Beginner's French I
This class develops the basic structures and vocabulary for understanding, speaking, writing, and reading in French. Classroom activities foster communication and cultural competence through comprehension and grammar exercises, skits, conversation and the use of a variety of audio-visual materials. Prerequisites: Princeton French Language Placement test.
Beginner's French II
The main objective of this course is to enable you to achieve intermediate communication proficiency in French. All four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing will be actively practiced in realistic communicative situations, through a variety of activities designed to help you strengthen newly acquired vocabulary and grammatical structures. You will learn to talk about events and people, construct narratives in French and develop reading and writing skills that will be a foundation for literacy in the target language. There is a wide use of authentic material from France and the Francophone world throughout the course.
Intensive Intermediate and Advanced French
FRE 1027 is an intensive double course designed to help students develop an active command of the language. Focus will be on reading and listening comprehension, oral proficiency, grammatical accuracy, and the development of reading and writing skills. A solid grammatical basis and awareness of the idiomatic usage of the language will be emphasized. Students will be introduced to various Francophone cultures through readings, videos, and films. Prerequisite: FRE 101 and permission of instructor. Five 90-minute classes. All classes are conducted in French.
Intensive Beginner's and Intermediate French
FRE 103 is an intensive beginning and intermediate language course designed for students who have already studied French (typically no more than 2-3 years). Covering in one semester the material presented in FRE 101 and FRE 102, this course prepares students to take FRE 107 the following semester. FRE 103 is designed to develop the skills of listening, reading, and writing in French in a cultural context using authentic materials. Classroom activities include comprehension and grammar exercises, conversation, skits, and working with a variety of audio-visual and online materials. Prereq: Appropriate score on PU French Language Placement Test.
The main objective of this course is to develop your listening, speaking and writing skills, while allowing you to explore contemporary French-speaking societies. It offers a thorough review of French grammar and a wide range of communicative activities chosen to improve proficiency and give practice of newly acquired linguistic material. The course will build your confidence in French while giving you a foundation for the understanding of French-speaking cultures and exposing you to their rich literary and artistic productions. A wide range of authentic material will be offered, including films. Prerequisite: See Course Offerings
The main objective of this course is to examine what it means to communicate in a foreign language while helping students strengthen their linguistic skills and gain transcultural and translingual competence. Students will reflect on differences in meaning through the study of diverse cultural modules, including politics, art, current events, migration, and French and Francophone literary texts and films. FRE 107 is not open to first-year undergraduates in fall only. Prerequisites: FRE 102 or FRE 103, or special permission.
FRE 108 is an intermediate to advanced course that will take you on a journey through various periods of French/Francophone history and culture and offer an opportunity to reflect on important questions at the center of contemporary debates. Examples include: the role of the State, urbanism, pandemics and ecology, healthcare, education, race and identity. We have selected a wide variety of materials (films, videos, newspaper articles, literary texts, etc.) so you will develop your ability to communicate and write on a wide range of topics in French and gain understanding of French and Francophone cultures and societies.
Studies in French Language and Style
Visions fantastiques: using this notion, this course explores and questions concepts that are at the core of our common human experience. Why is the fantastique such an enduring genre? What political, philosophical, or sociological messages does it convey? How do authors exploit perceived cracks in our reality? Through a survey of many kinds of fantastiques works, FRE 207 offers in-depth, small-group discussions and critical analyses of the themes they tackle (such as colonialism and identity, our relationship to time and to nature, science and progress, or madness and reason) along with reinforcement of advanced grammatical structures.
French Theater Workshop
FRE/THR 211 will offer students the opportunity to put their language skills in motion by exploring French theater and acting in French. The course will introduce students to acting techniques while allowing them to discover the richness of the French dramatic canon. Particular emphasis will be placed on improving students' speaking skills through pronunciation and diction exercises. At the end of the semester, the course will culminate in the presentation of the students' work. Prerequisites: FRE 108 or equivalent. FRE 207 or 208 recommended as a co-requisite.
France Today: Culture, Politics, and Society
Professor/InstructorChristine M. Sagnier
An intensive discussion-based seminar, designed to integrate linguistic and cultural learning. We will examine contemporary debates on important cultural, social and political issues, allowing you to gain enhanced cultural understanding and knowledge while honing your skills. Topics include the promises of the "Thirty Glorious Years", the social transformations of the sixties and seventies (family life, women's rights, etc.); as well as the challenges brought by the post-colonial period and globalization: immigration, social exclusion and inequalities, rise of the far-right nationalism, problems in the "banlieues" and debates on secularism.
Beyond the myth of the City of Light, this course proposes to look at the real "lives" of Paris. Focusing on the modern and contemporary period, we will study Paris as an urban space, an object of representation, and part of French cultural identity. To do so, we will use an interdisciplinary approach, through literature, history, sociology, art history, architecture, etc. To deepen our understanding of its history and its making, we will take a mandatory trip to Paris during Fall Break. Students will not only (re)visit the city, but also meet guest speakers and conduct personal projects they will have designed in Princeton. Prereq: FRE 207
The Rise of France: French Literature, Culture, and Society from the Beginnings to 1789
Civil war, the rise of a centralized government, colonization, overwhelming public debt and attempts at women's liberation: this class covers the tumultuous history that led to the French Revolution while providing advanced language training. We study period documents as well as literary and artistic material. Topics include: courtly love, Jeanne d'Arc, Versailles, Marie-Antoinette, the Enlightenment, the Revolution and Terror. Prerequisites: FRE 107, FRE 108, or equivalent.
The Making of Modern France: French Literature, Culture, and Society from 1789 to the Present
This course examines the major historical and cultural developments that have shaped France since the Revolution. By studying a series of classic texts, important films, paintings, and essays, we will undertake an interdisciplinary tour through two centuries of French cultural history, addressing issues such as nationhood, colonialism, democracy, and consumer society. The focus will be on the relations between artistic renovation, social change, and historical events. Prerequisites: FRE 107, FRE 108, or equivalent. FRE 207 recommended as a co-requisite.
Introduction to Literature
This course is meant to introduce students to works of literature in French from a range of historical periods and provides them with methods for literary interpretation through close reading. The course syllabus is organized around common themes and genres. This course is invaluable preparation for more advanced and specialized 300-level literature and culture courses. Classroom discussion and free exchange encouraged. Prerequisites: FRE 107 or FRE 108 or permission of instructor. Course conducted entirely in French.
Advanced French Language and Style
To improve spoken and written French through attentive study of French grammatical and syntactic structures and rhetorical styles, with a variety of creative, analytical and practical writing exercises, and reading of literary and non-literary texts. Course conducted in French. Prerequisites: A 200-level French course or permission of instructor.
Contemporary French Civilization
Professor/InstructorF. Nick Nesbitt
This course will examine the cultural and political events knows as May '68, with a focus on the historical and political context that contributed to its development as one of the watershed events of modern French history. We will study May '68 from a range of perspectives, including film and photographic representations, as well as its historical, sociological, artistic, and philosophical dimensions. Special focus in the second half of the course on 1968 is in a global context, addressing this world changing moment in sites such as Prague, Mexico, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, US, etc.
Language, Power and Identity
Professor/InstructorChristine M. Sagnier
This course is an intensive discussion-based seminar which offers an introduction to sociolinguistics, or the study of language as a social phenomenon. Through readings, films, and documentaries, we will explore contemporary debates related to language, culture, politics, identity, and ideology in the Francophone world. The course includes a series of guest speakers for the discussion of Francophone case studies. Past speakers were from Morocco, Québec, Louisiana, Republic of Benin, La Réunion, and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.
Tales of Hospitality: France, North Africa, and the Mediterranean
An exploration of the concept of hospitality, individual and collective, in French, Mediterranean, and Maghrebi (i.e., North African: Arab, Berber, and Jewish) cultures. Draws on materials from literature and the arts, politics and law, philosophy and religion. Issues studied include immigration, citizenship, alienation, and, more generally, the meaning of welcoming a stranger. Prerequisite: a 200-level course in French or instructor's permission. One 90-minute lecture, one 90-minute preceptorial.
Landmarks of French Culture
An interdisciplinary study of places, periods, persons, or questions that helped define French cultural identity, from its origins to the present. Areas of study could include courtly love; gothic art; the Enyclopedia; the Belle Epoque; the Figure of the Intellectual from Zola to Simone de Beauvoir; the sociocultural revolution of May 1968; colonization, its discontents, and its aftermaths; France in the age of globalization; Franco-American relations; etc. Prerequisite: a 200-level course in French or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute classes.
French Renaissance Literature and Culture
Readings from the works of Rabelais, the Pléiade poets, Marguerite de Navarre, Montaigne, and d'Aubigné in the light of contemporary artistic, political, and cultural preoccupations. Themes will include the rhetoric of love, education, humanism, recurrent mythologies, and utopias. Two 90-minute classes. Prerequisite: a 200-level course in French or instructor's permission.
Topics in the French Middle Ages and Renaissance
The continuities of French culture and its preeminence over much of Europe from its 11th-century beginnings through the 16th century. Emphasis on medieval and Renaissance literary works (in modernized versions) in their relationship to topics such as "love'' (fin'amor), saintliness, national identity, humanism, and so on. Prerequisite: a 200-level course in French or permission of the instructor. One three-hour seminar.
The Classical Age
This course proposes a literary exploration of the French 17th century, a period that produced many "classics" of world literature, from the comedies of Molière and the fables of La Fontaine to the tales of Perrault. We will study these works both in their original historical context and through modern adaptations and interpretations, in order to assess the reasons for their survival and continued relevance. Some of the central themes are: love and marriage, passion and duty, self and society, truth and fiction, heroism and beastliness. Prerequisite: A 200-level French course or permission of instructor.
The Age of Enlightenment
What is the Enlightenment? This course investigates the era of change and radical thought that precipitated the French Revolution. Far from stereotypes about "Enlightenment ideology", we will explore how the Enlightenment opened up spaces for critique, generating new ideas and values that challenged the traditional authorities of the Ancien Régime. Our readings will exemplify the richness of the moral, political, and philosophical debates that divided 18th-century France, focusing on the role of the philosopher, the place of science in society, rethinking social education, religion and atheism. Prerequisites: See Course Offerings.
Topics in 17th- and 18th-Century French Literature
Topics will range from single authors and major texts (for example, the Encyclopedie) to literary genres and questions of culture (preciosite, comedy and/or tragedy, historiography, epistolary writing, etc.). Prerequisite: FRE 207 or equivalent. Course conducted in French. Two 90-minute classes.
The Old Regime: Society and Culture in France, 1624-1789
The age of French political and cultural hegemony is characterized by the construction of the modern state, the imposition of strict social discipline, and the rationalization of large areas of human behavior. These processes will be studied in political and philosophical writings, plays, novels, poems, and memoirs. Prerequisite: a 200-level course in French or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute classes.