Romance Languages and Literatures


French, Italian, and Spanish Placement Tests

If you are planning to take an elementary French, Italian, or Spanish class and you are a new student, freshman or transfer student, or you have not yet begun the elementary language sequence on the Ann Arbor campus, you must take the placement test in order to register for the correct course. You must register for the class into which you have been placed.

If you have registered for a class prior to taking the test, you will still be required to take the test in order to verify that you are in the appropriate level class.

If you have already taken French, Italian, or Spanish 101-232 on the Ann Arbor campus, or if you have already taken the placement test once, you are not eligible to take the test again. For questions regarding the LS&A language requirement, please see a general academic advisor or call POINT-10 (764-6810).

Please Note: With the reduction in the number of classrooms throughout LS&A, departments must limit the number of classes offered between 10 am and 4 pm. There will be more classes open before 10 am and after 4 pm. Please take advantage of the opportunity to register for these classes and avoid the "Lottery" (see 2b below).

Instructions for students requesting overrides for French or Spanish 101, 103, 231, or 232.

1. Try to find a section that will fit into your schedule, since the Department cannot guarantee every student a space in a section of his/her own choice.

However, do not register for a class that you cannot attend. You will not be eligible to override into the section of your choice if you are registered for any section of 101-232, even if you cannot attend that section.

2. As it states in the Time Schedule any registered student who misses one of the first four class meetings will be dropped from the course, thereby leaving some open spaces for those students who have been closed out.

If there is absolutely no section open which will fit your schedule, you should follow this procedure:

(a) Start attending the section you would like to get into on the first day of class. You will receive a Proof of Attendance form which must be signed by your instructor every day. You must attend a class every day, but it does not need to be the same section. All students must take action through T-T Registration to make sure their official schedule of courses matches the courses they are taking.

(b) On Tuesday, January 13 at 7:00 p.m., there will be a meeting in the basement of the MLB, rooms to be announced later, for each of the above courses. At these meetings, students will be assigned to remaining vacated spaces in the most fair and equitable manner possible, using a lottery system. At no time, however, will any class be allowed to exceed 25 students. Students must bring their printout of classes and the Proof of Attendance form to the meeting!

3. Please note that you will not be allowed to change sections at these meetings. Beginning Wednesday, January 14, Elementary French Language Supervisors will hear requests for section changes and fill those requests to whatever degree is possible.

4. Please ensure when adding with the override that you also add modifiers for pass/fail, etc.

Courses in French (Division 371)

Elementary Language Courses

Students who intend to continue a language begun in high school must take the Placement Test to determine the language course in which they should enroll. French 102 is NOT open to students who have begun instruction in high school. It is strongly recommended that students who began French at another college or university also take the placement test. Students must check with the Course Coordinator for any exceptions to the Placement Test level.

101. Elementary French. Students with any prior study of French must take the Placement Test. Credit is not granted for more than two courses from French 101, 102, and 103. (4). (LR).
The sequence of French 101/102 presents the essential elements of French grammar, vocabulary, and culture which are needed in everyday life to understand French spoken at a moderate speed and to be understood by sympathetic native speakers. Vocabulary and structures are practiced in class primarily through communicative activities stressing listening and speaking. Authentic documents are used to develop reading skills and culture. Cultural awareness and listening skills are further developed through listening and video materials. Classes meet four hours per week in sections of 20-25 students. Daily homework assignments involve studying vocabulary and grammar, writing exercises or short compositions, and practice in listening comprehension. There are several quizzes and tests, as well as midterm and final examinations and speaking tests. Class participation is graded. Cost:3 WL:See statement above.
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102. Elementary French, Continued. French 101. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 103. French 102 is NOT open to students who have begun instruction at the high school level. College or university transfer students who have received credit for one term are encouraged to enroll in French 103. (4). (LR).
See French 101. French 102 is the continuation of French 101. It is STRONGLY suggested that transfer students see H. Neu for advice regarding placement in the appropriate course.
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103. Review of Elementary French. Assignment by placement test. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 102. (4). (LR).
French 103 is a course for students with some prior language study in French, and covers the same material presented in French 101/102. Entrance into the course is by placement or with the permission of the course coordinator. Because students are expected to be already familiar with some of the material, the course moves at a rapid pace, and students will need to plan on spending at least 8-10 hours each week preparing daily lessons. The objectives and methods of instruction are similar to those of French 101/102. Quizzes (with both oral and written components) are administered to check students' assimilation of material. There are three hourly exams, a final, compositions, and speaking tests. By the end of the course, students will have a good working vocabulary and strong listening comprehension skills; they should be able to express themselves in French (both in writing and orally) using most of the basic structural patterns in the language. (Reeser)
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231. Second-Year French. French 102 or 103; or assignment by placement test. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 112 or 230. (4). (LR).
The sequence French 231/232 is built upon the work done in French 101/102. It presents intensive and comprehensive grammar review, study of finer points of French grammar structure, and the reading of journalistic prose, short stories, and literary excerpts. Both courses include the use of French movies and video. The proficiency gained by the end of French 232 should enable students to express themselves in French on subjects of intellectual interest, to understand conversation on such topics. Classes meet four times per week in sections of 20-25 students. Since communicative skills are emphasized daily, regular attendance and active participation are essential. Homework consists of grammar study, writing exercises, and laboratory work, both audio and video. There are comprehensive course-wide tests as well as midterm and final examinations.
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232. Second-Year French, Continued. French 231; or assignment by placement test. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 112 or 230. (4). (LR).
In French 232, we will discuss several cultural themes (problems in society, racism, immigration, cooking, health, socialized medicine, and World War II France). You will continue to improve speaking, writing, reading and listening skills by reviewing vocabulary and grammar related to these themes as well as through discussion of short weekly readings (advertisements, literary excerpts, and short stories). Throughout the term, students will listen to French songs, see several videos (from French television) as well as two French movies. Classes meet four times per week in sections of 20-25 students. Since communicative skills are emphasized, daily, regular attendance and active participation are essential and will be included in the final grade. There will be 3 course wide tests, composition, and a final examination.

Section 004 Cultural Expression in the Concept of Space. This course introduces students to the cultural productions of the French speaking world and explores questions of "space," "subjectivity" and "otherness". A space is represented to its inhabitants and to `outsiders' in a range of overlapping images, maps and discourses. In particular we will study how French-speaking writers and filmmakers conceptualize, understand, fashion, and make use of the spaces in which they exist. (Ekotto)

Section 006 Language and Culture, Language as Culture. This non-traditional section of French 232 has two main objectives: (1) to offer a classroom environment and out-of-class activities that will provide for active practice and development of students' French; (2) to study the embodiment and expression of culture in words, expressions, and ways of speaking, and to explore ways in which students' knowledge of the French language can contribute to understanding French and Francophone cultures in ways that wouldn't be possible without the language. Topics will include French social and political institutions, real or perceived conflicts between French cultural traditions and economic globalization, French/American (mis)perceptions of each other's society and culture. Students will also be asked to work on, and report on, individually chosen topics and readings. Classes will make extensive use of group activities; some formal review and practice of grammatical structures will be provided as needed. (Paulson)
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Cultural and Literary Studies

270. French and Francophone Literature and Culture. French 232. (4). (HU). May be repeated for a total of eight credits.
Section 001 "Le Roi Artu": King Arthur, Past and Present.
Sean Connery as King Arthur and Richard Gere as Lancelot, Monty Python's Holy Grail, scores of Arthurian books, journals, societies, and web sites: What is it about the ancient legend of King Arthur that continues to flourish and fascinate us even at the end of the twentieth century? And what does all this have to do with French? Although the historical King Arthur hailed from sixth-century Britain, it was the Northern French poets of the twelfth century who were most responsible for spinning the web of myth, magic, mystery that surrounds this legendary figure. What can the twelfth century "Arthurian Romances" reveal to us about the society and culture in which they were produced? How does reading these works allow us, in effect, to "read" the Middle Ages and understand concepts, such as chivalry and courtly love, which are traditionally associated with the medieval period? Why does the Arthurian legend continue to resonate today, inspiring both intellectual and popular interest, and what can the twentieth-century retellings of this story reveal about our own culture? In this course, we will use selected Arthurian Romances of Chrétien de Troyes (Lancelot and Perceval ) as a primary basis from which to explore these and other questions. Along with other works with an Arthurian bent (Marie de France's Lais and Thomas' Tristan ) we shall also read selections from T.H. White's The Once and Future King and a modern French novel (Gracq's Un Balcon en Foret ) which incorporate Arthurian themes. Films such as Lancelot du Lac and First Knight, historical/critical readings, world wide web sites, and museum visits will also be included. Class discussions and readings will be primarily in French (though several pertinent readings in English will be assigned), and class participation is essential. Grading will be based on two short papers and other writing exercises, group discussion, a 10-minute oral presentation, and a final 5-7 page paper. (M. Hayes)

Section 002 Character(s) of French Modernity. The period surrounding the birth of France's Second Empire is generally considered the era of the emergence of French modernity. Characters (personnages ) who peopled the streets and pages of nineteenth-century Paris are a window onto the character ( caractère ) of a unique, nascent modern culture. Such figures include the dandy, the flâneur (stroller), and the courtisane (quasi-prostitute). Organizing readings in this course around these icons of modern France will allow students to reflect critically on the masculinity, femininity, and urbanity of these figures within primary texts and on how/whether literary characterizations have been perpetuated and/or modified by twentieth-century scholars. We will concentrate on plays, poetry, novels, paintings, and films of nineteenth-century Paris, including works by Baudelaire, Balzac, Dumas, Rachilde, and Zola. (Jewett)
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274. French and Francophone Societies and Culture. French 232. (4). (HU). May be repeated for a total of eight credits.
Section 001 Small Change: Childhood Narratives And The Politics Of Learning French.
The purpose of this course is twofold, to introduce student to French and Francophone societies and cultures and to allow students to develop their reading, writing, and speaking skills in French, skills they will need in more advanced courses in French and Francophone studies. We shall concentrate French and Francophone childhood narratives (to be distinguished from literature written for children) in both novels and film and consider what these childhood narratives teach us about their cultural context and, especially, about the role (political, social, economic) of teaching and learning French in France and the French colonies (during the colonial period). We shall begin with several Francophone novels to consider the relation between teaching French and colonization. Throughout the course we shall view French and Francophone films to study the representation of events such as World War II and the Algerian Revolution through childhood narratives, with special attention devoted to how childhood narratives can serve as allegories of the political conflicts to which children are sometimes thought to be immune. Finally students will have the opportunity to think about how their own experiences of learning French might relate to the narratives they will have studied. The objectives of the course will be to envision ways of learning French that empower students rather than alienate them. This will be an intensive writing course with an emphasis on revising and rewriting as a way of improving writing skills. Students will keep a journal of reflections on the texts studied in the course. The grade will be based on class participation (contribution to class discussions on the part of every student will be crucial), journals, in-class writing assignments, and papers. Novels: Mouloud Feraoun, Le fils du pauvre (Algérie); Camara Laye, L'enfant noir (Guinée); Michel Tremblay, Therese et Pierret à l'école des Saints-Anges (Québec); Alice Kaplan, French Lessons (USA). Films: Halfaouine, dir. Férid Boughedir; L'argent de poche, dir. François Truffaut; Au revoir, les enfants, dir. Louis Malle; Les roseaux sauvages, dir. André Téchiné; Le souffle au coeur, dir. Louis Malle; La rue Case-Nègres, dir. Euzhan Paley. (Hayes)
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367/368/369 Introduction to French Literature.

The objective of this series of courses is to acquaint students with significant literary works and literary theories drawn from the entire range of French literature. Each work is analyzed (in French) individually for its own merit and is then placed within the context of its period. Students are asked to read carefully the assigned works, to reflect on them, and to express their reactions and ideas in class. The instructor holds class discussions, points out the artistic values of the work, and attempts in many cases to show the evolution of literature as it reflects various external factors. Grades may be based on discussions, papers, and a midterm and/or final examination.

368(388). Enlightenment, Revolution, and Romanticism. French 232, and 8 credits in courses numbered between French 250 and 299. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
This course will focus on a representative work of five of the most important writers of the period in question, namely Voltaire, Constant, Balzac, Baudelaire, and Musset. Emphasis will be placed on the literary and thematic aspects of the works read, together with appropriate consideration of their historical, political and cultural context. A typical assignment will consist of reading some twenty pages of a given work and preparing to discuss them in class. Students will write five papers in French (three or four pages in length) during the course of the term. Each paper will be corrected for grammar, choice of expression, and content. The course grade will be based on the results of written work and on classroom participation. Regular attendance is required. The course will be conducted in French. (Gray)
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374(430). Problems in Society and Social Theory. French 232, and 8 credits in courses numbered between French 250 and 299. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.
Section 001 Cultural Expression in the Concept of Space.
This course introduces students to the cultural productions of the French speaking world and explores questions of "space," "subjectivity," and "otherness". In particular we will study how French-speaking writers and filmmakers conceptualize, understand, fashion, and make use of the spaces in which they exist. (Ekotto)

Section 002 Problems in Society. Since the mid-1980s, the far-right Front National party has established itself as an important political force in France today. Its leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, received 15% of the votes in the 1995 presidential election. What exactly is the project of the FN? Why has the extreme right made such a dramatic come-back in France? And, most importantly, what are the historical and intellectual origins of the ideas it represents? The purpose of this course is to discuss, through historical events as well as works of fiction, the ideas of the extreme right in several of its aspects and expressions. Among the topics studied: the rise of nationalism in the 1880s, the Dreyfus Affair, French fascism, the Vichy government during WW II, the Algerian war, and finally the Front National. We will discuss issues such as antisemitism, gender, the body, esthetics, colonization, immigration, etc. Literature: Maurice Barrès, Les déracinés (excerpt); Henry de Montherlant, Les olympiques (excerpts); Robert Brazillach, Les sept couleurs; Marcel Aymé, Uranus. Course pack: various essays and articles, incl. Zola, Barrès, Le Pen, etc. Films (tentative): Joseph Losey, Monsieur Klein; Marcel Ophuls, Le chagrin et la pitié; Leni Riefenstahl, excerpts from Triumph of the Will and Olympia. (Caron)
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379. Studies in Gender and Sexuality. French 232, and 8 credits in courses numbered between French 250 and 299. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Section 001 AIDS in France: Literature and Politics.
France is the European country with the highest rate of HIV and AIDS. After almost a decade of silence and denial about the seriousness of the epidemic, there has been a recent shift in public perceptions and reactions, along with an sudden increase in literary and cultural production addressing the crisis. A large number of texts have emerged essays, novels, plays, first and third person testimonials, etc.; some were so successful their authors became household names; certain films and TV programs were widely seen; activism is on the rise: AIDS has finally entered French society. This course will focus on both the literary and the socio-political aspects of the AIDS crisis in France. It will address issues such as: the reasons for the initial period of denial; the cause(s) of the shift described above; the construction of the AIDS patient in the media and in literature; literary and political resistance to the dominant discourses on AIDS; the problems in representing the unspeakable (disaster, one's own death); the relation between the AIDS crisis and previous constructions of sameness and otherness in French culture; the way in which AIDS criticism may provide the basis for a rethinking of social relations in France today; etc. Tentative reading list: Act Up-Paris, Le Sìda; Hervé Guibert, A l'ami qui ne m'a pas sauvé la vie; Cyril Collard, Les nuits fauves; Thérèse Muamini, Mon Fils, mon amour. Course pack including texts by: Gilles Barbedette, Hervé Guibert, Copi, Bertrand Duquénelle, Christophe Martet. (Caron)
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385. Contemporary France: Politics, Culture, and Society. French 235. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of 9 credits.
Section 001 Cultural History of France: from 1789 to the Present.
A survey of French culture from the Revolution of 1789 to the present. The course will focus on the social changes that occurred in the wake of a series of revolutions (1789, 1830, 1848, 1871), and the development of the modern political State. Slides, movies, and texts will help us understand the aesthetic movements, official and marginal, that shaped the period: Romanticism, Symbolism, Decadence, Surrealism, contemporary thought. Special attention will be given to developments in the arts and architecture, from David to the Centre Pompidou and the Orsay Museum. Conducted in French. (Huet)
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Other Language Courses

112. Second Special Reading Course. French 111. French 111 and 112 are designed for juniors, seniors, and graduate students interested in gaining a reading knowledge of the language. Completion of French 111-112 does not satisfy the LSA language requirement. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 230, 231, or 232. (4). (Excl).
This course is designed to increase the reading proficiency gained in French 111. It begins with an intensive and comprehensive review of grammar and idioms, followed by special work for sight-reading. Toward mid-term, students select several articles of a book in their field of specialization for outside reading, and they complete their reading on their own with frequent consultation with the instructor. Classes meet in sections of 25 students. They meet four times per week. There are weekly quizzes, course-wide midterm and final examinations.
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235(361). Advanced Practice in French. French 232. (3). (Excl). May not be included in a concentration plan in French.
In this course we will be dealing with some of the issues and problems facing today's French/Francophone society (unemployment, immigration, education system, the familial structure, young people, and AIDS, racial and sexist prejudices, etc.) through readings (press and textbook articles) and videos (documentaries, news programs exposes, and film.) This "cultural" approach will offer us a jumping-off point for oral and written communication (respectively 60% and 40% of the final grade). Four individual oral presentations, three medium-length essays, an active class participation, and regular attendance are expected in a course which will be conducted in French.
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333(363). French Phonetics. French 232, and 8 credits in courses numbered between French 250 and 299. (3). (Excl).
This course, conducted in French, is designed to introduce basic concepts in phonetic theory and to help students improve their pronunciation of French through: (1) study of the physical characteristics of individual sounds, the relationship between sounds and their written representations, the rules governing pronunciation of "standard" French; and (2) intensive oral practice in the production of French consonants and vowels, syllabification, intonation, liaison, and deletion/retention of the "mute E". During the first week, students will record a speech sample and will be informed of problem areas to work on independently using audio tapes. Homework for each class consists of reading theory, writing phonetic transcriptions using the International Phonetic Alphabet, and oral practice with tapes. Participation, 1-2 oral quizzes, and the final oral exam will evaluate proficiency in pronunciation. Written homework, quizzes, a midterm, and a final written exam will evaluate ability to use the phonetic alphabet and knowledge of basic theory. This is NOT a conversation class. (Neu)
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370/RC Core 370. Advanced Proficiency in French. French 235 or RC Core 320. (3). (Excl).
Advance Proficiency in French is especially but not exclusively designed for students who intend to study in France or in a French-speaking country with a Junior Year Abroad program (such as the Michigan Junior Year in Aix-en-Provence Program). This course focuses on the development of the four language skills complemented by a rich cultural component which will prepare students socially and intellectually for living and studying in France. Emphasis will be placed on modern France and current events. Speaking skills will be developed in informal and formal contexts. Directed as well as open-ended practice of oral production will activate a wide range of functional expressions. Formal discourse such as l'exposé will also be practiced. Students will be initiated into writing formats and styles customary in French universities. The techniques practiced, namely the French dissertation, contraction de texte, and commentaire composé will emphasize how to write introductions, conclusions, paragraphs, and texts with logical development through the use of cohesive devices, precise and accurate working, and syntax. Training in reading intricate current newspaper prose and aural comprehension of lectures with note-taking will be included. Final exam with two parts: (1) Oral exam: a short expose and a brief conversation; (2) Written exam: A written French-style essay dissertation. (Butler-Borruat)
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