media presentation. The course does not build to a final project, but instead focuses on short assignments to prepare students to discuss and learn each week.

TuTh 2:00-3:15 (Krueger)

NAU 142

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FREN 4031 Writing With Style and Precision

In this grammar review course, students will learn how best to structure the French language and how to express themselves with concision and clarity. They will work to improve their writing in French by analyzing model texts and through frequent composition and revision. Aspects of grammar will be studied systematically -- tense use, the subjunctive, participles, etc. -- and in response to topics that emerge through the writing process..

MW 2:00-3:15 (Ferguson)

French House 100

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FREN 4123 Medieval Love

 

Affection for family members, deep and casual friendships, maybe even passionate romance—everyone exists within a network of loving relationships.  We probably don’t often think about where our expectations for these relationships come from, and most people would be surprised that a lot of our ideas about love come from twelfth- and thirteenth-century France.  Marrying for love?  Soul mates?  Top Ten Tips for Attracting a Mate?  BFFs?  Parental devotion?  All have foundations in medieval French culture.  

Reading surprisingly modern stories of adventure and thoughtful (and sometimes funny) essays about emotions—all in modern French translation—and listening to soulful songs of the past, as well as to their modern counterparts, we will explore medieval ideas about love that continue to shape our modern understandings and assumptions about emotions and relationships.  

Students may choose between two tracks for assignments: one will involve shorter and more frequent assignments and revisions, while the other will involve a longer assignment, with proposal, bibliography, presentation, and a final submission that can take the form of a more traditional research paper or of a creative project. Readings will be a variety of lengths to allow students to work on different types of reading strategies. 

TuTh 2:00-3:15 (Ogden)

French House 100

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FREN 4585-002 Animals in a Posthuman World

"It matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with" (Donna Haraway)

What stories have we been telling about animals so far? In what way are stories of animals less about animals and more about humans and their superiority over animals? And what about now: how are stories changing—how must they change—as climate change and the pandemic demonstrate the deep entanglement, rather than distinction, between human and nonhuman species? We will explore these questions by following the innovative, eco-critical inquiries of contemporary French and Francophone thinkers, writers, and artists. We will learn 1) to ask new questions (for example, "What if animals wrote?" [Despret], "Whom and what do I touch when I touch my dog?" [Haraway]); 2) to reflect on intriguing statements (such as "If the horse becomes more beautiful in the course of his work, it is a sign that the training principles are correct" [Podhajsky, director of Spanish Riding School in Vienne and trainer of Lipizzaner horses]); and 3) to explore collectively how we can shift away from our anthropocentric worldview toward an ecological practice of sharing our fragile life with all species on the Earth.
We will watch numerous films and consider works in a wide range of fields (from anthropology, history, and religion to art and literature) and practices (from domestication, training, and farming to rescue and rehabilitation), including youtube videos/ podcasts on dog and horse training.

TuTh 12:30-1:45 (Lyu)

CAB 107

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FREN 5560/8560 Reading with Emma Bovary

During the 1857 obscenity trial against Flaubert and his publisher, prosecutor Ernest Pinard argued that the novel Madame Bovary would corrupt the hearts and minds of its readers, particularly young women and wives. Dangerous fiction is a dominant theme in the work itself. When Emma Bovary shows symptoms of “vaporous airs,” her husband and mother-in-law decide she must stop reading novels. This course focuses on reading habits in Madame Bovary, and on what they say about Flaubert’s aesthetic project, the social and medical discourses that Madame Bovary reflects and reinforces, and the education of women.  What did Emma Bovary read, how did she read it? And how have critics in the 19th-21st centuries read her reading?

Inspired by the scholarly practice of close reading, and the cultural philosophy embraced by the Slow Movement, this course will build from the un-rushed reading of Madame Bovary, in conjunction with a selection of film adaptations, and transcripts from Flaubert’s obscenity trial. Social class, gender roles, psychology, medicine,  hygiene, consumer culture, the environment, and aesthetic innovation are among the topics the novel will lead us to explore. Students will steer the selection of secondary readings and materials for the class based on questions raised by the novel and discussion, using recommended digital resources (Gallica, Project Gutenberg, the MLA Database) and UVA Library print collections. The syllabus will be developed by course participants and is unique to the group of students who co-construct it.

•             Open to graduate students with reading knowledge of French

•             Course conducted in French and English (depending on students’ background

•             Written work in French (for most French MA and Ph.D. students), or English

•             Most readings in French

•             I will ask that everyone use the same edition of the primary text, Madame Bovary

Tu 3:30-6:00 (Krueger)

French House 100

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FREN 5584/8584 Masterpieces of French Cinema

This graduate seminar aims to introduce students to the rich history of French cinema, from its origins in the birth of photography and other proto-cinematic technologies in the nineteenth century, to the advent of digital film at the dawn of the twenty-first. The course seeks to provide a broad overview of key movements and genres, as well as concurrent trends in film theory and criticism. Students will be invited to reflect closely on film form, and to consider each film in light of the socio-historical context within which it was produced. We will also consider best practices for undergraduate film course design and delivery with an eye toward preparing graduate students, regardless of their field of specialization, to teach undergraduate seminars on French cinema. Syllabus may include, but is not limited to, works by Lumière, Méliès, Feuillade, Gance, Buñuel/Dalì, Vigo, Carné, Renoir, Godard, Marker, Truffaut, Varda, Resnais, Chabrol, Tavernier, Besson, Pialat, Ozon, Kechiche, Cantet, Audiard, Asseyas, Breillat, Desplechin, and Jeunet. Course taught primarily in French.

M 5:30-8:00 (Blatt)

CAB 411