FRH 301 Pensez Français: The French Cultural Experience
Conversation and composition based on modern texts and/or films about France and Francophone countries.
Major in French at Connecticut College and you will develop linguistic and cultural fluency, regardless of your starting point. The benefits of studying French extend far beyond knowledge of the language and the Francophone world. When you speak only one language, it's hard to grasp the extent to which language itself shapes our thoughts, perceptions and values. As a French major, you step outside your own linguistic framework and acquire a different view of the world. You learn to recognize and value cultural differences and to look at issues from different perspectives. With this understanding, you are well-prepared for advanced studies and career opportunities in a limitless range of fields.
Many courses are co-offered with other academic departments, including anthropology, film studies, and gender and women’s studies. Classes are small and faculty are attentive. You are challenged to hone your critical thinking skills and augment your language study with the perspectives and analytical modes of many disciplines. Some French majors pursue a certificate with one of the College's centers for interdisciplinary scholarship or with the museum studies program.
You can hone your language skills on campus in the language lab or at the French table in Knowlton Language House's international dining room. As a French major, you study abroad for at least one semester and possibly an entire year. Many students go to France, but in recent years, others have studied literature and native crafts in Senegal and Cameroon, family health and economic development in Mali, and environmental issues in Madagascar.
James Austin lectures frequently on Proust and on film in the United States and internationally. He is also an associate faculty member in the Film Studies program.
Ronan Chalmin's teaching interests include Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment; revolution and counter-revolution in France; The Libertin in the 17 and/or 18th century fiction; The Honnête Homme in the 17-18th centuries; utopia and dystopia (Renaissance-20th century); metamorphosis of the self (Renaissance-19th century) and the cinematic adaptation of novels and plays (18th-21st centuries.)
Nathalie Etoke has taught a first-year seminar, France/Africa: An Encounter; Conversations on Post-Colonial Africa; Pensez Francais I: French Cultural Experience and Contemporary Issues in Francophonie; Pensez Francais I: French Cultural Experience; Black Blanc Beur Cinema/Literature; and French 407: La Caraïbe Francophone hier et aujourd'hui ( Slavery, memory and identity through literature and film).
Lovia Mondésir’s teaching interests are poetry, novel, theater and history. She has taught elementary, intermediate and advanced French language courses as well as 19th century French literature, elementary Creole and Francophone literature and culture.
Benjamin Williams' teaching interests are poetry, painting, gastronomy and phonetics. His research is in French symbolism and Belle Époque culture - poetry, periodicals and painting.
A: First, the location of campus—the coastal New England feel was similar to my hometown and not too far away from my family. Second, I found the academics interesting. I was drawn to the strong International Relations department, along with the many opportunities to internationalize my major including CISLA, study abroad, and a minor in French (which eventually became a major).
A: I had studied French since elementary school and actually had my mind set on taking Chinese when I got to college. I quickly realized that Chinese wasn't for me (after only 2 classes), and decided to focus instead on perfecting my French skills. I became interested in the politics and culture of France—issues that I would explore in subsequent French classes and which would become the focus of my senior year CISLA Senior Integrative Project.
A: French 404: The Art of Speaking. I was always timid in classes and not keen on oral participation, especially in a foreign language. It was instrumental in easing my transition into my semester abroad. I would consider it a requirement for students seeking to study in France who plan to take courses in French while abroad. Not only did it greatly improve my speaking skills, but the class also improved my confidence in speaking up in all of my classes.
A: I completed two independent studies in my senior year which I cobbled together to form an ad hoc senior thesis or SIP for CISLA. During the fall semester, I studied with Professor Etoke and examined root causes of radicalization in France. Most of this research was done in French though the final product was written in English. During my second semester, I looked at lone wolf terrorism in France, focusing on the Internet as a catalyst for radicalization. This research was undertaken with Professor Rose.
A: I studied in Paris at Sciences Po through the Middlebury School in France. My primary motivations for studying abroad were to gain international experience and improve my French skills. Through CISLA, I also spent a summer interning for the French Ministry of the Interior.