Fall 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 – Crafting Islam in France : images, texts and political value

Following a cultural and historical perspective, this course will examine the construction of negative or positive values of Islam in France during the Modern and contemporary period. Indeed, from the period of the conquest in 1830 to the Algerian war of independence, French colonialism imposed ideological domination using political propaganda based on images and texts. Representations of Islam in literary discourse, photographs and films indicate how religious conflicts are sustained by the power of narratives and images. We will read and analyze closely the work of propaganda discourse during the Algerian war of independence and how they crafted the understanding of Islam still active and accurate in today’s France.

TR   02:00PM - 03:15PM   Boutaghou

FRTR 3584-001- Topics in French Cinema

The French have been pioneers in film, from the early shorts of the Lumière brothers and Méliès, through the early classics of the 1930s, and during the New Wave and beyond.  French directors and critics have transformed movie-making beyond the boundaries of France, giving us a way of looking at such American phenomena as “Film Noir.” This course is an introduction to masterpieces of French cinema, including works by Jean Cocteau, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Jacques Tati, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda and others. Students will study film genres and movements (Poetic Realism, the New Wave) in relation to social, cultural and aesthetic trends. They will also learn to identify and analyze film techniques (camera angle, camera movement, montage, and more). FRTR 3584 counts towards satisfaction of the Humanities area requirement but does not count toward the French major or minor. Lectures and discussion in English. 

MW   03:30PM - 04:45PM   Lyons

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 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   09:30AM - 10:45AM   (Saunders)
TR   12:30PM - 01:45PM   (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.

MWF    09:00AM - 09:50AM   (Ogden)
TR        11:00AM - 12:15PM   (Boutaghou )
MWF   11:00AM - 11:50AM   (Zunz )
MW      03:30PM - 04:45PM   (Levine)

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.

TR   02:00PM - 03:15PM   Tsien
TR   03:30PM - 04:45PM   McGrady 
MWF   10:00AM - 10:50AM   Hall   
MW   02:00PM - 03:15PM   Lyu

FREN 3035-001 - Business French

In this course, students will learn general knowledge about the business world in France and the French-speaking world, and specifically concepts on organizational structures, the primary positions within those businesses and major industries. They will also gain experience in business research, will hone their oral and written French for use in a professional-setting, will have a practice job interview, and will learn the practical aspects of living and working in French.

At the end of the semester, students will have the possibility to take the Diplôme de Français des Affaires (B1) for a fee charged by the Chambre de Commerce et de l’Industrie de Paris.

Prerequisite: FREN 3031 and 3032

MWF   09:00AM - 09:50AM   Rajaonarisoa,Lova

FREN 3043-001 - The French-Speaking World III:  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. Special attention will be paid to the potential uses (and to the ultimate uselessness) of literature. How might reading fiction inform our understanding of the world and our place in it? Texts may include, but are certainly not limited to, 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 few 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.

Prerequisite: FREN 3032

TR   12:30PM - 01:45PM   Blatt

FREN 3570-001 - Topics in Francophone African - African Literatures and 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 its impact on all other art forms; key issues in French colonial policy and its legacy in Africa: language, politics, and education. The course will examine the image of the postcolonial state and society as found in contemporary arts, paintings, sculpture, music, and cinema. Selections from painters and sculptors like Cheri Samba (Zaire), Iba NDiaye, O. Sow (Senegal), Werewere Liking (Cameroun), including such popular icons as Mamy Wata and forms such as Souwere glass painting; from musicians like Youssou Ndour (Senegal), Cheb Khaled (Algeria), Seigneur Rochereau, Tshala Muana (Zaire), Salif Keita (Mali), and Cesaria Evora (Cape Verde); from Mande, Peul, and Kabyle oral literature in French translation; from filmmakers D.D. Mambety, Moussa Sene Absa, and Ngangura Mweze. The final grade will be based on contributions to discussions, a mid-term, and 2 papers.

Prerequisite  FREN 3031 and FREN 3032.

TR   03:30PM - 04:45PM   Dramé

FREN 3584-001 - Topics in French Cinema  Masterpieces of French Cinema

An introduction to masterpieces of French cinema, from the earliest short films of the Lumière Brothers and George Meliès, to feature-length works by Jean Cocteau, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, and others. Students will study film genres and movements (Poetic Realism, the New Wave) in relation to social, cultural and aesthetic trends. They will also learn to identify and analyze film techniques (camera angle, camera movement, montage, and more). Students will view approximately one film/week, outside of class, complete accompanying reading assignments, participate in class discussion, write analytical papers, attend audiovisual workshops, and create original short video projects. Counts toward the French Major or Minor. All films are in French with English subtitles. Questions? Contact the professor: Alison Levine (alevine@virginia.edu)

Prerequisite:  FREN 3031.  FREN 3032 is not a  prerequisite for this section of 3584. Please send an email to Prof. Cheryl  Krueger (DUP French, clk6m@virginia.edu) to have the 3032 prerequisite waived for this course.

MW   2:00 PM - 3:15 PM   Levine

FREN 3585-001 - Topics in Cultural Studies:  Arts & the Nation

In France, the arts and creative culture have always been integral to national identity. This class will examine France’s distinctive approach to artistic and intellectual sponsorship stretching from its medieval origins to modern governmental practices. The arts will be broadly defined, allowing us to address the following topics: food, fashion, and conversation as art forms; the politics of artistic patronage; and the invention of literary academies, libraries, and museums. The final third of the class will engage with ongoing debates surrounding multiculturalism, state investment in the arts, and the impact of globalism on creative freedom.

Prerequisite 3031.  FREN 3032 is not a  prerequisite for this section of 3585. To register without first taking 3032, please fill out a course action form,  have it signed by Cheryl  Krueger (DUP French, clk6m@virginia.edu) or the course instructor, and turn it in to Kathy Halvorsen in 358 NCH.

TR   11:00AM - 12:15PM   McGrady

FREN 4031-001 - Grammar and Style

Prerequisites: Fren 3031, Fren 3032 and at least one FREN course numbered 3040 or higher. Restricted to third and fourth year students.

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, trois essais de 500 mots, deux compositions de 1000 mots, deux interrogations et un examen en fin de semestre, tels sont les exercices de ce cours.

Taught in French.

MWF   12:00PM - 12:50PM   Zunz

FREN 4410-001 - 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

Prerequisite:  Any course above FREN 3032

TR   03:30PM - 04:45PM   Tsien

FREN 4560-001 - Advanced Topics in Nineteenth-Century Literature:  le Romantisme

Dans ce cours, nous examinerons une sélection de textes littéraires du mouvement romantique français de la première moitié du 19ème siècle où de nombreux facteurs -- culturels, sociaux, historiques et politiques -- concourent à façonner une esthétique littéraire à la fois complexe et contradictoire. A travers une lecture approfondie de poèmes, romans, théâtres et traités/ manifestes, nous explorerons la sensibilité mélancolique, l'esprit de la révolte et la passion du sublime qui régissent l'état d'âme romantique ainsi que la manière dont les différences sexuelles se construisent et fonctionnent dans l'univers romantique. Nous nous intéressons également aux vestiges du romantisme dans la vie de nos jours.

Prerequisite:  Un cours sur la littérature, la culture, ou le cinéma français au-delà de 3032.

MW   03:30PM - 04:45PM   Lyu

FREN 4585-001 - Adv Topics Cultural Studies:  Love and Sex in the French Renaissance

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.

Prerequisite: At least one literature or culture course beyond FREN  3032

TR   02:00PM - 03:15PM   Ferguson

FREN 4743-002 - Africa in Cinema

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. Attendance is mandatory. The final grade will be based on one oral presentation (20%) and a short paper (20%), contributions to discussions in class (10% of final grade), and a Final Research Paper (50%).

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

TR   12:30PM - 01:45PM   Dramé,Kandioura

FREN 4750  - From Literature to Film : Screening Dangerous Liaisons
The Many Movie Lives of a French Masterpiece

This course will explore the dissemination in time and space of a single literary work : the famous (and infamous) novel Les Liaisons dangereuses,  written by Choderlos de Laclos at the end of the 18th century. After examining the novel itself and its significance in the context of pre-revolutionary France, we will study several movie adaptations or transpositions. Ranging from the 1960s to our days, shot by directors of diverse backgrounds and cultures, this study will allow us 1) to reflect on the historicity of a given work of art ; 2) to study the process of transposition from medium to medium ; 3) to analyse the cultural twists given to plot, characters, morals, etc. by each director and their impact on our reading of the original novel.

Readings :

Choderlos de Laclos, Les Liaisons dangereuses

Movies :

Les Liaisons dangereuses 1960  (France-Italie)

Roger Vadim, 1959

Dangerous Liaisons  (Grande-Bretagne-France-USA)

Stephen Frears, 1988

Valmont (France-USA)

Milos Forman, 1989

Cruel Intentions (USA)         

Roger Kumble, 1999.

Untold Scandal (Corée)

Je-yong Lee, 2003

Wi-heom-han gyan-gye («Liaisons dangereuses»)  (Chine)

Jin-ho Hur, 2012 

Assignments : short reaction papers ; mid-term exam; final essay (research paper).

Prerequisite: FREN 3032 and at least one course in the 3040 sequence.

TR 5:00 pm – 6:45 pm (Roger)

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 5011 Old French

Introduction to reading Old French, with consideration of its main dialects (Ile-de-France, Picard, Anglo-Norman) and paleographical issues.  May be taken in conjunction with FREN 5100/8510 or independently.  Weekly reading exercises, a transcription and translation exercise, and a final open-book exam.  Prerequisite: good reading knowledge of modern French, Latin or another romance language.  Taught in English.

M 1:00 pm – 1:50 pm (Ogden)

FREN 5100/8510  - Medieval Literature in Modern French I

Based on topics and works of both current and enduring interest to scholars, this course will allow participants to gain general knowledge of literature composed in French from 880 until about 1250 as well as to explore the most recent developments in the field. Students are encouraged to contact the professor with suggestions for texts and/or subjects.  In the course of discussing secondary readings and of preparing the assignments, we will consider matters of professional development. Reading knowledge of modern French required.

MW 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Ogden)


Dans la France du XVIIIe siècle, le théâtre est au cœur de la vie sociale, artistique et intellectuelle. À Paris surtout, mais aussi en province, où les salles se multiplient. La société de Cour et la classe de loisir en attendent des plaisirs quotidiens. À Paris comme en province, les gens «bien nés» côtoient un public de bourgeois et d’artisans ; et ils ne dédaignent pas de se mêler au petit peuple pour jouir des spectacles de la Foire. L’engouement touche toutes les couches de la société, en dépit des théologiens et des moralistes. L’Église refuse aux comédiens la sépulture religieuse, mais les Jésuites font une place d’honneur au théâtre dans leurs méthodes pédagogiques. Les Philosophes espèrent faire du théâtre un véritable forum civique, sauf Rousseau, qui n’y voit qu’un lieu d’imposture et d’aliénation.

Ce cours proposera donc une lecture en situation de pièces célèbres ou moins célèbres de  Marivaux, Voltaire, Diderot, Beaumarchais, Olympe de Gouges, Sylvain Maréchal selon les trois axes indiqués dans le sous-titre : «pratiques, poétiques, polémiques».

Du côté des pratiques, il s’agira de reconstituer le «monde» du théâtre à cette époque : agencement des salles, conditions matérielles des représentations, économie du théâtre, statut des troupes et des comédiens, techniques de jeu des acteurs, attitude du public.

Du côté des poétiques, on étudiera la remise en question des règles édictées au siècle précédent et la longue marche vers une nouvelle poétique théâtrale : celle du «drame».

Du côté des polémiques, enfin, on étudiera comment la querelle du théâtre en vient à diviser les philosophes eux-mêmes (c’est à propos du théâtre à Genève que Rousseau se dresse contre d’Alembert, Voltaire et Diderot), avant de cristalliser, pendant la Révolution, les antagonismes idéologiques.  

Notez le format particulier du cours, qui se termine début novembre.

Travaux : un (bref) exposé oral en classe sur un sujet choisi par l’étudiant(e) et un «final paper» d’une quinzaine de pages, en français. 

W 3:30 pm – 6:15 pm (Roger)

FREN 5560/8560 - Topics in Nineteenth Century Literature:  Reading With Emma Bovary

In the 1857 obscenity trial against Madame Bovary, prosecutor Ernest Pinard argued that the book would corrupt the hearts and minds of its readers, particularly young marriageable women  (jeunes filles) 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 Emma Bovary’s reading habits, 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?

  • Open to graduate students with reading knowledge of French
  • Course conducted in French and English (depending on students’ background)
  • Written work in French (for French MA or PhD students), and English
  • Most readings in French

M 3:30 – 6:00 pm (Krueger)

FREN 5570/8570 - Topics in 20th & 21st Century Literature:  French Literature Now!

Since the turn of the century, a number of critics have suggested that French literature is in crisis.  In his incendiary rant La littérature sans estomac (2002), for example, Pierre Jourde laments the lack of aesthetic standards in the production of contemporary French fiction, claiming instead that the market has been overrun by mediocrity.  Similarly, Jean-Philippe Domecq created a stir when he attacked a certain cadre of literary critics who, he claims, do nothing but elevate the vast array of livres de divertissement to the status of “high art.”  Acclaimed (and now highly provocative) author Richard Millet, in L’Enfer du roman: Réflexions sur la postlittérature (2010), issues a scathing critique of the contemporary novel, lashing out against its role in the degradation of the French language.  And in an article for the New York Times, Alan Riding ponders the curious state of “French” literature in 2006, a year in which not only were the winners of four of the country’s most esteemed literary prizes awarded to “foreign” authors (American Jonathan Littel, to cite one example, won both the Prix Goncourt and the Prix de l’Académie française for Les Bienveillantes), but one of the most popular novels of the year (in France as well as in the US) was actually written in the 1940s by a Russian-born émigré who would later disappear in the camps (Irène Nemirovsky, Suite française).  All of which seems to beg the question, as Riding asks: “Is French literature burning?”

Rather than propose a definitive answer to such an expressly problematic question, this survey of some of the most acclaimed and/or widely read prose works of the last 20 years (more or less) invites students to judge for themselves. The last few weeks of the course will focus in on a few of the most remarkable of “extremely contemporary“ books published within the last 3-5 years.  The course will also introduce students to a number of essential and readily available resources for scholars and enthusiasts of contemporary French literature, including the major journals, anthologies, radio programs, websites, blogs, and works of criticism that consider that contemporary cultural scene more broadly.

Course taught in French and English.  All required reading in French. Students can expect a healthy but not unreasonable dose of weekly reading. Required work also includes an oral presentation, a few book reviews, and a final paper.

R 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm (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.

T 3:30 pm 6:00 pm (James)

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