Preview of Courses


The following are courses that have been offered or are usually offered in the French Cultural Studies minor. For a comprehensive list of courses, please refer to the current Schedule of Classes or Course Catalog. 

Art History

ART 366. From Watteau to Goya: European Art of the Eighteenth Century 
This course moves between Paris, London, Venice, Rome and Madrid over the course of the eighteenth century examining paintings, prints, gardens and decorative objects. Learn about Watteau’s sad clown Gilles, Hogarth’s Marriage à la Mode, Marie-Antoinette’s garden at Versailles, and Goya’s Black Paintings.

ART 368. Age of Impressionism 
Explore the central question asked by Impressionist painters: “What does it mean to be the painter/poet of modern life?” The artists of the nineteenth century who responded in various ways to this problem are regarded today as the founders of something called "modernism."  Understanding the development of modernism, also known as avant-garde art, is our primary objective in this class. 


HIST 363. Socialism and Revolution in Modern Europe 
Designed to explore the relationship between socialism and revolution in Europe during the modern period, this course examines the different forms that revolutions have taken, as well as the different types of socialisms that have appeared throughout the modern period in Europe, and it will force us to consider what conditions made for successful or failed revolutions. 

HIST 364. Riots, Revolts, and Revolutions in Modern France 
Paired course with French 182/382. In 1978, historian François Furet published an essay entitled “The French Revolution is finished.” The revolution, Furet claimed, was completed, and ought now to be a subject of dispassionate historical inquiry. That revolutionary tradition, however, and the results and implications of France’s history since 1789, are now in the spotlight more than ever as the framework for a variety of contemporary concerns of profound significance for French citizens and their leaders: immigration, racism, diversity/multiculturalism, assimilation, Islam, gender parity, the decline of the French welfare state, urban policy, and the relationship between France and the rest of the world, in particular the United States. The project of this pair is to understand France’s past as well as its present in historical context, and to approach the history of France and its revolutionary tradition in both aesthetic, cultural, historical, and sociological ways.


FREN 181/481. Franco-Asian Literature 
This course explores the Asian influence in Francophone literatures and cultures. It exposes students to non-traditional aspects of the Francophone culture deriving from a history of complex and diverse interactions between Asia and French-speaking societies. Students will gain insight about the Asian dimension in Francophone culture through the study of literature along with that of cinema. Works will be examined from a historical and literary perspective. By the end of the semester, students should be well acquainted with major themes in this field. Students are expected to read the works before coming to class, and to participate actively in class discussions.

FREN 182/482. Riots, Revolts and Revolutions 
Paired course with History 364. This course deals with social uprisings (some successful, some not) from the 17th century to the present in France. This time period is of particular interest because it marks the rise of the centralized and self-regulating state in France.  The creation of a strong state with centralized and centralizing power (whether absolutist or republican) raises questions of identity, representation and agency for the French (or soon to be French) populations who are seeking a voice. While the historical movement towards democracy has answered some of these questions, modern France (and all of Europe) finds itself still dealing with issues such as immigration, multiculturalism, linguistic minorities and the European Union. The course will thus attempt to tie some large temporal gaps closer together by studying these fundamental issues such as self, representation and agency in the world of a powerful centralized state.