Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Intensive Beginning French
For students who have not previously studied French, an introduction to listening, speaking, reading, and writing in French, providing the syntactic and semantic foundation of the French language in a concentrated program of grammar presentation, drills, laboratory work, and discussion. Primary emphasis will be placed on the student's active use of the language, and weekly attendance at the French language table will be required. This course does not fulfill the foreign language distribution requirement. Students are expected to continue with FREN 0102 in the winter term after successfully completing FREN 0101, and with FREN 0201in the spring. 6 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Beginning French
This course is a continuation of FREN 0101, dealing with more complex French. Oral skills are stressed and students participate in the French language table at lunch. This course does not fulfill the foreign language distribution requirement. (FREN 0101)

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

Requirements

WTR

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Course Description

Accelerated Beginning French
This intensive course is a condensation of FREN 0101 and 0102 for students who have never before studied French. We will focus on the development of all four communicative skills in an immersion-style environment. Primary emphasis will be placed on increased oral proficiency through audiovisual, conversational, and drill methods. Upon successful completion of this course students will be prepared for second-year French in the fall. Weekly attendance at the French language table will be required. 6 hrs. lect./disc./1 hr. drill

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Intermediate French I
Emphasis on increased control and proficiency in the language through audiovisual, conversational, and drill methods. Readings and film enlarge the student's view of French life and culture. (FREN 0102 or by placement) 5 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Intermediate French II
An active and intensive review of French grammar for students having had good beginning-level training in French. We will work not only to perfect mastery of the structures of the language with practice of writing and reading, but also to develop oral comprehension and production skills. (FREN 0103 or FREN 0105 or placement) 5 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Toward Liberated Expression
A course designed to increase and perfect the ability to express oneself in spoken and written French. Emphasis on precision, variety, and vocabulary acquisition. Sections limited to 15 students. (FREN 0201, 0203 or placement) This requirement for the major and the minor may be satisfied by placement at a higher level. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Self and Society: Effective Writing in French
In this course, students will deepen their knowledge of the French language and French-speaking cultures while developing their reading and writing skills through examination of a variety of texts and media. This course facilitates the transition from language-oriented courses (FREN 0205) to content-oriented courses (such as FREN 0220 and FREN 0230) by introducing students to strategies for interpretation and discussion, with a focus on effective writing. Course materials may include essays/articles, theater, fiction, poetry, videos, and films. (FREN 0205 or by placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

CW, EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Imagining Community in France and Beyond
In this course we will examine how notions of community have been imagined within French culture, drawing on a variety of sources including essays, short novels and film. Particular attention will be given to works in which difference (ethnic, regional, national, generational, class) plays an important role in initiating and sustaining innovative forms of partnership. The course provides an array of opportunities to hone oral expression, critical thinking and writing in French. Writers and directors studied may include Chamoiseau, Dai Sijie, Daudet, Duras, Gary, Glissant, Kassovitz, Malle, and Tournier. (FREN 0209, 0210 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2020

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

From Romanticism to Modernism
The 19th and 20th centuries were marked by social and political revolutions and by literary and artistic movements that changed our attitudes to art and to ourselves, including romanticism, realism, symbolism, surrealism, and existentialism. We will study literary texts, artistic and philosophical movements, and the social circumstances that conditioned them. Close readings of the texts (including prose, drama, and poetry) will develop critical vocabulary and writing skills. Authors may include Hugo, Balzac, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Gide, Camus, Sartre, and Francophone writers. (FREN 0209 or 0210 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020

Requirements

EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Criminal Minds in Literature written in French
How does one become a criminal? What causes a person to commit a crime? What triggers a criminal act? Which sorts of thought-processes lead to crime? These questions will be central to this course in which we will analyze the writing techniques that various Francophone authors have used to explore and portray criminals, both male and female. We will read literary texts—short stories and novels— from the Francophone world, including France, and watch some film adaptations. We will investigate the connections between realism, romanticism, and naturalism; attempt to disentangle reality from the imaginary; and interpret and extract meaning from stream-of-consciousness narratives. (FREN 0209 or 0210 or placement) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2021

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Introduction to Francophone Literature
This course was formerly offered as FREN 0231 and therefore students who have taken that course are not able to register for FREN 0223.
In this course we will study significant literary and socio-political movements that took place in the Francophone world during the twentieth century. Through the critical study and textual analysis of poetry, fiction, and essays, we will explore movements such as Négritude (Sub-Saharan Africa, Antilles and French Guiana), Antillanité and Créolité (Antilles), Indigénisme and Spiralisme (Haiti), as well as “colonial” and “post-independence” literatures from the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa. The goal is to familiarize students with the critical role African and Diasporic writers played in the history of colonization and decolonization of the French empire. (FREN 0209, 0210 or placement) (Not open to students who have completed FREN 0231) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AAL, EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Travelers and Migrants in French and Francophone Literature
Multiple forms of traveling emerged with the expansion of the French empire, from colonial ventures to forced migration. In this course we will study how writers represent such experiences. We will discuss fictions that focus on mobility, passages, and border-crossing, and question what these fictions reveal about the cultures in contact. How do travel and migration narratives reconfigure the relation between here and there, self and other, the individual and the community? Studying literary texts in their historical contexts will allow us to discuss varied topics, such as nationhood, slavery, exoticism, identity, and difference, as well as to explore several artistic movements that have shaped French and Francophone culture. Writers will include Montesquieu, Balzac, Baudelaire, Madame de Staël, Gide, Césaire, Glissant, and Sinha. (FREN 0209, 0210 or placement) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Introduction to Contemporary France
In this interdisciplinary course we will examine the evolving social and political landscape of France in the 21st century. How is French society reconciling contemporary challenges with deeply entrenched institutions and values? How does everyday life reflect the evolution of long-term trends? How are immigration, growing inequalities, and membership in the European Union challenging French identity and the notion of “Frenchness”? We will focus our attention on demography and the family, the educational system, politics, and the French social model or welfare state. Emphasis will be on oral expression and the acquisition of specialized vocabulary. Sources will include articles from the French and American press, documents, and film. This course is recommended for all students planning to study in France. (FREN 0209, 0210 or placement); open to first-semester first-year students with permission.)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Introduction to Francophone Literature
In this course we will study significant literary and socio-political movements that took place in the Francophone world during the twentieth century. Through the critical study and textual analysis of poetry, fiction, and essays, we will explore movements such as Négritude (Sub-Saharan Africa, Antilles and French Guiana), Antillanité and Créolité (Antilles), Indigénisme and Spiralisme (Haiti), as well as “colonial” and “post-independence” literatures from the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa. The goal is to familiarize students with the critical role African and Diasporic writers played in the history of colonization and decolonization of the French empire. (FREN 0209, 0210 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

French in North America
In this course we will focus on French varieties in North America, including those found in Québec, historic Acadia, New England, Louisiana, and the Caribbean. We will survey the impact of French colonialism on the linguistic landscape of North America and the sociolinguistic dynamics of French-speaking communities. We will study language revitalization and maintenance in local newspapers, social media, literature, and film. This course is intended to facilitate the transition between introductory and advanced-level classes with an emphasis on developing written and oral expression in French. (FREN 0209) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, LNG, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

History of the French Language
In this course we will study how French has evolved into a global language. We will survey its development from a Latin dialect spoken in ancient Gaul to its present-day diversity in the French-speaking world, with a focus on comparative analysis. Specific topics may include linguistic variation over time, gender and language change, phonological history, spelling reforms, and language use on social media. Students will engage with historical and contemporary texts, art, and audiovisual sources. (FREN 0209, or by waiver. No previous knowledge of linguistics is required.) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, HIS, LNG

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Course Description

Animal Encounters in French Literature
In this course we will explore representations of animals in French literature. Animals have played an important role in literature, yet, in post-Darwinian modernity their depiction became increasingly tied to a questioning of the human/animal divide. What are the recurrent motifs and concerns that shape depictions of animals in 19th and 20th century French literature? What ethical and social questions do they raise? We will study fictional works of animal metamorphosis, and literary accounts of zoos and animal spectacles, as well as ways in which animals have been used as a rhetorical device to de-humanize "Others"—women and foreigners, in particular. We will read texts by Baudelaire, Balzac, Maupassant, Flaubert, Colette, Vercors, and Darrieussecq. (FREN 0220-0229 or by waiver). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

French Eco-Fictions
The climate crisis challenges us to rethink our relation to the environment beyond extractive goals. How can literary arts help us reflect upon traditional perceptions of nature and enable new ways of relating to nonhuman beings? In this course we will study the role of the environment in French-language fictions from the start of the industrial revolution to the present. We will explore how writers from a variety of geographical and cultural backgrounds (France, the Caribbean, Québec) make us attentive to the multiple ways in which humanity interconnects with the nonhuman world. Different strategies of representation will be discussed from wilderness narratives to activist prose and post-apocalyptic fiction. Writers include: Rousseau, Lamartine, Giono, Saucier, Volodine, Roumain, Chawaf, and Damasio. (FREN 0220-0232 or by waiver) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Childhood and Education in the Caribbean
In this course we will study contemporary Caribbean writers’ unease with, and denunciation of, a European post-colonial school system implanted in the French Caribbean that ignored the socio-economic and linguistic reality of the population, and therefore alienated them. How did the French curriculum shape the identity of Caribbean children? What methods did these writers use to resist assimilation? By focusing on first-person narratives from a variety of French Caribbean countries we will study topics such as colonization, alienation, diversity, inclusion, and equity. Writers will include Chamoiseau, Condé, Pineau, Victor, and Tyrolien. This course is part of the Public Humanities Labs Initiative administered by the Axinn Center for the Humanities. (FREN 0220-0230 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2022

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Body Politics in Francophone Fictions
How do political, social, and cultural forces shape women’s experience of and beliefs about their own bodies? In this course we will analyze the social construction of women’s bodies through the very intimate lens of the family in contemporary Francophone fictions. We will see that personal power weighs as much as institutional and disciplinary powers on the degree of control young women retain over their bodies. Students will also learn to define and analyze the historical, political and socio-cultural conditions surrounding these representations. Authors will include Duras, Beti, Condé, Lahens, and Marouane. (FREN 0220-0230 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2020

Requirements

AMR, CMP, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Language Ideologies in the Francophone World
Is French really in danger? Does it need to be defended? Language ideologies have prevailed in France since the foundation of the French Academy in 1635. New waves of language defenders emerged in the 20th century especially against English in the technological and entertainment industry. In this course, we will examine the history of French language ideologies in the Francophone world from the 17th to the 21st century in order to better understand French attitudes toward the “bon usage”. In addition to theoretical works, we will explore language laws, newspaper articles, social media posts, radio news, and documentaries. (FREN 0220, 221, 222, 224, 230) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Madness in Caribbean Literature
How have contemporary French Caribbean writers sought to understand madness and what can we learn from their literary representation of madness? How is madness said to exist in the Caribbean? What is its relationship with science, magico-religious beliefs, power, and community? We will examine these questions in this course through the reading and critical analysis of novels and essays by Carpentier, Chamoiseau, Fanon, Glissant, Pineau and Schwarz-Bart, among others. We will also investigate if, and how, these representations distance themselves from a positivist French conception of sanity and insanity. (FREN 0220-0232 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

French Language and Society
In this course we will study the relationship between the French language and French-speaking societies. Sociolinguistic approaches will be used to explore how geography, class, ethnicity, and gender influence dialectal, lexical, and phonological variation. We will examine how language contact with regional and minority languages affects language use and development. Materials will include scholarly publications, speech samples, social media, and films. Students will learn how to build and analyze surveys, and will practice presenting their research at professional venues. (At least two FREN courses above 0209, or by waiver. No previous knowledge of linguistics is required.) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

French Cinema
In this course we will study two aspects of French cinema: French history through films and French filmmaking through history. We will examine films dealing with specific eras or events of French history or culture, as well as the major trends of French film history and the evolution of French filmmaking. Directors studied may include: Renoir, Truffaut, Godard, Rohmer, Kurys, Besson. (FREN 0220-0230 or by waiver). 3 hrs. lect./disc., 2 hrs. screening.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

ART, EUR, LNG

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Course Description

"I eat - therefore I am", Food and Culture in France
What's in a meal? Historians and anthropologists have long shown food and eating practices to be a function of culture. In France in particular, food and cuisine are fundamental elements of national heritage and cultural identity. What does the organization of the eating ritual say about the French? What do food and eating have to do with class and gender, time and space? How are eating and drinking unique forms of political expression? Works from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives will inform our study of French society through its singular approach to the culture of the table. Readings will include works by Brillat-Savarin, Barthes, Zola, and others. (FREN 0221 or FREN 0230 or by waiver). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

France: A Multicultural Society?
The debates over "national identity" and the "niqab affair" (2009-2010) demonstrated once again just how controversial the notion of cultural pluralism remains in France. Using an historical and sociological approach, we will examine the sources of French unease over such public displays of "private" difference. We will explore France's colonial past and immigration; different forms of socio-political mobilization around ethnic, religious, and sexual "identities"; measures adopted by the French to combat ethno-racial discrimination. Sources will include sociological texts, articles from French press, websites, and films. (FREN 0221 or FREN 0230 or by waiver). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

From Citizenship to Social Mobility: The Shifting Role of Public Education in France
Since the establishment of a free, compulsory, and secular school system in the early 1880s, the position of public education in French society has evolved significantly. Designed originally to create an "educated" citizenry, its function has increasingly been interpreted as one of promoting social mobility and "equal opportunity" within that citizenry. Over the course of this shift, education has become a site of fierce debate in France. We will take a historical and sociological approach to explore the contours of this debate, covering such topics as: primary school teachers' role in forging national identity during the Third Republic; efforts after World War II to democratize the system; and current attempts to diversify elite institutions of higher education. Authors will include Baudelot, Bourdieu, Dubet, Ozouf, and Prost. (FREN 0220-0230 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Resistance and Memory: France in the Second World War
The Second World War has cast a long shadow over France's postwar history and politics. Contemporary events are still refracted through the prism of a past that, as one historian has noted, never seems to go away. We will focus on a critical aspect of that past, the French Resistance, a politically and socially diverse underground movement that took root in a divided nation under the collaborationist Vichy regime and German occupation. What forms did refusal take, how did resistance function, and what motivated resisters to risk their lives? We will examine the myths, realities, and legacy of the Resistance through original documents and period artifacts, memoirs and testimony, film and fiction, and seminal works of postwar historiography. (FREN 0220-0230 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect/disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

French Sexual Politics
Reaction to the recent Dominic Strauss-Kahn scandal and deliberations over same-sex marriage are but two illustrations of the important role sex and gender differences continue to play in contemporary French society. In this course we will examine the political responses such phenomena have elicited. Topics will include: the evolution of gender roles within French family structure, including homoparentalité; attempts to increase women's participation in French national politics, especially via the parité initiative; the question of Muslim women's integration in-or exclusion from-French society; and the attention given to sex and gender differences in anti-discrimination policies. We will critically assess French media and writings from sociology and political philosophy. (This course will be taught in French; FREN 0230 or by waiver) 3 hrs.lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

The Culture of Everyday Life: A User's manual
In this course we will explore works produced in France that focus on the everyday and its growing impact on cultural expression. Beginning with key theories of the everyday (Debord, Barthes and Certeau), we will then focus on creative texts of the interwar period (reportage, le fait divers, surrealism), before turning to the postwar context and consumer society (Beauvoir, Perec and Ernaux). We will end with consideration of the everyday and its relation to postcolonialism in a recent novel by Leïla Slimani. Photography (Brassaï, Man Ray), film (Tati, Varda, Malle), and performance art (Sophie Calle) will also be considered. (FREN 0220-0229 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

(Re)Constructing Identities: Francophone Colonial and Postcolonial Fiction
This course will focus on major works written in French by writers from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Caribbean. We will explore the complex (re)construction of identities through fiction writing as it evolves from traditional folktale to political criticism, and as it shifts from colonial alienation to post-colonial disillusionment. We will also examine the emergence of cultural blending or métissage. (FREN 0221 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, CMP, LIT, LNG, SAF

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Course Description

Children and Civil War in Francophone African Literature
In this course we will study the repercussions of civil war on child soldiers and children as depicted in contemporary Francophone African literatures. How does one become a child soldier and murderer? How do orphans survive war? Authors use literary fiction written from a child’s perspective to reflect upon and to denounce a tragic historical reality as well as to defy censorship. We will analyze their writing strategies and techniques, and assess both the literary and humanistic impact of the novels. Readings will include novels by Ivorian Ahmadou Kourouma, Congolese Emmanuel Dongala, Guinean Tierno Monémembo, and by Djiboutian Abdourahman Waberi. (FREN 0220-0229 or by waiver). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020

Requirements

AAL, CMP, LIT, LNG, SAF

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Course Description

Independent Project
Qualified students may be permitted to undertake a special project in reading and research under the direction of a member of the department. Students should seek an advisor and submit a proposal to the department well in advance of registration for the term in which the work is to be undertaken. (Approval required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Honors Essay
For this one-term course, qualified senior majors who wish to be considered for Honors in French must submit a proposal well in advance of registration for the term in which the work is to be undertaken. (Approval required; see requirements.)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Honors Thesis
Qualified senior majors who wish to be considered for Honors in French must submit a proposal well in advance of registration for the term in which the work is to be undertaken. (Approval required; see requirements above.)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Gender Studies in France: History, Theories, Feminist Performances (In French)
This course offers an introductory and multidisciplinary approach to gender studies in the French context. It traces the history of feminist struggles and theories (first, second, third, fourth waves), explains the stakes of the critique of "phallogocentrism" and "male domination", and studies the different points of view. The gender issues raised by recent laws regarding religious demonstrations in the public space, marriage for all, and prostitution are examined. Finally, the analysis of political demands is based on poetic and artistic works which are capable of re-focusing language and perspective, and ultimately subverting gender norms.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, SOC

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