Undergraduate Courses

French in Translation Courses 

FRTR 3584—Topics in French Cinema:  Survey of African Cinema since 1950

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 policies and practices of colonial nations regarding cinema and filmmaking in Africa.  Second the course will study the birth and evolution of celluloid filmmaking in postcolonial Africa.  Third the emergence of Nollywood film industry.

MW 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm (Dramé)

FRTR 2552 – French Culture: France in the 21th Century. 

What can we learn about the global 21st century by studying France?  Why does France matter? This course invites students to think about such questions as we explore the complex cultural, social and political landscape that defines France today. We will examine how France’s distinctive cultural identity has been unsettled by post-colonial immigration, globalization, and the rise of right-wing populism and how the French are currently struggling with these issues. Who feels included or excluded and why? Can we learn anything from the French model of separation between public institutions and religion? In aftermath of the 2015 terror attacks on Paris, it has also become urgent to at least try to understand how a homegrown terror threat could coalesce in French cities, banlieues and prisons. France provides an ideal –but also an alternative and sometimes provocative --vantage point from which to observe many of the larger tensions and challenges of our world today.  Course taught in English. 

TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm (Horne)

Advanced Courses in French

FREN 3030 – Phonetics : The Sounds of French

FREN 3030 is an introductory course in French phonetics. It provides basic concepts in articulatory phonetics and phonological theory, and offers students techniques for improving their own pronunciation. The course will cover the physical characteristics of individual French sounds; the relationship between these sounds and their written representation (orthography); the rules governing the pronunciation of "standard French"; the most salient phonological features of selected French varieties; phonetic differences between French and English sounds; and to some extent, ‘la musique du français’, i.e., prosodic phenomena (le rythme, l’accent, l’intonation, la syllabation). Practical exercises in 'ear-training' (the perception of sounds) and 'phonetic transcription' (using IPA) are also essential components of this dynamic course.

Prerequisite: FREN 2020 (or equivalent).

Course taught in French; counts for major/minor credit in French and Linguistics

TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm  (Saunders)
TR 12:30 pm –  1:45 pm (Saunders)

FREN 3031 –Finding Your Voice 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.

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.

TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm  (Rey)
TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm (Lyons)
MWF 11:00 am – 11:50 am (Zunz)
MWF 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM (Ogden)

FREN 3032 – Image, Text, Culture

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

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 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 discuss 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.

MW 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Ferguson)
TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm (Lyu)
MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (McGrady)
TR 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Tsien)

FREN 3043 – French-Speaking World III:  Modernities - Great Books

Rather than focus on any single theme, movement, motif, or overarching problematic, this seminar will examine a few of the most admired and influential novels in the history of modern and contemporary French literature: texts may include Honoré de Balzac’s tale of a young law student’s drive to make it in the big city (Le Père Goriot, 1835); Gustave Flaubert’s portrait of the original desperate housewife (Madame Bovary, 1856); Alain Robbe-Grillet’s scandalously puzzling La Jalousie (1957); Georges Perec's critique of consumer society in the 1960s (Les Choses, 1965); and/or Jean-Philippe Toussaint's critical, and rather funny tale about TV (La télévision, 1997).  We will end our semester with an "extremely contemporary" novel, or two, published within the last three or four years.

Required work to include: active participation in class discussion, regular response papers (1-2 pages), an oral presentation, 2 longer papers (4-5 pages), and a final exam. Course conducted entirely in French.

TR 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Blatt)

FREN 3051 History and Civilization of France:  Revolution - 1945 Histoire et civilisation de la France contemporaine

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

Prerequisite: FREN 3032

TR 9:30 am – 10:45 (Horne)

FREN 3559 – New Course in French Literature and General Linguistics:  

TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm (Staff)

FREN: 3584-Topics in French Cinema: Hitchcock, Truffaut, and  New Wave Cinema

In 1962, director François Truffaut conducted over 24 hours of interviews  with Alfred Hitchcock. Selections from these published interviews  (Hitchcock/Truffaut, 1966) will provide a point of departure for discussion of the origins of the Nouvelle Vague, the notion of auteur cinema, and the influence of Hitchcock and Hollywood film on Truffaut and other French New Wave filmmakers.

TR 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Krueger)

FREN 3585-002 Topics in Cultural Studies:  Art, Culture, and National Identity

In France, the arts and creative culture have always been integral to national identity. It might as easily be said that the nation created its artists and thinkers as it can be argued that the arts and intellectual activity shaped the nation. This class will offer a transhistoric survey, from medieval to modern, of governmental and private practices regarding the arts and the ensuing debates that have contributed to France’s distinctive approach to artistic and intellectual sponsorship. The arts will be broadly defined, allowing us to examine issues ranging from the invention of libraries and museums to the politics of national monuments to the complex history that passed from royal patronage to the Ministry of Culture. We will address such topics as propaganda, censorship and creative freedom; the “poète engagé” as the nation’s moral voice and often challenger; popular vs. high culture; and the current intellectual and legal backlash against state involvement in the arts.

MW 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (McGrady)         

FREN: 3585-003   - 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.

MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Ferguson)

FREN 4031 – Grammaire et Style

Prerequisites: Fren 3031, Fren 3032 and at least one FREN course numbered 3041 or higher.

Penser en français, parler en français correct, et écrire avec style, tels sont les objectifs de ce cours. Pour ce faire, nous reverrons les règles de base de la grammaire française à partir de textes variés choisis pour leur élégance et leur intérêt. Nous paierons tout spécialement attention au choix des mots, à leur fonction, aux expressions nouvellement apprises par les étudiants, ce qui nous permettra de relever les particularités grammaticales et stylistiques de la langue française.  Lecture des documents dans Collab, exercices de formation de phrases, présentations orales de 90 mots, trois essais de 250 mots, deux compositions de 500 mots, deux interrogations et un examen en fin de semestre, tels sont les exercices de ce cours.

Taught in French.

MWF 1:00 pm – 1:50 pm (Zunz)

FREN 4585-001 -  Advanced Topics in Cultural Studies:  Humor/Society/Power in Classical France

In this course, we will study some of the "greatest hits" of classical French literature, including comic plays by Molière and Marivaux, and political satires by Voltaire. These works will be contextualized within the social norms and the literary conventions of their time. We will compare and contrast classical French humor with bawdy Medieval stories and more modern examples of French humor, such as the acrobatics of Jacques Tati and current political caricature.

Analyzing these works will lead us to discuss issues such as: What is irony? Can something be funny in translation? How did the French define vulgarity? Can satire fix society? What is the relationship between comedy and censorship? Can women be funny? When does humor cross the line to cruelty?  Is comedy a weapon used by the powerless against the powerful, or vice versa?

Class requirements will involve active class participation, one 12-page paper that compares/contrasts a classical French comic text with a work of contemporary humor (of any culture), and an oral presentation on the topic of this paper.

TR 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm (Tsien)

FREN 4585-002  Advanced Cultural Topics – The Double

The theme of the double, known also as the Doppelgänger, has existed in the literature and in the  culture of many civilizations since antiquity.  This theme is often related to death and to the fear of a malevolent being who returns in the shape of someone who has not been properly buried.  French literature and film contain important examples of doubles, and the work of cultural anthropologist and literary critic René Girard has given renewed vigor to this concept.  This course will study doubles and doubling in some of the following novels, stories, plays, and films: Corneille, Le Menteur; Gautier, La Morte amoureuse; Green, Le Voyageur sur la terre; Grimonprez, Double Take; Kieslowski, La Double vie de Véronique; M.M. de Lafayette, Zayde, histoire espagnole; Molière, Amphytrion; Maupassant, Le Horla; Resnais, Hiroshima mon amour; Vigne, Le Retour de Martin Guerre.  For purposes of comparison, we may also consider Hoffmann, The Doppelgänger; Poe, William Wilson; Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Wilde, The Portrait of Dorian Gray.

Three papers, short quizzes, and an oral presentation.

TR  3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Lyons)

FREN 4585: Advanced Topics in Cultural Studies -- Bodily Knowledge

* Prerequisite: FREN 3032 and at least one FREN course numbered 3041 or higher (or instructor permission).

Comment penser le corps? Que dire des efforts qu'ont faits la littérature, l'art, la philosophie et les sciences à travers les siècles pour voir et savoir le corps? Et qu'en est-il, par conséquent, de l'âme?

Ce cours propose d'explorer comment le corps a été conçu comme une source privilégiée -- car double -- du savoir humain: savoir objectif (en tant qu'objet connaissable, par exemple, par la dissection) et savoir subjectif (en tant que sujet connaisseur et détenteur d'expériences vécues). Cependant son accès double au savoir fait du corps un lieu ambigu où le dedans et le dehors, la surface et la profondeur, le visible et l'invisible, le même et l'autre se chevauchent. Ainsi, le corps -- en sa vie et mort, actualité et virtualité -- constituera notre champ d'étude. A travers les ouvrages de Montaigne, Descartes, Gautier, Hugo, Balzac, Barthes, Foucault et de Billeter, entre autres, nous nous intéresserons aux relations entre corps et corpus (langage, écriture, littérature), corps et âme, corps et animalité; ainsi qu'aux concepts du corps sémiotique, corps momifié et corps féminin.

TR 9:30 am – 10:45 am (Lyu)

FREN 4750 Topics in Literature and Film

From Literature to Film : Screening the Liaisons dangereuses.

We will explore the international dissemination, through filmic adaptations, of a single literary work written at the end of the 18th century: Laclos' masterpiece Les Liaisons dangereuses. After examining the novel itself and its significance in the context of pre-revolutionary France, we will study several movies shot between 1960 and 2012 by directors from China, Korea, Czechoslovakia, France, Great-Britain and the USA. The astonishing number, diversity and quality of those adaptations present us with a truly uncommon case of artistic globalization. A travel in both time and space, this course will allow us to reflect on cultural, ethical, ideological, as well as esthetical translation. 

MW 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm pm (Roger)

FREN 4811 Francophone Lit of Africa

Introduction to the Francophone literature of Africa; survey, with special emphasis on post- World War II poets, novelists, and playwrights of Africa. The role of cultural and literary reviews (Légitime Défense, L'Etudiant noir, and Présence Africaine) in the historical and ideological development of this literature will be examined. Special reference will be made to Caribbean writers of the Negritude movement. Documentary videos on African history and cultures will be shown and important audio-tapes will also be played regularly. Supplementary texts will be assigned occasionally. Students will be expected to present response papers on a regular basis. 
In addition to the required reading material, 2 essays (60%), regular class attendance, and contribution to discussions (10%), and a final exam (30%) constitute the course requirements. Papers are due on the dates indicated on the syllabus.

MW 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Dramé)

FREN 4998 Pre-Thesis Tutorial