This is a yearlong course offering the equivalent of three semesters of conventional language study. This course includes required practice sessions with a teaching assistant, which are scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Class meetings and practice sessions are supplemented with online activities and written homework. Work in class focuses primarily on developing listening comprehension and speaking skills while reinforcing vocabulary acquisition and the use of grammatical structures. Written exercises, short compositions and elementary reading materials serve to develop writing and reading skills and promote in-class discussion. This course is intended for students who have had no experience with French or are placed in FREN 111Y-112Y on the basis of a placement exam administered during Orientation. Students enrolled in this course are automatically added to FREN 112Y for the spring semester. No prerequisite, Offered every fall.
This course is a continuation of the first semester of intensive introductory French. During the second semester, students further the study of the fundamentals of French including literary and cultural materials, introduced with a view toward increasing reading comprehension and writing ability, expanding vocabulary, and enhancing cultural awareness. This course includes required practice sessions with a teaching assistant, which are scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Prerequisite: FREN 111Y or equivalent with permission of instructor. Offered every spring.
This course is designed for students interested in further developing their ability to speak, write and read French. The course includes a comprehensive grammar review and short cultural and literary readings, which serve as points of departure for class discussion. This course includes required practice sessions with a teaching assistant, which are scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Attendance at a weekly French table is strongly encouraged. Students enrolled in this course are automatically added to FREN 214Y for the spring semester. Prerequisite: FREN 111Y-112Y or equivalent. Offered every fall.
This course is the continuation of the first semester of intermediate French and includes a comprehensive grammar review and short cultural and literary readings, which serve as points of departure for class discussion. This course includes required practice sessions with a teaching assistant, which are scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Attendance at a weekly French table is strongly encouraged. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y or placement. Offered every spring.
This course is designed to provide advanced students with the opportunity to strengthen their abilities to write, read and speak French. The conversation component of the course focuses on the discussion of articles from the current French and Francophone press, films and web sites, with the aim of developing students' fluency in French and their performance of linguistically and culturally appropriate tasks. Through the composition component, students seek to improve their ability to write clearly and coherently in French in both analytic and creative modes. To foster these goals, the course also provides a review of selected advanced grammatical structures and work on literary excerpts. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y–214Y or equivalent. Offered every year.
In this course, we examine representative texts — lyric poems, plays, short stories and novels — from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution. In addition to gaining a greater understanding of French literary history and related social and philosophical trends, students develop skills necessary for close reading, explication de texte and oral discussion. It is especially recommended for students with little or no previous exposure to French literature. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y-214Y or equivalent. Offered every year or alternating with FREN 324.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the study of three major literary genres — poetry, theater and the novel — from the French Revolution to the 21st century. Readings include the works of authors such as Hugo, Baudelaire, Lamartine, Balzac, Mallarmé, Colette, Cocteau, Camus and Sartre. Students gain a deeper understanding of French literary history and its relationship to major social and philosophical movements. In addition to exploring certain themes, we see how the literature reflects important societal and intellectual debates of the time. The course continues the development of the skills of literary analysis, guided discussion and essay writing in French. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y-214Y or equivalent. Offered every year or alternating with FREN 323.
Many of the best-loved and most original writers in French experimented with short forms of fiction while simultaneously cultivating other literary genres. This course focuses on short works of fiction as a means of exploring both the French and Francophone literary tradition and the parameters of the short-story genre. It includes examples of the folk tale, the fairy tale, the philosophical tale, the realist short story, the fantastic tale, the existentialist short story, the fragmentary narrative in the style of the "nouveau roman," and more recent Francophone fiction. Selections from theoretical works also help guide our understanding of the genres of short fiction. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y–214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every third year.
We examine some of the social, cultural and political issues in contemporary France, as well as their historical context, by analyzing representative films and texts from the 20th and 21st centuries. Students are regularly required to view films outside of class. We also read a textbook on contemporary France to supplement the films, and students are required to complete an independent research project on a topic related to class discussions. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y–214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every other year.
This course is designed to build on the oral and written skills of students at the advanced level. Students undertake critical writing, creative writing and performance activities. Coursework also includes attention to pronunciation, with the goal of increasing sensitivity to phonetics, intonation and expressiveness in French. Students regularly perform improvisations, short scenes they write themselves and scenes from authors such as Molière, Beckett and Camus. The largest single component of the course is the analysis, interpretation and staging of a French play or series of scenes in the original. The course will be conducted in French. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y-214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every third year.
This course examines the theme of individual and collective cultural identity in the Francophone novel, focusing primarily on texts from the 1970s to the 21st century. We explore literary expressions of issues of belonging, otherness, migration, ethnicity and assimilation in a wide range of sociocultural and political contexts, including working-class Montreal, rural and urban postcolonial West Africa, Judeo-Maghrebian communities of North Africa, Arab-Muslim immigration in Western Europe, postcolonial and transnational identities in the French Caribbean, and the influence of French culture in Asian and Middle Eastern communities. Authors may include Albert Memmi (Tunisia), Jean-Marie Adiaffi (Ivory Coast), Mariama Bâ (Senegal), Alain Mabanckou (Congo), Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe), Dany Lafferrière (Haiti), Dai Sijie (China), Michel Tremblay (Québec), Antonine Maillet (Acadie) and Leila Houari (Belgium). Secondary readings engage a number of critical approaches, ranging from postcolonial to anthropological-mythological. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y-214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every third year.
This course focuses on lyric poetry from a number of French-speaking regions including Canada, the Antilles and French Guiana, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. In analyzing the poetry, we examine the relationship between concepts of human purpose and dignity, on the one hand, and modern urbanized life, on the other; the sense of connection between the individual and the land; and modes of self-definition in the context of social groups. We read a selection of poems, ranging from those that evoke universalizing images of the human experience to those that reflect and sometimes also advocate intense political engagement with contemporary struggles in the postcolonial world. The work to be studied comes primarily, though not exclusively, from 20th- and 21st-century poets including Paul Chamberland (Québec), Gilles Vigneault (Québec), Anne Hébert (Québec), Aimé Césaire (Martinique), Léon-Gontran Damas (Guiana), Tahar Ben Jelloun (Morocco), Andrée Chédid (Lebanon), Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal), Jean-Marie Adiaffi (Ivory Coast), Véronique Tadjo (Ivory Coast), Jean Arceneaux (Louisiana) and Abd al-Malik (French and Congolese origin). FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y-214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every third year.
The works of French literature and thought in the 17th century embody what the French call le classicisme: the golden age of the national literary tradition. The belief still persists that French literature of the period, such as Racine's tragedies or Boileau's "Art poétique," rivaled the great works of antiquity. This course introduces students to the literature and intellectual history of 17th-century France and examines the concept of the Baroque, the ideals of the classical aesthetic that succeeded it, and the tensions that may lie beneath the classical facade. Readings include such works as Pascal's "Pensées"; plays by Corneille, Molière and Racine; selected poems by La Fontaine; and what is often considered the first psychological novel, "La Princesse de Clèves" by Madame de Lafayette. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y-214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every third year.
We explore the competing forces of la raison and la sensibilité as they affect developing notions of the self and of individual freedom in 18th-century France. Our readings include some of the major works of Enlightenment thought, representative of several genres: philosophical narratives, plays, novels and autobiographical texts by such authors as Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Graffigny and Laclos. Our considerations of the tensions between the heart and reason also provide some glimpses of the underside of the French Enlightenment and reveal an ongoing dialogue between the center (Paris) and a variously constituted periphery. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y-214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every third year.
We read major novels and plays produced during one of the most turbulent eras of French history, from the wake of the French Revolution to the establishment of France's first viable democratic regime, the Third Republic. Works by authors such as Sand, Hugo, Balzac, Flaubert and Zola provide us with a perspective on the social and political upheavals of the time. In addition to interpreting these works in relation to their historical background, we try to understand and compare the authors' aesthetics of literary creation, their understanding of the individual's role in society, and the opposition of idealism and material forces that they portray. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y–214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every third year.
Though centered on the novel, this course may examine various genres including drama, short narrative and even film. Close readings of classic modern texts illuminate questions such as the role and nature of the subject, narrative coherence and incoherence, the incorporation of marginal voices into the literary mainstream, and the relationship between literature and modernism. These texts are situated in historical and intellectual context. Authors studied may include Marcel Proust, Samuel Beckett and Marguerite Duras. This course is designed to accommodate advanced students as well as those with less experience in French literature. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y-214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every third year.
We explore the relationship between poetry and modernity, as well as learn techniques for the close reading of French poetic texts, covering the period from Romanticism to the "Belle Epoque" (early to late 19th century). Authors include Lamartine, Hugo, Desbordes-Valmore, Baudelaire and Rimbaud. The literary and philosophic consequences of the development of a poetic language that rejects all reference to the outside world, striving toward the pure or absolute text, constitutes the primary focus of the course. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y-214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every third year.
Few events in world history were as cataclysmic as the French Revolution. The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the basic events of the revolution and to expose them to the conflicting interpretations of those events, particularly as they are portrayed in literature and film. In so doing, the course will explore different authors' visions of history and the creation of a mythology surrounding the Revolution. Discussion of fictional narratives will be enriched by allusions to revolutionary art and music in order to elucidate the role of symbol in political ideology. Readings will include selected essays and excerpts from historical narratives, as well as major works by Beaumarchais, Balzac, Hugo and Anatole France. We also will discuss major feature films by directors Renoir, Wadja, Gance and others. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y–214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every third year.
The period extending from the belle époque to World War II saw the birth, ascendancy and worldwide influence of French avant-garde poetry. We study this phenomenon chronologically, beginning with the Symbolist "cult of literature" epitomized by poet Stéphane Mallarmé, moving on to "anti-literature" such as the Paris Dada movement, and ending with the Surrealist and post-World War II periods, when the literary avant-garde established itself as a powerful institution in its own right. We study poems and some shorter prose texts by a range of authors including Anna de Noailles, Paul Valéry, Guillaume Apollinaire, Tristan Tzara, Aimé Césaire and André Breton. Also discussed is the relationship between literature and other arts such as painting and film. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y-214Y or equivalent. Generally offered every third year.
From "Tintin au Congo" (1929) -- which is still at the core of controversies about the representations of Africa and Africans by European colonizers — to "Le Bleu est une couleur chaude" (2010) — which inspired the movie that was awarded the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival — this course explores and analyzes the forms and contents of a peculiar set of narratives: the bande dessinée and the animated films of the Francophone world. Through intensive weekly reading of scholarly articles and excerpts, bandes dessinées, films and animated films in French, we study the historical and aesthetic evolutions of the so-called "9e art" along with a wide sample of themes it illustrates: the colonization of Africa and its postcolonial aftermath; the history of slavery, queer and gender issues and a diverse range of coming-of-age narratives; the linguistic tensions in Acadian Canada; the Asterix myth; a modern perspective on African society far from the Third World clichés; the forced migration and identity crisis of a Korean War orphan; or the humorous discovery of Paris by a Japanese Mangaka. A Francophone graphic novelist visits and works with us during the semester. FREN 321 is recommended. Prerequisite: FREN 213Y-214Y or placement. Generally offered every third year.
This course offers an opportunity to study on an individual basis an area of special interest — literary, cultural or linguistic — under the regular supervision of a faculty member. It is offered primarily to candidates for honors, to majors and, under special circumstances, to potential majors and minors. Individual study is intended to supplement, not to take the place of, regular courses in the curriculum of each language program. Staff limitations restrict this offering to a very few students. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the MLL department willing to direct the project and, in consultation with him or her, write a one-page proposal for the IS. It must be approved by the department chair before the individual study can go forward. The proposal should specify the schedule of reading and/or writing assignments and the schedule of meeting periods. The amount of work in an IS should approximate that required on average in regular courses of corresponding levels. Typically, an IS earns the student 0.25 or 0.5 units of credit. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet with the instructor one hour per week. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study by the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval.