Accelerated Beginning French I and II
French 100–101 Asfar, Tebben
This accelerated course is designed for students with little or no previous experience of French. It enables them to fulfill the College’s language requirement in one year and prepares them for entry into upper-level courses. The class meets five hours per week.
This sequence is offered every year.
Intermediate French I and II
French 204–205 Asfar, Dongala, Tebben
Designed for students whose background in French is not sufficient for a higher level, this course provides a systematic review of French grammar, regular practice in listening and speaking, and readings in French prose. By the end of the second semester, students understand simple French prose and speech and can express themselves in simple fashion, orally and in writing. Prerequisite: Appropriate range of scores on the Simon’s Rock online French placement test.
This sequence is offered every year.
French Grammar and Composition
French 206 Asfar, Tebben
A transition from language courses to more advanced courses in literature and culture, French 206 offers a thorough review of grammar (including compound tenses, conditional forms, and the subjunctive) and readings intended to stimulate discussion, writing, critical thinking, and oral presentations in French. The course includes practice in textual analysis, translation exercises, and an introduction to literature. Prerequisite: French 205 or appropriate score on the French placement test.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F11.
Songs in French
French 208m Asfar
A course for students with a strong basic foundation in French grammar and syntax, this intermediate-level seven-week module seeks to teach students the lyrics of a variety of songs in French, to study and become familiar with the language, versification, and poetic techniques of the lyrics, and to acquire a sense of the historical and cultural context of each song. Folk and traditional songs, marching songs, anti-war songs, boulevard, music-hall, and popular songs will be the focus of the course, supplemented by a review of grammar and basic rules of versification (rhythm, rhyme, vocalization, stressed and unstressed syllables) and composition. The enjoyment of singing is a must. The ability to carry a tune (if not terribly far) would be nice. Prerequisite: an appropriate lower-level course or instructor’s permission.
This course is generally offered every other year. Last taught F10.
French Literature of Conversation
French 215/315 Tebben
This course explores written works that bear the imprint of oral conversation in some way. Texts from the early modern period (the Renaissance and the 17th century) incorporate conversations wholly into fictional works, while later works illustrate the evolution of conversation in literature and society as the conversational form is transformed into letters, epistolary novels, and the modern novel. To be discussed: What form does conversation take in a “written conversation”? Is “dialogue” the same as “conversation” in these works? How is the novel rooted in conversation? Is the concept of a “written conversation” consistent across these works and across history? This course is conducted entirely in French. A 300-level tutorial component may be offered in conjunction with this course for those students who are qualified. These students will meet with the instructor outside of class to discuss additional readings, such as articles by Carolyn Lougée, Elizabeth Goldsmith, Joan DeJean, and Maryann Tebben; Racine’s Andromaque or Phèdre; Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier and/or Boccaccio’s Decameron. These students will also be required to write longer papers and include a research component in their written work. Prerequisites: French 205 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught F08.
French Food, Culture, and Literature
French 216 Tebben
French cuisine is an essential part of the French identity; this course will foster an appreciation of French food and will investigate why in France, according to one contemporary critic, “la cuisine est et ne cessera jamais d’être un art.” Students will work toward advanced language abilities through the reading, discussion, and analysis of authentic texts both literary and factual. The course will place special emphasis on speaking and writing practice, and will include oral presentations and a final project as well as a systematic grammar review linked to the texts. Students may choose to prepare French dishes as part of their presentations or the final project, but no cooking skills are required for the course. The course is conducted entirely in French. Prerequisite: French 205 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.
This course is generally offered once every two years. Last taught F09.
Paris on the Page
French 217 Asfar, Tebben
This course will explore the city of Paris as the center of French culture and as a world capital. Course materials will investigate the physical and cultural essence of Paris, its history and architecture, its literary portrait, and its relevance in the present day. The course will cover Parisian history from the Middle Ages to the present, including images of Paris from Victor Hugo’s Notre Dame and Louis XIV’s Versailles to Haussmann’s reconception of the city. Students will read excerpts from works of French literature, history, and journalism, and will view films having Paris as a central character. In addition, students will prepare oral presentations detailing the visual character of Paris in architecture, art, maps, and films. The course is organized around reading/viewing and discussion of primary texts. Students will be required to complete daily written responses, oral presentations, two short papers, two exams, and a final project. This course is taught entirely in French. Prerequisite: French 205 or equivalent or permission of the instructor.
Last taught F10.
Modern French Theater
French 321 Asfar, Tebben
In this course covering the evolution of French theater in the 20th century, full-length plays by Anouilh, Giraudoux, Montherlant, Camus, Sartre, Beckett, Genet, Sarraute, and Ionesco are read and discussed in order to acquaint students with such major movements in modern theater as naturalism, realism, symbolism, and the theater of the absurd. Prerequisites: French 206 or higher.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught S12.
Female Writers in French Literature
French 323 Tebben
This course explores works of notable female writers of French literature, philosophy, and theory since the Middle Ages, examining them in light of the concept of l’écriture féminine. Students will be asked to consider how women’s writing is defined and how this definition evolved. The course will focus on two main themes: What women do with and for authorship, and how far the designation of “female writer” can be stretched. Do women writers employ “female writing” exclusively? Can male authors act as “female writers”? The historical and cultural context of each work will be considered. The course will include texts from such authors as Christine de Pisan, Pernette du Guillet, Labé, Lafayette, Sévigné, Staël, Sand, Mariama Bâ, Beauvoir, Duras, Cixous, Scudéry, and Wittig. Prerequisites: French 206 or higher.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught S10.
French 325T Asfar
This course examines representative works of the major French poets of the 19th century, including Lamartine, Vigny, Hugo, Musset, Nerval, Baudelaire, and Rimbaud. Through readings, lectures, and oral and written work, the course focuses on such aspects of 19th-century French poetry as Pre-Romanticism, the Romantic movement, realism, idealism, and symbolism. Prerequisites: French 206 or higher.
This course is generally offered as a tutorial.
17th-Century French Literature
French 327 Asfar, Tebben
Masterpieces of 17th-century French theater by Corneille, Racine, and Moliere are studied as dramatic literature and considered in light of the development of French classicism. Lectures and discussion focus on major trends in the development of the “classical aesthetic” in France as well as its impact on modern theater. Prerequisites: French 206 or higher.
This course is generally offered once every three or four years. Last taught S11.
The Modern Novel in France
French 328T Asfar, Tebben
This course is a study of 20th-century French novels, including works by Gide, Radiguet, Mauriac, Vercors, Camus, and Duras. Adjunct readings and lectures focus on the historical and cultural contexts of each work. Oral presentations on assigned topics introduce students to techniques of literary analysis. Prerequisites: French 206 or higher.
This course is generally offered as a tutorial.
French 300/400 Staff
Under these course numbers, juniors and seniors design tutorials to meet their particular interests and programmatic needs. A student should see the prospective tutor to define an area of mutual interest to pursue either individually or in a small group. A student may register for no more than one tutorial in any semester.