Mar 21, 2019  
College Catalog 2013-2014 
College Catalog 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

FREN 408 - French Cultural Studies

A survey of cultural issues in France. The themes studied in this course include definitions of nation, culture, tradition and modernity and change in social, cultural, aesthetic and intellectual structures as well as immigration and diversity in France. ALL COURSES ARE TAUGHT IN FRENCH UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED. 

French Cultural Studies: Literature and Cinema of Immigration: This course explores the diversity of France through its immigrant population. After studying and discussing the history and composition of immigration in France, students look at cultural productions, especially literature, films, music and art as well as documentation about contemporary issues in French society associated with immigration. The course includes various cities in France (Marseilles, Lyon, and Paris as well as their suburbs), and contextualizes the current situation regarding French and European laws, as well as various types of housing in connection with immigration. The course takes into account gender, class, religion, culture, and race issues as well as language issues. Materials include statistics, essays, video-conferences, images, film, music, fiction literature, maps, and internet and web-based resources. Readings include materials about the first immigrants to France, the colonial immigrants such as the Tirailleurs Sénégalais and their descendants, how the French colonies in North Africa and the French-Algerian war affected immigration in France, and what are the legacies of French imperialism for French multiculturalism as well as some recent works by Congolese, Algerian, Vietnamese, Caribbean writers. Films include documentaries on immigration and fiction films from Thé au harem d’Archi Ahmed, to Entre les murs. Music includes rap, slam, and raï. The course is taught in French. Prerequisite(s): One 300-level course or placement test or permission of instructor. (4 credits)

French Intellectuals in/and the World: Critical Tools for Critical Minds, Literature and Engagement: This seminar presents an overview of French culture, theory and philosophy from the Middle Ages to today. It focuses on how French intellectuals have engaged across time with issues such as gender, class, race, language, and the public and the private, among other issues. The course studies how French intellectuals use their critical thinking, and theoretical and creative writing to propose ideas, take ethical positions (or not), and through writing and acting, engage in solidarity work. Readings include Christine de Pizan on the role of intellectual women in the public sphere, Montaigne on colonialism, Pascal and Descartes on religion and science, Voltaire and Beccaria on torture and prisons, Michel Foucault on enlightenment, Victor Hugo on capital punishment, Pierre Bourdieu on “the organic intellectual” and more recent notions of commitment and civic engagement with war and peace, immigration, and postcolonial cultural history through the works of various contemporary artists, writers, and public intellectuals such as André Breton, Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, Assia Djebar and Boubacar Boris Diop. Taught in French.   Prerequisite(s): One 300-level course or placement test or permission of instructor. Offered next in 2015. (4 Credits)