RCLANG 320 - Seminaire en francais
Section: 002 Language, Culture, and Identity: A Social History of European and World French
Term: WN 2018
Subject: RC Languages (RCLANG)
Department: LSA Residential College
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Proficiency test and permission of instructor.
May be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This class will center on the French language but from a significantly different perspective from the one students are accustomed to. That is to say, we will pay relatively little attention to the fixed and static rule-governed grammatical system that students are familiar with. Instead, we will focus largely on people: how does language mean to the people who speak it, and how it is used by various groups at different historical moments? Who speaks what form of French where and why? How can a language be “pure,” as though it were a life-sustaining element like water or chocolate? Why does so much American English keep getting absorbed into most forms of French? Do all speakers agree that this is a good thing? Why is French spelling, with all its silent letters, so chaotic, and can’t anything be done about it? Does our language create our very reality for us, and if so, how do we accommodate recent social evolution, like accentuated awareness of gender identity, into language use? These are some of the types of questions that we will address in this course, which will focus on European French with subsidiary attention paid to North American and African forms of the language. Word nerds are particularly welcome and the merely curious are strongly encouraged to enroll.

Course Requirements:

Attendance is required. Course work will include analysis essays on the readings and students are expected to participate actively in class discussions.

Intended Audience:

This class is open to RC students who have passed the RC French Proficiency Exam. Priority will be given to students having done so in the previous term.

Class Format:

Seminar-style meetings of ninety minutes twice a week.

RCLANG 320 - Seminaire en francais
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9782764405611
La grande aventure de la langue francaise : de Charlemagne au Cirque du soleil, Author: Julie Barlow et Jean-Benoit Nadeau ; traduit de l'anglais (Canada) par Michel Saint-Germain ; preface de Henriette Walter., Publisher: Quebec Amerique 2007
ISBN: 9782070342907
Entre les murs, Author: Francois Begaudeau., Publisher: Gallimard 2007
ISBN: 9780585464930
The vocabulary of modern French : origins, structure and function, Author: Wise, Hilary., Publisher: Routledge 1997
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