French and Francophone Studies
Professors Read and Rice-DeFosse; Associate Professor Dauge-Roth (chair); Visiting Assistant Professor Belkaïd; Lecturer Balladur
Courses in French and Francophone studies help students to learn basic communication skills, appreciate other cultures through language, and go beyond the study of language to achieve a deeper understanding of diverse peoples by way of their literatures and other modes of cultural production. Texts are read closely from a contemporary critical perspective with attention to their cultural and historical context. All courses are taught in French, except in the case of some courses cross-listed with other departments or programs, which may be taught in English. More information on the Department of French and Francophone Studies is available on the website (bates.edu/french).
French and Francophone studies aims at flexibility within a structure that affords a diversity of experience in Francophone culture and literature and continuous training in the use of the language. It provides effective preparation for graduate work but is not conceived as strictly preprofessional. The significance of French is highlighted by the College's proximity to Québec and by the large number of Franco-Americans who live and work in northern New England. In addition to France's literary tradition, the Francophone histories and cultures of North Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Québec have produced writers and artists who have influenced the world broadly with their cultural and artistic dynamism and insight, making French and Francophone cultural production truly rich and varied.
Placement in French Courses. Students entering courses in the department are advised of the following general policies and procedures. The beginning (101–102) sequence is reserved for true beginners in the language. Those with more than two years of secondary school study are not admitted at this level and are encouraged to enter at the 200 level, or, in some cases, 102 in the spring semester; students who have followed a conventional sequence of language study in high school (generally three to four years, sometimes more, sometimes involving Advanced Placement courses) are advised to enroll at the early to mid-200 level: 201 for general review or other intermediate courses that concentrate variously on introductions to culture, spoken language, and/or literature. Students are strongly encouraged to consult the self-placement test (bates.edu/french/academics/placement-form/).
Major Requirements. The major in French and Francophone studies consists of a minimum of ten courses beyond the level of Intermediate French (201). These courses should reflect both geographical breadth and historical depth; students are encouraged to consult with a faculty member when planning the course of study in the major. Two courses in a related discipline may normally count as one of the ten courses in the major; one of the two may be taught in English. All majors are required to take at least one 300-level seminar in the senior year.
The Capstone Experience. Fluent and correct use of the language is essential to the completion of the major. All senior majors are required to complete a capstone experience that serves to synthesize and reflect upon their work in the major as described below:
1) All majors must assemble a portfolio of their work in the major and discuss it in at the end of the second semester of their senior year. This exercise is known as the soutenance du portfolio. The portfolio contains a personal statement on the student's experience in French and Francophone studies and other components such as papers from courses taken at Bates or abroad, a journal of a study-abroad program or travel experience, audio and/or video recordings to show progress in oral proficiency, websites that may have been created for courses or other Francophone endeavors, or other personal reflections.
2) All majors must complete a) a senior thesis, b) senior essay, or c) an oral history project, all of which fulfill the [W3] requirement. The thesis (which may be one-semester, two-semester, or honors) represents a sustained, scholarly work in the discipline, written in close consultation with a faculty member from the department. The senior essay is an extracurricular (noncredit) written work that treats a question in the field of French and Francophone studies as agreed upon by the student and faculty advisor; it is significantly shorter than a one-semester thesis, yet still involves research and inquiry into a topic using tools of literacy and cultural study as practiced in the discipline. The oral history project consists of a series of interviews with local Francophone residents that are transcribed, presented at the Mount David Summit, and archived at Bates and in local repositories. Some portion of any of these options must be included in the portfolio for discussion.
3) All majors participate in a regularly scheduled Atelier de recherches in which they discuss approaches to research in French and Francophone cultural studies and their progress in the capstone requirements, including presentations of their research.
Honors candidates register for both FRE 457 and 458.
Minor Requirements. A minor in French and Francophone studies requires a minimum of seven courses. At least one of the seven courses must focus on literature or culture. Advanced Placement courses may not be applied toward the minor. All students who minor in French and Francophone studies must assemble a portfolio of their work in the minor. The portfolio consists of samples of written course work and is designed to demonstrate progress in the study of the French language.
Students considering a major or minor should begin to compile a writing portfolio as soon as possible.
Study Abroad. Students majoring in French and Francophone studies are strongly encouraged to study abroad in a country appropriate for their area of interest. Normally majors receive a maximum of three credits for one semester of study and five credits for two semesters of study in a recognized program. Normally, minors receive a maximum of two credits for one semester of study and three credits for two semesters. Students must obtain approval from the department chair in order for their course to count toward major or minor in the discipline; otherwise, credit is not guaranteed.
Transfer Credit. Students normally may transfer up to two credits for course work equivalent to courses offered by the Department of French and Francophone Studies. Students need to obtain approval from a faculty member in the department in order for their courses to count toward the major; otherwise, credit is not guaranteed.
Pass/Fail Grading Option. No courses beyond FRE 235 may be taken pass/fail for credit toward the major or minor.
INDS 100. African Perspectives on Justice, Human Rights, and Renewal.This team-taught course introduces students to some of the experiences, cultural beliefs, values, and voices shaping contemporary Africa. Students focus on the impact of climatic, cultural, and geopolitical diversity; the politics of ethnicity, religion, age, race, and gender and their influence on daily life; and the forces behind contemporary education policy and practice in Africa. The course forges students' critical capacity to resist simplistic popular understandings of what is taking place on the continent and works to refocus their attention on distinctively "African perspectives." Students design a research project to augment their knowledge about a specific issue within a particular region. Students interested in education issues focus their research on education policy and practice; their research project includes a field placement in a local school or community organization and participation in a twice-monthly seminar-style reflection session. Students who focus on education issues and complete the field placement and project have the course recorded in their academic record as INDS 100A (African Perspectives on Justice, Human Rights, and Renewal in Education), and may use INDS 100A to fulfill the minor in education studies, but not the minor in teacher education. The course is primarily for first- and second-year students with little critical knowledge of Africa and serves as the introduction to the General Education concentration Considering Africa (C022). Cross-listed in anthropology, education, French and Francophone studies, and politics. Enrollment limited to 40. (Governance and Conflict.) (Identities and Interests.) Normally offered every year. (Community-Engaged Learning.) P. Buck, A. Dauge-Roth, E. Eames, L. Hill. Concentrations
FRE 101. Elementary French I.An introduction the French language. In the first semester, emphasis is placed on oral proficiency with conversational practice in various aspects of contemporary French and Francophone culture, and on the acquisition of vocabulary, basic grammar, and reading and writing skills. This course is not open to students with two or more years of French in secondary school. Enrollment limited to 22 per section. Normally offered every year. M. Belkaïd. Concentrations
FRE 102. Elementary French II.A direct continuation of FRE 101 and also intended for students with no more than two years of French in high school. In this second semester introductory French course, students concentrate on further developing vocabulary, grammar, writing skills, and comprehension of French and Francophone culture with short readings and films. Prerequisite(s): FRE 101. Enrollment limited to 22. Normally offered every year. M. Rice-DeFosse, Staff. Concentrations
FRE 201. Intermediate French.The course focuses on proficiency in speaking, with intensive review of grammar. Students read and analyze selected texts. Class discussions in French explore both literary and cultural topics. Prerequisite(s): FRE 102. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 22 per section. Normally offered every year. M. Rice-DeFosse. Concentrations
FRE 205. Oral French.The course is designed to develop oral fluency and aural acuity, with attention to vocabulary, syntax, and pronunciation. Students discuss topics of contemporary interest and focus on improvisation, role play, and reporting. Prerequisite(s): FRE 201. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every semester. A. Dauge-Roth, M. Belkaïd. Concentrations
FRE 207. Introduction to Contemporary France.This course develops facility in speaking, reading, and writing French by focusing on French society and culture. Students explore contemporary France through content-based cultural materials such as magazine and newspaper articles, published interviews, video, film, music, and appropriate works of current literature. Students prepare oral reports and written essays. Prerequisite(s): FRE 201. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. L. Balladur. Concentrations
FRE 208. Introduction to the Francophone World.This course focuses on the Francophone world while developing greater facility in speaking, reading, and writing in French. The Francophone world is first presented through the history of colonization, the slave trade, and the decolonization movements in several areas such as the Caribbean, Senegal, and Algeria. The diversity of Francophone cultures and voices is explored through a variety of cultural material including newspaper and magazine articles, and the work of directors and authors such as Ernest Pépin, Gisèle Pineau (Guadeloupe), Patrick Chamoiseau (Martinique), Assia Djebar, Leïla Sebbar, Lyes Salem (Algeria), Mariama Bâ, Ousmane Sembène, and Djibril Diop Mambety (Senegal). Class presentations and discussions are conducted entirely in French. Prerequisite(s): FRE 201. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. M. Belkaïd. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
FRE 235. Advanced French Language.The course is designed to develop facility in conversing and writing in idiomatic French with ease and fluency. Students review linguistic structures with attention to correct written expression. The course focuses on analysis and critical thinking in a variety of media such as film, fiction, documentary, essay, and journalism. Prerequisite(s): FRE 205, 207, or 208. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Normally offered every semester. A. Dauge-Roth, L. Balladur. Concentrations
FRE 240. Introduction to French Studies.In these courses, students examine literature in its social, political, and historical context with emphasis on the cultural interrelationship of text and society through short critical papers and class discussion in French. Open to first-year students. [W2] Concentrations
FRE 240E. Le Maghreb: Vue de l'Enfance.An appreciation and analysis of the amply recorded experience of childhood in North Africa. Students examine the rich body of memoirs, historical accounts, novels, films, and short stories that reveal joy and pignancy of coming of age in North Africa as well as the often tumultuous conditions of children caught in the calamity of colonization and its aftermath. Particular attention is paid to issues of gender, Orientalism, and religious and cultural diversity within the Maghreb. Authors include Sebbar, Ben Jelloun, Djebar, and Mernissi, and filmmakers Ferroukhi and Boughedir. Recommended background: FRE 207 or 208. Open to first-year students. [W2] M. Belkaïd. Concentrations
FRE 240F. Borders and Disorders.A study of the various experiences of immigration that the Francophone world has made possible and, in certain cases, forced upon people for political and economic reasons. In an era of globalization, students examine how increasingly migrants must negotiate their sense of self through multiple heritages and places, and how Francophone novels and films imagine new forms of belonging that embrace the complex and fluid status of the migrant experience. How does one define "home" within one's host country without denying one's past and cultural origins? The course envisions the Francophone world as a theater of multiple encounters that lead to the creation of new hybrid identities that transform both the immigrant and the host country. Authors and filmmakers include Bouchareb, Bouraoui, Condé, De Duve, Flem, Gomis, Guibert, Nacro, Sebbar, Sembène and Zang. Prerequisite(s): FRE 207 or 208. [W2] A. Dauge-Roth. Concentrations
FRE 240G. Science and Literature.This course explores the relationship between science and literature in France. French literature has a particularly rich tradition in which authors have explored this relationship, from those who participated in and investigated both fields, to science fiction writers, and more recently to authors who manipulate the literary form to express scientific theories. While the central theme of the course explores how French literature articulates scientific concepts, a background in science is not required. Readings provide students with a better understanding of certain key scientific concepts such as fractals, entropy, and information systems. Prerequisite(s): FRE 207 or 208. [W2] L. Balladur. Concentrations
AC/FR 240I. French in Maine.An appreciation and analysis of what it means to speak French and to be "French" in the local and regional context. Students examine questions of language, ethnic identity, and cultural expression through novels, short stories, autobiographies, film, and written and oral histories. Visits to local cultural sites enhance students' understanding of the Franco-American community and its heritage. Prerequisite(s): FRE 207 or 208. Not open to students who have received credit for FRE s35. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 20. [W2] M. Rice-DeFosse. Concentrations
FRE 250. Introduction to French Literature I.An introduction to major French authors and forms of French literature through close readings, short papers, and discussion of texts selected from various periods of French literature. The purpose is to introduce the student to critical approaches to French literature. Although this is not a survey course, the first semester does concentrate on texts written before the French Revolution, and the second semester, on texts written after 1800. Some attention is paid to the socioeconomic context of the works studied and to questions of gender. Prerequisite(s): FRE 207 or 208. Open to first-year students. [W2] Normally offered every year. L. Balladur. Concentrations
FRE 251. Introduction to French Literature II.An introduction to major French authors and forms of French literature through close readings, short papers, and discussion of texts selected from various periods of French literature from nineteenth to the twenty-first century. The purpose is to introduce the student to critical approaches to French literature. Some attention is paid to the socioeconomic context of the works studied and to questions of gender. Various genres like poetry, short story, novel and theater are explored through the works of authors such as Baudelaire, Maupassant, Flaubert, Apollinaire, Colette, Beauvoir, Sartre, Camus, Simon, Daeninckx, and Duras. Prerequisite(s): FRE 207 or 208. Open to first-year students. [W2] Normally offered every year. M. Rice-DeFosse. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
FRE 270. French Stylistics.An intensive review of French grammar with emphasis on developing facility in writing idiomatic French, through weekly compositions, written exercises, oral drills, and grammatical analysis of literary texts. Prerequisite(s): FRE 235, 240, 250, or 251. Open to first-year students. M. Rice-DeFosse. Concentrations
FRE 271. Translation: Theory and Practice.A study of the problems of translation. Passages from newspapers and journals and from literary, technical, and scientific works are translated and analyzed. Prerequisite(s): FRE 207, 208, or 235. Open to first-year students. L. Balladur. Concentrations
FRE 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff. Concentrations
FRE 365. Special Topics.These courses are designed for the small seminar group of students who may have particular interests in areas of study that go beyond the regular course offerings. Periodic conferences and papers are required. Concentrations
FRE 371. Literary Identity in Early French Literature. Students read and discuss aspects of literary identity in medieval and Renaissance literature, devoting particular attention to considerations of religion, gender, kinship, and nationality. Prerequisite(s): FRE 240, 250, or 251. Not open to students who have received credit for FRE 351. [W2] K. Read. Concentrations
FRE 372. Woman Writer/Women Written.Reading and discussion of women writers of the seventeenth century with a focus on their important role in the formation of the novel. Attention is given to women as heroines or titular characters in the works of male authors of the period. Prerequisite(s): FRE 240, 250, or 251. Not open to students who have received credit for FRE 352. [W2] K. Read. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
FRE 373. Close-up on the Enlightenment: Film, Text, Context.This course explores twentieth-century film perceptions of France from the Enlightenment through the Revolution, either through adaptations of literary texts or representations of the ancien régime's historical, social, and political atmosphere. Readings of literary texts as well as contemporary criticism reveal the ways Enlightenment ideology is reshaped by twentieth-century film. Prerequisite(s): FRE 240, 250, or 251. Not open to students who have received credit for FRE 365F. Enrollment limited to 15. L. Balladur. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
FRE 374. Écrire la Révolution: French Literature in the Nineteenth Century.This course explores a century of enormous political, socioeconomic, and cultural change through its literature. Students consider such authors as Staël, Nodier, Balzac, Hugo, Sand, Flaubert, Baudelaire, and Zola. Prerequisite(s): FRE 240, 250, or 251. Not open to students who have received credit for FRE 354. [W2] M. Rice-DeFosse. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
FRE 375. The French Dis/Connection in Contemporary Literature.Contemporary French and Francophone literature has been in constant dialogue with a century marked by social change, redefinition of gender, trauma, urban modernity, and mobility. This course explores how contemporary literature shaped the perceptions of such issues and examines its contribution by understanding its authors in their social and political context. Authors studied include Ben Jelloun, Bon, Bugul, Chamoiseau, Delbo, Diop, Nothomb, Perec, and Thilliez. Prerequisite(s): FRE 240, 250, or 251. Not open to students who have received credit for FRE 355. [W2] A. Dauge-Roth. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
FRE 376. Femmes, Écrivaines.This course explores gender and voice in selected literary, political, and theoretical texts by French women from 1789 to the present. Through a study of writers such as Gouges, Sand, Tristan, Colette, Beauvoir, Duras, Condé, Cixous, and Irigaray, students explore the contributions of French women writers to women's writing, feminist theory, and questions of gender in social context. Prerequisite(s): FRE 240, 250, or 251. Not open to students who have received credit for FRE 365A. [W2] M. Rice-DeFosse. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
FRE 377. Colon/Colonisé: Récits de l'Expérience Nord-Africaine.This course studies the colonial, postcolonial, and immigrant experience of North Africans as portrayed in Francophone literature. Readings include narratives and journals from the beginning of the colonial period in Algeria (1830), as well as the contemporary novels and discourse of feminists such as Assia Djebar, Malika Mokeddem, and Leïla Sebbar. Gender is often highlighted as a category of analysis. Prerequisite(s): FRE 240, 250, or 251. Instructor permission is required. M. Belkaïd. Concentrations
FRE 378. Voix francophones des Antilles.An examination of literary voices from the French-speaking Caribbean from the first half of the twentieth century to the contemporary period, including works by authors such as Aimé Césaire, René Depestre, Edouard Glissant, Marie Chauvet, Maryse Condé, Gisèle Pineau, and Patrick Chamoiseau. The course explores topics such representations of colonial past and slavery, the Négritude movement, issues of political and social justice, hybridity, and créolité. Prerequisite(s): FRE 240, 250, or 251. Not open to students who have received credit for FRE 365G. M. Rice-DeFosse. Concentrations
FRE 379. Documenting the Genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda.This course presents a historical and rhetorical examination of various media and genres that bear witness to the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and question the ability to document genocide in Africa through Western modes of representation and information. Students analyze literary works written by Francophone sub-Saharan African writers such as Koulsy Lamko (Chad) and Boubacar Boris Diop (Senegal), the play Rwanda 94, written testimonies by Tutsi and Hutu survivors such as Yolande Mukagasana and Esther Mujawayo and those of foreign journalists present during or after the genocide such as Jean Hatzfeld, fictional films by Raoul Peck and Terry George, and numerous documentaries by Western and Rwandan filmakers. Prerequisite(s): FRE 240, 250, or 251. Not open to students who have received credit for FRE 365H. Enrollment limited to 20. [W2] A. Dauge-Roth. Concentrations
FRE 457. Senior Thesis.Open only to senior majors, with departmental permission. Before registering for 457 or 458 a student must present to the department chair an acceptable plan, including an outline and a tentative bibliography, after discussion with a member of the department. Students register for FRE 457 in the fall semester. Senior majors register for 457 or 458 only, unless the department gives permission for a second semester's credit because the nature of the project warrants it. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both FRE 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations
FRE 458. Senior Thesis.Open only to senior majors, with departmental permission. Before registering for 457 or 458 a student must present to the department chair an acceptable plan, including an outline and a tentative bibliography, after discussion with a member of the department. Students register for FRE 458 in the winter semester. Senior majors register for 457 or 458 only, unless the department gives permission for a second semester's credit because the nature of the project warrants it. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both FRE 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. ConcentrationsShort Term Courses
FRE s24. Cooking Up French Culture.The French gastronome Brillat-Savarin wrote, "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are." This course studies the ways in which food is prepared and eaten in selected works of French literature and film and what those culinary traditions tell us about the changing identity of the French. Literary and cinematic representations may include works by may Flaubert, Zola, Proust, Buñuel, Axel, Jeunet, Ferreri, Barbery, and Gavalda. The course includes some practice in food preparation and service. Prerequisite(s): FRE 201 or one course beyond 201. New course beginning Short Term 2014. Enrollment limited to 25. Normally offered every other year. M. Rice-DeFosse. Concentrations
FRE s28. Social Pulse, Documentary Impulse.What kind of unique knowledge does a documentary film seek to offer? What are the strengths and the limits of this genre in our increasingly visual culture? Does the documentary impulse bring us closer to the "reality" of which it takes the pulse? Does it force us to face the existential and political practices it makes socially visible? How do documentary films, in comparison with historical fiction or novels, position their viewers and call for social engagement? Moreover, to what extent are documentary films able to renew our vision of postcolonial history and national memory? This course examines these issues through the works of several French and Francophone documentary filmmakers. Prerequisite(s): one French and Francophone studies course beyond 201. (Community-Engaged Learning.) A. Dauge-Roth. Concentrations
FRE s33. France, Day by Day.This course offers an intensive immersion experience in French language and culture in Nantes (three weeks) and Paris (four days). The course pays close attention to the everyday, lived experience of French people; the homestay component is central to the course. Students live with families in the Nantes region for the three-week stay, exploring cultural similarities and differences. The course is organized around three discrete units: Nantes and Its History, Nantes and Food, and Nantes and the Arts. These units present a window onto French culture to deepen students' understanding of how they live day to day in families, together in class, and in their individual explorations of the city and region. At the end of the course, students spend four days in Paris. Prerequisite(s): one French and Francophone studies course beyond 201. Enrollment limited to 14. K. Read. Concentrations
FRE s36. The Evolution of French Cinema.A study of the development of theme, structure, and technique in French film through the works of directors such as Vigo, Clair, Renoir, Resnais, Godard, Truffaut, Kurys, Beneix, and Jeunet. Prerequisite(s): one French and Francophone studies course beyond 201. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. M. Rice-DeFosse. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
FRE s38. Learning with Orphans of the Genocide in Rwanda.From a perspective of civic engagement, students undertake an oral history project to understand the lives of orphans of the genocide of the Tutsis fifteen years after the catastrophic event. By evaluating the life stories, needs, challenges, sufferings, and hopes of these vulnerable survivors, students learn from them as they identify forms of social resilience and long-term negotiation of trauma. They consider the history of Rwanda, the origin of the genocide of 1994, and its aftermath. In Rwanda, they meet several important social actors and government officials involved in the process of memorialization, mourning, national reconciliation, and testimony. Prerequisite(s): FRE 235. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. (Community-Engaged Learning.) A. Dauge-Roth. Concentrations
FRE s39. Tintin et les Intellos.The intrepid boy reporter Tintin is a cultural icon of vast international acclaim. His adventures, drawn and written by Georges Rémi (Hergé), have been translated into over fifty languages and sold hundreds of millions of copies. In this course, students explore the Tintin phenomenon as artistic production, as colonialist discourse, as commodified object, and as part of a distinctly European tradition of graphic storytelling. Readings include a selection of the twenty-three adventures, a biography of Hergé, and related critical works on the reception and controversy of Tintin's enduring popularity. All readings and discussions are in French. Prerequisite(s): one French and Francophone studies course beyond 201. Enrollment limited to 30. K. Read. Concentrations
FRE s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations