French



Professor:  Spencer; Associate Professor:  Etoke; Lecturer: Chalmin; Associate Professor Austin, chair

The Major in French

The major consists of at least nine courses:  five courses at the 200 level or higher, including Course 327, 329, or 330, and four additional courses at the 400 level, including a seminar.  Courses must represent at least three different “areas,” i.e., periods, themes, and/or genres.  Two courses from a semester-long study abroad program in France or a Francophone country may be counted toward the major, usually at the 400 level; four courses from a year-long program may be counted.  No more than two courses in English may be counted toward the major.  Only four courses taken at an institution other than Connecticut College may be counted toward the major.  Senior majors are expected to demonstrate proficiency in the language.  Students are strongly encouraged to study away in France or a Francophone country, and to attend the French Table in Knowlton.

The Minor in French

The minor consists of at least six courses at the 200 level or higher, at least two of which must be at the 400 level.  One course from a semester-long study abroad program in France or a Francophone country may be counted toward the minor; two courses from a year-long program may be counted.  No more than one course in English may be counted toward the minor.  Only two courses taken at another institution may be counted toward the minor.  Students are strongly encouraged to study away in France or a Francophone country, and to attend the French Table in Knowlton.

Learning Goals in the French Major

French specialists (majors and minors) and non- specialists who are nevertheless interested in seriously studying French are expected to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in writing and speaking the language. In speaking, they are expected to reach, as a minimum, the proficiency level designated in the ACTFL standards, as ″High Intermediate.″  In writing they are expected to be able to write in clear, grammatically correct and cogent French 8-12 page analytical papers on literary, filmic or more generally cultural topics (linguistic proficiency)
  • Demonstrate proficiency in French and Francophone literature, French and Francophone cinema and French history, including knowledge of contemporary France and its troubled relationship with its colonial past (cultural proficiency)
  • Demonstrate proficiency in French contemporary theory.  French students should be able to think critically, to analyze a cultural text (be it literary or cinematic) and to demonstrate some degree of familiarity with the major trends of contemporary French theory: structuralism, semiotics, deconstruction, postmodernism and post-colonialism (theoretical proficiency)
  • Demonstrate a thorough and nuanced understanding of France′s evolving status in an increasingly globalized world.

Courses

French Language, Literature and Cinema (in French)

FRENCH  101, 102  ELEMENTARY FRENCH  Speaking, reading, understanding, and writing; introduction to French culture.  Some reading of French literary texts.  Laboratory work.  Five credit hours each semester.

               Open only to students with no more than one year of French at entrance.  Enrollment limited to 20 students per section.  Offered every year.  R. Chalmin, Staff

FRENCH  110  LOWER INTERMEDIATE FRENCH  For students with one or two years of secondary school French or the equivalent.  Review and progress in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  Not a continuation of the 101, 102 sequence.

               Prerequisite:  A qualifying score on the department's placement exam.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Offered every year.  Students may not receive credit for both this course and Course 103.  Staff

FRENCH  201  INTERMEDIATE FRENCH I  Review of pronunciation and grammar; vocabulary building.  Practice in speaking and writing based on selected readings of literary and documentary texts concerning modern France.

               Prerequisite:  Courses 101 and 102 or 110, or a qualifying score on the department's placement exam.  Enrollment limited to 15 students.  Students may not receive credit for both this course and Course 113.  This is a designated Writing course.  R. Chalmin, Staff

FRENCH  202  INTERMEDIATE FRENCH II  Practice in speaking and writing, with emphasis on the analysis and discussion of texts that explore literary, political and social values of modern France; grammar review.

               Prerequisite:  Course 201 or a qualifying score on the department's placement exam.  Students who have completed Courses 101 and 102 may also be eligible to take 202 with the permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 15 students.  Offered every year.  Students may not receive credit for both this course and Course 114.  J. Austin, Staff

FRENCH  301  PENSEZ FRANCAIS:  THE FRENCH CULTURAL EXPERIENCE  Conversation and composition based on modern texts and/or films about France and Francophone countries.

               Prerequisite:  Course 202 or a qualifying score on the department's placement exam.  Enrollment limited to 15 students.  Offered every year.  Students may not receive credit for both this course and Course 203.  This is a designated Writing course.  Staff

FRENCH  325  POSTCOLONIAL FRANCOPHONE AFRICA THROUGH CONVERSATION  The year 2010 marked the 50 years of ″African independences.″  This course stresses the improvement of oral skills by exploring various dimensions of francophone, post-colonial Africa.  Conversations based on movies, novels, and essays will focus on the failure of the postcolonial state, the dynamics of social progress, gender, sexuality, urbanization, and immigration.

               Prerequisite:  Course 301, a qualifying score on the department's placement exam, or permission of the department.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  N. Etoke

FRENCH  326  CIVILIZATION THROUGH CONVERSATION  Stresses the improvement of oral skills by exploring various dimensions of modern French and Francophone culture.  Newspaper articles, magazine pieces, French television programs, and articles by specialists will be reviewed.

               Prerequisite:  Course 301, a qualifying score on the department's placement exam, or permission of the department.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  Staff

FRENCH  327  INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY AND TEXTUAL ANALYSIS  Selected readings aimed at developing an understanding of literary techniques and at introducing French literature.

               Prerequisite:  Course 301, a qualifying score on the department's placement exam, or permission of the department.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Offered every year.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4 and is a designated Writing course.  C. Spencer, R. Chalmin

FRENCH  328  CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN FRANCOPHONIE  African, and Caribbean authors.  Focusing on questions of independence, language allegiance, colonialism, identity, and belonging.

               Prerequisite:  Course 301, a qualifying score on the department's placement exam, or permission of the department.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  N. Etoke

FRENCH  329  FRENCH CINEMA  A study of the major directors and orientations of the French cinema, starting with Lumière and Meliès and including Bunuel, Cocteau, Renoir and ″la Nouvelle Vague.″  Special emphasis will be placed on the cinematic styles and techniques, and on their evolution during this period.

               Prerequisite:  Course 301 or permission of the department.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Offered every year.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4 and is a designated Writing course.  C. Spencer

FRENCH  330  HISTORICIZING FRANCE:  POLITICS, CULTURE, AND LITERATURE  A foundation for understanding the culture, language, and literature of France, both by examining its political, economic, and social history, and by historically analyzing literary texts.  Topics include revolution, the left/right political divide, current politics, education, colonialism, feminism, and the French economy.

               Prerequisite:  Course 301, a qualifying score on the department's placement exam, or permission of the department or instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4 and is a designated Writing course.  J. Austin

FRENCH  331/431  THE MAKING OF MODERN FRANCE:  IDEOLOGY, POLITICS, AND CULTURE (1654-1804)  An examination of the key events and major literary works that shaped the political, social, and philosophical foundations of modern France, from the coronation of Louis XIV to that of Napoleon.  Readings by La Fontaine, Racine, Molière, Lafayette, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Gouges, Robespierre, Constant, de Staël; period paintings; film adaptations.

               Prerequisite for 331:  Course 301, a qualifying score on the department's placement exam, or permission of the department or instructor.

               Prerequisite for 431:  Two French courses at the 300 level. Enrollment limited to 20 students.  R. Chalmin

Prerequisite for all 400-level courses except 403, 403T, 405, 406, 409, 409T:  Two 300-level courses.

FRENCH  403T  CITIES ON THE SCREEN:  CONSTRUCTING URBAN SPACE IN THE CINEMA  Additional weekly two-hour session, in which texts and movies will be discussed in French.  Students selecting Course 403T must concurrently register for French 403.  Open to students who speak and read French beyond the intermediate level.  Two credit hours.  The TOC section is required for students who wish to count the course toward a major/minor in French.  J. Austin

FRENCH  405  THE ART OF SPEAKING  Advanced conversation based on newspapers, magazines and contemporary movies; analysis of different levels of language including ″argot.″

               Prerequisite:  One course at the 300 level, or permission of the department.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  C. Spencer

FRENCH  406  THE ART OF WRITING  Advanced composition with an emphasis on style.  Samples for weekly practice of written expression taken from contemporary French newspapers and magazines.  No grammar review.

               Prerequisite:  One course at the 300 level, or permission of the department.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  C. Spencer

FRENCH  407  LA CARAÏBE FRANCOPHONE HIER ET AUJOURD′HUI  The French Caribbean is a mixture of diverse cultures and experiences grounded in the violence of slavery.  The course uses literature and film to reflect on what came out of that violence, which creates in destroying and destroys in creating.  Topics include loss and survival, memory and identity, and deconstructing blackness.  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity 407.

               Prerequisite:  Two French courses at the 300 level or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  N. Etoke

FRENCH  409T  HISTORY/STORY:  ON THE GRAND AND THE INTIMATE IN FRENCH CINEMA  Additional weekly two-hour session, in which texts and movies will be discussed in French.  Students selecting Course 409T must concurrently register for French 409.  Open to students who speak and read French beyond the intermediate level.  Two credit hours.  The TOC section is required for students who wish to count the course toward a major/minor in French.  J. Austin

FRENCH  412  PERSONALIZING HISTORY:  A STUDY OF COLONIALISM AS REPRESENTED IN CONTEMPORARY FRENCH CINEMA  An examination of the ways in which contemporary French cinema has been refiguring France's colonial past, with emphasis on Indochina and Algeria.  Films include Le petit soldat (J. L. Godard), La bataille d'Alger (G. Pontecorvo), Le crabe tambour (P. Schoendoerffer), La guerre sans nom (B. Tavernier), L'amant (J. J. Annaud), and Indochine (R. Wargnier).

               Enrollment limited to 16 students.  C. Spencer

FRENCH  414  NEW WAVE FILM, THEN AND NOW  This course will examine the crucial New Wave movement in French cinema, as it is expressed as a historical moment or ″school″ and as it is conceived in less temporal terms as an attitude toward making and viewing film.  The Nouvelle Vague′s contribution to filmmaking as writing and as epistemological quest will be explored with reference to earlier filmmakers, and in relation to the parallel Rive Gauche group.  Special emphasis will be placed on contemporary French cinema as inheriting the auteur tradition.  Films by Bresson, Truffaut, Godard, Rohmer, Varda, Marker, Resnais, Beineix, Besson, Asseyas, Pool, Jeunet.

               Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  J. Austin

FRENCH  418  REVISITING THE ENLIGHTENMENT  A study of the ″Siècle des Lumières″ with a focus on the new, contested relationship between the individual and power.  Works by literary and political authors such as Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Robespierre, and St. Just.

               Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  R. Chalmin

FRENCH  420  THE WOMAN′S BODY IN AFRICAN LITERATURE AND CINEMA  Rather than being a stable signifier of female oppression, the woman′s body signifies a number of potentially conflicting projects and positions in postcolonial African societies.  This seminar will analyze the body as a sign and a bearer of social and political ideologies embedded in discourses of patriarchy, nationalism, violence, and desire.  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity/Gender and Women′s Studies 420.

               Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  N. Etoke

FRENCH  422  BLACK BLANC BEUR CINEMA/LITERATURE  Black Blanc Beur/Bleu Blanc Rouge?  An examination of how the ethnic makeup of contemporary French society challenges its republican ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity.  The course employs literature, film, newspapers, and popular musical forms to reflect on issues such as integration, identity, urban violence, race, gender, and class.

               Enrollment limited to 16 students.  N. Etoke

FRENCH  424  ESPACES URBAINS:  LA VILLE AU CINEMA  The French city long has been defined in opposition to the countryside, and more recently, to the (dystopian) suburb.  This course will examine the cinematic construction of urban space in France, and in so doing interrogate the role of the urban/suburban dyad in the contemporary French social landscape.  Weekly screenings.

               Enrollment limited to 16 students.  J. Austin

FRENCH  426  THE ART OF REBELLION:  THE LIBERTINE AND THE DANDY IN FRENCH LITERATURE  An examination of the relationship between the libertine and the dandy in 17th, 18th, and 19th century French literature, focusing on the "Art of Rebellion" these cultural figures embody.  Authors include Molière, Casanova, Laclos, Sade, Balzac, Baudelaire, and Wilde.  Representative paintings of the period and cinematographic adaptations of certain works will provide context.  

               Enrollment limited to 16 students.  R. Chalmin

FRENCH  430  LA FEMME ET LA RÉVOLUTION DANS LA FRANCE DU 19ÉME SIÈCLE  An examination of the collective memory of women in France after the Revolution.  Emphasis on their role in the Republic, and the reality of being a woman in a 19th century Paris that was undergoing further revolutions in politics, fashion, and capitalism.  Works by Baudelaire, Zola, Sand, Flaubert, Mallarmé, Desbordes-Valmore, Delacroix, Camille Claudel, Hugo.

               Prerequisite:  One course at the 300 level, or permission of the department.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  R. Bédoui

FRENCH  435  LA LIBERTÉ OU LA MORT:  EXPLORING THE FRENCH AND HAITIAN REVOLUTIONS (1789-1804)  An exploration of the intellectual, economic, and political origins and the consequences of the French and Haitian Revolutions.  Topics include the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the death of Louis XVI, the Terror, the Counter-Revolution, and the colonies.  Readings from Diderot, Rousseau, Robespierre, Mercier, Sade, Gouges, and Louverture.

               Prerequisite:  Two 300-level courses.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  R. Chalmin

FRENCH  493, 494  ADVANCED STUDY SEMINARS

               Prerequisite:  Open to juniors and seniors who have completed two 400–level French courses or by permission of the department.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.

FRENCH  493K, 494K  TROLLOPS AND TRANSVESTITES:  PROSTITUTION AND THE THEATRICS OF TRANSVESTISM IN PREMODERN AND MODERN EUROPE  (FRANCE AND ENGLAND)  A study of the relation between transvestism and theatre from a literary, historical, social and political point of view.  Texts by A. Behn, Defoe, Marivaux, Zola among others.  Films by Almodóvar, Buñuel, B. Blier and B. Jacquot.  C. Spencer

FRENCH  493M, 494M  HEARING VOICES:  STUDY OF VOICE, THEATRICALITY AND PERFORMANCE  The course will explore the changing meanings and perceptions attached to voice in its relationship to contemporary issues such as identity, gender and sexuality.  Literary texts (L′Ecole des femmes by Molière, The Rover by Aphra Behn, Sarrazine by Balzac) and films (Singing in the Rain, The Law of Desire, The Bad Education).  Some incursions in opera, in particular Haendel and the vogue of castrati.  This is the same course as Gender and Women′s Studies 406.  C. Spencer

FRENCH  493N, 494N  SEDUCTION  A study of seduction in Ancient Regime literature and today's cinema.  Authors include:  Marivaux, Laclos, Balzac, Barbey d'Aurevilly, Truffaut, Deville and Almodovar.  Emphasis on theatricality, cross-dressing, the narrative contract and the body in performance.  Staff

FRENCH  493O, 494O  THE PROSTITUTE AND THE ARTIST  A study of the representation of prostitution in 19th Century French literature and art.  C. Spencer

In English

FRENCH  240  BLACK PARIS/BLACK NEW YORK  This is the same course as Anthropology 240.  Refer to the Anthropology listing for a course description.

FRENCH  314  FOREIGN BODIES FORBIDDEN SEXUALITIES IN AFRICA AND THE CARIBBEAN  An examination of the methods, tactics, and strategies involved in the literary, musical, and cinematic representations of same-sex love in the African and Diasporic context.  Topics include psychoanalysis, black queer theory, HIV/AIDS, and the politics of (re)cognition/(mis)recognition.  This is the same course as Comparative Race and Ethnicity/Gender and Women′s Studies 314.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  N. Etoke

FRENCH  403  CITIES ON THE SCREEN:  CONSTRUCTING URBAN SPACE IN THE CINEMA  Focus on urban space as constructed on the screen and the interplay between architecture, sets, cultural memory, and film technologies.  Study of films from the French cinematic tradition and examples from the American, Russian, and European cinemas.  An additional weekly two-hour, two credit TOC session in French, 403T, will be offered to students who speak and read French beyond the intermediate level.  Students selecting Course 403T must concurrently register for French 403.  The TOC section is required for students who wish to count the course toward a major/minor in French.  This is the same course as Film Studies 403.

               Prerequisite:  Film Studies 101 or French 329; or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  J. Austin

FRENCH  409  HISTORY/STORY:  ON THE GRAND AND THE INTIMATE IN FRENCH CINEMA  Two French cinemas have long existed:  one ″big″ cinema about the tumultuous political, cultural, and literary history of France, and one ″small,″ personal cinema about a few characters and their lives.  This course will examine what the differences in subject and scale mean for French film and culture.  An additional weekly two-hour, two credit TOC session in French, 409T, will be offered to students who speak and read French beyond the intermediate level.  Students selecting Course 409T must concurrently register for French 409.  The TOC section is required for students who wish to count the course toward a major/minor in French.  Weekly screenings.  This is the same course as Film Studies 409.

               Prerequisite:  Film Studies 101 or French 329; or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  J. Austin

FRENCH  491, 492  INDIVIDUAL STUDY

FRENCH  497-498  HONORS STUDY