Courses available in French

Courses

Il ne faut jamais avoir peur d’aller trop loin car la vĂ©ritĂ© est au-delĂ .

— Proust

2014 Spring

Graduate | Pedagogical

Undergraduate

1: Elementary French, first semester

Seda Chavdarian in Charge

Introduction to Francophone cultures through speaking, listening, reading, and writing in French, with French as the exclusive means of communication. Emphasis is placed on developing student ability to create and to communicate with basic French structures and vocabulary. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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R1A, section 1: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- The Trouble with Crowds

C. Talley

In this course, we will explore works that demonstrate the mix of hope and anxiety that crowds inspire, including novels and stories by Hugo, Poe, and Zola; poems by Baudelaire and Whitman; essays by Taine, Le Bon, and Freud; and a film by Lang. Satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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R1B, section 1: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- Community: what makes one?

Anna Skrzypczynska

This course will move through texts that expose and try to work through the implications of being part of a community. Taking as a point of departure the commonly-held association of community with oneness, we will examine the variety of demands, questions, and problems raised by the negotiation of individual "oneness" and collective "oneness." Satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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R1B, section 2 : English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- The Fly in the Ointment: Literary Setbacks

Daniel Hoffmann

From the spiritual to the material, this course will explore setbacks of all kinds: waning inspiration, the pangs of self-doubt, the problems of a fair-weather muse, even bankruptcy and censorship. We’ll consider such mishaps, reversals, and obstacles both as a theme in literature and as a living problem for artists and writers alike. Satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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2: Elementary French, second semester

Seda Chavdarian in Charge

Continuing development of students' awareness of Francophone cultures, knowledge of fundamental structures of French, and their appropriate socio-linguistic application in both spoken and written communication. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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3: Intermediate French

Desirée Pries in Charge

This is an intermediate language and culture class that aims to consolidate and expand the skills of listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing in French. The course aims to promote cross-cultural understanding through the use of authentic materials such as literary and journalistic texts, multimedia, film, pop songs, and television/radio broadcasts, and other cultural artifacts. addition to a review and refinement of grammar and vocabulary in a culturally rich context, students also experiment with their written expression through different formats, including analytical essays, journals, creative writing and independent projects using the Internet. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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4: Advanced Intermediate French

Desirée Pries in Charge

French 4 is an advanced intermediate language and culture class that aims to refine the skills acquired in French 3 or equivalent courses and to introduce students to French and francophone literature. Emphasis is placed on the development of oral and written expression to promote linguistic and cultural competences through an extensive grammar review and exploration of spoken and written texts, as well as film, multi-media, and other cultural artifacts. We will read short stories, plays, poems and discuss their literary and cultural contexts (music, art, history, philosophy). Throughout the semester, students will share ideas in collaborative, small-group and whole class discussion, explore new formats for expository prose, continue journalistic and creative writing activities in French, and work on independent projects using the Internet. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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13: Intermediate Conversation

R. Kern in charge

This course develops students’ ability to speak and understand French in both conversational and formal contexts, enlarges vocabulary, and enhances familiarity with contemporary French culture. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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24: Freshman Seminar -- An Introduction to the Films of the French New Wave

N. Paige

This seminar will introduce students to a number of representative films of the French New Wave, perhaps the most important and emblematic moment in modern cinema, and a point of reference for filmmakers ranging from Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese to John Woo and Wong Kar-Wai. Movies screened will be subtitled and will include works by Truffaut, Godard, Varda, Demy, Rohmer, Eustache, and others. Course limited to freshmen. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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35: Practical Phonetics and Listening Comprehension

Nelly Timmons

This multimedia web-assisted course concentrates on pronunciation and listening comprehension skills. Because it concentrates on the first task confronted upon arrival in a French-speaking country (to understand and be understood), it has traditionally been considered very helpful before going to France for study, work, or travel. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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102: Writing in French, 3 sections ("W")

R. Shuh; E Colon; D. Blocker

This course introduces students to different modes of proposing and furthering a point of view or argument (whether in a critical essay, through dramatic metaphor, or in plays or short stories). Great attention is paid, both through the readings and through extensive written work, to questions of interpretation as well as to the logical and coherent development of reading and writing skills leading to correct and effective expression in French. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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103B: Language and Culture -- Literature, Identity, Social Class ("W")

S. Maslan

How does literature tell us who we are and where we fit in society? How does literature both create and reflect the way societies work and the way individuals participate in or resist social norms? We will read texts from the seventeenth-century through the present and we will study some films that investigate these questions from all sorts of perspectives. We will read plays, short stories, and novellas. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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114: Late Medieval Literature -- Love, Humor and Satire in an Age of War and Plague

D. Hult

The Black Plague, the Hundred Years’ War, serve as the gruesome backdrop for one of the richest periods of creation in the aristocratic tradition of courtly poetry and romance, extending from the mid-fourteenth to the late fifteenth century. Were the light and frivolous fictions of love and seduction merely an escapist fantasy, a way of thinking of things other than death and disease, or is there a darker side to these fictions? Class discussion and readings in French. No previous knowledge of Medieval French is required or expected, though we will read some works in the original. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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117B : Seventeenth-Century Literature -- The Art of Passion -- Phèdre, Racine, and French Classical Tragedy ("W")

N. Paige

Despite its reputation for rationality and rigid codification, seventeenth-century tragedy might be more accurately described as hyperemotional—a device not only for regulating but also propagating what people then called “passions.” For no playwright is this more true than for Racine, known at the time for having a knack for making his audience dissolve in pools of tears. This course proposes an examination of Racine’s theater of emotion through a consideration of four of his best-known works, especially Phèdre, to which we will return periodically throughout the semester. For more detailed description, please click on course title.

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119A: Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture: The Arrival of Modernity ("R")

Michael Lucey

This course is intended to help students acquire research skills while focusing on works by three nineteenth-century authors who deal in one way or another with the arrival of the phenomenon we loosely call “modernity.” We will also study a number of different kinds of secondary sources alongside our primary texts, and learning about the social, cultural, and political history of nineteenth-century France. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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126: Senior Seminar -- Honoré de Balzac -- “To Sell Out or Not to Sell Out”

Michael Lucey

Honoré de Balzac is the author of one of the great novel cycles, La comédie humaine, in which he set out to chronicle the social life of his time (the first half of the nineteenth-century in France).We will spend the semester reading chronologically through a series of his novels and stories that deal with art, music, writing, and commerce and the kind of conflicts that arise when artists come up against forces of economic necessity and the temptations of fame and wealth. Along the way, we will learn a bit about nineteenth-century French social history, about questions of literary form, and about the development of realism as an artistic practice. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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131A: Translation and Debate

M. McLaughlin

This course brings together aspects of translation theory and translation methodology in order to develop our skills as translators. During the course we will translate both from French into English and from English into French, paying particular attention to the linguistic differences between the two languages that pose problems for translators. For more detailed description, please click on course title.

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138: French for Teaching and Related Careers

Richard Kern

This course will introduce students to the field of second language acquisition, considering specific issues in learning and teaching French. We will study models of second language acquisition, as well as a variety of approaches to the teaching of French as a foreign language. Students will learn how to observe and analyze teaching and will get practice in preparing and teaching a micro-lesson. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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140D : French Literature in English Translation -- An Introduction to the Films of the French New Wave

N. Paige

This class provides a comprehensive overview of the French New Wave movement and its major films, with attention to the cultural and theoretical factors that help explain this extraordinary flowering of filmmaking talent in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Movies screened will be subtitled and will include works by Truffaut, Godard, Varda, Demy, Rohmer, Eustache, and others. Readings will include classic essays from the period as well as modern historical and critical work. For more detailed description, please click on course title. Screenings are Mondays from 5:40 to 7:15. Students who cannot attend screenings may view films on their own. Open to all students. Course taught in English. (For a more detailed description, please click on course title).

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150A: Women in French Literature -- Women and Writing in France, 1500-1800

S. Maslan

“Dans ses meubles, dût-elle en avoir l’ennui,/Il ne faut écritoire, encre, papier, ni plume./ Le mari doit dans les bonnes coutumes, écrire tout ce qui s’écrit chez lui.” Molière, L’École des femmes This course will explore the relation between women and writing from the sixteenth through the end of the eighteenth centuries in France. We will seek to understand what writing meant to women: how it helped them form their own identities, explore and construct the self, and to participate beyond the domestic sphere. And we will study how the broader culture thought about women and writing. For more detailed description, please click on course title.

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177B: History and Criticism of Film -- Le Vu et le Cru (The Seen and the Believed)

U. Dutoit

In this course we will try to get closer to the extraordinary creativity of Alain Resnais (or at least to a part of his almost 70 years of film production). For a more detailed description, please click on course title. .

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180D: French Civilization -- La Question de l'immigration dans la France contemporaine

Soraya Tlatli

Dans ce cours nous analyserons les enjeux théoriques, artistiques et politiques liés a la question de l’immigration en France des populations issues du Maghreb et de l’Afrique. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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183A: Configurations of Crisis -- The Poetics of Political Asylum in Contemporary France

D. Sanyal

Le terme « réfugié » s'appliquera à toute personne qui (...) craignant avec raison d'être persécutée du fait de sa race, de sa religion, de sa nationalité, de son appartenance à un certain groupe social ou de ses opinions politiques, se trouve hors du pays dont elle a la nationalité et qui ne peut ou, du fait de cette crainte, ne veut se réclamer de la protection de ce pays. Article premier de la Convention de Genève, 28 juillet 1951. This course investigates the itineraries and narratives of refugees who are seeking political asylum in France today. Contemporary fiction and film will help us reconstruct the stages of their flight from political, religious, and also economic oppression, and to chart their perilous journey across transit territories and high seas into France. We will pay particular attention to the forms of personhood that emerge or are put into crisis by clandestine passage, undocumented labor, extra-territorial spaces of detention, etc. We will also consider how the asylum process turns applicants into authors of their past, summoning them to act as translators of their stories before the state and the law. We will pursue these and related questions through readings of literature, cinema, law and theory. For more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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Graduate

C203: Comparative Studies in Romance Literatures and Cultures -- The Learned Academies of Early Modern France, Italy and Spain (1500-1800): Knowledge, Sociability, Politics.

D. Blocker

In this seminar, we examine the development of the academic movement in France, Italy and Spain over three centuries, while also questioning the ways in which historians have accounted for this complex phenomenon. Alongside these historiographical accounts, we read primary sources (academic statutes, academic orations and polemics, literary and scientific works, letters, etc.), paying special attention to the wide variety of academic institutions and practices. We also investigate the development of new discourses within the academies (from poetics to history and even physics), through a handful of case studies and comparisons. Finally, we question the socio-political foundations, as well as possible repercussions, of the early modern academic movement. Knowledge of at least one Romance language (French, Italian or Spanish) is preferable but not compulsory. This course is cross-listed with Italian Studies C203 and Spanish C203. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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206: Special Topics in French Linguistics -- Advanced French Syntax

M. McLaughlin

We will explore a range of topics in French syntax concerning the noun phrase, the verb phrase and the order of constituents. Examples of topics include the position of the adjective, the use of the passive, dislocation, and interrogative constructions. We will also consider a set of thematic questions which focus on syntactic variation such as syntax and register, syntax and genre, and syntax and language contact. This is an advanced graduate course in French syntax. Although the class will be held in English, the readings will be in both French and English so you will need to have good reading knowledge of academic French. You should also have taken a course in linguistics or in French linguistics before taking this class (e.g. French 146, French 201, Linguistics 120, Linguistics 220 or Linguistics 230). For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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210A: Studies in Medieval Literature -- Late Medieval Fictions of Love

D. Hult

This seminar will focus on the tradition(s) of love narrative in the later French Middle Ages beginning with two important thirteenth-century works that set the tone for centuries to come by inscribing the lyric tradition within romance narrative: Guillaume de Lorris’s enormously influential, fragmentary Roman de la Rose; and Richard de Fournival’s intriguing Bestiary of Love, which inscribes the love quest within the hitherto didactic genre of animal lore, the bestiary. Topics of discussion will include the question of the first-person narrative voice, the relations between lyric and romance, song and book, evolving notions of authorship, and the rhetoric of courtly love. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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250B: Studies in Nineteenth-Century French Literature -- Violence and Counterviolence in Nineteenth-Century French Literature

D. Sanyal

This seminar examines a series of classic works from Romanticism to Decadence in light of their negotiations with the violence of history. These works address the revolutionary upheavals and cultural transformations of the period: the spectral recurrence of revolution and terror; shifting configurations of class struggle; the shock experience in the modern city; the spectacularization of history and urban life; new forms of private and public space; scientific and medical discourses on gender, class and race. We will explore these issues through detailed close readings, with a view to contrasting the distinctive discursive strategies of violence and/as counterviolence that characterize each work, while identifying the kinds of inquiry and critique modeled and enabled by literary form. Authors include Balzac, Sand, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Zola, Maupassant, Barbey d’Aurevilly and Rachilde. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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265B: Modern Studies -- Precarity and the (post-)Modern City

E. Colon

Nous profiterons de l’ampleur de la période d’investigation proposée par ce séminaire d’ « études modernes » pour retracer la généalogie littéraire et théorique d’une question contemporaine—celle de la précarité urbaine et de sa figuration—dans un ensemble de textes parus entre les années 1830 et les années 2000. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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274: Traditions of Critical Thought -- French Theory

S. Tlatli

La période qui couvre les années 1960 et 1970, marque une profonde rupture dans les rapports des sciences humaines à l’objet textuel, en même temps que l’émergence du post-structuralisme. Dans ce séminaire, nous analyserons les enjeux théoriques de ces nouveaux rapports au texte. Nous nous interrogerons, en particulier, sur le rôle que la psychanalyse, la linguistique et l’anthropologie a joué dans cette nouvelle compréhension de la production textuelle. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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Pedagogical

302: Teaching French in College – Advanced First Year

S. Chavdarian

Provides an understanding of the teaching methods used in French 2, to help instructors effectively implement techniques specifically designed for the French language classroom at Berkeley. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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303: Teaching in French, Advanced Level

D. Pries

Provides an understanding of the teaching methods used in French 3 and 4, to help instructors effectively implement techniques specifically designed for the French language classroom at Berkeley. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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