Spring 2018 - Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate Courses
Graduate Courses

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 may be 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.

Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

French Translation Courses

FRTR 2552.001  French Culture:  Choice and Sexuality 

In both the United States and France, questions about the reproductive and sexual body continue to be some of the most sensitive and divisive social issues of our day. Though both countries legalized abortion in roughly the same year, American women today do not have equal access to the procedure as do their French counterparts. American royalty Kim Kardashian-West announced her third pregnancy via surrogacy, which remains illegal in France. The marriage of the newly-elected French president to a woman over 20 years his senior has led many to question how their relationship would be viewed were their ages reversed (as is the case of the new American president and his wife) – questions the French president himself has attributed to “homophobia” and “misogyny”. These difficult issues bring us to consider how literature and film might shape real world attitudes about sexuality and reproduction. This course explores such

questions through contemporary French literature and film, as we use France as a laboratory through which to think about the ways questions such as these might apply to our own communities. This course will introduce and familiarize you with French literature and film via its representation of the reproductive and sexual body. The works selected will give you a broad understanding of both French culture and of the evolving representations of sexuality and reproduction in literature and film. Satisfies Literature area requirement.

MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Runde)

FRTR 2552.002 French Culture:   Bon appétit! Food in French literature, film and culture

This course will offer a transhistoric and interdisciplinary approach to French culture through the lens of food. France has long been associated with haute cuisine and gustatory pleasure. We will consider examples of the French eating and talking about eating in fiction and non-fiction texts, as well as in contemporary French cinema. Questions we will consider include: What does food mean to the French? What is it about the specificity of French food that makes it so important, both to the French and to the rest of the world? What can representations of food in literature and film tell us about French national identity? What do the French mean when they talk about a food’s terroir? All readings and discussions will be in English. This course may not be taken as part of the requirements for the major or minor in French. This course fulfills the second writing requirement.  Satisfies Literature area requirement.

MW 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Labadie)

FRTR 2580 Topic:  French and Francophone Culture

What distinctions must be made between US-black American fantasies of Paris and realities for Blacks in Paris? What are the historical linkages between black Americans and Paris? Between black Americans and black French women and men? How is “blackness” a category into which all non-white racial others are conscripted? (e.g. Arab and Roma communities)? Using an internationalist (specifically transatlantic) approach and covering the 20th and 21st centuries, this course explores these and other questions over the course of the semester through a close consideration of the literature, arts, culture, history and politics emanating from or dealing with Black France. Implicating in particular the real and mythologized site-ciphers that were and are Harlem, USA and Paris, France, the texts and artifacts examined in this course will consider “race” as both fact and fantasy in the unique, long-historical relationship between Harlem, Paris, and the wider French empire.

TR 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm (Glover)

FRTR 3814 Gender & Sexuality in Pre-modern France

Pre-modern society was as concerned about questions of identity as we are today: What is the relationship between nature and nurture in shaping identity? What role should gender play in fixing social and intimate roles? Can the law regulate sexuality? This course will explore religious, social, scientific and legal views on gender, sexuality and identity in medieval France. Readings include literary texts (plays, short stories, romance) and cultural documents (philosophical and political tracts, trial records, conduct books and memoirs). Through these readings, students will discover how werewolves, mermaids, castrated men, women warriors, and submissive knights challenged society to rethink identity. These medieval cases will be examined in light of recent approaches in sexuality and gender studies, and thus a second aim of the course is to explore how placing in dialogue current theoretical questions and past socio-historical realities can lead to fruitful insights. Satisfies History and  Literature Area Requirement and Second Writing Requirement.

TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm (McGrady)


Elementary and Intermediate French Courses (FREN 1010-2320)

We offer multiple sections of elementary and intermediate French (FREN 1010-2320).  See the full schedule of these course offerings in SIS.  Click here for more information. See here for placement information.

Advanced Courses in French

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.

Do you want to study, work, or travel in francophone countries?  Students in this course develop a better command of both 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.  Practice with practical, current vocabulary.  Graded written or oral assignments include several one-two page papers, 1 oral and 1 written quiz, one guided short exposé, and a final exam. Consistent attendance and ACTIVE participation in a workshop-like approach constitute 30% of the semester grade.

Although this course does not count for the major or minor, students simultaneously enrolled in 3031 or 3032 have found it helps their success in the other course.  The course is designed for students who have not had an extended stay in a French-speaking country. Students who have participated in a summer or semester study-abroad program must confirm placement and transfer credit with the instructor to avoid duplication. Students who have studied in a francophone setting for a year should enroll in FREN 3034 or above.

MW     2:00 pm – 2:50 pm and 6:00 pm om TR (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.

TR       9:30 am – 10:45 am  (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.

MW 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Krueger)
TR 9:30 am – 10:45 am (James)
TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm (James)
MWF 10:00 am – 10:50 am (Zunz)

FREN 3032 – Text, Image, Culture

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

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.

WF 2:00 pm – 3;15 pm (Tsien)
TR 9:30 am – 10:45 am (Ogden)
TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm (Lyons)
TR 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Boutaghou)

FREN 3035 Business French

In this course, students will learn about the major industries, organizational structures, 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 have practice job interviews, and will learn the practical aspects of living and working in French.

Prerequisite: FREN 3031 and 3032

MWF 1:00 pm – 1:50 pm (Rajaonarisoa)

FREN 3043 French-Speaking World III:  Tradition et innovation: l'art de transposer à travers le temps, l'espace et la culture

Ce cours vous invite à réfléchir sur les questions essentielles qui se trouvent au cœur de toute entreprise humaine qui tente de créer une œuvre artistique et/ou intellectuelle: comment faire surgir le nouveau de l'ancien, l'originalité de l'imitation, le singulier du conformisme? Ainsi, nous explorerons la relation entre la tradition et l'innovation à travers les écrivains, les artistes et les penseurs modernes qui ont façonné leurs œuvres en dialogue explicit avec le passé. Que pouvons-nous apprendre, par exemple, de l'écrivain Flaubert qui transpose en style moderne séculier du 19ème siècle l'histoire religieuse d'un saint du moyen âge?; ou de la philosophe contemporaine Desprêt qui reprend la thèse cartésienne du 17ème siècle sur la supériorité des hommes sur les animaux et la resitue dans le contexte éthique, féministe et écologique de nos jours?; ou du chanteur-compositeur Stomae qui transforme en performance du 21ème siècle (vidéo/youtube et concert) la chanson de l'opéra de Bizet qui, à son tour, puise dans la nouvelle de Mérimée du 19ème siècle?

Cours requis: FREN 3032

TR 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Lyu)

FREN 3570 Topics in Francophone African – African Literatures and Culture

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 its continuing impact on all other art forms. Key issues in French colonial policy and its 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.

** Prerequisite: 3032 **

MW 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm (Dramé)

FREN 3585.001 – Topics in Cultural Studies:  Reading Haiti

A developing nation known for its seemingly never-ending social and political struggles, the Republic of Haiti was born of and has long been marked by violence. Yet despite this violence, in spite of it, or perhaps to spite it – Haiti writes. Over the course of this semester students will examine major works of Haitian prose fiction and so explore the socio-political and aesthetic realities that inform Haitian literature, past and present.  Satisfies Literature area requirement.

TR   12:30 pm -  1:45 pm (Glover)

FREN 3585.002 – Topics in Cultural Studies:  Digital Storytelling Workshop

Students will have the opportunity to work intensively on their advanced French language skills through an investigation of digital storytelling forms that combine still and moving images with text and sound. The course is organized as a workshop, asking students to adopt the dual

perspective of a scholar-practitioner. In an active learning classroom environment, students will read widely in digital humanities; read, discuss and analyze digital audiovisual projects; write and produce an original digital story; comment on their peers’ written and visual work; reflect, speak and write about how their scholarly and creative works shape and inform one another.

Students should be willing to work in teams, have an interest in improving their oral, written, and visual communication skills, and be open to active engagement in class discussion, individual and group homework, peer critique, and workshop activities. No prior technical or visual skills are required. For questions, contact the instructor. alevine@virginia.edu

** Prerequisites:  FREN 3031; FREN 3032

TR       3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Levine)

FREN 4509 Seminar in French Linguistics: L’individu bilingue / the bilingual speaker

Nearly half the people in the world speak more than one language every day; and in France, some 13 million speakers use regularly several languages. Yet, says expert (renowned psycholinguist) François Grosjean, “le bilinguisme reste méconnu et victime d’idées reçues” (especially in France where, historically, a linguistic policy of monolingualism has been promoted).  

In this seminar we shall explore the many facets of the bilingual and bicultural individual (focusing particularly on the two languages that everyone taking the course will speak: French and English).  Our guide will be Grosjean’s 2015 book, Parler plusieurs langues: le monde des bilingues (an excellent analysis of the complex field for the French audience).

Through our study of Grosjean and other sources, we will (1) gain insight into some of the persistent myths about bilingualism and bilinguals; (2) acquire deeper knowledge of the linguistic characteristics of the bilingual speaker (e.g., code switching, the principle of complementarity, language dominance, mixed linguistic systems, accent retention, problems in translating / interpreting . . .); (3) advance our understanding of how one becomes bilingual (linguistic and psycholinguistic aspects) ; (4) observe how others (writers, translators, artists, teachers, etc.) speak about bilingual/bicultural individuals in their work, and much more.

Students will conduct fieldwork, record and analyze oral interviews, give oral presentations and contribute daily to the in-class discussions on assigned readings and film clips.

The seminar is taught in French. Participants must feel comfortable speaking French in the classroom, as well as outside the classroom (some field projects will require the use of French).

FREN 4509 counts for major/minor credit in French and in Linguistics Program.

PLEASE NOTE: FREN 4509 is coded as a repeatable class.  This means that students who took FREN 4509 last spring may repeat FREN 4509 in spring 2018 for credit.  The course number (FREN 4509) is the same but the seminar content is different.

TR  11:00 am – 12:15 pm (Saunders)

FREN 4584: Advanced Topics in French Cinema: Reel Life Stories

Documentary film is the opposite of fiction film. Or is it? Are the stories told in documentary film are more “real” or “true” than fictional stories? Do documentarians have a moral imperative to tell the “truth”? Is it possible to tell the truth in cinema?

This course will examine a variety of films from France and the French-speaking world that purport to tell stories that are “real.” From the beginning, students will be asked to adopt the dual perspective of a scholar and a practitioner. They will be viewers, scholars and critics of a wide variety of documentary projects and they will read widely in French film history and theory in order to ask questions about film, communication, truth, and reality in the broadest sense. They will also develop their own original documentary project and reflect, speak and write about how their scholarly and creative practices shape and inform one another. While no prior technical or visual skills are required, students will be expected to demonstrate a high level of motivation, as well as excellent oral, written, and visual communication in French, in class discussion, homework, and film workshop activities. They should also be open to working in teams. All viewing, reading, written and oral work are conducted in French. For questions, contact the instructor alevine@virginia.edu.

TR 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Levine)

FREN 4585.001 Advanced Topics Cultural Studies: Joan of Arc from Medieval to Modern Times

Does the past matter in modern France? This course will turn to the medieval heroine Joan of Arc and her role in French society to explore this question. Consider the following: Joan is the subject of well over 2000 creative works, ranging from poetry and painting to cinema and drama; she was tried a heretic in 1431 but made a saint in 1920; she has served as the mascot for two of the most controversial political movements in modern France, including the Front national, while being recently revived as a wicca figure in a French comic series. To begin to unravel Joan’s complicated role in the French imagination, we will first read her 1431 legal trial before then exploring her roller-coaster reception up until the present day.

Understanding modern France means knowing more than the language, it demands familiarity with a past that maintains a physical, intellectual, and spiritual presence. This course will use Joan’s life and afterlife to introduce students to new methods for understanding contemporary France through its relationship to the past.

** Prerequisite:  FREN 3032

TR 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM (McGrady)

FREN 4585.002 Advanced Topics Cultural Studies:  The Bovary Project

Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary provoked passionate reader responses from the moment it was published. First serialized in the Revue de Paris, the novel was initially deemed offensive to decency and public morals, but later celebrated as a masterpiece of modern fiction. Since its publication as a volume in 1857, Madame Bovary has inspired over two dozen rewritings (prequels, sequels, parodies, pastiches, modernizations) and up to twenty screen adaptations (depending on who’s counting).

I refer to the course as a “project” for two reasons. The first relates to how the course is structured, the second to the final course activity. Inspired by the scholarly practice of close reading, and the cultural philosophy embraced by the Slow Movement, this course will build from the unrushed reading of Madame Bovary, in conjunction with a selection of film and print adaptations, and transcripts from Flaubert’s obscenity trial. Social class, gender roles, psychology, medicine and hygiene, consumer culture, social history, 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 on a bi-weekly basis, based on questions raised by the novel and in class 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.

Class work includes discussion, individual presentations, collaborative problem-solving, and ongoing reading and reaction writing. All of these activities lead to a final research project, with both a written and audio or visual component.

The course is conducted in French, with some secondary readings and films in English.

**Pre-requisite: FREN 3032 plus one additional 3000-level literature, civilization, or cultural history course in French.

MW 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Krueger)

FREN 4743 Africa in Cinema

** Prerequisite: FREN 3032 and FREN 3584 or another 3000-level literature, culture, or film course in French.

This course is a study of the representation of Africa in American, Western European and African films. It deals with the representations of African cultures by filmmakers from different cultural backgrounds and studies the ways in which their perspectives on Africa are often informed by their own social and ideological positions as well as the demands of exoticism. It also examines the constructions of the African as the “other” and the kinds of responses such constructions have elicited from Africa’s filmmakers. These filmic inventions are analyzed through a selection of French, British, American, and African films by such directors as John Huston, S. Pollack, J-J Annaud, M. Radford, Ngangura  Mweze, Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Souleymane Cissé, Gaston Kaboré, Amadou Seck, Dani Kouyaté, Brian Tilley,  Jean-Marie Teno, A. Sissako on a variety of subjects relative to the image of Africa in cinema. 

MW     2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Dramé)

FREN 4838 French Society & 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 France’s 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.

TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm – (Horne)

Graduate Courses

Advanced undergraduate students who have earned a B+ (or higher) in at least one 4000-level course may enroll in graduate level courses with instructor permission.

FREN 5520/8520 Topics in 16th Century Lit:  Masculine/Feminine: Gender, Sexuality, and Self in French Renaissance Literature

This course will examine texts from a variety of genres in which men and women of the sixteenth-century write about themselves and each other, constructing similarities and differences, expressing love or hatred, admiration or rivalry, perplexity or a claim to know. What ideas of the body, sex, and gendered roles informed their thinking? In a period marked by new humanist models of learning, the perennial "querelle des femmes," and the outbreak of civil war, sexual, social, political, and religious categories are at once circumscribed and fluid; the stakes of writing are high; the exploration of the self and the other in history is an undertaking at once urgent, tentative, and contested.

W 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm (Ferguson)

FREN 5530/8530 Topics in 17th Century Lit - French Baroque Culture

There are many ways of framing French culture in the period from the last quarter of the sixteenth century to the first quarter of the eighteenth century.  Sometimes called the “long seventeenth century,” or simply “early modernity,” this period reveals different aspects when considered in conjunction with the “Baroque,” a term about which French literary studies have exceptionally ambivalent.  Yet the term “Baroque” contextualizes the French experience within the European and the colonial culture of absolutism, of the Counter-Reformation, of

heliocentrism and other disruptive scientific advances,  and of growing controversies about Modernity (e.g. the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns).  In this seminar we will consider the hypothesis that the “Baroque” can be fruitfully understood not simply as a style but as a set of solutions to a crisis of organization in knowledge, belief, and politics.

R 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm (Lyons)

FREN 7500    Topics in Theory and Criticism:  Introduction to Literary Theory

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, postcolonial studies, eco-criticism/ animal studies.

T 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm (Lyu) French House


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