Document r: syllabus

Download 31.7 Kb.
Size31.7 Kb.

  1. Date Prepared: February 2012

  1. Prepared by: Nathalie Cornelius

  1. Department: Languages and Cultures

  1. Course Number: FRENCH 211

  1. Course Title: Foundations of French Culture and Civilization

  1. Credit Hours: 3

Goal 4 - Cultures and Diversity

2 GEPs

Goal 7 – Arts and Humanities


  1. Prerequisites: No prerequisites.

  1. Catalog Description:

Presents the history of French culture and civilization from its beginnings to the French Revolution, with emphasis on art, literature, ideas, historical events, and cultural exchanges. Intended for students seeking an introductory course on French culture. Students gain insights in the cultural history of France and Francophone cultures, including geography, society, politics, philosophy, art, literature, and the sciences. Course is taught in English through lectures, projects, discussions, readings, and audio-visual media. FRENCH 211 partially fulfills the requirements for the French Minor. Course is offered in alternating semesters.

  1. Content Outline:

FRENCH 211 presents the history of French and Francophone peoples and cultures from their beginnings through the French Revolution. Required course content addresses cultural topics as they develop over time, especially the French language, the arts, humanities, science and technology, geography, major historical events, and social and political structures and traditions. A course plan could include, but is not limited to the following:


Readings in translation/viewings /lectures


Prehistory in France and Antiquity

  • Art: Lascaux, the Cro-Magnon, pre-historical painting techniques

  • Architecture: Roman vestiges

  • Reading: Astérix et Obélix (for its content on the Roman Occupation)

  • Reading: Caesar’s commentaries on the Gallic Wars (excerpt)

  • Reading: Les Serments de Strasbourg

  • Reading: The Song of Roland (Charlemagne)

  • Art: Illuminated Texts

  • Documentary: Jeanne d’Arc

  • Prehistory in France

  • Roman Colonization of France (Vercingetorix, Clovis, the Franks)

  • The Development of the French Language

  • The Birth of the French State (from Gaul to France)

  • The Hundred Years War

The Middle Ages

  • Music: Medieval songs, music and musical instruments

  • Art: Catholic painting and sculpture

  • Readings: Excerpt: Victor Hugo Notre Dame de Paris

  • Architecture: The Gothic Cathedrals

  • Feudal Society and Emerging Social Classes

  • Wars of Religion

  • Catholicism as Center of Society

The Renaissance

  • Music

  • Painting

  • Reading: excerpt from work by Rabelais Gargantua or Montaigne Essais

  • Documentary: Francis the First

  • Architecture: castles of the Loire Valley

  • Film: Return of Martin Guerre

  • Art : Baroque architecture and style

  • Art: paintings of Georges de La Tour and sculptures by Pierre Puget, as well as other artists from the time period

  • The Defense of Intellectual and Religious Freedom

  • Development of the Monarchy

  • Humanism

  • Baroque Literature and Art

Absolutism and Classicism

  • Reading: excerpt of Descartes Discours de la method

  • Reading: excerpt of Pascal’s Les Pensées

  • Politics: Louis XIV

  • Art: Paintings by Nicolas Poussin and other painters from the time period

  • Architecture: Versailles and its Gardens

  • Film: Play representation of Racine’s Phèdre or Molière’s Le Bourgeois gentilhomme

  • Music: Lully, Charpentier and Couperin

  • France as a Cultural Center

  • Classical Architecture, Art, and Literature

  • Cartesian Thought

  • The Court of Louis XIV and Absolutism

Age of Enlightenment and the French Revolution

  • Reading: excerpt of Voltaire’s Candide or Lettres persanes

  • Reading: excerpt Rousseau Du Contrat social

  • Reading: La Pérouse’s writings on the New World

  • Music: Songs from the Revolution and from the First Republic

  • Document: La Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen

  • Art: paintings by , Boucher, Watteau, Louis David and other painters from the time period

  • Film: Marie Antoinette

  • Film: Danton

  • Colonization and Exploration

  • The Age of Enlightenment

  • The Philosophers

  • Neo-Classicism and Rococo Art and Literature

  • Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette

  • The Reign of Terror and the First Republic, le Directoire and Consulate

  1. Methods:

Course is taught in English and includes a combination of lecture and discussion. Class size is limited to 40 students in order to facilitate discussion and manage complex material. Students work on projects, take tests and quizzes, and participate in class discussions. Written assignments and oral presentations investigate specific topics. Activities outside class, such as participation in informal conversation groups or film viewings, may be assigned. Alternate assignments may be provided in lieu of out-of-class or co-curricular activities. Access to electronic resources such as the Internet is required. FRENCH 211 is offered in alternating semesters.

  1. Student Learning Objectives:

Student Learning Objective

Gen. Ed. Goal associated with GEPS

Related VALUE Rubric Elements

11a. Compare and constrast historical, social, political, geographical, intellectual and aesthetic features that shape the traditional French societies with one’s own society.

Cultures and Diversity

RUBRIC: Intercultural knowledge and Competence


Knowledge—Cultural self- awareness

11b. Communicate basic information pertaining to the cultures of traditional France and Francophone societies and compare those cultures with one’s own during the historical times.

Cultures and Diversity

RUBRIC: Intercultural knowledge and Competence

ELEMENT: Knowledge—Knowledge of cultural worldview frameworks

11c. Identify biases held personally and by one’s own culture and apply critical reflection on those biases.

Cultures and Diversity

RUBRIC: Intercultural knowledge and Competence

ELEMENT: Attitudes—openness


11d. Apply approaches and methods of cultural inquiry, particularly, from historical and philosophical perspectives toward a grasp of another world view.

Arts and Humanities

RUBRIC: Critical Thinking

ELEMENT: Explanation of Issues

11e. Analyze critically the historical, ethical, political, cultural, environmental, circumstantial settings and conditions that influence ideas in French literature and culture.

Arts and Humanities

RUBRIC: Critical Thinking

ELEMENT: Evidence—Selecting and using information to investigate a point of view or conclusion

FRENCH 211 is designed both to support the department’s established program goals, and to enhance the university’s General Education program. Cultural traditions and cultural interpretations of historical experience play a central role in general education. Cultural history examines the records and narrative descriptions of past knowledge, customs, and arts of a group of people, constituting a continuum of events leading from the past to the present and into the future. Because studies in culture and civilization records and interprets past events involving human beings through the social, cultural, and political settings, FRENCH 211 fulfills 2 GEPs for Goal 4 - Cultures and Diversity. Culture and civilization is inextricably integrated with Arts and Humanities and therefore a significant portion of historical study includes creative, philosophical, literary, and performative works. Hence FRENCH 211 fulfills 1 GEP for Goal 7 – Arts and Humanities.

  1. Student Assessment:

Assessment instruments may include the following:

  1. 11a: Tests and the final exam include sections that specifically address French cultural history. Possible individualized and collaborative projects may focus on one or more specific selected cultural topics. On-line and in-class discussions also indicate the specific knowledge acquired regarding French society.

  2. 11b: Tests and the final exam include sections that specifically address the relevance of socio-cultural issues pertaining to race, gender and class, including those problems that arise in the students’ own world. Possible individualized and collaborative projects may focus on one or more specific selected issue of general relevance, as will on-line and in-class discussions.

  3. 11c: Guided written and oral presentations are structured to reflect the level of critical understanding of intercultural awareness.

  4. 11d: Guided written and oral presentations are structured according to approaches and methods of cultural inquiry.

  5. 11e: Independent projects and prepared discussions based on readings from French literature and culture are devoted to the critical confrontation with the products of French culture in their historical and social contexts.

  1. Evaluation of Individual Student Performance:

Evaluation of student performance may include but is not limited to projects, tests and quizzes, discussions during class, written assignments and oral presentations which investigate specific topics, activities outside class, such as participation in informal conversation groups or film viewings, and alternate assignments completed through co-curricular activities. Other measures of evaluation may be integrated as appropriate or necessary.

  1. Course Assessment:

Specific course assessment will take place as imbedded test questions on final exams or embedded material on final exam projects. Additional assessment data may be gathered using independent projects and writing assignments. The assessment data gathered, as well as the tools used to gather the data, will be reviewed at appropriate intervals both by the department Assessment Committee and by the department General Education Committee to verify the extent to which student learning outcomes are being achieved. Modifications to the course will be made accordingly. Assessment data will be reported to the Office of Planning and Assessment.

The study of cultures and civilizations necessarily entail VALUE rubrics regarding cultural self- awareness and cultural worldview frameworks, and thus foster curiosity, empathy and openness to other peoples and nations. To this end, students need to explain issues, select and use information to investigate cultural points of view in comparison. Because cultural history necessarily involves the arts and humanistic achievements of a culture, student should select and use information to investigate critically points of view and conclusions.

  1. Supporting Materials and References:

(Items marked with an asterisk * are available in the Andruss Library.)
Aguilhon, Michel and Beaujeu-Garnier, Jacqueline and Bergeron, Louis and Duby, Georges.

Histoire de la France: des origins à nos jours. Larousse: Paris, 2006. Print.

Belk, William. A Social and Cultural History of Early Modern France. Cambridge University Press:

England, 2009. Print.

Doyle, William. The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford University Press: USA, 2003. Print.

Goubert, Pierre. The Course of French History. Routledge: USA, 1991. Print.

*Haine, W. Scott. The History of France. Greenwood: USA, 2008. Print.

Jones, Colin. The Cambridge Illustrated History of France. Cambridge University Press: England,

1999. Print.

Nadeau, Jean-Benoît and Barlow, Julie. The Story of French. St. Martin’s Press: New York, 2006. Print.

Nadeau, Jean-Benoît and Barlow, Julie. Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t be Wrong. Sourcebooks Inc.: USA, 2003. Print.

Ravisé, Suzanne. Tableaux culturels de la France. NTC Publishing Group: USA, 1994. Print.

*Robb, Graham. A Discovery of France: Historical Geography. W.W. Norton and Company: USA, 2008. Print.

*Steele, Ross and St. Onge, Susan and St. Onge, Ronald. La civilization française en evolution I:

Institutions et culture avant la Ve République. Heine and Heinle Publishers: Boston, 1996. Print.

  1. Prototype Text:

Jones, Colin, The Cambridge Illustrated History of France. Cambridge University Press:

Cambridge, 1999. Print.

Selected Primary readings.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page