FREN 106

 Basic Intensive French

Odile Chilton

Eric Trudel

M T W Th F  8:50 -9:50 am

M T W Th F 10:10 -11:10 am            



(8 credits) This course is designed for students who wish to acquire a strong grasp of the French language and culture in the shortest time possible. Students with little or no previous experience of French will complete the equivalent of three semesters of college‑level French. The semester course meets ten hours a week (with an extra hour of tutorial with the French assistant), using a variety of pedagogical methods, and will be followed by a four‑week stay at the Institut de Touraine (Tours, France). There the students will continue daily intensive study of the French language and culture while living with French families (successful completion of the course in France carries 4 additional credits). Students must consult with Profs. Odile Chilton or Eric Trudel before on-line registration. 

Class size: 22



FREN 203

 Intermediate French III

Odile Chilton

M T Th    10:10 am-11:10 am



In this continuation of the study of French civilization and culture, students will be able to reinforce their skills in grammar, composition and spoken proficiency, through the use of short texts, newspaper and magazine articles, as well as video. Students will meet the French tutor for one extra hour during  the  week for workshops.  Class size: 20



FREN 239


Matthew Amos

 M W     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

HEG 308


This course will seek to improve your understanding of contemporary French civilization.  We will begin with a historical analysis of the political, socio-economic and cultural reconfigurations that occurred in France and its many colonies from the death knell of the Ancien Régime in 1789, through the multifarious wars and revolutions of the 19th and early 20th centuries, to the contemporary Fifth Republic.  This historical analysis will provide us with the groundwork for an in-depth reading of today's France and the many challenges it faces: crises of national identity in a postcolonial society, of the maintenance of a social model in the face of globalized economic competition, as well as, perhaps just as importantly, the crisis regarding the quality of the baguettes in one's local boulangerie.  Aside from France's infamous pessimism, we will also focus on the seemingly positive aspects of French exceptionalism: the fromage, the fashion, the fact that the works of canonical French authors are bound in books resembling Bibles, and that a certain French president can create a scandal by expressing his dislike for a novel from the 17th century.   Taught in French.  Students should have completed an advanced 200 level language course or speak with the professor before registering for the course.  Class size: 22



FREN 270

 Advanced Composition AND ConversAtIOn

Matthew Amos

 T Th    1:30 pm-2:50 pm



This course is primarily intended to help students fine-tune their command of spoken and written French. It focuses on a wide and diverse selection of writings (short works of fiction, poems, philosophical essays, political analysis, newspaper editorials or magazine articles, etc.) loosely organized around a single theme. The readings provide a rich ground for cultural investigation, intellectual exchange, in-class debates, in-depth examination of stylistics and, of course, vocabulary acquisition. Students are encouraged to write on a regular basis and expected to participate fully in class discussion and debates. A general review of grammar is also conducted throughout the course.  Class size: 20



FREN 321


Marina van Zuylen

 Th       1:30 pm-3:50 pm



Cross-listed: Literature   In a rather shocking statement from Le Peuple (1846), the French historian Michelet proclaims that almost all those who benefit from social mobility end up betraying the character and originality of their initial class. "The hard thing," he writes, "is not [so much] to ascend, but while ascending, to remain oneself." What is gained in culture and knowledge, he adds, is lost in "originality and authentic distinction." This seminar will scrutinize novels and essays for their insights about the ways in which various cultural and socio-economic mutations shape and undermine the complex link between distinction and authenticity. It will single out questions of ambition, snobbery, and exclusion through their vocabulary of flattery and contempt. We will examine the psychodynamics of prestige and acceptance, success and failure, as they are crystallized in the deeply antagonistic class relations from Stendhal's Julien Sorel to Eribon's Voyage à Reims. We will examine the symbolic violence that marks social cleavages, dwell on Saint-Simon's utopian triad-- avoir/savoir/pouvoir—and use as our model and anti-model the battle between Bourdieu's Habitus and Rancière's dissensus. Readings: Stendhal, Le Rouge et le noir (must be read before classes begin); Balzac, Le Père Goriot and excerpts from Illusions perdues; Huysmans, A Rebours; Proust, Un Amour de Swann; Ernaux, La Place, Eribon, Retour à Reims.  Class size: 18