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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.

Prerequisite: FREN107. May be taken for Honors credit. 

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 211-010/80 Reading and Composition

This course engages students in an exploration of authentic Francophone cultural material, in an effort to develop their critical reading and writing skills. Together we will examine films, poetry, short stories and bande dessinée in order to gain a deeper understanding of the uses of description, plot structure, character development, and historical context. Selected points of French grammar will be reviewed in order to help students prepare their best work.

FREN 211-011/081 Reading and Composition

 This course includes reading and discussion of French short fiction and the writing of short papers. The emphasis of the course is on improving critical reading skills beyond the level of plot and on writing formal analyses of literature. Students will be introduced to several literary movements.  Grammar review and new structures will be addressed. Honors credit involves supplementary readings, papers and meetings outside of class with the professor. 

Prerequisite for all sections of 211: FREN 107 with a minimum grade of A- or FREN 200 with a minimum grade of C.

Satisfies Group A CAS & University breadth requirements. May be taken for Honors credit.

FREN301 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 explores 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 French, both with a suggested minimum grade of B-.

May be taken for Honors credit.

Satisfies Group B CAS breadth requirement.

FREN 303 Visual Narratives

 How did French perfume become famous? The images advertising it told a cleverly-designed story of luxury, seduction, with just a hint of danger that won over the 19th century public. Much of it still resonates with contemporary audiences. In addition to the visual narratives developed by advertising, the course will also investigate communication strategies employed in French graphic novels and silent film. We will then extend our reflection to popular illustrated texts, from science fiction to art nouveau luxury editions.

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

May be taken for Honors credit.

FREN 404 Advanced Composition and Grammar

 Designed to sharpen students' writing skills and hone their expression in French, this course combines systematic grammar study with work on stylistics. In a workshop format that will include in-class peer editing, students will compose frequent short but carefully prepared writing assignments that target specific skills and goals (descriptions, reviews of current events in the media, literary analysis, etc.) with a focus on incorporating specific grammatical structures.

 Prerequisites: Two 300-level courses taught in French. May be taken for Honors credit. 

FREN 455 French Education on Film

 This cultural studies course explores directors' and filmgoers' shared fascination with the environment of the classroom, the student-teacher relationship, and the hallowed place of summer. We will discuss a wide selection of narrative and documentary films and analyze their take on the socio-political dimensions of the French educational system. Among other topics, we will touch on filmmakers' critique of antiquated instructional methods, and their keen interest in issues facing non-traditional students and recent immigrants.

Prerequisites: One of FREN 301, 302, or 303, plus one other 300-level course taught in French. May be taken for Honors credit.

FREN 875-010 Autour de la femme

 Part One: This concise survey of 18th century literature discusses key texts of the French Enlightenment with special attention to their construction of femininity. Through a selection of fiction and nonfiction drawn from a variety of genres, the course examines issues such as the place of faith and science in French culture, women's education and participation in politics, and the possibility of equality in romantic relationships.

Part Two: Women Real and Ideal. This introduction to French writers of the Renaissance explores the portrayal of women in narrative fiction (Marguerite de Navarre's Heptaméron), lyric poetry (works by Pierre de Ronsard and Louise Labé), and the essay (Michel de Montaigne, Marguerite de Valois, Marie de Gournay).

FREN 875-011 Négritude, Antillanité, Créolité

 Are the Caribbean people Native American, Indian, European, African, Asian, or are they a fascinating métissage (mix) of all these ethnicities? What are the historical, cultural and political situations of Francophone Caribbean people (Haiti and the "French Overseas Departments") within the global Caribbean region? Why are the literary movements of Négritude, Antillanité, and Créolité such an important contribution to a better understanding of the Caribbean and to the enrichment of the now flourishing subject of Postcolonial Studies? Come and whet your intellectual curiosity about the Caribbean through the study of novels, plays, poems, critical essays and films by Aimé Césaire, Raphaël Confiant, Maryse Condé, Léopold Senghor, and more.

Restrictions: Both sections of FREN 875 are open only to MA students (who must enroll in both).

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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