Course Offerings Spring 2011

FREN 102 Elementary French II

Pr. Davis-Medevielle/ A.Leruth

An introduction to the French language designed to de­velop basic communicative competence in speaking and writing skills, and basic listening and reading comprehension of cultural materials. Preliminary introduction to selected aspects of the Francophone world. Four class hours.

FREN 151  Freshman Seminar: Ecology and Environment in French/Francophone Cinema

Pr. Fauvel 

What is the ecological agenda of recent French Blockbusters of various genres such as "Home" (2009), "Winged Migration" (2001), or "Darwin's Nightmare" (2009)? How do they represent contemporary environmental issues such as recycling, human and animal rights, natural ressources, etc.?

In French. Non prerequisite in Film Studies.


FREN 202 Intermediate French II

Pr. Eilderts

Continued review of basic French grammar through development of writing, speaking and comprehension skills, with additional emphasis on cultural and literary readings. Four class hours. Pre-requisite: French 201 or placement.

FREN 210 From Word to Text


Continued development of all four language skills, with a special emphasis on reading and writing. This course will incorporate work with applied grammar, interactive video, film, and French and Francophone readings. Pre-requisite: French 202 or equivalent.

FREN 212 Cross Cultural Perspectives

Pr. A Leruth

An introduction to comparative cultural studies of the Francophone world. An exploration of the rich cultural exchanges among Francophone communities with an emphasis on their geographical, historical and social contexts. Sustained attention to oral and written expression. Pre-requisite: French 202 or equivalent.

FREN 290 - Themes and Issues in the French and the Francophone World

Prof. Pacini: The French Revolution

A new 200-level ‘topics' course which counts for a major or minor in French! This seminar is open to students who have already taken FREN 151 or 202 at the College, or who have taken (or received credit equivalent to) at least four years of high-school French. This fall we will explore the history and importance of the French revolution through an analysis of different media. We will investigate the ways in which the revolutionaries defined French identity, patriotism, and political authority. We will decipher some of the fundamental symbols and political narratives of this period. In the process, we will address methodological questions such as how to interpret cultural objects (i.e. revolutionary clothing) as meaningful "texts." We will also consider the international dimensions of the French revolution (in the Caribbean in particular): we will therefore discuss late eighteenth-century debates on race and slavery. Taught in French.

FREN 301 Life in Montpellier

Pr. M.Leruth

This course has two primary objectives.  The first will be to familiarize the students with Montpellier and the surrounding Languedoc region prior to their departure.  It will therefore be constructed as a practical guide to life in Montpellier, the organization and logistics of the summer program, and Franco-American cultural differences they are likely to encounter in everyday situations while in France.  This will include material about the city itself (geography, demographics, historical background), public transportation, shopping for necessities, historical and cultural sites to visit, the Mediterranean beaches, Paul Valery University and IEFE (institute for foreign students), the host family program, safety issues, and how to handle emergencies.  The second major objective will be for the students to develop the topic of their independent cultural research project to be completed as French 302 on site in Montpellier.  The course will meet approximately once a week for 1 hour 20 minutes beginning March 1.

FREN 305 The Craft of Writing

Pr. Kulick/ Medevielle

This course is designed to develop the art of writing in French in more sophisticated prose than in lower level courses. You will focus on improving your writing proficiency in French in different modes of expression (narration, description, argumentation, exposition, etc.). Writing assignments will include a wide range of topics (architecture, nature, the environment, portraits, autobiographical writing, etc.) and each will be supported by specific activities to develop and refine appropriate vocabulary and grammatical structures. Through practical exercises and peer-editing, as well as reflection and revising, you will focus on writing French in coherent, extended discourse with lexical flexibility, rhetorical skills, and style.

FREN 314  Introduction to French Cultural Studies (GER 4a, 5)

Pr. Fauvel

This course will introduce students to the field of French Cultural Studies through an analysis of evolving constructs of French national identity. As it examines different aspects of France's history, literature, politics, cinema, visual and material culture, FR 314 will familiarize students with French texts and objects for analysis, as well as with the critical concepts and methodologies associated with interdisciplinary cultural studies. Organized around key moments in the elaboration of the French national idea, each unit will focus on a representative figure or text in which the shifting borders of French identity can be read.

FREN 315  Literature in its Cultural Context (GER4A; GER5) 

Pr. Medevielle

 French Literature in Its Cultural Contexts In addition to reading masterpieces from the French canon, this course will examine the material, social, legal, economic, and ideological forces that shaped France's literary culture over the centuries.

FREN332 / WMST390-02  Scandalous Women

Pr. Pacini

In this course we will examine representations of women in early modern fiction. We will focus on literary heroines who provoked public outrage in order to understand contemporary debates about proper behavior, and the relative importance of nature and culture in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century discourse. Ultimately this course will trace a history of women’s lives, focusing on topics such as: their education; marriage, child-bearing, and divorce; possibilities for work and political engagement; convent life; the risk of prostitution. Readings will include masterpieces of the literary canon such as Le Cid; La Princesse de Clèves; Lettres d’une Péruvienne, and La Religieuse. We may also examine contemporary paintings, philosophical writings, and some infamous caricatures of the Queen of all scandals: Marie Antoinette. Course taught in French.

FREN 363  Social Trends

Pr. Leruth


This course will examine major social and cultural trends in France over the past 20 years, placed in a broader historical context.  It will consider how France has become a more complex, diverse, divided, and dynamic country than certain stereotypes suggest.  Examples of topics to be considered include education, family life, gender, class, and generational differences, multiculturalism, immigration, identity politics, urban life, new forms of community,  the evolution of value systems, work, leisure, media, and popular culture.  The course will be based predominantly on current articles from the French press but will also incorporate scholarly texts, online materials, and relevant films.  Taught in French.

FREN 411 Independant Studies


FREN 412 Teaching Practicum


FREN 450   Senior Seminar: Religion, Securalism, Pluralism

Pr. M.Leruth


This course will focus on four areas.  First, it will examine different faith communities in France today and their impact on public and private identities.  Second, it will consider how these communities and the broader highly secularized society relate to the principle of laïcité, which is not only the French concept of the separation of Church and State but a faith tradition in its own right.  Third, it will look at some of the new ways in which spirituality is being expressed in French culture.  Fourth, it will introduce students to what some of France’s most original contemporary thinkers have been writing about religion and belief.  Examples include Michel de Certeau, Marcel Gauchet, Régis Debray, Danièle Hervieu-Léger, and Jocelyne Césari.  The course will use articles from the French press, scholarly texts, online materials, and a number of French films.  Taught in French.