French and French Studies


Professor Mills, Chair

Professor Poe

Associate Professor Rung

Associate Professor Ramsey

Associate Professor Glacet

Visiting Instructor Ledford

The department of French and French Studies offers students exceptional opportunities to study and experience some of the rich literature and culture of the French-speaking world.

To begin courses in the department, students having taken French at the secondary-school level must take the departmental placement examination. Those who wish to enroll at a level beneath that indicated by the placement examination receive credit only if departmental permission is obtained prior to registration in the course. Through the sequence of courses designed for Sewanee students choosing to meet their language requirement in French, an operative level of oral and written proficiency is obtained, and students are likewise capable of reading important works in French and reacting to them critically.

For those wishing to go beyond the required sequence in French, the department sponsors a major in French and French Studies as well as a minor.

Major in French and French Studies: The major in French and French Studies is an interdisciplinary program which examines the language, literature, history, culture, and society of France and of other Francophone countries. The minimum requirement for a major in French and French Studies is nine full courses beyond French 203 (see list below). During their final semester, senior French and French Studies majors participate in the 435 seminar which ties together their upper-level coursework; seminar participants also research a French and French Studies topic of their choosing and complete a sustained piece of writing on the subject in French. In addition, majors must study in a French-speaking country for at least a semester. In exceptional cases, the department is willing to offer one of the following two alternatives in fulfilling the latter requirement: study abroad for a summer (5 to 6 weeks, 2 course credits) and one additional 400-level course taken within the department; or without any study abroad, two additional 400-level courses taken within the department. Students seeking these exceptional provisions must offer a satisfactory reason explaining the impossibility of studying in a French-speaking country for a full semester.

—A French and French Studies major takes the following four courses:
Fren 300: Advanced French
Fren 313: Writing and Speaking French
Fren 314: Introduction to Literature, Culture, and History of the French-Speaking World
Fren 435: French and French Studies Senior Seminar

—In addition, French and French Studies majors take a minimum of two of the following courses:
Fren 401: Early French Literature
Fren 403: The Seventeenth Century
Fren 405: The Eighteenth Century
Fren 407: The Nineteenth Century
Fren 409: Contemporary Literature
Fren 411: Culture through History
Fren 413: Modern France through Films and Other Texts
Fren 415: History of French Cinema
Fren 417: Topics of the French-Speaking World (may be retaken for credit when the topic is different)
Fren 419: Introduction to French Linguistics

—Finally, French and French Studies majors take three related courses from a program in a French-speaking country that must be approved by the department prior to departure.

Minor in French and French Studies: The requirement for a French and French Studies minor is six full courses beyond French 203. For these four courses, 300 or 301, 313, 314, and one 400-level French Studies course are required, and two related courses taken abroad; minors are strongly encouraged to participate in a semester or summer-abroad program in a French-speaking country (Sewanee’s own summer program when offered, or a similar program approved by the department for 5-6 weeks for 2 course credits). The alternative to studying abroad is to take one additional 400-level course in the department.

All majors (and minors where possible) are expected to live in the French House for at least one semester; application forms are available in the department. The French House also serves as the major site for most Cercle Français activity, and majors and minors are likewise expected to participate in the Cercle's cultural program, just as they should come regularly to the weekly Table Française.

Majors in French and French Studies may obtain honors by achieving a 3.5 departmental GPA, including courses taken during the last semester of their senior year.

The department also participates in interdisciplinary programs such as International and Global Studies, Film Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.