French Course Offerings Spring 2021

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FREN 200-010/080 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. 

Instructors: Ali Alalou, Flora Pondexter

Prerequisite: FREN107

May be taken for Honors credit

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FREN 209-010 French Conversation through Film

A conversation course contextualized in mainstream films, animated shorts, and popular short documentaries, this class invites you to build and to practice your oral and aural skills in French while watching a variety of cinematic products from the French-speaking world. Some films are as close as your nearest laptop.

Instructor: Edgard Sankara

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

RESTRICTIONS: Not intended for native speakers of French

FREN 211-010/080 Reading and Composition

This course includes reading and discussion of French and Francophone literature and the writing of compositions. The emphasis of this course is on improving critical reading skills and on writing formal academic essays. Therefore, a close reading of the text (in regard to character development, historical or social context, and narrative voice for example) encourages the student to move beyond the level of plot summary to analyze the works under study. Students will be introduced to literary movements such as Naturalism and Existentialism. Grammar review is incorporated to accompany the readings. 

Instructor: Edgard Sankara

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

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FREN 302 Love, Passion, Faith and Death

Does love exist without passion? Is there such a thing as platonic love?  Are there different kinds of love? What does it mean to enter an union ‘until death does us part’? Does passion always lead to tragic ending?  Is faith based on fear of death or love of God? This course focuses on those themes in French literature across the centuries and across the genres. It will provide insights on love and passion, as well as faith and death from some of the greatest French poets and playwrights, among them Ronsard, Labé, Corneille, Racine, Hugo, Baudelaire, Rimbaud. Taught entirely in French, this course is based on selected readings and class discussions, with special emphasis on literary movements, cultural history and critical approaches. 

Instructor: Bruno Thibault

Daily written assignments

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

FREN 314-010/080 French Phonetics 

Do you know the difference between the pronunciation of “Louis” and “lui”? Do you still choke over the pronunciation of the French “r”? Are you unsure of when to pronounce final consonants and when to drop them? Are you unsure of when to use the “liaison” in sentences like “les horribles petits enfants” Do French people pick you out as American as soon as you pronounce the first syllable of what you thought was their language? Then FREN 314 may be the course for you! Two hours of each week are spent learning the rules of pronunciation, practicing auditory discrimination, and transcribing French discourse, using the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet); one hour a week is given to practicing the sounds in small groups. Oral models and exercises to accompany the textbook are available on the Department of Languages Literatures & Cultures website.

Instructor: Ali Alalou

Prerequisites: FREN 211 and any 200-level course taught in the French language, both with a suggested minimum grade of B-

This course may be taken for Honors credit; recommend A or A- in previous French coursework for those pursuing Honors credit.

FREN 405 Translation and Stylistics  

Expand your vocabulary and improve your writing style as you study the fascinating craft of translation. Working in groups to translate various texts (literary, journalistic, commercial) from French to English (and to a lesser extent, vice versa), students enrolled in this course will acquire the basics of a marketable skill as well as enhanced knowledge of French and Francophone culture. Activities may include composing film subtitles, simultaneous interpretation, and discussions with professional translators. Students select a final project according to their academic and/or career interests. A service-learning component will involve translating documentation for a French humanitarian organization or a digital humanities library.

Instructor: Deborah Steinberger

Prerequisite: One of FREN 301, 302, or 303, plus one other FREN 3XX. Suggested minimum grade of B+ for the prerequisites.

Note: This course is designated a Discovery Learning Experience (DLE) for spring 2021.

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FREN 451/651 The Age of Anxiety and the Absurd

What is the meaning of the absurd?  Can one truly shape one’s existence through free will, thoughtful choices and personal responsibility? Without religion, are men and women always led to immorality?  When is rebellion or social violence justified?  Is authentic art the expression of subconscious drives? These are some of the themes we will discuss this semester through close readings of some of the masterpieces of 20th century French literature. Special attention will be devoted to Surrealism (Apollinaire, Breton, Éluard, Michaux) and Existentialism (Sartre and Camus).

Instructor: Bruno Thibault

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

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