French Course Offerings Fall 2021

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​FREN 200: French Grammar and Composition

This course enhances students' writing and comprehension skills through French grammar activities. Contextualized in contemporary Francophone literary texts, 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. The Honors section, FREN 200-080, meets every other week to discuss additional French texts, articles, and short films. In FREN 200-081, students are required to write an extra paper on a Francophone film. In addition, students meet three times during the semester to discuss texts written by Francophone authors and complete complementary grammar exercises and vocabulary activities.

Instructors: Flora Poindexter (010/080), Ali Alalou (011-081)

Prerequisite: FREN107

FREN 200 may be taken for Honors credit.

FREN 211 010-080, 010-081: Reading and Composition

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.

FREN 211-010-080 “Contes de fees et dures réalités”: An adolescent girl devoured by a wily wolf. A young woman who finds herself married to a bloodthirsty recluse. An orphan mistreated by her cruel stepmother. Children sent away by their impoverished parents to fend for themselves. Although we often associate fairy tales with the phrase “and they lived happily after…,” most fairy tales tell stories of hardship and deprivation, and reflect the problems of the societies that created them. This semester we will study some classic French fairy tales from the 17th century, exploring the lessons they teach, how they are expressed, and whether they are still relevant. Then we will pivot to a modern story (a sort of anti-fairy tale) about a young Senegalese woman’s disillusionment with the France she had yearned for, and end with another “dure réalité,” in the form of an excerpt from a recent novel about the slave trade and a group of women who rebelled against it. Authors whose works we will study include Charles Perrault, Catherine Bernard, Ousmane Sembène, and Fabienne Kanor.

In FREN211-011-081, you will read fascinating short stories while increasing your ability to comprehend literature beyond the level of plot. You will learn to write short papers dealing with the literary complexities of each work. Increase your vocabulary and grammatical accuracy while studying works of exoticism, naturalism and the fantastic.

Instructors: Deborah Steinberger (010-080), Judy Celli (011-081)

Prerequisite: FREN 107 with a minimum grade of A- or FREN 200 with a minimum grade of C.

Fulfills College of Arts and Sciences Group A requirement

FREN 301: Self and Society

An introduction to the analysis of French cultural materials, this class lets you practice the essential reading and writing skills that prepare your success in the French program. We will discover and discuss a variety of brief prose works that offer glimpses into 18th-21st century French culture, and understand how best to prepare an oral presentation, close reading, and argumentative essay.

Instructor: Ana Oancea

Prerequisite: FREN 211 and any 200-level course taught in the French language

Fulfills College of Arts and Sciences Group B (History and Cultural Change) requirement

FREN 303: Texts and Contexts: French travel writing

Do you enjoy traveling? Are you fascinated by exotic places? Do you think a journey could change your life? If so, you have something in common with such famous authors as Nerval, Maupassant, Camus and Le Clézio. This course focuses on several French masters of the short story in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Selected short stories, all connected by the theme of travel, will enable us to discuss the varied facets of that genre and that theme, and to better understand the intricate relationships between texts and contexts, plots, themes, symbols, narration, imagery and structure. Famous poems by Hugo, Baudelaire, Mallarmé and Rimbaud will also be included in our class discussions on travel writing.

Instructor: Bruno Thibault

Prerequisite: FREN 211 and any 200-level course taught in French

FREN 403 010-080: Structure of French

Do you wonder why French words need to be either feminine or masculine? Do you want to understand why some words change their gender when they are in a plural form? Do you want to know the difference between “On arrive dans une heure” and “Nous arrivons dans une heure”? If so, this course will help you answer these questions. Using a modern linguistic approach, this course examines several aspects of standard French and builds on what students have learned in previous grammar courses. In particular, the course explores the morphological categories that make French as well as the formation of French words. Furthermore, the course analyzes the semantics and the syntactic features of French as well as some sociological aspects that affect communication. Audio and online resources will complement the textbook to further help the students’ understanding of modern French.

Instructor: Ali Alalou

Prerequisites: Two 300-level French courses, one of which should be FREN314.

This course may be taken for Honors credit.

Satisfies ‘Group C’ Arts and Science breadth requirement

FREN 455 / 655 Science Fiction

This class brings together French science fiction novels, films, comic books and video games in an exploration of the place of science in French culture. Together we will reflect on how authors in these diverse media represent the scientific imagination and craft utopian and dystopian environments. We will examine works engaging with specific scientific issues (such as artificial intelligence), as well as those in which science is perceived as a dangerous presence, hostile to art and literature.

Instructor: Ana Oancea

Prerequisite: Two 300-level French courses, including at least ONE of FREN 301, 302, or 303.

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