Mission Statement

True to the emancipating potential of the liberal arts championed in the mission of Bates College, the Department of French and Francophone Studies educates students to expand their linguistic and cultural literacy and become discerning and engaged citizens of the world.

Deeply informed by faculty commitment to explore the unique diversity of literary and cinematic traditions of France and Francophone cultures, our curriculum consistently values the ways in which cultural and historical encounters have transformed France and the myriad societies that have come to share the French language. We strive to offer an interdisciplinary education for coming times through the exploration of migration, identity, and social transformation, with frequent attention to the influences of gender, race, class, religion and nationality. Students and faculty address these issues across historical periods in France and the Francophone world with attention to the active, local French-speaking communities of Maine. Rigorous, engaged and lively, the Department of French and Francophone Studies prepares students to embrace diversity and change in a dynamic and rapidly evolving world.