The Department of French and Francophone Studies at Brown promotes an intensive engagement with the language, literature, and cultural and critical traditions of the French-speaking world. The Department offers both the B.A. and the PhD in French and Francophone Studies. Courses cover a wide diversity of topics, while placing a shared emphasis on language-specific study, critical writing skills, and the vital place of literature and art for intellectual inquiry. Undergraduate course offerings are designed for students at all levels: those beginning French at Brown, those continuing their study of language and those undertaking advanced research in French and Francophone literature, culture and thought. Undergraduate concentrators and non-concentrators alike are encouraged to avail of study abroad opportunities in their junior year, through Brown-sponsored and Brown-approved programs in France or in another Francophone country. Graduates in French and Francophone studies go on to pursue careers in a number of fields, including translation, public service, college and secondary education, publishing and the media.
For additional information, please visit the department's website: http://www.brown.edu/Departments/French/
FREN 0100. Basic French.
This is the first half of a two-semester course. Four meetings a week for oral practice. One hour of work outside of class is expected every day (grammar/writing, oral practice, reading). Enrollment limited to 15.
FREN 0110A. Basic French Language and Culture.
Intensive course for beginners. Nine contact hours per week, double credit. Students should expect at least 2 hours of homework daily. No prior knowledge of French expected. Communication in class in French only. Reading of authentic texts, grammar practice and writing outside of class. This course is equivalent to the year-course FREN 0100- FREN 0200 and the prerequisite for FREN 0300. Students receiving an A at the end of the semester are encouraged to pre-register for FREN0 400 the following semester. Override required to encourage first-year enrollment.
FREN 0200. Basic French.
This is the second half of a two-semester course. Four meetings a week for oral practice plus one conversation hour. One hour of work outside of class is expected every day (grammar/writing, oral practice, reading). An accelerated track enables qualified students to go directly to FREN 0500 after FREN 0200. Enrollment limited to 15.
FREN 0220. Reading French in the Arts and Sciences.
Designed to develop the reading competence in French for graduate students (or advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor). Fundamentals of grammar and syntax are emphasized as well as reading skills in the fields of individual students. Successful completion should satisfy the foreign language requirement for graduate students in other departments. (Consult the relevant department.) No prerequisites. Not for graduate-level credit.
FREN 0300. Intermediate French I.
A semi-intensive elementary review with emphasis on all four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). Class activities include drills, small group activities, and skits. Class materials include videos, a French film, short stories, and various other authentic documents. Prerequisite: FREN 0200 or placement (Previous experience with French is required to take this class). Four meetings per week, plus a 50-minute conversation section with TAs.
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FREN 0400. Intermediate French II.
Continuation of FREN 0300 but may be taken separately. A four-skill language course that stresses oral interaction in class (three meetings per week plus one 50-minute conversation section). Materials include audio activities, film, and a novel. Short compositions with systematic grammar practice. Prerequisite: FREN 0300, FREN 0200 with permission, or placement.
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FREN 0500. Writing and Speaking French I.
A four-skill language course that stresses oral interaction in class. Thematic units will focus on songs, poems, a short novel, a graphic novel, films and a longer novel. Activities include a creative project using Comic Life, and a systematic grammar review. Prerequisite: FREN 0400, FREN 0200 with written permission, or placement.
FREN 0520. Introduction to the Literary Experience.
Pre-requisite: FREN 0400; equivalent to FREN 0500 in language sequence. Language course in which discussions and writing exercises are based on readings in French and Francophone literature and film, focusing on geographic displacement and the relationship between place and identity. With grammar review and short papers. Texts include: Baudelaire, Maupassant, Eberhardt, van Cauwelaert, Ernaux.
FREN 0600. Writing and Speaking French II.
Prerequisite for study in French-speaking countries. Class time is devoted mainly to conversation and discussion practice. Writing instruction and assignments focus on essays, commentaries, and to a lesser degree, on story writing. Apart from reading assignments for discussion (press articles and literary excerpts), students select two novels to read. Prerequisite: FREN 0500 or placement. Enrollment limited to 15.
FREN 0610. Writing and Speaking French II: International Relations.
Prerequisite for study in French-speaking countries. Continuation of FREN 0500. Class time is devoted mainly to conversation and discussion practice. Same level as FREN 0600. This course is designed for students who are interested in international relations. Discussions and writing assignments are related to global politics from French and Francophone perspectives and introduce students to the discourse of international relations in French. Prerequisite: FREN 0500. Enrollment limited to 15.
FREN 0620. Writing and Speaking French II: Le Livre Interdit.
Same level as FREN0600, with emphasis on literary analysis. This course will explore a collection of eighteenth-century French works that were formally suppressed or forbidden as well as those which circulated without official authorization. Topics include: censorship in France under the Ancien Régime; the Enlightenment and the ideas of the “philosophes”; politics and religion. We will also consider contemporary debates regarding freedom of expression in France. Readings will feature authors such as Diderot, Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Beaumarchais, and Gouges. Prerequisite: FREN0500. Taught in French.
FREN 0720A. De l'Amour courtois au désir postmoderne.
From twelth-century courtly literature to contemporary film, this course explores the enduring romance between French culture and Eros. The ambiguities of desire are brought to the fore across changing religious and social contexts. Readings include Duras, Flaubert, Freud, and Baudrillard. Open to students who receive a 5 (AP test), 700 and above (SAT II) or with instructor's permission. First Year Seminar, open to first year students only. Please email Virginia_Krause@brown.edu if you have questions. Taught in French.
FREN 0720B. The French Novel Today.
What does today's French novel look like? Reading ten prominent short novels (in English translation) from the last 20 years, students will be acquainted with the novelistic landscape of contemporary France, while also learning to approach through analysis and narrative theory the novel as genre. We will consider what kinds of questions these novels pose and how - be it regarding conditions specific to our time (human/inhuman, identity, technology, the globalized world, the everyday, dystopia...) or those unceasing questions of life, time, love, predicament, that every novel must ask, even while sometimes seeming not to. Taught in English.
FREN 0720C. Down and Out in Paris.
This freshman seminar focuses on the culture and literature of the Parisian underbelly from the 19th century to the present. It looks at representations of the laboring, marginal, and criminal classes from both high and low literary perspectives, taking pains to anchor these readings in lived contexts. Authors studied will include Hugo, Baudelaire, Zola, Orwell, Dabit, Carco, Hemingway, Genet, Vargas. Taught in English.
FREN 0720D. Contes et identités francophones.
An introduction to the French-speaking world through folk- and fairy tales, we will examine how folktales have been used to define national and ethnic identities in France, Sénégal, the Caribbean, Louisiana, and Canada and consider how the study and rewriting of these traditions have redefined these identities. We will explore these questions by studying tale-types from all of the above regions, tales specific to each, and literary reworkings of folktales by writers, including d'Aulnoy, Perrault, Nothomb, Ben Jelloun, Diop, and Chamoiseau. Prerequisites: 5 on Advanced Placement testing, 700 and above SAT II, or instructor's permission. Taught in French.
FREN 0720E. L'art de la nouvelle.
What sort of story is the short story? What kinds of possibilities and pressures distinguish it from other forms? Attentive to its contained – and constrained – narrative economy, we shall study a range of examples of the genre, from 19th century realist and fantastic literature (Maupassant, Flaubert, Nerval) to modern French and Francophone texts (Sartre, Beckett, Djebar, Redonnet). Taught in French.
Prerequisites: 5 on Advanced Placement Testing, 700 and above SAT II, or Instructor's Permission
FREN 0720G. L'art de la nouvelle.
In this course we shall study a range of examples of the nouvelle or short story, from 19th century realist and fantastic literature (Maupassant, Flaubert, Colette) to modern French and Francophone texts (Sartre, Camus, Djebar, Redonnet, Quiriny). Emphasis will be on formal analysis, major genres/movements (realism, the fantastic, existentialism, anti-/post-colonial critique, “post-modernism”) and the short story’s capacity to offer forms of social critique. We will also read some secondary theoretical materials (Freud, Sartre, Barthes, Todorov, Piglia, Samoyault). Taught in French.
FREN 0720H. Existentialisme et littérature: Camus, Sartre, Beauvoir, Fanon.
A substantive introduction to the works of four giants of French existentialist thought: Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Frantz Fanon. Focusing on short stories, plays and philosophical essays, we will attend to certain difficult but powerful notions in these four thinkers’ writings--being, (self-)consciousness, otherness, absurdity, contingency, facticity, bad faith, anxiety, freedom, responsibility, shame--and their articulation within intense political, philosophical and social debates and struggles of the 1940s-1960s around issues that continue to galvanize us today: the meaning of life, humanity, identity, gender, race, colonialism, revolution. Taught in French.
FREN 0720I. J'accuse! La littérature et le cinéma face au réel.
In this course we will study works from modern French and Francophone literature and cinema that make society their subject—to investigate, document, critique and/or protest. Taking our cue from the sharp portraits Baudelaire’s prose poems and Maupassant’s short stories offer of the social contradictions and inequities of 19th century France, we will then consider a range of 20th century texts and films—by Césaire, de Beauvoir, Ionesco, Sarraute, Salvayre, Bon, Diome, Kaplan, Sinha, Sebbar, Cantet, Sissako, Dardenne, Quintane—that narrate and denounce our unequal, neoliberal, violent world. Taught in French.
FREN 0720K. Le livre interdit.
In this course we will explore a collection of eighteenth-century French works that were formally suppressed or forbidden as well as those which circulated without official authorization. We will consider topics such as censorship in France under the Ancien Régime, philosophical literature, and the ways Enlightenment figures challenged religious and political institutions. Readings will feature authors such as Diderot, Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Beaumarchais, Sade, Mercier, and Gouges; in addition, we will study one film. Our readings will inform our understanding of the establishment freedom of expression in France. Taught in French.
FREN 0750D. Nous et les autres: les Français et le monde de la Renaissance à la Révolution.
An exploration of early French encounters with and reactions to non-European cultures from 1500 to 1800. Studying travel narratives, essays, and fictional texts, we will examine the multiple ways that French identity attempts to come to terms with its "Others" during this crucial period of European colonial expansion. Texts by Cartier, Thevet, and Choisy; Montaigne, Molière, and Montesquieu, among others.
FREN 0750F. L'Idée de l'empire dans l'imaginaire français.
From the early nineteenth century to the 1931 Colonial Exposition in Paris and the Algerian Revolution, ideas and debates about slavery, race, and colonialism informed the ways in which French writers and intellectuals thought about empire and its relationship to national identity. This course examines how these debates took shape through contrasting imaginative conceptions of empire from the 1800s until the 1960s, when France lost most of her colonies. How did visions of empire contribute to the formation of French colonial identity, and what kind of purchase do these ideas have on contemporary French cultural and political life? In French.
FREN 0750G. L’animal dans la culture contemporaine.
From reports of animals stranded in conflict zones and natural calamities, to cute or clever animals cast in advertisements and popular media, from the rat of Ratatouille to the caged orangutan of Nénette, the new interest in the animal marks an age of heightened awareness of the costs and ironies of the human story. We will consider in this course significant representations of the animal in contemporary French and Francophone literature, film, visual art, cultural theory and media representations. We will also revisit earlier moments linking the animal to modernity, including early film/photography and urban history. Taught in French.
FREN 0760A. Introduction à l'analyse littéraire.
On what terms and with what tools can we “read” a literary text? An introduction to major genres (the short story, the novel, poetry, theater) of French and Francophone literature and to a range of analytical approaches to the text, including narrative theory, poetics and psychoanalysis. Readings will feature select 19th and 20th century works (Maupassant, Apollinaire, Ionesco, NDiaye) and excerpts from key analytic/theoretical writings (Benveniste, Todorov, Freud, Barthes, Bakhtin). Taught in French.
FREN 0820A. Identité et différence dans le monde francophone.
How have racial and cultural minorities in France and the French-speaking world thought about identity and difference since decolonization began after World War Two? And how have minorities in metropolitan France begun to use racial categories to challenge universalist narratives of social inclusion? This sophomore seminar will study these and related questions as we explore race as a political and cultural category in the Francophone world. We will consider a variety of contexts, including Caribbean politics, postcolonial Africa, and urban violence in contemporary France. In French.
Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 0880. What's the twist? : French and Francophone Detective Fiction.
This course traces the "twists" of French detective fiction from the 19th through the 21st century. Students will learn to interrogate the assumptions and imperatives undergirding its generic conventions as well as how the form has been taken up and complicated by more contemporary works across literature, performance art, film, and television. We will discuss detective fiction's relationship to constructions of cultural identity, its participation in ongoing legacies of racism and colonialism, and the genre's queer and feminist reimaginings. Analyzing the traffic between the literary genre and the fields of criminology and early forensic science, this course engages critically with foundational literary texts such as Poe’s "Murders in the Rue Morgue" and Maurice Leblanc’s "Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Burglar," while exploring more contemporary works such as Patrick Modiano’s "The Black Notebook," Sophie Calle’s "Suite Vénitienne," Virginie Despentes' "Apocalypse Baby," and the Netflix series "Lupin."
FREN 0950A. Advanced Written and Oral French: Traduction.
An introduction to the theory and practice of translation, this course will be designed to expand students' range and appreciation of written styles and registers and will be based on translation exercises and texts reflecting different types of written and oral communication. Texts will range from literary texts (excerpts from novels, plays, comic books...) to journalistic texts (articles from newspapers...). Class activities will also include comparative studies of translated texts, as well as grammar review and vocabulary work. Course taught in French. Written translations to and from French. Prerequisite: FREN 0600 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 18. Instructor permission required.
FREN 0950B. Advanced Oral and Written French «Nous Deux la Mode».
An introduction to the theory and practice of translation, this course will be designed to expand students' range and appreciation of written styles and registers and will be based on translation exercises and texts reflecting different types of written and oral communication. Texts will range from literary texts (excerpts from novels, plays, comic books...) to journalistic texts (articles from newspapers...). Class activities will also include comparative studies of translated texts, as well as grammar review and vocabulary work. Course taught in French. Written translations to and from French. Prerequisite: FREN 0600 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 18. Instructor permission required.
FREN 0950C. Paris hors les murs.
This course represents an immersive exploration of Paris. Discussions will be organized around a number of themes covering modern and contemporary visions of the city. After a brief presentation of the history and the geography of the city, we will study the myths of Paris (the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame); various short writings (Baudelaire, Hugo, Barthes); the rise of the suburbs (La Haine, Les Misérables); current challenges (the climate, COVID-19). We will visit the city through newspaper articles, films videos, podcasts and museums. Three papers during the semester including your personal "mythology" of Paris as a concluding project for the course.
FREN 0960A. Ateliers d'écriture.
An advanced course in (functional or creative) writing. The workshops range from practice in interpersonal communication (letters) to essays and various forms of narration. Recommended to students returning from a study-abroad program, students with a native French background who lack formal training in writing, or post-FREN 1510 students. Exercises for each workshop plus a final writing project. Prerequisite: any FREN 1510 or FREN 0950 course. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission required. Taught in French.
FREN 0980. Becoming French: Minorities and the Challenges of Integration in the French Republic (HIST 0980B).
Interested students must register for HIST 0980B.
FREN 1000A. Littérature et intertextualité: du Moyen-Age jusqu'à la fin du XVIIème s.
A chronological survey of French literature from the Grail romance to neo-classical tragedy. Topics will include the birth of courtly love, the Crusades, lyric poetry, and Humanism. Course discussions will be devoted to the close reading of texts by writers such as Marie de France, Chrétien de Troyes, Ronsard, Louise Labé and Montaigne. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1000B. Littérature et culture: Chevaliers, sorcières, philosophes, et poètes.
From the Middle Ages to the Age of Versailles, this course examines 6 foundational moments in French civilization: the Crusades, courtly love, humanism, the witch hunts, Cartesian reason, and the emergence of the autonomous self. Close scrutiny of literary texts and films will provide a window onto French civilization before the Revolution. Readings include medieval epic, Montaigne, and Descartes. In French. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1010A. Littérature et culture: Margins of Modernity.
A survey of French and Francophone works from the 18th century to the present that reflects on a number of cultural shifts, of challenges but also resistances to hierarchies (social, sexual, political); the urban context; legacies of colonization. Various figures of marginality to be studied: vagabonds and parvenus, dandies and courtesans, outcasts and pariahs. Authors to be studied include Prévost, Marivaux, Balzac, Baudelaire, Maupassant, Duras, Camara Laye and Rachid O. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not take French at Brown. Taught in French.
FREN 1010B. Modernités Littéraires: Du 18ème siècle jusqu'à nos jours.
A chronological survey of French literature introducing seminal texts from the last 300 years. Classes devoted to discussion and to the development of skills in close textual analysis. Authors to be studied include Graffigny, Balzac, Baudelaire, Zola, Apollinaire, Duras, and Ben Jelloun. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1020A. Histoire de la langue française: usages, politiques et enjeux du français.
A study of the evolution of the French language from the Middle Ages to the present. We will trace the main periods of this linguistic, social, historical and political development. Among topics to be explored: France’s encounter with English from the Norman conquest to the current so-called English “invasion,” the French Revolution’s destruction of dialects (patois), and the status of French in France’s former colonial empire. Through a variety of French and francophone texts we will investigate the transformations brought about by Feminists and by youth from the banlieues and examine the status of French outside of France. In French. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1020B. History of Romance Languages.
The Romance family is one of the most widely-spoken and politically important language families. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the history and linguistic characteristics of the Romance family. Our purpose is to learn the factors that led to the development of modern standard Romance languages, and provide an understanding of Romance structures and their linguistic relationships. The course covers language families; genetic relationships (family trees); typological comparison; internal versus external history; language contact and borrowing; Romance Pidgins and Creoles; Standard language versus dialect; social variation; concepts of Phonetics and Phonology; Morphology; Syntax; Semantics; Lexicon.
FREN 1020C. Le Mariage dans la littérature médiévale: la violence et le "problème" du corps.
After first gaining a foundational understanding of how marriage was portrayed in seminal Medieval theoretical texts and how it was discussed in Medieval literature, in this course we will examine a wide range of genres—treatises, biblical exegesis, debate literature, fabliaux, and epic and lyric poetry—that will help us carefully investigate literary representations of women and wives in Medieval French literature. Taught in French.
FREN 1030A. L'univers de la Renaissance: XVe et XVIe siècles.
An exploration of the cultural cosmos of Renaissance France through literature, visual culture, history, and film. What projects, fantasies, and nightmares characterize this stormy period in French history, from the birth of Humanism to the Wars of Religion? Other topics include the trial of Martin Guerre, court life, madness, and the New World. Readings in Montaigne, Louise Labé, among others. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1030B. The French Renaissance: The Birth of Modernity?.
This class will read works from the French Renaissance in historical and cultural context. Did the Renaissance mark the birth of what we call the modern period? So much of twentieth and twentieth-century thought relies on the notion that our modern paradigm came into being with the Renaissance. We will read literary works by writers such François Rabelais, Louise Labé, Marguerite de Navarre and Agrippa d'Aubigné in relation to both medieval and Renaissance writers and philosophers such as Jean Calvin, Martin Luther, Marsilio Ficino and Erasmus and political actors such as Francis Ist, Charles IX and Henry IV. Enrollment limited to 40.
FREN 1040A. Civilite et litterature.
How should one burp, pass gas, and spit in public? Should people use utensils when eating? How should a young woman react when a man speaks to her without her parents' consent? Questions such as these preoccupied 17-c France, which defined much of what we understand today to be civility. We will examine how literature makes civility seem either natural or normal or artificial and deceptive. Readings will include selections from conduct manuals (Faret, Courtin), comedies (Corneille and Molière), letters (Voiture,Sévigné), fairy tales (d'Aulnoy, Perrault), "moralist" writing (Pascal, La Rochefoucauld, La Bruyère), and cultural history (Chartier, Elias, Foucault). Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1040B. Pouvoirs de la scène: le théâtre du XVIIe siècle.
This course examines how 17th-century theater both reinforces and undermines the ideologies of absolutism, national identity, the nuclear family, and emerging bourgeois consciousness, among others. Special consideration will be given to the theory and performance of theater in the 17th century and the present. Readings will be supplemented with screenings of videos for the plays studied (as available). In addition to papers and oral presentations, students will stage selections from some of the plays studied. Plays by Rotrou, Corneille, Molière, Racine, and an opera by Quinault/Lully. Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 0600 or 0700 level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1040C. Le Grand Siècle à l'écran.
Why is the "Grand Siècle" depicted so frequently in contemporary French film? To answer this question we will explore the roles 17th-century culture plays in French identity through readings in history and literature and recent films focusing on 17th-century texts, personalities, or events. We will highlight both continuities and discontinuities between the 17th century and our own time. Readings by Corneille, Cyrano de Bergerac, Lafayette, Maintenon, Molière, Pascal, Racine, Sévigné. 10 films. Two short papers, two oral presentations, a weekly blog, and a final project (paper or multimedia project). Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not take French at Brown.
FREN 1040D. Molière et son monde.
In-depth study of Molière's theater and its cultural contexts. We will examine how Molière uses a variety of theatrical forms to portray the monarchy, social class, religion, medicine, and gender relations of seventeenth-century France. Plays by Molière will be studied alongside other literary texts and documents of the period as well as films (performances of plays, historical fiction). Prerequisite: a course at the 0600 or 0700 -level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1050A. "Family Values": Représentations littéraires de la famille au 18eme siècle.
This course will study the "invention" of the bourgeois family in 18th-century literature. It will examine particularly the ideological construct that supports this literature. Special attention will be given to the way in which this literature defines and orders family relationships around the notions of state, hierarchy, nature, and gender. Readings in Prévost, Diderot, Rousseau, Mme de Charrière, and Sade.
FREN 1050B. Fictions de l'individu.
Explores various expressions of the self in the 18th century, especially with regard to conflicts with social constraints, hierarchical gendering, the ordering of class structures, and the effort to normalize sexuality. Notions of autonomy, freedom, and happiness, the chief pursuits of the Enlightenment, are examined. Authors studied include Marivaux, Voltaire, Rousseau, Casanova, Diderot, and Mme de Châtelet. Prerequisite: a course at the 0600 or 0700 -level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1050D. The Age of Voltaire: Culture, Pensée, Société.
A presentation of various aspects of the eighteenth century through its most representative texts. This course examines the period in its diversity, from its preoccupation with philosophy to its discovery of sensibility, from the development of libertinism to the affirmation of women and claim of liberty. Authors to be read include Montesquieu, Rousseau, Sedaine, Beaumarchais, Diderot, and Françoise de Graffigny.
FREN 1050E. French Lovers: Séduction et libertinage sous l'Ancien Régime.
A study of love and relationships in the Old Regime. The course will concentrate on the major actors (the libertine, the fop), on the spaces (the boudoir, the salon, the garden), on social practices (conversation). Authors will include Molière, Mme de Lafayette, Crébillon fils, Laclos and film adaptations by Frears and Forman.
FREN 1050F. Espace public; espace privé.
This course will study the interpenetration of spaces in the 18th century, the domination of the public space but the emergence of the private. We will attempt to draw the frontiers of these spaces in a variety of texts. We will explore social spaces (the salon, the café), the domestic space (cabinet, bedroom), places of leisure and exteriority (gardens). Readings in Crébillon fils, Denon, Bastide, Diderot, Mme de Charrière, Rutlidge, Palissot.
FREN 1050G. Le corps des Lumières.
This course will examine various representations of the body during the Age of the Enlightenment. We will study how these representations are influenced by notions of race and nation, discipline (Foucault), and by the Revolution. Texts by Montesquieu, Graffigny, Voltaire, Foucault, and historical context provided by Foucault, Outram and Hunt.
FREN 1050H. The Age of Voltaire: Lumières et modernité.
A presentation of various aspects of the eighteenth century through its principal representative texts. This course examines the period in its various preoccupations: with philosophy, its discovery of sensibility, the development of libertinism, and the pursuit of liberty. Authors to be read include Voltaire, Marivaux, Rousseau, Sedaine, Diderot, and Françoise de Graffigny.
FREN 1060A. Décadence.
Study of the notion of decadence in fin-de-siècle French culture. From scientific theories of degeneration to literary representations of sexual perversion, writers of the period were consumed by the specter of moral decay and social disease. This course will analyze fictional and non-fictional texts of the period by authors such as Péladan, Lorrain, Rachilde, Mendès, and Nordau.
FREN 1060B. Gender and the Novel.
This course explores how major authors represented gender and sexuality. Obsessed with unlocking the mystery of femininity, novelists attempted to represent truths about sexual difference while new scientific discourses (psychiatry, sexology, criminology) aimed to analyze gender and sexual deviance in objective terms. Authors include: Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, Rachilde, Foucault, and 19th-century scientific texts.
FREN 1060C. La texte réaliste.
This course will focus on realism, both as a literary movement of the second half of the 19th century and as a style present during other eras (such as romantic realism) and in other "non-realist" genres (poetry, science fiction, literature of the fantastic). How does a literary text convince its readers that it accurately copies reality? Does the realist novel have privileged themes (sexuality, the modern city, corruption)? Readings by Stendhal, Balzac, Gautier, Jules Verne, Flaubert, Coppée, Zola, Maupassant.
FREN 1060D. L'Orient littéraire.
This course is a study of the representations of the Orient (Turkey, Arabia, Persia) in the imaginary of classical French writers of the nineteen century. Through the analysis of the phantasms pertaining to the representations of Sexuality and Power, this course will also study a series of figures associated with the Orient like travestissement, melancholia, nostalgia, etc. in the novels of Montesquieu, Chateaubriand, Flaubert, Gautier, and others.
FREN 1060E. Genre, sexualité, et le roman du XIXe siècle.
Examines novelistic constructions of gender and sexuality in relation to 19th-century French culture and literary movements, including romanticism, realism and naturalism, decadence, and the popular novel. Topics include constructions of homosexuality in literature and non-fiction, fatal femininity, besieged masculinity, sexuality and race, prostitution, bored housewives. Works by Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, Maupassant, Rachilde, accompanied by non-fictional sources in early sexology and criminology. Prerequisite: a course at the 0600- or 0700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1060F. Paris: Capital of the 19th Century.
Nineteenth century Paris in interdisciplinary perspective--literature, art, history, politics, Haussmann's transformations of the city, revolution. Works by Balzac, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Rimbaud, Marx, Benjamin, Bernard Marchand, Ingres, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Caillebotte, Daumier. Classes in English, readings in original or translation depending on language proficiency of the student.
FREN 1060H. The 19th-Century Novel and its Others.
This course examines constructions of gender, sexuality, race, and class in relation to French culture, as represented in works of fiction across the major literary movements of the nineteenth century (romanticism, realism, naturalism, decadence). We will consider the ways in which the novel reinforced and countered the gender and sexual norms distinctive of the period, preoccupations shared by early European sexologists and criminologists, excerpts from which we will read alongside narrative fictions. Racial othering and class hierarchies were equally ingrained in the ideologies of the period and contributed to shaping the treatment of gender and sexuality in this body of literature. Topics include constructions of sexual deviance, fatal femininity, besieged masculinity, sexual exoticism, matrimonial malaise. Taught in English, with texts in English translation.
FREN 1070A. Avant-Gardes.
We examine avant-garde groups and movements, including surrealism, Collège de Sociologie, Oulipo, existentialism, Tel Quel, situationnisme, Théâtre du Soleil, politique et psychanalyse, while trying to assess their aesthetic/political platforms and their performative strategies. Readings include (poetic) manifestoes, novels, plays and essays by Breton, Caillois, Bataille, Colette Peignot, Queneau, Satre, Sollers, Kristeva, Guy Debord, Cixous, Wittig, Irigaray, Catherine Clément.
FREN 1070B. Emergent literature: Postcolonial Nations and Cultural Identity.
Does a writer belong to a "nation"? To which nation does one belong when one writes in the language of one's former colonizer? Does political independence warrant the existence of a new nation? Finally: How does literature contribute to the emergence and consolidation of a new nation? Many writers faced these questions after the independence of their countries from French colonial rule. Analizes the answers Francophone writers offered to these perplexing questions in their novels and essays. Two short papers and a final essay.
FREN 1070C. Figures du roman français au XX siècle.
We will analyse novels by Marcel Proust, Jean Giono, Julien Gracq, Samuel Beckett, Marguerite Duras, Nathalie Sarraute, Le Clézio, Philippe Sollers, Annie Ernaux and Marie Redonnet while trying to assess the main tendencies of the contemporary French novel and the cultural evolution that led to it.
FREN 1070E. Littérature, appartenance et identité.
In this course, the analysis of a series of significant literary and critical texts written by French and Francophone contemporary writers will allow us to study the meaning of the emergence of new forms of identity and belonging in 20th-century modern French and Francophone writers. Three short papers.
FREN 1070K. Les années folles: le roman français dans les années 20.
This course explores social aspects of the French novel in the 1920s that have earned this period between the two world wars the name "Les Années Folles." We will first focus on the liberation of women, frivolity, sexual ambiguity and conceptions of love at the time. We will then discuss the demobilized writers, whose disarray, procrastination, suicidal tendency are the characteristics of a generation disillusioned by a society that no longer offers exciting prospects. Our meetings will also be punctuated by reflections on new autobiography as well as on new narrative techniques illustrated by the studied works. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown. Taught in French.
FREN 1070L. Islam, Immigration et Identité nationale dans le roman français contemporain.
This course examines how Muslim immigration into France is represented in the contemporary French and Francophone novel. We will introduce some of the major themes of anti-colonialism, such as the opposition between primitive harmony and modern alienation, and the necessity of rehabilitating the role of mythologies in modern Western culture. Then, we will discuss the French social science fiction where special consideration will be given to themes such as the decline of the sense of religious belonging in France, the disarray generated by postmodernity, dynamism of religion versus apathy of consumer society, and the mechanisms of conversion to Islam. In French. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1070M. La question animale.
From fables and fairytales to postmodern pastiche, the presence of the animal, whether literal or allegorical, has worked as a critical counterpoint to that of the human. In this course we will consider some ways in which modern French prose, poetry, film and philosophy “think” – and increasingly mourn – humans’ disappearing others. Authors include Michaux, Cendrars, Ponge, Bresson, Cixous, Darrieussecq, Baratay, Despret, Chevillard, Marker, Derrida. Pre Requisites: A course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown. Taught in French.
FREN 1100F. Contes et nouvelles du Moyen Age.
Storytelling in medieval French courts, villages, and towns. Works read (in modern French translation) include love tales, fables, chivalric adventures, comic escapades, earthy anecdotes, stories of warfare and politics. Class discussions investigate the tales and consider how medieval listeners and readers responded to them. Brief lectures on questions of cultural context.
FREN 1110B. Gender, Sexuality and the Novel.
Examines constructions of gender and sexuality in relation to the schools and styles of the 19th- and early 20th-century French novel, including romanticism, realism, decadence, and the popular novel. Works by Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, Maupassant, Rachilde, and Marguerite, accompanied by non-fictional sources in early sexology.
FREN 1110F. Le Roman contemporain.
In this course we will read a selection of French and Francophone novels from 1985 to 2015. Authors include Patrick Modiano, Marie NDiaye, Lydie Salvayre, Marie Redonnet, Jean-Philippe Toussaint and Laurent Mauvignier. Placing these novels in dialogue with key voices from critical theory (Cixous, Barthes, Derrida, Kristeva), we will pursue through the semester a sustained reflection on major contemporary “problematics” including identity, subjecthood, hospitality, history, genealogy, gender, memory and ghosts. Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 0600- or 0700 -level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1120F. L'enfer, c'est les autres.
In this course we will read a selection of plays by notable 20th century French and Francophone writers, and consider how the dramatic form organizes and complicates questions of representation, subjectivity, body, politics and voice. Authors include Sartre, Camus, Genet, Beckett, Césaire, Koltès, Duras, Sarraute, Ndiaye, Redonnet. Secondary readings by Adorno, Deleuze, Kristeva amongst others. Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1130B. Révolution poétique - à la française: Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé.
Primary emphasis: intensive study of the poetic production and theoretical texts of three writers who substantially contributed to the radical transformation of modern Western poetry. Additionally: attention to historical contexts and to influences on later writers and theories. Enrollment limited to 20.
FREN 1130E. Le Poétique et le quotidien.
In this course on the relationship between the poetic and the ordinary, unremarkable or otherwise apparently “non-lyrical” matters and textures of modern living, we will consider formal and conceptual innovations in French poetry through the last 100 years as it has responded to a changing world, and continually reimagined the place of poetry in it. After situating certain coordinates of our investigation in the early decades of the 20th century (Apollinaire, Cendrars, Char, technology, war, speed, time) we will read works by later and contemporary poets including Francis Ponge, Jacques Roubaud, Michelle Grangaud, Sabine Macher. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not take French at Brown. Taught in French.
FREN 1130G. Modernismes poétiques.
Poetry begins with (more) white space on the page. The modernist remaking of poetry - beginning somewhere in the second half of the 19th century and lasting more or less through the first half of the 20th – brought about an exponential increase in the volume of that space, and in various other extensions of it (e.g. into design and drawing, into the unconscious). The course will briefly examine the origins of those transformations in the 19th century and follow through their ramifications in poets such as Apollinaire, the Surrealists, Cocteau, Bataille and Ponge. Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 0600- or 0700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1140A. French Theory.
Something called both “French” and “theory” came ashore in the Anglo-American academic scene of the 1970s. Supposedly both impenetrable and hegemonic, it was seen to reconstitute what was discussed in programs in literature and the social sciences, and how it was discussed. Today the shoreline of study in the humanities has been transformed, but French theory’s moment is presumed to have past. This course will trace that history through key French texts (read in translation) written between the 1960s and 1990s. Taught in English.
FREN 1150A. Literature and Cinema.
Introduces the fertile relationships that exist between literature and cinema. The study of several cinematographic adaptations of novels helps to answer the following questions: How does a novel translate into a film? What characterizes each medium? What kind of aesthetic impact did cinema have on literary works? Novels by Cocteau, Balzac, Zola, Maupassant, Flaubert, and Gide and films by Renoir, Truffaut, Chabrol, Rivette, and others.
FREN 1150B. Introduction to French Cinema.
French Cinema: The First 50 Years. This course explores the history of French cinema and its relation to politics, history, technology and art during the first half of the 20th Century. Readings, discussions, and lectures in French and English. Films with English and French subtitles.
FREN 1150G. New Wave Cinema from Paris to Hollywood.
“New wave” was coined by a journalist to refer to an “outburst” of filmmaking in France beginning in 1959. Never a movement, and short-lived in terms of whatever aesthetic uniformity it may have had, its effects spread across various European cinemas and became the emblem for a series of American filmmakers well into the 1970s. We will analyze work by a range of French and other cinéastes, in an attempt to understand what perhaps appears--from the current perspective--as one of the last gasps of “high cultural” production against the reality of corporate necessity and new forms of media. Taught in English. Unlike most other FREN courses above the 600-level, this course is not writing-designated.
FREN 1210C. Reading Proust at the Turn of the Century.
Proust's enduring masterpiece A la recherche du temps perdu, viewed from different perspectives: philosophical, psychological, and cultural. Open to undergraduate and graduate students interested in the rich rewards of reading this complex novel and in considering the impact of narrative fiction on our lives. WRI
FREN 1210F. L’œuvre romanesque de Marguerite Duras.
Starting with her first novels in the 1950s and up until her broad recognition, for The Lover, as France’s most renowned female writer of the post-WWII period, Marguerite Duras was involved in profound research into the form and force of novelistic narrative. Our course will examine a representative series of her texts from three different points of view: narrative, writing, femininity.
Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown. Taught in French.
FREN 1310D. L'Orient littéraire.
Examines the representations of the Orient (Turkey, Arabia, Persia) in the imagery of French and Francophone writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Through the analysis of the fantasms pertaining to the representations of Sexuality and Power, this course will study the dominant figures associated with the Orient. Two short papers and an oral presentation.
FREN 1310E. Paris, ville des Lumières.
Representations of the city; the crowd; the rise of the individual; the narrator as spectator and promeneur; narratives of social mobility; speed and circulation; sex and the city; Paris as a cultural place. Various authors to be studied: Marivaux, Fougeret de Monbron, Rousseau, Diderot, Mercier, Restif de la Bretonne. Taught in French.
FREN 1310F. Penser la France et l'Europe.
We will read philosophers (e.g. Levinas, Irigaray, Lipvetsky, Ferry, Renaut, and Le Doeuff), anthropologists (Dumont and Favret-Saada), and historians (Duby and Perrot) while debating such issues as individualism versus holism, modernity versus postmodernity, autonomy versus freedom, democracy, feminism, violence, fashion, and France versus Europe.
FREN 1310G. War, Image, Text.
This course treats literary and film narratives of war from the 19th-century to the present (Franco-Prussian War, WWI, WWII, colonial wars, the Gulf war.) Topics include the uses and limits of realism in war narratives; issues of nationalism, patriotism, collaboration, resistance, civil rights, and the politics of gender in wartime. Students will research non-fictional sources to supplement class readings.
FREN 1310H. Contes et identités francophones.
How do folktales define national and ethnic identities in France, Sénégal, the Caribbean, Louisiana, and Canada? How have the study and rewriting of these traditions redefined such identities? We will consider these questions by studying tale-types from all of the above regions, tales specific to each, and literary reworkings of folktales by writers, including d'Aulnoy, Perrault, Pourrat, Diop, and Chamoiseau.
FREN 1310I. Femmes écrivains.
This course will both introduce students to important female-authored texts from the 19th century to the present, and address theoretical issues pertaining to women and writing. Topics include: the relation of gender to genre; development of feminist thought; women's relation to masculine literary traditions. George Sand, Rachilde, Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Duras, Annie Ernaux. Pre Requisites: A course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1310J. Special Topics in French Studies I: Ecritures du Moi: Disclosures of the Self.
A study of autobiographical writings beginning with the classics (Rousseau, Stendhal) and continuing with the legacy of the genre by contemporary writers. They will include Marguerite Duras, Annie Ernaux, Jean Claude Charles, François Weyergans, Catherine Cusset. Notions to be covered include memory and forgetting, fiction and reconstruction, writing, desire, and loss.
FREN 1310K. Short Stories.
What sort of story is the short story? What kinds of possibilities and pressures distinguish it from other forms? Attentive to its contained – and constrained – narrative economy, we shall study a range of examples of the genre, from 19th century realist and fantastic literature (Maupassant, Flaubert, Nerval) to modern French and Francophone texts (Camus, Sartre, Djebar, Condé, Ndiaye).
FREN 1310M. Le fantastique.
Ghosts, spirits and specters populate the French "fantastique". Starting with the precursors of the genre in the 18th century (Jacques Cazotte’s Le Diable amoureux), we will read major works of "littérature fantastique" of the 19th century, including Balzac’s La Peau de chagrin (1831), Contes cruels by Villiers de l’Isle-Adam (1883) and Maupassant’s Le Horla (1886). Select readings from critical theory and philosophy will accompany the readings (Todorov, Bergson, Derrida). We will also consider examples of the fantastic in 20th century cinema (Epstein’s La Chute de la Maison Usher (1928) and Franju’s Les Yeux sans visage (1960). Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1310N. La Pornographie.
In 1769, Restif de la Bretonne coined the word pornographe: one who writes (graphein) about prostitution (pornê is the prostitute). It is in literature, then, that what is known today as “pornography” was invented. This course will be dedicated to classics of the pornographic genre (from Sade to Bataille), to pornological essays (by Deleuze or Nancy), and to the political stakes of pornography in contemporary writings (by Despentes or Guibert). We will not forget cinema (with films by Genet or Bonello): if pornography pertains to a compulsion to show everything, what would be the blind spot of its absolute visibility? Taught in French.
FREN 1310O. Clichés. L’écriture à l’épreuve de la photographie.
With the invention of photography, the relation of writing to the world—to history, memory, or the gaze—undergoes a radical change. In this course, we will try to understand how snapshots, these lasting images of things, have been inscribed into literature and thought. We will read a number of texts where the photographic image is staged (Proust, Claude Simon, Guibert, Perec, Tournier…) or questioned (Barthes, Derrida, Didi-Huberman, Baudrillard); and we will analyze some artworks that deviate its logic (Sophie Calle, ORLAN). We will also explore the ties between photography and the cinematographic medium that stems from it (Marker, Godard). Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown. Taught in French.
FREN 1310P. La théorie féministe en France.
From Olympe de Gouges to the movement called #Balancetonporc (the French version of #MeToo), from the first-wave feminism to the queer third-wave feminism, from the debates on abortion to pornography, prostitution, and gender parity, this course will explore major texts in French and francophone feminist theory (Simone de Beauvoir, Monique Wittig, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous, Virginie Despentes, Sam Bourcier, Paul B. Preciado…). Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown. Taught in French.
FREN 1310R. Agnès Varda: La Femme à la Caméra.
The only feminine figure in the New Wave, Agnès Varda produced, throughout her life, a work of more than forty films, between feature films, short films, and documentaries. From Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962) to Varda par Agnès (2019), from L’Une chante, l’autre pas (1977) to Documenteur (1981) or Sans toit ni loi (1985), the course aims at following the rich cinematographic journey of a “woman with a movie camera”. Taught in French. Pre-req: A course at the 0600- or 0700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1310U. Prostitution, or "the oldest profession in the world".
From brothels as imagined by Restif de la Bretonne in 1769 to the contemporary political activism of sex workers (Coyote), this course aims to explore “the oldest profession in the world” not only as it is represented in literature (Zola, Maupassant), but also as described in direct accounts (Grisélidis Réal, Virginie Despentes, Marie-Thérèse) or as staged in cinema (Jean Renoir, Max Ophüls, Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard…). Pre-requisites: a course at the 0600- or 0700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1320A. Apocalypses and Millennia.
A multidisciplinary investigation of figures such as Rimbaud, Van Gogh, the Surrealists, Simon, Blanchot, and Duras in the perspectives of history, philosophy, mysticism, literature, and the visual arts.
FREN 1320B. Du côté de la passion.
Focuses on the representation of emotions and passions in French novels from the 17th century to the present. In working out a new approach to characters in narrative fiction, the emphasis will be on perception and affect. In addition to novels, students read short essays on the nature of narrative, on emotions, and on aesthetic response. Novelists include Madame de Lafayette, Rousseau, Balzac, Flaubert, Proust, Colette, and Sarraute.
FREN 1320D. Ecrire au féminin: Women Writing in France.
Both introduces students to important female-authored texts from the 18th century to the present and addresses theoretical issues pertaining to women and writing. Topics include: the relation of gender to genre; the écriture féminine debate; development of feminist thought; women's relation to masculine literary traditions and the canon. Readings include Graffigny, Gouges, Staël, Desbordes-Valmore, Sand, Colette, Beauvoir, Duras, Bâ, Wittig, and Cixous.
FREN 1320F. La Communauté.
What do we mean when we say “we”? What does it mean to “be with,” and what do we share with one another? This class ponders such questions, incessantly asked by 20th-century French literature and thought, by studying works that confront the necessity and difficulty of life in common, be it in the community of a family, society, friendship, lovers, or artists. Authors read include Marguerite Duras (La Maladie de la mort), Maylis de Kerangal (Naissance d’un pont), Maurice Blanchot (La Communauté inavouable), Jean-Luc Nancy (La Communauté désoeuvrée), Jacques Rancière (Aux bords du politique), and Georges Bataille’s journal Acéphale. In French. Prerequisite: A course at the 0600- or 0700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1320I. Literature and Social Thought: L'Utopie Littéraire.
For centuries literary utopias have been considered a means to reinvent the world's ideal desires/values. We will attempt to understand the role utopian texts have played in shaping the imaginary of generations of people in Europe, particularly in France. Entire texts or excerpts from novels, essays, cartoons or films by Campanella, Voltaire, Marivaux, Mercier, and others will be discussed.
FREN 1320J. Des monstres et de l'anormal.
What are monsters and why do they fascinate us so much? How and why have representations of "abnormal" creatures changed over time? We will examine these questions through literary, philosophical, and scientific texts from the 16th century to the present. In addition to films, iconography, and criticism, readings will include: Paré, Montaigne; Malebranche, Perrault, d'Aulnoy; Le Prince de Beaumont; Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Mendès; Bataille, Cocteau, Darrieussecq, Foucault, Nothomb. Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1320K. Terrains Littéraires Contemporains.
The notion of “terrain”—field or fieldwork—is premised on a powerful idea: that of knowledge anchored in place and contact. In literature, the idea animates practices ranging from investigations to “interventions,” aiming to “give near invisible things the chance to appear”. This course considers the stakes of field practices in contemporary literature (Arno Bertina, François Bon, Maryline Desbiolles, Hélène Gaudy, Philippe Vasset): How does one transcribe the voice of others, decipher a city through protocols, or investigate as a feminist? Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1330A. Fairy Tales and Culture.
Fairy tales, which occur in almost every culture, encapsulate in (usually) succinct form many of the pressing concerns of human existence: family conflict, the struggle for survival, sexual desire, the quest for happiness, etc. This course explores why writers and readers have been attracted to the fairy-tale form through a study of its key elements and its uses in adult and children's literature, book illustration, and film. Special attention given to French contes de fées, along with North American, English, German, Italian and selected non-Western fairy tales. Discussions and readings in English with French, German, and Italian originals on reserve.
FREN 1330B. Masterpieces of French Literature.
This course will study principally the most accomplished genre of the French literature, the novel. We will analyze the major representative novels from the 17th century to the present, and we will attempt to study their access to canonicity. We will also evaluate their continued interest by focusing on the major contemporary interpretations that they have provoked. Readings in Mme de la Fayette, Laclos, Stendhal, Flaubert, Genet, and Duras.
FREN 1330C. French Women Writers.
This class analyzes the relationship between gender and literary genre through the study of texts authored by women from the 19th through the 21st century. We will read novels and poetry by George Sand, Desbordes-Valmore, Colette, Beauvoir, Marguerite Duras, Monique Wittig, Annie Ernaux, among others. Screenings of work by women filmmakers will complement readings. Course taught in English.
FREN 1330E. Transatlantic Surrealisms.
“Surreal” refers to what is incongruous, uncanny, or downright bizarre. Those terms describe many poetic and artistic productions belonging to Surrealism, without for all that explaining the literary and theoretical underpinnings of the movement at its origins in the 1920s, or accounting for the international flowering of its ideas and its continued influence. The class will attempt to trace the complexities of Surrealism from its modernist prehistory, through “canonization,” to diversification and waning in the 1960s. We will also study surrealism vis-à-vis the shift in cultural capital from Europe to the New World, and reverberations in subsequent artistic forms. Taught in English.
FREN 1410D. L'identité française.
We discuss different ways of defining French identity across centuries by stressing catholicism, le génie de la langue française, Cartesianism, French Revolution, les droits de l'homme, the French Presidency, Francophonie, and l'exception française, or, in a minor key, l'esprit gaulois, French cuisine, French chanson, cafés philosophiques, and French film.
FREN 1410F. Comment peut-on être Français? L'identité française en question.
This course will examine the transformation of cultural identity in contemporary France. What does it mean to be "French" or étranger today? We will investigate this question by reflecting on some of the major changes that have occurred in French society in the past 30 years in the wake of immigration, the emergence of ethnic identity, racism, the construction of Europe, and globalization. We will study contemporary fiction and non-fiction, essays, films, songs, comedy, as well as theoretical texts. Readings will include works by Leïla Sebbar, Chadhort Djavann, Faïza Guène, Julie Kristeva, Tzvetan Todorov, Philippe d'Iribarne, and Eric Fassin. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown. In French. This is a senior seminar course
FREN 1410H. Révoltes et opposition en France.
Why are strikes and protest marches more common in France than in the United States and many other countries? A good part of the answer lies in the traditions of social and political opposition that have existed in France since the Revolution. In this course we will examine how this tradition developed by concentrating on four key historical moments: the Revolutions of 1789-1794, the Commune, the Occupation, and the 1968 uprisings.
FREN 1410I. Sorcellerie et Renaissance: le sort de la sorcière.
An interdisciplinary exploration of witches and witchcraft in Renaissance France based on close analysis of primary texts-confessions from trials, iconography, literary texts, and witchcraft theory. Topics include the trial of Joan of Arc, the science of demons, skepticism, and the nature of belief. Readings in Montaigne, Mauss, among others. Enrollment limited to 20. Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 0600- or 0700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1410J. War, Culture, Politics.
Armed conflict in and involving France, from World War I to the war in Iraq. We will consider the socio-political climates giving rise to armed conflict, as well as the cultural products (journalism, memoirs, film, novels) resulting from the experience of war. Issues include colonialism, nationalism, collaboration, resistance, civil rights, international relations, and the politics of gender in wartime.
FREN 1410K. French Culture and Civilization: La pensée française au XXe siècle.
We will address XXth century French thinkers coming from philosophy, aesthetics, semiotics, sociology, and feminism. Readings include works by Henri Bergson, Simone Weil, Luc Ferry and Alain Badiou; Paul Valéry, Roger Caillois, and Paul Ricoeur, Emile Durkheim, Raymond Aron, and Pierre Bourdieu; Luce Irigaray and Michèle Le Doeuff. Two oral presentations and one final paper.
FREN 1410N. Présence française en Amérique du Nord au XXe siècle.
We will examine varieties of French spoken in Northern America (Acadian French, chiac, joual, creole) as well as the French culture and literature of Québec, New England and Louisiana. Students will choose between fieldwork in a New England francophone community of their choice or writing a solid essay on North-American francophone culture/literature.
FREN 1410R. Images d’une guerre sans nom: The Algerian War in Literature and Film.
Not officially acknowledged as a war by France until recently, the Algerian War of independence remains, more than a half-century later, a contested battleground in the French national consciousness. Focusing on depictions of the Algerian War in literature and film we will investigate the many taboos that still endure, most notably around the question of violence and torture, and attempt to reassess the relative “invisibility” of this conflict. Readings will include films by Gillo Pontecorvo, Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Agnès Varda, and works by Frantz Fanon, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Benjamin Stora, Claire Etcherelli, Assia Djebar, and Leïla Sebbar. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown. Taught in French.
FREN 1410S. Les Français au travail: chômage et précarité dans la société contemporaine.
This course focuses on a crucial contemporary French social issue by examining the question of unemployment and the rise of so-called precarious jobs through their representations in literature, culture, and film. Special attention will be given to questions of identity, gender, race, socioeconomic factors, and politics. Authors read include Bon, Deck, Foenkinos, and Oster. In addition we will analyze several films and read the work of journalists and sociologists. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1410T. L'experience des refugies: deplacements, migrations.
An exploration of the experience of refugees and immigrants with two components. The first component consists of close study of the French context from Decolonization up through the current refugee crisis based on literature, film, the press, and critical essays. The second component of this course will give students the opportunity to work with refugee/recent immigrant communities in Providence. This is a community-engaged course requiring substantial commitment beyond the classroom. Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 0600- or 0700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown. *undergraduate only
FREN 1410W. The French Revolution (HIST 1272D).
Interested students must register for HIST 1272D.
FREN 1410X. Dés/Accords franco-américains.
The relationship between France and the United States is one of paradoxes. Reaching back to the American and the French Revolutions, these two countries have displayed profound admiration for each other, but have also experienced moments of deep distrust and hostility. We will first trace the history of political, intellectual, and cultural relations between France and the United States since the late 18th century, and then concentrate on several moments and topics from the contemporary period, including multiculturalism, gender and sexuality, popular culture, and “French theory.” Pre Requisites: A course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown. Taught in French.
FREN 1420B. France at War.
This course treats armed conflict from the Franco-Prussion war to the war in Iraq through readings of essays (Aubrac, Camus), fiction (Maupassant, Duras), press articles, correspondence, and film viewings (Tavernier, Chabrol, Pontecorvo). Topics include: nationalism and patriotism, collaboration, resistance, torture, civil rights, international relations, and the politics of gender in wartime.
FREN 1420C. Gender Theory and Politics in France.
This course explores thought, activism, and public policy in contemporary France pertaining to issues of gender and sexuality. Attention will be paid to intellectual and cultural differences between France and the US, as well as Franco-American exchanges in critical theory related to these domains (e.g. Foucault, Butler). Topics include Beauvoir's legacy and 1970's feminisms (Cixous, Irigaray, Wittig, Delphy); recent public policy debates (representative parity, marriage equality, surrogacy); sexual violence; feminism and multiculturalism (gender and national identity, anti-sexism/anti-racism, French secularism and the headscarf debate). Taught in English.
FREN 1430. Research Seminar: Franco-American as a New England Minority Culture.
After an intensive week of training, students choose a specific topic of research and work independently during the rest of the course. They meet with the instructor and present partial results of their research in the weekly seminar. Projects include collecting oral history in Woonsocket; research on (and in) Franco-American institutions located in the vicinity; and studies on Franco-American history, onomastics, literature, film, and press. While not required for all of the projects, a basic knowledge of French is strongly recommended. Conducted in English.
FREN 1510C. Advanced Oral and Written French: A table!.
Thematic units with different approaches to French cuisine and the French meal, such as regional cuisine, meals in literature and at the movies, radio-TV culinary shows, political and economical considerations, and, of course, a practical unit on how to compose, prepare and eat a French meal. Follows FREN 0600 in the sequence of language courses. Development of oral skills via presentations, debates, conversation, and discussion based on the various topics. Writing activities: essays, translations, commentaries, journals, creative descriptions and stories, etc. Taught in French. Pre-requisites include FREN 0600 and FREN 0610 and FREN 0620.
FREN 1510D. Advanced Oral and Written French: L’animal Post-Moderne.
This course will focus on depictions of animals in the present day French (and Francophone) public and cultural sphere – in literature, journalism, cinema, advertisements, the visual arts, etc. Through presentations, class discussion and reading and writing assignments (essays, short responses, a journalistic piece, an interview) students will develop their linguistic and critical skills in French while engaging thoughtfully with the course's materials and questions. Follows FREN 600 in the sequence of language courses. Enrollment limited to 18.
FREN 1510F. Advanced Written and Oral French: Regards sur la France actuelle.
This course will use contemporary and classic works, newspaper articles, and film – all "made in France" – to explore and analyze the myths, realities, and contradictions of France today. Through in-class discussions, debates, and presentations, students will gain a deeper understanding of the enigma and legacy of this European country that once was the center of the cultural world and an early model of democracy. Follows FREN 0600 in the sequence of language courses. Writing activities, essays, commentaries, journals, etc.. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: FREN 0600. Enrollment limited to 18.
FREN 1510G. Advanced Written and Oral French: La Sociabilité à la Française.
An exploration of French sociability, this course is designed to expand students’ oral skills through discussions and presentations, as well as to help them develop their writing skills via essays, creative projects, blog entries, and use of Twitter. Students will experience the different modes of sociability through a variety of texts (novel excerpts, comic books, newspaper articles) and films, ranging from 17th-century fairytales to contemporary thinkers (Sartre, Bergson), and will be invited to reflect on their own practice of social networks through essays and debates. Taught in French.
Prerequisite: FREN 0600 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 18. Instructor permission required.
FREN 1510H. Advanced Oral and Written French: A nous deux la mode.
A bird’s eye view of the fashion world, we will explore the birth and evolution of the French fashion industry (from the development of department stores to the birth and rise of Haute Couture), its impact on society and social change, as well as its relationship with art and advertisement. Materials range from literary excerpts to journalistic texts, online resources, and films, and will include portraits of fashion designers, studies of iconic fashion pieces, descriptions of techniques and crafts, and analyses of fashion shows. Activities include presentations, discussion, essays, commentaries, and the creation of a trend book. Taught in French.
FREN 1510J. Advanced Oral and Written French: Photographie.
Follows FREN 0600 in the sequence of language courses. Development of oral and written skills via presentation, debate, conversation and discussion on a variety of topics. Through novels, articles, photographs and discussions, this course will explore the world of photography from its beginnings until today. Theory and practice; professionals and amateurs; famous people and paparazzi; photo reportage and photo studio; argentic and digital; your own photos, etc. Taught in French. Pre-requisites include FREN 0600 or FREN 0610 or FREN 0620.
FREN 1510L. À nous deux la mode.
A bird’s eye view of the fashion world, this course will explore the birth and evolution of the French fashion industry (from the development of department stores to the birth and rise of Haute Couture), its impact on society and social change, as well as its relationship with art and advertisement. Materials range from literary excerpts to journalistic texts, online resources, and films, and will include portraits of fashion designers, studies of iconic fashion pieces, descriptions of techniques and crafts, and analyses of fashion shows. Activities include presentations, discussion, essays, commentaries, and the creation of a trend book. In French.
FREN 1610B. To Be Determined.
No description available.
FREN 1610C. Advanced Written French: Atelier d'écriture.
An advanced course in (functional or creative) writing. The workshops range from practice in interpersonal communication (letters) to essays and various forms of narration. Recommended to students returning from a study-abroad program, students with a native French background who lack formal training in writing, or post-FREN 600 students. Exercises for each workshop plus a final writing project. Prerequisite: FREN 600. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission required. Taught in French.
FREN 1710A. France-Afrique/Afrique-France: Je t'aime moi non plus.
Historically, the relationship between France and Africa has been characterized by a permanent tension. We will use literature and film to reflect on the historical events and, socio-political processes that have shaped the encounter between France and Africa. How are African and French novelists/filmmakers responding to this relationship? Topics include: the Colonial Encounter, "World War II", Decolonization, Negritude and Immigration.
FREN 1710B. Black, Blanc, Beur.
This course examines how the ethnic make up of contemporary French society challenges its republican ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Violent clashes involving teenagers from immigrant descents and the police are recurrent. Anti immigration policies have also become a major component of political discourse. We will use literature; film, newspapers and popular musical forms to reflect on issues such as integration, identity, violence, race and class.
FREN 1710E. Machines de guerre: Violence et société en Afrique francophone.
From civil war in Ivory Coast to terrorism in Mali, war and violence in Francophone Africa both provoke and respond to debates about France’s colonial legacy and continued presence on the continent. Yet these phenomena have much to tell us about emerging social relations, new forms of politics, and how ordinary Africans view the future—their own, that of their countries, and of the continent as a whole. This course studies these and related questions in a variety of media, including anthropological texts, written testimonies, novels, documentary films, philosophy, and investigative journalism. Anglophone Africa will also be considered. Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 0600- or 0700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1710F. Politique, démocratie, et corruption en Afrique francophone.
What do representations of democracy (its promises as well as its shortcomings) and corruption have to tell us about postcolonial and postmillennial politics in contemporary Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa? How have these interrelated problems and discourses been negotiated in French and African literature, film, journalism, and anthropology? This course will address these and related questions in a number of national and historical contexts, paying special attention to the ways in which current events on the continent both complement and complicate our understandings of Francophone African cultural production. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown. Taught in French.
FREN 1710G. L'Idée de l'empire dans l'imaginaire français.
From the early nineteenth century to the 1931 Colonial Exposition in Paris and the Algerian Revolution, ideas and debates about slavery, race, and colonialism informed the ways in which French writers and intellectuals thought about empire and its relationship to national identity. This course examines how these debates took shape through contrasting imaginative conceptions of empire from the 1800s until the 1960s, when France lost most of her colonies. How did visions of empire contribute to the formation of French colonial identity, and what kind of purchase do these ideas have on contemporary French cultural and political life? In French. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1710H. Villes africaines.
This course examines space, politics, and urban life in Francophone Africa from the 1960s to the 21st century. How has the African city changed since the colonial period? And how do writers, filmmakers, and artists imagine the African city’s global dimensions today? Our course will examine these and related questions as we study how cities in Francophone Africa reflect changing visions of art, politics, gender/sexuality, and literature. Taught in French.
Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1710I. Politique, démocratie, et corruption en Afrique francophone.
What do representations of democracy (its promises as well as its shortcomings) and corruption have to tell us about postcolonial and postmillennial politics in contemporary Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa? How have these interrelated problems and discourses been negotiated in French and African literature, film, journalism, and anthropology? This course will address these and related questions in a number of national and historical contexts, paying special attention to the ways in which current events on the continent both complement and complicate our understandings of Francophone African cultural production. Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1710J. Geopolitics and Identity Divides in the Middle East.
In this course, we will explore Near Eastern Francophone literature through a period of civil wars and societal fractures, focusing on major themes that haunted modern Levantine authors, including history, “Phénicianisme” versus Arabism, identity versus alterity, nationalist feminism, sectarianism, and universalism. Readings will cover literary productions from 1919 until 1998 and will be supplemented with contextualization articles in French and English. Taught in French.
Prerequisite: a course at the 0600- or 0700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1720A. Disenchantment and Melancholia in Postcolonial Africa.
In the decades following independence, African novels and films were characterized by euphoria. This optimism has since been replaced by narratives of hopelessness. Rather than assuming that disenchantment and melancholia lead inevitably to pessimism, we will explore ways in which artistic forms engage the idea of a better future through a careful examination of the predicaments facing the African continent. In English.
FREN 1720B. Foreign Bodies/Forbidden Sexualities in Africa and the Caribbean.
The practice of homosexuality is a crime in several Caribbean and African countries. In Uganda, it is referred as "carnal knowledge of another against nature" while Zimbabwe's president Mugabe claimed homosexuals are "worse than pigs and dogs." We will explore ways in which artistic forms engage the LGBT experience within predominantly heterosexual societies. Topics include: psychoanalysis, Black feminism, Black Queer theory, HIV/AIDS, gender role socialization.
FREN 1720C. Black Paris.
This course is a study of Black Paris, as imagined by three generations of Black cultural producers from the United States, the Caribbean and Africa, who lived in Paris. We will investigate how the representation of Paris functions in the construction of black identities from Joesphine Baker to Shay Youngblood.
FREN 1720E. Melancholia Africana: Loss Mourning and Survival in Africa and the Diaspora.
Traditional beliefs, historical and cultural circumstances construct how the African understands himself/herself in relation to the world. From this construction resonates a theme of loss - loss of land; of freedom; of language; of self. Melancholia Africana incorporates loss but moreover, grapples with the external world. We will explore ways in which literature, film and music portray loss, resilience and survival.
FREN 1720F. Haïti au-delà des gros titres: Culture et société.
In this course, students will be introduced to different aspects of Haitian culture and society challenging the stereotypes found in certain media representations. Students will read novels, short stories, poetry and essays, and view videos and films, as well as listen to Haitian music in order to better understand and apprehend the complexity of Haitian society and history. Themes to be covered include History, religion, family, migration, nature, language dynamics, etc. In French.
FREN 1900A. Boulevard du crime.
A study of crime and criminality in relation to French culture and literature from the late-middle ages through the 20th-century. Readings in a variety of sources including poetry (from Villon to Verlaine), theater (Racine), the novel (Zola, Genêt, Duras), trials (Gilles de Rais, the prototype of Bluebeard), memoirs (Lacenaire, dubbed the "elegant murderer"), and criminological treatises. Film screenings will complement readings. Taught in French.
FREN 1900B. Figures de l'étranger dans la littérature française.
From Montaigne to Marguerite Duras, Segalen to Jean Genét, modern French literature has been haunted by a specter: the figure of the Other (the foreigner, the "immigrant", the "bon sauvage", etc.) Various literary and philosophical texts will help us study the historical status and the various forms of these figures in modern French literature. Two short papers.
FREN 1900F. Senior Seminar: L'Identité française.
This course examines different ways of defining French identity across centuries by alternately or simultaneously stressing Catholicism, le génie de la langue française, Cartesianism, French Revolution, individualism and les droits de l'homme, France in the European Union, l'exception française, and Francophonie or, in a minor key, l'esprit gaulois, French cuisine, French chanson, cafés philosophiques and French films.
FREN 1900G. French Feminisms.
Analysis of feminist thought, activism, and creative work in France from the middle ages to the present day. Topics include: proto-feminisms, revolution and women's rights, utopian feminism, suffrage, psychoanalysis and other "new French feminisms," reproductive rights, la parité, Islamic and Muslim feminisms. Authors include: Christine de Pisan, Gournay, Poullain de la Barre, Gouges, Sand, Démar, Beauvoir, Irigaray, Wittig, Halimi, Amara.
FREN 1900H. La France en guerre.
Studies the rise of far-right tendencies (nationalism, anti-Semitism, legitimism, racism), beginning with the Franco-Prussian war and its aftermath, and examining key moments up to the present day. Topics include the Dreyfus Affair, the Vichy regime, the Front national. Taught in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 0600- or 0700 -level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1900K. Extrême droite en France.
Considers the rise and evolution of far-right tendencies from the French counter-revolution to today. Topics include nationalism, anti-Semitism and the Dreyfus Affair, the Vichy regime, the Front national, Islamophobia, and homophobia. While the main focus is on France, we will give comparative consideration to issues of political extremism resonating in the US and other European nations, including national identity, populism, immigration, exclusion, and religious intolerance.This course draws on a variety of sources, fictional and non-fictional, including print journalism, novels and short stories, essays, film. For senior French Studies concentrators; instructor permission required for others. In French. Prerequisite: a course at the 600- or 700-level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 1900L. French-American (Dis)Connections: histoire, société, culture.
The relationship between France and the United States is one of paradoxes. Since their respective Revolutions, these two countries have displayed profound admiration for each other, but have also experienced moments of deep distrust and hostility. We will first trace the history of political, intellectual, and cultural relations between France and the United States, and then concentrate on several moments and topics from the contemporary period, including multiculturalism, gender and sexuality, popular culture, and “French theory.” Readings and films in English and French; taught in French. For senior French Studies concentrators; instructor permission required for others.
FREN 1900M. La question animale.
This seminar studies representations of animals in French literature, visual arts, popular culture and critical thought through the 19th-21st centuries, attending to their specific cultural and material histories. We will consider the fates of animals as industrial modernity progressed (discussing in turn urban space, agriculture, the battlefield, zoos, science, meat, the beginnings of photography and cinema), and the important philosophical and ethical questions they raise. Authors include Renard, Michaux, Cixous, Roubaud, Pastoureau, Baratay, Philibert, de Fontenay, Derrida, Bailly et Despret. Taught in French.
FREN 1970. Individual Independent Study.
Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course. Instructor permission required.
FREN 1990. Senior Thesis.
Independent study in an area of special interest to the student, with close guidance of a member of the staff, and leading to a major paper. Required of candidates for honors, and recommended for all senior concentrators. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.
FREN 2040E. Voies et chemins: errance à travers la littérature médiévale.
This seminar unpacks notions of displacement, migration, transformation, and alterity as they appear to us through the literature of medieval France and its global context. From the omnipresent Song of Roland to the poetic lamentations of exiled princes, much of this material might be described as the “literature of war.” Texts by more willing voyagers recall the minutiae of travel and the dazzling marvels beheld in faraway lands. Legacies of conquest and civil war pierce the carefully polished surface of diverse fictions. Our sources bear witness to the after-effects of trans-cultural encounter on songs, images, forms, and ideas. Taught in French.
FREN 2110A. Le roman renaissant.
From the origins of medieval romance in the 12th century, this course traces the history of the genre through the end of the sixteenth century. What was the fate of the knight errant in the modern era and how did the invention of printing transform medieval romance cycles? Did the humanist novel offer a corrective to the vagaries of chivalric romance? Literary works will be read in light of theories of the novel. Readings in Chrétien de Troyes, the prose Lancelot, Rabelais, Bakhtin, Lukács, and others. Taught in French.
FREN 2110B. Pratiques de l'aveu.
This course examines Renaissance literature in light of confessional practices in early modern France, focusing on notions of secrecy, sexuality, and guilt as well as on knowledge and the self. The primary corpus includes not only literary texts, but also confessor's manuals, judicial handbooks, and confessions from witch trials. Readings in Foucault, Labé, Montaigne, Marguerite de Navarre, among others.
FREN 2110C. Rhétorique et polémique à la Renaissance.
An exploration of the performative modes of literature in light of the Renaissance's rhetorical tradition. Examines the text in a variety of rhetorical situations from poetic seduction, to the courtier's pursuit of royal favor, to the Religious Wars. Also engages contemporary theories of discourse while confronting early modern rhetorical theory with contemporary speech act theory (Austin and others). Writers include les grands rhétoriqueurs, Labé Montaigne, Du Bellay, Ronsard, pseudo-Longinus.
FREN 2110D. Humanisme et Renaissance (humain, inhumain, non-humain).
Erasmus famously wrote: "one is not born human, one becomes human." For Renaissance humanists, how does one become human, and what role do the "Humanities" play in this process? This course explores Renaissance understandings of the "human" as well as its antitheses, the inhuman, non-human, and animal. Readings include Rabelais, Marguerite de Navarre, Du Bellay, Montaigne, and La Boétie.
FREN 2110E. "Sorcellerie et Renaissance".
Drawing on literary studies, history, and anthropology, this course explores witchcraft from the Late Middle Ages through the Renaissance. What cultrual dynamic produced the figure of the witch, caught up in the interplay of power and knowledge? Close readings of works by demonologists and their critics offer a lens for examining the making of witchcraft theory as well as its eventual demise. Other topics include the imagination and dreams, violence and the sacred. Special attention will be paid to the methodological challenges facing the scholar of early modern literary studies. Readings in Montaigne, Rabelais, Ronsard, Foucault, and Mauss, among others.
FREN 2130A. Civilité et subjectivité au XVIIème siècle.
This course explores the effect of civilité on subjectivity in 17th-century France. After considering pertinent theories of subjectivity, we examine how civility links the sense of "distinction" to disgust and, more precisely, the "abject," and how this linkage changes over the course of the century under the influence of political, economic, and aesthetic forces. We pay particular attention to the ways civility constructs language, the body, sexuality, gender, and class.
FREN 2130B. Civilité, littérature, et différences sexuelles.
How did "politeness" shape gender identities in 17th-century France? What role didla civilitéplay in the period's conceptions of the body, sexuality, and relations between the sexes? How did literature both implement and contest the norms of civility? These questions are explored by examining conduct literature, salons and the art of conversation, "galant" poetry, male melancholy, and female cross-dressing.
FREN 2130C. Fictions du masculin.
The aesthetics and politics of masculine identities in seventeenth- century France. Both literary representations and case studies of historical figures are considered. Topics include: the picaresque hero, male melancholy, effeminacy, salons and women's cultural authority, sodomy, the king's body. In addition to critical readings in gender theory and cultural studies, texts by Sorel, Molière, Lafayette; iconography; satirical literature.
FREN 2130D. Studies in French Literature of the Seventeenth Century: Les Modernités du XVIIe siècle.
By examining how recent thinkers have used the period to (re)define "classicism," "modernity," "modernism," or the "post-modern" and confronting these interpretations with selected 17th-century texts, we will explore the crucial role the century plays in French cultural, literary and theoretical debates. Readings include Barthes, Bourdieu, Derrida, Foucault and Descartes, Cyrano de Bergerac, Pascal, La Rochefoucauld, Racine, La Bruyère, and Perrault.
FREN 2130E. Corps et esprits libertins.
Throughout the 17th century, writers flouted religious, philosophical, political, sexual, and social norms/dogmas, provoking debate, censorship, and even persecution. This seminar will explore the themes and contexts of libertine thought and practice, as well as the attacks it occasioned in both philosophy and literature. We will study debates about skepticism, Epicureanism, sexual freedom, religious and political dissent, and will read, among others, Montaigne, Charron, Viau, Garasse, Gassendi, Cyrano de Bergerac, La Mothe Le Vayer, Ninon de L'Enclos, Pascal, Molière, La Fontaine, Saint-Evremond, and Deshoulières.
FREN 2130F. Façons d'aimer: Discourses of Sexuality in Early Modern France.
This course will examine both the connections and tensions among the legal, literary, philosophical, medical, and religious discourses of sexuality in early modern France. Topics such as Neoplatonism, erotomania, one-gender theory, conjugal love, cuckoldry, impotence, sodomy, and tribadism will be studied in their historical, social, and literary contexts. In addition to primary sources (selections from edicts, essays, treatises) and secondary readings (theoretical and critical), literary texts by Rabelais, Ronsard, Labé, Montaigne, Viau, Molière, Choisy, among many others. Class discussions in English or French, depending on preparation of students. Enrollment limited to graduate students or advanced undergraduates (with instructor’s permission only).
FREN 2130G. Queering the Grand Siècle.
This seminar will approach canonical and non-canonical 17th-century literature through the lens of queer theory. Using strategies of queer critique while being attentive to literary/historical context, we will explore a selection of poetic, prose, and theatrical texts from perspectives that trouble the heteronormative and patriarchal norms of knowledge and power. Particular focus on the reception of the "Grand Siècle" in contemporary French cultural identity and poststructuralist thought. Theoretical readings by Butler, Edelman, Freccero, Foucault, Halberstam, Sedgwick; literary texts by François de Sales, Théophile de Viau, Benserade, Cyrano de Bergerac, Madeleine de Scudéry, Corneille, Molière, Racine, Bussy-Rabutin, among others. Taught in French.
FREN 2130R. Penser et écrire le non-humain au XVIIème siècle.
Under the influence of “New Science,” the 17th century witnessed dramatic shifts in ways of perceiving and relating to the natural world. Guided by theoretical and historical work in environmental humanities and with a focus on literature, we will consider how French thinkers and writers framed the relationship between humans and their non-human others (animals, plants, natural landscapes). Theoretical readings in Braidotti, Descola, Foucault, Latour; primary texts by Descartes, Cyrano de Bergerac, Cureau de la Chambre, Scudéry, Pascal, La Fontaine, Sévigné, Perrault (Claude and Charles), d’Aulnoy, among others. Taught in French.
FREN 2150A. Bodies of Enlightenment.
An exploration of the body in the eighteenth-century in its multiple guises: foreign and national; disciplined and idle; natural and mechanical; libertine and political. Readings in Prévost, Diderot, Rousseau, Boyer d'Argens, Sade. Critical essays by: Michel Foucault, Lynn Hunt, David Cottom, Dorinda Outram.
FREN 2150B. Foucault et les Lumières.
An examination of Foucault's key writings on the French Enlightenment and the confrontation of his criticism with the major works of that period. We will consider how other French theoreticians differ with Foucault in examining the Enlightenment, particularly Lyotard and Ferry. Readings in Histoire de la folie, Les Mots el les choses, Surveiller et Punir and Histoire de la sexualité and texts by Prévost, Rousseau, Diderot, Sade and others. Open to qualified undergraduates.
FREN 2150C. Le Roman libertin: approches critiques.
We will attempt to study the evolution of the different genres of the libertine novel in the 18th century: roman de séduction, the conte, roman de la prostituée. We will also examine how current approaches around issues of gender, sexuality, pornography allow for new contextualization of that novel. Authors to be read are Crébillon fils, Duclos, Godard d'Aucour, La Morliére, Boyer d'Argens, Denon and Laclos. Taught in French.
FREN 2150D. Qu'est-ce que les Lumières?.
A critical examination of the authors of the French Enlightenment from the point of view of the capital ideas that will forge the century: notions of universalism and otherness, notions of politics (such as reason and violence), notions of gender and race. Examines the critical reception of the Enlightenment by contemporary theorists and historians, principally Foucault, Hunt and Darnton. Readings in Graffigny, Boyer d’Argens, Diderot, Rousseau, and Sade.
FREN 2150E. Theories et fictions des Lumieres.
This course seeks to examine the idea of “Lumières” in Eighteenth-century France through the reading of some of the major authors of the period. Focusing on the relationship between theory and fiction we will analyze the concepts central to the French Enlightenment: happiness, progress and freedom as they are formulated both in fiction (novels and plays) and in theoretical texts. Readings will include major texts by Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, as well as other writers and philosophes. Conducted in French. Prerequisite: a course at the 0600- or 0700 -level or equivalent proficiency. Contact the instructor to verify your proficiency if you have not taken French at Brown.
FREN 2170A. Courants poétiques du XIX siècle, Romantisme, Modernisme, Symbolisme.
Special attention to Hugo, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé.
FREN 2170B. Crimes écrits.
This course focuses on fictional crime, literary criminals, and criminalized literature in 19th-century France. Topics include the romantic murderer, popular literature, the aesthetics of evil, literary trials of the Second Empire, naturalism and legal transgression. Authors to be studied include Balzac, Lacenaire, Sue, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Barbey d'Aurévilly, Zola, Maupassant, Foucault.
FREN 2170C. Sexualités décadentes.
A study of fin-de-siècle literature and ideology. Topics include: degeneration and the new sciences of sexology and criminology; representations of homosexuality, prostitution, and the femme fatale; and masculinity in crisis. Texts by Huysmans, Nordau, Rachilde, Zola, Lorrain, Verlaine, Krafft-Ebing, Lombroso. Secondary sources in literary criticism and contemporary theories of sexuality.
FREN 2170D. Lyrisme et différence sexuelle.
Seminar exploring the relationship between gender and the lyric, often deemed a "masculine" genre. We will read male and female poets of the 19th century (including Desbordes-Valmore, Hugo, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, and Vivien) and examine the gendering of the poem on various levels. Topics include the construction of masculine poetic identity, the possibility of a female lyric voice, homosexual traditions, gender and form.
FREN 2170G. Decadence.
Study of the notion of decadence in fin-de-siècle French culture. From scientific theories of degeneration to literary representations of sexual perversion, writers of the period were consumed by the specter of moral decay and social disease. This course will analyze fictional and non-fictional texts of the period by authors such as Péladan, Lorrain, Rachilde, Mendès, and Nordau.
FREN 2170I. Naturalisme et positivisme.
This seminar studies the naturalist literary "method" and its ideological implications in relation to 19th -century positivist thought and the disciplines it informed. Topics include scientism, anit-clericalism, republicanism, gender and social reform, and the birth of sociology. In addition to several novels from Zola's cycle, Les Rougon-Macquart: Histoire naturelle et sociale d'une famille sous le Second Empire, primary sources include texts by Maupassant, Comte, Taine, Littré, Durkheim. Secondary readings in the sociology of literature and cultural history.
FREN 2170J. Naturalisme et décadence.
In this seminar we will read seminal works associated with these two nineteenth-century literary tendencies. We will explore the antithetical nature of their aesthetic programs and the ideological implications of their differences. Moving beyond the literary text, we will consider corresponding cleavages that divided France along similar lines between the old guard (Catholic monarchists) and the new (republican secularists), between science and the Church, between Dreyfusards and anti-Drefusards, among other conflicting viewpoints that polarized France at the end of the century. Works by Zola, Maupassant, Huysmans, Lorrain, Péladan, Mendès.
FREN 2170K. High Culture: Intoxicants in 19th-Century Literature and Society.
This seminar explores the cultural significance of intoxicants in 19th-century France. Between the wine of transcendence and creation and the opiates of degeneration and disease, alcohol and narcotics played a role in antithetical discourses of fulfillment and depletion. Their idealization commonly found witnesses among poets, while the social sciences roundly condemned their deleterious effects on the material and social body. Advances in medicine contributed new intoxicants available for abuse (ether, morphine), even while feeding discourses condemning alcoholism and drug use as social scourges. Primary readings include literature (Gautier, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Zola, Lorrain), medical treatises, social policy. Taught in English.
FREN 2190C. Littératures Francophones Contemporaines. Nations d'écrivains.
Does a writer belong to a "Nation"? To which nation does a writer belong when he or she writes in the language of his or her former colonizer? Does political independence warrant the existence of a new nation? How does literature contribute to the emergence and consolidation of a new nation? How does Francophone literature relate to French literature? Readings of major contemporary Francophone writers.
FREN 2190D. Literary Theory of Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida.
These two thinkers, one from a literary and rhetorical perspective, the other speaking out of philosophy, posed in a persistent and explicit manner during the period 1965-1980 the question of literature. We will study a series of their texts that continue to provide important models for a critical approach to literary writing. Taught in English.
FREN 2190E. Le sujet en procès.
An engagement with 20th century literature and critical theory through a series of perspectives on the subject, including the narrative, the lyrical, the historical, the feminine, the specular. Reading fiction and poetry (Michaux, Beckett, Ponge, Simon, Djebar) alongside key theoretical writings (Deleuze, Derrida, Benveniste, Kristeva), we will consider some of the trials/processes (procès) that have marked the fate of the modern subject.
FREN 2190F. L'Honneur des poètes.
This course will focus on 20th century narrative attempts to give form to war, as historical and traumatic event and scene of a protagonism/narrativity in crisis. Starting with the paradigmatic battlefields of Stendhal’s La Chartreuse de Parme and Céline’s Voyage au bout de la nuit, we will then consider major post-1945 novels (and films) dealing notably with the second world war and the Vichy years (Perec, Simon, Duras, Resnais, Modiano, Littel, Jenni, Echenoz), along with theoretical writings on war, representation and the military-industrialized present (Baudrillard, Virilio, Chamayou, Scarry, Butler). Taught in French.
FREN 2450. Exchange Scholar Program.
|Fall||FREN2450||S01||16115||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
|Spr||FREN2450||S01||24867||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
FREN 2600A. À quoi pense la littérature?.
In this seminar we will study the relationship between literature and philosophy to clarify the following questions: What kind of relationship does literature have with philosophical discourse? Does literature produce any philosophical knowledge? What kind of thought is produced in literary texts? This course will draw on works borrowed from French and Francophone literary fiction and modern philosophy. One exposé, a mid-term and a final paper.
FREN 2600B. Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary France.
Critical theory in France focusing on changes in the last decade in approaches to feminism, gender and sexuality. Topics include 1970s feminisms (Cixous, Irigaray); history of sexuality (Foucault); contemporary political debates such as le Pacs and la parité (Agasinksi, Fraisse, Borrillo, Halimi); masculine domination (Bourdieu); gay and lesbian studies (Eribon, Bourcier).
FREN 2600C. Théories de la littérature.
Theory is perhaps the most over-used term in philosophy, in literature, and in the so-called Social Sciences. The main goal of this seminar is to draw a map of the theoretical landscape which has affected the study and the teaching of modern French and Francophone literature during the past fifty years.
FREN 2600D. Théories du texte.
Examines the major theoretical approaches to the notion of text in literature and cinema. Compares the works of literary critics (Barthes, Starobinski) to those of philosophers and film theorists (such as Deleuze, Derrida, Ropars-Wuilleumier). Significant literary works and films by Blanchot, Duras, Beckett, Godard, and Robbe-Grillet are put to the task.
FREN 2600F. French Feminisms meet Queer Theory.
Feminist and GLBTQ thought and activism in contemporary France, their conflicts and compatibilities, and their exchanges with American critical theory. Topics include Beauvoir's legacy and 1970's feminisms (Cixous, Irigaray, Wittig); Foucault on the history of sexuality; Bourdieu on masculine domination; recent public policy debates (le PaCS and la parité); the impact of US queer theory on GLBTQ studies in France.
FREN 2600N. Studies in Critical Theory - “Politiques de la Lecture: 3 ateliers”.
Graduate seminar in 19th-21st century French Studies, conceived as a three-part series exploring innovative conceptions of reading in the field today. Questions include: What is a reading, and what is its responsibility to a literary work? What are the political stakes of reading a work in a particular way? What happens when a work strains the category of genre? What is the relationship between (the fluidity of)gender and genre? Weekly seminar sessions with primary course instructor Mathilde Roussigné (Université Paris 3), followed by specialized workshops with visiting scholars Lionel Ruffel (Université Paris 8) and Melanie Hawthorne(Texas A&M).
FREN 2600Z. Cinema and Deconstruction.
Though there are only a few texts by Jacques Derrida on cinema, his thought allows us to grasp the contemporary regime of cinematic images. Reading Derrida and other authors with whom he has been in dialogue, we will use such philosophical concepts as auto-immunity or spectrality in order to analyze various filmic texts and contexts. How do images circulate, how do they contaminate each other? How can we understand the dissemination and connectedness of screens? Is it possible for a film to testify or be a witness? These are some of the questions we will approach from a deconstructive perspective.
FREN 2610A. Discours amoureux.
Confrontation of literary, philosophical, and psychoanalytical discourses on love in the 20th century. Authors discussed include Claudel, Proust, Bataille, Gracq, Duras, and Sarraute. Secondary readings from Foucault, Derrida, Barthes, Irigaray, Levinas, and Kristeva.
FREN 2610C. Le rècit post-moderne.
'Postmodernism' is a word much used and misused in a variety of disciplines, including literature, visual arts, film, architecture, literary theory, history, and philosophy. Drawing from the theoretical work of essayists such as Baudelaire, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Antoine Compagnon, Roland Barthes, and Linda Hutcheon, this course will attempt to analyze defining characteristics of postmodern thought--storytelling, autobiography, anecdote, localism, etc.--in the works of major contemporary French and Francophone writers of fiction.
FREN 2610D. Théories de l'action communicative et de l'intersubjectivité.
Approaches communicative action from the perspectives of literary criticism, pragmatics, political philosophy, feminist criticism etc. and examines the interplay between speech and silence, politeness and directness, reciprocity and domination etc. Authors include Benveniste, Barthes, Kristeva, Merleau-Ponty, Irigaray, Bourdieu, Molière, Balzac, and Duras. Open to qualified undergraduates.
FREN 2610E. Littérature française et cinéma.
This course considers the relationship between cinema and literature from the perspective of adaptation. The passage from writing to screen is most often discussed in terms of fidelity of a film to an original literary work. The study of texts and films will allow us to analyze the theoretical, stylistic, and ideological stakes of adaptation. We will propose a typology in three parts: the desire for fidelity of images to text; creative interpretation and adaptation; the limits, even impossibility, of adaptation. Enrollment limited to 40.
FREN 2620B. Groupes littéraires et esthétiques communautaires au XXe siècle.
Examines avant-garde groups and movements, including surrealism, Collège de Sociologie, Oulipo, existentialism, Tel Quel, situationnisme, Théâtre du Soleil, politique et. psychanalyse, and Féministes révolutionnaires. Attempts to assess their aesthetic and political platforms to evaluate their performative strategies. Readings include (poetic) manifestos, novels, plays, and essays by Breton, Bataille, Sartre, Lacan, Barthes, Derrida, Kristeva, Cixous, Wittig, and Irigaray.
FREN 2620C. Théories de la Production Textuelle et de l'intersubjectivité.
Approaches textual production from the perspectives of literary pragmatics, political philosophy, or feminist criticism and examines the interplay between speech and silence, politeness and directness, reciprocity and domination, etc. Authors include Austin, Wittgenstein, Benveniste, Barthes, Kristeva, Merleau-Ponty, Ducrot, Irigaray, Bourdieu, Moliére, Balzac, and Duras.
FREN 2620D. La pensée française au XXe siècle.
We will address XXth century French thinkers coming from philosophy, aesthetics, semiotics, sociology, and feminism. Readings include works by Henri Bergson, Simone Weil, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Luc Ferry and Alain Badiou; Paul Valéry, Roger Caillois, and Paul Ricoeur; Ěmile Durkheim, Raymond Aron, and Pierre Bourdieu; Luce Irigaray and Michèle Le Doeuff. Two oral presentations and one final paper.
FREN 2620E. Discours amoureux.
We will discuss love novels/plays (by Proust, Claudel, Breton, Duras, Sollers, Ernaux, Redonnet) and essays on love by Barthes, De Rougemont, Bataille, Kristeva, Lévinas, Irigaray.
FREN 2620F. France-Afrique / Afrique-France: Je t'aime moi non plus.
Historically, the relationship between France and Africa has been characterized by a permanent tension. We will use literature to reflect on the historical events and, socio-political processes that have shaped the encounter between France and Africa. Topics include: the Colonial Encounter, "World War II", Decolonization, Negritude and Immigration.
FREN 2620G. Writing the Postcolonial Today: New Politics of Form.
Close reading of selected texts by major Francophone writers. Attention to postcolonial criticism, politics of form and role of intellectual. Focus on re-appropriation of history, writing of violence, migration.
FREN 2620H. The Francophone Routes of Postcolonial Thought.
One of the more striking omissions from the founding theoretical work of postcolonial studies, The Empire writes Back (1989), is Francophone writing in general and the Francophone Caribbean in particular. Nevertheless, the Francophone Caribbean maintains a shadowy yet powerful presence in postcolonial thought. The course sets out both to resituate francophone writing in the blindspots of postcolonial theory and to explore the way in which a postcolonial approach liberates writing in French from what some see a the neocolonial label of francophonie.
FREN 2620L. Le Maghreb Postcolonial : Fractures et Réparations.
This course examines the concepts of fracture and repair in a diverse array of works of literature, film, and transmedial art by artists from the Maghreb and its diaspora. Whether the fracture presents as destructive historical relation, psychic break and trauma or rupture of meaning, it inevitably calls into question its opposite. What does it mean to repair? Moving beyond the idea of a ‘return to the same’, we will consider the ways in which repair is also historical and political restoration, affective healing, aesthetic rewriting, and how it is represented as both imagined and real.
FREN 2900. Theory and Methods of Foreign Language Teaching.
Introduction to the theoretical and practical aspects of foreign language learning and teaching. Specific topics include theories of language acquisition, an overview of teaching practices and the principles underlying them, selection and evaluation of textbooks, teaching materials, and learner variables. Students observe beginning language courses and do micro-teaching. Taught in English. Undergraduates may enroll with instructor's permission.
FREN 2970. Preliminary Examination Preparation.
For graduate students who have completed their course work and are preparing for a preliminary examination.
|Fall||FREN2970||S01||16116||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
|Spr||FREN2970||S01||24868||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
FREN 2980. Reading and Research.
Work with individual students in connection with special readings, problems of research, or preparation of theses. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.
FREN 2990. Thesis Preparation.
For graduate students who have met the residency requirement and are continuing research on a full time basis.
|Fall||FREN2990||S01||16117||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
|Spr||FREN2990||S01||24869||Arranged||'To Be Arranged'|
FREN XLIST. Courses of Interest to French Concentrators.
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.
A minimum of ten courses is required for the concentration in French and Francophone Studies. Concentrators must observe the following guidelines when planning their concentration. It is recommended that course choices for each semester be discussed with the department’s concentration advisor.
Of the minimum ten courses:
|At least four courses in French and Francophone Studies numbered 950 and above, such as:|
|FREN 0950A||Advanced Written and Oral French: Traduction||1|
|FREN 0960A||Ateliers d'écriture||1|
|FREN 1070M||La question animale||1|
|FREN 1110F||Le Roman contemporain||1|
|FREN 1120F||L'enfer, c'est les autres||1|
|FREN 1130G||Modernismes poétiques||1|
|FREN 1210F||L’œuvre romanesque de Marguerite Duras||1|
|FREN 1310N||La Pornographie||1|
|FREN 1310P||La théorie féministe en France||1|
|FREN 1410X||Dés/Accords franco-américains||1|
|At least one course covering a pre-Revolutionary period (i.e. a course focusing on medieval, Renaissance, 17th or 18th century France), such as:|
|FREN 1000B||Littérature et culture: Chevaliers, sorcières, philosophes, et poètes||1|
|FREN 1040B||Pouvoirs de la scène: le théâtre du XVIIe siècle||1|
|FREN 1040C||Le Grand Siècle à l'écran||1|
|FREN 1040D||Molière et son monde||1|
|FREN 1410I||Sorcellerie et Renaissance: le sort de la sorcière||1|
|At least one course focusing primarily on a Francophone literature or a cultural context other than that of France, such as:|
|FREN 1410R||Images d’une guerre sans nom: The Algerian War in Literature and Film||1|
|FREN 1410T||L'experience des refugies: deplacements, migrations||1|
- FREN 0600, FREN 0610, and FREN 0620(Advanced French) and FREN720 (First Year Seminar) may count for concentration credit
- A senior capstone project will be completed during the senior year.
- Up to four courses (taken in French) from a semester’s study abroad (and up to five courses from a full year abroad) may count towards the concentration. 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. Students should consult the concentration advisor prior to going abroad to find out which types of courses will count for the concentration.
- Up to two 1000-level courses taught in English with a meaningful engagement with French/Francophone texts and/or contexts may be accepted for concentration credit. These may be courses offered within the Department of French and Francophone Studies or other departments at Brown. (Appropriate courses on French or Francophone topics from other departments must be approved by the concentration advisor.)
FREN 1140A French Theory 1 FREN 1150G New Wave Cinema from Paris to Hollywood 1 FREN 1330A Fairy Tales and Culture 1 HIST 1272D The French Revolution 1 MUSC 1677 Music and Culture in Third Republic France 1
The Concentration Advisor for the Department of French and Francophone Studies, Prof. Lewis Seifert (fall 2021), will be happy to discuss the concentration program in French and Francophone Studies with interested students.
The Senior Capstone
The senior capstone is a research project, a translation or a piece of creative work undertaken by all concentrators of French and Francophone Studies in their final year. As a culminating piece of work for their concentration, it is a conceptually rigorous, in-depth treatment of a subject (or a body of work) within French and Francophone Studies, and an opportunity for concentrators to demonstrate the specific strengths and forms of competence—linguistic, analytic, interpretive, critical, theoretical, cultural—developed in the course of the concentration. The learning goals of the capstone project include: building on writing proficiency in French, demonstrating critical reasoning skills, and showing, in writing, the ability to engage thoughtfully with salient questions of French and/or Francophone culture.
The senior capstone experience is usually fulfilled by a research essay completed for a 1000-level (or a 2000-level) course taken in the department during the senior year. In some cases, where appropriate to the course materials and focus, the capstone project may take the form of a work of translation or a piece of creative writing. The project will be 8-12 pages in length and will be written in French. By mid-semester, students will submit to the professor of the course a 300-word statement of the objectives and methods of the project. Students will then meet with the professor to discuss plans for the project. At the end of the academic year, students will give a presentation of 5-7 minutes on their projects at the annual Senior Forum. The professor evaluating the project will inform the DUS of successful completion of the capstone project.
In the case of students pursuing Honors, the senior thesis fulfills the role of the senior capstone.
The senior capstone is intended as a meaningful scholarly experience where concentrators may follow their intellectual passions and best express their growth as students of French and Francophone Studies. Concentrators should discuss their plans for the senior capstone with the Concentration Advisor at the end of their junior year or the beginning of their senior year.
The Honors Program welcomes applications from students who wish to deepen their study of French and Francophone literature and culture by pursuing during their senior year an independent research-based inquiry into a particular set of texts or questions (literary, historical, cultural, theoretical or linguistic), a translation project or a creative work under the supervision of a thesis advisor. Students may earn honors in the concentration by successfully presenting a thesis, for the preparation of which they will normally enroll in FREN 1990 in either or both semesters of their senior year.
Eligibility and Application Procedure
Candidates for honors in French Studies are expected to have a strong track record in courses taken for their concentration, and will have completed at least two-thirds of the courses required for the concentration (6 courses) by the application deadline.
Applications for admission to the Honors Program are submitted by the end of September in the student’s seventh semester. This means that the candidate should ideally begin to think of their thesis project, and establish contact with a potential thesis advisor by the end of the spring semester of their junior year or in the first weeks of the fall semester of their senior year. Students generally choose as advisor a faculty member with whom they have taken a class, but they are also encouraged to contact others whose specialization aligns with their interests. If in doubt, the concentration advisor can be consulted for suggestions of an appropriate advisor. (Note that faculty may not be easy to contact over the summer. Students are thus advised to seek contact during the academic year.) For the application (form available below), the student will provide a brief thesis proposal (1 or 2 paragraphs in French presenting the object of study and intended approach). The application must also feature a thesis title, the name and signature of the thesis advisor, and two recommendations from French and Francophone Studies faculty. Upon admission, the student will also choose a second reader.
Students applying for admission to the Honors Program must submit a completed application to the French Studies Honors/Concentration Advisor by September 26 (or the weekday closest to that date). Recommendations should be from department faculty who have close knowledge of the student's work, preferably through a course taken by the student during their sophomore or junior year. Please submit these forms to your faculty recommenders no later than September 18 (or the weekday closest to that date). They will then be forwarded to the Honors Advisor who, after reviewing the complete application along with the student's transcript(s), will make a determination about admission to the Honors Program.
A successful application allows the student to pursue the Honors Thesis Project. Honors is officially granted only when the student's two readers approve the completed thesis.
Students pursuing honors in French Studies take a minimum of eleven courses. In addition to the standard requirement of ten courses, FREN 1990 (Senior Thesis) is to be taken in either or both semesters of the student’s senior year. This independent study is designed for the student to devote time to thesis research and writing under the supervision of a thesis advisor.
The student is expected to work in close consultation with his/her thesis advisor and to respect deadlines for completion of the outline, drafts, and the final version of the thesis, which at the latest must be submitted by the end of the week after Spring Recess (see deadlines below). It is expected that the student and the thesis advisor will establish a schedule and meet on a regular basis through the entire year. (Meetings once every two weeks on average, particularly during the spring semester, are encouraged). The second reader may or may not be from the Department of French and Francophone Studies, and may be consulted less frequently during the earlier stages of the research/writing, according to their availability and the student’s needs. However, the student is expected to share at least one advanced draft with the second reader before the final submission.
The final complete version of the thesis must be submitted by April 16 (or whichever weekday falls closest to that date). Students should submit one copy to each reader and one electronic and one hard copy of the thesis to the Concentration advisor.
Work submitted after the final submission deadline will not be accepted for Honors. In such cases, a grade will be given for the Senior Thesis course, but Honors cannot be awarded.
The Senior Thesis
Theses ordinarily range from 50 to 80 pages and are written in French. Topics, approach, and precise calendar of work should be decided in close consultation with the thesis advisor. Students are encouraged to consult previous French Honors theses to get a sense of the range of projects that are possible. At every stage of their research and writing, students are expected to adhere rigorously to Brown University’s Academic Code which may be consulted online.
The Research Essay: The thesis is usually a research-based essay dealing with primary sources (literary works, historical archives, etc.) consulted and cited in the original French. A meritorious Honors thesis will be written in competent and precise language and evince meaningful internal structure and coherence. It will formulate precisely its framing questions and provide textual support for its propositions while making clear their furthest stakes. While students are encouraged to cultivate the originality of their own questions or perspectives, they are also expected to be in productive dialogue with scholarship in the field. Accordingly, to be awarded Honors, a thesis will demonstrate a consistent citation style and clear and correct attribution of all terms and ideas not the student’s own.
The Translation Thesis: Students may alternatively choose to undertake for their Honors thesis a work of translation. This choice must be made with prudence and in close consultation with the thesis advisor, so that there is agreement on the difficulty level of the chosen text, the argument for translating it, and expected standards of ambitiousness and precision in the translation. Usually the translation will be from French to English, though the case may be made on the rare occasion for translation from English to French. Students may choose to translate a whole work, select excerpts, or a series of texts (as in the case of poems or shorter narratives). In all cases, a translation thesis must, to qualify for French Honors, include a critical introduction or preface (a minimum of 10 pages) in which the translator demonstrates advanced knowledge of the place of the chosen text in its original cultural and literary context, engages reasonably with scholarship pertaining to the original text, and shows a mature understanding of the stakes and debates of translation as a practice.
The Creative Project: Some students may elect to undertake for their Honors project a creative work. This decision must be made in close consultation with the thesis advisor, so that there is agreement on the level of ambition and interest of such a project. The creative thesis may be a narrative, poetic, theatrical or experimental/hybrid text. Written in French, it is expected to involve a reading- or research-based dimension. In other words, the creative work will demonstrate meaningful engagement with analogous work in the French/Francophone context, and the pursuit of a certain scholarly intention through creative means—whether to advance knowledge or examination of a certain topic, to experiment with the formal means by which to express or explore a certain issue, or to creatively rewrite an existing work with a view to questioning it or investing it with new meanings. As with the translation thesis, a creative thesis must, to qualify for Honors, include a critical introduction or preface (a minimum of 10 pages) in which the author discusses, in informed and articulate terms, the cultural, literary and/or critical stakes of the project: its intentions, its context and background, its formal choices.
Honors students will be invited to present their work to members of the Department and fellow and potential French concentrators at the end of term sometime after the April final submission date.
Calendar of Deadlines:
Precise details regarding deadlines and nature/length of submissions must be established clearly between the student and his/her advisor. Suggested deadlines for major stages are as follows:
· Submission of Applications to Honors Program - - September 26
· Rough outline of thesis due to thesis advisor by the first week of November
· First portion of written work due to thesis advisor (minimum of 20 pages) by mid-December
· Submission of full draft to both readers by March 10
· Completed thesis submitted to both readers by April 16
French and Francophone Studies
The department of French and Francophone Studies offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts (A.M.) degree and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree. Under most circumstances, the A.M. degree is only awarded as part of the Ph.D. track.
For more information on admission and program requirements, please visit the following website: