The Department of French and Romance Philology
Since its founding in 1890, the Department of French and Romance Philology has been a thriving point of contact for scholars from around the world.
The Department continues to count some of the top scholars in the nation among its faculty. It is comprised of professors whose specialties range from medieval literature and culture to twentieth-century literature and intellectual history. In addition to the full-time faculty, approximately thirty teaching fellows and adjunct faculty teach French at various levels, and the Department regularly hosts distinguished scholars from around the world who take up residency as visiting professors. The Department is chaired by Philip Watts (PhD, Columbia).
Please choose from one of the options at left to access information about the Department's faculty and staff, as well as a list of contact information and services. The History section retraces the Department's founding and tradition of innovative scholarship.
The Department of French and Romance Philology offers several programs of study and a wide array of courses for both undergraduate and graduate students. To learn more about the programs of study and the resources available to current students, please visit the graduate and undergraduate sections of this web site. For information related specifically to admissions, please use the menu at left.
The Center was founded in 1997 with a dual mission: managing the undergraduate major in French and Francophone Studies, and fostering interdisciplinary research and teaching about France and the French-speaking world. For the long-term planning of interdisciplinary conferences and colloquia taking place at the Maison Française, the Center relies on a committee comprised of scholars in Art History, History, Literature, Political Science, and Sociology. The Center for French and Francophone Studies is directed by Emmanuelle Saada (Doctorat, EHESS).
An integral part of the life of the Department, the Maison Française of Columbia University was founded in 1913 and is the oldest French cultural center established on an American campus. It is a meeting place for students, scholars, business leaders, policy-makers and all persons seeking a better understanding of the French-speaking world.
The Maison Française offers a wide range of co-curricular activities for undergraduate and graduate students, including the French Culture Club, Café-conversation, Cinema Thursdays à la Maison, and a book club. Lectures by prominent public figures, writers and scholars are open to the general public. Past speakers have included Marc Fumaroli, Michel Zink, Paul Ricœur, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida, Etienne Balibar, Alain Juppé, Hubert Védrine, Jean-Claude Trichet, Guy Sorman, Christiane Taubira, François Bujon de l’Estang, and Jean-David Levitte.
The Maison Française also hosts international conferences and workshops on cultural, historical, and public policy issues such as "Romanic Review 1910-2010", "Thinking the Postcolonial in French", the Dreyfus Affair, Laïcité and secularism, French social thought since 1968, La Nouvelle Revue Française and modernism, André Malraux and twentieth-century French culture, Maryse Condé, Aragon and Elsa Triolet, the European elections, the colonial legacy in France and Africa, and the future of the euro. The director of the Maison Française is Shanny Peer (PhD, NYU).