The Department of French and French Studies offers students exceptional opportunities to study and experience some of the rich literature and culture of the French-speaking world. To begin courses in the department, students having taken French at the secondary-school level must take the departmental placement examination. Those who wish to enroll at a level beneath that indicated by the placement examination receive credit only if departmental permission is obtained prior to registration in the course. Through the sequence of courses designed for Sewanee students choosing to meet their language requirement in French, an operative level of oral and written proficiency is obtained, and students are likewise capable of reading important works in French and reacting to them critically. Our language classes (FREN 103, 104, 203, and 300) are designed to help you develop basic skills in reading literary and cultural texts, in writing correct French, listening comprehension, and in speaking the language. In addition, we integrate culture and technology into these classes and cross disciplinary boundaries into other areas of the liberal arts. We develop each of the emphases of the National Foreign Language Standards: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.
For those wishing to go beyond the required sequence in French, the department sponsors a major in French and French Studies as well as a minor. These programs offer Sewanee students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of French literature and thought through an approach interweaving period with theme, as well as to obtain a firm grounding in the evolution of French and Francophone history, culture, and language. Our 300-level courses are designed to help you make the transition to upper-level courses in the major. We offer a course combining conversation and composition, an introduction to French and Francophone Literature, and summer courses abroad. Designed for French and French Studies majors and minors, our 400-level courses are either literary in nature or oriented toward non-literary uses of French in interdisciplinary studies. Majors in French and French Studies may obtain honors by achieving a 3.5 departmental GPA, including courses taken during the last semester of their senior year.
All majors (and minors where possible) are expected to live in the French House for at least one semester; application forms are available in the department. The French House also serves as the major site for most Cercle Français activity, and majors and minors are likewise expected to participate in the Cercle's cultural program, just as they should come regularly to the weekly Table Française.
Our majors are accepted into fine graduate schools and have also gone on to very interesting careers, including public service, academe, banking, and governmental jobs, to name just a few vocational paths.
We strive to provide as much individual attention to students as possible in all of our courses. Students practice frequently: they speak French at the Table Française (lunch on Mondays at McClurg), in the Maison Française, at the SUT for French films, and in the hallways of Gailor Hall.
The department also participates in interdisciplinary programs such as International and Global Studies, Film Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.