Languages and Cultures

French Studies Course Descriptions

FREN 111 Introduction to the French Language (4)

An introduction to the basic elements of the French language. Work in all communicative skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, with particular attention to grammar and pronunciation. Introduction to the geography and culture of the French-speaking world. Offered in Spring.

FREN 112 French Language and Culture I (4)

Continued systematic development of all communicative skills. Further understanding of French culture, geography, and customs, enhanced by readings and video selections. Offered in Fall.

FREN 115 Elementary French I Abroad (4)

An introduction to the basic elements of the French language. Work in all communicative skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, with particular attention to grammar and pronunciation. This course is equivalent to FREN 111 on campus.

FREN 116 Elementary French II Abroad (4)

Continued systematic development of all communicative skills. This course is equivalent to FREN 112 on campus.

FREN 202 Reading Group in French (0-1)

Selected readings deal with world languages and cultures. Texts read may be classics in a national literature, works by writers who recently won a high literary prize, or texts dealing with current topics critical to the history or politics of a particular country. Texts may be tied to on-campus lectures on world literature by invited speakers. This course can be repeated once for credit with the permission of the chair. Offered for S/U grading only

FREN 211 French Language and Culture II (4)

Continued systematic development of all communicative skills. Further understanding of French culture, geography, and customs, enhanced by readings and video selections. Satisfactory completion of FREN 211 meets the global language proficiency goal and prepares the student for FREN 212. Offered in Spring.

FREN 212 French-Speaking Cultures in Readings and Film (4)

Francophone cultures through short literary and cultural readings and short films, with a grammar review component and continued development of reading, writing and speaking skills in French. Prerequisite: French 211 (or 215) or placement by examination. Offered in Fall.

FREN 215 Intermediate French I Abroad (4)

Continued systematic development of all communicative skills. Satisfactory completion of FREN 215 meets the global language proficiency goal and prepares the student for FREN 212. This course is equivalent to FREN 211 on campus.

FREN 216 Intermediate French II Abroad (4)

Continued systematic development of all communicative and intercultural skills. Satisfactory completion of FREN 216 meets the global language proficiency goal and prepares the student for the French major and minor sequence.

FREN 271 Individual Learning Project (1-4)

Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

FREN 302 Reading Group in French (0-1)

Selected readings deal with world languages and cultures. Texts read may be classics in a national literature, works by writers who recently won a high literary prize, or texts dealing with current topics critical to the history or politics of a particular country. Texts may be tied to on-campus lectures on world literature by invited speakers. This course can be repeated once for credit with the permission of the chair. Offered for S/U grading only

FREN 311 Studies in Language and Culture (4)

A study of contemporary cultural topics in French-speaking countries: geography, people, and customs. Readings cover social systems including education, health care, technology, family, religion, art, and political thought. Students will integrate these topics with intensive study of the French language, grammar, and phonetics. Emphasis placed on conversational skills and oral expression. Offered in Spring.

FREN 312 Literature of the French-Speaking World (4)

An introduction to French-language texts and media from a variety of genres: cinema, fiction, poetry, bandes dessinees, advertising, and theater. The course offers the opportunity to discuss the works studied and to practice textual analysis with continued emphasis on grammar, speaking and writing. Offered in Fall.

FREN 315 Conversation and Composition I Abroad (4)

Intensive study of the French language in cultural contexts. Emphasis placed on conversational skills and oral expression. This course is equivalent to FREN 311 on campus.

FREN 316 Conversation and Composition II Abroad (4)

Continued study of the French language in cultural context. This course fulfills the same major and minor requirement as FREN 312 on campus.

FREN 320 Advanced French Abroad (4)

This course explores topics of cultural developments in the French-speaking world, with continued development of communicative and intercultural skills.

FREN 322 Expression Théâtrale Abroad (1-2)

This course provides students the opportunity to participate in live theatrical performance, building confidence and developing oral skills. Students rehearse regularly to perform publicly at the end of the semester.

FREN 323 French Civilization Abroad (4)

France is presented through its history, geography, and politics. Emphasis is on the media, daily life of young people, educational institutions and aspects of fashion. (Taught in French).

FREN 324 French Cinema Abroad (4)

This seminar seeks to illuminate the evolution of French Cinema. Among the many aspects covered: the particular movements, renowned legends of the screen, cinematic writing, the reality and role of the Film Festival in Cannes, as well as French cinema in today's world. (Taught in French).

FREN 330 French Literature Before the Revolution (4)

In this course students become familiar with some of the great books which gave rise to French literary culture. Readings are drawn from verse, drama, fiction, and essays. Emphasis on fostering an appreciation of French literature, understanding the works in their social and historical context, and learning the techniques of literary analysis. Prerequisite: 311 (or 315) or 312 (or 316).

FREN 331 French Literature from Monarchy to Republic (4)

This course focuses on the poetry, theatre, novels, short stories, and essays written during the period when France led the development of European democratic traditions. Emphasis on fostering an appreciation of French literature, understanding the works in their social and historical context, and learning the techniques of literary analysis. Prerequisite: 311 (or 315) or 312 (or 316).

FREN 332 20th-21st Century French Literature (4)

The poems, plays, graphic novels and prose works in this course provide insight into the beginnings of the French democracy and the expansion of its colonial empire, with emphasis on the post-colonial period in the contemporary francophone world. Emphasis on fostering an appreciation of French literature, understanding the works in their social and historical context, and learning the techniques of literary analysis. Prerequisite: 311 (or 315) or 312 (or 316).

FREN 341 The French-Speaking World Today (4)

A study of diverse Francophone cultures as they have evolved from colonization to independence. Films, cultural readings and literary texts are used in this study of Quebec, and former French colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Prerequisite: 311 (or 315) or 312 (or 316)

FREN 350 Studies in Language and Expression (4)

These courses provide opportunities for students to strengthen their oral and written French at the advanced level. Prerequisites: 311 (or 315) or 312 (or 316) and at least one 4-credit advanced course.

FREN 350A French Phonetics (4)

This course will help students deepen their mastery of the structures of spoken French and enrich their active vocabulary. Using Saussure’s Cours de linguistique générale as a starting point, students will learn the International Phonetic Alphabet, develop an understanding of basic linguistic terminology of articulatory phonetics and of the principles that govern French pronunciation. Using multimedia, short transcriptions and audio recordings, students will analyze dialectal variation and historical changes in the language, syllabic and metrical structure, liaison, intonation, and prosody, as well as the relationship between orthography and spoken language in order to improve and perfect their pronunciation and aural comprehension of Modern Standard French.

FREN 351 Topics in French-Language Literature (4)

An in-depth study of a particular period, genre, or theme. Prerequisite: 311 (or 315) or 312 (or 316).

FREN 351B La France du XVII siecle: entre baroque et classicisme (4)

This course’s main focus is theater of the 17th century, though it is meant as an introduction to French literature of the Grand siècle. Through its study, students will analyze the aesthetic and ideological notions of “baroque” and “classicism” and will explore how they co-existed during the 17th century. Cultural and historical topics that accompany literary production will be discussed in class, including religious tensions, literary quarrels and philosophical ideas. Discussions will also include secondary sources and film. At the end of the semester, students will be able to describe the main characteristics and elements of French literature and culture of the Grand siècle, as well as write a paper in the style of the French “commentaire composé”. The course will be conducted exclusively in French. Pre-requisite: FREN 311 or 312

FREN 352 Topics in Francophone Culture (4)

A study of a particular social movement, issue, or debate as reflected in the documents, art, literature, and customs of French-speaking cultures. Prerequisite: 311 (or 315) or 312 (or 316).

FREN 352A Bon App ! : La Culture Gourmande du Monde Francophone (4)

Bon app ! : La culture gourmande du monde francophone »: In this upper division Topics in Culture class, students will be introduced (or review) content related to the world of francophone gastronomy and to les arts de la table. It will include historical aspects of the gourmet culture of the francophone world, as well as literary texts and film that address the importance of that food culture. This discussion-based course will also include experiential learning opportunities, in collaboration with local resources available to our students. Students will develop writing skills in French and there will be select grammar review, dependent on students’ needs. Pre-requisites: 311 or 312 (or approval from instructor). Class will be conducted in French.

FREN 352C Paris Revolutions (4)

An exploration of the changing image of Paris, France, from its ancient and medieval origins to the present. We focus on three tumultuous periods: the 1789 Revolution, the multiple revolts of the nineteenth century, and the Occupation of Paris during World War II. Individual student projects bring in other revolutionary issues and periods, from medieval sieges to the student revolution of 1968, from the gilets jaunes to the challenges of the European Union. Prerequisites FREN 311 or 312 or 315 or 316.

FREN 352D Gender & Power in Francophone Culture (4)

In this course, we explore the ways in which women (in history and in literature) have engendered power, for male leaders, for themselves as agents, for their community, for their gender. We will begin with the warrior nation- builders like Geneviève and Jeanne d’Arc and continue with the women of revolution and salon of the 17th and 18th centuries. We will also examine figures representing the divas of opera, screen, and Parisian life, such as the soprano in Balzac’s Sarrasine, Carmen, and Salome. We will then turn to the women of the French Resistance, student riots, and post-colonial conflicts and wars of the 20th C. Finally, we will consider contemporary figures constructing different images, realities, and possibilities for women and men in the 21st century. Individual student projects will allow us to expand our study to include literary prototypes and cultural leaders, thinkers, artists, fashion designers, cinematographers, and writers from around the francophone world. One question we will follow throughout is to what extent these images and figures related to power are constructed by women or projected by the culture onto women, to what extent individuals and groups are bound or freed by such constructs.

FREN 352F Vie Politique Abroad (4)

This course offers an understanding and knowledge of both the institutions and current political climate of France: movements, political parties, communication techniques in the media. (Taught in French).

FREN 354 Studies in French Language (2)

A study of a specific aspect of French language. Course may be repeated for credit with different topics. Prerequisite: 311 (or 315) or 312 (or 316) or permission of instructor.

FREN 354A French Phonetics (2)

In this course we will work on French phonetics and pronunciation using poems from the 16th-20th centuries as material for practicing French pronunciation. We will also review poetic form and work on writing a French explication de texte on one or more poems. Offered in French only. Prerequisite: 311 or 312 or 315 or 316 (or permission of instructor).

FREN 354C Cinéma et Conversation (2)

This course makes use of cinema, (the French “seventh art”), to help students increase their cultural knowledge of France and its former colonies while building their vocabulary and honing discussion and presentation skills in French. Prerequisite: FREN 311, 315, 312 or 316 or permission of instructor.

FREN 354D The Subjunctive (2)

Study and practice of the subjunctive mood leads to greater confidence and nuance in writing and conversation in French. Content-based learning through grammar exercises setting the subjunctive in context with the imperative and indicative; translations from French to English, from English to French; analysis of excerpts from literature, cultural writings, music and advertising to highlight forms of the subjunctive, In-class performance of dialogues and skits emphasize the distinction between the indicative and the subjunctive. Prerequisite: 311 or 315 or 312 or 316 or permission of instructor.

FREN 355 Studies in French/Francophone Culture (2)

A study of a particular cultural theme, author, or issue. Course may be repeated for credit with different topics. Prerequisite: 311 or 312 or 315 or 316 permission of instructor.

FREN 355A French-Language Plays (2)

We read, analyze, discuss and act out scenes from four one-act French-language plays with emphasis on literary innovation. Prerequisite: FREN 311, 312, 315 or 316 or instructor permission.

FREN 355D Performing in French (2)

In this course, we study French-language works from a variety of genres: songs, spoken word, short plays (from medieval farce to experimental theater of the 20th-21st centuries); we will choose particular pieces to learn and perform for a public audience. Performance venue may vary depending on projects chosen: in class, open mic at O’Conn’s, Brother Willie’s Pub, other campus stage venues, or even Celebrating Scholarship & Creativity Day or the French Lyric Festival. May require one substantial rehearsal TBA prior to performance. Prerequisite: FREN 311, 312, 315 or 316 or permission of instructor.

FREN 355F Post-Colonial au féminin (2)

This course is a study of French-language literature or cinema created by or about women whose origins are in former French colonies. We study works that address issues of identity including gender, race, social class, religion and immigrant status. In some works, we look at the rights and the cultural responsibilities/contributions of women in Francophone cultures. The broader post-colonial themes in this course include beur culture, métissage, racial and religious tensions, as well as the widely-shared belief among French citizens of European origin in the desirability and necessity of post-colonial assimilation into French cultural. Prerequisite: FREN 311, 315, 312 or 316.

FREN 355H Poetry, Song and Dance (2)

Prerequisite FREN 311, 312, 315 or 316.

FREN 355I A LIFE OF MEANING (2)

A Life of Meaning: An exploration of French-language thinkers who grapple with the fundamental question of how to live a good life. Readings include: Christine de Pisan, Montaigne, de Beauvoir, Chedid, Badiou, French commentaries on the Rule of Benedict.

FREN 371 Individual Learning Project (1-4)

Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

FREN 397 Internship (1-4)

Completed Application for Internship Form REQUIRED. See Internship Office Web Page.

FREN 399 Senior Capstone (2)

All majors must present a senior capstone in a public forum. In consultation with a faculty advisor students choose a project appropriate to their previous course of study and/or their individual goals. Students completing 398 on a topic relevant to their French major do not need to complete FREN 399.

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Ana Conboy
Chair, Languages and Cultures Department
CSB Richarda P16
320-363-5754

Jennifer Schwichtenberg
Department Coordinator
CSB Richarda P38
320-363-5067
SJU Quad 253A
320-363-3093