Director of undergraduate studies: Morgane Cadieu, Rm. 320, 82–90 Wall St., 436-2596, email@example.com; language program director: Ruth Koizim, Rm. 319, 82–90 Wall St., 432-4904, firstname.lastname@example.org; french.yale.edu
The Department of French has two distinct but complementary missions: to provide instruction in the French language at all levels of competence, and to lead students to a broad appreciation and deep understanding of the literatures and cultures of France and other French-speaking countries.
The major in French is a liberal arts major, designed for those who wish to study one of the world's richest cultures in depth. The department offers courses devoted to authors, works, and literary and cultural movements that span ten centuries and four continents. The curriculum also includes interdisciplinary courses on relations between literature and other areas of study such as history, law, religion, politics, and the arts. Majors are encouraged to explore all periods and genres of literature in French, as well as a wide variety of critical approaches.
Excellent knowledge of a foreign language and a mature, informed appreciation of a foreign literature open doors to many professions. The French major provides ideal preparation for careers in a wide range of fields from law and diplomacy to journalism, academia, and the arts. Recent graduates have gone on to selective law schools and graduate programs in French and comparative literature. Others work in business, government, primary and secondary education, and a variety of nongovernmental agencies and international organizations.
French can be taken either as a primary major or as one of two majors, in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. Appropriate majors to combine with French might include, but are not limited to, African American Studies, African Studies, English, Film and Media Studies, Global Affairs, History, History of Art, Humanities, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Theater Studies, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Regulations concerning the completion of two majors can be found under Section K, Special Arrangements, in the Academic Regulations.
Group A courses (FREN 110–159) This group consists of language courses that lead directly to courses counting toward the major. Preregistration is required for all Group A courses except FREN 125 and 145. FREN 121 (the stand-alone L2) is only offered during the fall term. For this reason, students placed into L1 or L2 who were not enrolled in a fall-term course will have to wait until the next fall to enroll. For further details, students should consult the language program director.
Group B courses (FREN 160–449, not including Group C courses) This group contains more advanced courses that are taught in French and count toward the major. FREN 160 and 170 are gateway courses that prepare students for courses numbered FREN 200 and above. Courses in the FREN 180–199 range are advanced language courses. Courses numbered 200–449 are advanced courses in literature and culture. The 200–299 range contains courses devoted to broad, general fields defined by century or genre; the 300–449 range contains courses devoted to specific topics within or across those general fields.
Group C courses This group comprises courses taught in English; readings may be in French or English. Two term courses from this group may be counted for credit toward the major.
Candidates for the major should take FREN 150 or the equivalent during the first or second year. Prospective majors are strongly encouraged to take at least one literature course numbered 170 or above before the end of the sophomore year.
The departmental placement exam in French is accessible online over the summer. Dates and information for the exam will be available on the French Department Website, in the Calendar for the Opening Days of College, and on the Center for Language Study Website.
All students who have not yet studied French at Yale (except those who have had no previous exposure to French whatsoever) are expected to take the departmental placement exam. Students who studied abroad over the summer with non-Yale programs must take the placement exam to be eligible to receive credit for their work.
Students who earned superior scores on standardized tests may be able to enroll in a course designated L5. The department strongly recommends, however, that advanced students of French take the departmental placement exam in order to be directed to the most appropriate courses. Students who earned a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement exam, a score of 6 or 7 on the advanced-level International Baccalaureate (IB) exam, a rating of C1 on the CEFR European test, or an A or B on the GCE A-level exam are normally placed into a course at the 150 level and above.
Students who wish to begin taking French in the spring are advised to take the placement exam over the summer. Placement exam results remain valid for one year.
Requirements of the Major
The major for the Class of 2020 and previous classes With DUS approval, the following changes, through the addition of a translation track, to the requirements of the major may be fulfilled by students who declared their major under previous requirements.
The major for the Class of 2021 and subsequent classes Changes to the requirements of the major, through the addition of a translation track, are described below.
The standard major The standard major consists of ten term courses numbered 160 or above, including a one-term senior essay (see below). One of these ten courses must be FREN 170 or the equivalent, which should be completed early in a candidate's studies; at least four must be Group B courses numbered 200 or above. Students may count no more than two courses in the FREN 180–199 range and no more than two courses conducted in English (Group C) toward the major. With prior approval of the director of undergraduate studies, a maximum of four term courses taught outside the Yale Department of French but bearing directly on the student's principal interest may be counted toward the major. Up to two of these may be taken in other departments at Yale, and up to four may be taken as part of a Year or Term Abroad or summer study abroad program. However, the combined number of courses from other departments and from study abroad may not exceed four. (The director of undergraduate studies may grant exceptions to this limit for students who spend two academic terms in an approved study abroad program.) Relevant first-year seminars may count toward the major, with permission of the director of undergraduate studies.
Translation track Students may elect to pursue the translation track within the French Major. Translation track majors are expected to take a minimum of two courses in French translation as two of the ten credits required for the standard major, or twelve credits required for the intensive major. Within the department, this requirement can be fulfilled by taking FREN 191 and FREN 192. Students who opt for the translation track may take up to four courses numbered 180-199, rather than the standard two courses.
The intensive major The intensive major is designed for students who wish to undertake a more concentrated study of literature in French. It is recommended for students considering graduate study in French or in comparative literature. The intensive major consists of twelve term courses numbered 160 or above, including a one-term or two-term senior essay (see below). At least five courses must be from Group B and numbered 200 or above. The requirement of FREN 170 and the stipulations for courses in the 180–199 range, courses conducted in English, and courses taken outside the department are identical to those for the standard major.
Credit/D/Fail Courses taken Credit/D/Fail may not be counted toward the requirements of the major.
All majors must write a senior essay showing evidence of careful reading and research and substantial independent thought. Essays may be written in either French or English and must be prepared under the direction of a ladder faculty member in the Department of French. Students planning to pursue advanced work in French after graduation are encouraged to write their senior essay in French.
Students writing a one-term essay enroll in FREN 491 in the senior year. A one-term essay may be written in either the fall or the spring term and should be approximately thirty pages in length. A preliminary statement indicating the general area to be addressed and the name of the adviser must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies by April 20, 2018 (fall-term essay) or November 9 (spring-term essay). A one-page prospectus and bibliography are due September 21 (fall term) or January 25 (spring term). A rough draft must be submitted to the adviser by November 2 (fall term) or March 29 (spring term). Two copies of the final essay are due in the department by December 3, 2018 (fall term) or April 22, 2019 (spring term).
Students electing a two-term essay for the intensive major must select their subject and adviser by the end of the junior year and enroll in FREN 493 and 494 during the senior year. The essay should be approximately sixty pages in length. A preliminary statement indicating the general area to be addressed and the name of the adviser must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies by April 20, 2018. A one-page prospectus and bibliography are due September 21. Students must submit an initial rough draft to their adviser by January 25 and a complete draft by March 29. Two copies of the final essay are due in the department by April 22.
In place of the thirty-page senior essay for the standard major or the sixty-page senior essay for the intensive major, translation track majors undertake a literary translation of similar length to the senior essay, working with a member of the French Department ladder faculty. The senior essay translation should include a critical introduction, of a length to be determined by the student, in consultation with the directing faculty member. The same submission dates as the one-term essay and the two-term essay apply to the translation track essay.
Students in the major are encouraged to take as many advanced courses as possible in all historical periods from the Middle Ages to the present. Candidates for the major should consult the DUS as early as the beginning of the sophomore year and no later than the fall term of the junior year. Schedules must be approved and signed by the DUS. Students planning to study abroad or to petition for completion of two majors should contact the DUS during the sophomore year.
Special Divisional Major The department will support the application of qualified students who wish to pursue an interdisciplinary course in French studies. Under the provisions of the Special Divisional Major, students may combine courses offered by the French department with subjects elected from other departments. Close consultation with departmental advisers is required; candidates for a Special Divisional Major should consult the DUS in French by the fall term of the junior year. For further information, see under Special Divisional Majors.
Students are encouraged to spend a term or a year abroad, for which appropriate course credit is granted. Summer study abroad may also, in some cases, receive course credit. Further information may be obtained from the Center for International and Professional Experience and from Ruth Koizim, the study abroad adviser for the Department of French.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Prerequisite FREN 150 or equivalent
Number of courses Standard major and translation track—10 term courses numbered 160 or above (inc senior req); Intensive major—12 term courses numbered 160 or above (inc senior req)
Specific course required FREN 170 or equivalent
Distribution of courses Standard major—at least 4 courses in Group B numbered 200 or above; no more than 2 courses numbered FREN 180–199; no more than 2 courses conducted in English; Translation track— same as standard, except no more than 4 courses numbered FREN 180-199; Intensive major—same as standard, plus 1 addtl Group B course numbered 200 or above
Substitution permitted With prior approval of DUS, up to 4 term courses outside French dept, as specified
Senior requirement Standard major—one-term senior essay in French or English (FREN 491); Translation track—one-term literary translation essay (FREN 492); Intensive major—two-term (FREN 493, 494) senior essay in French or English; Translation track, Intensive major—two-term literary translation essay (FREN 495, 496)
The major in French is a liberal arts major, designed for those who wish to study one of the world’s greatest and richest cultures in depth. The department offers courses devoted to authors, works, and literary and cultural movements that span ten centuries and four continents. The curriculum also includes interdisciplinary studies on the relations between literature and areas such as history, law, religion, politics, and the arts. Majors are encouraged to explore all periods and genres of literature in French, as well as a wide variety of critical approaches. Students may also select French as one of two majors.
Excellent knowledge of a foreign language and a mature, informed appreciation of a foreign literature open doors to many professions. For this reason, the French major provides ideal preparation for careers in academics, law, diplomacy, journalism, the arts, business, education, and many other fields.
French courses numbered FREN 110–159 are primarily language courses; the majority of entering first-year students enroll in one of these. Most higher-numbered courses are devoted to the study of French and francophone literature from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century, and to aspects of French and francophone culture in many different times and places.
The departmental placement exam is accessible online over the summer. Dates and information for the exam will be available on the French Department Website, in the Calendar for the Opening Days, and on the Yale Center for Language Study Website.
Students who have not yet studied French at Yale, except for those with no previous formal or informal exposure to French whatsoever, are expected to take the departmental placement exam. Students who studied abroad over the summer through non-Yale programs must take the placement exam in order to be eligible to receive credit for their work and to ensure placement in the appropriate course should they wish to continue their study of French.
The department strongly recommends that students who earned a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement French exam, a score of 6 or 7 on the advanced-level International Baccalaureate (IB) exam, a rating of C1 on the CEFR European test, or an A or B on the GCE A-level exam take the placement exam in order to be directed to the most appropriate course and thus save precious time during shopping period. Nevertheless, they may enroll in an appropriate course designated L5 in Yale College Programs of Study. Normally a course at the 150 and above level is the most appropriate option.
Students who wish to begin taking French in the spring are advised to take the placement exam over the summer. Placement exam results will remain valid for one year.
FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH
Professors R. Howard Bloch, Edwin M. Duval, Marie-Hélène Girard (Visiting), Alice Kaplan, Christopher L. Miller, Pierre Saint-Amand, Maurice Samuels
Assistant Professors Morgane Cadieu, Thomas C. Connolly, Jill Jarvis, Christophe Schuwey
Senior Lecturers Lauren Pinzka, Maryam Sanjabi, Alyson Waters
Senior Lectors Kathleen Burton, Ruth Koizim, Soumia Koundi, Matuku Ngame, Françoise Schneider, Constance Sherak, Candace Skorupa, Vanessa Vysosias
Lectors Jessica DeVos, Leo Tertrain
Group A Courses
* FREN 110a, Elementary and Intermediate French I Staff
Intensive training and practice in all the language skills, with an initial emphasis on listening and speaking. Emphasis on communicative proficiency, self-expression, and cultural insights. Extensive use of audio and video material. Conducted entirely in French. To be followed by FREN 120. For students with no previous experience of French. Daily classroom attendance is required. L1 RP 1½ Course cr
* FREN 120b, Elementary and Intermediate French II Staff
* FREN 121a, Intermediate French Staff
Designed for initiated beginners, this course develops all the language skills with an emphasis on listening and speaking. Activities include role playing, self-expression, and discussion of cultural and literary texts. Emphasis on grammar review and acquisition of vocabulary. Frequent audio and video exercises. Conducted entirely in French. Daily classroom attendance is required. Placement according to placement test score. Online preregistration required; see french.yale.edu for details. L2 RP 1½ Course cr
* FREN 125a, Intensive Elementary French Constance Sherak
An accelerated course that covers in one term the material taught in FREN 110 and 120. Practice in all language skills, with emphasis on communicative proficiency. Admits to FREN 145. Conducted entirely in French. For students of superior linguistic ability. No preregistration required. L1, L2 RP 2 Course cr
* FREN 130a or b, Intermediate and Advanced French I Staff
The first half of a two-term sequence designed to develop students' proficiency in the four language skill areas. Prepares students for further work in literary, language, and cultural studies, as well as for nonacademic use of French. Oral communication skills, writing practice, vocabulary expansion, and a comprehensive review of fundamental grammatical structures are integrated with the study of short stories, novels, and films. Admits to FREN 140. Conducted entirely in French. After FREN 120, 121, or a satisfactory placement test score. L3 RP 1½ Course cr
* FREN 140a or b, Intermediate and Advanced French II Staff
The second half of a two-term sequence designed to develop students' proficiency in the four language skill areas. Introduction of more complex grammatical structures. Films and other authentic media accompany literary readings from throughout the francophone world, culminating with the reading of a longer novel and in-class presentation of student research projects. Admits to FREN 150. Conducted entirely in French. After FREN 130 or a satisfactory placement test score. L4 RP 1½ Course cr
* FREN 145b, Intensive Intermediate and Advanced French Candace Skorupa
An accelerated course that covers in one term the material taught in FREN 130 and 140. Emphasis on speaking, writing, and the conversion of grammatical knowledge into reading competence. Admits to FREN 150. For students of superior linguistic ability. Conducted entirely in French. After FREN 120, 121, or 125. No preregistration required. L3, L4 RP 2 Course cr
* FREN 150a or b, Advanced Language Practice Staff
An advanced language course intended to improve students' comprehension of spoken and written French as well as their speaking and writing skills. Modern fiction and nonfiction texts familiarize students with idiomatic French. Special attention to grammar review and vocabulary acquisition. Conducted entirely in French. After FREN 140, 145, or a satisfactory placement test score. May not be taken after FREN 151. Online preregistration required; see http://french.yale.edu/academics/placement-and-registration for details. L5 RP
Group B Courses
Group B courses are conducted entirely in French. Courses numbered from 160 to 199 are open to students who have passed FREN 150 or the equivalent, and to others with consent of the department. Courses numbered from 200 to 449 are open to students who have passed FREN 170, or with permission of the instructor. Students who have taken a course at the 200 level or higher may not ordinarily take a 100-level course for credit, with the exception of advanced language courses numbered 185 or higher. Students may take 200-, 300-, and 400-level courses in any order. Courses in the 200–299 range are devoted to general fields; courses in the 300–449 range are devoted to specific topics.
* FREN 160a or b, Advanced Culture and Conversation Staff
Intensive oral practice designed to further skills in listening comprehension, speaking, and reading through the use of videos, films, fiction, and articles. Emphasis on contemporary French and francophone cultures. Conducted entirely in French. Prerequisites: FREN 150, 151, or a satisfactory placement test score, or with permission of the course director. May be taken concurrently with or after FREN 170. L5 RP
* FREN 170a or b, Introduction to the Study of Literature in French Staff
Introduction to close reading and analysis of literary texts written in French. Works by authors such as Marie de France, Molière, Balzac, Hugo, Baudelaire, Duras, Proust, and Genet. May not be taken after FREN 171. L5, HU
Advanced Language Courses
* FREN 181a, Applied Advanced French Grammar Françoise Schneider
In-depth study of grammar and discourse strategies. Advanced grammar exercises, linguistic analysis of literary selections, and English-to-French translation. Intended to improve students' written command of French and to prepare them for upper-level courses; recommended for prospective majors. After FREN 150 or higher, or a satisfactory placement test score. May be taken after courses in the 200–449 range. L5
* FREN 182b, Advanced Writing Workshop Lauren Pinzka
An advanced writing course for students who wish to work intensively on perfecting their written French. Frequent compositions of varying lengths, including creative writing, rédactions (compositions on concrete topics), and dissertations (critical essays). Recommended for prospective majors. Conducted entirely in French. After FREN 150 or higher, or a satisfactory placement test score. May be taken after courses in the 200–449 range. L5
* FREN 183a, Medical French: Conversation and Culture Leo Tertrain
An advanced language course emphasizing verbal communication and culture. Designed to foster the acquisition of the linguistic and cultural skills required to evolve within a Francophone medical environment. Discussions, in-class activities, and group projects in simulated professional situations. Topics such as the hospital, family physicians and nurse practitioners, medicine in Francophone Africa, humanitarian NGOs are explored through a medical textbook, articles, video clips, radio shows, films, documentaries, and excerpts from essays and literary texts. Conducted entirely in French. Prerequisite: FREN 150 or a satisfactory placement test score, or with permission of instructor. May be taken concurrently with or after FREN 160 and FREN 170. L5
* FREN 184b, Business French: Communication and Culture Leo Tertrain
An advanced language course emphasizing verbal communication and culture. Designed to foster the acquisition of the linguistic and cultural skills required to evolve within a French business environment. Discussions, in-class activities, and group projects in simulated professional situations. Topics such as the liberalization of the French economy, trading in the European Union, new forms of business organizations, and globalization are explored through a business textbook, articles, video clips, radio shows, films, documentaries, and excerpts from essays and literary texts. Conducted entirely in French. Prerequisite: FREN 150 or a satisfactory placement test score, or with permission of instructor. May be taken concurrently with or after FREN 160 and FREN 170. L5
* FREN 191a, Translation Alyson Waters
An introduction to the practice and theory of literary translation, conducted in workshop format. Stress on close reading, with emphasis initially on grammatical structures and vocabulary, subsequently on stylistics and aesthetics. Translation as a means to understand and communicate cultural difference in the case of French, African, Caribbean, and Québécois authors. Texts by Benjamin, Beckett, Borges, Steiner, and others. Readings in French and in English. After FREN 150 and 151 or with permission of instructor. Preference to juniors and seniors. L5, HU
* FREN 211a, French Poetry: The First Five Hundred Years Edwin Duval
A survey of the first half-millennium of French poetry, from courtly love songs by the Trouvères of the late twelfth century to satirical verse by the Libertins of the early seventeenth. Special focus on the great flowering of lyric poetry during the Renaissance. The musical origins and aspirations of lyric poetry in France. Emphasis on close readings of representative works by major poets. L5, HU
* FREN 247b, Experimental Literature, Theory, and Manifestoes Morgane Cadieu
A survey of the French experimental prose of the 20th and 21st centuries. Corpus includes novels and plays, literary and political manifestoes, and landmark articles on literary theory, structuralism, and poststructuralism. Topics include: inspiration and creativity; the aesthetics of manifestoes and the politics of literature; automatic writing and constrained prose; feminist and queer writings; urban spaces in avant-garde literary movements. Works by: Bataille, Beauvoir, Beckett, Breton, Perec, Sarraute, Wittig. Theoretical excerpts by: Barthes, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Glissant, Malabou. HU
* FREN 312a, Scandals under the Sun Christophe Schuwey
The shining gold of Versailles and the triumph of Molière in 17th-century France are inseparable from the culture of scandals and controversy that underlie the reign of Louis XIV. Some victims fell, but authors and booksellers took advantage of the trending topics and hot stories, turning them into literature, both to fight and to entertain. Through the lens of scandals, this course explores a century that shaped our modern relationship to entertainment, celebrity, and news. How is scandal written and propagated, and how can controversy be a marketing or literary strategy? From discussion about women's rights (La Bruyère, Murat) to black magic (Corneille and Donneau de Visé), from authors' strategies (Desjardins, La Fayette) to religious issues (Molière), each work reveals the vibrant and complex nature of the cultural and political life under the Sun King. L5, HU
* FREN 321b, Passions and Politics in the Theater of the Ancien Régime Pierre Saint-Amand
This course consists in close readings of the major political tragedies of the classical period (17th–18th century), starting with Corneille who leads the genre and creates imitators. We consider how the language of passions intersects with the language of politics, the dialectics of hero and state. Study of the recurring major passions: love, jealousy, hate, and how they are dealt with, sometimes repaired. Readings in Pierre Corneille, Jean Racine, Voltaire, and Houdar de La Motte. L5, HU
* FREN 324b, Theater, Stage, Emotions Christophe Schuwey
To become the classical authors they now are, Corneille, Molière, and Racine had to please their audience night after night, ensuring that they moved the spectators and did not bore them. What emotions did their plays generate, and through what means? How did audiences describe their evenings at the theater? Does classical theater still work today? This seminar mixes theory and practice. We study three major plays of the 17th century (Le Cid, Le Misanthrope, Mithridate), analyzing the text, but also the setting, acting techniques, the plays, and the audience testimonials. We also interpret some parts of those plays on stage, to test their efficiency today and to find new ways to perform them. L5, HU
* FREN 345a, The Prose Poem Thomas Connolly
An examination of the poème en prose, from its beginnings as a response to the inadequacy of French verse forms through its emergence as an independent genre. L5, HU
* FREN 414a / AFST 414a / LITR 269 / MMES 261a, Afterlives of Algeria's Revolution Jill Jarvis
The Algerian War for Independence from France was the longest and most violent decolonizing war of the 20th century. This war and its aftermath transformed political, social, intellectual, and artistic life on both sides of the Mediterranean–and it became a model for other decolonizing and civil rights movements across the world. Memory of this war continues to shape current debates in Europe and North Africa about state violence, terrorism, racism, censorship, immigration, feminism, human rights, and justice. Through study of fiction, film, testimonies, graphic novels, and theater, this seminar charts the war's surprising and enduring legacies. Films may include Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers, Haneke's Caché, and Panijel's Octobre à Paris. Literary works by Djebar, Camus, Sebbar, Etcherelli, Dib, Cixous, Kateb, Fanon, De Beauvoir, Mechakra. The course is conducted in French. If you have any questions about your French ability, contact the instructor. L5, HU
* FREN 416b, Social Mobility and Migration Morgane Cadieu
Exploration of mobility in the French social landscape and its representations in contemporary French and Francophone texts and films; the intersectionality of class, race, gender, and sexuality; emancipation, migration, demotion, and precarity; labor and the workplace; the interaction between social class and literary style. Works by: Angot, Eribon, Ernaux, Kechiche, Louis, Mukasonga, NDiaye, Taïa. Theoretical excerpts by: Berlant, Bourdieu, Delphy, Fraser, Rancière, Piketty. Students have the possibility to put the corpus in dialogue with the literature of other countries. L5, HU
FREN 425b / MMES 360b, North African French Poetry Thomas Connolly
Introduction to North African poetry composed in French during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Works explored within the broader context of metropolitan French, Arabic, and Berber cultures; juxtaposition with other modes of expression including oral poetry, painting, dance, music, the Internet, and film. The literary, aesthetic, political, religious, and philosophical significance of poetic discourse. L5, HU
Special Tutorial and Senior Courses
* FREN 470a and FREN 471b, Special Tutorial for Juniors and Seniors Staff
Special projects set up by the student in an area of individual interest with the help of a faculty adviser and the director of undergraduate studies. Intended to enable the student to cover material not offered by the department. The project must terminate with at least a term paper or its equivalent and must have the approval of the director of undergraduate studies. Only one term may be offered toward the major, but two terms may be offered toward the bachelor's degree. For additional information, consult the director of undergraduate studies.
* FREN 471b, Special Tutorial for Juniors and Seniors Staff
Special projects set up by the student in an area of individual interest with the help of a faculty adviser and the director of undergraduate studies. Intended to enable the student to cover material not offered by the department. The project must terminate with at least a term paper or its equivalent and must have the approval of the director of undergraduate studies. For additional information, consult the director of undergraduate studies.
* FREN 491a or b / FREN 492a, The Senior Essay Staff
A one-term research project completed under the direction of a ladder faculty member in the Department of French and resulting in a substantial paper in French or English. For additional information, consult the director of undergraduate studies.
* FREN 493a and FREN 494b / FREN 495a, The Senior Essay in the Intensive Major Staff
A yearlong research project completed under the direction of a ladder faculty member in the Department of French and resulting in a paper of considerable length, in French or English. For additional information, consult the director of undergraduate studies.
Group C Courses
Courses in this group are conducted in English; readings may be in French or English. Group C courses numbered above 100 are open to all students in Yale College.
* FREN 090a, A Fashionable Literature Christophe Schuwey
The golden age of Versailles, the French Grand Siècle, was also the reign of fashion. Literature was no exception, and to seduce and reach out to the audience, playwrights, poets, and novelists constantly adapted to the newest trends, captured the hottest topics, and published innovative works. The clever and most skillful of them became true stars and generated general applause—or scandals. This seminar explores the turning point when French literature took a shape of entertainment. How did authors write about current events and topics? How did literature and media start new fashion and build celebrity? What criticism did it raise? The readings allow students to explore major works of the period as well as the origin of cultural hierarchies that are still relevant today. Authors include: Corneille, La Fayette, Sévigné, La Bruyère, Molière, Murat, and Racine. No French Required. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.
* FREN 096b, Women's Narratives of Self in Modern French Literature Maryam Sanjabi
The course explores women's autobiographical literature, demonstrating their uniqueness from an individual perspective and capturing the social, economic, religious, and ethnic themes of the period and their authors' intellectual standpoints. The selected books represent a variety of literary genres ranging from memoir to journal, graphic novel, and film scripts with a focus on the 20th and 21st centuries as they appear in the works of: Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, Nathalie Sarraute, Lucie Aubrac, Hélène Berr, Assia Djebar, Ken Bugul, Agnès Varda, Marjane Satrapi, Marguerite Duras, Annie Ernaux, and Camille Laurens among others. This course thus aims at a critical awareness of what modernity has meant in women's experiences and why debate about its consequences often revolves around women's lives. While some authors explore the coming of age of European gender awareness, others deal with the war and resistance and more recent non-Western voices in French pose the question of identity of the “Other.” Course readings include short theoretical essays and a number of secondary works. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. HU
FREN 240a / HUMS 201a / LITR 214a, The Modern French Novel Maurice Samuels and Alice Kaplan
A survey of major French novels, considering style and story, literary and intellectual movements, and historical contexts. Writers include Balzac, Flaubert, Proust, Camus, and Sartre. Readings in translation. One section conducted in French. HU Tr
* FREN 320b, The Existentialist Cafe Alice Kaplan
The Existentialist Café examines a moment (post-war France), a condition (liberation from Nazi occupation), a school of thought (existentialism) and a group of writers in conversation with one another (Sartre, Beauvoir, Camus, Vian, Leduc, Duras, Sagan, Guilloux, Kofman). Specific themes include the memory of collaboration and resistance; the shorn women; de Gaulle and his critics; the surviving Jewish community; youth culture; and existentialist culture in Saint-Germain des Près. In addition to novels and memoirs (The Plague; Ok, Joe!; The Bastard, Bonjour Tristesse) students also explore representations of the period in films (Rendez-vous de juillet; Hiroshima mon amour; La guêpe). A research component of the seminar involves primary source work in newspapers and magazines of the period (Combat, Lettres françaises, Paris-Match). Reading knowledge of French at the L5 level is required and students should be comfortable doing research using French sources.
* FREN 347a / HSAR 280a, Ekphrasis Thomas Connolly
An exploration of ekphrasis, understood both as the verbal representation of visual representation and, more broadly, as the way in which one artistic discourse represents, critiques, or transgresses another. Manifestations of this rhetorical device in both Western and non-Western cultures from antiquity to the present. Readings and discussion in English. HU Tr
* FREN 403a / HUMS 409a / LITR 224a, Proust Interpretations: Reading Remembrance of Things Past R. Howard Bloch and Pierre Saint-Amand
A close reading (in English) of Marcel Proust’s masterpiece, Remembrance of Things Past, with emphasis upon major themes: time and memory, desire and jealousy, social life and artistic experience, sexual identity and personal authenticity, class and nation. Portions from Swann’s Way, Within a Budding Grove, Cities of the Plain, Time Regained considered from biographical, psychological/psychoanalytic, gender, sociological, historical, and philosophical perspectives. WR, HU
* FREN 410b / AFAM 379b / LITR 299b, Colonial Narrative, Postcolonial Counternarrative Christopher Miller
Readings of paradigmatic, colonial era texts that have provoked responses and rewritings from postcolonial writers and filmmakers. In some cases the rewriting is explicit and direct, in other cases the response is more oblique. Both profound differences of perspective and unexpected convergences will emerge. Readings may include: Aimé Césaire’s A Tempest after Shakespeare’s Tempest, Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation after Camus’s The Stranger, and Claire Denis’s film Chocolat after Ferdinand Oyono’s Houseboy.
* FREN 418b, The Old French Fable and Fabliaux
This seminar is designed to acquaint the student with the Fables of Marie de France and a substantial portion of the 170 fabliaux. We also consider the relevant secondary literature, the historical, cultural, social, religious, and critical background of the animal and the verse comic tales, which lie at the root core of didactic and of humorous and realistic literature in English, Italian, German, and Spanish. Both the Fables and the fabliaux are to be read in English, in the translations of Harriet Spiegel and Nathaniel Dubin. Both books, available at the World Language Center, contain the Old French originals and the translated texts. WR, HU
* FREN 421a / AFAM 440a / LITR 458a, Intercultural Literary Hoaxes Christopher Miller
Study of literary works that test the bounds of propriety by borrowing or stealing an alien identity and passing the imposture off as authentic. Cases in Anglo-American and French-Francophone literature, ranging from the hilarious to the reprehensible. Attention to issues in the ethics of representation. Works include Diderot, Mérimée, George Eliot, pseudo-slave narratives, Camara Laye, Romain Gary, Forrest Carter, JT LeRoy, Paul Smaïl, Margaret B. Jones, and Misha Defonseca. Prerequisite: Reading knowledge of French at the L4 level. HU
* FREN 109a, French for Reading Maryam Sanjabi
Fundamental grammar structures and basic vocabulary are acquired through the reading of texts in various fields (primarily humanities and social sciences, and others as determined by student interest). Intended for students who either need a reading knowledge of French for research purposes or are preparing for French reading examinations and who have had no (or minimal) prior study of French. No preregistration required. Conducted in English. Does not satisfy the language requirement.