French Course Descriptions
101-102-103. Beginning French I, II, and III
French 101-103 develop students’ linguistic and cultural proficiency. Coursework covers speaking, listening, reading and writing in French. Successful completion of the beginning-level language course sequence prepares students to function in a variety of authentic communicative situations within a French speaking context and to become life-long language learners. All French language classes, from the beginning to the advanced level, also develop students’ awareness and understanding of cultural phenomena in the Francophone world.
101. Beginning French I
French 101 is designed for true beginners in the language. Students are introduced to the standard conventions of French pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, and focus is placed on building students' foundation in linguistic proficiency through exercises in speaking, writing, listening and reading. Students learn about where and how French is used in the world, and about the French and French-Canadian educational systems. They learn how to discuss pastimes, families, holidays, and events that will take place in the near future. (Language)
102. Beginning French II
In French 102, students build on their cultural and linguistic proficiency in French through exercises in speaking, writing, listening and reading. Students learn how to talk about the weather, recount and describe past actions and events, ask questions, make suggestions, express opinions and emotions, order food and drink in a restaurant, and talk about where they live. They also learn about different provinces and regional cultures within France, rites and rituals in the Francophone world, and culinary traditions. Prerequisite: FRE 101. (Language)
103. Beginning French III
In French 103, students build on their cultural and linguistic proficiency in French through exercises in speaking, writing, listening and reading. Students learn how to articulate if-then statements, how to use future verb tenses, and how to use the conditional and subjective moods in French. Students also learn how to talk about travel plans in the future, lodging, physical health, the environment, civic responsibilities, technology, art forms, and French media. Prerequisite: FRE 102. (Language)
165-166. Introductory Topics in French
See Topics Courses.
205. Intermediate French
In French 205, students refine their cultural and linguistic proficiency in French through exercises in speaking, writing, listening and reading. Development of intercultural competencies and knowledge of cultural differences between the US and the Francophone world, including such topics as immigration and education, is a focus of this course. Prerequisite: FRE 103. (Language)
206. Francophone Cultural Immersion
French 206 is for students who wish to achieve greater fluency and an understanding of life in a Francophone destination. Past destinations include: Martinique, Aix-en-Provence, Québec and Morocco. The course immerses students in French/Francophone culture through experiential activities and excursions, site visits, group discussion, selected readings and daily interactions with native speakers from the local community, and may include a homestay. Registration entails additional costs. Alternate years. FRE 103. (Language)
254. Bending Boundaries: Francophone Women in Translation
Works by representative women writers will be examined in light of contemporary views of feminism, femininity, and cultural differences. All work in English. No knowledge of French required. May be counted as a 300-level course for French majors with permission of instructor. Offered subject to the availability of faculty. This course also counts towards the GSS major. (Humanities)
265-266. Topics in French or Francophone literature or culture
See Topics Courses.
280/380. Internship: See Additional Academic Programs, All-College Independent Study Courses 280/380.
290/390. Individual Project: See Additional Academic Programs, All-College Independent Study Courses 290/390.
301. Composition and Conversation
Focus on conversational French and refinement of grammar in writing and speaking. Discussion and analysis of current events in the media and exploration of a variety of different genres, including French ads, fait-divers, persuasive essays, comic strips and short narratives. Advanced grammar review, vocabulary acquisition and creation of an on-line blog. Prerequisite: FRE 205 or 206.
302. Advanced Conversation Culture Abroad
For students who wish to achieve greater fluency and an understanding of life in a Francophone destination. Past destinations include: Martinique, Aix-en-Provence, Québec and Morocco. Immersion in French/Francophone culture through experiential activities and excursions, site visits, group discussion, selected readings and daily interactions with native speakers from the local community. May include a homestay. Alternate years. Registration entails additional costs. Prerequisite: FRE 205.
303. Culture of France and Francophone World
Contemporary French and Francophone cultures viewed through the lenses of media, cinema, literature, politics, and popular culture. Students will study the historical, political, geographic, and cultural meanings of the post-colonial term "Francophonie," and will interrogate what it means to be "French" in a globalized world. Coursework includes both formal and informal writing assignments, a mid-term examination, and a final research project with oral presentation. Prerequisite: FRE 205 or FRE 206. FRE 301 is strongly recommended. Alternate years. (Humanities)
311. Introduction to Literature in French
Exploration of a variety of literary genres, including poetry, theatre, the "nouvelle," and the novel. Students develop their reading, writing and speaking proficiency in French through class discussion, close readings, analytical and creative writing assignments. Prerequisite: FRE 301 or permission of instructor. Alternate years. (Humanities)
312. Introduction to French and Francophone Film
This course introduces students to the study of French-language film. They learn about important periods, movements, and directors in French and Francophone filmmaking from the beginning in 1895 with the Lumière brothers through the present, possibly including la Nouvelle Vague (films such as A Bout de souffle and Les Quatre Cent Coups), banlieue cinema (films that focus on or are made by people living in the housing projects surrounding major French cities), and films by Ousmane Sembène (a Senegalese author and director considered by some to be the ‘father of African cinema’). Students develop the critical vocabulary and skills necessary to analyze films as constructed texts and become familiar with the socio-historical contexts in which the films were produced. The course is conducted in French. Prerequisite: FRE 301 or permission of the instructor. Alternate years. (Humanities)
321. Passionate Extremes in Early-Modern France
This course focuses on important cultural texts from the medieval era through the 16th century. French feudal society—a world of chevaliers, courtly love and chivalric honor-- gives way to the rise of monarchical power, brutal religious wars and discoveries of ancient art and knowledge at the dawn of the modern era. Visual, material and aural/oral culture as well as period films will complement our readings of texts. Some readings are in English to provide background historical and cultural information, but all primary texts are in French. Prerequisite: FRE 301 or permission of the instructor. FRE 311 or 312 strongly recommended. Offered every third year. (Humanities)
331. Enlightenment: Eighteenth Century French Literature
France’s fiercely secular understanding of citizenship can be traced back to the Enlightenment period which culminated in the violent revolution of 1789. French philosophes such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, and Montesquieu, united in their belief in the supreme power of human reason, waged fierce opposition to the social and political constraints of religious authority that undergirded the Old Regime and promoted an international republic of letters founded on freedom of expression and human rights. This course focuses on works by the philosophes with attention to the limits of French Enlightenment thinking with respect to differences of race and gender. Alternative voices of important historical actors such as Olympe de Gouges, a feminist abolitionist, and Toussaint l’Ouverture, leader of the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804, will also be considered. Prerequisite: FRE 301. FRE311 or FRE 312 is strongly recommended. Offered every third year. (Humanities)
353. Race and Immigration in French Film
Issues surrounding race and immigration are the focus of much attention in the United States, and such issues are similarly important topics of discussion in France. However, the French context of race and immigration varies from its American counterpart, and this means that related questions are differently defined, constructed, and understood. France's long colonial history plays no small part in generating and continuing conversations on the matters of race and immigration, and its policy of assimilation vis à vis immigrants and (formerly) colonized peoples has frequently resulted in debate, protest, and legislation. We will examine constructions of race and portrayals of immigration in French-language films primarily from France. Special attention will be paid to intersections of class and gender with race and immigration. Readings will be provided to buttress understanding of the historical and social contexts as well as to contribute to comprehension of some critical race theory. This course also counts towards the GSS major. Prerequisite: FRE 301 or permission of the instructor. FRE 311 or 312 strongly recommended. Offered every third year. (Humanities)
354. Sporting Identities
What can an examination of sports tell us about national cultures and identities in the French-speaking world? How do sports affect—and how are they affected by—gender, class, and race? How do sports and sports narratives change over time and how does this influence the meanings and messages they propagate or are made to carry? Do the same sports mean the same things for different cultures, or even for different people? Through various literary and cultural texts—photographs, films, short stories, non-fiction, etc.—we will examine the role of sports and sports narratives in creating, resisting, shifting, or maintaining elements of cultures and identities. Students do not need to have any familiarity with sports to take this class, but they do need to have met the prerequisites for taking upper-level courses in French, as the course will be conducted in French. Prerequisites: This course also counts towards the GSS major. Prerequisite: FRE 301 or permission of the instructor. FRE 311 or 312 strongly recommended. (Humanities)
365-366. Advanced Topics in French or Francophone literature or culture.
See Topics Courses.
411. Capstone: Seminar
The topic varies, but has traditionally focused on the in-depth study of a literary movement, genre, author, or theme. Theoretical discourses in French and Francophone studies or cultural issues are other possible foci for this course. Required of all French majors. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Alternate years. NO S/U option.
412. Independent Capstone Research Project
This option is an independent study course, supervised by a French professor. Students must meet with the professor during the fall semester of their junior year to discuss the expectations and process of the senior capstone research project. Work should be completed as a one-term independent study course during the student’s senior year, and will culminate in a research paper in French. If more than one student chooses to complete an independent capstone research project in the same year, they may work concurrently during the same block in a workshop model, discussing their work with both the professor and one another. NO S/U option.
487. Independent Capstone Research Project
Additional Prerequisites: 3.5 grade point average in French based on a minimum of three 300-level French courses taken at Cornell College.
988. There are language and culture semester programs in France or Francophone countries run by the School for International Training. See School for International Training Programs.
990. Semester in Paris
Cornell students are eligible to participate in Lake Forest College's Paris International Internship Program, a semester featuring intensive language study, culture, and an internship. For further information, see http://www.cornellcollege.edu/french/off-campus/France-LFC.shtml.
991. Semester in Paris
Cornell students are eligible to participate in Central College’s Paris program, a semester featuring intensive language study, culture, and the option of either an internship or service-learning opportunity. For further information, see http://www.central.edu/abroad/paris/