A Few Interesting Courses Offered in French

Fren 3650 Topics in French/Francophone Cultures: Contemporary African Francophone Theater

Taught by Sylvie Ngilla Tu,Th 12:45-2:00 Prereq. 3015

This course examines the ways in which the body, music, language, sexuality, and narrative techniques are mobilized to interpret postcolonial identity in avant-garde and experimental theater by contemporary francophone African playwrights. We will engage notion of violence to determine if it is a characteristic of this theater or the reality it represents. Also we will analyze how contemporary African playwrights emphasize creations and recreations of myths in relation to rituals of life and death. Starting with Rocadu Zulu Theater by Congolese playwright Sony Labou Tansi, who laid the foundation for contemporary African Theater, course reading will include Werewere Liking (Cameroon), Caya Makhele (Congo), Jean-Pierre Guingane (Burkina Faso), Koffi Kwahule (Ivory Coast), Jose Pliya (Benin), and Kossi Efoui (Togo), among others. Class discussion will focus on both the socio-historical contexts of francophone African theater and the aesthetics. The reading list includes works that address social issues, as in theater-for-development, as well as plays that could be identified as Art Theater. Other course materials include critical readings, videos of theatrical and musical performances, films, documentaries and interviews, as an interdisciplinary approach will be emphasized.

Fren 4510 Topics in French Linguistics: Linguistics Applied to Reading French

Taught by Professor Betsy Kerr M,W,F 1:25-2:15 Prereq. 3015

Topic title: Linguistics Applied to Reading French In this course, we will study from a linguistic perspective certain aspects of the French language that are most helpful in reading French-language texts. These aspects include derivational morphology (the building blocks of words and how they are put together) and grammatical analysis of sentences (what grammatical role does each word play: subject, direct object, indirect object, etc.?). The course will thus combine both theoretical and practical components. An important goal of the course is the expansion of the student’s French vocabulary. Activities designed to accomplish this goal include extensive out-of-class reading (of texts of the student’s choosing) and the keeping of a ‘personal dictionary’, as well as the use of electronic aids such as electronic dictionaries and concordancers (special search engines and databases that reveal the patterns of use of a word or expression). Considerable class time will be devoted to study of assigned short texts for intensive analysis of difficult passages or unfamiliar vocabulary. We will attempt to measure any gains in reading proficiency through pre- and post-testing of reading comprehension.

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