Fall 2021 Course Descriptions

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 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. 

French Translation Courses

FRTR 2580 – French in Translation

Description coming

 TR      11:00 am – 12:15 pm (Staff)

Creo Courses

CREO 1010-001  – Elementary Creole I

Development of basic oral expression, listening and reading comprehension, and writing.  Pre-requisite: No previous formal instruction of French or Creole is required.

MWF   3:30 pm – 4:30 pm   Dramé

CREO 2010-001  – Intermediate Creole I



Develops the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Creole. 

Enrollment Requirement:  Must have completed CREO 1020.

Pre-requisite: Two previous semesters of Elementary Creole (I and II).

MWF   1:40 pm – 2:35  pm    Dramé

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.

Pre-requisite: FREN 2020 (or equivalent).  Course taught in French; counts for major/minor credit in French and Linguistics

TR       9:30 am – 10:45 am (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.

Pre-requisite: 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 Pre-requisite for all undergraduate French courses at a higher level.

MWF   10:00 am -10:50 am (Geer)
TR         3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Staff)
MWF     1:00 pm – 1:50 pm (Hall)
MW        2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Krueger) 

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.

Pre-requisite: French 3031. FREN 3032 is a Pre-requisite for all French undergraduate courses on a higher level.

TR       9:30 am – 10:45 am (Boutaghou)
MW     3;30 pm – 4:45 pm (Lyu)
TR       2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Ferguson)
TR       3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Tsien) 

FREN 3034 – Advanced Oral Expression in French 

This course will allow students to learn and reflect on issues that are of concern to their French-speaking contemporaries.  It offers an excellent opportunity for students to practice their French speaking skills in a variety of communicative contexts.  Class resources will include French online newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. Discussion topics will be based largely on student-driven interests, but likely topics will include education, family life, the arts, immigration, Franco-American relations, and business culture.  Students will be graded on their engaged involvement in class discussions, their in-class presentations (individual and group), an audio and/or video contribution to a class web-journal, and a final oral exam. 

FREN 3034 is the only course on offer to emphasize, exclusively, the skill of speaking French (spontaneously and fluently)

 (Pre-requisite:  FREN 3031 and either completion of FREN 3032 or concurrent enrollment in FREN 3032).  This course is not intended for students who are native speakers of French or whose secondary education was in French schools.

TR       12:30 pm – 1:45 pm (Saunders) 

FREN 3035 –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  

TR       11:00 am – 12:15 pm (Staff) 

FREN 3036  – Introduction to Translation

Comment dit-on… ? Que veut dire… ? This course will provide a practical and theoretical introduction to methods of translation. We will translate literary and non-literary texts such as news articles, ads, songs, essays, poems, and short stories from French to English and from English to French. Classes will be in the form of workshops as we take on the role of the translator and collaborate on translation projects using different practices and methods of translation, all while undertaking a comparative review of French (and English!) grammar and analyzing various cultural topics.

**Students who have already taken FREN 4035 “Tools and Techniques of Translation” may not enroll in this course.

Pre-requisite: FREN 2020 or FREN 2320 or equivalent placement

MWF   10:00 AM – 10:50 AM (Hall) 

FREN 3041 – The French-Speaking World I 

Globalization.  Love and friendship.  Encounters with other cultures and peoples.  Separation of Church and State.  Bourgeois values.  Law and justice.  Where did these features of modern life come from and—more importantly—what other forms might they have taken or might they still evolve into?  It is said that history is written by the victors, but historical documents—literature, histories, prayer books, etc.—retain the evidence of alternate values as well as hints of (temporarily?) abandoned futures.  Can we escape our preconceptions of the past and uncover, in the documents, different histories?  Histories that offer alternative ways of thinking about modern institutions, assumptions, and inequities and about the stories that give them authority? 

Readings in the course will be in modern French translation, with occasional discussions of the original medieval and middle French if students are interested in the history of the language.  We’ll begin with the earliest narrative in French (ca. 880 C.E.) and continue up to about 1600, looking both at classic texts and little-known treasures.  Reading and writing assignments will be appropriate both for students coming directly from FREN 3032 and for more advanced students who want to hone their close reading and analytical/persuasive writing skills in French.

Pre-requisite:  FREN 3032

MWF   11:00  am – 12:15 pm (Geer) 

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 writings of this era, from the canonical works of Corneille, Molière, Voltaire, and Diderot to lesser-known but significant works.  We will pay particular attention to the idea of “nature” which radically changed meaning in this period.

TR       2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Tsien)

FREN 3043 –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 (but also, as some would put it, to the ultimate uselessness) of literature. How might reading fiction inform our understanding of the world and our place in it, if at all? 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); and/or Georges Perec's critique of consumer society in the 1960s.  We will end our semester with an "extremely contemporary" novel, or two, published within the last decade or two.

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

Pre-requisite:  FREN 3032

TR       9:30 AM – 10:45 AM (Blatt) 

FREN 3559 – New Course –  Filmmaking in French :  An Introductory Workshop

This workshop, taught in French, introduces students to the basics of film as a visual and narrative medium. Students will master both theoretical and practical skills through writing, directing, shooting and editing their own film. Students will bring fresh materials and ideas, and workshop the script as in a “writers room” situation. A hands-on class, students will learn to use the camera, lighting, sound recording, and editing software.

Each student will have the chance to work on an individual project and contribute to the films of others as a crew member serving in a different role for each film: writing, directing, filming, acting, and editing. Throughout the semester we will watch clips that will serve as an inspiration to the creative process, while learning about editing styles and narrative structures. As such, in each class theoretical learning and practice will go hand-in-hand. By the end of the semester each student will have a 3 to 5mn short film.

Pre-requisite: FREN 3032

M         3:30 pm – 6:00 pm  (Mamadou Dia) 

FREN 3570 – Topics in Francophone – African Oral Traditions 

A Study of major texts from Oral Traditions in Africa. Historical and literary values of the narratives, poems, and songs today. Roles of Griots as creators and performers of Oral compositions. How the music of griots inspires and sustains contemporary popular musical forms across Africa today.The challenges facing Oral Traditions today and opportunities for the future in various African societies

Prerequisite:  FREN 3031 and FREN 3032

TR       3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Dramé)

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

Ce cours vous invite à explorer la triple quête – du moi, du bonheur, et de l’amour – dans laquelle s’engage la jeunesse romantique française de la première moitié du 19ème siècle où de nombreux facteurs culturels, sociaux, historiques, et politiques (y compris la tombée de Napoléon Ier) concourent à façonner une esthétique littéraire à la fois complexe et contradictoire. A travers une lecture approfondie de poèmes, nouvelle, roman, traité/ manifeste, nous examinerons la sensibilité, la passion, et la révolte qui animent les héros et les héroïnes romantiques pour interroger comment ils conçoivent le moi, vivent l’amour, et poursuivent le bonheur. Nous nous intéresserons à la manière dont le genre et la différence sexuelle se construisent dans l’univers romantique ainsi qu’à la manière dont le romantisme se libère du classicisme et prépare la modernité. Tout au long du semestre, nous essayerons de dégager la pertinence de la pensée et de l’expérience romantiques du passé pour notre époque contemporaine qui et tout aussi préoccupée par le moi (ou son image), le bonheur (ou le succès), et bien sûr, l’amour.

Cours requis :  Un cours sur la littérature, la culture, ou le cinéma français au-delà de FREN 3032 (ou l’accord de la professeure).

MW     2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Lyu) 

FREN 4585.001 Adv Topics Cultural Studies: The City of Paris:  Stories of a Living Legend

This course will explore Paris, both as a contemporary metropolis and a multilayered palimpsest of history, legends and myths. A global city, Paris is today so much more than the capital of France; it holds meaning the world over. A real city of grit and struggle, it is also synonym of joie de vivre, as well as symbolic of lofty ideals. The principal theater of the French Revolution, it earned a reputation for insurrection and protest. A hotbed of artistic life and intellectual debate, it has been, and still is, a magnet for talent, ambition, and dissent. How did Paris achieve such iconic status on the world stage? What myths and historical moments have defined it? Together, we will explore maps, paintings, and films that illustrate key features of the history, topography, architecture, and neighborhoods of Paris. We will discover the imagined city in art, literature and song. We will also interrogate the “American dream” of Paris, as lived by Ernest Hemingway or James Baldwin. By the end of this course, Paris will be a familiar place. You will be able “to read” the city, unlock its codes —become a Parisian, even from a distance. 

Pre-requisite: FREN 3032 plus one additional 3000-level course in French.

MW 3:30 pm – 5:15 pm (Roger) 

FREN 4585.002 – Adv Topics 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 Juliet) 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. May be taken for elective credit for WGS.

TR       3:30 pm – 4:45 pm (Ferguson) 

FREN 4744Occupation and After 

While in 2014 the French 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 marked another important anniversary: namely, seventy years since the Liberation of Paris during World War II.  The German occupation of France, which lasted from 1940 until 1945, was one of the most consequential periods 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 and graphic novels—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.  Course conducted in French.

Pre-requisite:  FREN 3032 and another FREN course beyond FREN 3034 

TR       11:00 am – 12:15 pm (Blatt) 

FREN 4811Francophone Literature 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. 

Pre-requisite:  FREN 3032 and at least one FREN course numbered FREN 3041 or FREN 3043 (or instructor permission) 

FREN 4838 – French Society and Civilization 

Developing cultural literacy is an integral part of becoming an educated citizen of the world. The attainment of cultural literacy includes understanding social norms as well as politics and current events in a particular country. In France, cultural literacy is particularly valued in professional life, where the expectation is that you will be able to converse on a wide range of topics outside your field of specialization.

This course is designed to provide you with some tools for developing cultural literacy in the French context. Through an introduction to the politics, culture, and society of present-day France, you should come away from this class with a deeper understanding of social norms and institutional structures, as well as the ability to follow and understand French media coverage of events as they unfold in France. In your future travels in the US or abroad, you should feel comfortable discussing and debating social, political, and cultural issues and current events relating to France.

To achieve those goals, we will study the evolution of French society, politics, and culture from the end of the Second World War until the present. We will study major social problems facing contemporary France: the role of women, education, immigration, race, religion, public health as well as France's status in the European Union. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on readings from the French press, the televised news, and other visual sources.

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

TR       2:00 pm – 3:15 pm (Horne)



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