Undergraduate course descriptions

French UN3240
FREN LANG,SOC,CULTRE THRU FILM
Heidi Holst-Knudsen
Prerequisites: FREN UN2102 French socio-political issues and language through the prism of film. Especially designed for non-majors wishing to further develop their French language skills and learn about French culture. Each module includes assignments targeting the four language competencies: reading, writing, speaking and oral comprehension, as well as cultural understanding.

French UN3244
FRENCH THRU CURRENT EVENTS
Samuel Skippon
The course will offer students an understanding of fundamental underlying concepts that structure French society and that are necessary to grasp if one wants to follow current events in France. This course could be of interest not only to CC students but also to students enrolled at SIPA or Teacher’s College. Moreover, this course would allow for a comparative approach to how same events are covered in US, or other foreign media, and in France. Given that this course will deal with current events, the readings will depend entirely on how the news unfolds. Students will be given an introduction to the various media outlets available to them: the press, television and online sources. As the course unfolds, I will adapt the choice of sources that best follow events as they happen. 2022 for example, will be the year France assumes the presidency of the European Union. It will also be the year of the presidential elections. For such events, I will propose specific institutional sources. On the other hand, events that could not be anticipated will require some form of guidance in terms of sources. In spite of the obvious unpredictability of the specific content of this course, certain key concepts necessary to understand current events in France will be presented. These may vary slightly from one semester to another, but would include, without being limited to: the structure of government and public institutions, political parties, unions and “associations”, social benefits and “the welfare state”, public vs. private sector, “Paris is France”, universalism, secularism and “laïcité”, cultural exceptionalism, the figure of the intellectual, national identity, immigration, geography of France and demographics, relation to Europe, geopolitics, globalization and sovereignty. Of course, the choice of themes and concepts in a given semester would be influenced by dominant topics in the Frenc

French UN3405
THIRD-YEAR GRAMMAR & COMP
Alexandra Borer, Pascale Crepon
Prerequisites: FREN UN3405 must be taken before FREN UN3333/4 unless the student has an AP score of 5 or the director of undergraduate studies permission. The goal of FREN UN3405 is to help students improve their grammar and perfect their writing and reading skills, especially as a preparation for taking literature or civilization courses, or spending a semester in a francophone country. Through the study of two full-length works of literature and a number of short texts representative of different genres, periods, and styles, they will become more aware of stylistic nuances, and will be introduced to the vocabulary and methods of literary analysis. Working on the advanced grammar points covered in this course will further strengthen their mastery of French syntax. They will also be practicing writing through a variety of exercises, including pastiches and creative pieces, as well as typically French forms of academic writing such as “résumé,” “explication de texte,” and “dissertation.

French UN3409
INTRO TO FRENCH & FRANCOPHONE HISTORY
Emmanuelle Saada
This class provides an introduction to the history of France and of the francophone world since the Middle Ages. It initiates students to the major events and themes that have shaped politics, society, and culture in France and its former colonies, paying special attention to questions of identity and diversity in a national and imperial context. Modules include a combination of lecture and seminar-style discussion of documents (in French). This course is part of a two-course sequence and is a core requirement the French and Francophone Studies major.

French UN3410
INTRO TO FRENCH & FRANCOPHONE LITERATURE 
Joanna R Stalnaker
This class offers a survey of major works of French and francophone literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Emphasis will be placed on formal and stylistic elements of the works read and on developing the critical skills necessary for literary analysis. Works will be placed in their historical context.

CLFR W3500
THE MODERN NOVEL: BALZAC, FLAUBERT, PROUST
Elisabeth Ladenson
This course will examine the genealogy of 19th- and 20th-century realism and modernism through readings of three French novels: Balzac’s Lost Illusions, Flaubert’s Sentimental Education, and Proust’s Swann’s Way.  Readings and discussion in English.

CLFR3535
WHO IS AFRAID OF CONTEMPORARY ART?
French and American Writers on Contemporary Art, from 1850 to Today
Benjamin Olivennes
This course tracks the relationship between writers, especially in France and in the US, and the visual arts of their time - from an original support of modern art in the 19th century and early 20th century, to the satire of contemporary art in  recent years. We will read novels, plays, articles and philosophical texts by Baudelaire, Balzac, Zola, Virginia Woolf, Heidegger, Walter Benjamin, Tom Wolfe, Michel Houellebecq and Yasmina Reza. This course will also include a visit to the Edward Hopper exhibition at the Whitney Museum.

French UN3995
SENIOR SEMINAR
Antoine Compagnon
Prerequisites: completion of either FREN UN3333-FREN UN3334 or FREN UN3420-FREN UN3421, and FREN UN3405, or the director of undergraduate studies' or the instructor's permission. Required of all French and French & Francophone Studies majors and concentrators. Usually taken by majors during the fall term of their senior year. Critical discussion of a few major literary works along with some classic commentaries on those works. Students critically assess and practice diverse methods of literary analysis.

French UN3996
SENIOR TUTORIAL IN LITERATURE
Prerequisites: the director of undergraduate studies permission. Required for majors wishing to be considered for departmental honors. This course may also be taken at Reid Hall. Recommended for seniors majoring or concentrating in French and open to other qualified students. Preparation of a senior essay. In consultation with a staff member designated by the director of undergraduate studies, the student develops a topic withing the areas of French language, literature, or intellectual history.

French GU4321
THE MAGHREB IN TRANSITION: SOCIETY & CULTURE 
Madeleine Dobie
This course explores the production of culture in the contemporary Maghreb. We consider how important dimensions of social and political life are explored in literature and film and, correspondingly, the role that these and other media play in shaping social and political dynamics. The focus is on Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, but these nations are also situated in broader regional and global contexts. Former French colonies, these three nations have in common a multilingual cultural environment in which French coexists with Arabic and Amazigh languages. The course begins in roughly 1990, a time of disenchantment when the political regimes established at Independence were challenged and in some cases replaced. We explore the dynamics of Algeria’s ‘Black Decade’ and Morocco’s emergence from the ‘Years of lead,’ then turn to more recent social and political dynamics, notably the ‘Arab spring’ of 2011-2012 and the ongoing Algerian hirak. Throughout the course we consider how the arts have responded to and contributed to change while also revisiting the past and reframing national narratives. The course is interdisciplinary, combining historical, sociological and anthropological approaches with close reading of texts and films. The syllabus is organized both historically and thematically. We explore questions including the representation and memory of violence, the geographies and sociology of migration and globalization, and the changing landscape of media and publication. Several sessions explore the meaning of ‘modernity’ in conjunction with explorations of subjectivity and spirituality, gender and sexuality.

French GU4800
QUESTIONS IN AFRICAN LITERATURE
Souleymane Bachir Diagne
The seminar, which is in French, will deal with the question: what makes a “classic” of African francophone Literature a classic? That question will be examined through the reading of five “classics” in connection with the discussion of Claire Ducournau’s La fabrique des classiques africains. Ecrivains d’Afrique subsaharienne francophone (1960-2012).  The 5 works of fiction are the following: L’aventure ambiguë (C.H. Kane), Une si longue lettre (Mariama Ba), Les Soleils des indépendances (Ahmadou Kourouma), Le devoir de violence (Yambo Ouologuem), La vie et demie (Sony Labou Tansi), L’ombre d’Imana (Veronique Tadjo).

FREN 3405: THIRD-YEAR GRAMMAR & COMPOSITION
This course helps students to improve their grammar and perfect their writing and reading skills, especially as a preparation for taking literature or civilization courses, or spending a semester abroad. Two different versions of the course are offered, one built around literary works, the other featuring the study of current events.
 
3405: LITERATURE
Kat Raichlen

3405: CURRENT EVENTS
Samuel Skippon

FREN 3241: FRENCH LANGUAGE THROUGH THEATER
Pascale Crépon
This course focuses on learning the French language via the study of theatre (through plays, scenes, theories of drama, lecture/workshops by guests). Its goal is to both introduce students to French theater and to explore how it challenges us physically and emotionally, as well as in intellectual, moral, and aesthetic ways. No previous acting experience is necessary but a desire to “get up and move” and to see plays as a class project is encouraged.

FREN3242: FRENCH LANGUAGE, CULTURE & SOCIETY THROUGH THE STUDY OF PARIS
Alexandra Borer
Prerequisite: 2 years of college French. Paris may be referred to as the capital of modernity, as the city of romance and pleasure, as the center of social and political powers, or as a privileged stage for crises and revolutions. Analyzing and researching the meanings of these diverse representations exposes students to key aspects of French and Francophone political, social, and cultural history. Materials include major literary texts as well as paintings, movies and popular songs as well as museum websites, local newspapers and ads, restaurant menus, postcards... such variety allows students to study language registers and vocabulary contextualization.


FREN 3200: ADVANCED TRANSLATION WORKSHOP
Sophie Queuniet
In this course we practice translation from French to English and from English to French, while also exploring theories of translation and historical shifts in translation practice. We consider the specific challenges posed by genres such as lyric poetry and contemporary news media, and the complex dynamics of inter- or trans-cultural translation. Throughout the course we consider how the study and practice of translation illuminate the processes of reading and writing and the elements of style. The main objectives are: to improve comprehension and production of written French; to attune students to aspects of literary style in both French and English, and to foster understanding of the historical, aesthetic and cultural questions raised by translation. The course is divided into six short units, each of which undertakes a specific translation project, and/or focuses on a particular genre, text, or author. These units include: rendering Proust’s style; translating poetry and (and into) prose poetry; translation as a medium of inter- or trans-cultural encounter, translating news media, the challenges of oral styles and humor, and translating the academic style. Assignments for the course involve writing and creative writing, as well as translation exercises. At the end of the semester there will be a unit in which students translate part of a paper they have written in English into French, and draft a one-page translation of two works, one in French and one in English, in any genre, that is of special interest to them.
 
FREN 3409: INTRO TO FRENCH & FRANCOPHONE HISTORY
Eleanor Grabowski
This class provides an introduction to the history of France and of the francophone world since the Middle Ages. It initiates students to the major events and themes that have shaped politics, society, and culture in France and its former colonies, paying special attention to questions of identity and diversity in a national and imperial context. Modules include a combination of lecture and seminar-style discussion of documents (in French). This course is part of a two-course sequence and is a core requirement the French and Francophone Studies major. 

FREN 3410: INTRO TO FRENCH & FRANCOPHONE LITERATURE
Laëtitia Ndiaye
This class offers a survey of major works of French and francophone literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Emphasis will be placed on formal and stylistic elements of the works read and on developing the critical skills necessary for literary analysis. Works will be placed in their historical context.

FREN 4995: FRENCH FOR DIPLOMATS
Thibault Lavaud-Vavasseur

FREN UN3730 
JEWISH IDENTITIES IN FRANCE
Katherine Raichlen
France is seen as both a haven for the Jews, celebrated as the first Western European nation to grant them equal rights, and as a uniquely dangerous place, infamous for a latent antisemitism that periodically explodes in violent ways. Today, the country is home to the largest Jewish population in Europe and the third largest in the world. It has also become internationally known for its concept of laïcité, a form of secularism perceived as hostile toward the public expression of religion. These seeming contradictions spark questions about the experience of Jews in France that are the central subject of this course. After a brief historical survey of key moments in the history of French Jewry, we will explore questions of French and Jewish identities. Questions under consideration include: what does it mean to be French and Jewish at the same time? How do Jews relate to dominant French culture and to other minorities? How does France’s dual status as a republic and an empire complicate these questions? What is particular about the Jewish experience in France compared to other Western European and North American countries with significant Jewish populations? We will approach these questions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including history, philosophy, sociology, literature and film. Our discussions will draw on the rich tradition of French literary and philosophical works about Jewish identity as well as recent texts and films. The majority of readings will be in French, but discussion and assignments will be in English in order to make the course accessible to more students.
 
FREN 4995: FRENCH FOR DIPLOMATS
Thibault Lavaud-Vavasseur
This advanced language course is aimed primarily at SIPA and graduate students seeking to improve their French while also studying French institutions, foreign policy and role as a former colonial power. Students improve their ability to read official, journalistic, and scholarly documents related to those topics and develop their ability to actively use the vocabulary, idioms, and style necessary to speak and write about them.
 
FREN 4xxx: IMAGES OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
Caroline Weber
The French Revolution has been endlessly and variously mythologized and analyzed, as well as depicted in polemical, historical, and literary works. This course is designed as an overview of responses to this ten-year event, concentrating on popular depictions in Francophone and Anglophone writings. Readings will include texts by Gouges, Sade, Burke, Coleridge, Burns, Wordsworth, Blake, Wollstonecraft, Büchner, Carlyle, and Dickens.
 
CLFR 4xxx: 19TH-CENTURY FRENCH & BRITISH FICTION
Elisabeth Ladenson and Nicholas Dames
 
CLFR 4xxx: THE WORLD ON THE PAGE: COSMOLOGY IN MEDIEVAL LITERATURE
Sarah Kay
This course is about interactions on the page between texts and images and the way they together represent and frame aspects of the world, making them appear close or distant, central or peripheral, but above all perceptible and intelligible to the reader’s eye. The world thus represented includes people, land, and sky, and the multiple connections between them. Pages such as this reveal the intermediality of medieval “literature” and the plasticity of the medieval “world-view,” thanks to the complex ways they mediate these interconnections. The Middle Ages witnessed both intense curiosity about the world and extraordinary developments in book design, with the flowering of illuminated vernacular manuscripts between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries picking up from the production of exquisite Latin ones in the Carolingian period. The pages we study in this course are drawn from interconnected textual clusters that foreground transmutation (principally Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the French Moralized Ovid), gender and sexuality (Guillaume de Lorris’s Romance of the Rose and Machaut’s Fountain of Love), and learning (Alan of Lille’s Anticlaudianus and Christine de Pizan’s Path of Long Study), works that range in date from early imperial Rome to fifteenth-century France; the majority are composed in early forms of French, others in various forms of Latin. They will be made available in modern English translation but the course will provide opportunities to work on them in the original languages and to engage with original manuscripts, online and in person.

Our discussions will be supported by thinkers who reflect on relations between format and knowledge, and the variability of one relative to the other. According to Deleuze and Guattari, faces, landscapes, skyscapes, and the page, are all surfaces pointed with meaning that also imply interiority or depth. For Anne-Marie Christin, the page enables not only the organization and understanding of space, but also conjures it into being: pages frame the world, but they are also framed by it. Deleuze and Guattari are in part informed by Stoic physics and Christin by Heidegger’s later writings on art; we will also draw on theories of mediation, translation theory, and theories of ekphrasis, as appropriate. This course is of value to both graduate students and advanced undergraduates in French, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Comparative Literature, Classics, History of Science, Art History, and History.