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French and Italian

The 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.

French

French 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.

The 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 in French.

Language 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.

Advanced 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.

Prerequisites, 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:

800-675 French 309, 321, 360, 361, 371, 372

675-625 French 301

625-550 French 203 or 205, 206

Students 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 appropriate level.

Suggested 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

otherwise 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.

Major. 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.

Minor. 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 be counted.

Special 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.

Transfer 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.

Honors. 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.

Related 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 international affairs.

La 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.

Study 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".

Winter 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.)

 

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Language Courses (Offered Every Year)

101, 102. Français élémentaire 5 hours

5HU, CD

This 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.
Sem 1 FREN-101-01 MTuWThF 10:00-10:50 Mr. de Jesus
FREN-101-02 MTuWThF 1:30-2:20 Staff
Sem 2 FREN-102-01 MTuWThF 10:00-10:50 Mr. de Jesus
FREN-102-02 MTuWThF 1:30-2:20 Staff
103. Français élémentaire accéléré 4 hours

4HU, CD

Designed 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.

Sem 1 FREN-103-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Mr. de Jesus

Sem 2 FREN-103-01 MWF 9:00-9:30 Staff

203. Français intermédiaire accéléré 4 hours

4HU, CD

This 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.

Sem 2 FREN-203-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Mr. Yedes

205, 206. Français intermédiaire 3 hours

3HU, CD

This 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.
Sem 1 FREN-205-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Ms. Zinser
FREN-205-02 MWF 1:30-2:20 Mr. Yedes
Sem 2 FREN-206-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Ms. Zinser
FREN-206-02 MWF 1:30-2:20 Mr. Yedes

301. Expression orale et écrite 4 hours

4HU, CD

Through 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 Limit: 15.

Sem 1 FREN-301-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Staff

FREN-301-02 MWF 10:00-10:50 Staff

309. Plaisir de lire 3-4 hours

3-4HU, CD

This 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: 15.

Sem 2 FREN-309-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Ms. Carroll

321. Pratiques de l'écrit 3-4 hours

3-4HU, CD

This 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.

Sem 1 FREN-321-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Ms. Zinser

 

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Colloquia (offered every year)

360. Freshman/Sophomore Colloquium: Title to be announced 3 hours

3HU, CD

Topic to be announced. Please consult Registration Supplement or Department of French and Italian Supplement for description. Prerequisite: French 301 or equivalent. Enrollment Limit: 15.

Sem 1 FREN-360-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Staff

361. Colloquium: Molière's Theater or Offensive Comedy 3 hours

3HU, CD

Molière, 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.

Sem 2 FREN-361-01 MWF 1:30-3:20 Mr. de Jesus

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Survey Courses

371. Littérature Française I: Du Moyen Age à la Révolution 3 hours

3HU, CD

This 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: 15.

Sem 1 FREN-371-01 MWF 3:30-4:20 Mr. Yedes

372. Littérature Française II: De la Révolution à nos Jours 3 hours

3HU, CD

Perspectives 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 Limit: 15.

Sem 2 FREN-372-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Carroll

 

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Advanced Courses

420. Ecrits contemporains 3 hours
3HU, CD
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.

Sem 2 FREN-420-01 M 7:00-10:00 p.m. Ms. Carroll

427. Le Viêtnam et la littérature 3 hours
3HU, CD
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.

Sem 1 FREN-427-01 Tu 7:00-9:30 p.m. Mr. Yedes

441. Atelier de Traduction 3 hours
3HU, CD
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.

Sem 2 FREN-441-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Ms. Zinser

453. L'Autobiographie 3 hours
3HU, CD
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: 12.

Sem 1 FREN-453-01 MWF 3:30-4:20 Mr. de Jesus

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Courses Offered in English

250. French Cinema: An Introduction 3 hours
3HU, CD
Please consult Registration Supplement or Department of French and Italian Supplement for description.

Sem 2 FREN-250-01 TuTh7-9:30 Staff

473. French Cinema: Special Topic to be Announced 3 hours
3HU, CD
Please consult Registration Supplement or Department of French and Italian Supplement for description.

Sem 1 FREN-473-01 MW 7-9:30 p.m. Staff

Topics in Translation

505. Honors 2-6 hours
2-6HU
Consent of instructor required. Honors sponsored by Mr. de Jesus, Mr. Yedes, Ms. Zinser.

995. Private Reading 1-3 hours
1-3HU, CD
Consent of instructor required. Projects sponsored by Ms. Carroll (Sem. 2), Mr. de Jesus, Mr. Yedes, Ms. Zinser.

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Italian Courses

101. Beginning Italian 5 hours
5HU, CD
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.

Sem 1 ITAL-101-01 MTuWThF 10:00-10:50 Staff
ITAL-101-02 MTuWThF 11:00-11:50 Staff

102. Beginning Italian 5 hours
5HU, CD
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 students.

Sem 2 ITAL-102-01 MTuWThF 11:00-11:50 Staff

995. Private Reading 1-3 hours
1-3HU, CD
Consent of instructor required.

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