Undergraduate Courses

FRTR 2552 – French Culture: African Cinema

This course is a survey of African cinema since the 1950s. First the course will examine the representation of Africa and the Africans in colonial films as well as the policies and practices of colonial nations regarding cinema and filmmaking in Africa. Second, the course will study the birth and evolution of celluloid filmmaking by Francophone Africans in the postcolonial era, the aesthetic forms and economic basis of filmmaking as well as the salient ideological and thematic structures of this cinema. Third, the course will examine the origins and development of Nollywood into the first “film industry” in Africa in the last twenty years.

TTR 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm (Dramé)

FREN 3010 Oral & Written Expression in French –

Prerequisite: Completion of FREN 2320 or equivalent.

Permission of instructor for those having completed only FREN 2020. Students having completed French 3032 may not take this course.

An intensive course designed to give students a better command of present-day spoken and written French. Class discussion of news articles on current events (French and international), including but not limited to politics, economics, education, language, and entertainment, and including some articles which class members choose.Mastery of advanced vocabulary, weekly graded written or oral assignments including one guided short exposé, several one-two page papers, oral and written quizzes, and a final exam. Consistent attendance and ACTIVE participation constitute 30% of the semester grade.

This course is designed for students who have not had an extended stay in a French-speaking country. Students who have participated in semester study-abroad programs must confirm placement and transfer credit with the instructor to avoid duplication. Students who have studied in a French speaking country for a year should enroll in FREN 3034 or above. This course does not count toward the major or minor.

MWF 2:00 – 2:50 (Stuart)

FREN 3030 – Phonetics: The Sounds of French

FREN 3030 is an introductory course in French phonetics, intended to present basic concepts in articulatory phonetics and phonology, 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 representation (spelling); the rules governing the pronunciation of "standard French"; phonetic differences between French and English sounds; the most salient phonological features of selected French varieties; and much more. Practical exercises in 'ear-training' and 'phonetic transcription' (using IPA) are also essential elements in this dynamic course.

Taught in French. Counts for major/minor credit in French and in Linguistics.

TTR 2:00 – 3:15 (Saunders)

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.

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.

TR 12:30 – 1:45 (Lyons)
MWF 1:00 - 1:50 (Rey)
MWF 2:00 – 2:50 (Polanz)

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.

MWF 12:00 – 12:50 (Holm)
TR 9:30 – 10:45 (Ogden)
MW 2:00 – 3:15 (Berard)
MWF 11:00 – 11:50 (Holm)

FREN 3034 - Advanced Oral and Written Expression in French

FREN 3034, which counts for major/minor credit, is an advanced course designed to improve students’ oral and written communication, with acute attention to rhetoric and style. Students will master a range of communication styles for conversational, creative, professional, and analytical purposes through discussions on topics of current interest, presentations, translations and compositions. The course focuses on language development in a Francophone cultural context, using authentic French-language materials as models, so that students can become familiar with French and Francophone cultures and comfortable expressing their viewpoints in French. Of course, consistent attendance and active participation are essential. This course is not intended for students who are native speakers of French or whose secondary education was in French Schools.

Prerequisite: Students must have completed French 3031 and French 3032 or their equivalent.

MWF 1:00 – 1:50 (Patterson)

FREN 3034-002 - Advanced Oral and Written Expression in French (Special Topic: Business French)

Prerequisite: Students must have completed French 3031 and French 3032 or their equivalent.

FREN 3034, which counts for major/minor credit, is an intensive course designed to improve the oral and written language skills of more advanced students. Assignments include discussions 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 become familiar with French and Francophone cultures and comfortable expressing their viewpoints in French. Of course, consistent attendance and active participation are essential.

In this course, students will learn about the major industries of, the organizational structures of, and the primary positions within French and francophone businesses. They will gain experience in business research, will hone their oral and written French for use in a business-setting, will give group and individual oral presentations, will craft CV’s and cover letters in French, will have practice job interviews, and will learn the practical aspects of living and working in France. Students will also take a practice DFP (Diplôme de français professionnel) exam in Business French, a certification accepted by numerous universities and corporations, in order to prepare them to take the official exam if they so choose.

MWF 12:00 – 12:50 (Ehrlich)

FREN 3042 – French-Speaking World II

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.

Pre-requisite: FREN 3032

MW - 2:00 – 3:15 (Tsien)

FREN 3570 – Topics in Francophone: African Literatures & Cultures

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 it's continuing impact on all other art forms. Key issues in French colonial policy and it's 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.

** Pre-requisite: 3032 **

TR – 12:30 - 1:45 (Dramé)

FREN 3585 – 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 Juliette) still speak to us today and with whose legacy we live and continue to grapple.

TR 2 :00 – 3 :15 (Ferguson)

FREN 3585 - Haiti From Yesterday Until Today (History, Culture, Literature, and Cinema)

Through the study of literary works and films (fiction and documentary), this course of introduction on Haiti examines the various historical periods (from colonialism to emancipation, and dictatorships), the social issues (exile, restavek) and the cultural features of the 1st Black Republic. It aims at demystifying stereotypes usually associated with Haiti in order to value the richness of its cultural and artistic productions.

* Pre-requisite: 3032 **

MW 3 :30 – 4 :45 (Berard)

FREN 4020 - History of the French Language in its social, cultural and political context

The course aims at giving an introduction to the external history of the French language, that is to say, the social, political, geographical, cultural and historical factors that have provoked the evolution of the French language through time. We will begin by reviewing the geographical distribution of French in the world today and by asking the question: how did this situation come about? Then we will turn our attention to other topics of importance, for example: the growth of French into the national standard variety; language regulatory bodies; the rise of French as an international language; the French Revolution and linguistic revolution; dialects, regional languages and the national language; the linguistic effects of the mass circulation of popular writings, of public schooling, of the military on the French language; industrialization and the propagation of French; the origins of French creoles; immigrant languages and language change; English and French in contact and in conflict (1000 years of annoyances!); negative attitudes and pronouncements about the decline of French in the 20th century (la langue française est-elle un atout ou un obstacle?).

Taught in French, the course will also provide students interested in practicing their French language skills a forum for lively discussions and debates (on stimulating topics relevant to the dynamics of the French language).

FREN 4020 counts for major/minor credit in French and in Linguistics Program.

TTH 11:00 – 12:15 (Saunders)

FREN 4035 – Tools & Techniques of Translation

Survey of the main tools and techniques of translation. Written and oral translation exercises to and from the target language. Selection of texts will vary. Taught in French.

Prerequisites: B+ average in FREN 3031, 3032, and 4031 or instruction permission.

MWF 10 :00 – 10 :50 (Zunz)

FREN 4123 Medieval Love

Love fascinated people in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries—as it still does today. This course will examine understandings and uses of love in religious and secular literature, music and art. What is the relationship, for medieval writers, between the love of God and the love of human beings? What is the role of poetry in promoting and producing love? To what ends did medieval poets depict and sing about desire and affection? What medieval ideas about love continue to shape our modern understandings and assumptions about emotions and relationships?

Readings will be in modern French translation (with consideration of the Old French original). Requirements for the course include active participation, a short textual commentary, a research paper of 12-15 pages, and a final exam.
TR 12:30 – 1:45 (Ogden)

FREN 4530 Seventeenth-Century Literature: Baroque Horror

The world was coming to an end. God’s servants fought the enemies of Satan, who also thought they were God’s servants. Meanwhile, the devil invaded and possessed the bodies of hundreds of people, particularly those of nuns. Parents roasted and ate their children, and vice-versa—or so the stories said. In theatres there were plays about the dangers of Muslims and Africans. Bluebeard stored the corpses of his wives in a special room, locked with a blood-tinted key. Welcome to the popular literature of the seventeenth-century, a period sometimes called the “Age of Reason,” one in which we sometimes think that serenity, dispassion, stern self-control, rationalism reigned. In this course we will explore the darker, less well-known literature of the 1600s in its historical context and with reference to theories of fear.

TR 3:30 – 4:45 (Lyons)

FREN 4744 - The Occupation and After

While the French recently 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 will mark another important anniversary: namely, seventy years since the Liberation of Paris from German Occupation during World War II. This somber period, which lasted from 1940 until 1945, was one of the most consequential moments 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 twenty first. Discussions will focus on a variety of documentary and artistic sources—novels and films, mostly, though we will also explore photographs, graphic novels, and memorial sites—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. Weekly response papers, a mid-term exam, active participation in discussion, and a final research paper will be required. Course conducted in French. Prerequisites: FREN 3032 and at least one course above 3040.

TR 9:30 – 10:45 (Blatt)

FREN 4838 – French Society and Civilization

Prerequisite: successful completion of at least one 3000-level course in literature or cultural studies beyond 3032.

French 4838 is designed to provide students with a background in social, cultural, political, and institutional aspects of contemporary French society in the context of recent history. We will first examine the role of geography, history, education, and politics in shaping contemporary French attitudes, cultural practices, and institutions since the Second World War. We will then focus on important social questions facing contemporary France: changing family structures, the role of women, religion, immigration, and France¹s place in the European union. Course materials
include readings from the French press and other published sources, films, music, internet exploration, and radio and television broadcasts. The course strongly emphasizes oral participation and discussion, and students are expected to follow current events throughout the semester.

MW 2:00 – 3:15 (Horne)