Spring 2023 Courses


Conducted entirely in French

fren 120: elementary and intermediate french ii

Continuation of FREN 110. Open only to students who took FREN 110 (L1) at Yale.  

french 130:  intermediate and advanced french i

The first half of a two-term sequence designed to develop students’ proficiency in the four language skill areas. Prepares students for further work in literary, language, and cultural studies, as well as for nonacademic use of French. Oral communication skills, writing practice, vocabulary expansion, and a comprehensive review of fundamental grammatical structures are integrated with the study of short stories, novels, and films. 

french 140: intermediate and advanced french ii

The second half of a two-term sequence designed to develop students’ proficiency in the four language skill areas. Introduction of more complex grammatical structures. Films and other authentic media accompany literary readings from throughout the francophone world, culminating with the reading of a longer novel and in-class presentation of student research projects. 

french 145: intensive intermediate and advanced french

An accelerated course that covers in one term the material taught in FREN 130 and 140. Emphasis on speaking, writing, and the conversion of grammatical knowledge into reading competence. 

french 150: advanced language practice

An advanced language course intended to improve students’ comprehension of spoken and written French as well as their speaking and writing skills. Modern fiction and nonfiction texts familiarize students with idiomatic French. Special attention to grammar review and vocabulary acquisition.


Gateway courses

fren 160: advanced conversation through culture, film, and media

Intensive oral practice designed to further skills in listening comprehension, speaking, and reading through the use of videos, films, fiction, and articles. Emphasis on contemporary French and francophone cultures. Prerequisites: FREN 150, or a satisfactory placement test score, or with permission of the course director. May be taken concurrently with or after FREN 170. Conducted in French.

fren 170: introduction to the study of literature in french

Introduction to close reading and analysis of literary texts written in French. Works by authors such as Marie de France, Molière, Balzac, Hugo, Baudelaire, Duras, Proust, and Genet. Conducted in French.

Advanced Language Courses

fren 182B: Advanced Writing Workshop (lauren pinzka)

An advanced writing course for students who wish to work intensively on perfecting their written French. Frequent compositions of varying lengths, including creative writing, rédactions (compositions on concrete topics), and dissertations (critical essays). Recommended for prospective majors.

Conducted entirely in French. After FREN 150 or higher, or a satisfactory placement test score. May be taken after courses in the 200–449 range.

fren 184b: business french: communication and culture (léo tertrain)

An advanced language course emphasizing verbal communication and culture.  Designed to foster the acquisition of the linguistic and cultural skills required to evolve within a French business environment.  Discussions, in-class activities and group projects in simulated professional situations.  Topics such as the liberalization of the French economy, trading in the European Union, new forms of business organizations, globalization are explored through a business textbook, articles, video clips, radio shows, films, documentaries, and excerpts from essays and literary texts.  Conducted in French.

fren 192b: intermediate literary translation (nichole Gleisner)

A continuation of FREN 191a for students who wish to work on a longer project and to deepen their reading in translation theory. Conducted in English, readings in French.

General Fields Courses

fren 247: Experimental Literature, Theory, and Manifestoes (morgane cadieu)

A survey of the French experimental prose of the 20th and 21st centuries. Corpus includes novels and plays, literary and political manifestoes, and landmark articles on literary theory, structuralism, and poststructuralism. Topics include: inspiration and creativity; the aesthetics of manifestoes and the politics of literature; automatic writing and constrained prose; feminist and queer writings; urban spaces in avant-garde literary movements. Works by: Bataille, Beauvoir, Beckett, Breton, Perec, Sarraute, Wittig. Theoretical excerpts by: Barthes, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Glissant, Malabou. 

fren 267: translation, literature, culture (alice kaplan)

The seminar explores cultural issues and debates around contemporary translations of English-French/French-English fiction. Weekly themes include: the music of language and the physicality of translation; translation and ideology; economies of translation; retranslations; analyzing translators’ manuscripts at the Beinecke; translation as a factor in the formation of transnational dialogue; and the question of who translates.  Each class session includes a practical component of translation exercises. The course qualifies for the French Department translation track and the Yale College translation certificate. 

This course can be taken as a sequel to FREN 191 and FREN 192.

Special Topics Courses

fren 350: Baudelaire (thomas c. connolly)

An undergraduate seminar on the life and work of one the greatest poets of all time, and founder of modernity, Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867). Readings include œuvre de jeunesse, his collection of poems in verse, Les fleurs du mal, his collection of poems in prose, Le spleen de Paris, as well as his writings on fashion, contemporary culture, drugs, the arts, especially painting, his translations from English and American including Edgar Allan Poe, his private journals, the infamous late writings on Belgium and the Belgians, as well as his rare attempts at theater. His afterlives in literature, painting, music, dance, film, translation, and philosophy. Secondary materials including but not limited to Benjamin, Bonnefoy, Derrida, Fondane, Sartre. Readings in French, discussions in English.

fren 377: Francophone Romanticism (marlene daut)

This course is a literary-historical examination of francophone romantic writing produced in the Age of Revolutions, an era that began with the U.S. American Revolution in 1776, continued with the storming of the Bastille in France in 1789, and culminated with a series of slave revolts and military strikes that erupted in Saint Domingue in 1791 and led to what we now call the Haitian Revolution. Students examine the origins, meanings, and legacies of these political struggles for freedom and equality in writings by a diverse array of romantic authors from Haiti and the French Caribbean, New Orleans, and metropolitan France. Readings and discussion in English.

FREN 388: Feminine Voices in French Literature (R Howard Bloch/pierre saint-amand)

An exploration of women’s voices in French literature from the Middle Ages to the mid-twentieth century. The specificity of the feminine voice, the plurality of feminine voices, love and sexuality, and social and professional identity. Authors include Marie de France, Marguerite de Navarre, Francoise de Graffigny, Maryse Condé, and Marguerite Duras.  

Readings and discussion in English.

fren 412: Postcolonial Theory and Literature (Fadila Habchi)

A survey of the principal modes of thought that have animated decolonization and life after colonialism, as seen in both theoretical and literary texts. Concentration on the British and French imperial and postcolonial contexts. Readings in negritude, orientalism, psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, and novels.

Lectures in English; readings available both in French and in English translation.

Fren 442: Decolonizing Memory : Africa & the Politics of Testimony (jill jarvis)

This seminar explores the politics and poetics of memory in a time of unfinished decolonization. It also provides students with a working introduction to anticolonial, postcolonial, and decolonial critique. Together we bring key works on the topics of state violence, trauma, and testimony into contact with literary works and films by artists of the former French and British empires in Africa. Reading literary and theoretical works together permits us to investigate archival silences and begin to chart a future for the critical study of colonial violence and its enduring effects. Literary readings may include works by Djebar, Rahmani, Ouologuem, Sebbar, Diop, Head, Krog. Films by Djebar, Leuvrey, Sembène, and Sissako. Theoretical readings may include works by Arendt, Azoulay, Césaire, Derrida, Fanon, Mbembe, Ngũgĩ, Spivak, and Trouillot.