Courses available in French


Le soleil est rare et le bonheur aussi l’amour s’√©gare au long de la vie.

‚ÄĒ Gainsbourg

French 103A: Language and Culture — Fictions of Love (“W”)


Readings will include works by authors such as Ronsard, Louise Labé, Lamartine and Victor Hugo, Corneille, Mme de Lafayette, Colette, Balzac, Maupassant and Duras

Course Description:

Who can we love?  Who can we marry?  Does love drive us crazy?  Does love threaten our independence?  Is love an individual or a social phenomenon?  Does social class matter?  Where is the right place to be in love (or at least to describe it)?

We imagine love between people to be somehow universal, yet notions¬† (and experiences) of love vary enormously not only according to circumstances ‚Äď who is loving whom ‚Äď but also according historical and cultural situations, as well as gender. ¬†We shall see that the way love is written, or expressed, ¬†¬†also varies according to the ¬†conventions of different literary genres .We will examine various treatments of the theme of love from the Middle Ages to the¬† 20th c. , reading works in various genres, including poetry, prose ¬†(realist tales and fantastic tales) and the theatre.


Students must have either previously completed French 102 or its equivalent, or be concurrently enrolled in French 102. For additional placement information please see Placement Guidelines.

Additional Information:

Satisfies one Elective requirement.  Satisfies one Historical Period requirement in the French major if student written work emphasizes pre-18C works or topics.  Satisfies College of Letters and Science breadth in Arts and Literature.

This course is designated as ‚ÄúW‚ÄĚ (writing intensive)¬†in the French major course sequence.¬† There will be specific emphasis on grammar and composition skills.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes