French and French Studies

Website:  french.sewanee.edu

The Department of French and French studies offers students exceptional opportunities to study and experience some of the rich literature and culture of the French-speaking world.

The department also participates in interdisciplinary programs such as art history international and global studies, film studies, and women’s and gender studies.

Placement

To begin courses in the department, students having taken French at the secondary-school level must take the departmental placement examination. Those who wish to enroll at a level beneath that indicated by the placement examination receive credit only if departmental permission is obtained prior to registration in the course. Through the sequence of courses designed for Sewanee students choosing to meet their language requirement in French, an operative level of oral and written proficiency is obtained, and students are likewise capable of reading important works in French and reacting to them critically.

For those wishing to go beyond the required sequence in French, the department sponsors a major in French and French studies as well as a minor.

French House

All majors (and minors where possible) are expected to live in the French house for at least one semester; application forms are available in the department. The French house also serves as the major site for most Cercle Français activity, and majors and minors are likewise expected to participate in the Cercle’s cultural program, just as they should come regularly to the weekly Table Française.

Language Laboratory

The E.L. Kellerman Language Resource Center provides an opportunity for students in the modern foreign languages to immerse themselves in the sounds and culture of their target language. The facility features a state of the art Sanako Lab 100 system for practice with listening and speaking; a Satellite TV with stations in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish; wireless Apple Macbooks which can be checked out; a Sympodium for multimedia displays; and a cozy reading and viewing lounge with a library of foreign language books, magazines, and videos. Students can also access subscriptions to web-based language learning programs for reinforcing what is being taught in class as well as for learning languages not currently taught at the University. There is also Rosetta Stone software for Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish. Faculty and students alike take advantage of the language center’s audio- and video-editing equipment and analog-to-digital-conversion facilities in preparing engaging presentations for class. The Language Resource Center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. except for Fridays when it closes at 4 p.m. and then reopens Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The major in French and French studies is an interdisciplinary program which examines the language, literature, history, culture, and society of France and of other Francophone countries. 

Requirements for the Major in French and French Studies

The major requires successful completion of the following:

Course Requirements
FREN 313Writing and Speaking French4
FREN 314Introduction to Literature, Culture, and History of the French-Speaking World4
FREN 435Senior Seminar 14
Select at least three of the following:12
Early French Literature
The Seventeenth Century
The Eighteenth Century
The Nineteenth Century
Contemporary Literature
Culture through History
Modern France Through Film and Text
The History of French Cinema
Topics of the French-Speaking World (may be retaken for credit when the topic is different)
The Art of French-English Translation
Introduction to French Linguistics
Select at least two additional related courses from a semester program in a French speaking country 28
Total Semester Hours32
Additional Requirements
A comprehensive examination

Honors

Majors in French and French studies may obtain honors by achieving a 3.50 departmental GPA. Only courses required for the major, including courses taken during the last semester of their senior year, will count.

Requirements for the Minor in French and French Studies

The minor requires successful completion of the following:

Course Requirements
FREN 313Writing and Speaking French4
FREN 314Introduction to Literature, Culture, and History of the French-Speaking World4
Select one 400-level course in French and French studies (FREN)4
Select two related courses taken abroad 14-8
Total Semester Hours16-20

Sewanee Semester in Paris

The Sewanee Semester in Paris applies place-based learning abroad, using the City of Light as a rich field laboratory, thereby enabling on-site examination of that which can only be approached textually and via images and film on this side of the Atlantic. Classes meet at the center of our partnering institution, APA (Academic Programs Abroad), with instruction offered by a Sewanee faculty member and APA’s excellent teaching staff. The program will include two weekend trips, one to Burgundy and one to Mont Saint-Michel and Britanny, multiple one-day or afternoon excursions in and around Paris, and weekly cultural opportunities to attend plays, concerts, and dance performances in some of Paris’s great performing arts centers. The program consists of the following:

Course Requirements
FREN 322Langue, Littérature, Culture in Paris4
FREN 323Advanced French Language and Oral Expression4
FREN 324Contemporary France4
FREN 32519th Century French Painting and Sculpture4
Total Semester Hours16

French Courses

FREN 103     Elementary French I  (4)

An intensive course in the basic elements of the language: pronunciation, structure of sentences, conversation, and reading. Use of language laboratory required. Four hours of class per week. Prerequisite: Placement.

FREN 104     Elementary French II  (4)

An intensive course in the basic elements of the language: pronunciation, structure of sentences, conversation, and reading. Use of language laboratory required. Four hours of class per week. Prerequisite: FREN 103 or placement.

FREN 203     Intermediate French  (4)

An intensive course in more advanced elements of the language: pronunciation, structure of sentences, conversation, and reading. Use of language laboratory required. Four hours of class per week. Prerequisite: FREN 104 or placement.

FREN 300     Advanced French  (4)

A continuation of the study of advanced French language, leading to readings from various authors, periods, genres, and Francophone countries. Specific grammatical structures are studied parallel to the readings, and progress in oral and written French is also stressed. The standard course for completing the language requirement and prerequisite normally required for courses counting in the major or minor. Prerequisite: FREN 203 or placement.

FREN 301     Discovering Paris  (4)

An interdisciplinary survey of Paris seen through history, culture, literature, and the arts. This course traces the development of Paris from its foundation by Gaulish boatmen of the Parisii tribe to its current status as a global city. Cinema, art, literature, and computer-mediated virtual tours are used to analyze the evolution of major political and cultural events in Parisian history. Taught in English. Does not count toward a French and French Studies major nor minor. Prerequisite: FREN 203.

FREN 313     Writing and Speaking French  (4)

Advanced language review and emphasis on accuracy of expression with intensive writing on diverse themes. Development of oral expression and vocabulary expansion; materials used include audio, video, and electronic sources, as well as readings. Prerequisite: FREN 300 or placement.

FREN 314     Introduction to Literature, Culture, and History of the French-Speaking World  (4)

Readings in representative authors, themes and periods from France and from other Francophone countries. Prerequisite: FREN 300 or placement.

FREN 320     Advanced Language Abroad  (4)

A course designed to increase oral and written proficiency by offering students the opportunity to live and study in France, generally during the same time-frame as Sewanee's regular summer session. Normally taken in tandem with FREN 321. Prerequisite: One course in French numbered 300 or higher or placement and approval of the Summer in France program director.

FREN 321     Studies in Culture and Literature Abroad  (4)

Complementary on-site study of French language and civilization within the framework of the Sewanee Summer-in-France program, with emphasis upon cultural readings and literary topics that should be of particular interest when explored on site in France. Prerequisite: One course in French numbered 300 or higher or placement and approval of the Summer in France program director.

FREN 322     Langue, Littérature, Culture in Paris  (4)

Intensive grammar review and vocabulary expansion - specifically, the acquisition of pivotal expressions which aid in modulating the flow of the French sentence; the overall goal is to improve one's compositional skills for the various writing assignments required while studying in Paris. Literary and cultural reading is also discussed and analyzed in the second part of the course, with excursions to an author's Parisian address or to important places in Paris connected to the author's life. This course is part of the Sewanee Semester in Paris. Prerequisite: FREN 300 or FREN 313 and approval of the Sewanee in Paris Program Director required..

FREN 323     Advanced French Language and Oral Expression  (4)

An advanced language course designed to help students with their writing skills by promoting mastery of French syntax and by enriching academic vocabulary. To help with oral improvement, Sewanee students are exposed to French theater, dance, music, and cinema at some of the great performing arts centers in Paris, and to prepare for each of the performances, they have assigned readings to be discussed in class; then in follow-up to each outing, the fine-arts experience offers a shared context that can likewise be discussed and analyzed, also in the design of improving oral fluency. This course is part of the Sewanee Semester in Paris. Prerequisite: FREN 300 or FREN 313 and approval of the Sewanee in Paris Program Director required..

FREN 324     Contemporary France  (4)

A course meant to facilitate the integration of students into contemporary life in France by offering an anthropological view "from within," stressing such themes as French econo-political culture, societal and administrative structures, education, intellectual life and the press, justice, immigration, France's participation in the European Union, among other modern-day issues. This course is part of the Sewanee Semester in Paris. Prerequisite: FREN 300 or FREN 313 and approval of the Sewanee in Paris Program Director required..

FREN 325     19th Century French Painting and Sculpture  (4)

A course focusing upon the evolution of great painting and sculpture in nineteenth-century France, from neo-classical representation toward modernity. There will be one classroom meeting a week to discuss theoretical and analytical issues linked to various artistic movements and affiliations, along with a weekly visit to Parisian museums in order to study on-site some celebrated exemplars of those same movements and affiliations. This course is part of the Sewanee Semester in Paris. Prerequisite: FREN 300 or FREN 313 and approval of the Sewanee in Paris Program Director required..

FREN 400     Greatest Hits of French Literature and Culture  (4)

This course introduces students to the "greatest hits" of French culture and literature from the Middle Ages to the present day. Each period is covered in six class days, and each day introduces a short text or piece representing the philosophy, socio-historical climate, drama, poetry, prose, and art/music of the particular segment.

FREN 401     Early French Literature  (4)

Readings and criticism in French literature from 'La Chanson de Roland' to 'Montaigne,' with an emphasis on the evolution of narratology and poetics, and on the role of women. Prerequisite: FREN 314 or placement.

FREN 403     The Seventeenth Century  (4)

Readings in baroque poets, Descartes, Pascal, LaFontaine, moralistes, Boileau, as well as in the great dramatists of the century: Corneille, Moliere, and Racine. Prerequisite: FREN 314 or placement.

FREN 405     The Eighteenth Century  (4)

A study of the stylistic strains of the century, with particular emphasis on enlightenment writings and on the development of the novel and of comedy: Montesquieu, Marivaux, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Beaumarchais, Isabelle de Charriere, Andre Chenier, among others. Prerequisite: FREN 314 or placement.

FREN 407     The Nineteenth Century  (4)

A survey of movements in prose and poetry from the Revolution into the years just following the Second Empire: Romantics, Parnassians, Realists. Emphasis on Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Vigny, Musset, Hugo, Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert, Baudelaire, and Zola. Prerequisite: FREN 314 or placement.

FREN 409     Contemporary Literature  (4)

A study of twentieth-century poetry, prose, and theater through cultural analysis. Prerequisite: FREN 314 or placement.

FREN 411     Culture through History  (4)

A study of the historical and societal frames within which the weave of French civilization has spun itself forward through the centuries. Close attention is paid to moments of national crisis and to political arrangements, to daily life within the periods examined, and to aesthetic achievement and stylistic trends along the way. Prerequisite: FREN 314 or placement.

FREN 413     Modern France Through Film and Text  (4)

A view of modern France since World War II examined through films selected for their historical-cultural revelations (along with preparatory study of scripts and/or written works tied to the films), through literary and journalistic texts echoing significant events and social trends, and through audio recordings of famous speeches and songs (the texts of which are likewise to be studied within their societal context.). Prerequisite: FREN 314 or placement.

FREN 415     The History of French Cinema  (4)

A survey of French films from the invention of cinema to the contemporary period, with an emphasis on points of connection with American cinema. From the Lumieres brothers to Melies, from Pathe and Gaumont to Surrealism (Clair, Bunuel, Cocteau), from Abel Gance to realism (Renoir, Carne) and from "New Wave" (Resnais, Godard, Truffaut) to "Modern Cinema" (Lelouch, Malle). Prerequisite: FREN 314 or placement.

FREN 417     Topics of the French-Speaking World  (4)

An examination of the French-speaking world and its language, literature, culture, art, music, and political life. Topics vary from year to year, but the course would typically include cultural themes, novels, short stories, poetry, film, and drama from France, French-speaking Europe, North and West Africa, Quebec, and the Antilles. Repeatable for credit one time with change of course topic. Prerequisite: FREN 314 or placement.

FREN 418     The Art of French-English Translation  (4)

A study of the subtleties of translating the written word, primarily from French to English. Texts varying in topic: journalistic, artistic, scientific, political, technical, business, musical, travel, and literary prose, among others. The course places a considerable emphasis on developing advanced French language skills to impart breadth of expression in both languages. Prerequisite: FREN 314.

FREN 419     Introduction to French Linguistics  (4)

An introduction to French linguistics. A survey of historical and theoretical issues such as syntax, morphology, and phonology. Considerable emphasis on phonetics and pronunciation. Aspects of applied linguistics include language variation, usage, and acquisition, as well as pedagogical concerns. Prerequisite: FREN 314 or placement.

FREN 435     Senior Seminar  (4)

Preparation of an in-depth research paper in French on a topic approved by the seminar professor pertaining to an aspect of French/Francophone literature or culture, and preparation also for the oral defense of the paper at semester's end. Research strategies for obtaining source materials in French are explored and utilized, and writing techniques and style are fine-tuned. Required of all majors in French and French Studies.

FREN 440     Directed Reading  (2 or 4)

This is a course designed to help majors who, for exceptional reasons, may need to complete reading in a certain area. Open only to students pursuing majors in French or French studies. Prerequisite: Professor consent and prerequisite override required.

FREN 444     Independent Study  (2 or 4)

For majors who wish to pursue, during the Advent semester of their senior year, a readings and research project culminating in a paper of some length on a chosen topic. Applicants for this project must have a 3.50 GPA in French and French studies, and a brief abstract of the proposed study must be submitted to the department for approval prior to enrollment in the course. Open only to students pursuing majors in French or French studies. Prerequisite: Professor consent and prerequisite override required.