French Courses

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(left to right Marcel Proust, Colette, Paul Eluard, Albert Camus, Simone De Beauvoir)

FR105: Basic Intensive French I This is a one-semester course for students with 0-2 years previous experience with the language.  Students learn a variety of vocabulary and grammar, concentrating upon the present tense.  The course provides students with a solid foundation in reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and introduces aspects of French and Francophone culture.  Lessons concentrate upon communicating effectively in the language and include a variety of structured and unstructured oral exercises, listening exercises, presentations and group conversation.  Students complete homework exercises through an online workbook that includes reading, writing, listening and speaking activities.  Pre-requisite: 0-2 years of high school instruction or permission of instructor.  Offered as required.

FR106: Basic Intensive French II  This is a one-semester course for students who have completed FR105 or who have 1-2 years of previous experience with the language.  Students learn a variety of vocabulary and grammar, including the past, future and conditional tenses. The course builds upon reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and introduces further aspects of French and Francophone culture.  Lessons concentrate upon communicating effectively in the language and include a variety of structured and unstructured oral exercises, listening exercises, presentations and group conversation. Students complete homework exercises through an online workbook that includes reading, writing, listening and speaking activities.  Pre-requisite: FR105, 1-2 years of high school instruction or permission of instructor.  Offered as required.
FR107: Accelerated Elementary French  This is a one-semester accelerated course that condenses the material covered in FR105 and FR106 into one semester.  This is a fast-paced course and is intended primarily for false beginners (learners who have had some previous instruction but who are still at the elementary level).  Students therefore elect to take FR105 and FR106, or to take FR107; at the end of each track, students will be at the Intermediate level.  Students learn a variety of vocabulary and grammar, including the present, past, future and conditional tenses. The course builds upon reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and introduces aspects of French and Francophone culture.  Lessons concentrate upon communicating effectively in the language and include a variety of structured and unstructured oral exercises, listening exercises, presentations and group conversation. Students complete homework exercises through an online workbook that includes reading, writing, listening and speaking activities. Pre-requisite: 1-2 years of high school instruction or permission of instructor.  Offered every Spring semester.
FR111: Intermediate French I  This is a one-semester course for students who have completed both FR105 and FR106, or those who have completed FR107, or those who have 3 years of previous experience with the language.  Students consolidate their knowledge of the present and past tenses (passé compose, imparfait and plus-que-parfait) and learn a variety of vocabulary that relates to contemporary culture (telecommunications, commerce and art, for example).  The course includes films and literary passages such as short stories to supplement students’ exposure to different registers and to extend their cultural awareness.  Lessons concentrate upon communicating effectively in the language and include a variety of structured and unstructured oral exercises, listening exercises and group conversation. Students complete homework exercises through an online workbook that includes reading, writing, listening and speaking activities.  This course includes a conversation class that requires one additional hour per week.  Pre-requisite: FR106, FR107, 3 years of high-school instruction or permission of instructor.  Offered every fall semester.
FR112: Intermediate French II  This is a one-semester course for students who have completed both FR111 or those who have 3-4 years of previous experience with the language.  Students consolidate their knowledge of the future and conditional tenses, are introduced to the subjunctive, and learn a variety of vocabulary that relates to contemporary culture (cinema, travel and the Francophone world, for example).  The course includes films and literary passages such as short stories to supplement students’ exposure to different registers and to extend their cultural awareness.  Lessons concentrate upon communicating effectively in the language and include a variety of structured and unstructured oral exercises, listening exercises and group conversation. Students complete homework exercises through an online workbook that includes reading, writing, listening and speaking activities.  In particular, they are introduced to writing skills that enable them to write cogently in response to literary and non-literary texts, and to prepare them for the expectations of writing at the advanced level.  This course includes a conversation class that requires one additional hour per week.  Successful completion of this course is required for students to be able to study abroad in France or a Francophone country.  By the end of this course, students will be at the Advanced level and are prepared to take FR231: Advanced French Composition and Conversation I. Pre-requisite: FR111, 3-4 years of high-school instruction or permission of the instructor.  Offered every spring semester.

FR 230(I) The Art of the Flaneur: Paris in Literature, Art And Film.  In this course, we will study how Paris has been represented in art, literature and film.  Paris is a mythic space in the French imagination: a place of creation, of intellectual engagement, of artistic expression, of romance, of dreams, of elegance and of style.  We will go in search of this mythic Paris in books, in art galleries, in cinemas, in museums and in the streets themselves.  We will firstly trace the history of the city through its Roman origins to its place as the head of a highly-centralized state, pausing to reflect upon major historical, social and cultural developments.  We will then read a selection of literary representations of the city through visits to art galleries and museums.  Prerequisite: FR 117 or permission of instructor.  Offered as required.

FR 231(I) Artistic Adventures: Advanced French Conversation and Composition. A concentration on intensive grammar review by means of directed topical conversations, open conversations, journals and composition writing. Students read and analyze different kinds of texts (novels, plays, short stories, films, poems) which provide perspectives on French and Francophone thought and expression. Conducted in French. Prerequisite: French 117 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Offered fall semester.

FR 232(I) People and Politics in the French speaking World: Advanced French Conversation and Composition.  As a continuation of FR 231, this course broadens and deepens students' understanding of French grammar and composition.  Students read and analyze different kinds of texts (newspapers, magazines, internet websites, essays and advertisements) which provide perspectives on French and Francophone thought and expression.  Conducted in French.  Prerequisite: French 231 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.  Offered spring semester.

FR 234 (I) Introduction to French Translation.  This course uses translation to help students consolidate complex grammatical structures and further develop their awareness of the particular subtleties of French.  Students will be introduced to the history and theory of translation from French to English and English to French through a variety of texts: newspaper and journal articles, legal and medical documents, letters, advertisements, film subtitles, and literary works.  The course includes a final service-learning translation project.  Prerequisite: French 232 or equivalent.  Offered as required. 

FR 241(I), 242(I) French and Francophone Civilization. A study of French cultures and civilization (fall semester) and Francophone cultures and civilization (spring semester) including visual arts, history, music and literature. Prerequisites: French 231. Offered as required.

FR 251(I) Introduction to Literature in French. This course introduces students to reading literary texts in French. The course aims to develop students' literary analysis through studying examples of poetry, theatre and prose. Material is arranged thematically, e.g. the theme of love, death or identity, and includes texts from both France and the Francophone world. The course also introduces students to major research sources as well as to the nature and methodology of writing scholarly papers. Prerequisite: FR232 or permission of instructor. Offered as required.

FR 310 (W)(I)Art and Literature in Turn-of-the-Century Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and Barcelona.  A detailed reading of some of the major literary works written in fin-de-siecle Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and Barcelona.  Along with readings by authors such as Marcel Proust, Colette, Thomas Mann, Rainer-Maria Rilke, and Arthur Rimbaud, this class also addresses the rise of psychoanalysis, the exploration of sexuality, and cafe culture.  Students will visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a concert at Carnegie Hall.  Cross-listed w/EN310.  Prerequisite: EN 212 or permission of instructor.  Offered spring semeter of odd-numbered years.

FR 320(I) French Masterworks in Translation. A survey of the great tradition in French literature from the 16th century Pleiade group through the 17th century dramatists, such as Voltaire and Rousseau and the 19th and 20th century writers, such as Balzac, Hugo, Zola, Sartre, Beauvoir and Camus. In order to receive French credit students must read the works and write their papers and exam answers in French. Offered as required.

FR 333(I) Nineteenth Century French Literature. Benjamin Constant's Adolphe, Hugo's poetry, Balzac's Sarrasine, Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal, Zola's Therese Raquin, a text by Flaubert, short stories by Guy de Maupassant and the poems of Arthur Rimbaud are read and discussed. All work is in French. Prerequisite: French 232 permission of instructor. Offered as required.

FR 334(I) Twentieth Century French Literature. This companion course to French 333 focuses on a selection of novels, short stories, plays and essays which characterize the volatile world of 20th Century French letters. Typical of the authors read are Valery, Gide, Beauvoir, Camus, Genet, Beckett, Barthes, Robbe-Grillet, Claude Simon and Le Clezio. All work is in French. Prerequisite: FR 232 or permission of instructor. Offered as required.

FR 335(I) French Beyond France: An Introduction to la Francophonie.  French is an official language in 33 countries, and a lingua franca in many more.  In this course, we will broaden our study of French to other areas of the world in which French is spoken: North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Quebec and Indochina.  In the first part of the course, students will learn about the history of the imperial project that resulted in the preponderance of French in the the world.  We will then study each area of la Francophonie in turn, examining representative works of art, literature and film that present the major themes of the colonization and post-colonization eras.  Prerequisite: FR 232 or permission of instructor.  Offered as required.

FR 346(I) A Window on France: French Survey. This course offers a chronological survey of French literature and its cultural heritage from the Middle Ages to the present times, focusing on movements such as Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, Surrealism, and Postmodernism. Authors to be studied include Christine de Pizan, Rabelais, La Fontaine, Molière, Rousseau, Sand, Balzac, Proust, Colette, Camus, Sartre and Duras. Prerequisite: FR251 or permission of instructor. 

FR 351(I) Francophone Women Writers in Translation. This course explores women's writing from the unique literary and cultural perspectives of French speaking society. Readings include such authors as Madame de Sevigne, George Sand, Simone de Beauvoir, Colette, Marie-Claire Blais, Nathalie Sarraute, and Marguerite Duras. The course also includes writings by francophone West African, Caribbean and Canadian authors. Offered spring semester of odd-numbered years.

FR 352 (I) Cities in the Francophone World.  This course examines the literary representations of city life in the French speaking world from the nineteenth century to the present.  Using an interdisciplinary approach, topics will include the city as a physical and utopian construction, urban and non-urban landscapes, post-war reconstruction, poverty, alienation, immigration, and the ways in which cities occupy and challenge the  literary imagination.  Prerequisites: French 251 or equivalent.  Offered as required.

FR 355 (W) (I) Sex and Gender in Medieval French Literature Medieval France saw a new flowering of interest in romantic love, but also a new impostition of control over sexual behavior by the Church.  As a result there was an explosion of literature both celebrating and condemning a wide variety erotic attitudes and practices, composed by churchmen, noblemen, and the few women who achieved the education and authority to write.  We will read troubadour love lyrics, Arthurian romances, poems debating the merits of same-sex love, and selections from Christine de Pizan, widely considered to be Europe's first feminist.  All texts, whether written in French or Latin, will be read in English translation.  Cross-listed w/FR 355.  Prerequisite EN 212 or permission of instructor.  Offered as required.  

FR/EN 356 French Cinema: Retrogrades, Rebels and Realists. This course introduces students to the major developments in the history of French cinema. The course aims to develop students' skills of analysis and interpretation in order to enable them to read and appreciate film as an art form. The course is divided into three parts which present the three principal moments of French cinematic history; the films of Poetic Realism from the 1920s and 1930s; the films of the New Wave from the 1950s and 1960s and fin-de-siècle films of the 1980s and 1990s. Film-viewings are supplemented by the study of film theory. The class is writing-intensive and fulfills the International Perspectives requirement. Taught in English.  Prerequisite: none.  Ofered as required.

FR 400 (I) Senior Reflective Tutorial: French Expository Writing.  A detailed study of an author, a period, or theme relevant to the understanding of French or Francophone literature and culture.  This course also aims to build upon previous language learning, to review, refine, develop, and practice langauge skills to achieve correct and effective expression in French with emphasis on writing.  An extended research project is required for all majors who wish to be considered for departmental honors. Prerequisite: Major in French Studies or permission of the instructor.  Offered as required.
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FR 423 (I): Contemporary French and Francophone Women Writers

This courses examines the literary work of women writers in the French-speaking world in the context of historical, social and cultural developments.  The course is grounded in feminist theory and pays particular attention to both the heyday of French feminism (the 1970s) and subsequent theory.  A range of writers from different places in the Francophone world and from different historical periods will be studied, including for example George Sand, Colette, Assia Djebar, Marguerite de Navarre, Louise Labé, Simone de Beauvoir, Madame de Lafayette, Annie Ernaux and Maryse Condé. Prerequisites:  FR 251 or permission of instructor.  Offered as required.