Current Course Offerings

Upper-division offerings:

FREN 4371 –  19th Century Best Sellers

In this course, we will read many of the most widely-sold (but not necessarily the most well-received) works of the nineteenth century; learn about how they were published, marketed, and received by critics and readers alike, and locate their place in today’s literary canon. Our inquiry will be framed by essays on developments in print technology, literacy and the culture of publishing in the nineteenth-century. Some of the questions that will guide us during the semester are: How did drastic changes in primary education, print technology, literary patronage and publishing in nineteenth-century France affect the kind of books that were sold? Did high sales in one century translate into literary value in the next? Is there a correspondence between negative nineteenth-century criticism and critical importance in the twentieth? Was there a social difference between those who were reading and those who were evaluating this literature? How does the notion of literary value respond to the pressures of mass media markets? Readings with include Eugène Sue’s Les Mystères de Paris (excerpts) and Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (excerpts), la Comtesse de Ségur’s Les Malheurs de Sophie, Jules Verne’s Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours, Emile Zola’s L’Assomoir and a 21st century bestseller, Muriel Barbery’s L’Élegance du hérisson. This course fulfills the upper-division post-1800 literature requirement for the French major.

FREN 4555 – Visions of Empire

In Visions of Empire, students will explore and analyze the diverse, sometimes contradictory, visual representations of French imperialism. Specifically, we will examine how the French colonial empire, its colonized populations, landscapes, and architecture were depicted in France and within the colonial space during the 19th and 20th centuries. We will explore the political, cultural, economic, and social implications of these representations. Throughout the semester, we will collectively reflect on the role of visuality and the meanings and practices of imagery in (post)colonial French history. What role did photography, posters, caricatures, and cinema play in the French colonial expansion? How did the French perceive their empire and how did colonized populations respond to, challenge, or oppose these perceptions? How were French conceptions of race influenced and negotiated visually? How is French colonial history represented today? Through the study of various (post)imperial visual productions and drawing on the works of postcolonial thinkers and theorists, this course will introduce students to disciplines such as visual studies, media studies, and propaganda studies. Additionally, Visions of Empire will encourage students to deconstruct images and representations productively, identifying the different mechanisms that constitute what Roland Barthes aptly termed the rhetoric of the image.

FREN 4777 – Postcolonial Science Fiction 

This course offers students an introduction to francophone Maghrebi speculative fiction, and its relationship to postcolonial literary studies. Class readings will draw broadly from across the genre of speculative fiction, including science fiction novels, YA fantasy, dystopian narratives, and fairy tales, all written by authors either from the Maghreb or of Maghrebi descent. As we read, we will examine the relationship between the speculative mode found in these works, and issues in postcolonial literary studies. As Jessica Langer argues in Postcolonialism and Science Fiction,“The figure of the alien – extraterrestrial, technological, human-hybrid or otherwise – and the figure of the far-away planet ripe for the taking are deep and abiding twin signifiers in science fiction… [and] these two signifiers are, in fact, the very same twin myths of colonialism.” Taking these “twin myths” as a point of departure, this course will ask how authors have used what is often assumed to be a “Western” or even “colonial” genre, and repurposed it to explore questions of revolution, decolonization, postcoloniality, and globalization.

Spring 2024

FREN 1001 Introductory French I
S. Cohen-Scali

FREN 1002 Introductory French II
A. Emmitte, P. Janssens

FREN 1011 Intensive Basic French
S. Cohen-Scali

FREN 1501 Intermediate French I
I. Smorodinsky

FREN 1502 Intermediate French II
S. Cohen-Scali, C. Grand Favre, A. O’Neil-Henry, M. Santoro

FREN 1511 Intensive Intermediate French 
A. Webel

FREN 2001 Advanced French I
A. Andrade, G. Daumas, N. Erradi, E. Twohig

FREN 2002 Advanced French II
A. Andrade, N. Erradi, S. A. Madjlessi, G. Spielmann

FREN 2011 Intensive Advanced French I
I. Smorodinsky & E. Twohig

FREN 2012 Intensive Advanced French II
P. Taminiaux & A. Webel

FREN 2551 Advanced Grammar and Writing
M. Santoro, G. Spielmann

FREN 2761 Topics for Oral Proficiency
B. Bridaa

FREN 2762 Topics for French Oral Proficiency: Francophone Africa
J. Le Guelte

FREN 3350 Rdg Txts/Fr-Speak World: Cultures
S. Durmelat, P. Young

FREN 3351 Rdg Txts/Fr-Speak World: Lits
J. Boum Make, J. Johnson

FREN 3701 Business French
B. Bridaa

FREN 3702 French for Politics
A. Webel

FREN 4135 Contemp. Belgian Lit & Culture
P. Taminiaux

FREN 4368 Coming of Age in 18th-Cent Lit
P. Young

FREN 4545 Africans on the Move
J. Le Guelte

FREN 4600 Activist Women’s Fiction
J. Boum Make

FREN 4771 Women & Gender in Mdvl France
J. Johnson