Courses available in French


Le soleil est rare et le bonheur aussi l'amour s'égare au long de la vie.


French 103B: Language and Culture — Class and Gender on the French Stage


more details forthcoming, please check back!

Course Description:

How did the French see class and gender difference performed on the stage?  In the theater, after all, where everyone is playing a part, what does it mean that a lowly actress might play the part of a queen?  What happens when, onstage, a slave and a master exchange costume and position? What about cross-dressing? How did plays create and negotiate gender roles?  How were actors and actesses (who came from the lower classes up until the 20th century), regarded by the public?  When was “celebrity” invented?  What did it mean to ordinary people in the audience to see actors and characters violate the norms and expectations of class and gender hierarchy? Did theater turn the social world upside down?  Did it provide a safety valve to let pent up social pressures escape?

In this class we will study about 5 plays together.  We will start with Molière and work our way up to the twentieth century.  We will watch performances on video, as well as read the texts.


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 1 “Elective” requirement in the French major.  Satisfies course requirement in French Minor.  Satisfies 1 “Historical Period” requirement in French major.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes