French and Italian
From cinema and literature to history and culture.
Explore Global French and Francophone Cultures
Winter Term in Martinique
The study of French language and culture extends well beyond Europe. As part of a recent winter term project, students visited the island of Martinique to explore the context of its colonial past, and its complex relationship with France.
French Queer Media Activism
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of the feminist movement in France, Oberlin professors and guest speakers presented on topics ranging from militant film collectives during the 1970s to the Front homosexuel d’action révolutionnaire (FHAR) and the beginning of gay rights and AIDS activism in France.
Designed for students with no prior experience, this introductory course develops students’ abilities to speak, write, read and understand Italian within a culturally rich environment. It also introduces them to today’s Italians, their language, their culture and their varied lifestyles. Important goals will be for students to recognize regional accents, the difference between formal or informal context, and the political, historical and financial factors that influence Italian culture and language.
- Taught by
- Ivana Di Siena
This historical survey of French cinema tells a story that has long been suppressed but rewritten by feminist scholars who did nothing less than excavate the many artistic and cultural contributions of women filmmakers from the beginning of film to its present. Students learn about the usual periods of French cinema (Surrealism, 1930s Poetic Realism, Occupation, New Wave, contemporary film), but also study film direction, stardom, acting, editing, and producing—all through its leading women. A study of the history of industrialization, cultural policy, state regulation, and colonialism helps address the conceptualization of French cinema as a ‘national cinema,’ despite its international artistic heritage and audiences. It also foucses on opportunities for intersectional and feminist approaches that value discussions of race, gender, and class.
- Taught by
- Grace An
Born out of a history of resistance, Creole cultures transcend racial boundaries. Through the works of prominent authors from different Creole speaking islands such as Fanon and Césaire (Martinique), Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe), Ananda Devi (Mauritius), Jacques Roumain (Haiti), this course provides a framework for understanding how French colonization led to the creation of Creole nations in different parts of the world. The discussion will move from the past to the present as students also explore how international events such as a worldwide pandemic, social justice, racism and police brutality are currently affecting these islands.
- Taught by
- Preeamvada (Preea) Leelah
During the Renaissance an ideal human body was celebrated in poetry, painting, and sculpture, as canons of beauty were revived from Antiquity, while in sacred art, a new emphasis was placed on the physicality of Christ and the saints. Opposed to these tendencies were counter-currents of realism and the grotesque: in medical treatises, travel narratives, comic genres, and crime literature, the body is palpable, repugnant, abject. Primary texts plus critical readings by Foucault, Bakhtin, Kristeva, and others.
- Taught by
- Matthew Senior
Teaching in Benin
At Oberlin, Megan Grabill ’21 majored in anthropology, comparative literature, and French. Having studied abroad in Paris, and with an internship at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Megan is ready to facilitate moments of cultural exchange as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Benin.
Culture Writing for Pitchfork
At Oberlin, Sophie Kemp ’18 worked at Oberlin’s student radio station WOBC, becoming station manager during her senior year. Since graduation, she has been working as an editorial fellow and writer for the online music site Pitchfork.
Fulbright to Côte d’Ivoire
At Oberlin, Mallory Cohen ’15, an art history major with a minor in French, tutored local high school students in French through the Ninde Scholars program. After a post-graduate year working for the Education Department of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Malloy was awarded a Fulbright grant to teach English in Abidjan to high school students.