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Welcome to French Studies at Brown!

Located in beautiful Rochambeau House on Prospect Street, the Department of French Studies is the center for faculty and students interested in the intellectual, linguistic and cultural contributions of French-speaking regions of the world. Our faculty are leading scholars with specialties in periods from the 16th to the 21st centuries and with interests in anthropology, creative writing, cultural studies, the history of ideas, gender and sexuality studies, film, postcolonial studies, poststructuralist thought, second language acquisition, and translation. 

At all levels, the department aims to create a dynamic learning environment where students gain new insights on themselves and the world through the study of French-speaking cultures. At the undergraduate level, we offer a full range of rigorous and innovative language classes and a wide selection of advanced courses in literature and culture.  At the graduate level, our curriculum covers fields in French and Francophone literature from the Ancien Régime to the present and from a variety of theoretical perspectives. 

The Department regularly sponsors lectures, mini-seminars and conferences, including Equinoxes, the annual Graduate Student Conference. It also organizes the annual Providence French Film Festival.  Through all its endeavors, the Department of French Studies provides a venue for exploring the place of linguistic and cultural differences in our increasingly interconnected world.

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Welcome to French Studies at Brown!


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The following statement has been endorsed by all chairs of modern language departments at Brown University.

The study of languages, cultures, and literatures at Brown does not take place in a vacuum or a bubble. It is deeply embedded within an institutional and national context that has been marked by a history of racial violence and injustice that remains largely unacknowledged even today. The work that we do in our Departments involves the study of a global plurality of nations and cultures not just outside but also within the United States; we are thus keenly attuned to injustice in this country, both in its historical reach and its present imminence. 

The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Adhmaud Arbery, and countless others are a stark reminder of how urgently this history needs to be confronted and how much needs to be done to redress its harms. We stand in support with those who have risen up to decry police brutality, expose structural racism, and call for thorough reform of our social and political institutions. We express solidarity with the fight to end anti-black violence and discrimination – and, indeed, any racial violence and discrimination – in our society.