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Academics

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 2019

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 a large number of topics. Develops ability to use and understand spoken French in a variety of social situations and helps build vocabulary of informal French.  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, open to all UMass students of French. 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.

 

FREN 297U–THE UNDEAD SOUTHS: SOUTHERN GOTHIC & FRANCOPHONE MYTHOLOGIES, 3 credits,  Prof. Patrick Mensah

 

Course taught in English.Paying due attention to their affiliations with Francophone and French Creole cultures and mythologies of the Caribbean and the American South, this course will explore representations of the undead, such as zombies, vampires, and related paranormal creatures of the Southern Gothic tradition on film and television. We shall examine popular entertainment media narratives of such paranormal phenomena and related critical scholarship, treating them as figures and tropes of displaced social anxieties and commentaries through which evolving personal, cultural, historical and sociopolitical themes are articulated and negotiated. Themes to be examined would include, the history of slavery, colonial and postcolonial relations, creolization, religion, cultural difference, globalization, minority relations, civil rights, issues of sexuality, money, class relations, terror, ecological degradation, as well as questions of dystopian, utopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic narrative interest.

 

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. Dianne Sears

 

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. Prerequisite FREN 250 or FREN 240 with a minimum grade of B+.

 

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 397D: FRENCH FOR DIPLOMACY AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, 3 credits, Prof. Emmanuel Buzay

 

Course taught in French. Beginning with a brief introduction to the main characteristics of French diplomacy, as well as to the diplomatic network of French-speaking countries, this class will then focus on providing the necessary linguistic skills to meet three main objectives: 1) the ability to give presentations and organize meetings in international organizations and institutions; 2) the knowledge of how to organize activities within a mission, how to interact with others during that mission, and how to write professionally for the purposes of the mission; and 3) the capability to communicate during an international conference (give a presentation, offer the description of a project, participate in a debate). In sum, this course provides students with knowledge of the technical language and discourses of French for diplomacy and international relations, and is of particular interest for students who wish to pursue careers in diplomacy, international relations, journalism, human rights, and hospitality management. Prerequisite: 4 semesters of French (Fr. 110, 120, 230, 240) or 4 years of high-school French

 

FREN 397S- ST- THE FRENCH SHORT STORY, 3 credits, Prof. Eva Valenta

 

Course taught in French.Our objective in this course will be both literary and cultural.  Starting with the 19thcentury writers Flaubert and Maupassant and continuing with the short prose works of such 20thand 21stcentury authors as Colette, Thomas,Sartre, Camus, Duras, Ernaux, Tournier, Le Clezio, Gavalda, Saumontand Schmitt, we will examine and discuss the succession and the interplay of major socio-political, intellectual and literary trends and upheavals that transformed French society from the late 19thto the early 21stcentury. All readings, discussion and papers will be in French.

 

FREN 457- 19thCENTURY POETRY, 3 credits, Prof. Luke Bouvier

 

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 grammatical structures, frequent short writing assignments, introduction to literary analysis.

 

FREN 494SI- SENIOR SEMINAR, 3 credits, Prof. Dianne Sears

 

Course taught in French. The objective of this course is to offer a panoramic vision of French literature from the Middle Ages to the 21st century through a wide variety of representative literary texts, plays and films centered on the problematic of identity. We examine major currents and literary genres from the late Middle Ages to the beginning of the 21st century, studying political, social, and cultural contexts in conjunction with different conceptions of the modern subject in operation during each of the different time periods. The course, taught entirely in French, satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-French study majors. Requirements: oral presentations, two short papers, two hour exams. Active and regular participation in class is required.

 

FREN 497J: FOLLOWING IN JULES VERNE’S FOOTSTEPS: AN INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY FRENCH STEAMPUNK, 3 credits, Prof. Emmanuel Buzay

 

Course taught in French. In this class we will explore worlds filled with sea-world mechanics linked to the magic of electricity, mysterious gear-filled machines that go under water and in the sky, and steam-powered engines. What are these fictional worlds? They are instances of steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy, in which the old and new, the real and the imaginary, technology and at times the supernatural mix together to create fascinating fictional worlds that allow us to explore essential questions concerning our own world and ourselves. This class is open to all students with an advanced level of French and will examine recent French steampunk narratives inspired by Jules Verne’s novels, especially 20,000 Leagues Under the Seaand The Mysterious Island. The course will focus on the main characteristics of French steampunk fiction in the 20th and 21st centuries through the study of a short story anthology, two comic books, and two videogames. One common theme of these works is the depiction of the Nautilus, the fictional submarine imagined by Jules Verne; we will explore this common thread in all of these narratives to question the idea of progress and civilization. Finally, we will focus on the relation between Jules Verne and the USA in some of these works, as well as what this fictional relationship between Verne and the USA could mean for us nowadays.
 

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

 

FREN 657- 19thCENTURY POETRY, 3 credits, Prof. Luke Bouvier

 

FREN 697J: FOLLOWING IN JULES VERNE’S FOOTSTEPS: AN INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY FRENCH STEAMPUNK, 3 credits, Prof. Emmanuel Buzay

 

Course taught in French.In this class we will explore worlds filled with sea-world mechanics linked to the magic of electricity, mysterious gear-filled machines that go under water and in the sky, and steam-powered engines. What are these fictional worlds? They are instances of steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy, in which the old and new, the real and the imaginary, technology and at times the supernatural mix together to create fascinating fictional worlds that allow us to explore essential questions concerning our own world and ourselves. This class is open to all students with an advanced level of French and will examine recent French steampunk narratives inspired by Jules Verne’s novels, especially 20,000 Leagues Under the Seaand The Mysterious Island. The course will focus on the main characteristics of French steampunk fiction in the 20th and 21st centuries through the study of a short story anthology, two comic books, and two videogames. One common theme of these works is the depiction of the Nautilus, the fictional submarine imagined by Jules Verne; we will explore this common thread in all of these narratives to question the idea of progress and civilization. Finally, we will focus on the relation between Jules Verne and the USA in some of these works, as well as what this fictional relationship between Verne and the USA could mean for us nowadays.

 


Photo: La Grand-Place in Brussels, Belgium.