2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog

French and Francophone Studies

Students may complete a major or minor in French and Francophone Studies. Within the major, student may complete the requirements for secondary education certification. Students may complete an M.A. in the combined A.B./M.A. program (through 2014-2015 academic year).

Faculty

Grace Armstrong, Professor
Benjamin Cherel, Lecturer
Francis Higginson, Associate Professor and Chair
Rudy Le Menthéour, Assistant Professor
Brigitte Mahuzier, Professor (on leave semesters I and II)
Agnès Peysson-Zeiss, Lecturer

The Departments of French at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges offer a variety of courses and two options for the major. The purpose of the major in French is to lay the foundation for an understanding and appreciation of French and Francophone culture through its literature and language, the history of its arts, its thought and its institutions. Course offerings are intended to serve both those students with particular interest in French and Francophone literature, literary theory and criticism (Literary option), as well as those with particular interest in French and French-speaking countries from transdisciplinary perspective (Interdisciplinary Studies in French). A thorough knowledge of French is a common goal for both options, and texts and discussion in French are central to the program.

In the 100-level courses, students are introduced to the study of French and Francophone literatures and cultures, and special attention is given to the speaking and writing of French. Courses at the 200 level treat French literature and civilization across the historical spectrum. Two 200-level courses are devoted to advanced language training and one to the study of theory. Advanced (300-level) courses offer detailed study either of individual authors, genres and movements or of particular periods, themes and problems in French and Francophone culture. In both options, students are admitted to advanced courses after satisfactory completion of two semesters of 200-level courses in French.

All students who wish to pursue their study of French must take a departmental placement examination prior to arriving at Bryn Mawr; unless they have IB or Advanced Placement credit, they must also present the SAT II French score or undergo further Placement assessment upon their arrival. Those students who begin French have two options: intensive study of the language in the intensive sequence (001-002 Intensive Elementary; 005 Intensive Intermediate and 102 "Introduction à l'analyse littéraire et culturelle" II or 005 and 105 "Directions de la France contemporaine"), or non-intensive study of the language in the non-intensive sequence (001-002 Elementary; 003-004 Intermediate; 101-102 or 101-105). Although it is possible to major in French using either of the two sequences, students who are considering doing so and have been placed at the 001 level are strongly encouraged to take the intensive sequence. The Department of French and Francophone Studies also cooperates with the Departments of Italian and Spanish in the Romance Languages major.

The Department of French and Francophone Studies also cooperates with the Departments of Italian and Spanish in the Romance Languages major.

Major Requirements

Requirements in the major subject are:

  • French and Francophone Literature: FREN 005-102 or 005-105 or 101-102 or 101-105; the 200-level language course; FREN 213 Qu'est-ce que la théorie; three semesters of 200-level literature courses, two semesters of 300-level literature courses, and the year-long Senior Experience, which consists of Senior Conference in the fall semester and either a Senior Thesis or a third 300-level course culminating in the Senior Essay during the spring semester. In either case, the work of the spring semester is capped by an oral defense.
  • Transdisciplinary French and Francophone Studies: FREN 005-102 or 005-105 or 101-102 or 101-105; the 200-level language course; two 200-level courses within the department: e.g., FREN 291 or 299; two 200-level courses to be chosen by the student outside the French departments (at BMC/HC or JYA) which contribute coherently to her independent program of study; FREN 326 Etudes avancées de civilization, Senior Conference, plus two 300-level courses outside the departments; thesis of one semester in French or English. Students interested in this option must present the rationale and the projected content of their program for departmental approval during their sophomore year; they should have excellent records in French and the other subjects involved in their proposed program.
  • Both concentrations: all French majors are expected to have acquired fluency in the French language, both written and oral. Unless specifically exempted by the department, they are required to take the 200-level language course. Students may wish to continue from this course to hone their skills further in courses on stylistics and translation offered at Bryn Mawr College or abroad. Students placed at the 200 level by departmental examinations are exempted from the 100-level requirements. Occasionally, students may be admitted to seminars in the graduate school.

Honors and the Senior Experience

For the French and Francophone Literature option: After taking Senior Conference in semester I of the senior year, students have the choice in semester II of writing a thesis (30-40 pp.) under the direction of a faculty member or taking a 300-level course in which they write a Senior Essay (15-20 pp.) The first choice offers self-selected students who already have developed a clearly defined subject in semester I the opportunity to pursue independent research and writing of the thesis with a faculty mentor. The second choice allows students, often double majors with another thesis or pre-medical students, the opportunity to produce a substantial, but shorter, piece of work within the structure of their 300-level course in semester II. Departmental honors are awarded for excellence in the Senior Experience after the oral defense of either the Senior Thesis or the Senior Essay.
For the Interdisciplinary Studies in French option: Students take French 325 or 326 in their senior year and, if they have not already done so, complete the two 300-level courses required outside the department. In semester II they write a thesis in French or English under the direction of a member of the French faculty and a mentor outside the department. Departmental honors are awarded for excellence in the Senior Experience after the oral defense of the Senior Thesis.

Minor Requirements

Requirements for a French minor are FREN 005-102 or 005-105, or 101-102 or 101-105; the 200-level language course; and four 200-level or 300-level courses. At least one course must be at the 300 level.

Teacher Certification

The Department of French and Francophone Studies offers a certification program in secondary teacher education. For more information, see the description of the Education Program.

A.B./M.A. Program

Particularly well-qualified students may undertake work toward the joint A.B./M.A. degree in French. Such a program may be completed in four or five years and is undertaken with the approval of the department, the Special Cases Committee and the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (through 2014-15 academic year).

Study Abroad

Students majoring in French may, by a joint recommendation of the deans of the Colleges and the Departments of French, be allowed to spend their junior year or a semester thereof in France or Francophone countries under one of the junior-year plans approved by Bryn Mawr.

Students wishing to enroll in a summer program may apply for admission to the Institut d'Etudes Françaises d'Avignon, held under the auspices of Bryn Mawr. The institut is designed for selected undergraduates with a serious interest in French and Francophone literatures and cultures, most particularly for those who anticipate professional careers requiring knowledge of the language and civilization of France and French speaking countries. The curriculum includes general and advanced courses in French language, literature, social sciences, history, art and economics. The program is open to students of high academic achievement who have completed a course in French at the third-year level or the equivalent.

FREN B001 Elementary French

The speaking and understanding of French are emphasized particularly during the first semester, and written competence is stressed as well in semester II. The work includes regular use of the Language Learning Center and is supplemented by intensive oral practice sessions. The course meets in intensive (nine hours a week) and non-intensive (five hours a week) sections. This is a year-long course.
Language Level 1
1.0 units, 1.5 units
Staff, Cherel,B., Peysson-Zeiss,A.

FREN B002 Elementary French

The speaking and understanding of French are emphasized particularly during the first semester, and written competence is stressed as well in semester II. The work includes regular use of the Language Learning Center and is supplemented by intensive oral practice sessions. The course meets in intensive (nine hours a week) and non-intensive (five hours a week) sections. This is a year-long course.
Language Level 1
1.0 units, 1.5 units
Staff, Cherel,B., Peysson-Zeiss,A.

FREN B003 Intermediate French

The emphasis on speaking, understanding, and writing French is continued; texts from French literature and cultural media are read; and short papers are written in French. Students use the Language Learning Center regularly and attend supplementary oral practice sessions. The course meets in non-intensive (three hours a week) sections that are supplemented by an extra hour per week with an assistant. This is a year-long course; both semesters are required for credit.
Language Level 2
1.0 units
Cherel,B., Le Menthéour,R.

FREN B004 Intermediate French

The emphasis on speaking, understanding, and writing French is continued; texts from French literature and cultural media are read; and short papers are written in French. Students use the Language Learning Center regularly and attend supplementary oral practice sessions. The course meets in non-intensive (three hours a week) sections that are supplemented by an extra hour per week with an assistant. This is a year-long course; both semesters are required for credit.
Language Level 2
1.0 units
Staff, Cherel,B.

FREN B005 Intensive Intermediate French

The emphasis on speaking and understanding French is continued; literary and cultural texts are read and increasingly longer papers are written in French. In addition to three class meetings a week, students develop their skills in group sessions with the professors and in oral practice hours with assistants. Students use the Language Learning Center regularly. This course prepares students to take 102 or 105 in semester II. Open only to graduates of Intensive Elementary French or to students placed by the department. Students who are not graduates of Intensive Elementary French must take either 102 or 105 to receive credit.
Language Level 2
1.5 units
Armstrong,G., Peysson-Zeiss,A.

FREN B101 Introduction à l'analyse littéraire et culturelle I

Presentation of essential problems in literary and cultural analysis by close reading of works selected from various periods and genres and by analysis of voice and image in French writing and film. Participation in discussion and practice in written and oral expression are emphasized, as are grammar review and laboratory exercises.
Division III: Humanities
1.0 units
Armstrong,G.

FREN B102 Introduction à l'analyse littéraire et culturelle II

Continued development of students' expertise in literary and cultural analysis by emphasizing close reading as well as oral and written analyses of increasingly complex works chosen from various genres and periods of French and Francophone works in their written and visual modes. Readings include comic theater of the 17th or 18th centuries and build to increasingly complex nouvelles, poetry and novels of the 19th and 20th centuries. Participation in guided discussion and practice in oral/written expression continue to be emphasized, as is grammar review. Prerequisite: FREN 005 or 101.
Division III: Humanities
1.0 units
Peysson-Zeiss,A.

FREN B105 Directions de la France contemporaine

An examination of contemporary society in France and Francophone cultures as portrayed in recent documents and film. Emphasizing the tension in contemporary French-speaking societies between tradition and change, the course focuses on subjects such as family structures and the changing role of women, cultural and linguistic identity, an increasingly multiracial society, the individual and institutions (religious, political, educational), and les loisirs. In addition to the basic text and review of grammar, readings are chosen from newspapers, contemporary literary texts and magazines, complemented by video materials. Prerequisite: FREN 005 or 101.
Division III: Humanities
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Cherel,B.

FREN B201 Le Chevalier, la dame et le prêtre: littérature et publics du Moyen Age

Using literary texts, historical documents and letters as a mirror of the social classes that they address, this interdisciplinary course studies the principal preoccupations of secular and religious women and men in France from the Carolingian period through 1500. Selected works from epic, lai, roman courtois, fabliau, theater, letters, and contemporary biography are read in modern French translation.
Division III: Humanities
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies concentration
1.0 units
Armstrong,G.

FREN B204 Le Siècle des lumières

Representative texts of the Enlightenment with emphasis on the development of liberal thought as illustrated in the Encyclopédie and the works of Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. Current topic description: La tradition d'analyse morale établie dans la France du Grand siècle connaêt de multiples métamorphoses jusqu'à la Révolution. Tout en faisant mine de perpétuer une tradition classique, les écrivains des Lumières en minaient l'idéologie sous-jacente.
Division III: Humanities
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Critical Interpretation (CI)
1.0 units
Le Menthéour,R.

FREN B205 Le Temps des prophètes: de Chateaubriand à Baudelaire

From Chateaubriand and Romanticism to Baudelaire, a study of selected poems, novels and plays.
Division III: Humanities
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Critical Interpretation (CI)
1.0 units
Mahuzier,B.
Not offered in 2011-12.

FREN B206 Le Temps des virtuoses: Symbolisme, Naturalisme et leur progéniture

A study of selected works by Claudel, Gide, Proust, Rimbaud, Valéry, Verlaine, and Zola.
Division III: Humanities
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Critical Interpretation (CI)
1.0 units
Staff

FREN B207 Courants littéraires du 20ème siècle

A study of selected works illustrating the principal literary movements from 1900 to the present. Depending on who is teaching the course, this class will focus on various authors and literary movements of the 20th century such as Surrealism, Modernism, the Nouveau Roman, Oulipo, as well as works from the broader Francophone world.
Division III: Humanities
Critical Interpretation (CI)
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Mahuzier,B., Higginson,P.
Not offered in 2011-12.

FREN B213 Theory in Practice: Critical Discourses in the Humanities

This seminar provides exposure to influential 20th-century French thinkers. It will examine three major currents: Postcolonial Theory; Feminist Theory; Post-Structuralist Theory. The primary goal here is to introduce students to exciting and difficult critical thought that will prove useful to their future studies and will begin to develop necessary critical skills. While the materials covered are primarily grounded in French intellectual history, the course will also spend time situating these intellectual currents in broader transnational and transdisciplinary contexts. This is a required course for the French major. Course taught in English and serving the humanities.
Division III: Humanities
Critical Interpretation (CI)
CROSS-LISTED AS PHIL-B253
CROSS-LISTED AS COML-B213
CROSS-LISTED AS GERM-B213
1.0 units
Dostal,R.

FREN B227 Topics in Modern Planning

This course examines topics in planning as defined by specific areas (modern European metropoles) or themes (the impact of oil). It is a writing intensive course.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B227
CROSS-LISTED AS GERM-B227
CROSS-LISTED AS HART-B227
1.0 units
Hein,C.
Not offered in 2011-12.

FREN B248 Histoire des Femmes en France

A study of women and gender in France from the Revolution to the present. The course will pay particular attention to the role of women in the French Revolution (declarations, manifestos, women's clubs, salons, etc.) and in the post-revolutionary era, as well as to the more contemporary feminist manifestations in France since Simone de Beauvoir's Deuxiéme Sexe and the flow of feminist texts produced in the wake of May ‘68.
Division III: Humanities
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Critical Interpretation (CI)
1.0 units
Mahuzier,B.
Not offered in 2011-12.

FREN B251 La Mosaïque France

A study that opposes the discourse of exclusion, xenophobia, racism and the existence of a mythical, unique French identity by examining 20th-century French people and culture in their richness and variety, based on factors such as gender, class, region, colonization and decolonization, immigration and ethnic background. Films and texts by Begag, Beauvoir, Cardinal, Carles, Duras, Ernaux, Jakez Helias, Modiano, and Zobel.
Division III: Humanities
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B251
Counts toward International Studies minor
1.0 units
Cherel,B.
Not offered in 2011-12.

FREN B258 L'espace réinventé: Paris: rêve d'urbaniste, songe d'écrivain

The cityscape is a dominant figure in the 19th and 20th century, at a time where the notion of "writing the city" really develops, influencing and even structuring beliefs. Urban theory and cultural criticism will supplement literary analysis as we consider how novelists Mercier, Rétif de la Bretonne, Balzac, Hugo, and Zola, and poets Baudelaire and Rimbaud have sought to make visible, through novelistic and lyric voices, the evolution of the perception of the city as architectural, social, and political body since the end of the 18th century.
Division III: Humanities
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B258
1.0 units
Giraud,M.
Not offered in 2011-12.

FREN B260 Atelier d'écriture

Intensive practice in speaking and writing. Conversation, discussion, advanced training in grammar and stylistics, translation of literary and nonliterary texts, and original composition.
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Peysson-Zeiss,A., Le MenthÉour,R.

FREN B302 Le printemps de la parole féminine: femmes écrivains des débuts

This study of selected women authors from the French Middle Ages, Renaissance and Classical periods—among them, Marie de France, the trobairitz, Christine de Pisan, Louise Labé, Marguerite de Navarre, and Madame de Lafayette—examines the way in which they appropriate and transform the male writing tradition and define themselves as self-conscious artists within or outside it. Particular attention will be paid to identifying recurring concerns and structures in their works, and to assessing their importance to female writing: among them, the poetics of silence, reproduction as a metaphor for artistic creation, and sociopolitical engagement.
Division III: Humanities
CROSS-LISTED AS COML-B302
Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies concentration
1.0 units
Armstrong,G.
Not offered in 2011-12.

FREN B306 Libertinage et subversion

The libertine movement of the 18th century has long been condemned for moral reasons or considered of minor importance when compared to the Enlightenment. Yet, the right to happiness (‘droit au bonheur') celebrated by the so-called ‘Philosophes' implies a duty to experience pleasure (‘devoir de jouir'). This is what the libertine writers promoted. The libertine movement thus does not confine itself to literature, but also involves a dimension of social subversion. This course will allow you to understand Charles Baudelaire's enigmatic comment: "the Revolution was made by voluptuaries."
Division III: Humanities
1.0 units
Le Menthéour,R.

FREN B325 Etudes avancées

An in-depth study of a particular topic, event or historical figure in French civilisation. The seminar topic rotates among many subjects: La Révolution frantaise: histoire, littérature et culture; L'Environnement naturel dans la culture française; Mal et valeurs éthiques; Le Cinéma et la politique, 1940-1968; Le Nationalisme en France et dans les pays francophones; Etude socio-culturelle des arts du manger en France du Moyen Age à nos jours. Current topic description: Comment interpréter l'oeuvre de Rosseau? Tour à tour considéré comme le plus grand philosophe des Lumières et le plus ardent des anti-philosophes, Rousseau constitue une énigme que nous tenterons de percer en le considérant avant tout comme un polémiste de génie.
Division III: Humanities
CROSS-LISTED AS COML-B325
1.0 units
Le Menthéour,R.

FREN B326 Etudes avancées

An in-depth study of a particular topic, event or historical figure in French civilisation. The seminar topic rotates among many subjects: La Révolution frantaise: histoire, littérature et culture; L'Environnement naturel dans la culture frantaise; Mal et valeurs éthiques; Le Cinéma et la politique, 1940-1968; Le Nationalisme en France et dans les pays francophones; Etude socio-culturelle des arts du manger en France du Moyen Age à nos jours. Current topic description: This course examines French Film Noir from its origins in German expressionism, the subsequent American Hollywood Noir, to its transformation by the Nouvelle Vague.
Division III: Humanities
CROSS-LISTED AS COML-B326
1.0 units
Higginson,P., Staff

FREN B350 Voix médiévales et échos modernes

A study of selected 19th- and 20th-century works inspired by medieval subjects, such as the Grail and Arthurian legends and the Tristan and Yseut stories, and by medieval genres, such as the roman, saints' lives, or the miracle play. Included are works by Bonnefoy, Cocteau, Flaubert, Genevoix, Giono, Gracq, Hugo, and Yourcenar.
Division III: Humanities
CROSS-LISTED AS COML-B350
1.0 units
Armstrong,G.

FREN B398 Senior Conference

A weekly seminar examining two major French and Francophone literary texts and the interpretive problems they raise. A third theoretical text will encourage students to think beyond traditional literary categories to interrogate issues such as cultural memory, political engagement, gendered space, etc. This course prepares students for the second semester of their Senior Experience, during which students not writing a thesis are expected to choose a 300-level course and write a long research paper, the Senior Essay, that they will defend during an oral examination. Seniors writing a thesis in semester II will defend it during their final oral examination.
1.0 units
Armstrong,G., Mahuzier,B.

FREN B403 Supervised Work

1.0 units
Armstrong,G., Mahuzier,B., Higginson,P., Le Menthéour,R.