Courses available in French

Courses

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

—Glissant

2018 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 -- This Land is Mine: Contending Territory, Contending Narrative

M. Arrigo

In literature and cinema, fictional retelling remains a powerful tool for contesting dominant narratives. This course aims to look at how textual production has served to aid in questioning the dominant and imagined mapping of territories and narrations tied to them. Satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH. For more details, please click on course title.

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R1A, section 2: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- Reading Between -- Finding Form in the Interstices of French and Anglophone Literature and Visual Media

V. Bergstrom

In this course, we will undertake a sustained practice of reading between: between lines, between chapters, between film frames and between artworks arranged in an exhibit. In doing so, we will attend to the ways blank space—be it typographic, photographic, aural, physical, or indeed psychic—functions technically to produce relations between form and content, to distinguish one medium from another (e.g. celluloid film vs. digital), and to define genres within a given medium (e.g. poetry vs. prose). Throughout the semester, we will interrogate preconceived ideas of negative and positive space in works of literature and visual media, and develop analytical tools for confronting works that challenge that distinction in various ways. Satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH. For more details, please click on course title.

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R1A, section 3: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- The Roots of Objectivity and Scientific Language

T. Blakeney

This course will trace the discursive roots of the modern forms of scientific knowledge. Why are some forms of knowledge deemed “scientific” while others are not? What kinds of linguistic practices make a text appear objective? What methods? Does our definition of objectivity change over time? How does scientific knowledge relate to state power? How can literary reading methods be applied to scientific texts, and what can we learn from these close readings? Satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH. For more details, please click on course title.

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R1B, section 1: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- “Surrounded by Unknown Things” -- Narratives of Panic, Paranoia, and Mistaken Identity

T. Sanders

In this course, we will encounter written and visual texts whose unreliable narration, unsettling narratives, and enigmatic endings summon the reader to intervene in the story. If the characters in these works find themselves questioning their reality, we as readers are pulled into their world and are faced with task of constructing a coherent narrative — and meaning — of our own. French R1B satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH (for more details, please click on course title)

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R1B, section 2: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- Ut Pictura Poesis, Paris-New York: Trans-Atlantic exchanges between Poets and Painters, 1850 to the present.

M. Evans

Ut Pictura Poesis, “As is painting, so is poetry” In this course we’ll examine the poetic tradition often called ekphrasis (poetry about the visual arts, painting most often) as it informs the cultural exchanges between poets writing in America and France, above all the two competing capitols of the art world, Paris and New York. Focusing on ekphrastic poems and poets’ art criticism, we’ll explore how poets use writing about painting to articulate their about what poetry is and what its relationship to the world is or could be. 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, section 3: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- SPOILER ALERT -- The Text as Object of Study

K. Levine

We will begin this course with the question of what it means to read a text analytically – how does reading “critically” differ from reading “for pleasure”? In this R1B, the second of the Reading and Composition requirements, you will develop your skills in research-based literary analysis through seminar-style class discussions, one-on-one meetings with your instructor, and peer workshops. The selection of French texts in translation we will read come from a range of historical periods, from the medieval to the modern, and all take an interesting variety of forms, from lyric poetry to epistolary novel. French R1B satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH. For more details, 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 -- Surfing the French New Wave

N. Paige

The French New Wave is perhaps the most emblematic moment in modern cinema, one that continues to inspire filmmakers from Los Angeles to Teheran to Hong Kong. This seminar will give students the opportunity to explore a dozen or so movies from this extraordinary flowering of filmmaking talent in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Films discussed include works by Godard, Truffaut, Varda, Rohmer, and Resnais, just to name a few. We will also be reading some important short essays from the period that will help bring the films’ preoccupations into focus. Course taught in ENGLISH. Students will be able to stream subtitled versions of the films on their own schedules. No knowledge of French is expected. For more details, please click on course title.

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43B: Aspects of French Culture -- Introduction to French Cinema

D. Young

This class, taught in English, with movies in English subtitles, introduces students to the history of French (and francophone) cinema. While emphasizing formal analysis, we will approach cinema as one of the key cultural technologies that has shaped our contemporary ways of imagining race, class, gender, sexuality, love, the family, the nation, friendship, and life under capitalism. Occasional mandatory on-site film screenings Mondays 4-7 in some weeks, with streaming options available in other weeks. For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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102: Writing in French, 3 sections

N. Paige; R. Shuh; sec. 3 TBA

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 -- Writing and Filming the French Empire

S. Tlatli

Dans ce cours, nous analyserons la problématique qui accompagne la création et la consolidation de l’empire colonial français pendant les dix-neuvième et vingtième siècles. Notre matériel sera aussi bien littéraire que cinématographique. For a more detailed descrition, please click on course title.

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116A: Sixteenth-Century Literature -- Poetry and Politics in Renaissance France

D. Blocker

This class will carefully explore excerpts of the works of five major poets of 16th century France (Clément Marot, Joachim du Bellay, Pierre de Ronsard, Agrippa d’Aubigné and François de Malherbe.) Their poetry will be read in modernized editions and the focus will be on careful close-reading and contextualization, rather than on reading exhaustively. This class is suited to all lovers of poetry. But it will also interest students desirous to develop a contextualized understanding of French literary history. No prior knowledge of early modern French literature is necessary. For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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119B: Nineteenth-Century Literature -- The Prose Poem

S. Guerlac

In this course we will learn how the prose poem, initially inspired by formats of visual art (painted “tableaux,” but also photographs) evolved into explorations of language, meaning and “literarity.” After careful consideration of 19th-century poems, prose works and prose poems, with a central focus on the works of Baudelaire, we will end with prose poems by the celebrated 20th-century poet Paul Valéry. For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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142AC: The Cultures of Franco-America

K. Britto

In this course, we will consider a broad range of literary and cultural texts that emerge out of the long history of the French in North America and of Americans in France. Discussions will focus on the politics of representation— we will work to understand the processes through which categories of “race” are shaped over time through the interplay between Anglo- and Franco-American cultures and ideologies, even as these categories are challenged from the perspectives of minority populations. Course taught in English; no knowledge of French required. For a more detailed description, please click on course 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. By exception, Fall 2018: Satisfies Phonetics requirement in French major 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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171A: A Concept in French Cultural History -- Religious Fanaticism, Toleration, and "Laicity" in France from Wars of Religion to Terrorist Attacks.

D. Blocker

This course investigates the cultural lens through which the French tried to make sense of the terrorist attacks of 2015-2016, by engaging in the historical exploration of three tightly intertwined concepts in French history: religious fanaticism, toleration, and "laicity". For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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178A: Studies in French Film -- Histoire et cinéma en France (1900-2010)

V. Vignaux

Dans ce cours nous nous intéresserons aux relations entretenues par le cinéma et l’histoire au cours du XXe siècle, en France. En suivant une perspective chronologique, l’étude de textes ou de films, courts ou long métrages, documentaires ou fictions, mais aussi cinéma militant, nous permettra d’évoquer les grands moments de l’histoire de France au XXe siècle. weekly screening: Tuesdays, 4-6, B-4 Dwinelle. For a more detailed course description, please click on course title.

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180D: French Civilization -- Immigration and Migrations in Contemporary France

S. Tlatli

Dans ce cours, nous analyserons les problèmes théoriques, culturels et politiques liés à la question de l’immigration en France des populations issues du Maghreb et de l’Afrique. Les textes que nous lirons seront aussi bien historiques, sociologiques que littéraires. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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198: French for Future Doctors and Scientists (DeCal course)

H. Bhandal

This 2-unit DeCal course serves to provide students with a broad knowledge of vocabulary in the medical and scientific fields. It has been designed to prepare students interested in STEM to pursue careers that may require more specialized knowledge of French. This class will provide students with the foundation to prepare for the DFP Medical B2 exam. This course is conducted entirely in French. Please contact instructor with questions about preparation in French.

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Graduate

200: Proseminar

N. Paige in charge

This course gives new graduate students a broad view of the French Department faculty, the courses they teach, and their fields of research. In addition, it will introduce students to some practical aspects of their graduate career, issues that pertain to specific fields of research, and questions currently being debated across the profession. For more details, please click on course title.

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211A: 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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240A: Studies in 18th Century Literature – The French Revolution

S. Maslan

This seminar will be a deep dive into the world-historical event that gave birth to modernity: the French Revolution The seminar will offer students a foundation for understanding the extraordinary complexity of the Revolution itself. After getting up to speed quickly, we will devote most of our time to work on primary documents, works, and artefacts of the Revolution. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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250A: Studies in 19th-Century Literature -- Romanticisms

S. Guerlac

Although we speak of “romanticism” in the singular, many romanticisms can be said to occur in France in the course of the 19th century – not only a “first” and a “second” literary romanticism, (represented by Hugo and Baudelaire respectively) but also romanticisms of the right (Chateaubriand the early Hugo) and of the left (later Hugo, George Sand) and non literary romanticisms. In this seminar we will open up the term “romanticism” to include various kinds of cultural production with a focus on issues that include poetic voice, historical and cultural time, social justice, utopias and maledictions. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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260A: Studies in 20th-Century Literature -- Poetics of Memory from the Shoah to the Refugee ‘Crisis’

D. Sanyal

This course takes as its starting point the emergence of particular conceptions of memory in the aftermath of World War Two. How do the poetics of memory forged in a postwar culture of trauma and testimony shape contemporary frameworks for envisioning today’s refugee ‘crisis’? What do they illuminate, and what are the limits of their purchase on the contemporary moment? We will examine a range of cultural production with a particular focus on the following questions: How do various discourses of Holocaust memory, biopolitical theory, security, humanitarianism, and human rights help us think about bodies that are blocked, contained, or on the move? What happens to witnessing when it is transformed into aesthetic form? To what extent can cultural frames re-envision existing politics of representation when it comes to those who appear to have no rights? We will pursue these and other issues through close analysis of cultural productions (film, video, photography, fiction, poetry) along with writings in philosophy, biopolitics, aesthetics, human rights, citizenship studies, security studies and border studies. For more details, 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 additional details, please click on course title.

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