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French Course Offerings

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FREN 200 Grammar and Composition

This course aims to enhance students' writing and comprehension skills through French grammar activities. Contextualized in contemporary Francophone literary texts, French grammar is taught using a blend of descriptive grammar and discourse analysis. For example, students will be able to recognize the functions of pronouns and their role in the comprehension of a text. Students write micro-themes and rewrite compositions based on topics studied in the readings.

Prerequisite: FREN107. This course may be taken for Honors credit.

The Truth

FREN 209 French Conversation through Film

A conversation course contextualized in mainstream films including animation, this class invites you to build and practice your oral and aural skills in French by watching and discussing a variety of cinematic products from the French-speaking world. Some films are as close as your nearest laptop, and you will actively blog reactions at our class website. Grammar review and skill-building in composition as needed.

Prerequisite: FREN 107 or one 200-level course taught in French, with a suggested minimum grade of B. May be taken for Honors credit. Not intended for native speakers of French.

FREN 211 Reading and Composition

In this course, students explore authentic Francophone cultural material—including short fiction, bandes dessinées, and films--as they develop their critical reading and writing skills. Together we will study a variety of texts in order to examine the uses of description, plot structure, and character development, as well as the importance of historical context. Selected points of French grammar will be reviewed in order to help students prepare their best work. Enrichment activities for Honors students will involve supplementary readings and oral presentations, as well as outside-of-class meetings with the professor.

Prerequisite: FREN 107 with a minimum grade of A- or FREN 200 with a minimum grade of C. This course may be taken for Honors credit.

Satisfies the CAS Group A breadth requirement

Un Coeur simple, Flaubert

FREN 301 Self and Society

What did Montaigne have in mind when he wrote his famous Essais and attempted to depict his own self? What was Voltaire's vision of enlightenment and of an ideal society when he wrote Micromégas? What makes Chateaubriand's René a typically Romantic hero and social pariah? Is Proust's egotism the same as egomania, and his writing style as meandrous and insidious as you've always heard? This course will explore a few masterpieces in French prose from the Renaissance through the twentieth century. Along the way, you'll experience science fiction and humor with Voltaire, exoticism and solitude with Chateaubriand; you'll meet a humble servant and a colorful parrot in Flaubert's Un Coeur simple; and you'll reflect on civil war, death and phenomenology in Sartre's Le Mur. Furthermore, you will learn various methods of literary analysis through close readings and explications de texte.

Prerequisites: FREN 211, and any 200-level course taught in the French language. Satisfies the CAS Group B breadth requirement. This course may be taken for Honors credit.

FREN 326 French Civilization II

This course offers a survey of diverse topics of key importance to French identity and which contribute to French worldview. It draws on journalism, film, music and other sources to reflect on significant events in French history between the Revolution and World War II. Our reflection will bear on the dynamics of French society, popular culture, the arts and sciences, historical events and figures, regional identity, and political and intellectual debates.

Prerequisites: Any two 200-level courses taught in French. This course may be taken for Honors credit.


FREN 350 Advanced Business French

Are you looking for a course that will complement your major or minor in International Business, Marketing, the Hospitality Industry, International Relations, Political Science, Economics, French, or French Studies? Are you hoping to function effectively in the global marketplace? For students who want to put their foreign language skills to use, this practical course builds commercial vocabulary and an understanding of authentic business literature, develops the ability to speak French in a business context, and familiarizes students with French business practices and business writing. Individual and team projects geared to the student's own major or minor simulate real workplace experiences. Some focus on the mechanics of translation and the formatting of the CV and business correspondence.

Prerequisites: Any two 200-level courses taught in French. This course may be taken for Honors credit.

FREN 455/655: Adaptation: Film and New Media

This course explores the transformations texts undergo when transposed into film and other visual media such as comic books and video games. A discussion-based seminar, it introduces students to classic and contemporary theories of adaptation, which provide a frame for our reflection. In addition to analytical work, students also collaborate on a creative adaptation project of their own, in which they transfer one of the course texts into another medium of their choice and reimagine its location, cast and key scenes.

Prerequisite: FREN 301, 302, or 303, plus any other 300-level French course. This course may be taken for Honors credit.

FREN 458 Francophone African Cinema

FREN 458: Francophone African Cinema

This course focuses on the cinemas of Francophone Africa from the 1960s to the present. We will begin with an examination of the early Western filmic representations of Africans as savages devoid of culture and history. We will then proceed to examine how African filmmakers have challenged and refocused those images by creating new depictions of their societies and offering Africa through African eyes. This course will also cultivate an understanding and appreciation of local frameworks of knowledge and of recent theoretical developments in film studies. Finally, we will discuss issues and theories related to the definition of the so-called third world cinema, third cinema, postcolonial cinema, and postmodern cinema.

Prerequisite: FREN 301, 302, or 303, plus any other 300-level French course. This course may be taken for Honors credit.

L'Amant (Marguerite Duras)

FREN 875: Aspects of Contemporary French Literature

This course is a literature seminar for graduate students only which focuses on some masterpieces of French literature from 1968 to the present. It is based on close readings of novels, short stories and poems by Bonnefoy, Duras, Perec, Tournier, Le Clézio, among others.  Special emphasis will be placed on main cultural trends in contemporary France, as well as on various critical approaches.

Restrictions: Open only to MA students.

Ex Machina

LLCU 330: Mad Science in Popular Culture (TAUGHT IN ENGLISH)

Starting with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the figure of the "mad scientist" has successfully propagated across media, migrating from literature to film, graphic novels, and video games. The character intertwines an epoch's excitement over scientific progress with its fear that advancement may be dangerous. This course examines the "mad scientist" in diverse 19th -21st century media, in an attempt to understand how and why these high achievers are anti-heroes, and evaluate to what extent their "madness" attests to a refusal of the scientific, social, and perhaps moral conventions of their fictional universe. Whom do science and scientists serve? To what standards are they bound?

Prerequisites: None. 

This course may be taken for Honors credit. Satisfies the CAS Group A breadth requirement.

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  • Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
  • Jastak-Burgess Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • 30 East Main St.
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2591