French Courses by Semester

Fall 2021

Handling the immediate context of daily experience in spoken and written French: identifying, describing, and characterizing people, objects, places and events; giving information and instructions; issuing simple commands and requests.

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: French Placement Exam score: 0-250.

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

Speaking and writing in French about past and future events: telling a story (narrating and describing in the past), promising, predicting and proposing simple hypotheses and conjectures.

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: FREN 1001 or French Placement Exam score: 251-350.

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

Increasing active vocabulary, reinforcing mastery of basic grammar, dealing with more complex structures (verbal phrases, subordinate clauses) and using some patterns of indirect speech (e.g., repeating or relaying messages, giving reports, summarizing).

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: FREN 1002 or French Placement Exam score: 351-400.

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

Consolidation and further expansion of the ability to understand as well as produce a more complex level of oral and written discourse emphasizing subjective expression: issuing indirect commands and requests; giving opinions; making proposals; building arguments; defending and criticizing ideas.

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: FREN 1003 or French Placement Exam score: 401-500

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

This is the first course in a two-course sequence designed for students at the advanced-intermediate level. Through an introduction to French history, 2005 promotes conversational skills and helps students develop the ability to write and comprehend somewhat complex texts on a broad range of topics. An extensive grammar review is included.

Course is taught in French.

This course satisfies GPAC requirements.

Prerequisite: FREN 1004 or French Placement Exam score: 501-550

View detailed course description.

This course expands the range and complexity of oral communication skills via a variety of discussion formats as well as formal oral presentations and debates. 2006 also aims to develop the student's ability to analyze and comprehend more elaborate, expository prose and to write critically on a broad range of contemporary political, social and cultural topics. French 2006 continues the intensive grammar review begun in 2005.

Course is taught in French.

This course satisfies GPAC requirements.

Prerequisite: FREN 2005 or French Placement Exam score: 551-601

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

How did English words like ‘le week-end’ end up in French? Why do words like ‘forêt’ and ‘fête’ have an accent? Why do we ‘pay attention’ in English but ‘faire attention’ in French? Why do the words ‘vingt’ and ‘doigt’ have an unpronounced “g” in them? In this course, you will refine your French by integrating notions from linguistics, improving your written and spoken French through new perspectives into the language itself. You will have myriad opportunities to strengthen your writing skills for different personal and professional contexts, and we will explore notions such as figures of speech, borrowings, idiomatic expressions, and stylistic variation between French and English.
This course satisfies the WID requirement.
Prerequisite: Fren 2006 or equivalent

Prof. Pauline Goul

This course is an introduction to French literature and the gateway to the French Minor and Major. We will read closely a broad selection of texts from different genres (poetry, prose, theater) and historical periods (from the Renaissance to the 21st century), and learn how to read and write analytically about literature in its cultural context using different techniques and methodologies of textual analysis. Beyond learning a method and discipline for literary analysis, our readings and discussions aim to deepen your appreciation for French literature.
This course satisfies the WID requirement.
Prerequisite: Fren 2006 or equivalent

Prof. Kathryn Kleppinger

What does it mean to produce literature in a time of crisis? How can authors, poets, and filmmakers help us make sense of a world thrown into chaos? In this course, we will explore several major works of French fiction, poetry, and film to gain a better sense of how French artists have grappled with questions that still resonate today. From the bloody wars of religion to the French Revolution to World War II, French society has endured its share of upheaval, and French artists such as Ronsard, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Albert Camus have developed innovative ways of understanding the human experience in such contexts. As a WID course, this class will involve weekly writing assignments and close reading papers with drafting, revision, and peer review activities.
This course satisfies the WID requirement.
Prerequisite: French 2006 or equivalent.

Prof. Pauline Goul

From the Middle-Ages to the 17th century, France saw the development of several genres and literary movements that are foundational to the French literary tradition: the epic, the fable, the narrative genre, the essay, poetry, tragedy, and comedy are the various genres of premodern France that we will study. What was France like at the time? Most of these texts are not originally written in a version of French you would recognize easily. How to build a nation, and how to live together, were also key questions for medieval and early modern writers. Some of the concepts developed in those texts undeniably led to a version of France that made Versailles but also the Code Noir – which defined the conditions of slavery in the French colonial empire – possible. In addition to race, gender, and religion, we will discuss the themes that were important to premodern French authors and cultures, not least of them medievalism, Renaissance, and classicism. What makes these texts classics, and what do they still have to say for our time?
Prerequisite: FREN 3100W or equivalent

Prof. Noëlle Levy-Gires

The United States has long fascinated French authors and filmmakers. From questions about American politics and obsession with cities such as New York to concerns over American domination of French culture, French cultural production has engaged with myths and representations of American society. To guide our study, we will focus on key questions such as: what characteristics do French writers and filmmakers employ or invent when they talk about the United States? What are their sources of inspiration and/or information? We will employ a chronological progression incorporating a wide variety of literary texts such as novels, prefaces, crime fiction, poetry, and travel narratives by authors as diverse as Alexis de Tocqueville and Tanguy Viel. We will conclude with a unit on cinema by filmmakers ranging from Jacques Demy and Agnès Varda to Mathieu Kassovitz.
Prerequisite: FREN 3100W or equivalent.

Prof. Kathryn Kleppinger

Recent press out of France has been very critical of the United States for supposedly “exporting” ways of thinking that some French elites find divisive (including postcolonialism, #metoo feminism, and intersectionality). This course takes a closer look at these philosophies, and in particular the very real conversations that have been occurring in France on these topics for centuries. We will begin with documents from the French Revolution establishing national identity and proceed through 19th- and 20th century debates about Frenchness. We will read major French works of feminist and postcolonial thought alongside the films, plays, novels, and music that has enriched conceptions of Frenchness since 1789. This course is required for senior French majors, in place of FREN 4910 (Proseminar).
Prerequisite: FREN 3100W or equivalent

Prof. Masha Belenky

Paris was, in the words of the philosopher Walter Benjamin, the “capital of the nineteenth century”: a center of modern culture, social thought, fashion, and architecture. At the same time, nineteenth-century Paris was a site of turbulent revolutions, violent and dramatic social change, and radical urban makeover that left long-lasting effects on the city and the nation, and helped shape what France is today. This course explores how the experience of urban modernity, in all its excitement and anxieties, was represented in novels (Balzac, Zola), poetry (Baudelaire), popular literature, as well as art and architecture. As we consider different modes of engagement with urban modernity in nineteenth-century Paris, we will not fail to notice their deep and lasting impact on our own urban practices.
Prerequisite: FREN 3100W or equivalent


Spring 2022

Handling the immediate context of daily experience in spoken and written French: identifying, describing, and characterizing people, objects, places and events; giving information and instructions; issuing simple commands and requests.

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: French Placement Exam score: 0-250.

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

Speaking and writing in French about past and future events: telling a story (narrating and describing in the past), promising, predicting and proposing simple hypotheses and conjectures.

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: FREN 1001 or French Placement Exam score: 251-350.

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

Increasing active vocabulary, reinforcing mastery of basic grammar, dealing with more complex structures (verbal phrases, subordinate clauses) and using some patterns of indirect speech (e.g., repeating or relaying messages, giving reports, summarizing).

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: FREN 1002 or French Placement Exam score: 351-400.

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

Consolidation and further expansion of the ability to understand as well as produce a more complex level of oral and written discourse emphasizing subjective expression: issuing indirect commands and requests; giving opinions; making proposals; building arguments; defending and criticizing ideas.

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: FREN 1003 or French Placement Exam score: 401-500

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

This is the first course in a two-course sequence designed for students at the advanced-intermediate level. Through an introduction to French history, 2005 promotes conversational skills and helps students develop the ability to write and comprehend somewhat complex texts on a broad range of topics. An extensive grammar review is included.

Course is taught in French.

This course satisfies GPAC requirements.

Prerequisite: FREN 1004 or French Placement Exam score: 501-550

View detailed course description.

This course expands the range and complexity of oral communication skills via a variety of discussion formats as well as formal oral presentations and debates. 2006 also aims to develop the student's ability to analyze and comprehend more elaborate, expository prose and to write critically on a broad range of contemporary political, social and cultural topics. French 2006 continues the intensive grammar review begun in 2005.

Course is taught in French.

This course satisfies GPAC requirements.

Prerequisite: FREN 2005 or French Placement Exam score: 551-601

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

Prof. Pauline Goul

MW 12:45-2:00 pm

Why do people rise up against the state? What makes insurrection a means to a legitimate end? Whether they are sudden or have been germinating for decades, insurrections and uprisings can seem to be the only way to effect actual change, perhaps especially in democratic societies. They also sometimes only register weeks or months after they have happened. The French have a particular reputation for taking to the streets: is that reputation a result of an insurrectionist tradition, or is it a stereotype? In this class, we will study various moments in French and Francophone history that involved uprisings and insurrections, from the early modern period to the present. We will read literary texts and study films that portray the complexities of such moments, and discuss theoretical approaches to the socio-political concepts of insurrection, uprising, violence, dissensus, revolution, guerrilla, etc. Students will be immersed for three weeks in a roleplaying game where the class will be transformed into the Assemblée Nationale during the French Revolution in 1791 and will research, prepare and play their assigned roles such as conservative, Jacobin, the King, or Lafayette.

Course is taught in English and counts for the pre-revolutionary requirement of the French minor. Course does not count for the certificate in French.

Prof. Kathryn Kleppinger

TR 11:10-12:25

What has made France the country it is today?

To answer this question in all its complexity, we will undertake a historical and thematic approach to understand the major events, debates, and questions that have faced French politicians, writers, and citizens over the past century. We will consult political sources (speeches, declarations, and manifestos), literature (novels and eye-witness accounts), and cultural documents (newspaper articles, songs, films) to understand the varying perspectives and arguments that have shaped French politics, culture, and identity throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.  During the first half of the semester we will consider the important events in French history throughout the 20th century, from the turn of the century through World War II and the wars of decolonization. Then, during the second half of the semester, we will undertake thematic studies to understand the recent impact of these events. Topics include: immigration and the colonial past, France as a nation and as part of Europe, and contemporary social identities.

Prerequisite: FREN 2006 or equivalent

Prof. Masha Belenky

MW 11:10-12:25

This course is an introduction to French literature and the gateway to the French Minor and Major. We will closely read a broad selection of texts from different genres (poetry, prose, theater) and historical periods (from the Renaissance to the 21st century) and learn how to read and write analytically about literature in its cultural context using different techniques and methodologies of textual analysis. In addition to practicing literary and cultural analysis, our readings and discussions aim to deepen your appreciation of French literature. This course satisfies the WID requirement.

Prerequisite: FREN 2006 or equivalent

Prof. Abdourahman Waberi

TR: 12:45-2:00

Dans ce cours nous étudierons des textes canoniques du 18e siècle jusqu’à nos jours, en considérant leurs contextes historiques, sociaux, et culturels. Ces œuvres partagent une interrogation sur la nature des rapports entre les hommes : quelles structures sociales sont possibles, et quel est l’impact de ces structures sur des individus ? Les sources littéraires peuvent contribuer des perspectives nuancées à un débat qui reste pertinent même aujourd’hui. Ce cours vise à développer vos capacités en plusieurs domaines : historique, littéraire, et sociologique. Vous apprendrez à identifier des thèmes communs à la littérature française au cours des 18e, 19e, 20e et 21e siècles et aussi à lire plus profondément pour apprécier les aspects artistiques des œuvres.

Prerequisite : FREN 3100W or equivalent

Prof. Noëlle Levy-Gires

MW 2:20-3:35 (note correct time band here!)

Martin Luther King, Greta Thunberg, Amanda Gorman. Qu’ont-ils en commun? Ce sont de grands orateurs. La force de leur parole, associée à la force de leur conviction, a fait bouger le monde. Mais qu’est-ce qui rend un discours puissant et fascinant, qu’est-ce qui en fait un moment historique? Dans ce cours, nous poursuivrons trois grands objectifs: 1) Nous étudierons les grands discours qui ont marqué les esprits français : discours pour l’abolition de la peine de mort, discours de l’ONU pour refuser l’intervention en Irak, discours de résistance, discours pour l’adoption du mariage pour tous, discours féministes, anti-colonialistes, etc. 2) Mais la parole peut aussi être une arme dangereuse et les grands orateurs peuvent être diaboliques. Quels sont les ressorts et les ruses du discours populiste ou séducteur? L’étude de comédies de Molière nous permettra de nous poser cette question. 3) Enfin, ce cours comprendra une partie pratique importante: vous serez amenés à écrire puis à dire vos propres discours sur les causes qui vous tiennent à coeur. Ecriture personnelle, oral, et même jeu théâtral seront donc au programme, ce qui permettra de travailler votre prononciation, votre aisance et votre expressivité en français!

Prerequisite : FREN 2006 or equivalent

Prof. Pauline Goul

MW 9:35-10:50

Que se passerait-il si l’on considérait l’écologie comme n’étant pas uniquement une préoccupation moderne ? Ce séminaire posera la question de ce qu’il a pu se passer entre les êtres humains et leur environnement entre le Moyen-Âge et la révolution industrielle. Comment est-ce que les êtres humains imaginent, s’intéressent à, et s’inquiètent de leur environnement au cours de la Renaissance et jusqu’aux Lumières ? Les étudiants liront des textes prémodernes de science-fiction et de philosophie, de Voltaire, Montesquieu, Michel de Montaigne, François Rabelais, et Cyrano de Bergerac, et travailleront sur un projet de dictionnaire collectif, ainsi que sur des traités d’agriculture et de jardinage du XVIIème et XVIIIème siècle aux Special Collections de la bibliothèque Gelman. Les étudiants liront également des textes de penseurs francophones de l’écologie de nos jours, afin de comprendre la formation de cette philosophie et de ses aspects politiques.

Prerequisite : FREN 3100W or equivalent

Prof. Abdourahman Waberi

TR 3:45-5:00

In this course we will examine the debates that French society faces in present days through the productions of hip-hop culture (rap texts and music, video, cinema, literature in particular). We will employ sociological and historical lenses to better question a wide range of political and societal issues. We will also pay attention to the aesthetic traditions (from modern poetry to song to text, from jousting to free style ...) of our vast object of study - French and French-speaking rap - which highlights or sublimates the presence and experience of groups of people often underrepresented or marginalized in French and Francophone spaces.

Prerequisite: FREN 3100W or equivalent.

 


Summer

Handling the immediate context of daily experience in spoken and written French: identifying, describing, and characterizing people, objects, places and events; giving information and instructions; issuing simple commands and requests.

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: French Placement Exam score: 0-250.

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

Speaking and writing in French about past and future events: telling a story (narrating and describing in the past), promising, predicting and proposing simple hypotheses and conjectures.

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: FREN 1001 or French Placement Exam score: 251-350.

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

Increasing active vocabulary, reinforcing mastery of basic grammar, dealing with more complex structures (verbal phrases, subordinate clauses) and using some patterns of indirect speech (e.g., repeating or relaying messages, giving reports, summarizing).

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: FREN 1002 or French Placement Exam score: 351-400.

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

Consolidation and further expansion of the ability to understand as well as produce a more complex level of oral and written discourse emphasizing subjective expression: issuing indirect commands and requests; giving opinions; making proposals; building arguments; defending and criticizing ideas.

Course is taught in French.

Prerequisite: FREN 1003 or French Placement Exam score: 401-500

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.

This is the first course in a two-course sequence designed for students at the advanced-intermediate level. Through an introduction to French history, 2005 promotes conversational skills and helps students develop the ability to write and comprehend somewhat complex texts on a broad range of topics. An extensive grammar review is included.

Course is taught in French.

This course satisfies GPAC requirements.

Prerequisite: FREN 1004 or French Placement Exam score: 501-550

View detailed course description.

This course expands the range and complexity of oral communication skills via a variety of discussion formats as well as formal oral presentations and debates. 2006 also aims to develop the student's ability to analyze and comprehend more elaborate, expository prose and to write critically on a broad range of contemporary political, social and cultural topics. French 2006 continues the intensive grammar review begun in 2005.

Course is taught in French.

This course satisfies GPAC requirements.

Prerequisite: FREN 2005 or French Placement Exam score: 551-601

This course may not be audited or taken pass/fail.

View detailed course description.