Document Actions


French and Francophone Studies

This concentration is designed for students interested in achieving mastery of French language beyond the basic level. Along with their study of French language, students in the concentration also study the literature, culture, history, and politics of Europe and the Francophone world. In conjunction with another concentration or group of complementary courses, the concentration in French and Francophone studies can help prepare students for graduate study in French, comparative literature, or history, or careers in a variety of fields, including international relations, business, journalism, political science, history, and foreign service.


Credits for this concentration may be earned in courses at the French 206-level or above. The concentration includes at least 12 credits of courses taught in French (eight of which must be at the 300-level or higher) beyond those required to satisfy the College’s foreign language requirement. Students in the concentration also take courses designed to broaden their knowledge of historical, cultural, and political contexts relevant to their language study and at least eight additional elective credits in courses relevant to the study of French language and culture. Students choose these electives, in consultation with their Moderation Committee, from such disciplines as anthropology, history, political science, sociology, literature, art, and music. Students particularly interested in French language might pursue a second foreign language, while those interested in politics and the arts might take additional courses to broaden their theoretical perspective on French and Francophone culture. Students selecting this concentration are encouraged to spend at least one semester of the junior year in an approved program of study abroad.

Offerings in French

French 206 French Grammar and Composition
French 215 French Literature of Conversation
French 216 French Food, Culture, and Literature
French 321 Modern French Theater
French 323 Female Writers in French Literature
French 325T 19th-Century Poetry
French 327 17th-Century French Literature
Literature 275 French Film and Literature in Translation


The choice of electives will be determined in part by the student’s particular focus and goals in studying French. Courses in the concentration in European studies make natural complements to this concentration. A student interested in comparative literature would do well to study the literature of other nationalities contemporaneous with the French literature studied. Students whose focus is more linguistic might complement their work in French with study in a second foreign language to the intermediate or advanced level. Those interested in Francophone culture and literature would do well to take courses to deepen their understanding of colonialism, such as The Empire Writes Back: Postcolonial Literature in English, and of the areas where French influence persists, such as in Africa, the Caribbean and South America, North America, or the Far East.

Recent Senior Theses

“Francophonie or Cacophony: From French Colonialism to the Development of la Francophonie”
“The Element of the Sacred in the Folk Tales of the Peul”
“The Literature of Decolonization: A Study of North African Francophone Literature”
“The Negritude Movement: Three Exemplary Poets”
“The Legacy of French Colonization in Cote d’Ivoire”
“Exodus: A Study of Indochinese Refugees, 1975–1980”
“Tepid Early Morning of Ancestral Virtues”
“Spain and Euskera: A Study of Basque Cultural Identity and the Question of Bilingualism”
“On Albertine: Confinement, Observation, and Subjectivity in Proust’s La Prisonnière”
“The Works of René Girard: Mimesis and Violence”


Gabriel Asfar, Emmanuel Dongala, Maryann Tebben
Faculty Contact: Gabriel Asfar