Courses available in French


Tout est dit, et l'on vient trop tard.

—La Bruyère

French 139: Creative Writing in French — “Spaces of Memory”


Course Reader:   will include readings connected to the specific themes and tasks at hand.  These excerpts will likely include passages from Rousseau, Proust, Colette, Montaigne, Duras, Ernaux and Edouard Louis among others.

Course Description:

Borrowing from historian Pierre Nora’s idea of “lieux de mémoire” (privileged spaces for the construction of collective memory), we will undertake a creative exploration of writing our individual inventory of spaces of memory.  Just as Nora’s way of looking at French history works from the meaning of spaces, broadly conceived, we will bypass chronological narrative and the autobiographical storyline in order to engage in a kind of individual mapmaking.

The exploration of spaces of memory will take us through elements of the creative writing process and we will work on the craft of writing via pastiche, targeted exercises, free writing, rewriting and editing.  Students will engage in a practice of daily composition to gain fluency and ease in writing creatively in French.  Collaborative activities will include discussing drafts with other students.  At the end of the semester, students will assemble a collection of their “lieux de mémoire” and contribute to a class anthology.


French 102 or equivalent.

Additional information:

This course satisfies one “Elective” course requirement in the French major.  Satisfies one course requirement in French minor.  Students completing minor in Creative Writing should consult with minor adviser regarding course approval for Creative Writing minor.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes