Undergraduate Course Descriptions

01:420:215 - Modern Literature in French

  • SAS Core Learning: AHo or AHp, WCd
  • Language Taught In: Taught in French
  • Credits: 3

This course is intended for minors and majors.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisites: 01:420:132/137 or placement

Course Description

An introduction to French literature inviting students to experience personal contact with French masterpieces. This course explores literary movements from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries that have particular relevance in today’s world. Students will develop active reading comprehension, improve critical reading and interpretation, and acquire essay-writing skills in French. Yet the first aim of this course is to allow students to read outstanding works of art in their original language, and to appreciate their beauty and originality.

Readings include narrative works by Rousseau, Flaubert, Maupassant, Camus, and Yourcenar; a play by Beckett; essays by Staël and Sartre; and poems by Hugo, Lamartine, Desbordes-Valmore, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Apollinaire, Breton, Desnos, Ponge, and Césaire

Personal contacts by email and/or by phone during office hours and upon arrangement.

Course URL - A Canvas link will be available at the beginning of the Semester.

Course Satisfies Learning Goals:

  • Identify major literary movements from the French Revolution to the present
  • Enhance students’ understanding of the cultural contexts in which those earlier works were written
  • Generate critiques using basic critical terms and concepts in French for literary analysis.
  • Sharpen skills for active reading comprehension, oral communication, and essay-writing in French.
  • Examine critically philosophical and other theoretical issues concerning the nature of reality, human experience, knowledge, value, and/or cultural production.
  • Analyze French literature in itself and in relation to the history of French and European culture.
  • Communicate complex ideas effectively, in standard written French, to a general audience; evaluate and critically assess sources and use the conventions of attribution and citation correctly; and analyze and synthesize information and ideas from multiple sources to generate new insights.

Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy :

Students will demonstrate their mastery of said learning goals, weekly via class discussion, debate, quizzes, and/or journal entry; and at regular intervals throughout the semester via essays, presentations, and/or video presentations. A midterm and a final exam will also be part of the final grade.

Course Materials :

Gustave Flaubert, Un Cœur Simple, Garnier Flammarion (2-08-072047-3)
Albert Camus, L’étranger, Gallimard “Folio” (2-07-030602X)
Samuel Beckett, En Attendant Godot, Minuit (2-7073-0148-5)
Reader to be downloaded from the class' website

Schedule of Undergraduate Courses