Bryn Mawr

Return to current Catalog Home

2004-05 Catalog Home

Academic Calendars
2004-05 and 2005-06

About the College

Academic Opportunities

Curricular Options

Libraries and Educational Resources

Student Life

Geographical Distribution of Students


Fees and Financial Aid

The Academic Program

Scholarship Funds and Prizes

Loan Funds

Board of Trustees


Administration and Alumnae Association

Areas of Study

Africana Studies
Arts Program
Athletics and Physical Education
Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology
Comparative Literature
Computer Science
East Asian Studies
Environmental Studies
Feminist and Gender Studies
Film Studies
Fine Arts
French and French Studies
General Studies
German and German Studies
Greek, Latin and Classical Studies
Growth and Structure of Cities
Hebrew and Judaic Studies
Hispanic and Hispanic-American Studies
History of Art
Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Peace and Conflict Studies
Political Science
Romance Languages



Search Bryn Mawr
 Admissions Academics Campus Life News and Events Visit Find

French and French Studies

Grace M. Armstrong, Major Adviser
Nancy J. Vickers

Associate Professors:
Koffi Anyinéfa, Chair, at Haverford College
Brigitte Mahuzier, Director of the Avignon Institute

Assistant Professors:
Francis Higginson
Duane Kight, at Haverford College
Natasha Lee
David L. Sedley, at Haverford College

Senior Lecturers:
Roseline Cousin (on leave, 2004-05)
Janet Doner

Nathalie Marcus

Florence Echtman, at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges

Affiliated Faculty:
Lisa Graham, at Haverford College

The Bi-College Department of French combines the faculties of Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges to offer a unified program and a variety of courses and major options. The purpose of the major in French is to lay the foundation for an understanding and appreciation of French culture through its literature and language, the history of its arts, its thought and its institutions. Course offerings are intended to serve both those with particular interest in French literature, literary theory and criticism, as well as those with particular interest in French and French-speaking lands from the perspective of history, culture and political science. A thorough knowledge of French is a common goal for both orientations, and texts and discussion in French are central both to the program focusing on French history and culture (interdisciplinary concentration) and to the literary specialization (literature concentration).

In the 100-level courses, students are introduced to the study of French literature and culture, and special attention is given to the speaking and writing of French. Courses at the 200 level treat French literature and civilization from the beginning to the present day. Three 200-level courses are devoted to advanced language training, with practice in spoken as well as in written French. Advanced (300-level) courses offer detailed study either of individual authors, genres and movements (literature concentration) or of particular periods, themes and problems in French culture (interdisciplinary concentration). In both tracks, students are admitted to advanced courses after satisfactory completion of two semesters of 200-level courses in French.

Students in all courses are encouraged to make use of the Language Learning Center. In French 001, 002, 003, 004 and 005, the use of the laboratory and intensive oral practice in small groups directed by a department assistant form an integral part of the course. French majors find it valuable to supplement the work done at Bryn Mawr and Haverford by study abroad either during the summer at the Institut d’Etudes Françaises d’Avignon or during the sophomore or junior year.

All students who wish to pursue their study of French must take a placement examination upon entrance at Bryn Mawr and Haverford. Those students who begin French have two options: intensive study of the language in the intensive sections offered (the sequence 001-002 Intensive Elementary; 005 Intensive Intermediate and 102 Textes, Images, Voix II, or 005 and 105 Directions de la France contemporaine), or non-intensive study of the language in the non-intensive sequence (001-002; 003-004; 101-102 or 101-105; 103-102 or 103-105). In either case, students who pursue French to the 200 level often find it useful to take as their first 200-level course either 212 Grammaire avancée or 260 Stylistique et traduction. Although it is possible to major in French using either of the two sequences, students who are considering doing so and have been placed at the 001 level are encouraged to take the intensive option.

The Department of French also cooperates with the Departments of Italian and Spanish in the Romance Languages major.

Major Requirements

Requirements in the major subject are:
1. Literature concentration: French 101-102 or 101-105; 103-102 or 103-105, French 212 or 260, four semesters of 200-level literature courses, two semesters of 300-level literature courses, and the two-semester Senior Conference.
2. Interdisciplinary concentration: French 101-102 or 101-105, 103-102 or 103-105; French 212 or 260; French 291 and 294, the core courses; a minimum of two civilization courses to be chosen among 246, 248, 251, 255, 296, 298, 299, 325, 326, with at least one course at the 300 level; two 200- or 300-level French literature courses, with one of these courses chosen at the 300 level; and the two-semester Senior Conference.
3. Both concentrations: all French majors are expected to have acquired fluency in the French language, both written and oral. Unless specifically exempted by the department, they are required to take French 212 or 260. Students may wish to continue from 212 to 260 to hone their skills further. Students placed at the 200 level by departmental examinations are exempted from the 100-level requirements. Occasionally, students may be admitted to seminars in the graduate school.


Undergraduates who have excelled in French by maintaining a minimum grade of 3.6 may, if invited by the department, write an honors thesis during the two semesters of their senior year. Departmental honors may also be awarded for excellence in both the oral and written comprehensive examinations at the end of the senior year.

Minor Requirements

Requirements for a French minor are French 101-102 , 101-105, 103-102 or 103-105; French 212 or 260; and four 200-level or 300-level courses. At least one course must be at the 300 level.

A.B./M.A. Program

Particularly well-qualified students may undertake work toward the joint A.B./ M.A. degree in French. Such a program may be completed in four or five years and is undertaken with the approval of the department and of the dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Study Abroad

Students majoring in French may, by a joint recommendation of the deans of the Colleges and the Department of French, be allowed to spend their junior year in France under one of the junior year plans approved by their respective college: some programs are approved by both Bryn Mawr and Haverford (e.g., Sweet Briar); other programs are accepted separately by Bryn Mawr and Haverford.
Students wishing to enroll in a summer program may apply for admission to the Institut d’Etudes Françaises d’Avignon, held under the auspices of Bryn Mawr. The institute is designed for selected undergraduates and graduate students with a serious interest in French literature and culture, most particularly for those who anticipate professional careers requiring a knowledge of the language and civilization of France. The curriculum includes general and advanced courses in French language, literature, social sciences, history and art. The program is open to students of high academic achievement who have completed a course in French at the third-year level or the equivalent.

Students of French are also encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities offered on both campuses for immersion in the language and culture of France: residence in the French House in Haffner at Bryn Mawr; the weekly film series; and the weekly Table française at Haffner, Bryn Mawr, and the Dining Center, Haverford.

Teacher Certification

The Department of French offers a certification program in secondary teacher education. For more information, see the Education Program.

FREN B001-FREN B002. Elementary French

The speaking and understanding of French are emphasized particularly during the first semester. The work includes regular use of the Language Learning Center and is supplemented by intensive oral practice sessions. The course meets in intensive (nine hours a week) and non-intensive (five hours a week) sections. This is a year-long course; both semesters are required for credit. (Doner, Echtman, Kight, Marcus)

FREN B003-FREN B004. Intermediate French

The emphasis on speaking and understanding French is continued; texts from French literature and cultural media are read; and short papers are written in French. Students use the Language Learning Center regularly and attend supplementary oral practice sessions. The course meets in non-intensive (three hours a week) sections that are supplemented by an extra hour per week with an assistant. This is a year-long course; both semesters are required for credit. (Anyinéfa, Echtman, Kight, Mahuzier, Marcus, Sedley, staff)

FREN B005. Intensive Intermediate French

The emphasis on speaking and understanding French is continued; literary and cultural texts are read and increasingly longer papers are written in French. In addition to the three class meetings a week, students develop their skills in an additional group session with the professors and in oral practice hours with assistants. Students use the Language Learning Center regularly. This course prepares students to take 102 or 105 in semester II. Open only to graduates of Intensive Elementary French or to students specially placed by the department. Students who are not graduates of Intensive Elementary French must take either 102 or 105 in semester II to receive credit. (Armstrong, Doner, Echtman)

FREN B101. Textes, Images, Voix I

Presentation of essential problems in literary and cultural analysis by close reading of works selected from various periods and genres and by analysis of voice and image in French writing and film. Participation in discussion and practice in written and oral expression are emphasized, as are grammar review and laboratory exercises. (Higginson, Lee, Mahuzier, Sedley, Division III)

FREN B102. Textes, Images, Voix II

Continued development of students' expertise in literary and cultural analysis by emphasizing close reading as well as oral and written analyses of increasingly complex works chosen from various genres and periods of French and Francophone works in their written and visual modes. Readings begin with comic theatre of the 17th and 18th centuries and build to increasingly complex nouvelles, poetry and novels of the 19th and 20th centuries. Participation in guided discussion and practice in oral/written expression continue to be emphasized, as are grammar review and laboratory exercises. Prerequisite: French 005, 101 or 103. (Anyinéfa, Armstrong, Division III)

FREN B103. De Sedan à la Belle Epoque (1870-1914)

In this course (taught in French), students will be introduced to events, personalities and issues whose effects are still felt in contemporary France. The course will be structured around thematic clusters, such as: "Napoléon III et Victor Hugo", "La Commune de 1871", and "Impératrices des Tuileries, des salons et de la scène." Readings will be drawn from literary and non-literary texts of the period, as well as from relevant theoretical, historical, sociological and anthropological analyses. The same complexities of French grammar covered in French 101 will be reviewed. At the end of the semester, students will have gained a fundamental understanding of the period, an understanding which will ground and motivate further study either of contemporary French culture or of nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature. Prerequisites: Placement by the Department or completion of French 004 or 005. (Kight, Division III)

FREN B105. Directions de la France contemporaine

An examination of contemporary society in France and Francophone cultures as portrayed in recent documents and film. Emphasizing the tension in contemporary French-speaking societies between tradition and change, the course focuses on subjects such as family structures and the changing role of women, cultural and linguistic identity, an increasingly multiracial society, the individual and institutions (religious, political, educational), and les loisirs. In addition to the basic text and review of grammar, readings are chosen from newspapers, contemporary literary texts and magazines, complemented by video materials. Prerequisite: French 005, 101 or 103. (Kight, Marcus, Division III)

FREN B201. Le chevalier, la dame et le prêtre: littérature et publics du Moyen Age

Using literary texts, historical documents and letters as a mirror of the social classes that they address, this interdisciplinary course studies the principal preoccupations of secular and religious men and women in France from the Carolingian period through 1500. Selected works from epic, lai, roman courtois, fabliau, theater, letters and contemporary biography are read in modern French translation. (Armstrong, Division III) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B202. Crise et identité: La Renaissance

A study of the development of Humanism, the concept of the Renaissance and the Reformation. The course focuses on representative works, with special attention given to the prose of Rabelais and Montaigne, the Conteurs, the poetry of Marat, Scève, the Pléiade and d'Aubigné. (Sedley, Division III) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B203. Passion et culture: Le Grand Siècle

Representative authors and literary movements placed within their cultural context, with special attention to development of the theater (Corneille, Molière and Racine) and women writers of various genres. (Sedley, Division III)

FREN B204. Le Siècle des lumières

Representative texts of the Enlightenment and the Pre-Romantic movement, with emphasis on the development of liberal thought as illustrated in the Encyclopédie and the works of Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot and Rousseau. (Lee, Division III). Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B205. Le Temps des prophètes: de Chateaubriand à Baudelaire (1800-1860) From Chateaubriand and Romanticism to Baudelaire, a study of selected poems, novels and plays. ( Lee, Division III)

FREN B206. Le Temps des virtuoses: Symbolisme, Naturalisme et leur progéniture, (1860-1930)

A study of selected works by Verlaine, Rimbaud, Zola, Valéry, Claudel, Proust and Gide. (Lee, Division III). Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B207. Missionnaires et cannibales: de Malraux à Modiano (1930-1995)

A study of selected works illustrating the principal literary movements from 1930 to the present. (Higginson, Division III)

FREN B212. Grammaire avancée

A general review of the most common difficulties of the French language. Practice in composition and conversation. (Anyinéfa)

FREN B213. Approches critiques et théoriques

This course provides exposure to influential 20th-century French theorists while bringing these thinkers to bear on appropriate literary texts. It hones students' critical skills while expanding their knowledge of French intellectual history. The explicitly critical aspect of the course will also serve students throughout their coursework, regardless of field. (Mahuzier, Division III; cross-listed as Comparative Literature 213)

FREN B250. Introduction à la littérature franco-phone

A study of male and female writers of Africa, South and North of the Sahara, and the Caribbean. (Anyinéfa, Division III) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B251. La Mosaïque France

A study that opposes discourse of exclusion, xenophobia, racism and the existence of a mythical, unique French identity by examining 20th-century French people and culture in their richness and variety, based on factors such as gender, class, region, colonization and decolonization, immigration and ethnic background. Films and texts by Beauvoir, Ernaux, Carles, Jakez Helias, Zobel, Duras, Cardinal, Begag and Modiano. (staff, Division III) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B252. La Vision de la femme dans la littérature française du XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles

The vision of woman in representative French authors from Madame de Lafayette to Madame de Charrière. Novels and essays written by both men and women are studied to illustrate the variations of the vision during these two centuries. (staff, Division III) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B255. Cinéma française/francophone et (Post-)colonialisme

A study of cinéastes from France, Africa, South and North of the Sahara, and the Caribbean whose films treat colonial and post-colonial experiences. (Anyinéfa, Division III)

FREN B260. Stylistique et traduction

Intensive practice in speaking and writing. Conversation, discussion, advanced training in grammar and stylistics, translation of literary and nonliterary texts, and original composition. (Doner, Marcus)

FREN B262. Débat, discussion, dialogue

Intensive oral practice intended to bring non-native French speakers to the highest level of proficiency through the development of debating and discussion skills. (Lee)

FREN B280. Analyses sémiologiques de la culture française: stéréotypes et réalités

A study of how French society represents itself both to the French and to others, and of the discrepancies between this representation and the more complex, evolving reality. Conducted through various media (art, computer media, films, popular and serious literature, pedagogical texts, song, talk shows, television, theater, etc.). (staff, Division III) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B291. La Civilisation française

A survey of French cultures and society from the Revolution to De Gaulle's Republic. Serves as one of the core courses for the interdisciplinary concentration. (Mahuzier, Division III; cross-listed as History 291) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B294. La Civilisation française: les origines

A study of the historical development of French civilization from its medieval origins to the end of Louis XIV's reign. Emphasis on the interconnections among politics, history of ideas and aesthetics. Among topics of particular importance treated in this course are romanesque versus Gothic art and architecture; medieval theocentrism versus Renaissance humanism; and the political, scientific and philosophical foundations of French Classicism. This course serves as one of the introductory courses for the interdisciplinary concentration. (staff, Division III) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B299. Littérature, histoire, et société de la Révolution à la Première Guerre mondiale

A study of the language and political, social and ethical messages of literary texts whose authors were "engagés" in the conflicts, wars and revolutions that shook French society from the advent of the 1789 Revolution to the First World War. Counts for either the literary or interdisciplinary track. (Mahuzier, Division III)

FREN B302. Le printemps de la parole féminine: femmes écrevains des débuts

This study of selected women authors from the French Middle Ages, Renaissance and Classical periods — among them, Marie de France, the trobairitz, Christine de Pisan, Marguerite de Navarre and Madame de Lafayette — examines the way in which they appropriate and transform the male writing tradition and define themselves as self-conscious artists within or outside it. Particular attention will be paid to identifying recurring concerns and structures in their works, and to assessing their importance to female writing; among them, the poetics of silence, reproduction as a metaphor for artistic creation, and sociopolitical engagement. (Armstrong, Division III; cross-listed as Comparative Literature 302)

FREN B306. Libertinage et érotisme au XVIIIe siècle

A close study of works representative of the 18th-century French novel, with special attention to the memoir novel (Marivaux and Prévost), the philosophical novel (Diderot and Voltaire), and the epistolary novel (Rousseau, Laclos and Rétif de la Bretonne). (staff, Division III) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B312. Advanced Topics

Topics for 2004-05: "Montaigne et la modernité." "Le Maghreb litéraire." (Anyinéfa, Sedley, Division III)

FREN B320. La France et Ses Orients

This course introduces students to the concept of Orientalism, as proposed by Edward Saïd, through readings of a number of canonical writers of the 19th and 20th centuries from North Africa, the Middle East and France. In the process, students will learn how to read diachronically and cross-culturally. (Higginson, Division III) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B325, FREN B326. Etudes avancées de civilisation

An in-depth study of a particular topic, event or historical figure in French civilisation. The seminar topic rotates among many subjects: La Révolution française: histoire, littérature et culture; L'Environnement naturel dans la culture française; Mal et valeurs éthiques; Le Cinéma et la politique, 1940-1968; Le Nationalisme en France et dans les pays francophones; Etude socio-culturelle des arts du manger en France du Moyen Age à nos jours. (Lee, Mahuzier, Division III; cross-listed as Comparative Literature 325, 326)

FREN B350. Voix médiévales et échos modernes

A study of selected 19th- and 20th-century works inspired by medieval subjects, such as the Grail and Arthurian legends, and by medieval genres, such as the roman, saints' lives or the miracle play. Included are works by Hugo, Flaubert, Claudel, Anouilh, Bonnefoy, Genevoix, Gracq and Yourcenar. (Armstrong, Division III; cross-listed as Comparative Literature 350) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B354. Ecrivains/théoriciens engagés

(Mahuzier, Division III) Not offered in 2004-05.

FREN B398, FREN B399. Senior Conference

A weekly seminar examining representative French and Francophone literary texts and cultural documents from all periods, and the interpretive problems they raise. Close reading and dissection of texts, complemented by extensive secondary readings from different schools of interpretation, prepare students to analyze others' critical stances and to develop their own. In addition to short essays and oral presentations, students write a long paper each semester and end the year with Senior Comprehensives, which consist of an oral explication of a French literary text or cultural document and a four-hour written examination. (Armstrong, Higginson)

FREN B403. Supervised Work

Courses that may be offered by current faculty as student interest and circumstances permit:

216. Le Rire (Doner)
220. Dadaïsme et Surréalisme (staff)
248. Histoire des femmes en France (Mahuzier)
298. La France depuis 1945 (staff)
301. Le roman courtois (Armstrong)
307. Le Théâtre du XVIIIe siêcle: Marivaux, Beaumarchais (staff)
309. Du symbolisme au naturalisme (Mahuzier)
313. Poètes du XXe siècle (staff)

Bryn Mawr College · 101 North Merion Ave · Bryn Mawr · PA · 19010-2899 · Tel 610-526-5000