Courses available in French

Courses

Le voyage n'est nécessaire qu'aux imaginations courtes.

—Colette

2020 Fall

Graduate | Pedagogical

Undergraduate

1: Elementary French, first semester

D. Hoffmann 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 & R1B: English Composition through French Literature in Translation -- Fall sections in process

S. Maslan in Charge

Course descriptions and scheduled sections of French R1A and R1B will be added in late May -- please check back! French R1A/R1B fulfill the first and second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement in the College of Letters and Science. Classes conducted in ENGLISH.

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2: Elementary French, second semester

D. Hoffmann 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. For additional information, please click on course title.

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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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43B: Aspects of French Culture -- Arts of the Border: Visions of Migration in Film, Photography and Film

D. Sanyal

In this course we will follow the journeys of refugees attempting to cross borders into Europe. Using contemporary film, fiction, photography, the press, virtual reality platforms and other experimental forms of visual art, we will explore the experiences and stories of those on the move. How are people fleeing violence trapped by land and sea borders? How do they confront and challenge these borders? How do their attempts to cross borders invent new ways of thinking about place and belonging? How is our view of the “refugee crisis” and the “immigrant threat” shaped by imagery in the media? How might artworks change these visions? Some but not all of the works we will study are from the French-speaking world. Readings include Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, UC Berkeley’s featured book for On the Same Page (free copies for Fall 2020 Freshmen). For additional details, please click on course title. Course offered in English. Knowledge of French not required.

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80: The Cultural History of Paris

E. Colon

This class will offer students an in-depth exploration of the urban artifact that is Paris. That is, rather than attending to a selection of events having transpired in Paris over its history, we will be proceeding “forensically,” peeling back what is visible to today’s observer in order to uncover the competing ambitions, economic pressures, and ideologies that have produced one of the most visited cities in the world. Thus, students can expect to gain knowledge of the city’s built environment and how and why it looks like it does. We will be reading a variety of texts (novels, plays, and memoirs or parts thereof; poems; ephemeral pieces; selections from architectural, historical and sociological studies), viewing a number of films, and looking at a lot of visual works (paintings, engravings, maps). Course taught in English; knowledge of French not required. For additional details, please click on course title.

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102: Reading and Writing in French, 2 sections

M. McLaughlin; S. Maslan

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

Course Description: This class is an historical and literary survey of French colonialism during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will first explore the main ideological aspects of French colonialism based on a reading of the anthology edited by Blanchard and Lemaire, Culture coloniale en France de la Révolution française à nos jours. We will then analyze a few literary texts such as L’amant by Duras, Le premier homme by Camus, and Oran Langue morte, by Djebar. We will also explore the importance of cinema in the resistance against colonialism, in films such as: “La Bataille d’Alger,” “Avoir vingt ans dans les Aures,” “Drawning by bullets,” and “Indigènes.” For additional details, please click on course title.

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116A: Sixteenth-Century Literature -- Poetry and Politics in Renaissance France, from Clément Marot to François de Malherbe (1530-1630)

D. Blocker

This class explores wide selections of the works of five major 16th century French poets (Clément Marot, Joachim du Bellay, Pierre de Ronsard, Agrippa d’Aubigné and François de Malherbe), examining both how they relate to power in their writings and in what ways their positions as court poets allowed them to work towards the renewal of French poetry more generally. Their poetry is read in modernized editions, with a focus on careful close-reading and contextualization. This class will please 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 additional course details, please click on course title.

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120B: Twentieth-Century Literature -- Literature & Colonialism

K. Britto

In this course we will read a number of twentieth-century novels published in the last decades of the French empire, all of which are set in colonized territories. Produced in a variety of modes and genres (autobiographical fiction, roman d’aventures, philosophical novel, quasi-ethnography, journal novel), these novels emerge out of a variety of cultural situations and geographic locations (including Southeast Asia, the Maghreb, and sub-Saharan Africa), and were written by authors positioned differently with respect to the opposition between colonizer and colonized. In our discussions, we will consider the historical specificity of each text while remaining open to insights made possible by reading comparatively; in other words, our goal will be to analyze individual texts while attempting to be attentive to common textual strategies, formal elements, and practices of representing colonial space, dynamics of power, and cultural difference. For additional details, please click on course title.

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

N. Paige

This course will introduce students to a number of classic films of the French New Wave, perhaps the most important and emblematic moment in modern cinema, and still a point of reference for filmmakers ranging from Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese to Alfonso Cuarón and Wong Kar-Wai. Along the way, we will look at the theoretical and cultural factors that help explain this extraordinary flowering of filmmaking talent in the late 1950s and early 1960s; and we will also be reading some important short essays from the period that will help bring the films’ originality into focus. Movies screened will include works by Truffaut, Godard, Varda, Demy, Rohmer, Maker, and others. For additional details, please click on course title.

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141: [course moved from fall 2020 to spring 2021] French Studies in an International Context -- The Virus and the Plague: Epidemics in French Literature.

D. Sanyal

[updated 4/21/2020 This course will be offered spring 2021 instead of fall 2020. Details of days/times will be available in late August.] "He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good," ~Albert Camus. What does it mean to read Albert Camus’s classic The Plague and other French literary accounts of epidemics in a time of coronavirus? In this class, we will study the representation of disease in French literature, with a focus on what can be “learned from books” in the COVID19 pandemic. We will read fiction, poetry, memoir and films that engage with syphilis, cholera, the AIDS crisis, and other real or fictional epidemics. We will consider the literal presence of disease in these works, that is to say, their epidemiology, and how the disease signifies something else, that is to say, its status as allegory. We will consider these works in light of the imaginative, critical and mobilizing resources they can provide in an unprecedented global crisis, one that we hope will be in the past by the time we begin our class. Course taught in ENGLISH. For additional details, 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. Le but sera de présenter des concepts et des outils essentiels qui permettront une exploration ultérieure plus approfondie. For additional details, please click on course title.

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170: French Films — Introduction to French Cinema

D. Young

This class introduces students to the history of French-language cinema. Since the first public projection in the Grand Café in Paris in 1895, French cinema has played a key role in defining the artistic possibilities of the medium. In this course, we will watch influential works from each decade, spanning narrative, experimental, and documentary forms, as well as films that challenge these distinctions. Each screening will be accompanied by critical and theoretical readings that place the films in their social, political, artistic, and intellectual contexts. Topics include early cinema, Occupation-era and postwar cinema, the French New Wave, the rise of feminist film-making, French queer cinema, postcolonial cinema, and cinema in the age of digital media. For additional details, 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 2015-2016.

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". We will read literary works, see films, and study current essays. We will also read journalistic articles, view public television shows, and listen to radio programs. The two main goals of the course are 1) to investigate France’s complex historical relationship to religion over four centuries, and 2) to examine whether this relationship can in any way explain why the country recently became a central ideological target for Islamic terrorism. For additional course details, please click on course title.

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180D: French Civilization -- Appels, discours, manifestes -- l’écriture à l’état d’urgence

E. Colon

In this course, we will explore what happens to our ideas about language and our social imaginaries when artists, writers and thinkers respond to the exigencies of their contemporary moment. We will read texts and study cultural objects that have been crafted in response to the crises, transformations, and situations of emergency that have affected France and the Francophone world from the outbreak of WW1 to the COVID-19 outbreak. For additional details, please click on course title.

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197, section 1: Field Studies -- Tutoring in French, First Year

D. Hoffmann

Tutors enrolled in French 197 will be responsible for 2 hours per week of drop-in tutoring for French 1 and French 2 in the French UG Resource Center. Student tutors will also be responsible for attending meetings with the course supervisor and for maintaining regular email communication with their supervisor. 2 units. For additional information, please click on course title.

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197, section 2: Field Studies -- Tutoring in French, Second Year

V. Rodic

Tutors enrolled in French 197 will be responsible for 2 hours per week of drop-in tutoring for French 3 and French 4 in the French UG Resource Center. Student tutors will also be responsible for attending meetings with the course supervisor and for maintaining regular email communication with their supervisor. For additional details, please click on course title.

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Graduate

200: Proseminar

D. Sanyal 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 additional details, please click on course title.

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201: History of the French Language

M. Mclaughlin

This course covers the history of the French language from its Latin roots through to contemporary usage. Both internal and external history will be considered so that students acquire a firm grounding in the linguistic evolution of the language, coupled with an understanding of its development in relation to a range of social and cultural phenomena. The course will be structured around our analysis of the wide range of texts from different genres presented by Ayres-Bennett (1996) and which date from 842 CE to the present day. We will use the relatively new historical sociolinguistic approach to try to capture what Anthony Lodge (2009) has called “une image multidimensionnelle de la langue du passé”. For additional details, please click on course title.

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240A: Studies in 18th Century Literature -- The Literary Construction of Human Rights in France

S. Maslan

In 1789 the revolutionary French National Assembly drafted and promulgated the world’s first formal declaration of Human Rights. In this course we will think about the status of literature in an era before the category of human rights had emerged, when, that is, rather than representing violations of human rights, literature plays a crucial role in the development of human rights thinking. This course will focus on a variety of literary constructions of the figures of the human and of the citizen and of the different ways in which these two figures were related to each other. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.

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265A: Modern Studies -- The Surrealist Movement – Literature, Psychoanalysis and Politics

S. Tlatli

In this seminar we will consider the surrealist group as well as its poetic and political influence from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. We will first pay a particular attention to the relationship between literature and psychoanalysis as well as to the specificity of the surrealist image. We will then focus our attention towards the ongoing exchange between Freud, Lacan, Breton and Dali. We will also discuss the political importance of the surrealist group in the ideological struggle against French colonialism. Finally, we will turn our attention towards the influence of the surrealist movement on francophone writers. For additional details, please click on course title.

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Pedagogical

301: Teaching French in College: First Year

V. Rodic

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. The two-hour weekly meetings consist of a one hour lecture/discussion and a one hour practicum. GSIs are also required to attend a pilot class, taught by Seda Chavdarian, on select dates and as indicated on the lesson plans. Enrollment in this course is required for GSIs in their first semester of teaching in the French Department. For additional details, please click on course title.

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