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Academics

Undergraduate Program

French and Francophone Studies encompasses both the mastery of French language skills and the study of the broad French and francophone intellectual traditions, including the literature, culture and history of France, French Canada and other francophone countries in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Along with a high level of competence in an important world language, majors acquire a broad knowledge of one of the world’s most dynamic cultural traditions and its complex relations with other countries and cultures around the world. Major requirements are flexible enough to allow students to combine coursework in French language, literature and culture with related programs of study, including majors and minors in other fields and certificate programs. Students are encouraged to pursue double majors. A study-abroad program in Paris (with both academic-year and semester-long options) is sponsored by UMass and is recommended for all students interested in French language and culture.

Graduate Program

The French and Francophone Studies Program offers three degree options at the graduate level for students with a variety of backgrounds and career objectives: the Master of Arts, the Master of Arts Portfolio (an option under the MA), and the Master of Arts in Teaching.

The MA program has an excellent record in preparing students for admission to some of the top PhD programs in the country, sending students just since 2009 to doctoral programs at Yale, Princeton, Brown, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, Northwestern, Penn State, Tulane, University of Connecticut and UMass Amherst. And because of the flexible, interdisciplinary nature of our programs, we have prepared students for doctoral programs not only in French, but also in history, applied linguistics, education, comparative literature and political science, as well as for careers in translation and interpretation. Likewise, our MAT program has prepared students for positions at some of the best public and private secondary schools throughout the region, as well as for doctoral programs in education.

FRENCH COURSE DESCRIPTIONS SPRING 2018

For more details on courses please contact the professor of the course.

FREN 110 – ELEMENTARY FRENCH I 3 credits

An introduction to French with an emphasis on acquiring a basic level of proficiency in the language and an understanding of France and the Francophone world. Speaking French from day one, students practice the language through listening comprehension/speaking activities, vocabulary and grammar exercises, meaningful readings, video segments, and Web activities devoted to French and Francophone language and culture. Texts: Voilà 6th edition (loose-leaf version of the textbook) along with I-Learn electronic 2 year web access. Students will order this information from a microsite provided by the publisher.

Requirements: daily presence and participation, tests, compositions, and a final exam.

FREN 120 – ELEMENTARY FRENCH II 3 credits

A second-semester elementary French course: a continuation of FREN 110 with emphasis on acquiring basic level of proficiency in the language and understanding of the culture of France and the Francophone world. Speaking French from day one, students practice the language through listening comprehension/speaking activities, vocabulary and grammar exercises, meaningful readings, video segments, and Web activities devoted to French and Francophone language and culture. Texts: Voilà 6th edition (loose-leaf version of the textbook) along with I-Learn electronic 2 year web access. Students will order this information from a microsite provided by the publisher.

Requirements: daily presence and participation, tests, compositions, and a final exam

FREN 230 - INTERMEDIATE FRENCH I 3 credits

Course taught in French.

Students review grammar points learned in elementary French and study more complex grammatical structures. The course is designed to improve: (1) listening comprehension, through class lecture and discussion; (2) speaking proficiency, through exercises on vocabulary and pronunciation; (3) reading comprehension, through analysis of cultural readings; and (4) writing ability, through frequent assignments.

Prerequisite: FREN 120, 126, or 2-3 years of high school French.

FREN 240 – Intermediate French II: Four Skills 3 credits

Course taught in French.

Practice with the four skills: reading, writing, understanding, and speaking. Readings of contemporary literary texts. Review of grammar as questions arise. Requirements: compositions, quizzes, midterm and final. Prerequisite: FREN 230 or equivalent. Suitable for students who plan to continue beyond the 240 level. This course completes the CHFA Language Requirement.

FREN 273- ADVANCED CONVERSATION 3 credits

Course taught in French.

Conversation practice on assigned topics. Dictation of prepared texts to improve listening comprehension. Recitation of short passages of French poetry and prose to improve pronunciation. Prerequisites: Completion of a French 240 level course.

FREN 285 – LANGUAGE SUITE CONVERSATION, 2 credits

Thatcher House, By Arrangement

Course taught in French.

Designed as part of the living-learning community in Thatcher Language House. Improves knowledge of the French language with emphasis on oral skills. Builds vocabulary, develops ability to understand and communicate more freely in the language by focusing on social and cultural issues. Honors Colloquium (FREN 285HH) available

FREN 289- ST: PARIS THROUGH THE CENTURIES 4 credits Prof. Philippe Baillargeon

Course taught in English.

The aim of this course is to provide an in-depth geographical, historical, and cultural perspective of the city of Paris beginning with the Gallo-Roman period and ending with the Paris of today. Each lecture will focus on a historical event or trans-historical topic whose origins and unique aspects we learn about through an analysis of cultural, artistic, architectural, cinematographic, and literary references. (Gen.Ed. HS)

FREN 353- AFRICAN FILM 4 credits Prof. Patrick Mensah

Course taught in English.

Histories and development of African Francophone and Caribbean film, from its inception to the present day. The sociocultural, economic, and political forces and imperatives defining its forms and directions. Questions this work raises in film aesthetics and theory as a whole. Screenings and analysis of films by Sembene, Achkar, Kabore, Mweze, Cisse, Drabo, Bekolo, Teno, Peck, Palcy, Lara, Haas, and others. (Gen.Ed. AT, G)

FREN 371 – ADVANCED GRAMMAR 3 credits Prof. Emmanuel Buzay

Course taught in French.

The first of two consecutive courses devoted to advanced grammar review and composition (followed by French 473). Extensive written practice with various grammatical structures, frequent short writing assignments, introduction to literary analysis.

FREN 386- ORIGINS TO 1945 3 credits Prof. Philippe Baillargeon

Course taught in French.

Introduction to the way the French look at their own political, social, and cultural history; a study of some institutions, events, and figures that help understand French people today. Prerequisite: FRENCHST 240 level or equivalent, preferably 250 level. Non-majors may write papers and exams in English. (Gen.Ed. HS)

FREN 397F-ST- INTRO/SCIFI & FANTASY 3 credits Prof. Emmanuel Buzay

Course taught in French.

This class is open to all students with an intermediate level of French and will examine the utopian and dystopian aspects of contemporary French science fiction and fantasy literature. The course will focus on the main characteristics of French science fiction and fantasy literature in the 20th and 21st centuries through the study of three novels, a short story anthology, and a comic book. The common theme that all these narratives share is how humanity envisions its evolution—as can be seen through the exploration of how Jules Verne, magicians, witches, and dragons fit together in uchronic and steampunk possible worlds. The science fiction texts also address the related themes of the very limits of the differences between men and animals and the posthuman agenda. Finally, based on these narratives, this course will explore the topic of the figure of the resistant hero, as it is culturally marked, and interrogate the epic character of heroism and the transmission of heroic values in French culture.

Prerequisites: 4 semesters of French (Fr. 110, 120, 230, 240) or 4 years of high-school French

FREN 444- 18th CENTURY THEATRE & NOVEL 3 credits Prof. Patrick Mensah

Course taught in French.

The French Enlightenment involved a critical renewal of European political and philosophical self-understanding through an iconoclastic revision of literary and philosophical representational forms associated with the ancien regime. This ?renewal? entailed a rethinking of the role of reason in political and social life, a re-conception of gender relations, and a redefinition of Europe?s relationship with non-European cultures. We will follow the staging of this triple agenda in the works (novels and plays) of Montesquieu, Beaumarchais, Marivaus, Rousseau, Diderot, Laclos, Prevost, Voltaire, and other luminaries of the Encyclopedie movement.

FREN 455- 19th CENTURY NOVEL 3 credits Prof. Luke Bouvier

Course taught in French.

Study of major trends in the nineteenth-century French novel. Specific topics will vary and may focus on a specific movement, author or theme.

FREN 473 – COMPOSITION 3 credits Prof. Luke Bouvier/Prof. Eva Valenta

Course taught in French.

The second of two consecutive courses devoted to advanced grammar review and composition (following French 371). Extensive written practice with various grammatica structures, frequent short writing assignments, introduction to literary analysis.

FREN 494SI- SENIOR SEMINAR 3 credits Prof. Eva Valenta

The course taught in French.

Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement. It aims to provide advanced students of French the opportunity to reflect collectively upon the entirety of their experience as French majors and to discuss the relation of their French major to their broader University education as well as to all of the learning opportunities, possibly including study abroad, that they have explored in the last few years. We will use critical reading and thinking skills to examine how art (literature, film) helps us think about the complex relationships we as individuals and as members of a specific society maintain with the political, social, and cultural world around us. Requirements: oral presentations, short papers, exams. Active and regular participation in class is required.

FREN 498Y – Language Suite Conversation, 2 credits

Thatcher House, by Arrangement

This is a practicum course designed as an apprenticeship for students interested in teaching and mentoring their peers and taking a leadership role in the residential Thatcher House French community. Eligible students must be proficient in French beyond the 300 level, ideally with native or near-native speaking, reading and writing ability. In peer group tutoring sessions, undergraduate TAs help fellow students with various areas including conversation, vocabulary, grammar, literary and cultural assignments. They are also responsible for facilitating joint projects such as the annual Thatcher Conference presentations, Photostory digital narration, cultural events such as the Fête des Crèpes and annual trip to Montreal.

FREN 597E - ST-TEACHER IN THE MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM 2 credits Prof. Rhonda Tarr

FREN 644- 18th CENTURY LITERATURE 3 credits Prof. Patrick Mensah

Course taught in French.

Variable topics, including chief writers and thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment; the satirical novel and the sentimental novel, and readings in the French theater from LeSage to Beaumarchais.

FREN 655- 19th CENTURY ROMANTIC NOVEL 3 credits Prof. Luke Bouvier 

 


Photo: La Grand-Place in Brussels, Belgium.