Modern Languages and Literatures—French

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Andrew Harris

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Humanities Building, Room 475
Phone: (415) 338–1421
Website: mll.sfsu.edu/french-program/

Chair: Mohammad Salama
Program Coordinator: Bérénice Le Marchand
Undergraduate Advisors: Anne Linton, Blanca Missé
Graduate Advisor: Bérénice Le Marchand

Program Scope

The French program offers a challenging and enriching experience for those who are interested not only in the French language but also in French and Francophone culture and society. French is one of the very few languages spoken all over the world, ranked the sixth most widely spoken language after Mandarin Chinese, English, Hindi, Spanish and Arabic.  Today, more than 220 million people speak French throughout the world: roughly 51% live in Africa and the Middle East, 40% live in Europe, 8% in the Americas, and 1% in Asia/Oceania.  As a result of population growth, there will be more than 700 million French Speakers by 2050, 80% of whom will be living in Africa. The French Program is excited to offer an avenue to engage with this expanding and diverse Francophone cultural and linguistic world.

We offer full-fledged Bachelor of Arts program and focus on developing proficiency in the language in a sociocultural context by offering a variety of courses and by conducting courses in culture and literature in French. Great importance is placed on participatory classes, which are small and practice-oriented, to help students adapt themselves to a changing world. Our B.A. program emphasizes training in the four language skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing as the basic groundwork for more advanced study of the language, literature, and culture. The aim is to broaden students' cultural perspectives by introducing them to various aspects of French and Francophone cultures as they are manifested throughout the world. Students who complete a French major should have both the linguistic and cultural preparation to be able to function at a fairly advanced level in a French-speaking society or with French speakers, and have developed a tolerance for forms of expression and ways of life different from their own. It is hoped that this will prepare them both to pursue careers and to participate fully in today's and tomorrow's global cultures.If you are an undergraduate student and wonder which class to take, you can take a placement test and see an adviser. Please contact an adviser for further details.

We also have a full-fledged Master of Arts programs with graduate seminars in literature, culture, and linguistics, which allows students to teach at the community college level or to continue graduate study for a doctorate. While many of our B.A. and M.A. graduates pursue teaching careers or further study, a good number go on to careers in other fields such as international law or business.

B.A. and M.A. students are also given a number of opportunities to study in France. Through the California State University’s international programs, selected students may study at Aix-en-Provence and in Paris. Such opportunities give students practical experience in everyday French life and culture, helping to build and reinforce these skills.

Associate Professors:

Bérénice Le Marchand

Assistant Professors:

Anne Linton, Blanca Missé

FR 101 First Semester French (Units: 4)

Understanding, speaking, reading, and writing the French language; basic elements of French and Francophone culture. Acquisition of communicative skills in situational/cultural contexts.

Course Attributes:

  • C2: Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

FR 102 Second Semester French (Units: 4)

Prerequisite: FR 101 or equivalent.

Continuation of FR 101. Students will continue to engage in basic communication activities and develop the four skills, listening, speaking, reading, and writing, through the study and practice of grammatical and phonetic structures, and through a variety of exercises based on authentic cultural materials representing the Francophone world.

Course Attributes:

  • C2: Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

FR 215 Intermediate French I (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: FR 102 or equivalent, or appropriate placement test score.

Attainment of Intermediate High Level in the four skills in French through increasingly complex tasks based on authentic French and Francophone cultural materials.

Course Attributes:

  • C2: Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

FR 216 Intermediate French II (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Intermediate High Level in French (FR 215 or equivalent).

Attainment of Advanced Low Level in the four skills in French through increasingly complex tasks based on authentic French and Francophone cultural materials.

Course Attributes:

  • C2: Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

FR 301 French Phonetics (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: FR 215 and FR 216 or equivalent.

The French sound system and intonation/prosody. Practice of French pronunciation. Phonetic transcription of written French. Applications to readings in poetry and prose.

Course Attributes:

  • Global Perspectives

FR 304 Advanced Grammar (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing; FR 215 and FR 216 or equivalent.

Intensive review of the French grammar to acquire an advanced level of the language in which structural errors and forms are minimal. Grammar points will be reviewed at the advanced level and in context via literature, paintings, music, etc. Course is offered on-line only.

FR 305 French Composition (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: FR 215 and FR 216 or equivalent.

Practice in expository writing. Form, development, and organization of various types of essays, including the study of style.

Course Attributes:

  • Global Perspectives

FR 306 Advanced Conversation (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: FR 215 and FR 216 or equivalent; may be taken concurrently with FR 305.

Oral presentation and group discussions based on literary and cultural topics.

Course Attributes:

  • Global Perspectives

FR 350 French for the Business World (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: FR 215 and FR 216, or the demonstrated competence equivalent to the course perquisites.

Focus on specialized economic and commercial vocabulary, diverse aspects of Francophone professional life, practical materials (e.g., cover letter and CV), and preparation for professional activities (e.g., public speaking and interview).

FR 400GW French Culture - GWAR (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: ENG 214 with a grade of C- or better, FR 305, or equivalent.

Introduction to French culture from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. Sixty percent of written work will be done in English. (ABC/NC grading only)

Course Attributes:

  • Graduation Writing Assessment
  • Global Perspectives

FR 410 Contemporary French Civilization (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: FR 305 or equivalent.

The culture and civilization of France from 1939 to present.

Course Attributes:

  • Global Perspectives

FR 450 Translating Themes: English/French (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: FR 305 or equivalent.

Translations from a selection of representative texts written in modern English. Four kinds of English texts are examined for translation into French: literature, literary criticism, journalism, and business language. Emphasis on the specific stylistic problems encountered when translating such different genres. [CSL may be available]

Course Attributes:

  • Global Perspectives

FR 500 Introduction to Literary Texts (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: FR 301, FR 305, and FR 306, or equivalents, FR 400GW, or equivalent, or concurrent enrollment highly recommended.

Oral and written analysis of selected texts in French, representative of the different periods of French and Francophone literature.

Course Attributes:

  • Global Perspectives

FR 501 Contes et Poemes (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: FR 305 or equivalent; FR 301 and FR 306 recommended.

A study of the "conte," or tale, in both its verse and prose forms, as expressed in French and Francophone literature from the Middle Ages to the present.

Course Attributes:

  • Global Perspectives

FR 525 17th and 18th Century French Theater (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: FR 500 or equivalent.

Introduction to principal dramatic texts and conventions of seventeenth and eighteenth century France.
(FR 825/FR 525 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

FR 555 Art et Poesie: 1860-1940 (Units: 3)

Prerequisite for FR 855: Admission to French M.A. program or consent of instructor.
Prerequisite for FR 555: FR 500 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

French and Francophone poetry between 1860 and 1940 and its relation with the arts, especially music and painting.
(FR 855/FR 555 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

FR 565 Paris: Capitale du 19e siècle (Units: 3)

Prerequisite for FR 865: Admission to French M.A. program or consent of instructor.
Prerequisite for FR 565: FR 500 or FR 501 or equivalent.

Investigation of the significance of the French metropolis's rise to preeminence following the French Revolution. Examination of nineteenth-century literary and visual representations of Paris alongside histories of the city; exploration of how culture intersects with the urban environment.
(FR 865/FR 565 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

FR 699 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisites Consent of department chair and instructor.

Written project in linguistics, literature or culture. Material adapted to individual needs and interests. Open only to students who have demonstrated ability to do independent work. May be repeated.

FR 800 Seminar in French and Francophone Language and Culture (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Admission to French M.A. program or consent of instructor.

Rotating course covering the French and Francophone language and culture of a particular theme, period, genre or movement. Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. May be repeated when topics vary.

FR 810 Seminar in French Literary Movements, Periods, or Genres (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Admission to French M.A. program or consent of instructor.

Rotating course covering the French and Francophone literature of a particular theme, period, genre or movement. Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. May be repeated when topics vary.

FR 812 Le Merveilleux (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: B.A. in French or consent of instructor.

Discovery of the Other and unknown lands through literary works, maps, and paintings from the Middle Ages to 17th century. How medieval and early modern France imagines remote worlds and their exotic inhabitants.

FR 814 Theatre et Spectacles du Moyen Age au 17e (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in French or consent of instructor.

Examination of the literary, historical, cultural, and theatrical evolution of the stages and performances from Middle Ages to 17th century. Emphasis on analysis of plays, farces, ballets, and operas with particular focus on their innovations, literary, and cultural impacts.

FR 825 17th and 18th Century French Theater (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: FR 500 or equivalent.

Introduction to principal dramatic texts and conventions of seventeenth and eighteenth century France.
(FR 825/FR 525 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

FR 835 Les Philosophes (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: BA in French or consent of instructor.

Examination of the French Enlightenment through philosophical topics and cultural context in 18th century France via philosophers such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Diderot, etc.

FR 855 Art et Poesie: 1860-1940 (Units: 3)

Prerequisite for FR 855: Admission to French M.A. program or consent of instructor.
Prerequisite for FR 555: FR 500 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

French and Francophone poetry between 1860 and 1940 and its relation with the arts, especially music and painting.
(FR 855/FR 555 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

FR 865 Paris: Capitale du 19e siècle (Units: 3)

Prerequisite for FR 865: Admission to French M.A. program or consent of instructor.
Prerequisite for FR 565: FR 500 or FR 501 or equivalent.

Investigation of the significance of the French metropolis's rise to preeminence following the French Revolution. Examination of nineteenth-century literary and visual representations of Paris alongside histories of the city; exploration of how culture intersects with the urban environment.
(FR 865/FR 565 is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)

FR 896EXM Culminating Experience Examination (Units: 0-3)

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor, committee chair, and approval of Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) and Culminating Experience (CE) forms by Graduate Studies. ATC and Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement forms must be approved by the Graduate Division before registration.

Enrollment in 896EXAM required for students whose culminating experience consists of an examination only. Not for students enrolled in a culminating experience course numbered FR 898. (CR/NC, RP)

FR 898 Master's Thesis (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and approval of Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) for the Master of Arts in French and Culminating Experience (CE) forms by Graduate Studies.

Thesis must be written in French. Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) and Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement forms must be approved by the Graduate Division before registration. (CR/NC grading only)

FR 899 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of graduate major adviser and supervising faculty member. Enrollment by petition.

Study is planned, developed, and completed under the direction of a member of the department faculty. Open only to graduate students who have demonstrated ability to do independent work.