Winter 2020 Course Descriptions

French Expanded Course Descriptions - Winter 2020

French 100, Composition in French,        
Prerequisite: FRE 23     
CRN: 57664    


French 107B. The Making of Modern France.
Prof Claire Goldstein      
Prerequisite: FRE 23    
CRN: 76451   

Read real historical documents, analyze painting and architecture, and re-enact philosophical debates about important social issues in this quarter’s exploration of the political and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 the 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.

Fulills the major/ minor requirement for culture or elective

GE Credits AH, WC, WE

No required books. All readings on Canvas

FRE 122. French & Francophone Film.
Prof Jeff Fort.     
Prerequisite: FRE 100 or permission of the instructor.   
CRN:  76452

Will offer a survey of French film focused on a very specific period:1959± (plus ou moins…). This moment in the history of French cinema is extremely rich, having seen the birth of the Nouvelle Vague (with filmmakers such as François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Agnès Varda, and Alain Resnais) along with continuing work by older cinema masters (Robert Bresson, Jacques Tati) and several other filmmakers who released films at the time but who do not fit comfortably under the rubric of the Nouvelle Vague (Louis Malle, Jean Rouch, Chris Marker, Georges Franju). The course provides an introduction to film analysis and the technical vocabulary of cinema in French, as well as an overview of French post-war culture of the period. Course taught in French. Films shown in French with English subtitles. NOTE that a film screening section is scheduled for the course and must also be included in the units, but there will be several options for film viewing.

Fulills the major/ minor requirement for literature or elective

GE Credit AH, VL, WC, WE

French 198: French in Context. Prof. Eric Russell.          Prerequisite:  FRE 100, Ling 1, or Ling 1Y.     CRN: 77305

 MWF 10.00-10.50A, 207 Wellman 

Through this course, students explore the shape and variability of French in different contexts, a field known as pragmatics. Together, we will move beyond notions of grammatical and ungrammatical, and begin to look at how language performances are understood by speakers to be appropriate or inappropriate, depending upon a number of factors that are shaped by cultural knowledge. As such, a secondary emphasis of the course is developing cross- or inter-cultural critical skills. You will come to question not just how to “do language,” but how to manipulate the types of language that can be done to achieve different ends, such as maintaining distance or promoting proximity, expressing doubt or enthusiasm, saving face or hypothesizing.

Count toward the French major/minor as either the linguistics/language component or overall electives. (4 unit class)

No required books. All readings on Canvas

GE Credit None

Fulills the major/ minor requirement for linguistics or elective


French 202. The Visual Seventeenth Century: Power, Violence, Space    
Prof Claire Goldstein      
Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission   
CRN: 76454   

Writing to his son and presumptive heir, Louis XIV (1638-1715) famously compared the métier of kingship to the theater: the decisions and actions a monarch makes are of capital import, but his public appearances are just as decisive. Indeed, our associations with France – French culture and style; French landscape and architecture; French social, political, and economic centralization – are deeply imprinted by the icons and the overpowering visual displays constructed during the “Grand siècle” of the sun king’s long reign (1643-1715), from fêtes, processions, and court finery, to the gilded opulence of Versailles and the imposing volumes of the Observatoire. In this seminar, we will inquire into the ways that in the French Seventeenth Century, visuality remains intimately tied up with the exercise of power over people and through spaces, as well as the related ways the visual became a privileged lens through which violence was incited, harness and reflected upon. Along with works of theater and prose, we will examine the rapidly developing market in prints and periodical literature.


  1. Pierre Corneille, L’Illusion comique. Petits Classiques Larousse, 2012. 978-2035867919
  2. Pierre Corneille Le Cid. Petits Classiques Larousse, 2007. 9782035831989
  3. Corneille, Cinna Gallimard, 2005.  9782070318636
  4. Molière, Le Tartuffe. Petits Classiques Larousse, 2011. 9782035859174
  5. Racine, Phèdre (1677). Petits Classiques Larousse, 2011. 978-2035859167
  6. Racine, Esther. Gallimard, 2007. 9782070308323
  7. Lafayette, Histoire de la princesse de Montpensier. Gallimard Folio 2. 9782070360949


FRE 211: Theories of Translation (Pre-Approved CRI 200B Equivalent)
Prof Toby Warner   
Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission   
CRN: 76455


What is translation? How can we understand and study the various semiotic phenomena that are gathered under its name? Over the past few decades, a rich vein of scholarship in literary studies has attended to the ethical, political and poetic dimensions of failures of translation, or untranslatability. Meanwhile, scholars working in fields such as anthropology and science and technology studies have developed sophisticated conceptual repertoires for studying the generative powers of translation in its various guises. In this course we will examine the friction and productive sparks that emerge between these approaches. We will put theories of translation more familiar to students in literary studies (Benjamin, Jakobson, Derrida, de Man, Apter, Bhabha, Cassin, Spivak, Venuti, Bassnet) into conversation with approaches from the critical social sciences (Talal Asad, Bruno Latour, Michael Silverstein, Elizabeth Povinelli, Susan Gal, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro). Theoretical readings will be complemented with case studies that may include work by Michel Leiris, Yambo Ouologuem, Amos Tutuola, Maryse Condé, Ananda Devi, Abdelfattah Kilito and Aimé Césaire.