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Modern Languages

Course Offerings

    Beginner/Intermediate Courses 

101, 102. Elementary French

Designed for beginning students and aimed at developing skill in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in French. Emphasis on communication through intensive aural/oral practice and awareness of cultural context. Three class meetings and one or two laboratory sessions per week at the discretion of the instructor.

200. Elementary French Review                                       

This course for high/advanced beginners reviews the material covered in FRS 101 and FRS 102 for those who need a refresher in the basics but have enough experience to progress to more advanced language production. The objective of this course is to expand basic proficiency in the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing, as well as to help students interact with various elements of the culture from different French-speaking countries. FRS 200 is only appropriate for those with no prior French experience at the university level who have had a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 4 years at the high school level.  Three class meetings and one or two laboratory sessions per week at the discretion of the instructor. Prerequisite: By placement exam or departmental approval only.

201, 202. Intermediate French

Continued emphasis on the four basic skills. Intensive aural/oral practice. Review of grammar, expansion of vocabulary, and their application in writing. Development of effective reading strategies in response to both expository and literary texts. Familiarization of the student with French life and the francophone world. Three class meetings and one laboratory session per week. Prerequisite: French 102, appropriate placement score, or permission of the instructor.

 

         300 Level Courses           

301, 302. Advanced French

A sequence designed to deepen the student’s skills reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Journalistic, cultural, and literary readings about contemporary French life serve to develop the student’s ability to analyze texts and to write clearly and persuasively in varied forms, such as the résumé, analysis, commentary, description, and short narrative. Class discussion aims at stimulating fluent and spontaneous use of spoken French. The course includes instruction in phonetics as a guide to correct pronunciation as well as multimedia cultural activities intended to improve the student’s linguistic and cultural knowledge. The course prepares the student for upper-level literature and civilization courses and for study abroad in a Francophone country.                                                

303, 304. Introduction to French and Francophone Literature and Culture

A course designed to help students answer the questions, “How does one talk and write about literature?” and “What does it mean to read and give a reading to a text?” An exploration of selected works representing different genres both in relation to other literary movements and their historical contexts. Prerequisite: French 301 or 302 or permission of the instructor.                    

311. Contemporary France

Taught in English, this course provides an introductory historical and cultural study of contemporary France. Students will be provided tools for cultural interpretation via critical texts and the analysis of French films and their American remakes; they will then apply them to the cultural history of France. We will explore the impact of World War II, of the student protests of May ‘68, and of women’s emancipation movements. We will examine France’s position in the world—its past as a colonizing nation, its present post-colonial actions, and its multicultural identity enriched by different waves of immigration. We will study the political and economic roles of women, their place in the family, health concerns, and struggles for autonomy through works by women. This course counts toward the French major and minor if the journal entries, mid-term exam, and final paper are written in French.                      

312. The Contemporary Francophone World

Taught in English, this course provides an introductory historical and cultural study of the contemporary Francophone world. Designed as a survey of the non-European Francophone world, the course will offer for study both literary and cultural documents from the Caribbean, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Canada. Initially they will be provided tools for cultural interpretation via critical texts, media analysis (including print and internet sources) and the analysis of Francophone films; they will then apply them to the cultural history of the Francophone world. We will explore French colonization, the process of decolonization, and subsequent independence movements. We will examine social, political, and economic roles of both women and men, changing gender roles, and contemporary divisions of labor. Finally, we will reflect on the political, historical, and socio-cultural situations of post-colonial Francophone nations.

 

         400 Level Courses                 

411. Love in the Middle Ages

An investigation of the various modes of representation used to define love during the Middle Ages in France. Readings will include Ovid, Andreas Capellanus, the troubadours, Chretien de Troyes, Marie de France, and the letters of Heloise and Abelard. Prerequisite: French 303, 304 or permission of the instructor.                     

412. The Renaissance in France

Reading and discussion of works exemplifying the literary achievement of sixteenth-century France and its relation to the spread of printing, voyages of exploration, the rise of Humanism, the Reformation, and the Wars of Religion. Readings include works by Marot, Rabelais, Scève, Louise Labé, du Bellay, Ronsard, Marguerite de Navarre, and Montaigne. Prerequisite: French 303, 304 or permission of the instructor.                    

413. The “Grand Siècle”

A study of representative works of the “grand siècle,” in which France achieved cultural ascendancy in Europe. Exploration of the development of classicism and its relation to the emergence of a centralized, autocratic régime. Readings will include dramatic works by Corneille, Racine, and Molière and selected non-dramatic writings: the poetry of La Fontaine, Madame de Lafayette’s La Princesse de Clèves, and selected writings of Descartes, Pascal, and La Bruyère. Prerequisite: French 303, 304 or permission of the instructor.                    

414. Les Lumières

A study of letters and the history of ideas from the Regency to the Revolution, with emphasis on the philosophers’ use of literature as a weapon to further their rationalistic, humanitarian ideas. The Pre-Romantic reaction to the Age of Reason as manifested in writing and painting. Readings include works by Prévost, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Beau-marchais, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, and de Staëul. Prerequisite: French 303, 304 or permission of the instructor.                    

415. Nineteenth-Century France: Romantics, Realists, Symbolists

An exploration of the nature of the different grands récits that shape this century and of how they relate to problems of colonialism, aestheticism, industrialization, class structures, feminism, publishing, and criticism. Examines as well the effects of the crise du roman. Prerequisite: French 303, 304 or permission of the instructor.                    

416. French and Francophone Poetry

An examination of major trends in French poetry from Romanticism to the present, this course is designed to increase the student’s awareness of and appreciation for poetry by close reading and explication in class of representative poems. Special attention will be paid to poetic forms and devices. Prerequisite: French 303, 304 or permission of the instructor.                  

417. Twentieth Century Evolutions and Revolutions: 1900-1945

Evolutions and revolutions in French literature in their necessary relation to other artistic, social, philosophical, and psychoanalytical developments, criticism, the impact of the two World Wars and the interwar period. Emphasis on narrative and genre. Readings will include works by Apollinaire, Barthes, Colette, Proust, Sartre, and Surrealist writers. Prerequisite: French 303, 304 or permission of the instructor.                    

418. Post-World War II France

What are the voices of the post-war period, feminism, and anticolonialism? What is the nature of identity and nationalism? What was the impact of the Algerian War and Mai ‘68? What is the nouveau roman? Who are some of the critics that have helped shape the visions of this century? Readings will be drawn from works by Beauvoir, Beckett, Césaire, Cixous, Duras, Fanon, Foucault, Ionesco, and Robbe-Grillet. Prerequisite: French 303, 304 or permission of the instructor.                   

419. Studies in Francophone Literature and Culture

This course will present the student with a number of aesthetic, cultural, historical, and political issues relevant to francophone literature. The particular national or regional focus will vary. Prerequisite: French 303, 304 or permission of the instructor.                                                    

451, 452. Senior Reading

The intensive study of an author or literary genre. Open to seniors; others by permission.

 

          

Additional Courses

194, 294, 394, 494. Special Topics in French Studies

The intensive study of a selected author, movement, genre, or theme. Prerequisite: French 303, 304 or permission of the instructor for 394 and 494.                                                                                                                  

190, 290, 390, 490. Internship

                                                                                                                                

195, 295, 395, 495. On-campus Research

                                                                                                                                

196, 296, 396, 496. Off-campus Research

                                                                                                                                

197, 297, 397, 497. Independent Study.

                                

SCE. Senior Capstone Experience in French Studies

The senior capstone seminar is required for graduation and is devoted to the completion of a thesis or other project or to preparation for a comprehensive examination in the field of French Studies. Senior French Studies majors register for this course in the last semester in which they have full-time status at the College. While much of the work is done by each student independently in consultation with a faculty advisor, there are occasional group meetings in which those students writing theses or developing other projects report on the progress of their work and in which students preparing for the comprehensive examination discuss the texts and other materials they are studying. All students will give a formal oral presentation in the target language before their peers and the faculty at the end of the seminar. Thesis students will present their research. Students who are taking the comprehensive examination will choose a topic for their presentation in consultation with the faculty advisor. The Senior capstone Experience will be graded Pass, Fail or Honors.