Program in French Studies: Courses

FREN 101 Beginning French I
Introduction to the French language and the French-speaking world. Students begin developing competency in the four basic skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) through communicative activities and cultural exploration.
Prerequisite: Placement test if student has any prior experience with French.


FREN 102 Beginning French II
Further development of the four skills through continued exploration of the French-speaking world. Students will work to acquire the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge needed to navigate a variety of cultural settings.
Prerequisite: FREN 101 or placement test


FREN 201 Intermediate French
The refining and expansion of communicative skills. Students develop critical thinking and cross-cultural competency by reading, discussing, and writing about authentic texts.
Prerequisite: FREN 102 or placement test


FREN 202 Conversation and Composition
Critical explorations of the French-speaking world through focused reading, discussion, and related written and speaking assignments.
Prerequisite: FREN 201 or placement test


FREN 203 Engaging With Texts

Students enrich their vocabulary and increase their sensitivity to nuance while examining a wide variety of texts (fiction, non-fiction, image, film, songs, etc.). New reading skills will result in the ability to produce texts (both oral and written) in a wide variety of styles. Students begin to acquire a more sophisticated knowledge of the intricacies of the French-speaking world while putting into practice more complex forms of written and oral expression.
Prerequisite: FREN 202 or placement test


FREN 301 Introduction to French and Francophone Studies
An interactive, discussion-based course helping student acquire skill in the reading and interpretation of French and other Francophone texts, presented in their cultural and historical contexts. Course offers opportunities for refinement of written and presentational skills.
Prerequisite: FREN 203 or placement test


FREN 301S/SEMN 236 Introduction to French and Francophone Studies
Introduction to literary, cultural, and historical topics. An interactive, discussion-based course helps students acquire skill in the reading and interpretation of French and African texts, presented in their cultural and historical contexts. The seminar will focus on cultural and literary texts from the French-speaking study abroad destinations of Alsace, Auvergne, and Sénégal. Course offers opportunities for refinement of written and presentational skills. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.
Prerequisite: FREN 203 or placement test


FREN 401 Topics in French and Francophone Cultures
Reading, research, and discussion on selected topics and issues in the French-speaking world. Please consult with the instructor about the current topic. Past topics have included "Immigration in Contemporary France" and "Le handicap: a multi-disciplinary approach." May be repeated for credit if content is different.
Prerequisite: FREN 301 or FREN 301S


FREN 420 Medieval and Renaissance French Literature and Culture
A study of texts and other cultural artifacts (such as art and music) from the cultures of the High Middle Ages through the French Renaissance. Genres include courtly/Arthurian romance and poetry, comic theater, essays, comic and serious prose fiction, and Renaissance lyric poetry. Students will examine the transition from a church-centered culture to a human-centered(humanist) society and the changes in subject matter and writing practices brought about by this transition.
Prerequisite: FREN 301 or FREN 301S


FREN 425 French and Francophone Cultures From the 17th and 18th Centuries
A study of the Classical period of the 17th century and the 18th century Enlightenment. Texts include Classical tragedy and comedy, prose fiction, and the satirical and topical literature of the "philosophes". Seventeenth-century literature shows the French bent for psychological exploration and social criticism. In engaging with Enlightenment thought, students will find how it has shaped the way of thinking to the present day not only in French and Francophone cultures but in many other cultures as well.
Prerequisite: FREN 301 or FREN 301S


FREN 430 French and Francophone Cultures From the 19th Century to the Contemporary Period
A study of the Romantic and Realist movements of the 19th century (focusing on authors such as Hugo and Flaubert) and Symbolist poetry (such as Baudelaire and Rimbaud). In the 20th century, a study of the modernists (such as Gide and Proust); the Existentialists (such as Camus and De Beauvoir); and postmodern fiction (such as Beckett and Le Clézio). In looking at the evolution of themes and textual practices, students will learn how the French-speaking world of today was shaped by the political, historical, and social changes following the French Revolution, the Franco-Prussian War and two World Wars; and by the era of colonization and decolonization.
Prerequisite: FREN 301 or FREN 301S


FREN 435/FREN 490 Advanced Literary and Cultural Studies
Courses focused on major authors, cultural and philosophical movements, or themes in the French-speaking world. Topics will vary according to student or faculty interest. May be repeated for credit if content is different.
Prerequisite: FREN 301 or FREN 301S


FREN 490/FREN 435 Senior Seminar
Topics in French and/or Francophone literatures, culture, and history.
Prerequisite: FREN 301 or FREN 301S; French major or permission.


FREN 593 Senior Individualized Project
Each program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Individualized Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Curriculum Details and Policies section of the Academic Catalog for more details.
Prerequisite: Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.