Courses available in French


Il ne faut jamais avoir peur d'aller trop loin car la vérité est au-delà.


French 171B: A Concept in French Cultural History — Slavery and Colonialism in the French Eighteenth Century


Readings will include: Prévost, L’Histoire d’une grecque moderne; Voltaire, Le Dictionnaire philosophique; Voltaire, Candide; Raynal, L’Histoire politique et philosophique des deux Indes; Chamfort, Le Marchand de Smyrne; Diderot, Le Supplément au voyage de Bougainville; Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Paul et Virginie, Duras, Ourika.

Course Description:

The eighteenth century, the era that produced the French and the American Revolutions, was an age of global commerce and exchange.  Much of that commerce centered on the slave trade and the new world colonies.  This course will study fictional and non-fictional texts that represented and examined the practices and meanings of slavery and colonialism.  We will study the way French writers explored the moral, political, emotional, ethical, and economic conflicts slavery and colonialism produced.  We will trace the ways in which literary texts sought to convey the “otherness” of the subjects of slavery and colonialism and the literary consequences of such representations.  We will also read letters and memoirs of those who participated in or witnessed French colonial and slave societies.


French 102 or consent of instructor.

Additional information:

This course satisfies one “Culture” or one “Elective” requirement in the French major. Course also satisfies one Historical Period Requirement in French Major.  Satisfies College of Letters and Science breadth in Social and Behavioral Sciences or Historical Studies. Priority enrollment for declared French majors.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes