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Columbia University’s Directory of Classes
Current (and future) class schedules are accessible here: Directory of Classes.

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Undergraduate Course Descriptions Fall 2014

French 3240 FREN LANG, SOC, CULTRE THRU FILM
Heidi Holst-Knudsen
Socio-political issues and language through the prism of film. Especially designed for non-majors wishing to further develop their French language skills and learn about French culture. Each module includes assignments targeting the four language competencies: reading, writing, speaking and oral comprehension, as well as cultural understanding. Note: this course does not count toward the French major or concentration

French 3333 INTRO TO LITERARY STUDIES I

TBA
Major literary works from the XIIth Century to 1700. The goal of this course is to train students in literary analysis, and to make them comfortable speaking and writing on literary topics. Authors include Chretien de Troyes, Rabelais, Moliere, Corneille, Madame de Lafayette.

French 3334 INTRO TO LITERARY STUDIES II
Vincent Debaene
Major literary works since 1700. The goal of this course is to train students in literary analysis, and to make them comfortable speaking and writing on literary topics. Authors include Montesquieu, Rousseau, Chateaubriand, Balzac, Baudelaire, Proust, Sarraute.

French 3405 THIRD-YEAR GRAMMAR & COMP
TBA
Prerequisites: Satisfaction of the Columbia University language requirement or the permission of the Director of undergraduate studies. W3405 helps students to improve their grammar and perfect their writing and reading skills, especially as a preparation for taking literature or civilization courses, or spending a semester in a francophone country.

French 3420 INTRO-FRANCOPHONE STUDIES I
Emmanuelle Saada
Examines conceptions of culture and civilization in France from the Enlightenment to the Exposition Coloniale of 1931, with an emphasis on the historical development and ideological foundations of French colonialism. Authors and texts include: the Encycloplédie; the Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen; the Code noir; Diderot; Chateaubriand; Tocqueville; Claire de Duras; Renan; Gobineau; Gauguin; Drumont.

French W3498 FRENCH CULTURAL WORKSHOP
Vincent Aurora, Samuel Skippon
Designed (though not exclusively) for students contemplating a stay at Reid Hall, this course will foster a comparison of the French and American cultures with readings from sociological sources and emphasis on in-class discussion in an attempt to comprehend and avoid common causes of cross-cultural communication.

French W3654 PHILOSOPHY AS PRACTICE IN EARLY MODERN FRANCE
Johanna Magin
Philosophers have long been asking themselves the question, “What is the good life?”.  But the answers have not always come in the form of a life well lived.  In this course, we will take a careful survey of the philosophical writings of several early modern French authors who revived, in their own ways, the ancient understanding of philosophy as praxis and as a chiefly therapeutic enterprise. Authors include: Montaigne, Descartes, Pascal, La Bruyère, Rousseau, Diderot.

French 3714 1914-2014: UN SIECLE DE LITTERATURES
Vincent Debaene
This class is intended as a survey course on French literatures in the past 100 years. It will consider all major moments and movements of literature in French in the 20th century (surrealism, existentialism, negritude, Nouveau Roman…) until and including some of the most remarkable literary creations of the early 21st century. The course is taught in French and the readings will be in French.

French W3995 SENIOR SEMINAR
Antoine Compagnon
Required for all French and French & Francophone Studies majors. Students have an opportunity to collaboratively create their own syllabus of literary and critical readings.

French G4622 DERRIDA
Etienne Balibar
Our aim in this class will be to construct a trajectory across the work of Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), which combines philosophy and literature by means of a new notion of writing, deconstructing their traditional antithesis. In the end, what is reached by Derrida is nothing less than the critique of "Western" categorizations of universality and rationality, and the possibility of a new internationalism.

French G4800 QUESTIONS IN AFRICAN LITERATURE
Souleymane B. Diagne
The course will examine what can be called writing of domination and violence (colonialism, despotism, mutilations, genocide...) in five West African novels (by Amadou Mapaté Diagne, Ousmane Sembène , Yambo Ouologuem, Boubacar Boris Diop, Véronique Tadjo) and two films by Ousmane Sembène and Souleymane Cissé. The course is taught in French and the readings will be in French.

Previous Course Offerings

Spring 2014

W3132 THIRD YEAR CONVERSATION
Conversation on contemporary French subjects based on readings in current popular French periodicals

W3240 FREN LANGUAGE, SOCIETY, CULTURE THROUGH FILM
Heidi Holst-Knudsen
Socio-political issues and language through the prism of film. Especially designed for non-majors wishing to further develop their French language skills and learn about French culture. Each module includes assignments targeting the four language competencies: reading, writing, speaking and oral comprehension, as well as cultural understanding. Note: this course does not count toward the French major or concentration

W3333 INTRO TO LITERARY STUDIES I
Vincent Debaene
Major literary works from the XIIth Century to 1750. The goal of this course is to train students in literary analysis, and to make them comfortable speaking and writing on literary topics. Authors include Chretien de Troyes, Rabelais, Moliere, Corneille, Madame de Lafayette.

W3334 INTRO TO LITERARY STUDIES II
Erin Twohig
Major literary works since 1750. The goal of this course is to train students in literary analysis, and to make them comfortable speaking and writing on literary topics. Authors include Montesquieu, Rousseau, Chateaubriand, Balzac, Baudelaire, Proust, Sarraute.

W3405 THIRD-YEAR GRAMMAR & COMPOSITION
The goal of W3405 is to help students improve their grammar and perfect their writing and reading skills, especially as a preparation for taking literature or civilization courses, or spending a semester in a francophone country. Through the study of two full-length works of literature and a number of short texts representative of different genres, periods, and styles, they will become more aware of stylistic nuances, and will be introduced to the vocabulary and methods of literary analysis. Working on the advanced grammar points covered in this course will further strengthen their mastery of French syntax. They will also be practicing writing through a variety of exercises, including pastiches and creative pieces, as well as typically French forms of academic writing such as "résumé," "explication de texte," and "dissertation".

W3421 INTRO-FRANCOPHONE STUDIES II
Loren Wolfe
Universalism vs. exceptionalism, tradition vs. modernity, integration and exclusion, racial, gender, regional, and national identities are considered in this introduction to the contemporary French-speaking world in Europe, the Americas, and Africa. Authors include: Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sedar Senghor, Frantz Fanon, Maryse Condé.

W4995 FRENCH FOR DIPLOMATS
Quentin Jeantet
This course deals with French foreign policy. It is designed for students who have a good French level (the whole course is taught is French, so there are minimal requirements) and are interested by international relations and France. It aims at improving students' knowledge of French diplomacy: the vision and values it carries, its history, its logic, its strengths, its weaknesses, the interrogations and challenges it faces. Though it is not a language course (there will be no grammar), it will also sharpen students' mastering of French (especially useful for those considering an exchange at Sciences Po, or wanting to work in places such as the United nations where it is useful to master some French diplomatic vocabulary).

W3503 ENLIGHTENMENT/COUNTERENLIGHTENMENT
Joanna Stalnaker
Taking modern definitions and critiques of Enlightenment as its starting point, this course will look at how the Enlightenment defined itself as a philosophical, cultural and literary movement, practiced self-criticism from within, and responded to dissension and critique from without. Authors will include Adorno, Horkheimer, Foucault and Israel for the modern critical context, and Voltaire, Diderot, Buffon, Rousseau, Sade and Kant for the eighteenth century material. The course will be given in French, but non-majors may write papers in English. This course fulfills the French Major requirement for a course on literature before 1800.

W3600 FRANCE PAST AND PRESENT: AN INTRODUCTION TO FRENCH CIVILIZATION
Emmanuelle Saada
Based on readings of short historical sources, the course will provide an overview of French political and cultural history since 1700

FREN W3640  POESIE FRANCOPHONE D'AFRIQUE ET DES ANTILLES 1890-1970
Vincent Debaene
This class is devoted to an understudied aspect of Francophone literature, namely the wide corpus of poetry written in French in Africa and the Caribbean, until (and including) decolonization. We will close-read poems, insisting on the basic tools required to do so and on the history of poetic forms (e.g. what are the differences between vers libre, verset, poème en prose?), and we will explore notions such as exoticism, automatism, avant-garde or anthology. The ultimate goal is to reflect on the practice of writing and reading poetry in the context of a structural imbalance between center and periphery. The course is taught in French and the readings will be in French.

CLFR G4000Y THEORY OF LITERATURE
Madeleine Dobie
Leading theories of literature as a cultural category and of literary history and form, with an emphasis on French and Francophone thinkers, including Barthes, Bourdieu, Cixous, Derrida, Genette, Foucault, Khatibi, Glissant and Rancière. Areas of discussion include theories of authorship, narrative and reading/reception and discussions of national, comparative, postcolonial, francophone and world literature. During the semester we consider several novels and films in conjunction with theoretical arguments. Satisfies French MA/PhD theory requirement. Can also be taken as an elective by qualified seniors. Taught primarily in French.

Fall 2013

French 3240 FREN LANG, SOC, CULTRE THRU FILM
Heidi Holst-Knudsen
Socio-political issues and language through the prism of film. Especially designed for non-majors wishing to further develop their French language skills and learn about French culture. Each module includes assignments targeting the four language competencies: reading, writing, speaking and oral comprehension, as well as cultural understanding. Note: this course does not count toward the French major or concentration

French 3333 INTRO TO LITERARY STUDIES I
Jacqueline Lerescu
Major literary works from the XIIth Century to 1700. The goal of this course is to train students in literary analysis, and to make them comfortable speaking and writing on literary topics. Authors include Chretien de Troyes, Rabelais, Moliere, Corneille, Madame de Lafayette.

French 3334 INTRO TO LITERARY STUDIES II
TBA
Major literary works since 1700. The goal of this course is to train students in literary analysis, and to make them comfortable speaking and writing on literary topics. Authors include Montesquieu, Rousseau, Chateaubriand, Balzac, Baudelaire, Proust, Sarraute.

French 3405 THIRD-YEAR GRAMMAR & COMP
Nicolae Virastau, Matthew Trumbo-Tual, Samuel Skippon, Pascale Crepon
Prerequisites: Satisfaction of the Columbia University language requirement or the permission of the Director of undergraduate studies. W3405 helps students to improve their grammar and perfect their writing and reading skills, especially as a preparation for taking literature or civilization courses, or spending a semester in a francophone country.

French 3420 INTRO-FRANCOPHONE STUDIES I
Madeleine Dobie
Examines conceptions of culture and civilization in France from the Enlightenment to the Exposition Coloniale of 1931, with an emphasis on the historical development and ideological foundations of French colonialism. Authors and texts include: the Encycloplédie; the Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen; the Code noir; Diderot; Chateaubriand; Tocqueville; Claire de Duras; Renan; Gobineau; Gauguin; Drumont.

French W3498 FRENCH CULTURAL WORKSHOP
Vincent Aurora, Samuel Skippon
Designed (though not exclusively) for students contemplating a stay at Reid Hall, this course will foster a comparison of the French and American cultures with readings from sociological sources and emphasis on in-class discussion in an attempt to comprehend and avoid common causes of cross-cultural communication.

French W3766 TRANSCRIBING/WRITING TALES/AFR
Souleymane B. Diagne
Transcribing, adapting, rewriting, reinventing in the French language African oral tales is an important literary genre in African francophone literature. The works of authors such as Amadou Hampâté Bâ from Mali, Bernard Dadié from Côte d'Ivoire and Birago Diop from Senegal are among the classics of that genre. The course is a study of a certain number of "tales" written with talent and humor by Bâ, Dadié and Diop; they are from the following books: Il n' y a pas de petite querelle (Bâ), Le pagne noir (Dadié), Les contes d'Amadou Koumba, and Les nouveaux contes d'Amadou Koumba (Diop).The course is intended primarily for undergraduate students interested in French and in Francophone Studies majors, concentrators and those who speak French and want to study an important aspect of literature in French.

French W3995 SENIOR SEMINAR
Antoine Compagnon
Required for all French majors. Students have an opportunity to collaboratively create their own syllabus of literary and critical readings.

ENFR W4512 Proust
Elisabeth Ladenson
The course is designed as a general introduction to In Search of Lost Time, concentrating on the themes of homosexuality, Jewishness, and snobbery. Although the work is best known for its meditations on time and memory, they are for the most part confined to the famous opening and closing passages of the novel (excerpts from which are often all that people read). What is much less often discussed is how funny Proust’s novel is, and how this works, and why. We will examine the many different forms of humor in the text, with particular attention to the ways in which the fraught themes of homosexuality, Jewishness and snobbery are treated in alternatively comical and serious veins. The course will be conducted in English; those who wish to do so are invited to read the work in French, but the edition of reference will be the Modern Library Moncrieff-Kilmartin-Enright translation.

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Columbia University’s Directory of Classes
Current (and future) class schedules are accessible here: Directory of Classes.

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