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Past Courses

FREN 6050-01: Teaching French

“Teaching French” is a seminar and practicum course providing teaching assistants with an understanding of the underlying principles of learning and teaching a second language, as well as opportunities to acquire practical skills to apply when teaching French. Topics include classroom management, organization of subject matter, detailed lesson planning, development of formative and summative assessment, and the use of technology in the French classroom. Course activities include micro-teaching experiences within the seminar, observation in college classrooms, teaching experience in a lower-level French class, discussion, review of pedagogical techniques and evaluation of textbooks.

Instructor: Annette Sojic.

FRENCH 6110-01: Field Research on French in Louisiana

A hands-on introduction to linguistic fieldwork using Francophone Louisiana as a laboratory. Students travel to Louisiana’s Francophone communities to interview native speakers of Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole. They then transcribe and analyze the recordings in an effort to document these endangered languages and to better understand the rich complexity of Louisiana’s linguistic landscape. This is a service-learning course in which students contribute to the communities in which they conduct fieldwork. In recent years this contribution has taken the form of a documentary video of local Francophone culture, the latest of which is Le bijou sur leBayou Teche.

Instructor: Thomas Klingler.

FREN 6210-01: History of French Language

If you have ever wondered why French ville does not rhyme with fille, why fils ‘son’ has an s in the singular, or why the 3rd pers. sg. of dormir is dort even though there is no t in the stem, then FREN 6210 History of the French Language is the course for you! FREN 6210 traces the development of French from the 1st through the 15th centuries. It also teaches the basic grammar of the French preserved in literary texts of the 12th and 13th centuries. By studying the factors that transformed Latin into French, students will learn to recognize these same “vulgarizing” factors at work in spoken French and English today.

Instructor: Beth Poe.

FREN 6420-01: Theater and Law in Seventeenth-Century France

In the 1600s both lawyers in the courtroom and actors on the stage used rhetoric, dramatic gestures and ceremonial clothing to present the story of a transgression before an assembly. This course allows students to explore the profound connections between the theater and the juridical domain during the seventeenth century, a major period of French drama. Students discuss the staging of legal themes such as crime and punishment, the juridical status of women, the exercise of royal power and early modern international law in plays by Corneille, Molière, Racine, Chrétien, Montfleury and others. Critical perspectives are afforded by psychoanalytical theory, the philosophy of law and performance theory.

Instructor: Toby Wikström.

FREN 6520-01: L’Homme Machine

This course seeks to trace the literary genesis of the android. From the legends of the golem and the homunculus to the popular automata of the eighteenth century and the robot culture of contemporary society, we shall analyze the different literary manifestations of artificial creatures. The purpose of this course is to explore the reasons that push man to assume a power belonging a priori to the Creator, and to try to understand what this simulacrum of Genesis tells us about how man perceives and conceives himself in the world and in life.

Instructor: Fayçal Falaky.

FRENCH 6620-01: Paris as Spectacle

Paris as spectacular mise-en-scène; Paris as allegory of modernity; Paris as sensation and sensationalism; Paris as sublime cliché: this course explores the central role of the myth of Paris in the late nineteenth- century visual and literary construction of the French national imaginary. We consider an array of cultural artifacts and practices, including boulevards, flânerie, and early forms of mass spectatorship, and we seek to understand the emergence of film in the context of pre-cinematic techniques and technologies. We look as well at some classic and contemporary films that either perpetuate or problematize the idea of Paris as France’s privileged symbol of identity and power.

Instructor: Vaheed Ramazani.

FREN 6811-01: French Cultural Studies

French Cultural Studies students will become familiar with the definition and history of Cultural Studies, from its origins in the UK and application across humanities departments in US universities to the current range of French/Francophone cultural studies research in French and in English. Readings on cultural history and practices, elite and popular culture, culture dominante and the state (la politique culturelle, l’exception culturelle), cultural encounter, notions of cultural identity, performance and resistance, and French debates around multiculturalism.

Instructor: Felicia McCarren.

FREN 6840-01: La Peine De Mort: a Challenge

The death penalty is a major issue in philosophy and in law. The stakes of this issue could be summarized in terms of these questions: does the transgression of law justify the suppression of life? How and why do our postmodern societies, with their rhetoric of the rule of law and the preservation of the environment, accept the death penalty? Is there any alternative to the death penalty? How do our societies, with their democratic views, still act within the framework of vengeance? In order to answer these political, sociological, and legal questions, we call upon various theorists, including the Italian philosopher Beccaria, the scientist Arthur Koestler, the novelist Albert Camus, the poet Victor Hugo, and the philosopher Michel Foucault. This course raises ethical and political questions regarding this important and challenging issue.

Instructor: Jean-Godefroy Bidima.

FREN 7800-01: Writing Algeria: Trauma, Melancholia, Fiction

This course explores representations of trauma and processes of memorialization in postcolonial Algeria. Through a study of literary, cinematic, and cultural texts, we will examine multiple challenges to FLN- sponsored readings of national history and the myth of the national liberation struggle. What roles do literature and culture play in the elaboration of collective memory? How do reimaginings of the past on the mythical or historical modes foster a political praxis of the present? Drawing from the corpus of Memory Studies, Trauma Studies, and Postcolonial Theory, as well as theoretical texts on post- Freudian concepts of melancholia, we will investigate issues of allegory, amnesia, testimony, myth, utopia, and deterritorialization. Representative authors include Kateb, Farès, Camus, Daoud, Bachi, Mokeddem, Djebar.

Instructor: Edwige Tamalet.

FREN 7800-01: Migrant, Diasporic and Transnational Literatures

This course explores “migrant” literary texts written in French by late 20th and 21st-century authors who have immigrated to France and Québec. Migrant literature will be studied as an emergent genre of contemporary literature that destabilizes neat linguistic and national categorizations, proposing transnational frameworks for the writing and reading of literature today. To understand how migration affects literary culture in a global age, political contexts as well as radical changes in the publishing industry and shifting definitions of authorship will be thoroughly considered. Students will read literary texts written by a variety of migrant authors such as Vassilis Alexakis, Ying Chen, Dai Sijie, Milan Kundera, Dany Laferrière, Anna Moï, and Gisèle Pineau, but also crucial theoretical texts in order to determine the distinctiveness of this genre.

Instructor: Oana Sabo.