Department of French and Italian offers a major in French
and Francophone studies supported by an extensive and distinctive
curriculum. In addition to curricula supporting the French
major, the department offers courses in beginning Italian
language. We strongly encourage students to continue their
language study abroad in a variety of programs suited to their
interests and level.
is the first language of at least 70 million people, and
the second language of millions more. It is the official
language of 33 countries, and is the only language other
than English spoken on five continents. 56 countries are
members of "La Francophonie." Here in the US, French is
the language spoken at home by 1,702,176 people 5 years
or older (1990 Census), the third language after English
and Spanish. Our goal is to give our students the means
to visit, study or work in, or do research in any Francophone
country; to give them the tools necessary to undertake,
on their own, learning, understanding, and appreciating
the culture, the arts, and the institutions of that country.
program is built on four integrated objectives: mastery
of the French language, spoken and written; acquisition
of critical appreciation of literature written in French,
and of French-speaking cinema; the study of culture through
cultural analysis; awareness of the life-changing experiences
entailed in the intellectual and personal challenges of
learning a different way of being. We emphasize participation
in appropriate study abroad options and all majors should
spend one term or preferably a full academic year in the
cultural environment of the target language because diversity
should not only be explained, read, and talked about but
also experienced. We also encourage majors to live in La
Maison Francophone on campus, where they have the opportunity
of immersion in the target language and culture in daily
contact with native speakers. The flexibility of the major
program allows the prospective major to design his/her course
of study to meet individual student backgrounds, needs and
interests, and to prepare for graduate study and a wide
range of eventual careers. Departmental advisors are available
for consultation in organizing the major program. Lectures,
discussion and written work in advanced courses are normally
Laboratory. The Paul & Edith Cooper International
Learning Center, located on the 3rd floor of Peters Hall,
is a state of the art facility designed for both class and
individual use at all levels of language learning. Audio,
video and computer materials are available for student use.
Laboratory practice is encouraged for all students who wish
to improve their speaking and oral comprehension.
Placement. Students who have received a score of 4 or
5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in French Language
or French Literature will be automatically awarded 3 hours
of Oberlin College credit as French 300 and will be qualified
to enter the Oberlin French curriculum at the 300-level.
Students receiving AP credit should enroll for French 309,
321, 360, 361, 371, or 372. AP credit (French 300) counts
toward the French major.
Placement of Students. It is the department's policy
to advance students as fast as achievement warrants. Students
who have taken the SAT II Exam in French should enroll in
courses according to their score:
309, 321, 360, 361, 371, 372
203 or 205, 206
with previous study of French who have not taken the SAT
II exam should take the Oberlin French Placement Test administered
by the department during orientation to determine their
Course Sequence. French 101-102 (or 103), 205-206 (or
203), 301, other 300-level courses in French, followed by
400 level courses. French 301 or the equivalent (via SAT-II
or placement exam scores, or AP) is the prerequisite for
other courses at the 300 level unless
noted. Two 300-level courses beyond 301 are the prerequisite
for the courses at the 400-level. Other prerequisites may
be noted: see the course descriptions below.
The French major consists of thirty hours of course work
at the level of 301 or above, including at least twelve
hours at the 300 level (beyond 301) and nine hours at the
400 level. AP credit (French 300) can be counted toward
the major. French 301 or the equivalent is the prerequisite
for taking courses at the 300 level and two 300 level courses
are the prerequisite for taking courses at the 400 level.
It is strongly encouraged that majors take 371 or 372 before
advancing to the 400 level.
The minor consists of at least seventeen hours of coursework,
including two 300 level courses (beyond 301), and one course
at the 400 level. Courses at the 100 and 200 level are not
counted toward the minor, but 300 (AP credit) and 301 may
restrictions for the major and minor. Students may count
a French course offered in English towards the major or
minor, providing they complete the reading and all written
work for the course in French.
of Credit. The department will accept up to fifteen
hours of approved transfer credit toward the major of thirty
hours. Nine hours of the major credit must be taken in residence
at the advanced level, i.e., French 309 or above, including
at least one 400 level course. For the minor, up to eight
hours of approved transfer credit may be applied to the
minor, but at least six credits must be taken in residence
at the advanced level.
The honors program in French provides qualified majors with
the opportunity to complete a special project during their
senior year. An honors project entails independent study
in French, in consultation with a faculty sponsor, completed
over two semesters (six credit hours). Qualified students
are invited to apply to the program during the second semester
of their junior year. Admission is determined on the basis
of faculty recommendation and overall and major GPA. Further
information on the honors program may be obtained from the
departmental office. See also the statement on Honors in
the General Information section of this catalog.
Disciplines. Students who major in French often complete
a major in a related field. The department welcomes and
encourages this exchange between disciplines. French majors
have also majored in fields as diverse as Art History, Biology,
Comparative Literature, Economics, English, Environmental
Studies, History, Music (both within the College and Conservatory),
Neuroscience, Philosophy, Politics, Spanish, and Religion.
As students plan their major or minor in French, they should
keep in mind the manner in which other disciplines can enrich
their major coursework. A knowledge of Latin is highly desirable
for all majors and minors, as well as various related courses
in Art History, Classics, Comparative Literature, Creative
Writing, English, History, Philosophy and Politics. The
International Studies Concentration provides an appropriate
grounding in the social sciences for majors interested in
Maison Francophone. An important element in the department's
program is la Maison Francophone. The Faculty-in-Residence
is assisted by two French exchange students. There are rooming
accommodations for forty men and women. Regular programming
includes French-language dining, film series, lectures and
discussions on Francophone culture, news broadcasts in French,
and various other cultural and social activities.
Abroad in Strasbourg, France. The department expects
all majors to study abroad at the appropriate time in their
college career. The college has an approved list of programs
and the faculty members of the department advise students
in choosing a program that best suits student needs. For
further information on the Oberlin Center of European Studies
at Strasbourg, France, inaugurated during the 1992-93 year,
see the section in the catalogue entitled "Strasbourg Program".
Term. The Department sponsors a number of group and
individual projects each year. There is always a group project
based at la Maison Francophone. In the past, projects have
been designed to review the language at the beginning and/or
intermediate level - both individually and in groups, to
do selected readings in French literature, to survey French
art in relationship to literature,
to study French cuisine and so on. From time to time, the
Department sponsors an intensive beginning language project
in French which enables students successfully completing
the project to enter French 102 second semester. For information
on possible Winter Term projects, consult the department
chair. (See also Winter Term in General Information section.)
Courses (Offered Every Year)
102. Français élémentaire 5
course is to build proficiency in listening, speaking, reading,
and writing, with special emphasis on meaning and the functional
use of language and on understanding French and Francophone
cultures. The interactive multi-media approach requires
extensive work in the language lab and two hours of small
group work beyond the five hours of regular class time.
Prerequisites: No previous French is expected for
FREN 101. FREN 101 or equivalent is prerequisite for FREN
102. Students with previous study of French must present
a SAT II score or take the departmental placement test.
Enrollment Limit: 22.
for students with previous work in French not yet qualified
for FREN 203, this course covers all basic grammatical concepts
and vocabulary while building skills in listening comprehension,
speaking, writing, and reading. To reinforce both class
and individual work, students will participate in three
hours per week of small group oral practice. Successful
completion of FREN 103 qualifies students for FREN 203 and
FREN 205. Prerequisites: Some previous French with
SAT II score under 550 or appropriate score on placement
test. Enrollment Limit: 18.
1 FREN-103-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Mr. de Jesus
2 FREN-103-01 MWF 9:00-9:30 Staff
intermédiaire accéléré 4
is a one-semester intensive course equivalent to FREN 205,
206. Review of the essentials of French grammar. Continued
development of reading using a variety of texts, practice
in composition, and speaking. In addition to the three hours
per week, of class, students are required to attend two
hours in small group practice. Prerequisites: Appropriate
SAT II score (550-625), appropriate score on placement test,
FREN 102 or equivalent. Enrollment Limit: 18.
2 FREN-203-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Mr. Yedes
206. Français intermédiaire 3 hours
is a year-long course. Review of the essentials of grammar.
Continued development of reading using both literary and
cultural texts, practice in composition and speaking. In
addition to the three hours per week of class, students
are required to attend one hour in small group practice
and to complete an independent project. Prerequisites:
Appropriate SAT II score (550-625), appropriate score on
placement test, FREN 103 or equivalent. FREN 205 is prerequisite
for FREN 206. Enrollment Limit: 22.
orale et écrite 4 hours
activities in class and outside of class, students expand
their vocabulary, increase their knowledge of the Francophone
world, and develop their speaking ability. Through weekly
compositions and literary readings, students strengthen
their critical reading and writing skills. Grammar review
integrates practice of spoken and written French. One hour
of weekly discussion/lab work also required. Prerequisites:
Appropriate SAT II score (625-675), appropriate score on
placement test, FREN 203 or FREN 206 or equivalent. Enrollment
1 FREN-301-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Staff
Plaisir de lire 3-4 hours
course is designed for students who wish to gain extensive
experience in reading French texts and to discover the pleasure
of reading comfortably in French. We will read from five
to six interesting contemporary books, written for the general
French public. These texts will be relatively short, accessible,
and varied in nature. Since reading and writing are intimately
linked, students will have the option of writing notes on
their reading as they read, or after having read each work.
Prerequisite: French 301. Enrollment Limit:
2 FREN-309-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Ms. Carroll
de l'écrit 3-4 hours
course focuses on the relationship between writing and reading,
and on ways to improve one through the other. Analysis of
stylistic models; comparison of French and American text
building; techniques of contraction and expansion; recognition
and correction of mistakes; differences between English
and French modes of expression. Taught in French. Prerequisites:
Appropriate SAT II score (675-800), appropriate score on
placement test, FREN 301 or equivalent. FREN 321 is prerequisite
for FREN 441. Notes: Fourth credit available only
for remedial work. Enrollment Limit: 15.
1 FREN-321-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Ms. Zinser
(offered every year)
Colloquium: Title to be announced 3 hours
to be announced. Please consult Registration Supplement or
Department of French and Italian Supplement for description.
Prerequisite: French 301 or equivalent. Enrollment
1 FREN-360-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Staff
Molière's Theater or Offensive Comedy 3 hours
the most complete artist of the 17th century France--actor,
playwright, leader of a major theater troupe-- remains a central
and controversial figure in French culture. The course emphasizes
the artist's struggle against censorship and for artistic
independence in a society which subjects every enterprise
to the perspective of royal glory. Molière's plays
affirm comedy and theater as a liberation and salvation in
a repressive society. Prerequisite: French 301 or equivalent.
Enrollment Limit: 15.
2 FREN-361-01 MWF 1:30-3:20 Mr. de Jesus
Française I: Du Moyen Age à la Révolution 3
course studies transformations and continuities in French
literature from the Middle Ages to the Revolution, while
asking what constitutes "literary history." We will combine
close readings of representative texts with relevant critical
and background material. Each year, the focus of the course
may change. All readings, lectures, and discussion are in
French. Prerequisites: FREN 301. Enrollment Limit:
1 FREN-371-01 MWF 3:30-4:20 Mr. Yedes
Française II: De la Révolution à nos
Jours 3 hours
on various authors, literary works, and movements shaping
the character of French literature from the French Revolution
to the present. Special attention will be given to different
critical approaches to reading. Each year, the focus of
the course may change. All readings, lectures, and discussion
are in French. Prerequisites: FREN 301. Enrollment
2 FREN-372-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Carroll
contemporains 3 hours
What do the French read today? We will explore this question
by focusing on works that have met with great success in France
in the last twenty years, and by examining the transformation
of writing. We will read works by Elisabeth Badinter, Philippe
Delerm, Jean Echenoz, Michel Houellebecq, Ahmadou Kourouma,
Amélie Nothomb, Daniel Picouly, Michel Serres, and
Yann Queffélec. Prerequisites: Two 300 level
courses beyond 301. Enrollment Limit: 12.
2 FREN-420-01 M 7:00-10:00 p.m. Ms. Carroll
Viêtnam et la littérature 3 hours
This course will examine the cross-cultural dynamics of the
French presence in Asia, with particular emphasis on the colonial
and postcolonial situations in Indochina. After a historical
overview of the area prior to the advent of French imperialism,
we will explore works in terms of the legacy of Confucianism,
the cultural politics behind the phoneticization of the Vietnamese
language, and the development of a Vietnamese national consciousness
in reaction to the foreign domination by both China and France.
Examples of French colonial literature will be read opposite
Indochinese literary responses to colonialism. The consequences
of the long war in Vietnam and Cambodia will then be examined
through its depiction in recent fiction, verse, drama and
film. Prerequisites: Two 300 level courses beyond 301.
Enrollment Limit: 12.
1 FREN-427-01 Tu 7:00-9:30 p.m. Mr. Yedes
de Traduction 3 hours
An introduction to the basic principles of translation through
intensive practice in translation of texts from French into
English. We will work on short literary texts, considering
relevant issues of vocabulary, syntax, register, and style.
Students will develop, through individual practice and collaboration,
strategies for effective translation. Theoretical issues will
be addressed as they arise and in various readings. The course
will generally be conducted as a practicum or workshop. Prerequisite:
French 321 or the equivalent. Enrollment Limit: 12.
2 FREN-441-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Zinser
453. L'Autobiographie 3
Who are you? What constitutes your identity? How do you "represent"
yourself? The tradition of autobiography is a self-representational
practice creating a text that stabilizes and affirms the self.
Modern readers and autobiographers have become skeptical of
the "genre's" capacity to tame autobiography's inherently
specific weirdness. Among the writers considered: Rousseau,
Stendhal, Sand, Sarraute, Barthes, Chamoiseau. Prerequisites:
Two 300 level courses beyond 301. Enrollment Limit:
1 FREN-453-01 MWF 3:30-4:20 Mr. de Jesus
Offered in English
Cinema: An Introduction 3 hours
Please consult Registration Supplement or Department of French
and Italian Supplement for description.
2 FREN-250-01 TuTh7-9:30 Staff
Cinema: Special Topic to be Announced 3 hours
Please consult Registration Supplement or Department of French
and Italian Supplement for description.
1 FREN-473-01 MW 7-9:30 p.m. Staff
505. Honors 2-6
of instructor required. Honors sponsored by Mr. de Jesus,
Mr. Yedes, Ms. Zinser.
Reading 1-3 hours
of instructor required. Projects sponsored by Ms. Carroll
(Sem. 2), Mr. de Jesus, Mr. Yedes, Ms. Zinser.
Italian 5 hours
Taught in Italian. Acquisition of the fundamentals of grammar
and pronunciation with an emphasis on elements of grammar.
The course is designed for beginners and no previous experience
or study of Italian is anticipated. Consent of instructor
required. Enrollment Limit: 22. Notes: 12 places
held for Conservatory students.
1 ITAL-101-01 MTuWThF 10:00-10:50 Staff
Italian 5 hours
Taught in Italian. Continues ITAL 101, completing coverage
of grammar with an emphasis on reading, writing, conversation,
and general oral skills. Prerequisites: ITAL 101 or
consent of instructor or appropriate score on placement test.
Enrollment Limit: 22. 12 places reserved for Conservatory
2 ITAL-102-01 MTuWThF 11:00-11:50 Staff
Reading 1-3 hours
of instructor required.