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Past Courses in French

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 6070-01: SURVEY OF FRENCH LINGUISTICS

This course introduces students to the field of linguistics as applied to French. Taking a broad approach, we will examine the major structural components of the language—phonological, morphosyntactic, and lexical—as well as sociolinguistic matters such as variation in the language (based on region, social group, style, or other factors), French speakers’ attitudes towards their language, and the question of a linguistic norm in French. No prior study of linguistics is required for this course.

Instructor: Thomas Klingler.

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 6150-01: INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL THEORY

We shall explore some of the linguistic, anthropological, sociological, psychoanalytic, and philosophical concepts informing the structuralist and poststructuralist study of literary and cultural texts. Under consideration will be problems of signification and reference; power and ideology; gender and the subject; agency, materiality, and historiography.

Instructor: Vaheed Ramazani.

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 6810-01: LA Scène Nationale

While the theater text belongs to the archive, live performance maintains a big audience, an active repertory, and commands significant funding from the French state, a major cultural producer.

This course explores the theoretical concepts of performance, the archive and the repertory, the changing technologies of live performance, the negotiation between elite and popular culture, the role of history on stage, gender and minority identity in performance and other trans-historical topics. In written work for the course, students will be able to focus on a period of choice, mobilizing performance theory as well as cultural history of the mise en scène, reception and afterlife of theatrical and other kinds of texts on the national stages with international reach.

Instructor: Felicia McCarren.

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: MAGHREBI LITERATURE

An introduction to contemporary culture and literature written in French in the three countries of the Maghreb (Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco) from the eve of independence to our global, transnational era. Themes include exile and cosmopolitanism, language, nationalism, memory, the relation to France, feminism, trauma and amnesia, terrorism. In French.

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.

HISE 6910-01: FRANCE IMMIGRATION & IDENTITY

What does it mean to be French? And who can become French? Immigration, integration, and national identity have become increasingly prominent subjects of debate since the early 20th c. This seminar engages with these debates through a range of case studies, including the experiences of colonial soldiers during WWI, the post-WWII immigration boom, the impact of decolonization, the rise of the far-right National Front, minority activism, and the controversial ban on the hijab in French public schools.

Instructor: Kathryn Edwards.

IDEV 6911-01: DEVELOPMENT IN THE FRANCOPHONE WORLD

Development in the Francophone World, taught in the French language, focuses on political, economic, and social aspects of development in francophone developing countries, especially in Africa. Topics of discussion include: historical and political heritage; French and European development practices with a focus on trade, investment, and aid; and the impact of globalization and migration on the regions in question. We will examine development programs in the areas of poverty, food security, education, human rights and gender equity, health, and the environment.