French 460

FREN 460: Special Topics

Prerequisite: French 300 and junior standing

Credit Hours: (3 or 4) Three or four hours lecture

Advanced study of topics in language, literature or culture. All work conducted in French. May be taken twice for credit.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

Because of the nature of the course, its content will change. One example of course topic: The Contemporary French Gothic Tale It is a study of gothic French short stories from the 19th and 20th centuries, encompassing the works of Mérimée, Gautier, Maupassant, Baudelaire, Ray, Buzatti, Pauwells, Seignolle Ct Pierre Boulle. Lectures on The Fantastic as a genre, and on the themes developed by each author, are enhanced by the study of four contemporary French films, with at least one being a screen adaptation of a literary work studied during the semester.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The class is conducted entirely in French. Apart from the more formal lectures and presentations given throughout the semester, the course is conducted as a seminar in which the students’ active participation in critical discussions is essential. Texts are assigned for study on a weekly basis and a feature-length movie is presented at the end of each month. Students hear lectures in French, read assigned texts, take part in class discussions, and write a term paper.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will develop their listening and reading skills on the advanced level, and speaking and writing skills on the intermediate-high level. The specialized genre of the gothic French tale enables students to discuss and write on French social themes and to integrate cultural knowledge into their literary experience.


Assessment Measures

A mid-term and a final exam will test the student’s factual knowledge of the literary and cultural material presented in class and in the readings. Each week, the students must bring to class a one page, typed, essay which articulates their individual reactions to the assigned readings. They must also complete a term paper in French on a topic related to the French gothic films they will have studied.


Other Course Information

French 460 can be taken twice, as the topics offered by the faculty vary throughout the academic calendar.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews
September 2005 Reviewed Philip Sweet