Courses available in French

Courses

La poétique de la durée s’efforce d’apaiser l’hier fiévreux, de tramer ce lointain devenir.

— Glissant

2016 Fall

Graduate | Pedagogical

Undergraduate

1: Elementary French, first semester

S. 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 -- Movin’ On Up/ Falling (Back) Into Place -- Social Mobility and the Figure of the Parvenu

Z. Burris

The texts examined in this course will show that the processes of climbing the social ladder are, in fact, much more complicated than a mere act of will suggested by the American adage of “pulling oneself up by the bootstraps.” From Cinderella to Becky Sharp, from Julien Sorel to Jay Gatsby to the Rastignac who to this day lends his name to the French expression for an ambitious social climber, this course will examine (and revel in!) their dazzling triumphs on the social scene – and analyze their sometimes inevitable fall back into obscurity. French R1A 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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R1A, section 2: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- Teenage Dream: Literary Initiations of Sexuality

M. Phillips

How do authors tell stories of sexual exploration, discovery, rejection, desire and shame? How can writing help us to interpret and analyze these texts? French R1A 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 -- Imposters!

J. Singer

What happens when someone pretends to be someone else? This course will look at both literary and historical incidences of imposture through a series of primarily fictional texts. French R1B satisfies the second 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, sections 3 and 4: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- Demand the Impossible! France in the 1960s

M. Koerner

In this course we will study some of the turbulent events that occurred in France during the 1960s, including the massive student occupation of universities and the largest labor strike in French history in May ‘68. Situating these events in relation to their broader, international context in anti-colonial struggles, mass demonstrations against the wars in Algeria and Vietnam, as well as the emergence of postwar “consumer society” and what Guy Debord termed the “society of the spectacle”– this course offers students an overview of one of the most transformative decades of the twentieth century. In challenging traditional social norms and existing forms of authority and representation, young people across the globe began calling society into question. Through novels, philosophical texts, manifestos, films and poetry, this course investigates the legacies of these movements as well as the different historical narratives that have since come to frame these events. French R1B 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 click on course title.

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2: Elementary French, second semester

S. 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. Class conducted entirely in French. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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3: Intermediate French

V. 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 while introducing students to texts from the French and Francophone cultures. The course aims to promote cross-cultural understanding through the use of authentic materials such as literary works and journalistic texts, multimedia, film, pop songs, and television/radio broadcasts, and other cultural artifacts. Conducted in French. For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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4: Advanced Intermediate French

V. 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 enhance students' familiarity with French and Francophone literature. Emphasis is placed on the strengthening of oral and written expression in order to promote linguistic and cultural competences through an extensive grammar review and exploration of texts, visual and audio sources, multi-media, and other cultural artifacts. Course conducted in French. 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. Activities include oral presentations, debates, collaborative projects, language journals. Class conducted entirely in French.

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14: Advanced Conversation

R. Kern in charge

Listening, reading and discussion of French sociocultural realities including economics, politics, popular culture, and family life at the beginning of the 21st century. Oral presentations, debates, collaborative projects, regular journal entries and assignments. Class conducted entirely in French.

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24: Freshman Seminar -- The Digital Humanities in Practice: NOT Reading English Novels, 1750 to 1830

N. Paige

This Freshman Seminar will quickly introduce students to some issues in digital humanities before undertaking an actual project on the English novel from around 1750 to 1830. The nature of the project is quantitative: we won’t be reading novels, we’ll be tagging them for certain features and then making calculations. no particular digital expertise is necessary. Students will need only a laptop with wifi to bring to the class, which will be run as a lab. Eventually, the work undertaken in this lab will be incorporated into Professor Paige’s next book, where seminar participants will be duly credited. Come be part of the new wave of humanities research at Berkeley! Priority enrollment for Freshmen. No French required. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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43B: Aspects of French Culture -- French Culture and the History of Emotion

T. Hampton

From "Crimes of Passion" to existentialist melancholy the French have defined, in large measure, the ways in which western culture has understood and reflected on the emotions. Through a study of literature philosophy, painting, and film we will examine the ways in which different emotions have been understood and "located" in the self, as well as the ways in which writing about the emotions has shaped cultural history. Among the writers and artists to be studied: Montaigne, Descartes, LaFayette, Diderot, Stendhal, Proust, Barthes, LeBrun, David, Delacroix, and Manet. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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102: Writing in French, 3 sections

S. Maslan; N. Paiage; É. Colon

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 -- La question du colonialisme --- entre politique et fiction

S. Tlatli

Dans ce cours nous analyserons la manière dont des auteurs français et francophones du vingtième siècle posent la question de la colonisation, dans la littéraire, mais aussi de manière politique. For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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112B: Medieval Literature -- Continuity and Change in Thirteenth-Century French Literature

D. Hult

This course provides an introduction to medieval French literature, starting with some of the most important courtly works of the late twelfth century and tracing their adapations in selected major works of the thirteenth century. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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118B: Eighteenth Century French Literature -- Hearts, Minds, Bodies -- The French Novel in the Enlightenment

N. Paige

The Enlightenment was a moment of huge upheaval in relation between self, society, and the physical world: the “New Philosophy” of methodical doubt was brought to bear on European customs, religions, and beliefs, often in the hopes of aligning society with natural laws; and the gradual weakening of the société d’états (a kind of caste system of social division) necessitated new ways of thinking about what tied human beings together. We’ll be reading a series of key novels from the period that help bring this upheaval into focus. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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121B: Literary Themes, Genres, Structures -- "les banlieues"

É. Colon

In this course, we will focus on French contemporary culture from a particular vantage point: the Parisian suburbs. We will retrace the conflicting history of this space, from the 19th century onward, to explore the genealogy of the banlieues as a precarious space of social marginalization. For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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139: Creative Writing in French -- Writing the Autobiography

V. Rodic

This course offers an introduction to creative writing in French. Using their French language skills, students will work on producing elements of a personal narrative that will culminate with an autobiographical piece. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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140D: French Literature in English Translation -- French Writing and Social Concern

S. Guerlac

In this course we will study 19th and 20th century texts of various genres ---poetry, theatre, prose fiction and the essay -- that bring home to their readers a sense of urgency in relation to questions of social change, war, colonialism, anti-semitism, and social responsibility. We will examine how writing can make us think and feel beyond ourselves and our own immediate concerns. We will investigate questions such as the following: how does a writer convincingly express anger or social dissent? Is realism the only way to convey social concern? How does form affect meaning and the force of its communication? How can ambiguity become powerful and even makes us responsible ? What kind of literary devices does the writer of essays use to convince the reader of his or her point of view? No knowledge of French is required. All lectures and discussions in English. For a more detailed description, please click on title.

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146A: Introduction to French Linguistics

R. Kern

Ce cours est destiné aux étudiant(e)s qui désirent se familiariser avec les bases de la linguistique française. Aucune expérience en linguistique n’est requise, mais une bonne connaissance du français parlé et écrit s’impose. Le cours abordera les domaines principaux de la linguistique : la phonétique et la phonologie, la morphologie, la syntaxe, la sémantique, et la pragmatique, ainsi qu’une brève introduction à la sociolinguistique. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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161A: A Year in French History -- Literature and Politics under Cardinal Mazarin (1656-1659)

D. Blocker

This class offers an in-depth investigation of four years in French history, from a perspective that closely intertwines literary history, political history and social history. As the conflicts of the Fronde (1648-1652) — which seriously threatened royal authority — died down, the French monarchy was consolidated, but remained fragile because Louis XIX (1661-1715) was not yet old enough to rule. The years 1656-1659 can be studied as a laboratory in which new genres, new ideas and new forms of writing where experimented with by a number of writers whose role would become predominant under Louis XIV, while new understandings of the role of literary productions in the public sphere were also being tested. For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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170: French Films -- Introduction to French Cinema

D. Young

An introduction to the language of film analysis. We will examine how image, sound, and editing work together to produce narrative and non-narrative meanings in a range of film styles. We will consider examples from the history of French cinema, encountering some of its major movements, from poetic realism to the Nouvelle Vague For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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171A: A Concept in French Cultural History -- Religious Fanaticism, Toleration, and "Laïcité" in France from the Wars of Religion to the Terrorist Attacks of 2015

D. Blocker

This course investigates the cultural lens through which the French tried to make sense of the attacks of 2015, by engaging in the historical exploration of three tightly intertwined concepts in French history: religious fanaticism, toleration, and laicity. To do so, the class focuses on five formative historical moments in French culture: the wars of religion (and in particular the massacre of the Saint-Barthelemy, in 1572), the Edict of Nantes (1598) and its revocation (1685), the Enlightenment’s embracing of religious toleration (centered on a study of Voltaire’s position), the Revolution (which gave birth both to Terror and the concept of laicity) and the separation of Church and State (1905). The goal is to gain a better understanding both of France’s complex historical relationship to religion and of the reasons why this relationship might make this country a central ideological target for Islamic terrorism today. For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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183A: Configurations of Crisis -- Cultural Representations of Asylum in France

D. Sanyal

This course investigates the itineraries and narratives of refugees who are seeking asylum in France today. Contemporary fiction and film will help us reconstruct aspects of a refugee's flight from unlivable conditions and chart their perilous journey across land and sea into France. We will pay particular attention to the forms of personhood that emerge or are put into crisis by such experiences as clandestine passage, detention, surveillance and deportation, the stages of an asylum application, undocumented labor, etc. We will also consider the importance of narrative in organizing histories and selves in ways that are audible and visible for their place of sanctuary. These questions are pursued through readings of literature, cinema, testimony, theory and the press.

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185: Literature and Colonialism -- L’imaginaire colonial du dix-neuvième siècle au présent

S. Tlatli

Dans ce cours, nous étudierons l’imaginaire colonial français, c’est à dire la manière dont la France a affirmé et maintenu la nécessité de son empire colonial au moyen de l’éducation, de la propagande visuelle et écrite et des expositions coloniales. Nous analyserons également la manière dont certains auteurs tels que Marguerite Dumas et Albert Camus ont décrit la vie dans les colonies. En conclusion, nous interrogerons les effets de la colonisation sur la France contemporaine.

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Graduate

211: Reading and Interpretation of Old French Texts

D. Hult

Introduction to the study of medieval French language and literature of the 12th and 13th centuries. Through a careful analysis and critical interpretation of certain canonical works (La Chanson de Roland; Béroul and Thomas, Tristan; selected lais of Marie de France; selected romans of Chrétien de Troyes; Le Roman de la Rose) we will study Old French language and some main dialects; verse and prose composition; theories of the oral tradition; editorial problems; and the material aspects of the manuscript work (including some work on codicology and paleography). For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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245A: Early Modern Studies -- 17th and 18th Century Theater

S. Maslan

Theater was France’s pre-eminent art form from the seventeenth through the early nineteenth centuries. Theater was also a public, collective social experience as well as a cultural institution often in contention with other institutions—religious and political. We will study some major plays of the 17th and 18th centuries (Corneille, Racine, Moliere, Marivaux, Voltaire, Beaumarchais). We will seek to understand some of the important literary and aesthetic stakes of these works, as well as to investigate the social and political history of the theater (organization of theater troupes, audiences and their social composition, censorship practices, etc.). We will think about the role and the effects of genre (tragedy vs. comedy; the rise of “drame”). We will study contemporary debates about the theater and trace theater’s importance as a crucible for the formation and expression of public opinion.

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250A: Studies in 19th Century French Literature -- "Milieux" in Life and Literature

S. Guerlac

“The notion of milieu is becoming a universal and obligatory mode of apprehending the experience and existence of living beings; one could almost say it is now constituted as a category of contemporary thought” writes Foucault’s teacher, the historian of science Georges Canguilhem. In this seminar, we will investigate the emergence of the concept “milieu” and examine its impacts on literary practices. This will lead us to examine literary works from the perspective of boundaries between personal and social identity (questions of type and class, of language – who can say what and how? -- of character development and its limitations), as well as of relations between character and ambiance (physical, social and historical) all of which will require consideration of formal practices of literary description and narration. For a more detailed course description, please click on title.

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260A: Studies in 20th-Century Literature -- Cultural Forms of Testimony -- From the Shoah to the Current Refugee Crisis

D. Sanyal

This course takes as its starting point the emergence of a particular conception of testimony in the aftermath of World War Two. How do the poetics of testimony forged in a postwar culture of trauma and witnessing affect contemporary frameworks for envisioning today's refugee crisis? Theoretical writings (by Adorno, Arendt, Agamben, Derrida, Didier and Eric Fassin, Lanzmann, Rancière) will help us tease out some continuities and discontinuities between postwar debates on representation- in the artistic sense and the juridico-political sense- and contemporary reflections on the refugee crisis. For additional information, please click on course title.

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Pedagogical

301: Teaching French in College: First Year

S. Chavdarian

This course (1) provides participants with an understanding of basic principles of first- and second-language acquisition and the theoretical underpinnings of commonly used language teaching methods, and (2) offers inservice training in teaching, in creating and adapting instructional materials, and in designing tests for use in the Lower Division Program in French. For a more detailed description, please click on title.

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