French Major

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Department Faculty

The French Program

Through courses in French, students gain linguistic proficiency, as well as understanding of the literatures and cultures of the French-speaking world. Laboratory facilities are used extensively to supplement classroom instruction. Classes are conducted in French.

Double majors are possible, and non-majors may also take advantage of the language program. Students have the opportunity to reside in a campus residence area in which French is spoken and which sponsors various intercultural programs each year. The resident language director of this area is a native speaker of French.

The Department of Modern Languages and Literature cooperates with a variety of overseas study programs, advises and encourages students wishing to study abroad, and helps in planning their foreign study programs. Credits can be accepted from abroad to fulfill major requirements. The French program runs two four-week, six-credit UMW faculty-led summer study abroad programs in France, one in Paris and the other in Aix-en-Provence and Paris. The French program also runs a faculty-led spring break experience in Quebec.

In addition, French majors can take advantage of a number of internship opportunities in businesses, government offices, and non-profit agencies located in the Fredericksburg and Washington, D.C. area.

Graduates in French may pursue careers in government or in private fields in which the knowledge of this language and culture is essential, including interpreting, translating, research, social services, education, or international business.

Requirements for the French Major

Thirty-six (36) credits, including FREN 311, 312, 326, 327, 411 or 412, and 481; six additional courses chosen from all remaining upper-level courses (300-level or above).

French Course Offerings

French course offerings will be found under the 4 letter code of FREN in the course listings.

101, 102 – Beginning French (3, 3)

Prerequisite for 102: FREN 101 or equivalent. Grammar, composition, conversation, reading, laboratory use. Students with credit for a higher level course in French may not take this course.

105 – Intensive Beginning French (6)

Grammar, composition, conversation, reading, laboratory use. Students who have taken FREN 101 are not eligible to take this class. Students with credit for a higher level course in French may not take this course.

201, 202 – Intermediate French (3, 3)

Prerequisite for 201: FREN 102, or equivalent. Prerequisite for 202: FREN 201, or equivalent. Grammar review, reading, composition, laboratory use, oral work. Students with credit for a higher level course in French may not take this course.

205 – Intensive Intermediate French (6)

Prerequisite: FREN 102 or equivalent. Grammar review, reading, composition, laboratory use, oral work. Students who have taken FREN 201 are not eligible to take this class. Students with credit for a higher level course in French may not take this course.

311 – Composition (3)

Prerequisite: FREN 202. Advanced grammar, composition, reading.

312 – Oral Communication and Phonetics (3)

Prerequisite: FREN 202. Oral skills, phonetics, listening comprehension, conversation.

313 – Business French (3)

Prerequisite: FREN 311 or 312. Especially designed for those who may be connected with businesses dealing in and with France or French-speaking countries.

319 – French Cinema (3)

Prerequisite: FREN 311 or 312, or permission of the instructor. A study of the major movements of French cinema, including silent films, surrealism and the Avant-Garde, films of the Occupation, the New Wave, the “cinema du look,” neo-realism, and films that have come to be described as postmodern and post-nationalist.

326 – Introduction to Pre-Revolutionary French Literature (3)

A chronological study of French Literature from the Medieval Period to 1789.

327 – Introduction to Post-Revolutionary French Literature (3)

A chronological study of French Literature from 1789 to the present.

330 – Power, Conflict, and Revolution (3)

Prerequisites: Two of the following courses: FREN 331, 312, 326, 327.  This course examines the interrelationships of power and conflict in the creation of imbalances on the social and political stage.

331 – Representations of Good and Evil (3)

Prerequisites; Two of the following courses: FREN 311, 312, 326, 327.  From literature to film, Evil has consistently preoccupied the cultural imagination.  Equally prevalent has been the preoccupation with the Good.  This course examines how the struggle between the two is rooted in religious, social, and political conflicts.

332 – Text and Image (3)

Prerequisites; Two of the following courses: FREN 311, 312, 326, 327.  The visual and written arts have always influenced each other in productive ways.  This course investigates the ever-changing reciprocal dynamics between text and image.

333 – Travel and Cultural Relativity (3)

Prerequisites; Two of the following courses: FREN 311, 312, 326, 327.  Journeys, whether real or imagined, physical or emotional, contribute to one’s conception of the Self and the Other.  This course examines ways in which travel expands our horizons, allowing us both to examine directly the beliefs, values, and customs of another culture, and to compare them indirectly to our own.

334 – Women and Gender in Society (3)

Prerequisites; Two of the following courses: FREN 311, 312, 326, 327.  This course examines women and gender roles, and the power individuals do and do not have in their personal relationships, their vocational niche in society, and in the arenas of politics and religion.

335 – Topics in French Art, Literature, and Culture (3)

Prerequisites; Two of the following courses: FREN 311, 312, 326, 327.  Francophone Literature and Culture.  Topics will vary.

336 – French and Francophone Literature in Translation (3)

Prerequisites; Two of the following courses: FREN 311, 312, 326, 327.  taught in English.  Topics will vary.

411 – Stylistics (3)

Prerequisites: FREN 311, 312. Analysis and practice of written French styles.

412 – Translation (3)

Prerequisites: FREN 311, 312. Translation theories and techniques.

481 – Senior Seminar (3)

Selected topics. Required of and limited to senior majors.

491, 492 – Individual Study (3, 3)

Intensive study of one or more authors selected in consultation with instructor. By permission of the department.

499 – Internship (Credits variable)

Supervised off-campus experience, developed in consultation with the department. No credit toward major or minor.