French Courses Winter 2023

Winter 2023 Courses

Language Courses

FRE 001-003: Elementary French
FRE 021-023: Intermediate French

See Placement Guide or Catalog Descriptions

Undergraduate Courses

FRE 101: Into to French Poetry
Prof. Claire Goldstein

Course Description: Sometimes simple like a nursery rime, sometimes intricate, poetry is an art form that uses all aspects of language – from the sounds and rhythms of phrases to the shape of words on the page – to create new connections, evoke strong emotions and forge associations. Poetry can express tender love or searing anger; regret, loss, or wonder: the whole range of human emotions and experiences. This quarter we will learn to analyze poetic form and techniques as we study poems from a wide range of poetic (and sometimes political and social) movements and in a broad range of forms including but not limited to medieval ballads, renaissance sonnets, prose poems, concrete poems, and other forms of poetic experimentation. In learning to appreciate the detail and the complex layering of poetry, we will become more perceptive readers of the myriad ways language functions in our world.  GE credit: AH, WC, WE.

Course Meetings:T/Th 1.40-3   Olson 125

FRE 107B: The Making of Modern France (Part II)
Prof. Claire Goldstein

Course Description:  Read real historical documents, analyze painting and architecture, and re-enact philosophical debates about important social issues in this quarter’s exploration of the political and cultural history of France from the beginning of the seventeenth century through middle of the nineteenth century. Highlights of our survey will include: Henri IV’s edict of Nantes, which ended the French Religious Wars; Versailles and Louis XIV’s cultural and political project of French absolutism; Enlightenment polemics about economic inequality and religious toleration; the revolution of 1789; the rise of Napoleon; and the industrial transformation of Paris in the nineteenth century. We will engage topics such as the role of women and minorities in society and France’s relationship with the broader world as students hone reading, writing, and speaking skills in French. 

General Education: AH, WC, WE. 

Course Meetings:  Tues + Thurs 10:30-11:50

FRE 125: French Literature & Other Arts - Autobiography in Francophone Comics
Prof. Tobias Warner

How does memory work? How are personal stories and collective histories intertwined? In this course we will approach these questions (and many more) through readings of francophone graphic memoirs--book length autobiographical comics written in French. We will explore how francophone artists have used the medium of comics both to tell their own coming-of-age stories and to create spaces in which they can recapture, rewrite, and reimagine the past. The course will also serve as an introduction to reading and writing about bandes dessinées. Comics by Jessica Oublié, Riad Sattouf, David B., Marjane Satrapi, Brigitte Findakly and others.

Graduate Courses

FRE 214: Study of a Literary Movement
Prof. Noah Guynn

Special Topic: Servants, Slaves, and Domestic Comedy

Domestic servants are everywhere in early modern European comedy and often figure as central characters with a surprising degree of individual agency and psychological depth. Although elites typically regarded servants with a combination of contempt, disregard, and fear, they also couldn’t imagine anything funnier than plays in which servant characters best, betray, or physically beat their masters. This course will ask why this would be and will try to answer that question by reading a range of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century plays, including works by Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Molière, Marivaux, and Olympe de Gouges. We will be especially concerned with questions of free and unfree labor, in that servants were technically free to choose their employers but were also regularly victimized by them and were too disadvantaged to protest their mistreatment. We will also be interested in the most extreme form of unfree labor, chattel slavery, and with early modern playwrights’ attempts to understand slavery by translating or adapting comedies from the ancient world. Throughout the course, we will attend to hidden transcripts of subaltern resistance in both highbrow and lowbrow theatrical genres. We will use those hidden transcripts to argue against the classic view of servants as compromised or complicit social actors whose intimacies with elites precluded them radical thought or action. French revolutionaries denied servants the vote for this reason, and Marx excluded them from the working class. Yet the evidence of prerevolutionary comedy suggests servants often achieved remarkable class consciousness and political agency and were capable of defying elites while signaling submission to them.

FRE 251: Topics in the Linguistic Study of French
Prof. Eric Russell

In this seminar, we will critically examine the place of language, writ both large and small, on US campuses. While part of our discussion and exploration will look to language as an object of study (i.e. language pedagogy), much more of it will consider language as it is enmeshed in all aspects of the academe, from the socio-economic forces removing linguistic diversity from campus globalization efforts, to the political forces enacting symbolic violence on student expression, to the sometimes-subtle, sometimes-overt reifications of racial ideologies that play out in classrooms, administrative offices, and much more.

Participants will explore and question how language, as both noun and verb, i.e. something that exists and something that is done, is enmeshed with various ideologies and forces, shaping the ways that our conceptions of linguistic life are both objectified and subjectified in this environment, while being (re)shaped in turn.

View FRE 251 Expanded Course Description

FRE 291: Foreign Language Learning in the Classroom
Prof. Carlee Arnett

This course will provide an overview of the field of second language acquisition (SLA) as well as the approaches to university-level foreign language instruction in the United States with an eye to highlighting the theoretical notions underlying current trends in classroom practices across commonly taught foreign languages. Course objectives are the following: (1) to acquaint students with issues and research in foreign language teaching; (2) to show ways of using that research to achieve more effective classroom instruction; (3) to develop students’ skills in evaluating teaching performance and instructional materials; and (4) to prepare students for continued professional development.

Texts:  Brandl, Klaus. 2008. Communicative Language Teaching. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

            Kramsch, Claire and Lihau Zhang. 2018.  The Multilingual Instructor. Oxford: Oxford UP.

FRE 390B The Teaching of French in College
Prof. Julia Simon