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Haverford College

2011-12 Course Catalog

Humanities: French and Francophone Studies, 2011-2012

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.

Unless they have not previously studied French, all entering students (Freshmen and transfers) 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: study of the language in the intensive sections (the sequence 001-002 Intensive Elementary) or in the non-intensive sections (the sequence 001-002 Non-Intensive Elementary).

At the Intermediate level students also have the choice of studying the language non-intensively (in the sequence 003-004), or intensively (in 005). The Non-Intensive Intermediate 003-004 is a year-long course, and both semesters are required for credit. It is open to students who have taken 001-002 or who have been placed in it by departmental examination. The Intensive Intermediate 005 is open only to students who have been specially placed by the departmental placement exam or to alumni/ae of the Intensive Elementary course. Intensive Intermediate requires its graduates to take 102 (Introduction á l'analyse littéraire et culturelle II), or 105 (Directions de la France contemporaine) in semester II for credit. Both 003 and 005 are only offered in the fall semester.

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.

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. 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).

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.

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, Chair and Major Advisor
Instructor Marie-Laure Epaminondas
Associate Professor Duane W. Kight
Associate Professor David L. Sedley

At Bryn Mawr College:
Eunice Morgan Schenck 1907 Professor Grace M. Armstrong
Lecturer Benjamin Cherel
Associate Professor Francis Higginson, Chair and Major Advisor
Assistant Professor Rudy Le Menthéour
Professor and Director of the Avignon Institute Brigitte Mahuzier
Lecturer Agnès Peysson-Zeiss

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  1. French and Francophone Literature: French 005-102 or 005-105; 101-102 or 101-105; French 212 or 260; French 213 (Approches théoriques / Theory in Practice); 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) that 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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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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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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Teacher Certification

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

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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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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, R.LeMenthéour, D.Kight, D.Sedley, Staff
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, A.Peysson-Zeiss, Staff
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 á l'analyse littéraire et culturelle I HU

G.Armstrong, D.Kight, 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 á l'analyse littéraire et culturelle II HU

K.Anyinefa, A.Peysson-Zeiss
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 17th and 18th centuries and build to increasingly complex short stories, poetry, and novels of the 19th and 20th 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

B.Cherel, D. Kight
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, 101 or 103.

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.

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 2011-12.

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 Siécle des Lumiéres 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 Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot and Rousseau.

205 Le Temps des prophétes: de Chateaubriand á Baudelaire (1800-1860) HU

From Chateaubriand and Romanticism to Baudelaire, a study of selected poems, novels and plays. Not offered in 2011-12.

206 Le Temps des virtuoses: Symbolisme, Naturalisme et leur progéniture

A study of selected works by Claudel, Gide, Proust, Rimbaud, Valéry, Verlaine and Zola.

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 2011-12.

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 Theory in Practice: Humanities HU

This seminar provides exposure to influential 20th-century French thinkers. It will examine three major currents: Postcolonial Theory, Feminist Theory, Post-Structuralist Theory. The primary goal here is to introduce students to exciting and difficult critical thought that will prove useful to their future studies and will begin to develop necessary critical skills. While the materials covered are primarily grounded in French intellectual history, the course will also spend time situating these intellectual currents in broader transnational and transdisciplinary contexts. In other words, while French- and Francophone-centered, this course is explicitly designed to serve students in the humanities, regardless of field. This is a required course for the French major. Course taught in English and serving the humanities.

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, manifestos, 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 2011-12.

250 Introduction aux littératures francophones HU

A study of representative male and female writers of Africa, the Maghreb and the Caribbean. Not offered in 2011-12.

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 2011-12.

253 Introduction to Contemporary Québécois Literature HU

Objective of the course is to introduce students to Québécois literature through a representative sample of literary texts (poetry, novel and drama), from the Revolution Tranquille of the 1960s until today. What are its majors themes, its main formal features, its cultural specificity? What are the historical and cultural contexts that have shaped it? Prerequisite: French 102 and French 105.

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. Not offered in 2011-12.

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 2011-12.

260 Stylistique et Traduction HU

R.Le Menthéour, A.Peysson-Zeiss
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 2011-12.

299 Littérature, histoire, et société de la Révolution á La Premiére 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 2011-12.

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 2011-12.

306 Libertinage et érotisme HU

R.Le Menthéour
A discovery of the French 18th 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.

312a Advanced Topics: Pascal entre les disciplines HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)

Contrary to what one may think, the notion of "interdisciplinarity" has a long history. In this history, the career of Blaise Pascal represents a high point. This course examines the achievements of Pascal as mathematician, physicist, engineer, entrepreneur, theologian, philosopher and literary genius through his works as well as criticism, theory and film. This examination will illuminate why transgressing frontiers between disciplines matters so much–and why it has become so difficult to do.

312b Advanced Topics: La révolution haitienne: Historiographie et imaginaire HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)

The Haitian Revolution basically shares the same dates with the French Revolution–but is rarely mentioned in mainstream historiography on revolutions of the late 18th century. After questioning and discussing this "silencing," we read literary texts by Kleist, Hugo, Mérimée, Carpentier, Césaire, Glissant and Metellus. What do Haiti, her revolution and people stand for in these texts? While making sense of these representations we will raise issues of race, slavery, emancipation and violence.

325 Etudes avancées: Rousseau polémiste HU

R.Le Menthéour
An in-depth study of a particular topic, event or historical figure in French civilization. The seminar topic rotates among many subjects: La Révolution frantaise: histoire, littérature et culture; L'Environnement naturel dans la culture française; Mal et valeurs éthiques; Le Cinéma et la politique, 1940-1968; Le Nationalisme en France et dans les pays francophones; Etude socio-culturelle des arts du manger en France du Moyen Age á nos jours. Current topic description: Comment interpréter l'oeuvre de Rosseau? Tour á tour considéré comme le plus grand philosophe des Lumières et le plus ardent des anti-philosophes, Rousseau constitue une énigme que nous tenterons de percer en le considérant avant tout comme un polémiste de génie. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

326 Etudes avancées HU

An in-depth study of a particular topic, event or historical figure in French civilization. The seminar topic rotates among many subjects: La Révolution française: histoire, littérature et culture; L'Environnement naturel dans la culture française; Mal et valeurs éthiques; Le Cinéma et la politique, 1940-1968; Le Nationalisme en France et dans les pays francophones; Etude socio-culturelle des arts du manger en France du Moyen Age á nos jours.

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.

398 Senior Conference HU

A weekly seminar examining three or four major French and Francophone literary texts and the interpretive problems they raise. An additional theoretical text will encourage students to think beyond traditional literary categories. This course prepares students for the second semester of their senior experience, during which seniors not writing a thesis are expected to choose a 300 level course and write a long research paper, related to their senior experience, which they will defend during an oral examination. Seniors writing a thesis in Semester II will defend it during their final oral examination.

480 Independent Study HU

Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

614 Modalité de la narration HU

Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

654 Nostalgie, la maladie du retour HU

R.Le Menthéour
This seminar will enquire on the origins and the development of the discourse on nostalgia in the 18th and 19th centuries. Nostalgia was first conceived as a real disease by physicians, who hesitated between a physical and a moral interpretation, and between a spatial and a temporal perspective. Rousseau and other prominent writers played a crucial role in defining and shaping an affection that became more and more fashionable. We shall discuss the (ab)use of nostalgia in medicine, politics and literature. Not offered in 2011-12.

688 Introduction roman africain francophone HU


689 Writing Music & Differences HU

At the most abstract level, this course hopes to propose new and unorthodox approaches to literature. That is, the course offers creative, yet rigorously critical modes of engagement with text in which music plays a significant role. On a more specific level, it hopes to demonstrate the extent to which music and language have, throughout Western history, and more specifically and radically since the beginning of the 19th century–that is, the rise of romanticism–been fundamentally at odds with each other. It will try to show that Western philosophy has constructed their relationship as essentially antagonistic and what the ramifications of such a conflict might be. Not offered in 2011-12.

700 Supervised Work HU


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