Fall 2022

True or False

Listed in: French, as FREN-329


Sanam Nader-Esfahani (Section 01)


How can we be certain of the veracity of what we perceive? What do we do when our methods and objects of knowledge are put into question? What is meant by “fact,” “evidence,” “reality,” “truth,” “theory,” “fiction,” “opinion,” “belief,” or “falsehood”? What are the factors that grant authority to certain figures and media, and what are the elements that lead us to dismiss others as unreliable sources? Is the distortion of reality always harmful, or can it help to unveil certain truths? How do we reconcile our search for reality with our desire for fiction? To what extent is fiction beneficial, and even necessary, and when does it become dangerous?

These are some of the questions that will guide our study of works of fiction and non-fiction from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. With a focus on early modern France, the course may address subjects such as language and knowledge, developments in science and technology, the burgeoning gazette or news industry, the European encounter with the American continent or “New World,” the French wars of religion, and the culture of dissimulation. Readings may include figures such as Paré, Marguerite de Navarre, Montaigne, Aubigné, Descartes, Galileo, Georges and Madeleine de Scudéry, and Madame de Lafayette. Conducted in French. 

Requisite: One of the following--FREN-207, FREN-208 or the equivalent. Fall semester: Professor Nader-Esfahani.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Instruction in languages other than English -- Speaking, reading, writing, and aural comprehension in languages other than English -- Readings -- Textual analyses -- Some visual and aural analysis -- Emphasis on written work -- Formal and informal presentations -- Some group work -- Some creative work

FREN 329 - LEC

Section 01
M 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CONV 308
W 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CONV 308


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2025