May 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

French and Francophone Studies

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Professors: Kruger, Fache (Chair)
Assistant Professor: Postoli
Assistant Professor of the Practice: Beschea
Visiting Assistant Professors: Mohammed, Vredenburgh

French and Francophone Studies students acquire knowledge of the languages, literatures, and cultures of France and French-speaking countries. Majors and minors gain cross-cultural understanding and global competence that prepare them for successful lives of leadership and service. Through our commitment to do work in French at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced language courses, students develop, practice and maintain the skills to read, write, speak, and understand French. Courses on the literatures and cultures of French-speaking communities in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and North America instill in students an appreciation of Francophone cultures and histories in their diversity. In keeping with the broader liberal arts mission of the college, the department trains students in the skills of both critical analysis and written and oral argument, as well as understand critical interdisciplinary connections with Africana Studies, the Humanities, Global Literary Theory, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Film and Media Studies, Art History, History. We strongly encourage all students to study in a French-speaking country. To that end, students have the opportunity to study in the college’s own Davidson in France program.

Major Requirements (A.B. Degree)

Ten French courses numbered above 201, and including:

  1. French 313 “Advanced Grammar” or the equivalent;
  2. a course in the 220-229 “Introduction to Literature” series or the equivalent;
  3. French 260 “Contemporary France” or the equivalent;
  4. Three 300-level courses (excluding FRE 313).
  5. 490 (Senior Seminar);  
  6. 491 or 499 (Senior Capstone or Honors Thesis).
  7. We encourage majors to take one course in French or Francophone studies offered by other departments. With approval of the French and Francophone Studies Department, one such course may be included as one of the ten required for the major. Examples include HIS 228, HIS 328, AFR 364.             

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

In senior year, French majors take the Senior Seminar in the fall and the Senior Capstone in the spring. Students may choose to pursue honors in French and Francophone Studies by writing a thesis. Please contact the Chair for more information.  

Minor Requirements

No course taken Pass/Fail on the Davidson campus will count towards the minor in French and Francophone Studies.

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 four 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 in residence, one of these must be at the 300 level, with the provision that FRE 313 cannot be the sole 300-level course.

Honors Requirements

Candidates for Honors in French and Francophone Studies 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.

By the end of the spring semester of junior year, candidates for Honors 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 candidates for Honors must 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 the Department has approved the proposal, 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.

A section of the written project (approximately 8 to 10 pages, or, for example, one chapter) must be submitted to the thesis committee by Reading Day of the fall semester).

In the fall semester of their senior year, candidates take the Senior Seminar (FRE 490) with the other French and Francophone Studies 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. Their complete Honors theses are submitted to their thesis advisers by April 10. After necessary revisions, but before the end of April (Date TBA), the theses are submitted to the other readers on the Honors thesis committees. Candidates then have an oral defense in French before their departmental thesis committee in early May. Thesis director and readers vote on whether Honors shall be awarded.

In the case of an exceptional academic record, together with a thesis of the highest quality, the department may confer high honors.

Guidelines for selecting courses beyond the intermediate level.

The minimum requirement for courses numbered 212 or above is French 201or an appropriate placement score. Students who have completed 201 or the equivalent may enroll in any course numbered 212-229 or 260, regardless of sequence in numbering. For help in matching literature, culture, and advanced language courses to linguistic skills and interests, students are strongly encouraged to consult with any member of the French and Francophone Studies Department.

Introductory Courses in Literature (220-229).

All Introductory Literature courses (numbered 220-229) satisfy Distribution Requirement in Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric.

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