Courses available in French

Courses

La poĂ©tique de la durĂ©e s’efforce d’apaiser l’hier fiĂ©vreux, de tramer ce lointain devenir.

— Glissant

2015 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 -- (Un)authorized Readers -- Imitations, Rewritings, and other Fan Fictions

L. Louie

In this class, we will read modern examples of imitation and rewriting (such as AimĂ© CĂ©saire’s A Tempest, which reimagines Shakespeare’s Tempest from Caliban’s perspective, and the Baker Street Journal, which publishes academic articles treating the characters in the Sherlock Holmes stories as real historical personages) alongside examples of medieval and Renaissance continuations and rewritings, All of these texts use another work of literature as their starting point, making them acts of reading, just as much as acts of writing. Looking at this wide range of literature as “fan fiction” will allow us to consider how the roles of “author” and “reader” are shaped by history, society, technology, genre, and form, and how works of rewriting can be used to reposition these roles. We will think about reading and writing as practices that are historically situated and ethically charged, and ask how and why certain fan fictions are “authorized” while others are not. French R1A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH. For a more detailed description, please select course title.

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R1A, section 2: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- Survival Crafts -- Remembering Catastrophe

V. Brutsche

How can we read in the wake of catastrophe? How does society remember – or forget – its traumatic histories? In this course, we will examine the nature of what we consider catastrophic, and explore how literature and film serve as collective remembrance of the past. French R1A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH. For a more detailed course description, please select course title.

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R1B, section 1: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- Violence, Politics, and the Graphic Novel

A. Gabel

In this course, we will analyze the graphic novel as an emerging media for the representation of history and violence. We will investigate how this form, an amalgam of both image and text, has arisen from earlier genres. Of special interest to us will be a discussion of why it is that in recent decades the graphic novel has proven itself to be a particularly apt form for the investigation of violent, socio-political events, such as the First or Second World War or the Iranian Revolution. What about the graphic novel, in spite of or indeed due to its roots in popular culture and children's literature, resonates with these authors as a means of representing history? What does this genre have to offer for the critique of deeply ingrained, socio-historical violence, like xenophobia and homophobia? In short, why and how has the graphic novel become a political form? French R1B satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH. For a more detailed description, please select course title.

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R1B, sections 2 & 3: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- France & the U.S.A -- Cross-Cultural Encounters in Literature and Film

M. Koerner

This reading and composition course focuses on the relationship between French and American culture – the way each country has been perceived by the other – through a survey of writers and filmmakers who have made this relationship a central theme of their work. Over the course of the semester we will analyze literary texts written by Americans living in Paris, narratives written by French intellectuals travelling in the United States, as well as documentaries and feature films produced in both countries. This course fulfills the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement in the College of Letters and Science. Class conducted in ENGLISH. For a more detailed description, please select 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

Vesna Rodic 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

Vesna Rodic 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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35: Practical Phonetics and Listening Comprehension

N. 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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103A: Language and Culture -- Discourses of Love in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period ("W")

D. Hult

Since the beginnings of French literature, authors and poets have been fascinated by the human and spiritual dimensions of love, sometimes conflicting relations between emotional attachment and carnality, between human love and love of God, between private desires and the constraints of society, between fidelity in marriage and the temptations of adultery. Through reading and discussion of a broad variety of works extending from the twelfth to the eighteenth century, we will attempt to sort out some of the major aspects of this seemingly inexhaustible theme while at the same time seeing how different eras and authors diverged in their treatment of it. For additional course information, please select title.

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103B: Language and Culture -- Writing and Filming the French Empire ("W")

S. Tlatli

Dans ce cours nous analyserons la maniĂšre dont des auteurs français et francophones des dix-neuviĂšme et vingtiĂšme siĂšcles dĂ©crivent l’empire colonial français. Nous lirons des genres littĂ©raires variĂ©s : l’autobiographie, la poĂ©sie, l’écriture de journeaux et le rĂ©cit d’expĂ©riences fictives. Nous essaierons de comprendre la complexitĂ© de l’identitĂ© coloniale et nous analyserons Ă©galement les thĂšmes de l’appartenance nationale et de la dĂ©colonisation. Albert Camus, Mouloud Feraoun, Marguerite Duras, Fadhma Amrouche, AimĂ© CĂ©saire sont parmi les auteurs que nous analyserons. Nous verrons Ă©galement un ensemble de films parmi lesquels: “Indochine”, “Rue case-nĂšgre” et “Chocolat”. For additional course information, please select title.

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118A: Eighteenth Century Literature -- Hearts, Minds, Bodies -- The French Novel in the Enlightenment ("W")

N. Paige

The Enlightenment was a moment of huge upheaval in relation between self, society, and the physical world. We’ll be reading a series of key novels from the period that help bring this upheaval into focus. These include PrĂ©vost’s great novel of male aristocratic anxiety, Manon Lescaut; Graffigny’s feminist not-a-love-story, Lettres d’une PĂ©ruvienne; Voltaire’s face-off between corrupt and mendacious rulers and the ideal of a government of reason, Zadig; Laclos’s libertine masterpiece of eroticism run amok, Les Liaisons dangereuses,; and Diderot’s Le Neveu de Rameau, a vertiginous dialogue novel in which no belief is safe. For additional course information, please select title.

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119B: Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture -- Photography and Literature in 19th Century France.

S. Guerlac

In our digital age we have grown used to the idea that technology changes how we see. But when photography was invented in France in 1839 (the daguerreotype) it came as a shock and created a sensation. In the course of the 19th century photo-technologies will develop rapidly, leading up to the invention of the Kodak point and shoot camera toward the end of the century. These new technologies of vision had an impact on writers and on writing practices. Lamartine liked to have his portrait taken. Victor Hugo had hoped to publish a photo- illustrated edition of his poems; he set up a photo studio for his sons while living in exile in Guernsey and staged numerous photographs. Flaubert will accompany his friend Maxime du Camp on photo shoots in Egypt. Zola will become and amateur photographer. And then there was the fashion of “spirit photographs,” believed to present traces of the souls of the dead. In the context of Romanticism the daguerreotype opened up new dimensions of space and time; it made it possible to stay at home and yet see distant places , thereby encouraging an interest in exoticism. Photography appeared to stop time in images of crumbling ruins or architectural monuments. It became associated with scientific observation, setting a new standard for literary description – “À mon avis,” wrote Zola, “vous ne pouvez pas dire que vous avez vu quelque chose Ă  fond si vous n’en avez pas pris une photographie rĂ©vĂ©lant un tas de dĂ©tails qui, autrement, ne pourraient mĂȘme pas ĂȘtre discernĂ©s .» For others, however, photography opened up spaces of fiction and dream; it influenced writers of fantastic tales. In this course we will consider visual material (early photo albums such as the Excursions Daguerriennes, celebrity portraits by Nadar , images of photojournalism and commercial portrait photography) as well as literary works by authors such as Rodenbach ( “Bruges –la-morte”), Balzac, Zola, Gautier and Villiers de l’Isle - Adam in an effort to explore relations between photography and literature during the century that invented photography. For additional course information, please select course title.

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126: Senior Seminar -- Albert Camus ("R")

D. Sanyal

One of the most important intellectual figures of the 20th century, Albert Camus continues to provoke debates on literature, politics and ethics. Initially hailed as a philosopher of the Absurd, he was a Resistance fighter during the Occupation and emerged from World War Two as an exemplary committed intellectual, only to be dismissed as a naïve moralist during the Cold War, and accused of colonial nostalgia during the Algerian war. More recently Camus has been rehabilitated and discussed in all sorts of fascinating ways: as an exemplary writer of the Holocaust, a proponent of multiculturalism, a postcolonial theorist, a critic of fundamentalism, and even, as an intellectual ally in the US war on terror
 This course will investigate the many faces of Albert Camus by reading his major literary works in relation to his other writings at particular historical junctures. We will also examine the critical approaches and cultural trends that have led to the tumultuous afterlife of his works.

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140C: French Literature in English Translation -- Passions and Fortunes in 19th-Century Paris

D. Sanyal

This course explores the experience and expression of urban modernity in 19th century Paris. Drawing on works by Balzac, Baudelaire, Zola and Rachilde along with readings in cultural criticism, literary theory and art history, we will focus on the novel as a laboratory for new forms of knowledge and representation. In these classic tales of the city, ambitious young men and women embark on a perilous journey of passion, fortune and education. Their trajectories shed light on key aspects of nineteenth-century urban life: the social possibilities opened up by revolution; the emergence of consumer culture; the shocks of industrialization; the texture of everyday life; shifting configurations of class struggle; gender and the demarcation of public and private space; the body as commodity and spectacle; new forms of visual culture. In the course of our readings we will also address the salient historical transitions and aesthetic movements of the period. All lectures and readings in English. Knowledge of French not required.

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147: Special Topics in French Linguistics -- La langue des médias

M. McLaughlin

The aim of this course is to investigate the language of the French news media using tools and methods from linguistics. We will examine three types of media: print media (newspapers, magazines, periodicals), broadcast media (radio, television) and digital media (websites, blogs, social media). We will look at the use of a whole range of linguistic features across the different media from different formatting and layout choices, through spelling and grammar to vocabulary. Examples of some of the most interesting features include words borrowed from English, the passive voice, regional or non-standard language, headline structure and different kinds of speech reporting. The course also includes a substantial research component which will give students the chance to design and execute their own investigation of a particular aspect of the language of the media. For additional information, please select the course title.

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148: Translation Methodology and Practice

M. McLaughlin

The discipline known as ‘translation studies’ is a relatively new field and yet it has much to offer the practicing translator. 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. One of the main methodological questions addressed by the course is how the practice of translation varies according to genre: from the translation of poetry, through scientific translation to subtitles and dubbing in film. For additional course information, please select title.

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170: French Films – Introduction to Cinema

U. Dutoit

This course will consider cinema as the art of movement, and violence and sensuality as manifestations of this movement. We will study the basic vocabulary of cinematographic language using films by Renoir, Vigo, Resnais and Godard. The interactions of the different mechanisms of film language will allow us to explore the creation of non-passive cinema. In addition to scheduled course meetings there is a weekly screening on Wednesdays, 4-6. For a more detailed description, please select course title.

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180B: French Civilization -- Louis XIV, Versailles, and the Culture of Absolutism

N. Paige

In 1661, following the death of his prime minister Mazarin, the young Louis XIV decided not to appoint a successor; instead, he would exercise personally what he called le mĂ©tier de roi. Louis’s subsequent reign, which comprised an unprecedented reorganization of state institutions, has since been seen as both an end and a beginning. An end, because these years brought to its apogee a type of monarchical power, now known as “absolutism,” that was already in steep decline even before the king’s death in 1715; a beginning, because on another level the political and cultural world under Louis XIV evolved in a decidedly modern direction. This class will examine the cultural ferment of this time, a ferment that took place both with and against absolutism. We’ll study the royal culture of spectacle—notably the chateau and gardens of Versailles—and read texts both by people who lived at court and by those who could only speculate about what went on there. We’ll spend time with the two great playwrights whose careers were profoundly bound up in Louis XIV’s patronage, Racine and MoliĂšre. And we will look at critiques of courtly spectacle and the emergence of a new, post-absolutist conception of the world that looks forward to the Enlightenment’s private pleasures. Books on order will be supplemented by primary and secondary resources on bCourses, as well as a number of films. For additional course information, please select title.

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183A: Configurations of Crisis -- Crises of Convention in Pre-revolutionary France

D. Hult

This class will study a sequence of high-profile literary quarrels, debates and causes célÚbres, extending from the Middle Ages to the late seventeenth century, that served to crystallize prevailing notions of propriety, decency, verisimilitude and what might generally be called the "natural"--in the face of works that seemed to flout convention through their promotion of what their critics deemed obscene, unnatural or unrealistic. In each case we will proceed through the reading of a text and a critical analysis of documents surrounding that text. Cases will include: the Quarrel over the Romance of the Rose instigated by Christine de Pizan (15th century); the fictional "trial" of the Belle Dame sans Mercy of Alain Chartier (15th century); Du Bellay's Défense et illustration de la langue française as a polemical rejection of the language and poetry of the Middle Ages, one of numerous treatises spread across the first half of the sixteenth century that set the stage for the codification of the French language as we have come to know it; Corneille's Le Cid and the ensuing debate involving the recently formed Académie Française, which helped to set the foundations for "classical" theater; Mme de Lafayette's Princesse de ClÚves and the polemical responses it elicited. Readings and class discussions will be in French (Medieval works in modern French translation; later works in the original language). For additional course information, please select course title

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Graduate

245A: Early Modern Studies -- Authors, Readers and Censors in Early Modern Europe -- From the Printing of Books to the Management of Information (1450-1800)

D. Blocker, D. Pirillo

This seminar introduces students to the fundamentals of book history (the invention of the printing press, the material forms of the book, and the development and control of the book market), but also to what in the field is now called scribal culture, that is the continued circulation of manuscripts during the age of the printing press and, more generally, the lasting and constant competition between books and manuscripts in the high culture of early modern Europe. The class mainly investigates the development of the book and manuscript markets in light of the larger question of how the Renaissance and the early modern period came to terms with the ‘overload of information’ that marked the early age of print, adopting new strategies to gather, store and appropriate knowledge. Particular attention will be dedicated to examining how information (mundane, political, literary and artistic, scientific, etc) was produced and circulated, the guises under which it travelled, the ways in which it was policed and how it was received. For a more detailed description and additional course information, please select title.

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251: Francophone Literature -- Littérature Francophone algérienne entre fiction et Histoire.

S. Tlatli

Dans ce sĂ©minaire, nous Ă©tudierons un ensemble de textes francophones algĂ©riens Ă  partir d’une problĂ©matique historique, philosophique et littĂ©raire. Il s’agira d’analyser l’écriture de l’histoire, les reprĂ©sentations de la violence, ainsi que la question de l’appartenance nationale, Ă  travers des rĂ©cits de fiction. Nos analyses nous conduiront Ă©galement Ă  lire des textes historiques, philosophiques et psychanalytiques afin de mieux cerner la pertinence des rĂ©cits littĂ©raires que nous lirons. La pĂ©riode historique que nous couvrirons s'Ă©tend de la conquĂȘte d’Alger jusqu'Ă  la pĂ©riode contemporaine. Les principaux auteurs que nous lirons sont: Kateb Yacine, Assia Djebar, Mohammed Dib, Tahar Djaout et Nabile Fares.

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265A: Modern Studies -- Proust

S. Guerlac

In this seminar we will focus on just reading Proust. You will have a Reader with extensive selections taken from all the volumes of the Recherche. You can of course read more if you choose, filling in as much as you are able toward the ambitious goal of reading the entire Recherche. But this will not be required. Careful study of the extensive selections will give you a very good sense of the scale, movement and complexity of the work as a whole. We will try to read it afresh, not as a novel of recollection -- of loss and recuperation though art -- but as a novel of adventure where the adventure is living in time. There will be some critical readings, but the focus will be on careful study of the primary text with attention to a range of issues including memory, photography, sexuality, desire, improvisation, war, anti-semitism and general craziness. For additional course information, please select title.

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274: Traditions of Critical Thought -- French Theory

E. Colon

This seminar will introduce students to recent theoretical texts written in French and investigate their relationships with the “French Theory” of the 1960s and 1970s. Starting with a few key readings in French Theory, we will map out the different theoretical positions and philosophical traditions that the term covered, while also interrogating this very denomination to replace it in the American context of its creation, and the French context of its production. This will be a point of departure for a study of major theoretical texts written in French from the 1990s onwards, which will be contextualized in relation to earlier tendencies in French thought. For additional course information, please select 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. This course provides a forum for discussing issues in language pedagogy, and experience in creating and adapting instructional materials and designing tests for use in the UC Berkeley French language program. GSIs are also required to attend a pilot class, taught by Seda Chavdarian, on select dates and as indicated on the lesson plans. For additional course information, please select 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. French 303 provides a forum for discussing issues in language pedagogy, and experience in creating and adapting instructional materials and designing tests for use in the UC Berkeley French language program. Also provides training in webdesign and preparation for the job market. One two-hour meeting per week. For additional course information, please select course title.

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