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Amherst College French for 2012-13

101 Elementary French

This course features intensive work on French grammar, with emphasis on the acquisition of basic active skills (speaking, reading, writing and vocabulary building). We will be using the multimedia program French in Action which employs only authentic French, allowing students to use the language colloquially and creatively in a short amount of time. Three hours a week for explanation and demonstration, plus small sections with French assistants. This course prepares students for FREN 103. For students without previous training in French.

Fall semester: Visiting Lecturer Alquier and Assistants. Spring semester: Senior Lecturer Uhden and Assistants.

2016-17: Offered in Fall 2016
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

103 Intermediate French

Intensive review and coverage of all basic French grammar points with emphasis on the understanding of structural and functional aspects of the language and acquisition of the basic active skills (speaking, reading, writing and systematic vocabulary building). We will be using French in Action, the multimedia program. Three hours a week for explanation and demonstration, plus small sections with French assistants. This course prepares students for FREN 205.

Requisite: FREN 101 or two years of secondary school French. Fall semester: Visitng Lecturer Alquier and Assistants.  Spring semester:Senior Lecturer Uhden and Assistants.

2016-17: Offered in Fall 2016
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

205 Language and Literature

An introduction to the critical reading of French literary and non-literary texts; a review of French grammar; training in composition, conversation and listening comprehension. Texts will be drawn from significant short stories, poetry and films. The survey of different literary genres serves also to contrast several views of French culture. Supplementary work with audio and video materials. Successful completion of FREN 205 prepares students for FREN 207, 208, 311 or 312. Conducted in French. Three hours a week.

Requisite: FREN 103 or three to four years of secondary school French. Fall semester: Professor de la Carrera and Visiting Lecturer Baillargeon.  Spring semester:  Professor de la Carrera.

2016-17: Offered in Fall 2016
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

207 Introduction to French Literature and Culture

Through class discussion, debates, and frequent short papers, students develop effective skills in self-expression, analysis, and interpretation. Literary texts, articles on current events, and films are studied within the context of the changing structures of French society and France’s complex relationship to its recent past. Assignments include both creative and analytic approaches to writing. Some grammar review as necessary, as well as work on understanding spoken French using video materials. Highly recommended for students planning to study abroad.

Requisite: FREN 205, or completion of AP French, or four years of secondary school French in a strong program. Fall semester: Professors Hewitt and Katsaros.  Spring semester:  Visiting Lecturer Alquier and Professor Rockwell.

2016-17: Offered in Fall 2016
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

208 French Conversation

To gain as much confidence as possible in idiomatic French, we discuss French social institutions and culture, trying to appreciate differences between French and American viewpoints. Our conversational exchanges will touch upon such topics as French education, art and architecture, the status of women, the spectrum of political parties, minority groups, religion, and the position of France and French-speaking countries in the world. Supplementary work with audio and video materials.

Requisite: FREN 205, or completion of AP French, or four years of secondary school French in a strong program. Limited to 16 students. Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Alquier.

2016-17: Offered in Fall 2016
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

311 Cultural History of France: From the Middle Ages to the Revolution

Between the year 1000 and the Revolution of 1789 France made some of the greatest and most enduring contributions to European literature, music, visual art, politics, and intellectual life. We shall examine some of the most significant aspects of French civilization during this period: from the spiritual power of Romanesque and Gothic art to the vibrancy of Renaissance humanism (Rabelais and Montaigne), and from the grandeur of classicism and the baroque (Descartes, Pascal, Molière) to the elegance and refinement of the rococo, as well as the Enlightenment (Voltaire, Diderot) and sentimental reactions to it. We shall discuss “courtly love,” the châteaux of the Loire, court society, the emergence of absolute monarchy (Versailles), theater, opera, and the status of women. Conducted in French.

Requisite: FREN 207 or equivalent. Spring semester. Professor Caplan.

2016-17: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2010, Spring 2013

314 From Astérix to Houellebecq: Translating Contemporary French

This course aims at improving the students' knowledge of the contemporary French language and of contemporary French society through translation. We will draw from a wide variety of sources, such as fiction, poetry, film, songs, press articles, graphic novels and advertising, to gain a better understanding of idiomatic French and of the translation process. Conducted in French.

Requisite: FREN 207 or 208 or the equivalent. Omitted 2012-13. Professor Katsaros.

2016-17: Offered in Fall 2016
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2015

320 Literary Masks of the Late French Middle Ages

The rise in the rate of literacy which characterized the early French Middle Ages coincided with radical reappraisals of the nature and function of reading and poetic production. This course will investigate the ramifications of these reappraisals for the literature of the late French Middle Ages. Readings may include such major works as Guillaume de Dole by Jean Renart, the anonymous Roman de Renart, the Roman de la Rose by Guillaume de Lorris, selections from the continuation of the Roman de la Rose by Jean de Meun, anonymous Fabliaux, and poetic works by Christine de Pisan, Guillaume de Machaut, Jean Froissart, and Charles d’Orléans. Particular attention will be paid to the philosophical presuppositions surrounding the production of erotic allegorical discourse. We shall also address such topics as the relationships between lyric and narrative and among disguise, death and aging in the context of medieval discourses on love. All texts will be read in modern French. Conducted in French.

Requisite: One of the following--FREN 207, 208, 311, 312 or equivalent. Spring semester. Professor Rockwell.

2016-17: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2010, Spring 2013, Spring 2016

330 The Doing and Undoing of Genres in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

This course explores the formation and transformation of various genres in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literature, with a particular focus announced each time the course is offered. The topic for 2012-13 is:  "The Eighteenth-Century Novel and Theater in France."  Readings will include texts by Diderot, Voltaire, Marivaux, Prévost, Laclos, and Beaumarchais.  Conducted in French.

Requisite: One of the following--FREN 207, 208, 311, 312 or equivalent. Fall semester. Professor de la Carrera.

2016-17: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2015

337 The French Enlightenment

Le Siècle des Lumières. An analysis of the major philosophical, literary, and artistic movements in France between the years 1715 and 1789 within the context of their uneasy relationship to the social, political, and religious institutions of the ancien régime. Readings will include texts by Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, and others. To gain a better sense of what it might have been like to live in eighteenth-century France, we will also read essays in French cultural history. Conducted in French.

Requisite: One of the following--FREN 207, 208, 311, 312 or equivalent. Spring semester. Professor de la Carrera.

 

2016-17: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013

342 Women of Ill Repute: Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century French Literature

Prostitutes play a central role in nineteenth-century French fiction, especially of the realistic and naturalistic kind. Both widely available and largely visible in nineteenth-century France, prostitutes inspired many negative stereotypes. But, as the very product of the culture that marginalized her, the prostitute offered an ideal vehicle for writers to criticize the hypocrisy of bourgeois mores. The socially stratified world of prostitutes, ranging from low-ranking sex workers to high-class courtesans, presents a fascinating microcosm of French society as a whole. We will read selections from Honoré de Balzac, Splendeur et misère des courtisanes; Victor Hugo, Les Misérables; and Gustave Flaubert, L’éducation sentimentale; as well as Boule-de-Suif and other stories by Guy de Maupassant; La fille Elisa by Edmond de Goncourt; Nana by Emile Zola; Marthe by Joris-Karl Huysmans; La dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils; and extracts from Du côté de chez Swann by Marcel Proust. Additional readings will be drawn from the fields of history (Alain Corbin, Michelle Perrot) and critical theory (Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva). We will also discuss visual representations of prostitutes in nineteenth-century French art (Gavarni, Daumier, C. Guys, Degas, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec). Conducted in French.

Requisite: One of the following--FREN 207, 208, 311, 312 or equivalent. Fall semester. Professor Katsaros.

2016-17: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2015

353 Literature in French Outside Europe: Introduction to Francophone Studies

This course will explore cross-cultural intersections and issues of identity and alienation in the works of leading writers from the French-speaking Caribbean and West Africa. Our discussions will focus on the sociopolitical positions and narrative strategies entertained in key texts of postcolonial literature (both fiction and critical essays). Issues involving nationalism, race, gender, assimilation and multilingualism will help to shape our discussion of how postcolonial subjects share in or distinguish themselves from certain tenets of Western thought. At issue, then, is the way French Caribbean and West African literatures and cultures trace their own distinctiveness and value. Conducted in French.

Requisite: One of the following--FREN 207, 208, 311, 312 or equivalent. Fall semester. Professor Hewitt.

2016-17: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012

361 European Film

A study of some of the greatest French New Wave (1959-1963) films, as well as earlier French films that influenced the New Wave. From the New Wave we shall view Truffaut’s The 400 Blows; Godard’s Breathless, My Life to Live, and Contempt; Hiroshima mon amour and Last Year at Marienbad by Resnais. We shall also study Zero for Conduct (1933) and L’Atalante (1934) by Jean Vigo; Boudu Saved From the Waters (1932) Grand Illusion (1937), and The Rules of the Game (1939) by Jean Renoir; Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob le Flambeur (1956) and A Man Escaped (1956) by Robert Bresson. No previous training in film analysis is required. Conducted in English.

Spring semester. Professor Caplan.

2016-17: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2013, Spring 2016

490 Special Topics

Independent Reading Courses. Full course.

Admission with consent of the instructor consent required. Fall and spring semesters.

2016-17: Offered in Fall 2016
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

498, 499, 499D Senior Departmental Honors

A single course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2016-17: Offered in Fall 2016
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015