French and Francophone Studies

The concentration in French and Francophone Studies is committed to the pursuit of an interdisciplinary, linguistically rigorous, and textually informed understanding of French and Francophone literatures and cultures. Concentrators engage actively through their coursework with a wide range of texts and critical perspectives, pertaining to multiple literary genres, media, and contexts. They have opportunities to study different periods of French history as well as Francophone cultures beyond France. By the time they graduate, concentrators will have learned to read with knowledge and nuance and produced a varied body of critical work in French.

The following concentration program became effective in the spring 2014 semester and replaces the French Studies concentration.

The concentration program is designed to encourage and support language-specific study. Literary texts and cultural documents are read principally in the original. Likewise, in most courses, French is the language of class discussions, presentations and research/critical papers. Concentrators thus achieve advanced proficiency in the language. By the time they graduate, they will have learned to read with knowledge and nuance and produced a varied body of critical work in French.

Concentration Requirements

A minimum of 10 courses is required for the concentration in French and Francophone Studies. Concentrators must observe following guidelines when planning their concentration. It is recommended that course choices for each semester be discussed with the department’s concentration advisor.

Note: A maximum of four courses from study in France or a Francophone country may count toward the concentration, from either a single semester or an entire year. A year or semester of study abroad in France or a Francophone country is considered an integral part of the concentration and is therefore highly recommended. Our concentrators are strongly encouraged to spend one or two semesters (usually in their junior year) in France or in a Francophone country to derive the richest benefits of linguistic and cultural immersion. Through the Brown-in-France program (, administered by OIP and departmental faculty, students can enroll directly in French institutions.

Writing and Speaking French II (is accepted for concentration credit)
Required Courses
One (and no more than two) of the following 0720,0750,0760 series gateway courses:1
De l'Amour courtois au désir postmoderne
Lost in Translation: Les voyageurs français en Amérique de Chateaubriand à Baudrillard
Au carrefour des sciences sociales: introduction à l'interprétation de la fiction littéraire
Cinéma et histoire
Nous et les autres: les Français et le monde de la Renaissance à la Révolution
Lost in Translation: Representations of America by French Writers
L'Idée de l'empire dans l'imaginaire français
Introduction à l'analyse littéraire
One of the following:1
Advanced Oral and Written French: Traduction
Advanced Written and Oral French: Regards sur la France actuelle
Advanced Oral and Written French: A table!
FREN 1990Senior Thesis1
At least two 1000-level courses offered in the Department of French Studies (excluding FREN 1510 and FREN 1900) are required
Up to two 1000-level courses taught in English offered by French Studies or other departments at Brown are eligible for concentration credit. (Appropriate courses on French or Francophone topics from other departments must be approved by the concentration advisor. Departments in which electives are typically taken include Africana Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Comparative Literature, English, History, Linguistics, Modern Culture and Media)
At least one course must cover a pre-Revolutionary period 1
L'univers de la Renaissance: XVe et XVIe siècles
The French Renaissance: The Birth of Modernity?
Civilite et litterature
Pouvoirs de la scène: le théâtre du XVIIe siècle
Le Grand Siècle à l'écran
Molière et son monde
"Family Values": Représentations littéraires de la famille au 18eme siècle
Fictions de l'individu
Le Siècle des Lumières: Culture, Pensée, Société
The Age of Voltaire: Culture, Pensée, Société
French Lovers: Séduction et libertinage sous l'Ancien Régime
Espace public; espace privé
Le corps des Lumières
The Age of Voltaire: Lumières et modernité
Contes et nouvelles du Moyen Age
Old French Language and Literature Seminar
Hostages and Prisoners of War in Medieval French Literature
Histoires et contes du Moyen Age
At least one course a post-Revolutionary period 1
Gender and the Novel
La texte réaliste
L'Orient littéraire
Gender, Sexuality and the Novel
Paris: Capital of the 19th Century
Boulevard du crime
Emergent literature: Postcolonial Nations and Cultural Identity
Figures du roman français au XX siècle
Le roman français au présent
Littérature, appartenance et identité
Nations of Writers
Writing the Self: Memory, Childhood and the Novel
Literature and Social Thought: Le Roman Policier
Histoires d'animaux
Total Credits10

 Or another appropriate course as agreed to by concentration advisor


Students who have received all "A's" in their concentration courses, have completed at least six concentration courses by the first semester of their senior year, and are highly recommended by two professors are eligible to apply for admission to the honors program.  For more information, consult the requirements on the Department’s website: