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Haverford College

Course Catalog

French and Francophone Studies: 2009-2010

DescriptionFacultyMajor RequirementsHonors and the Senior ExperienceMinor RequirementsA.B./M.A. ProgramStudy AbroadTeacher CertificationCoursesDepartment Homepage


The Departments of French and Francophone Studies at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges offer a variety of courses and two options for the major. The purpose of the major in French is to lay the foundation for an understanding and appreciation of French and Francophone literatures and cultures. Course offerings are intended to serve both those with particular interest in French and Francophone literatures, literary theory and criticism, as well as those with particular interest in France and French-speaking countries from an interdisciplinary perspective. A thorough knowledge of French is a common goal for both options, and texts and discussion in French are central to the program.

In the 100-level courses, students are introduced to the study of French and Francophone literatures and cultures, and special attention is given to the speaking and writing of French. Courses at the 200-level treat French and Francophone literatures and civilizations from the beginning to the present day. Two 200-level courses are devoted to advanced language training, and one to the study of theory. Advanced (300-level) courses offer detailed study either of individual authors, genres, and movements or of particular periods, themes, and problems in French and Francophone cultures. In both options, students are admitted to advanced courses after satisfactory completion of two semesters of 200-level courses in French.

All students who wish to pursue their study of French must take a placement examination upon entrance at Haverford and Bryn Mawr. Those students who begin French have two options: intensive study of the language in the intensive sections (the sequence 001-002 Intensive Elementary; 005 Intensive Intermediate and 102 Introduction à l’analyse littéraire et culturelle II, or 005 and 105 Directions de la France contemporaine), or non-intensive study of the language in the non-intensive sequence (001-002; 003-004; 101-102 or 101-105). In either case, students who pursue French to the 200-level often find it useful to take as their first 200-level course either 212 Grammaire avancée or 260 Stylistique et traduction. Although it is possible to major in French using either of the two sequences, students who are considering doing so and have been placed at the 001 level are encouraged to take the intensive option.

The Department of French also cooperates with the Departments of Italian and Spanish in the Romance Languages major.

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At Haverford College:

Professor Koffi Anyinefa
Instructor Florence Echtman (at Haverford and Bryn Mawr)
Assistant Professor Duane W. Kight
Associate Professor David L. Sedley, Chair and Major Advisor


At Bryn Mawr College:

Eunice Morgan Schenck 1907 Professor Grace M. Armstrong, Acting Chair and Major Advisor
Lecturer Benjamin Cherel
Instructor Florence Echtman (at Bryn Mawr and Haverford)
Lecturer Mélanie Giraud
Associate Professor Francis Higginson
Associate Professor and Director of the Avignon Institute Brigitte Mahuzier
Lecturer Agnès Peysson-Zeiss

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Major Requirements

1. French and Francophone Literature: French 005-102 or 005-105; 101-102 or 101-105; French 212 or 260; French 213 (Qu'est-ce que la théorie?); three semesters of 200-level literature courses; two semesters of 300-level literature courses; and the two-semester Senior Experience. The Senior Experience is composed of Senior Conference in the Fall semester and, in the Spring semester, either a Senior Essay, written in the context of a third 300-level course, or a Senior Thesis. Both Senior Thesis and Essay include a final oral defense. For more details regarding the Senior Experience see HONORS AND THE SENIOR EXPERIENCE (below).

2. Interdisciplinary Studies in French: French 005-102 or 005-105; 101-102 or 101-105; French 212 or 260; two 200-level courses within the French departments: e.g., French 255, 291 or 299; two 200-level courses to be chosen by the student outside the French departments (at HC/BMC or JYA) which contribute coherently to his/her independent program of study; French 325 or 326 (Etudes avancées de civilisation); two 300-level courses outside the French departments; and a thesis of one semester in French or English. (For further details concerning the thesis and the rest of the Senior Experience see HONORS AND THE SENIOR EXPERIENCE below). Students interested in this option must present the rationale and the projected content of their program for departmental approval during their sophomore year; they should have strong records in French and the other subjects involved in their proposed program.

3. Both concentrations: all French majors are expected to acquire fluency in the French language, both written and oral. Unless specifically exempted by the department, they are required to take French 212 or 260, or their equivalent. Students placed at the 200-level by departmental examinations are exempted from the 100-level requirements. Occasionally, students may be admitted to seminars in the Graduate School at Bryn Mawr.

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Honors and the Senior Experience

For the French and Francophone Literature concentration, after taking Senior Conference in the Fall semester of senior year students have two options for the Spring semester. They may write a thesis (30-40 pp.) under the direction of a faculty member. Or, they may write an essay (15-20 pp.) in the context of a 300-level course. The first option allows students who have already developed a clearly defined subject in the Fall semester to pursue independent research and writing of a thesis with a faculty supervisor. The second option offers students the opportunity to produce a substantial, but shorter, piece of research within the structure of their 300-level course in the Spring semester. This option will appeal, for example, to double-majors with another thesis or to pre-medical students. Departmental honors are awarded for excellence in the Senior Experience, whether it involves a Senior Essay or Senior Thesis, following the oral defense.

For the Interdisciplinary Studies in French concentration, students take French 325 or 326 in their senior year and, if they have not already done so, complete the two 300-level courses required outside the department. In the Spring semester they write a thesis in French or English under the direction of a member of the French faculty and a mentor outside the department. Departmental honors are conferred for excellence in the Senior Experience after the oral defense of the Senior Thesis.

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Minor Requirements

Requirements for a French minor are French 005-102 or 005-105; 101-102 or 101-105; French 212 or 260; and four courses at the 200 and 300-levels. At least one course must be at the 300-level.

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A.B./M.A. Program

Particularly well-qualified students may undertake work toward the joint A.B./M.A. degree in French. Such a program may be completed in four or five years and is undertaken with the approval of the department and of the dean of Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.


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Study Abroad

Students majoring in French may, by a joint recommendation of the deans of the Colleges and the Department of French, be allowed to spend their junior year in France under one of the junior year plans approved by their respective college: those organized by Sweet Briar and Wellesley College are approved by both Haverford and Bryn Mawr. Haverford students may also apply to IES programs in France or to the University of Pennsylvania programs in Senegal.

Students wishing to enroll in a summer program may apply for admission to the Institut d’Etudes Françaises d’Avignon, held under the auspices of Bryn Mawr. The Institute is designed for selected undergraduate and graduate students with a serious interest in French and Francophone literatures and cultures, most particularly for those who anticipate professional careers requiring a knowledge of the language and civilization of France and French speaking countries. The curriculum includes general and advanced courses in French language, literature, social sciences, history, art, and economics (including the possibility of internships in Avignon). The program is open to students of high academic achievement who have completed a course in French at the third-year level or the equivalent.

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Teacher Certification

The Department of French offers a certification program in secondary teacher education. For more information, see the description of the Education Program at Bryn Mawr.

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  • 001, 002 Elementary French Non Intensive HU
    A.Peysson-Zeiss, B.Cherel, D.Kight
    The speaking and understanding of French are emphasized particularly during the first semester. The work includes regular use of the Language Learning Center and is supplemented by intensive oral practice sessions. The course meets five hours each week. This is a year-long course; both semesters (001 and 002) are required for credit.

    003, 004 Intermediate French Non Intensive HU
    B.Cherel, F.Echtman, D.Kight, D.Sedley
    The emphasis on speaking and understanding French is continued, texts from French literature and cultural media are read, and short papers are written in French. Students use the Language Learning Center regularly and attend supplementary oral practice sessions. The course meets three hours each week, which are supplemented by an extra hour per week with an assistant. This is a year-long course; both semesters (003 and 004) are required for credit. Prerequisite: French 002, non-intensive, and departmental placement.

    005 Intensive Intermediate French HU
    G.Armstrong, F.Echtman, A.Peysson-Zeiss
    The emphasis on speaking and understanding French is continued, literary and cultural texts are read, and increasingly longer papers are written in French. In addition to the three class meetings each week, students develop their skills in an additional group session with the professors and in oral practice hours with assistants. Students use the Language Learning Center regularly. This course prepares students to take 102 or 105 in the second semester. Open only to graduates of Intensive Elementary French or to students specially placed by the department. Students who are not graduates of Intensive Elementary must take either 102 or 105 in Semester II to receive credit.

    101 Introduction à l’analyse littéraire et culturelle I HU
    G.Armstrong, D.Kight, A.Peysson-Zeiss, D.Sedley
    Presentation of essential problems in literary and cultural analysis by close reading of works selected from various periods and genres and by analysis of voice and image in French writing and film. Participation in discussion and practice in written and oral expression are emphasized, as are grammar review. Open only to graduates of Intermediate French or to students specially placed by the department.

    102 Introduction à l’analyse littéraire et culturelle II HU
    Continued development of students’ expertise in literary and cultural analysis by emphasizing close reading as well as oral and written analyses of works chosen from various genres and periods of French/Francophone works in their written and visual modes. Readings begin with comic theatre of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and build to increasingly complex short stories, poetry, and novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Participation in guided discussion and practice in oral/written expression continue to be emphasized, as is grammar review. Offered in second semester. Prerequisite: French 005 or 101.

    105 Directions de la France Contemporaine HU
    An examination of contemporary society in France and Francophone cultures as portrayed in recent documents and film. Emphasizing the tension in contemporary French-speaking societies between tradition and change, the course focuses on subjects such as family structures and the changing role of women, cultural and linguistic identity, an increasingly multiracial society, the individual and institutions (religious, political, educational), and les loisirs. In addition to the basic text and review of grammar, readings are chosen from newspapers, contemporary literary texts, magazines, and they are complemented by video materials. Offered in second semester. Prerequisite: French 005 or 101.

    201 Le Chevalier, la dame et le prêtre: Littérature et publics du Moyen Age HU
    Using literary texts, historical documents and letters as a mirror of the social classes that they address, this interdisciplinary course studies the principal preoccupations of secular and religious men and women in France from the Carolingian period through 1500. Selected works from epic, lai, roman courtois, fabliau, theater, letters and contemporary biography are read in modern French translation. Not offered in 2009-10.

    202 Crises et identités: La Renaissance HU
    A study of the development of Humanism, the concept of the Renaissance, and the Reformation. The course focuses on representative works, with special attention given to the prose of Rabelais and Montaigne, the Conteurs, the poetry of Marot, Scève, the Pléiade, and d’Aubigné. Not offered in 2009-10.

    203 Passion et culture: Le Grand Siècle HU
    Representative authors and literary movements placed within their cultural context, with special attention to development of the theater (Corneille, Molière, and Racine) and women writers of various genres.

    204 Le Siècle des Lumières HU
    R.Le Mentheour
    Representative texts of the Enlightment and the Pre-Romantic movement, with emphasis on the development of liberal thought as illustrated in the Encyclopédie and the works of Montesquieum Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau.

    205 Le Temps des prophètes: de Chateaubriand à Baudelaire (1800-1860) HU
    From Chateaubriand and Romanticism to Baudelaire, a study of selected poems, novels, and plays.

    206 Le Temps des virtuoses: Symbolisme, Naturalisme et leur progéniture
    A study of selected works by Claudel, Gide, Proust, Rimbaud, Valéry, Verlaine and Zola. Not offered in 2009-10.

    207 Missionnaires et cannibales: Maîtres de l’époque moderne HU
    A study of selected works illustrating the principal literary movements from 1930 to the present. Not offered in 2009-10.

    212 Grammaire avancée: Composition et conversation HU
    A general review of the most common difficulties of the French language. Practice in composition, and conversation.

  • 213 Qu’est-ce que la théorie? HU
    This course provides exposure to influential Twentieth-Century French and Francophone theorists (e.g. Lévy-Strauss, Fanon, Bourdieu, Foucault, Cixous, Derrida) while bringing these thinkers to bear on appropriate literary texts. While expanding the student’s knowledge of French and Francophone intellectual history, the explicitly critical aspect of the course will also serve students throughout their coursework, regardless of field.
    Beginning with the class of 2009, this course will be required for both options in the major.

    248 Histoire des femmes en France HU (Cross-listed in Gender and Sexuality)
    A study of women and gender in France from the Revolution to the present. The course pays particular attention to the role of women in the French Revolution (declarations, manifestoes, women's clubs, salons, etc.) in the post-revolutionary era, as well as more contemporary feminist manifestations in France since Simone de Beauvoir's Deuxième Sexe and the flow of feminist texts produced in the wake of May 1968. Not offered in 2009-10.

    250 Introduction aux littératures francophones HU
    A study of representative male and female writers of Africa, the Maghreb, and the Caribbean. Not offered in 2009-10.

    251 La Mosaïque France HU
    A study that opposes discourse of exclusion, xenophobia, racism and the existence of a mythical, unique French identity by examining 20th-century French people and culture in their richness and variety, based on factors such as gender, class, region, colonization and decolonization, immigration and ethnic background. Films and texts by Begag, Beauvoir, Cardinal, Carles, Duras, Ernaux, Helias, Modiano and Zobel. Not offered in 2009-10.

    255 Cinéma français/francophone et (post) colonialisme HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Africana and African Studies)
    A study of films from Africa, France, the Maghreb, and the Caribbean dealing with the colonial and post-colonial experience.

    258 L'Espace réinventé (Cross-listed in City B258)
    The cityscape is a dominant figure in the 19th and 20th centuries, influencing and even structuring beliefs. Urban theory and cultural criticism will supplement study of poems by Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Claudel, Apollinaire, Breton, Ben Jelloun and Reda. Not offered in 2009-10.

  • 260 Stylistique et Traduction HU
    Intensive practice in speaking and writing. Conversation, discussion, advanced training in grammar and stylistics, and composition.

    262 Débat, discussion, dialogue HU
    Intensive oral practice intended to bring non-native French speakers to the highest level of proficiency through the development of debating and discussion skills. Prerequisite: French 212 or 260. Not offered in 2009-10.

    299 Littérature, histoire, et société de la Révolution à La Première Guerre Mondiale HU
    A study of the language and political, social, and ethical messages of literary texts whose authors were “engagés” in the conflicts, wars, and revolutions that shook French society from the advent of the 1789 Revolution to the first World War. Counts for either the literary or interdisciplinary track. Not offered in 2009-10.

    302 Le Printemps de la parole féminine: Femmes écrivains des débuts HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature B302 and Gender and Sexuality)
    This study of selected women authors from the French Middle Ages, Renaissance and Classical period-among them Marie de France, the trobairitz, Christine de Pisan, Marguerite de Navarre and Madame de Lafayette-examines the way in which they appropriate and transform the male writing tradition and define themselves as self-conscious artists within or outside it. Particular attention will be paid to identifying recurring concerns and structures in their works, and to assessing their importance to female writing; among them, the poetics of silence, reproduction as a metaphor for artistic creation, and sociopolitical engagement. Not offered in 2009-10.

    306 Libertinage et érotisme HU
    A discovery of the French Eighteenth-century through major works of the libertine genre. Diderot, Crebillon fils, Retif de la Bretonne, Sade, and Denon Among others, will illuminate the philosophical unrest which set the stage for the French Revolution. Students will also get an opportunity to work with original illustrated books in our collections and see the Enlightenment through the lens of its clandestine cultures. Not offered in 2009-10.

    312a Advanced Topics: Immigration et cinéma HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Africana and African Studies)

    312b Advanced Topics: Montaigne, faits et fictions HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)
    Not offered in 2009-10.

    325 Etudes avancées-Le mythe du retour HU
    R.Le Mentheour

    326 Etudes avancées de civilisation HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature B326)
    An in-depth study of a particular topic, event, or historical figure in French civilization. The seminar topic rotates among many subjects. Not offered in 2009-10.

    350 Voix médiévales et échos modernes HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature B350)
    A study of selected 19th- and 20th-century works inspired by medieval subjects, such as the Grail and Arthurian legends, and by medieval genres, such as the roman, saints lives, or the miracle play. Included are works by Hugo, Flaubert, Claudel, Anouilh, Bonnefoy, Genevoix, Gracq, and Yourcenar. Not offered in 2009-10.

    398 Senior Conference HU
    A weekly seminar examining two major French and Francophone literary texts and the interpretive problems they raise. A third theoretical text, which occupies a central, illuminating position vis-à-vis one or both literary works, will encourage students to think beyond traditional literary categories to interrogate for example issues of cultural memory, political engagement, gendered space, etc. This course prepares students for the second semester of their senior experience, during which seniors not writing a thesis are expected to chose a 300-level course and write a long research paper, related to their senior experience, which they will defend during an oral examination. Senior writing a thesis in Semester II will defend it during their final oral examination.

    480 Independent Study HU
    Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

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