General Description of the Undergraduate Curriculum

The prime objective of the Department of French Studies at Brown is that every student, concentrator or not, become skilled in using the French language in all types of communication, and that he or she understand as fully as possible French and Francophone literature and civilization and the contributions they have made and continue to make to human culture. The Department seeks to prepare interested concentrators in future careers such as college and secondary teaching, translation, international relations and diplomacy. It aims to give other concentrators a well-rounded education which will stand them in good stead in careers not directly related to France. Above all, the Department hopes to make all its students conscious of the wealth and diversity of the humanistic experience, open to the world of language, the arts, and the intellect, and fully equipped to continue the development of their interests and the strengthening of their powers as human beings throughout their lives.

The program of undergraduate and graduate courses in French and Francophone studies gives every Brown student the opportunity to explore areas of linguistic, literary, and cultural activity of special interest to him or her. A variety of courses is offered each year--in language, periods, genres, themes, major writers, film, civilization. This diversification allows the concentrator, as well as the non-concentrator, to construct a program in French according to personal aptitudes, interests, and goals, and to achieve linguistic proficiency.

The faculty in the Department of French Studies specializes in many areas of French and Francophone literature and civilization from the Medieval period to the 21st Century, including language acquisition and theory. It is possible to do independent studies in almost any area of the student's interest. Interdisciplinary opportunities (in film, history, the arts, semiotics) are strong. The Department cooperates in the administration of semester and year long programs in Paris and Lyon as well as programs in other francophone countries.

For more information, please contact the concentration advisor Thangam Ravindranathan, (401) 863-2740, room 208, Rochambeau House.