Bates Fall Semester Abroad
Professor Read (French); Associate Professor Hall (History)
In fall 2011 Bates students may participate in an intensive immersion experience in France that develops strong linguistic competency and is intellectually engaging. The program is centered in Nantes, a city of 300,000 with a history both famous and infamous: as medieval defender against the kingdom of France, as a nexus of the triangular slave trade between Africa and the Caribbean sugar plantations, and as the birthplace of the adventure author Jules Verne, whose legacy is sustained in the Island of Machines, a museum where visitors operate giant animals models that walk and fly. Nantes is considered France's greenest city, and tramways make it easy to visit such sites as the newly restored chateau of the Dukes of Brittany. Two hours from Paris, Nantes is close to the chateaux of the Loire Valley, the Normandy beaches, Mont Saint Michel, and the Atlantic coast.
The program begins in late August with an intensive two-week French course. Students continue their language studies during the semester while also taking two courses in English taught by Bates faculty. Excursions within Nantes, Brittany, and Paris are integral to the course work, as is the family home stay. The program ends in mid-December. Some prior knowledge of French is helpful, but not necessary. The program fulfills the requirements of General Education concentration C088 (French in Nantes).
BSAF 001. Intensive French Language I.Courses at novice, intermediate, and advanced levels are designed to help students communicate with their surroundings. All courses work toward a rapid improvement of comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Open to first-year students. J. Hall, K. Read.
BSAF 002. Intensive French Language II.Courses at novice, intermediate, and advanced levels are designed to help students communicate with their surroundings. All courses work toward a rapid improvement of comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Open to first-year students. K. Read, J. Hall.
BSAF 003. French Identity: Migration, Mutation, Exploration.French identity is ever-changing through history and across various modes of expression: literary, political, artistic, and sociological. This course examines the range of identities in multicultural France and the motivations and consequences of staging recent debates about "Identité Française." In reading, viewing, and listening to various accounts, students consider the ways that France, in all its historical and cultural complexity, defines and determines identities. Sources as far-reaching as Renaissance lyric poetry and modern comic-book culture help students understand what it means to be French today. Open to first-year students. K. Read.
BSAF 004. Atlantic France.The position of Nantes as a port city reminds us that the history of France lies not only on land but also at sea. French colonial endeavors in America, the eighteenth-century African slave trade, nineteenth-century industrialization, and even the decline of Nantes as a port all depended on French relations with the wider Atlantic world. These relations shaped events great and small, from the French Revolution to the foods families ate. This course looks broadly at the history of France, but Nantes and its environs feature prominently. Open to first-year students. J. Hall.