Skip to main content

Undergraduate Program

French Courses

Below is a list of recently offered undergraduate courses. Not all of these courses are offered in any given year, and there may be other courses offered some years. Check the course schedules/descriptions available via the Registrar's Office for the official schedules for the widest range of terms for which such information is available.

Wait List

Interested in a course that's already full? Sign up on our wait list

FR 101 ELEMENTARY FRENCH I

French 101 is an introductory language course. Students learn fundamentals of grammar, and pronunciation in the context of French culture. Emphasis is on developing communicating skills, principally speaking but also including listening, reading and writing. There is an obligatory recitation section twice a week in addition to the main class and the work in the multimedia center.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 102 ELEMENTARY FRENCH II

French 102 continues the work of the beginning course. There is an additional emphasis on reading comprehension and vocabulary building.

Prerequisites: FR 101 or placement
Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 111 FRENCH IN FOCUS: INTENSIVE ELEMENTARY FRENCH

The aim of this six-week course is to introduce students to French language and culture, as well as the Francophone World through interactive audiovisual material and activities. Students will extensively work with visual material in the classroom to work on their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in French in communicative situations. This summer course is recommended for beginners with limited or no previous instruction in French.

Last Offered: Summer 2017

FR 114 CONVERSATIONAL FRENCH

This course will use short readings on a variety of topics to encourage development of speaking skills. Emphasis on oral practice and acquisition of vocabulary from the book. May be taken concurrently with FR 151 or FR 152 and may be taken twice for credit.

Prerequisites: FR 102, FR 111, or placement
Last Offered: Spring 2010

FR 151 INTERMEDIATE FRENCH I

Continuing study of French in its spoken and written forms. Readings in modern French culture and literature will provide a basis for improvement of language skills. Emphasis will be placed on both personal expression and the development of critical reading technique.

Prerequisites: FR 102, FR 111, or placement

FR 152 INTERMEDIATE FRENCH II

A continuation of French 151, this course further develops language skills in the context of readings on French culture and literature. A major work of literature will be read in its entirety.

Prerequisites: FR 151 or placement

FR 153 INTERMEDIATE FRENCH

Intermediate French. Development of oral and written skills through the exploration of specific topics and themes. Emphasis on grammatical forms and idioms.

Prerequisites: FR 102, FR 111, or placement
Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 154 SCREENING FRENCH SHORTS: INTENSIVE INTERMEDIATE FRENCH

This course is designed for students who wish to expand and sharpen their listening, speaking, and writing skills in French at the intermediate level. Students will work on major grammatical points and idioms, as well as cultural themes through intensive classwork based on a selection of approximately ten French short films. This summer course is recommended for students who have prior knowledge of French at post-elementary level, or have completed FR 111.

Prerequisites: FR 102, FR 111, or placement
Last Offered: Summer 2017

FR 155 FRENCH CONVERSATION & COMPOSITION

The most advanced conversation and composition course aims to bring students to a level of proficiency with the spoken language, including its idimatic forms, and to refine composition skills. Course materials include extensive use of popular French culture, including film.

Prerequisites: FR 153, FR 154, or placement
Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 157 FRENCH IN FRANCE

French in France is a month-long conversation and culture course held in Rochester's Breton sister city, Rennes. Students meet in Paris for several days of orientation by University of Rochester program director and travel together to Rennes. Students are hosted by families who provide housing, meals, and opportunities for language and culture encounters. Excursions include the medieval abbey of Mont St. Michel, the old port of St. Malo, and the landing beaches of Normandy. The program fee includes language instruction, family stay, and excursions. Special application required.

Prerequisites: minimum one year of college French
Last Offered: Summer 2017

FR 158 FRANCOPHONE STUDIES

Francophone studies is a four-week summer course in French language and francophone culture given in a native French speaking country. (Higher-level students may register for FR 208.)

FR 159 PARIS & NORMANDY: SITES OF MEMORY

Credit—2 hours. See course 213 for description.

FR 160 THE NEW EUROPE

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 161 EUROPE TODAY

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2015

FR 190 TEXTS BEYOND BORDERS

The aim of this six-week course is to introduce students to contemporary French cinema and the basic structures of contemporary French society, while offering them the opportunity to sharpen their listening, speaking, and writing skills in French. Students will view a selection of eight to ten films to examine and discuss major cultural themes such as education, youth, immigration, the political system, work and social life in France. Daily preparation on assigned thematic and linguistic tasks; weekly written film review, and a final paper on topic of choice.

Last Offered: Summer 2013

FR 200 ADVANCED FRENCH

Intensive practice in reading, writing, and speaking French, based on rigorous grammar review and on close readings of literary and cultural texts. Classroom work emphasizes grammar, speaking, reading and writing French.

Prerequisites: FR 153, FR 154, or placement
Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 202 INTRODUCTION TO LITERATURE IN FRENCH

This course is designed to provide students with intensive practice in reading French from a wide variety of sources. Texts drawn from literature, popular culture, journalism and other specialized fields will be read and discussed with an eye toward improving students' comprehension, developing their vocabulary, and expanding their interpretive and analytic capabilities.

Prerequisites: FR 200 or equivalent
Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 204 CONTEMPORARY FRENCH CULTURE

This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive view of French Contemporary culture through major trends of French cultural, political, and intellectual life in the recent years. While we cannot study factual representations of French culture, we will attempt to establish a conceptual framework that would help us in the understanding of complex questions such as What does it mean to be French?, What is France? What is French culture?, etc.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 205 FRANCOPHONE CULTURES

Francophone cultures involves the study of discourses produced by the imperial France on the colonized or former Colonized, and the impact of colonization or decolonization in French modern culture. The study of Francophone texts introduces students to one of the most dynamic aspect of “Cultures in French.” The course will finally, in the light of multiculturalism, attempt to look at ways and means that might lead to a better understanding of France’s standing in the World today. By exposing students to a broad range of ideas, to the relativity of all cultural representations, this course hopes to introduce them to the complexities of cultural diversity and to challenge stereotypical perceptions of French culture.

FR 206 FRENCH CULTURAL TRADITIONS

What was going on in French and francophone culture before the 19th century? Plenty! A Renaissance, a revolution, royal intrigues, religious wars, gender conflict, colonial expansion, and a cat massacre. Students will study the literary and cultural history of premodern periods.

Last Offered: Spring 2010

FR 207 FRENCH IN FRANCE

French in France is a month-long conversation and culture course held in Rochester’s Breton sister city, Rennes. Students meet in Paris for several days of orientation by University of Rochester program director and travel together to Rennes. Students are hosted by families who provide housing, meals, and opportunities for language and culture encounters. Excursions include the medieval abbey of Mont St. Michel, the old port of St. Malo, and the landing beaches of Normandy. The program fee includes language instruction, family stay, and excursions. Special application required.

Prerequisites: minimum one year of college French
Last Offered: Summer 2017

FR 208 FRANCOPHONE STUDIES

Francophone studies is a four-week summer course in French language and francophone culture given in a native French speaking country. (Higher-level students may register for FR 208.)

FR 211 ASPECTS OF FRENCH GRAMMAR

The aim of this course is to offer extensive practice in textual analysis of selected literary texts that present grammatical and syntactic interest. Selected texts address different historical periods, stylistic levels, and cultural backgrounds. Class discussions and workshop oriented practice of advanced topics in grammar.

Prerequisites: FR 200
Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 212 FRENCH LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION

The aim of this course is to offer extensive practice in textual analysis and translation of selected literary texts from French to English. Mainly contemporary, all selected texts have originally been written in French, come from various cultural backgrounds, and address different stylistic levels. A number of French theoretical approaches to translation with focus on literature will be discussed, and oral exercises, grammar and syntax review will also be introduced. It is recommended that students have completed FR 200 prior to taking this class.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 213 PARIS & NORMANDY: SITES OF MEMORY

This course intends to explore the representations of Paris and Normandy (the landing beaches of Normandy) in literary and visual representations. Beyond the cultural riches of Paris and Normandy, this course intends to familiarize students with the complexities of cultural representation. It also seeks to provide students who are considering to study in Paris and Rennes with tools that will prepare them for the complexities of cultural encounters, that will prepare them for the excursions in the landing beaches of Normandy, a highly emotional and historical place where the United States and France meet. This course is strongly recommended for students who plan on taking FR 157/207 (French in France). All other students are welcome. Reading list includes Les Lettres persanes (Montesquieu), Bel ami (Maupassant), Le Petit prince de Belleville (Calixthe Beyala). Films and videos include Saving Private Ryan, La Haine, Paris at the Time of Balzac, and more. Taught in French.

FR 220 THE 18TH-CENTURY NOVEL

Study of major authors of the French Enlightenment, as well as their predecessors and contemporaries, including Marivaux, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Prevost, Rousseau, Diderot, Sade, and Laclos.

FR 221 HISTORICAL & IMAGINARY PARIS

Why has Paris captivated the world's political, intellectual, social, and artistic imagination for millenia? This course examines Paris as a cultural and urban phenomenon.

FR 223 TEXTS BEYOND BORDERS

No description

FR 225 LES ORIGINES DU ROMAN FRANCAIS

When-and why-did people become hooked on reading novels? What was it about this particular literary form, which only hit its stride as recently as the late seventeenth century, that caused it to outstrip all other kinds of literary and cultural production? And furthermore, why were novels considered so scandalous that religious and political authorities actually tried to prevent young women from reading them? In this course, we'll look at the origins of the French novel up through the middle years of the nineteenth century. We will be concerned with, in addition to the issues raised above, questions of realism, of licentiousness, and of the novel's social function. Authors will include Mme de Lafayette, Diderot, Prevost, Balzac, and Flaubert. Course conducted in French.

FR 226 REASON AND SCANDAL

Early modern France was for centuries governed and controlled through fear, convention, oppression, and superstition. The Age of Enlightenment produced thinkers who challenged tradition authority and suggested models for independent reasoning, empirical thought, and, perhaps most radically, human equality. While their works persist today as models of the power of independent thinking, the battles were hard won: most of the writings of authors such as Voltaire, Diderot, Roussau, Montesquieu, Mme de Grafigny, and the marquis de Sade met with harsh critical condemnation. This course will examine the birth of modern forms of reason in eighteenth-century France and its connections to scandal, outrage, and hostility.

FR 230 FRENCH SOCIAL THOUGHT

This course examines the singular contribution of French thinkers to the development of the social sciences (or "sciences of man" as they are called in France) in the twentieth century, including Structuralism, Post-structuralism, Marxist Existentialism, and theories of religion and culture. We examine three of the most important works of French social theory: Claude Levi-Strauss's _The Elementary Structures of Kinship_ (1949), Jean-Paul Sartre's _Critique of Dialectical Reason_ (1960), and Rene Girard's _Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World_ (1978). Other texts include Jacques Derrida's "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences" (1966) and Jean-Luc Nancy's "The Deconstruction of Christianity" (1995).

Last Offered: Fall 2013

FR 231 THE 19TH-CENTURY FRENCH NOVEL: BALZAC, STENDHAL, FLAUBERT, ZOLA

Analysis of selected works by major nineteenth-century novelists including Balzac, Stendhal, and Flaubert.

FR 232 HUGO'S "LES MISERABLES"

Examines one of the world’s most celebrated and influential novels, Victor Hugo’s "Les Misérables" (1862). Interprets Hugo’s work as a modern epic that assimilates the genres of the historical novel, the realist novel, and the popular novel. The vast and multifaceted canvas of Hugo’s masterwork will allow us to discuss issues of social justice, moral philosophy, religion, politics, history, the city of Paris, and love. We will also study some of the many screen adaptations that have been made of the book. Conducted in French.

Last Offered: Spring 2015

FR 233 REALISTS & ROMANTICS

Nineteenth-century French literature witnessed two competing literary currents; romanticism and realism. Romanticism, heir to the logic and reason of the French Enlightenment, sought to rescue from scientific systematization the wonder and awe of nature; realism attempted to describe the world exactly as it was. This course examines the confrontation of these two movements, and attempts to discern what made each distinct, as well as what features they may unwillingly have shared. Do realistic novels romanticize their subjects? What’s true to life in romantic descriptions of nature? How do aesthetic concerns become social or political ones? Readings include Constant, Chateaubriand, Flaubert, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and Maupassant.

Last Offered: Fall 2015

FR 234 PARIS: CAPITAL OF THE 19TH CENTURY

Course studies how Paris became the archetypal modern city. Examination of literary forms specially attuned to depicting the new urban realities, such as the realist novel and Baudelaire’s poetry, as well as paintings, illustrations, and photographs. Hassmann’s spatial and architectural transformation of the city during the second half of the 19th century. Walter Benjamin’s writings on Paris analyzed in light of recent work by cultural historians. In English.

FR 235 TEXTS BEYOND BORDERS

This course examines the recent French literary production--from the turn of the century up-to-date--through the prisms of language and translation, intertextuality, identity and migration, notions that cross the borders of national literature. We will analyze the theoretical conditions that address questions of postcolonial and postmodern literature, World Literature, and cosmopolitan identity in literature and translation. Knowledge of French is strongly recommended but not absolutely necessary. Literary texts will be available in both French and English. The course will be conducted in English.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

FR 236 THE EARLY EUROPEAN NOVEL

How did the novel become one of the principal means of delivering entertainment, instruction, and social and political thought in early modern Europe? Why was it so instrumental in shaping how people identified themselves and determining who was like them? How can we account for its sudden rise in prominence, and why did prose fiction, and not some other combination of form and mode, assume this position? This course will address these questions and others by considering selections of prose fiction from the 16th through the 18th centuries, as well as prominent theories of the novel. Works from the French, British, and other traditions will be examined.

Last Offered: Spring 2012

FR 237 PERFORMANCE STUDIES

Shakespeare tells us that "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." But what kind of stage is our world? And what sort of players are we? This class will take up such questions through the interdisciplinary field of performance studies. We will examine topics ranging from self expression and gender performance to forms of ritual and collective action. This course will be taught in English.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 238 ROMANTIC ORIENTALISM

This course studies the way in which the “orient” (North Africa, the Middle East, Persia) was represented in the literature and painting of French Romanticism. Analysis of Edward Said’s famous thesis concerning the West’s “orientalism” against the backdrip of nineteenth-century French colonialism. Authors studied include Chateaubriand, Hugo, Gautier, Nerval, Baudelaire, Flaubert. Paintings by Delacroix, Ingres, Gérôme, Fromentin, Vernet. In French

FR 239 REPRESENTING AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN THE AFRICAN IMAGINATION

The dialogue among Africans, African-Americans, and other peoples of African descent rest on their common experiences of oppression, liberation, and cultural exchanges, experiences that have turned the Atlantic from a line of division into a dynamic bridge. This course seeks to critically investigate the shared destinies of African peoples and peoples of the African descent throughout the world. Thus, while acknowledging the centrality of the African-American experience within the Black Diaspora, this course argues that this centrality requires a critical investigation of the representation of Black America in the cultural productions of Africans, Haitians, Caribbeans and Black Europe. The Reading list include Maryse Condé, Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Walker, Paule Marshall, and Ngugi was Thiongo.

Last Offered: Spring 2014

FR 240 LE ROMAN FRANCAIS

This course looks at the history of the French novel, from its early history in the late 17th century, through the philosophic and great realistic traditions of the 18th and 19th centuries, and up to and including recent works of fiction. We will study the form and function of the novel, as well as the narrative structures and forms of verisimilitude that authors chose to develop. Authors will include Mme de Lafayette, Voltaire, Diderot, Flaubert, Robbe-Grillet, and others. Readings and class discussion primarily in French.

FR 241 LE NOUVEAU ROMAN

This course will focus on the experimental style of the French novel, labelled as the "nouveau roman" in the 1950s and 1960s. We will examine the literary tendencies that attempted to define anew the purpose of the novel, and will discuss and analyze novels and theoretical work by writers such as Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute, and Michel Butor. The literary style of the nouveau roman emerged in dialogue with the film movement known as the French New Wave, and a number of films, such as Alain Resnais’ "Hiroshima, Mon amour" (1958), and "Last Year in Marienbad" (1961) will be included in class discussion and analysis. All readings and class discussions will be in French.

Last Offered: Spring 2015

FR 242 THÉÂTRE FRANÇAIS

This course focuses on 17th-century French Theater and the study of the three predominant playwrights of the classical period: Molière ("Tartuffe,:" "L’Ecole des Femmes," "Le Misanthrope"), Racine ("Phèdre"), and Corneille ("Le Cid"). We will explore the affinities and disjunctions of classical French playwriting with classical antiquity, and will make connections with literature and the arts to investigate the political and intellectual climate of the Age of Reason. The course will be conducted in French.

Last Offered: Spring 2016

FR 243 MUTILATED BODIES: FROM TRADITIONS TO CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGIES

Female genital cutting encounters vaginal cosmetic surgeries at the intersection of poverty and wealth, race and class, barbaric practices and the pleasure principle. Bodies of poor, African, and mostly black women and children embody a fateful condition that can be redeemed by technologies of progress and humanitarian discourses. This course invites students to challenge assumptions related to agency, race, class, the representation of the body, and the fragmented transnational sisterhood. The discussion expands to bodies caught in domestic violence, rape, lynching, and skin whitening. Readings and films: Alice Walker's "Warrior's Marks" and "Possessing the Secret of Joy"; "Manya Mabika"; "Fantacola"; "Sarabah"; "Women with Open Eyes"; "Black Sisters, Speak Up"; "The Suns of Independence"; "Desert Flower"; and Maryse Condé's "Who Slashed Célanire Throat?"

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 244 CRIMES OF PASSION: LOVE AND DEATH ON THE CLASSICAL FRENCH STAGE

Love. Hate. Fear. Disgust. Seventeenth-century tragedies are filled with passion. In this class we will explore what happens when passion goes too far. What happens when lovers cannot contain themselves, or when kings are overcome with rage? How does the problem of excess passion raise questions about freedom and responsibility? In addition to examining how tragedies were performed during the seventeenth century, we will imagine how they might be performed today. We will also consider how concerns raised by seventeenth-century tragedy help us to navigate the political and social issues of our time. The class will be taught in French.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

FR 245 REVOLUTION & ROMANTICISM

Course examines how literature and politics intertwine during an era of great social transformation (the French Revolution, the Restoration, and the Bourgeois Monarchy). Texts studied include political works by Rousseau, Stael, and Constant, and novels by Stendhal (The Red and the Black) and Hugo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Conducted in French.

Last Offered: Fall 2012

FR 246 DUMAS'S THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO

Course studies Alexandre Dumas's "The Count of Monte Cristo" (1844), one of the most well-known and popular novels ever written. We will explore the epic work in its historical and political context (it is set at the end of Napoleon's reign) as well as in terms of the genres of the historical novel, the serial novel, and the adventure novel. Themes examined include revenge, justice, and forgiveness. Course also analyzes some of the many film adaptations. Conducted in French.

Prerequisites: FR 200 or instructor's permission
Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 247 BLACK PARIS

This course is a study of Black Paris, as imagined by three generations of Black cultural producers from the United States, the Caribbean and Africa. Paris is as a space of freedom and artistic glory that African American writers, solders and artists were denied back home. For colonized fricans, and Antilleans, Paris was the birthace of the Negritude, the cultural renaissance informed by the dreams and teachings of the Harlem Renaissance. Black Paris, for the young generations caught in the marginal space of poor suburbs, calls to mind images of burning cars, riots, dilapidated schools that are rendered through rap music, hip-hop that are weaving the thread of a new youth-oriented transnational imagination.

Last Offered: Spring 2015

FR 248 POETS AND PAINTERS

In this course students study the relationship between French poetry and painting from about 1868 to 1968, primarily focusing on the twentieth century. The course examines literary movements that affected painting and artistic movements that entailed new ways of writing. Through this students can also examine other collaborative arts such as music, dance, and theater. Poets include Mallarme, Valery, Ponge, Michaux, Char, Jacottet, Apollinaire, and less-known writers. Course and readings primarily in French.

FR 249 NAPOLEON: IMAGE, MYTH, HISTORY

Course examines the image of Napoleon at the intersection of myth and history. Literary portrayals, paintings, and films. Conducted in English.

FR 252 MODERN FRANCE

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 254 CAMUS & SARTRE

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2014

FR 255 SARTRE & HEIDEGGER

This course studies two of the most influential works of twentieth-century philosophy: Martin Heidegger's "Being and Time" (1927) and Jean-Paul Sartre's "Being and Nothingness" (1943). Together these two treatises defined existential phenomenology and changed the course of philosophy, exerting a profound influence over later writers and thinkers. Since both philosophers sought to fundamentally redefine human reality, we will examine concepts such as freedom, bad faith, temporality, history, subjectivity, death, emotion, and the relation between self and other. We will also compare Sartre's insights with those of Heidegger, particularly in regard to the concept of authenticity. Conducted in English.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

FR 256 REVOLUTIONS & REVOLUTIONARIES

Why did the eighteenth century produce so many thinkers who completely transformed the fiction, philosophy, and politics of their day? In this course, we will examine works that broke more or less completely with the past to produce new models of thinking, of being, and of entertaining. Political and philosophical writers who implicitly or explicitly criticized moral and political authorities produced their works alongside the new literary form known as the novel, which entertained mass audiences with its new and often scandalous stories of ordinary people. What do all these works have in common, and what conditions led to their sudden birth and rapid rise in popularity during this period? We will read works by Locke, Cyrano de Bergerac, Voltaire, Pope, Diderot, Jefferson, and de Sade.

FR 257 SEX, LIES, AND SECRETS

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 260 THE 20TH CENTURY

Topics in twentieth-century French culture, especially those that consider the relations among the various literary genres and between these genres and other disciplines, e.g., visual arts, philosophy, history, music.

FR 261 THE 20TH-CENTURY NOVEL

A survey of the major literary movements of the twentieth century, with special attention to intellectual and social contexts that engendered them.

FR 261A CONTEMPORARY FRENCH NOVEL

This course explores the development of the French novel from 1990 to today. Course, readings, and discussion are all in French.

FR 262 FRENCH PHILOSOPHY SINCE 1960

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2014

FR 263 ITALIAN PHILOSOPHY, 1922-1945

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2012

FR 264 CONTEMPORARY FRENCH THOUGHT

This course is a survey of the major intellectual movements of the twentieth century. Beginning with Ferdinand de Saussure and the study of the linguistic sign, we move on to consider cultural anthropology and the invention of structuralism. Finally, the course takes a detailed look at Derridean deconstruction, the movement that has influenced so much Anglo-American ciriticism, and we conclude with a brief foray into other forms of poststructuralism.

FR 265 AESTHETICS

Studies the history of “aesthetic” thought—namely the philosophical reflection on the concepts of beauty, taste, and sublimity, on our affective response to art and nature, and on the role of art and the artist in society—from Plato to the present, with particular emphasis on how it relates to questions of epistemology, anthropology, ethics, ontology, and politics. Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Dubos, Burke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Wagner, Nietzsche, Lyotard, Derrida, Rancière. Conducted in English.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 266 BALZAC & BAUDELAIRE IN PARIS

Course examines two of the most compelling and iconic visions of the transformation of society and urban culture we call modernity: the novelistic oeuvre of Honoré de Balzac and the poetry of Charles Baudelaire. We will read, in particular, Balzac’s great novels _Père Goriot_ (1835) and _The Splendors and Miseries of Courtesans_ (1844) and selections from Baudelaire’s _Paris Spleen_ (1869) and his famous _The Flowers of Evil_ (_Les Fleurs du Mal_, 1857), to study how the their multifaceted evocations of nineteenth-century Paris represented a revolution in literary representation. Conducted in French.

Last Offered: Fall 2013

FR 267 BAUDELAIRE: POETRY AND MODERNITY

Course examines the most famous and influential modern lyric sequence ever written: Charles Baudelaire's "The Flowers of Evil" ("Les Fleurs du Mal," 1857). Explores how Baudelaire's groundbreaking work—in particular, its focus on urban reality—changed the nature of poetic experience. Walter Benjamin's writings on Baudelaire will also be studied. Conducted in French.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

FR 268 JEAN RENOIR AND CINEMA

Course analyzes and contextualizes the cinematic oeuvre of France’s greatest filmmaker and one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Jean Renoir. Particular attention will be paid to Renoir’s innovative use of filmic techniques such as depth of focus, long take, and mis-en-scène. We will also examine the French political and cultural backdrop of the 1930s (i.e., Renoir’s engagement with the Popular Front) as well as the influence of cinematic genres such as film noir, poetic realism, and literary adaptation. Readings from Bazin, Renoir, and Deleuze. Conducted in French.

Prerequisites: FR 200 or instructor's permission
Last Offered: Spring 2017

FR 269 FOUCAULT AND THE ETHICS OF THEORY

Course explores the crucial role played by French philosopher Michel Foucault in the ethical and political transformations of “Theory” or “Critical Theory,” an intellectual movement that has had a profound effect on literary studies, art history, cultural studies, cultural anthropology, gender studies, historical theory, musicology, and visual/film studies. Readings include Badiou, Barthes, Butler, Derrida, Foucault, Habermas, Jameson, Rabaté, Rancière, Rorty, Said, Spivak, White. Conducted in English.

Last Offered: Spring 2017

FR 270 WOMEN WRITE WOMEN: AFRICA AND CARIBBEAN

In this course, we will examine the literary production in French from African and Caribbean women writers. A close reading of texts will help us investigate how women writers in the respective areas treat their cultures and societies from the feminine point of view to illustrate, confront, and negotiate patriarchy, tradition, exile, migration, and resist the stereotypical categorization of woman either as a wife and mother, or outcast. Authors include Mariama Bâ, Maryse Condé, Fatou Diome, Assia Djebar, Aminata Sow Fall, Werewere Liking, Calixthe Beyala. A number of films may provide complimentary material to the written texts. Readings, films, and discussions are in French.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

FR 271 INTRODUCTION TO FRANCOPHONE LITERATURE

This course surveys Francophone African and Caribbean literature from its beginnings in the 1940s to the postcolonial age. Study includes major trends and texts that have shaped the emergence of a genuine Francophone literary tradition. Issues of cultural confrontations, exile, panafricanism, diasporic migrations and interactions, race, class, and gender in African and Caribbean postcolonial societies are addressed through a close reading of texts. Movies are used as an integral part of this course and help in the understanding of the concept.

FR 272 MADNESS & POST COLONIAL LITERATURE

This course will explore inscriptions of madness in post-colonial African and Caribbean texts. Beyond the obvious and visible signs of what is generally termed "madness" (from the pathological to the political or cultural), we will ask ourselves if the postcolonial arena cannot be interpreted as a pervasive manifestation of madness, that is to say, of something fundamentally "alien, foreign" to the Known, to the imperial destructuring order, and to the disarticulated colonial and post-independent communities. By bringing together texts from different and diverse cultural and intellectual areas such as France, Guadeloupe, and Africa, we seek to confront the various "scriptures." Issues of witch-hunt, of disintegration of Juletane, the Antillean women in West Africa, from Foucault's normative panopticism to Fanon's discussion of the black experience, the postcolonial situation, articulated or silenced, will be the focus of this course. Taught in English.

Last Offered: Spring 2013

FR 273 THE FRANCOPHONE NOVEL

A survey of the Francophone literary world (Quebec, North Africa, Central Africa, the Caribbean, etc.) in an effort to identify traits and common characteristics of these regions. We will attempt a critical analysis of selected works by well-known Francophone writers and their portrayal of issues such as poverty, religion, culture, politics and the impact of France assimilation.

FR 274 CARIBBEAN NOVEL & THEORY

This course is a study of major Caribbean novels and major theoretical texts. The reading will be structured around the notion of ¿Antillanite¿ or Creolization elaborated by Martinican Edouard Glissant and his heirs Chamoiseau and Confiant of the ¿Creolite¿ movement. The controversial presence of the Other (Africa and France) in the Caribbean, the need to build a Caribbean authenticity in order to participate freely in what Glisant Glissant terms ¿Relation planetaire¿ (Planetary Relations) will also be thoroughly examined.

Last Offered: Spring 2014

FR 275 PSYCHOANALYSIS & LITERATURE

How does literature “think”, and what does it think about? Why are so many literary text about love, death, and/or people finding out about who they are? Reading literature with psychoanalytic theory, we will discuss the formation of subjectivity, perspective, the gaze, and love and death; we will ask how literature communicates things that no other form of language can.

FR 276 CONTEMPORARY WOMEN'S WRITING & FRENCH FEMINISM

This course primarily deals with contemporary novelists and critics whose work focuses on gender and identity construction in a French//Francophone context. The course studies the changes in French feminism and women’s writing since 1968. A major focus of the course is the changing political and social role of women writing in French and how these voices differ from those of previous eras. Primary texts include works by Cixous, Kristeva, Ndiate, Redonnet, Yourcenar, Wittig, and Le. Readings and discussion are in French.

FR 277 POST-STRUCTURALISM TO POST-MODERNISM

This course is designed to offer a critical examination of the major developments in French theory from poststructuralism to postmodernism. The course is organized around close readings of selected essays by authors whose work has had a powerful impact within the development of French thought and in the United States. Our readings focus on the relation of philosophy and critical theory to literature, history, politics, and power.

FR 278 THE AFRICAN NOVEL: ITS THEORY AND ITS CONTENTS

This course is a study of the Francophone African Novel from North Sub-Saharan African, and from Madagascar. The course will explore the political and cultural contexts that gave rise to the modern African literature in gerneral, and to the modern Afraican Novel in particular.

FR 279 IMMIGRATION IN FRENCH LITERATURE AND FILM

The aim of this course is to investigate the interactions and relationships between French culture and the immigrant “other” from a critical and theoretical point of view. We will examine notions of emigration and immigration, national identity, belonging, exile, cultural integration and assimilation in the literary activity that has emerged in France, and particularly in Paris, by writers emigrating to France mainly from Africa, and will explore what pertinent traits allow the definition of this literature as French, Francophone or otherwise. A number of recent French films that have touched on questions of immigration will provide additional material to supplement study and discussions. Literary and visual texts will be available in both French and English. Knowledge of French is strongly encouraged but not necessary. The course will be taught in English.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 280 FRENCH CINEMA: THE NEW WAVE

A study of French film from its beginnings through the New Wave.

Last Offered: Spring 2013

FR 281 FRENCH CINEMA 1930-1960

This course surveys the history of French cinema from its early experiments through the “Tradition of quality” to the moment immediately preceding the emergence of the New Wave. Films selected from the work of the following directors are studied: Lumiére, Méliés, Gance, Dulac, Léger, Clair, Vigo, Renoir, Carné, Ophulus, Pagnol, Clément, and Bresson. Readings include contemporary critical and theoretical discussions, as well as historical analyses.

Last Offered: Fall 2014

FR 282 FILMS OF JEAN-LUC GODARD

A study of French film from its beginnings through the New Wave.

Last Offered: Spring 2012

FR 283 CONTEMPORARY FRENCH FILM

Through close analysis of popular film, this course explores contemporary French culture as it reworks national identity. Focusing on changing definitions of “Frenchness,” the course examines its articulations with shifting conceptions of tradition, of the popular, and of the nation. Readings include central cultural conflicts around identity and difference in the context of the emergent European economic community, as well as the specifically French context of “immigration” and “assimilation.”

Last Offered: Fall 2012

FR 284 FILMING/WRITING POSTCOLONIAL WOMEN

This course will explore the Postcolonial Woman Condition in films and novels produced by African andCaribbean female directors and writers. Capturing the complex destinies of African and Caribbean women, challenging the machismo that is inscribed in cultural and social fabrics of their communities, exploring creative and daring venues that may mobilize energies for women liberation are constitutive of postcolonial women filmmaking and writing traditions, from the framing of the deferred dream or the Saaraba poetics to the Community- oriented camera. The course interrogates the paradoxes of the African filmmaking/writing traditions, especially its reliance on western expertise and languages, financing and sometimes audiences to exist. From diasporic connections to street children, from anticolonial struggles to postcolonial disillusionments, from genital mutilations to Aids, from incest to rape, this course is addressed to students of French studies, Women studies and Film studies.

FR 285 CLASSICAL FILM THEORY

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 286 GROWING UP IN FRENCH

What does it mean to grow up in French without being French? What is the price to pay for children confronting a language and culture that are alien but necessary for any social mobility? How is French (language and culture) transformed by bilingual cultural contexts and subjects?  This course explores autobiographical novels and stories by Francophone authors  growing up in a context dominated by the French language and culture. Taught in French.

Last Offered: Fall 2014

FR 287 FEMINIST FILM THEORY

Feminism has had a powerful impact on the developing field of film theory from the 1970s to the present. This course will examine the major feminist work on film, moving from the earlier text-based psychoanalytic theories of representation to theories of feminine spectatorship to studies of reception contexts and audience. We will also give some attention to the very important role of feminist theory in television studies. Weekly screenings, keyed to the readings, will allow us to test the value of these positions for close critical analysis of the film or television text. Readings to include: Laura Mulvey, Kaja Silverman, Constance Penley, Judith Mayne, Linda Williams, Jacqueline Bobo, Valerie Smith, Lynn Spigel, Lynne Joyrich, Julie D'Acci.

Last Offered: Fall 2014

FR 288 FRENCH IN FILM: AFRICA, CARIBBEAN, QUÉBEC

This course examines the polyvalent character of Francophone cinema by exploring the aesthetic, theoretical, and socio-political questions that African, Caribbean, and Québecois French-speaking films have raised in the development of a cinematic discourse relevant to geopolitical issues of each region, as well as issues of production, distribution, and exhibition. Films by Sembène, Mambety, Bekolo, Teno, Sissako, Nacro, Palcy, Monpierre, Peck, Brault, Jutra, Arcand will be discussed among others. Weekly film screenings. Knowledge of French is encouraged but not necessary. Readings, written responses/film analyses, and class discussions will be in English.

Last Offered: Spring 2016

FR 289 PHILOSOPHY OF ART

Course examines the major philosophical approaches to art, both Continental and Analytic, focusing mainly on the 20th century. Topics studied include beauty, the sublime, mimesis, the nature of art, the end of art, the ontology of art, the meaning of art, art and truth, high and low art, committed versus autonomous art, fascism and art, art and value, art and mass media. Conducted in English.

Last Offered: Fall 2015

FR 290 HISTORY OF FRENCH CINEMA

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2015

FR 389 MAJOR SEMINAR

No description

FR 390 SUPERVISED TEACHING

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 391 INDEPENDENT STUDY

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 392 PRACTICUM

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 393 SENIOR PROJECT

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 394 INTERNSHIP

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 404 CONTEMPORARY FRENCH CULTURE

This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive view of French Contemporary culture through major trends of French cultural, political, and intellectual life in the recent years. While we cannot study factual representations of French culture, we will attempt to establish a conceptual framework that would help us in the understanding of complex questions such as What does it mean to be French?, What is France? What is French culture?, etc.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 405 FRANCOPHONE CULTURES

Francophone cultures involves the study of discourses produced by the imperial France on the colonized or former Colonized, and the impact of colonization or decolonization in French modern culture. The study of Francophone texts introduces students to one of the most dynamic aspect of “Cultures in French.” The course will finally, in the light of multiculturalism, attempt to look at ways and means that might lead to a better understanding of France’s standing in the World today. By exposing students to a broad range of ideas, to the relativity of all cultural representations, this course hopes to introduce them to the complexities of cultural diversity and to challenge stereotypical perceptions of French culture.

FR 411 ASPECTS OF FR GRAMMAR

Close analysis of selected texts, not so much for their content as for their grammatical interest. Discussion and practice of advanced topics; some attention to practical phonetics.

Last Offered: Spring 2012

FR 412 FRENCH LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 420 18TH CENTURY NOVEL

Study of major authors of the French Enlightenment, as well as their predecessors and contemporaries, including Marivaux, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Prevost, Rousseau, Diderot, Sade, and Laclos.

FR 425 ORIGINES DU ROMAN FRANCAIS

When-and why-did people become hooked on reading novels? What was it about this particular literary form, which only hit its stride as recently as the late seventeenth century, that caused it to outstrip all other kinds of literary and cultural production? And furthermore, why were novels considered so scandalous that religious and political authorities actually tried to prevent young women from reading them? In this course, we'll look at the origins of the French novel up through the middle years of the nineteenth century. We will be concerned with, in addition to the issues raised above, questions of realism, of licentiousness, and of the novel's social function. Authors will include Mme de Lafayette, Diderot, Prevost, Balzac, and Flaubert. Course conducted in French.

FR 426 REASON AND SCANDAL

Early modern France was for centuries governed and controlled through fear, convention, oppression, and superstition. The Age of Enlightenment produced thinkers who challenged tradition authority and suggested models for independent reasoning, empirical thought, and, perhaps most radically, human equality. While their works persist today as models of the power of independent thinking, the battles were hard won: most of the writings of authors such as Voltaire, Diderot, Roussau, Montesquieu, Mme de Grafigny, and the marquis de Sade met with harsh critical condemnation. This course will examine the birth of modern forms of reason in eighteenth-century France and its connections to scandal, outrage, and hostility.

FR 430 FRENCH SOCIAL THOUGHT

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2013

FR 432 HUGO'S LES MISERABLES

This course examines one of the world¿s greatest and most influential novels, Victor Hugo¿s Les Miserables (1862). We will interpret Hugo¿s novel as a modern epic that incorporates the genres of the historical novel, the realist novel, and the popular novel. The vast and multifaceted canvas of Hugos novel will allow us to discuss issues of social justice, moral philosophy, religion, politics, history, the city of Paris, and love. We will also study some of the many screen adaptations that have been made of the book. Conducted in French.

Last Offered: Spring 2015

FR 433 REALISTS & ROMANTICS

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2015

FR 434 PARIS:CAPITAL OF THE 19TH C

Course studies how Paris became the archetypal modern city. Examination of literary forms specially attuned to depicting the new urban realities, such as the realist novel and Baudelaire’s poetry, as well as paintings, illustrations, and photographs. Hassmann’s spatial and architectural transformation of the city during the second half of the 19th century. Walter Benjamin’s writings on Paris analyzed in light of recent work by cultural historians. In English.

FR 435 TEXTS BEYOND BORDERS

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2016

FR 437 PERFORMANCE STUDIES

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 438 ROMANTIC ORIENTALISM

This course studies the way in which the “orient” (North Africa, the Middle East, Persia) wasvrepresented in the literature and painting of French Romanticism. Analysis of Edward Said’svfamous thesis concerning the West’s “orientalism” against the backdrip of nineteenth-centuryvFrench colonialism. Authors studied include Chateaubriand, Hugo, Gautier, Nerval, Baudelaire, Flaubert. Paintings by Delacroix, Ingres, Gérôme, Fromentin, Vernet. In French

FR 439 REPRESENTING AFR-AMERICANS

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2014

FR 440 Le ROMAN FRANCAIS

This course looks at the history of the French novel, from its early history in the late 17th century, through the philosophic and great realistic traditions of the 18th and 19th centuries, and up to and including recent works of fiction. We will study the form and function of the novel, as well as the narrative structures and forms of verisimilitude that authors chose to develop. Authors will include Mme de Lafayette, Voltaire, Diderot, Flaubert, Robbe-Grillet, and others. Readings and class discussion primarily in French.

FR 441 LE NOUVEAU ROMAN

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2015

FR 442 THEATRE FRANCAIS

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2016

FR 443 MUTILATED BODIES

Transnational sisterhood’ or cultural imperialism? Legitimate ritualized practice or outdated violent ritual? Genital cutting, female circumcision, female genital surgery? The controversy over this practice already begins with the act of its naming. If there seems to be a consensus about the physical violence imposed on the female body, why is it that western feminist discourse is suspected of perpetuating the mutilation African voices? This course seeks to provide an understanding of the context in which a fragmented ‘transnational sisterhood’ allows for a proliferation of mutilated discourses on mutilated postcolonial bodies. Readings and Films include Alice Walker (Warrior Marks), Florence Ayissi Fauziya Kassindja (Do They Hear You When You Cry), Maryse Conde and more critical and theoretical readings from African, French and North American authors. In English.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 444 CLASSICAL FRENCH STAGE

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2016

FR 445 REVOLUTION & ROMANTICISM

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2012

FR 446 COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 449 NAPOLEON IMAGE,MYTH, HISTORY

Course examines the image of Napoleon at the intersection of myth and history. Literary portrayals, paintings, and films. Conducted in English.

FR 454 CAMUS & SARTRE

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2014

FR 455 SARTRE & HEIDEGGER

This course studies two of the most influential works in twentieth-century philosophy: Martin Heidegger¿s Being and Time (1927) and Jean-Paul Sartre¿s Being and Nothingness (1943). Together these two books defined existential phenomenology and changed the course of philosophy, exerting a profound influence over later writers and thinkers. Since both philosophers sought to fundamentally redefine human subjectivity-its place in society, history, and the philosophical tradition--we will examine concepts such as freedom, reality, temporality, subjectivity, death, emotion, and the relation between self and other. We will also compare Sartre¿s insights with those of Heidegger, particularly in regard to the concept of humanism, juxtaposing Sartre¿s famous manifesto ¿Existentialism is a Humanism¿ (1946) with Heidegger¿s critique of Sartre and French existentialism in his ¿Letter on Humanism¿ (1947).

Last Offered: Fall 2016

FR 462 FRENCH PHILOSOPHY SINCE 1960

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2014

FR 464 CONTEMPORARY FRENCH THOUGHT

This course is a survey of the major intellectual movements of the twentieth century. Beginning with Ferdinand de Saussure and the study of the linguistic sign, we move on to consider cultural anthropology and the invention of structuralism. Finally, the course takes a detailed look at Derridean deconstruction, the movement that has influenced so much Anglo-American ciriticism, and we conclude with a brief foray into other forms of poststructuralism.

FR 465 AESTHETICS

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 466 BALZAC & BAUDELAIRE

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2013

FR 467 BAUDELAIRE: FLEURS DU MAL

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2016

FR 468 JEAN RENOIR AND CINEMA

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2017

FR 469 FOUCAULT AND THE ETHICS OF THEORY

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2017

FR 472 MADNESS & POST COLONIAL LIT

This course will explore inscriptions of madness in post-colonial African and Caribbean texts. Beyond the obvious and visible signs of what is generally termed "madness" (from the pathological to the political or cultural), we will ask ourselves if the postcolonial arena cannot be interpreted as a pervasive manifestation of madness, that is to say, of something fundamentally "alien, foreign" to the Known, to the imperial destructuring order, and to the disarticulated colonial and post-independent communities. By bringing together texts from different and diverse cultural and intellectual areas such as France, Guadeloupe, and Africa, we seek to confront the various "scriptures." Issues of witch-hunt, of disintegration of Juletane, the Antillean women in West Africa, from Foucault's normative panopticism to Fanon's discussion of the black experience, the postcolonial situation, articulated or silenced, will be the focus of this course. Taught in English.

Last Offered: Spring 2013

FR 473 THE FRANCOPHONE NOVEL

A survey of the Francophone literary world (Quebec, North Africa, Central Africa, the Caribbean, etc.) in an effort to identify traits and common characteristics of these regions. We will attempt a critical analysis of selected works by well-known Francophone writers and their portrayal of issues such as poverty, religion, culture, politics and the impact of France assimilation.

FR 474 CARIBBEAN NOVEL & THEORY

This course is a study of major Caribbean novels and major theoretical texts. The reading will be structured around the notion of ¿Antillanite¿ or Creolization elaborated by Martinican Edouard Glissant and his heirs Chamoiseau and Confiant of the ¿Creolite¿ movement. The controversial presence of the Other (Africa and France) in the Caribbean, the need to build a Caribbean authenticity in order to participate freely in what Glisant Glissant terms ¿Relation planetaire¿ (Planetary Relations) will also be thoroughly examined.

Last Offered: Spring 2014

FR 475 PSYCHOANALYSIS & LITERATURE

How does literature “think”, and what does it think about? Why are so many literary text about love, death, and/or people finding out about who they are? Reading literature with psychoanalytic theory, we will discuss the formation of subjectivity, perspective, the gaze, and love and death; we will ask how literature communicates things that no other form of language can.

FR 478 AFRICAN NOVEL: ITS THEORY AND ITS CONTEXTS

This course is a study of the Francophone African Novel from North Sub-Saharan African, and from Madagascar. The course will explore the political and cultural contexts that gave rise to the modern African literature in gerneral, and to the modern Afraican Novel in particular.

FR 479 IMMIGRATION IN FRENCH LITERATURE AND FILM

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2013

FR 480 FRENCH CINEMA: THE NEW WAVE

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2013

FR 481 FRENCH CINEMA 1930-1960

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2014

FR 483 CONTEMPORARY FRENCH FILM

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2012

FR 484 FILMING/WRITING POSTCOL WOMEN

This course will explore the Postcolonial Woman Condition in films and novels produced by African andCaribbean female directors and writers. Capturing the complex destinies of African and Caribbean women, challenging the machismo that is inscribed in cultural and social fabrics of their communities, exploring creative and daring venues that may mobilize energies for women liberation are constitutive of postcolonial women filmmaking and writing traditions, from the framing of the deferred dream or the Saaraba poetics to the Community- oriented camera. The course interrogates the paradoxes of the African filmmaking/writing traditions, especially its reliance on western expertise and languages, financing and sometimes audiences to exist. From diasporic connections to street children, from anticolonial struggles to postcolonial disillusionments, from genital mutilations to Aids, from incest to rape, this course is addressed to students of French studies, Women studies and Film studies.

FR 486 GROWING UP IN FRENCH

What does it mean to grow up in French without being French? What is the price to pay for children confronting a language and culture that are alien but necessary for any social mobility? How is French (language and culture) transformed by bilingual cultural contexts and subjects?  This course explores autobiographical novels and stories by Francophone authors  growing up in a context dominated by the French language and culture. Taught in French.

Last Offered: Fall 2014

FR 488 FRENCH IN FILM

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2016

FR 489 PHILOSOPHY OF ART

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2015

FR 490 HISTORY OF FRENCH CINEMA

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2015

FR 491 MASTER'S READINGS IN FRENCH

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

FR 495 MASTER'S RESEARCH IN FRENCH

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2013

FR 890 SUMMER IN RESIDENCE - MA

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2011

FR 895 CONT OF MASTER'S ENROLLMENT

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 899 MASTER'S DISSERTATION

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 985 LEAVE OF ABSENCE

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

FR 990 SUMMER IN RESIDENCE

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2011