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Course Descriptions

French (FREN)

To view the complete schedule of courses for
each semester, go to Cardinal Station.

FREN 101: Elementary French I

4.00 Credits

Designed for students with little or no prior experience with French. Introduction to the basic principles of language necessary for written and oral communication. Students use fundamental vocabulary and grammar structures to talk about daily life and gain insights into aspects of Francophone culture through simple readings and Internet activities. Students who took the language in high school for more than one year MUST take the language placement test before registering for this or any other language course in order to receive proper credit. Undergraduate Language courses 101-113 are subject to an Instructional Fee at the time of registration. For current Tuition and Fees visit http://enrollmentservices.cua.edu/Student-Financial-Information/Costs.cfm.

FREN 102: Elementary French II

4.00 Credits

Continuation of French 101. Students talk and write about the present, past and future and continue to explore Francophone culture through readings and Internet activities. Prerequisite: C- or better in French 101, appropriate placement score or equivalent. During the summer this class meets five times a week. Undergraduate Language courses 101-113 are subject to an Instructional Fee at the time of registration. For current Tuition and Fees visit http://enrollmentservices.cua.edu/Student-Financial-Information/Costs.cfm.

FREN 103: Intermediate French I

3.00 Credits

Students build their communication skills by discussing and writing about topics drawn from readings and films focused on Francophone culture. Prerequisite: C- or better in French 102 or 112, or equivalent. During the summer class meets five days per week. Undergraduate Language courses 101-113 are subject to an Instructional Fee at the time of registration. For current Tuition and Fees visit http://enrollmentservices.cua.edu/Student-Financial-Information/Costs.cfm.

FREN 104: Intermediate French II

3.00 Credits

Students develop the skills necessary to understand literary and cultural texts and films in French as they consider contemporary questions involving the evolution of identity in the Francophone world. Includes vocabulary expansion and integration and refinement of grammar. Prerequisite: C- or above in 103 or equivalent. During the summer class meets five days per week. Undergraduate Language courses 101-113 are subject to an Instructional Fee at the time of registration. For current Tuition and Fees visit http://enrollmentservices.cua.edu/Student-Financial-Information/Costs.cfm.

FREN 112: Review of Elementary French

4.00 Credits

Designed for students who have two or more years of high school French and for those whose study of French has been interrupted for a period of time. Intensive review course that combines the objectives of French 101 and 102 in one semester. Prerequisite: Appropriate score on the SAT II or the CUA placement test. Undergraduate Language courses 101-113 are subject to an Instructional Fee at the time of registration. For current Tuition and Fees visit http://enrollmentservices.cua.edu/Student-Financial-Information/Costs.cfm.

FREN 203: Advanced French I: Themes in Literature & Culture

3.00 Credits

French 203 provides a transition between the language requirement (101-104) and advanced courses (300+). We will focus on consolidating previously learned language skills through discussions of texts, films, and contemporary events, debates, writing workshops, and grammar review.

FREN 204: Advanced French II: Introduction to French Cinema

3.00 Credits

French 204 is the continuation of French 203. In this semester, we will focus more narrowly on cinema and the introduction of advanced grammatical concepts.

FREN 205: French Conversation

3.00 Credits

This course is designed to develop conversation skills with an emphasis on accurate pronunciation, new and varied vocabulary, and proper expression. Various media will be used, such as film clips, newspaper articles and modern Francophone music. The ultimate goal is to enable students to improve their language skills significantly through a better understanding of France and the Francophone world. Course conducted entirely in French. Prerequisite: French 104.

FREN 210: France and Germany and the Construction of the European Community

3.00 Credits

The course is about the crucial role of France and Germany at the end of WWII, leading to the development of the European Community. Students will study the international context at the time of the cold war from and within which the European Union was born. They will explore how after three wars in less than a century, the french-German cooperation in culture, economy, politics, has manages to secure peace and harmony in a continent previously shattered by conflicts. Taught in English. Based on lectures, class discussions and video material.

FREN 211: French and Italian Women Writers

3.00 Credits

no description available

FREN 211D: French and Italian Women Writers DISCUSSION

1.00 Credits

no description available

FREN 213: Topics in French-American Relationship

3.00 Credits

This course will compare the French and American electoral systems. It will address different aspects such as: the number and structure of the political parties, the financing and the ruling of the campaigns, the electoral 'stage' and the role and use of the media - TV ads, advertising, debates - in the two countries. In the last part of the course, students will reflect about the notion of 'sovereignty of the people' in the two oldest democracies of the Western world.

FREN 216A: Food Culture in France (French Discussion Section

1.00 Credits

This is a French-language discussion section for French 316, "Food Culture in France." Activities will include discussions (of French language excerpts, topics from class, etc.), debates, role-plays, etc. Can only be taken in conjunction with French 316.

FREN 217: Versailles: The Architecture of Power

3.00 Credits

An examination of the relationship between cultural forms (architecture, art, music, opera, ballet, literature, etc.) and power at the court of Louis XIV. In addition to studying primary texts and cultural artifacts, we will read the work of modern historians and watch recent films that depict life during this fascinating period of French history. Discussion and readings in English.

FREN 220: Pirates of the Caribbean in Atlantic Literature

3.00 Credits

Whether as freebooters, buccaneers, corsairs, privateers, marauders, swashbucklers or sea rovers, pirates have long captured the Atlantic imagination. But why? This course interrogates the concept of piracy from its earliest manifestations to our present day. We will focus primarily on the "golden age" of Atlantic piracy in the 17th and 18th centuries and its artistic re-imagining in the 19th and 20th centuries. Taught in English. Fulfills humanities and literature requirements.

FREN 240: Colonization & Immigration

3.00 Credits

This course examines the difficulties encountered by the French governments in dealing with the African immigrant populations coming from the former colonies after the Independence. Main topics: 1. The French notion of 'laïcité,' 2. The French Muslin community and the secular state, 3. Comparison between French and American policies regarding immigration and minorities, 4. Social integration and multiculturalism. Course methodology: introductory lecture, class discussions, movies reviewing and analysis, students' oral presentations. Taught in English.

FREN 242: From Earth to the Moon: Rockets, Space Travel and Imagination in Fren. and Francophone Lit. and Film

3.00 Credits

What has compelled scientists and poets alike to look up into the sky and dream of walking on the Moon? In our search for an answer, we will travel back to the 17th century to witness the dawn of science-fiction, then traced the history of space travel through novels, films, treatises, news articles, presidential speeches and graphic novels of French and Francophone origin. We will discuss the ethics of space travel, the role of space travel in literature and in the popular imagination, and what the lure of the unknown teaches us about human nature. This class, taught in English, fulfills humanities and literature requirements.

FREN 251: The French Colonial Project and the "Civilizing Mission"

3.00 Credits

This course offers a description and reflection on the French colonization and decolonization process from the Third Republic to the present. Particular attention will be paid to the ideology of colonialism and its consequences regarding the integration of minorities into mainstream French culture and society. Starting with a series of introductory lectures, the course will rely heavily on student participation. In addition, several contemporary French films about the issues at hand will be screened and discussed. Course taught in English; films with English subtitles.

FREN 272: Politics & Culture in France & United States

3.00 Credits

This course is intended to introduce students to the great sweep of political history and culture in two self-styled exceptionalist countries that share so many political values yet are so fundamentally different. Prior introductory courses in Politics and French are helpful but not required; no prior knowledge is assumed. The course will also provide background for an anticipated future summer short-course in Paris.

FREN 275: The French "Exception" from Clovis to Hollande

3.00 Credits

The purpose of this course is to show that France has always considered itself a privileged country, apart from all others in the West, and endowed with a universal destiny. Following an interdisciplinary approach, the theme of Exceptionality will be developed along French history through examples in popular culture, literature and arts, politics and society. The course will be taught in English. No prerequisites. Counts for humanities credit.

FREN 279: Borders, Exile, & War in the Mashrek: Rep. in Media, Film, & Lit of the Francophone Middle East

3.00 Credits

Considering current unprecedented influxes of refugees across borders in the Middle East, this course examines the concepts of borders, exile, and war in this politically scarred region. Through a variety of Francophone texts and films in translation, students explore the culture and history of this region and examine the following themes: identities in conflict, the representation of History and memory, and the implications of reconciliation. Taught in English. Fulfills humanities and literature requirements.

FREN 300: Thinking Critically: Literature, Film, and Media in the French-Speaking World

3.00 Credits

French 300 focuses on the acquisition of analytical skills through close reading and textual analysis. Here 'text' is used in its broadest sense; students will become familiar with and able to analyze a host of literary genres and types of texts, from novels and plays to political tracts, propaganda, paintings and film. In addition to honing students' analytical skills, this course is designed to introduce students to some of the key texts in French and Francophone literature and culture. Taught in French.

FREN 301: Society and Culture in the French-Speaking World

3.00 Credits

This course provides students with the necessary historical background and social and cultural context to analyze contemporary issues in the French-speaking world. Students will study the appropriate historical and contextual framework in order to critically analyze contemporary issues. By completing a series of modules students will become familiar with both the key historical events and the contemporary debates in the French-speaking world. Required for majors and recommended for any students who will enroll in 300-level and higher courses. Fulfills humanities and literature requirement. Prerequisite: 203-204, 211.

FREN 302: Introduction to Francophone Literature and Culture

3.00 Credits

There is an astonishing breadth of literature and culture produced in French that exists outside of the French metropole: from the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, to the Republic of the Congo in Central Africa, to the archipelago of islands in the Caribbean. This course will provide students with the tools to discussing and analyzing Francophone literature and culture, familiarizing them with the historical context of slavery and empire and the complex relationships and ideologies that shape the contemporary Francophone world. In addition to interrogating the concept of Francophonie and questions of language, writing, nation, and identity in 20th-century Francophone literature, students will engage with a broad corpus of texts (film, theater, art and architecture) from different Francophone regions. In addition to written assignments students will work on a semester-long research project culminating with a mini-colloquium that will be held at the Haitian Embassy.

FREN 306: Contemporary France

3.00 Credits

A study of and a reflection on the main social and cultural issues in contemporary France, from the sixties to the present. Material will come from different sources that reflect ways of life and mentalities in French society: newspapers, fashion, movies, advertising, music, etc. Students' assignments will include an oral presentation, an active contribution to course discussion, and a term paper.

FREN 328: The Art of Paris

3.00 Credits

This course offers an introduction to the art, literature, history, and culture of the City of Lights. Through field trips, assigned readings, class discussions, and on-site visits to a selection of the city's many splendind sacred sites, magnificent museums, and historic monuments, students will encounter the history and culture of one of the world's most venerable and beautiful capitals. Particular attention will be paid to art works and texts that have helped to define French culture and style throughout the ages.

FREN 330: Practical Phonetics

3.00 Credits

An overview of French pronunciation, phonetics, and oral reading. By means of oral practice and written exercises, students enhance their awareness of the sound system of French and, as a result, improve their own pronunciation, making it more authentic and eliminating serious errors typically made by non-native speakers. Recommended for subconcentrators and Modern Languages/Secondary Education concentrators.

FREN 401: French for Business

3.00 Credits

This course is designed for students who already have a solid background in French grammar and who wish to acquire an understanding of French business intstitutions and practices, an awareness of differences between French and American business cultures, a knowledge of terms and expressions used in the business setting, and the ability both to interact with others in a business setting and to compose business letters, memos, reports, and other documents.

FREN 402: Translation in Theory and Practice

3.00 Credits

French 402 provides an introduction to translation theory, with the majority of class time being devoted to translations to and from French. Students will translate literary and non-literary texts, short film clips, advertisements and radio excerpts. Through intensive translation practice students increase their linguistic competence and they practice rhetorical, stylistic, semantic and syntactic structures of French. Prerequisite: French 300 or 301.

FREN 488: Special Topics Seminar

3.00 Credits

This seminar is an intensive research seminar that focuses on a topic related to French literature[s] and culture[s]. The seminar will help students develop strong research skills (identifying a problem, defining a thesis, establishing a coherent methodological approach, selecting relevant primary and secondary sources, mastering MLA style). Students will also practice to prepare and deliver scholarly oral presentation and prepare a 10-pages seminar paper. The specific course content varies. Required for all graduating seniors. Prerequisite: Graduating senior or instructor's permission. May be repeated with different content for credit.

FREN 489: Research Seminar

3.00 Credits

Students will write a senior thesis in French, at least 20 pages in length, excluding title page and bibliography. This seminar will continue to strengthen students's research skills learned in FREN 488, and further develop argumentation strategies, use of textual support, application of critical and theoretical literature, editing techniques, and oral presentation style. After completing the senior comprehensive examinations, students will continue to refine their thesis and prepare for a formal public oral presentation in French of their research project at the end of the semester. The evaluation will be based on classwork, weekly assignments, the final version of the senior thesis, and the formal oral presentation. Required for senior concentrators in French. Open to senior concentrators only.

FREN 495: French Internship

3.00 Credits

FREN 495 is a for-credit internship open to French studies majors. The course is designed to allow students to apply their knowledge of the French language and their cultural knowledge in the workplace while further developing their competence. French for Business is strongly recommended. Students must get approval from the French academic advisor in the semester prior to taking the course in order to begin plans for the internship. A minimum of 100 hours in the internship are required plus weekly meetings with the internship coordinator.

FREN 498: Undergraduate Comprehensive Examination

0 Credits

no description available

FREN 500: Reading for Comprehension

0 Credits

Teaches the fundamentals of the French language and offers considerable practice in reading texts. Passing this course fulfills the graduate language requirement. Additional preparation may be needed for advanced requirements in some schools or programs. Cost equivalent to that of a three-credit course.

FREN 503A: Tocqueville's Political Thought: Hope, Religion, and Democracy

3.00 Credits

Following a presentation of Alexis de Tocqueville's life and work, this course aims to generate a reflection on the political, social, and morale characteristics of modern democracy in the West. The course will unfold in four parts: a description of the basic principles of democracy as a political and civil society; the role of faith and religion in a democratic society; a comparative approach of the advent and development of modern democracy in France and in the U.S.; a critical assessment regarding the loyalty of our society to the original democratic principles and values defined by Tocqueville.

FREN 503B: Crucial Cultural & Political Differences between France & America two centuries after Tocqueville

3.00 Credits

This class analyses the core cultural and political differences between the French and the American democracies as they were shaped through the historical process from their foundation to the present. Based on Alexis de Tocqueville's two main works, Democracy in America and the Old Regime and the Revolution, it will focus on specific notions such as: the relationship between religion and politics, the work ethics and the market economy, the role of the civil associations in the fabric of the social bond, the power of the central state. After a series of introductory lectures, the class will rely strongly on student participation and initiatives. The course will be taught in English. This course is opened to Undergraduate students with consent of the instructor.

FREN 509: Intro to Old French

3.00 Credits

Study of Old French phonology and morphology and translation of excerpts from earliest works. Students acquire a reading knowledge of Old French. Taught in English. Knowledge of foreign languages, especially modern French is helpful but not necessary.

FREN 515: Courtly/Uncourtly: Medieval Lays and Fabliaux

3.00 Credits

This course explores what happens when the idealized love situation defined in troubadour lyric is given a longer life--in short narratives such as lays, fabliaux, and nouvelles. All texts are available in bilingual format: Old French/Occitan and modern English or French. Knowledge of Old French is not required.