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    Davidson College
  Feb 23, 2018

French and Francophone Studies

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Professors: Jacobus, Slawy-Sutton, Sutton
Associate Professor: Kruger (Chair)
Assistant Professor: Fache
Visiting Professor: Buckley  
Visiting Assistant Professor: Beschea (Resident Director, France, 2013-14)

Foreign Language Requirement

Completion of French 201 meets the foreign language requirement for the degree.

Students with prior work in French must take a placement test to assess their language proficiency. Using the results of the placement exam (which tests reading and listening skills) and the high school record, the department places the student at the appropriate level.

Students can satisfy the language requirement by high achievement on the placement exam AND an oral interview in French with a member of the French department. Students continuing in French should enroll in the course indicated by their placement test results.

Cultural Diversity Requirement

French 361, 362, 366, 367, and 368 are options for fulfilling the cultural diversity requirement.

Study Abroad

The department strongly encourages all students, especially French majors or minors, to study abroad for a minimum of one semester. Davidson’s own program is located in Tours where students may spend an academic year or either the fall or spring semester (see section on Study Abroad for more details). Students participating in non-Davidson foreign-study programs must secure advance approval from the department for credit toward the major.

Major Requirements

No French course taken Pass/Fail at Davidson may count towards the major in French.

Ten French courses numbered above 201, and including:

  1. French 313 (normally taken at Davidson);
  2. a course in the 220-229 “Intro. Lit.” series or the equivalent;
  3. French 260 “Contemporary France” or the equivalent;
  4. three 300-level courses including at least one in the 320-349 series and at least one in the 360-369 series;
  5. 490 (Senior Seminar);  
  6. 491 or 499 (Senior Thesis or Honors Thesis).
  7. Note 1: In addition to 490 and 491 (or 499), senior majors are required to take a third course in the department during the senior year.
    Note 2: We encourage majors to take courses in French studies offered by other departments. With approval of the French department, one such course may be included as one of the ten required for the major. Examples include HIS 228 and HIS 328.             

In the spring semester of their senior year, French majors write a thesis in French based on a personal reading program developed with the help of a faculty adviser. The reading program may be organized around a literary theme, genre, or movement, as well as a particular author or a civilization topic. Recent topics (translated for convenience) include: “Leonardo da Vinci and the Romorantin Project,” “The Use of Torture in the Algerian Conflict,” “Images of Homelessness in French Literature,” “Persepolis and the Graphic Novel,” and “Generation Y: A Moroccan Case Study.”

Students interested in obtaining teacher certification (K–12) in French must satisfy all the education requirements in addition to the major requirements in French, with the exception of French 491 (which is waived to allow the student to complete the education program in the spring semester, including student teaching). Teacher certification candidates submit and present orally a paper on foreign language pedagogy in lieu of the senior thesis.

Minor Requirements

No French course taken Pass/Fail at Davidson will count towards the minor in French.

Six courses numbered above 201, and including: Introduction to French Literature (220–229, or the equivalent), a course in French culture or civilization (260, 360-369, or the equivalent), and three additional courses beyond 201 in French language, literature, and/or civilization, at least one of which must be at the 300 level. At least two of the six courses must be taken at Davidson, one of which must be at the 300 level.

Honors Requirements

Candidates for Honors in French must have (or expect to have) a 3.5 GPA in French courses and a 3.2 GPA overall by the end of their junior year.

In the spring of their junior year, candidates for Honors in French must submit to the Chair of the department a one-page proposal, written in French, on a topic they have already researched. The proposal includes a working title and a preliminary bibliography with primary and secondary sources.

At the same time (May 10 in the junior year) candidates for Honors submit an original writing sample on a topic that will be provided by the Chair of the department (maximum: 2 pages in French; time limit: 2 hours).

Once they have been approved for Honors, candidates start working on their Honors thesis in consultation with their adviser in the fall of their senior year.  If they change thesis topics during the fall of their senior year, candidates must write a regular thesis rather than an Honors thesis.

Roughly one-third of the project must be completed by the end of the fall semester.

In the fall semester of their senior year, candidates take the Senior Seminar (FRE 490) with the other French majors, in which they must receive at least a B+. In the spring semester of the senior year candidates for Honors register for FRE 499, complete their Honors thesis and submit it to their committee (adviser and two readers) by April 10. After necessary revisions, candidates have an oral defense in French before their departmental thesis committee in early May. Director and readers vote on whether Honors shall be awarded.

Guidelines for selecting courses beyond the intermediate level.

The minimum requirement for courses numbered 212 or above is French 201. Students who have completed 201 or the equivalent may enroll in any course numbered 212-229, regardless of sequence in numbering. For help in matching literature, civilization, and advanced language courses to linguistic skills and interests, students are encouraged to consult with any member of the French Department.

Introductory Courses in Literature (220-229).

 All Introductory Literature courses (numbered 220-229) satisfy Distribution Requirement in Literature.

Introductory Courses in Civilization

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