Courses available in French


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


French 161B: A Year in French History — Revolution and Terror (1793-1794)


Course Reader

Course Description:

For many of us, the grisly image of the guillotine stands for the French Revolution itself. But the guillotine cannot begin to answer the question “what was so revolutionary about the French Revolution?”  Why do so many historians consider the French Revolution to be the decisive rupture with the past and the origin of our political present?  The French Revolution was the first time that ordinary people played a central role on the stage of history. We will study the Revolution’s upending of political structures (the end of the monarchy and the creation of the first modern mass Republic) as well as its invention of new cultural and social forms.  We will study the Revolution’s effects on the family, religion, art, and even on language.  We will try to understand what the Terror was through our study of primary texts, images, and secondary readings.


French 102 or equivalent.

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 one course requirement in French minor.   Satisfies College of Letters and Science breadth in Social and Behavioral Sciences or Historical Studies or International Studies.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes