FREN 250-03
Readings Texts
in the French-Speaking World: Cultures


FALL 2016
TR 3:30-4:45
ICC 211A

Office hours: ICC 427 or REYNOLDS 145
by appointmen
t only

A significant amount of information pertaining to this course is sent via e-mail.
Electronic messages will be sent to your <> address:
please check your mailbox regularly

It may be modified over the course of the semester. Always refer to the latest on-line version.

> Last updated on Sept. 1, 2016<

French 250 - 251: Gateway to French Studies at Georgetown University

     French 250 and 251, required of all French majors and open to other qualified undergraduates, is a post-advanced level sequence that can be taken in any order and is designed to meet two goals. First, the sequence prepares students for upper-division French courses and for direct matriculation overseas study programs by focusing on the development of critical thinking and advanced writing abilities. Second, it enhances students’ capacities to perform close reading and analysis by introducing them to a variety of texts and documents selected to increase their content knowledge of the culture, geography, history, literature, and artistic media of the French-speaking world. Individual sections of these courses will emphasize specific approaches to French and Francophone cultures and literatures, such as the anthropological, the historical, the thematic, the formal (including notions of genre) and/or the rhetorical, depending on instructor expertise. Study and analysis will be carried out in class discussion, as well as through specific writing formats (such as explication de texte, dissertation, research paper) for which students will receive structured training, including systematic procedures for organization, drafting, and rewriting, as well as an introduction to research materials and methodology in the discipline. The final paper for each course will be designed to mobilize the reading, analytical and research competencies developed over the course of the semester.
  The Gateway sequence prepares students for upper-division French courses and for direct matriculation in overseas study programs by focusing on the development of critical thinking and advanced academic writing abilities.
  French 250 and French 251 enhance students’ capacities to perform close reading and analysis by introducing them to a variety of texts and documents selected to increase their knowledge of the culture, geography, history, literature, and artistic media of the French-speaking world.

French 250

     French 250 offers a broadly-defined introduction to the complex, multi-ethnic cultures and social practices of France and the French-speaking world. This course focuses on texts, from all historical periods but especially since the French Revolution, that might be categorized as “documents”: among them, essays, ethnographies, political and historical tracts, life writing and testimonials, journalism, studies, literature, documentary images, and films. In what context were these texts created, how were they crafted, and what impact have they had? What issues and problems do they illuminate within and beyond their communities of origin, and how do we appreciate their “documentary” value or “authority”? In order to address such questions, students will be given methodological tools and techniques that will allow them to approach texts in a systematic, cogent, and critical manner, both for their content and their form. Key notions such as genre, ideology, autobiography and autofiction, (self-)censorship, and frame will be explored and applied to multiple readings of works selected.


     This course is designed as a transition between the lower-level language study and the upper-level courses specializing in culture and/or literature. Its main goals are to enhance your reading and writing abilities and to provide a critical introduction to cultural studies and French culture, through the analysis of various types of cultural texts (fiction, journalistic prose, scholarly articles, films, comics, song lyrics).
    A careful examination of historical, anthropological, sociological, literary, media and cinematic texts will help you develop a critical understanding of French cultural specificity. We will study some of the main issues and key themes that, in recent social and political history, have shaped French culture, and we will explore the dynamic relationship of this culture with that of other French-speaking areas (Europe, North- and Sub-Saharan Africa, or the overseas DOM/TOM).

More specifically, our objectives include:

  • Exploring the following thematic strands
    —The formation of national identity from the Ancien Régime through the Revolution (1789-1799) and beyond, and various forms of resistance to or dissidence from national identity.
    — Tension between tradition and modernity in various domains (the family, the economy, literature, music and the arts, etc.).
    Colonization, decolonization and its effects on contemporary France: "minority" identities, immigration and integration.

    Political and social institutions and structures, especially since the post-WWII era (the "Fifth Republic"), including issues revolving around class, religion, gender and ethnicity.
    Centralization and decentralization, from Louis XIV (the "Sun King," reigned 1661-1715) to the present; central authority and resistance to or dissidence from it.
  • Trough guided practice, developing more critical and proficient reading abilities, in order to help you elaborate on your ideas and analyses, express them in a constructed and organized manner, and evaluate/revise your writing so as to enhance its efficiency and stylistic qualities.
  • understanding and implementing the principles and strategies of formal and academic writing in French: textual construction, complex sentence building, stylistic and rhetorical effects. We will work systematically on correcting and improving a text.
  • understanding and implementing the principles and strategies for the preparation and delivery of an exposé, a formal, time-controlled oral presentation.
  • understanding and implementing the principles and strategies for research: note-taking, identifying and evaluating sources and building a bibliography.


1. Writing: Film review (15%), Research paper (35%)
A 15-minute exposé of your research (15%)
Presence, preparedness and participation, including pop quizzes (35%)




Having completed Intensive Advanced French II (French 112) or Advanced Grammar & Writing (French 151), Topics in Oral Proficiency (French 161), or direct placement through the French Department’s placement test and SAT II scores.

Learning Outcomes

 By the end of FREN 250:

• Students will have produced analytical and critical essays that demonstrate their increased linguistic proficiency in academic writing in French through the competent use of textual construction, complex sentence building, stylistic and rhetorical strategies.
• Students’ research papers will demonstrate their ability to analyze a wide variety of documents, situating those documents in relevant cultural and historical contexts, and assessing their impact by identifying and evaluating sources and building bibliographies.
• Students will have developed an informed awareness of the cultural specificity of France and specific French-speaking countries through careful examination of historical, anthropological, sociological, literary, and audio-visual material.
• Students will have gained an understanding of the major social, cultural, and political stakes of the French and Francophone world in the twenty-first century.

     Every student is expected to be present for every class. If an absence is anticipated for any reason, the instructor must be notified beforehand by e-mail or by phone (ext. 5852). In any case, students are responsible for finding out what was done or assigned while they were absent, and for turning in assignments on time.
     Every student is also expected to be prepared for every class,
that is, having something definite to say about the assigned materials (based on research and/or reflection), and/or questions to ask the intructor, and/or
issues to raise in class for discussion. Students are mostly responsible for conducting the readings and analyses.
     Finally, every student is expected to participate in every class, that is, speak up in response to prompts by the instructor or to other students' comments, and volunteer comments without being prompted.  

Manifest lack of adequate preparation will result in a reduction of the portion of the final grade allotted to "Presence, Preparedness and Participation."

Attendance and Punctuality

   Every student is expected to be present for every class and arrive on time (repeated tardiness will be penalized). If an absence is anticipated, the instructor must be notified beforehand by e-mail or by phone (ext. 5852).
  An absence may be "excused" if it was caused by an unforeseen event or accident that made it impossible or extremely difficult for a student to attend class, and which can be documented. If you feel sick enough to miss class, then you should also seek medical attention and obtain a certificate from the health care provider who treated you. If you suffer from a chronic mental or physical condition that occasionally flares up to the point of incapacitating you, you need to be registered with the University health services in order to be granted accommodations.
   A student who was absent (justifiably or not) remains responsible for finding out what was done or assigned during the missed class(es), and for turning in assignments on time. Unjustified absences will result in a reduction of the portion of the final grade allotted to "Presence, Preparedness and Participation."
   You must come to class prepared by having completed readings and other assignments as indicated by the instructor, in an appropriate manner (see the "Total Commitment Policy"). Manifest lack of adequate preparation and voluntary participation (i.e., without being individually called upon) will result in a reduction of the portion of the final grade allotted to "Presence, Preparedness and Participation."

Note taking

     Taking notes efficiently is part of your work in this class, as your instructor will provide original insights not available from the texts or any other source. If you are unsure about note-taking strategies, consult with the Writing Center

Writing / Paper rules

     You will write three papers of varying lengths, and according to different formats:

  • a review (compte-rendu) of a film from the list below (or any French-language film released in the past 20 years) — NOT a film we study in class — according to guidelines discussed in class (2 pages - about 600 words)
  • a research report (dossier de recherche) based on a variety of sources (5-7 pages - about 1200-2000 words + bibliography)(see details below).
  • an argumentative, dialectical essay (dissertation) on one of the topics studied in class (1-2 handwritten pages—done in class)
  • a self-critique of one of the papers you have written.

Specific objectives, principles and guidelines for each writing format will be discussed in class and in e-mail messages.

    Rewriting: the film review and research report will be marked up, given a provisional grade and handed back for rewriting at least once. The rewritten paper will receive a higher grade only if significantly improved, and with a maximum of one letter-grade increase from the provisional grade (e.g., from B- to A-, or from C+ to B+). Any further rewrites will be graded according to the same principle. Note: an "F" on a first draft cannot yield a final grade higher than a "C". A coding system will help you identify and correct problems in your writing.

    Mechanics of writing:

  • All writing assignments completed outside of class must be composed with a word-processing software and you should always keep a back-up copy. They must be submitted electronically as e-mail attachments to in <.doc>, <.docx> or <.rtf> format—when you save your document, make sure that the software (especially MS Word) does not automatically save it as anything else than a text document. Note that MS Word may save a Windows Media document with a <.doc> extension. See the instructor if you are unsure about text formats, sending attachments, or if there is a reason why you wish to submit your work in printed rather than electronic format.
  • Name the file beginning with "FR250", then your last name and a paper code as follows:
    -- REW for the film review (e.g. <FR250SmithREW1.doc> for the first draft)
    -- PLAN for the research outline and REC for the research paper (e.g. <FR250SmithREC1.doc> for the first draft) + BIB if you put your bibliography in a separate file.
    -- CRIT, for the self-critique of your essay
    (e.g. <FR250SmithCRIT1.doc>).
  • Every paper should bear the number of the course (French 250), the name of the author, the date and a draft number (1, 2, 3).
  • Use plain fonts like Times Roman or Geneva, in size 12. Double-space your text, leaving 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • All standard French diacritical marks must be used: accents (é, è, ê, ë, ù, à, û, ï) cedillas on ç and Ç, guillemets (« ...»), superscripts (XVIe siècle).
  • Division into paragraphs must be consistent with the content, and the first line of each paragraph must be tabulated on the left.


  • Your research topic will be of your own choosing, provided that it relates to course themes. Before proceeding to actual research, submit a proposed topic that will be vetted by the instructor, who may suggest or mandate some modifications.
  • Once your topic is defined in consultation with the instructor, you will locate source materials for your research: eventually you should have about 10 sources in French only: 3-4 books or book chapters, 3-4 articles from newspapers, magazines or scholarly journals, and 3-4 sources of another kind (film, Web site, CD-Rom or DVD-Rom, etc.). See instructions about research strategies here, and about electronic resources to hekp you carry out the search for sources here.
  • For the third stage of your project, you need to submit an outline (un plan) and a preliminary bibliography They will also be vetted by the instructor before you proceed to writing the first full draft of your paper. A model outline and bibliography are available on BlackBoard.
  • Your paper should be about 5-7 pages long (i.e., about 1200-2000 words); it should include appropriately documented and formated references to, and quotations from, your sources. Read carefully the guide on referencing and quoting your sources here.
  • Read the procedures and tips on the 6 étapes d'un projet de recherche d'information page (Université de Montréal).
  • To learn more about referencing and quoting your sources, also refer to Lipson's Doing Honest Work in College (see bibliography below)

Formal Oral Presentation (exposé)

    In the last weeks of class, you will prepare and deliver a ten-minute formal oral presentation (exposé) based on your research. Although you should have notes, you may not simply read from a text. Use of visuals is encouraged, and you will have use of a computer connected to the Internet and screen projection; however, I strongly advise to seriously consider the appropriateness of a PowerPoint presentation. See the procedures and tips on doing a successful exposé on the Chercher pour trouver page on the Université de Montréal Web site.




   For greater authenticity, we will only use materials originally produced for a French speaking public: Only purely administrative matters (such as this syllabus) will be handled in English. In all other circumstances, including discussion and critique of your work in class or during office hours, French will be used exclusively orally and in writing, by you and by the instructor. You will never be asked (with rare, very precise exceptions) to translate anything, nor are you expected to use translation ever as a means to accomplish your work in this class. NO BILINGUAL DICTIONARIES ARE ALLOWED IN CLASS. Use of a monolingual dictionary is strongly encouraged, however.

Attitude and Behavior

  This is a class held in a university classroom. It is not a meeting of a book club at a local library branch; it is not a game in a stadium or a workout at the gym; it is not a get together at someone's home or a pajama party in your dorm room; it is not a luau at the beach. Please dress and behave accordingly!
- No eating or snacking during class (drinking is OK)
- Cell phones, smartphones and other mobile communication devices unrelated to class work must me turned off and stored away in a pocket or a bag (except for emergency situations, with prior notification to the instructor)
- No wearing of gym shorts, flip flops, exercise/sport gear, pajamas, lounge wear, grass skirts, etc.
- No chit-chat unrelated to class matters, please!
- Use of computers and tablets is class is strictly limited to working on relevant tasks matters. Anyone caught using a computer/tablet in class for anything else (checking e-mail, Facebook status, stock prices, playing games) will be issued a warning the first time, and, the second time, banned from using the device in class altogether for the rest of the term

Preparation and Participation
   You must prepare for class by going over assigned material, and by formulating questions, remarks and comments for class discussion. Each hour spent in class should be matched by about 45 minutes of preparation before class, and another 45 minutes of follow-up work afterwards. Every evening, review what was done in class that day to verify that you understand it; if necessary, use books and on-line resources for clarification. Bring up unresolved items in class, or discuss them with your instructor during office hours.
  Each and every student is expected to participate in every class, not only by responding to prompts and questions by the instructor (or to other students' comments), but also by volunteering comments and questions without being prompted (see also the "Total Commitment Policy").

  Deadlines indicate the absolute last day and time when assignments should be turned in. The cut-off time is the end of class on the day of the deadline, whether you bring in a hard copy of the work, e-mail it to me or post it on a discussion board. It is not advisable to start working on an assignment on the day it is due. Give yourself enough time to allow for unforeseen delays or problems (printer running out of ink, e-mail bugs, network access down, etc), which cannot be used as excuses for not meeting a deadline. Acceptable excuses are acts of God, system-wide server outages and documented medical emergencies.

Honor System

     All aspects of this class fall under Georgetown University's honor system. If you are not thoroughly familiar with its provisions, please review them at A point of particular concern is using source material appropriately and avoding plagiarism : "Plagiarism, in any of its forms, and whether intentional or unintentional, violates standards of academic integrity. Plagiarism is the act of passing off as one’s own the ideas or writings of another (…). While different academic disciplines have different modes for attributing credit, all recognize and value the contributions of individuals to the general corpus of knowledge and expertise. Students are responsible for educating themselves as to the proper mode of attributing credit in any course or field. (…) Note that plagiarism can be said to have occurred without any affirmative showing that a student’s use of another’s work was intentional.


Texts and Materials

Items in red are to be purchased at G.U. bookstore
Other texts and materials listed below will be made available online in electronic format (MS Word, PDF, JPEG, streaming audio and video) through BlackBoard.


Jules Verne, Paris au XXe siècle
(1863) - Éd. Piero. Gondolo della Riva. Paris, Hachette, 1994. Paris, Le Livre de Poche, 2002. ISBN-10: 2253139416. Purchase at bookstore. See on-line resource here.
At the outset of what would become one of the most successful writing careers on record anywhere, Jules Verne (future author of 20 000 Leagues under the Sea, Voyage to the Center of the Earth and Around the World in 80 days among other planetary bestsellers) wrote this short, very odd novel that his publisher turned down—so that it remained out of the public eye until 1994. Its hero is a young, brilliant man who, as a poet and dreamer, finds himself woefully unadapted to working and living in
the 20th century, a time when industrial and financial matters have become the sole concern of society. Verne uses his character's tribulations as a pretext to sketch out a very bleak vision of the future that frequently foreshadows Orwell's 1984 and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and reveals ambiguous feelings towards the then-prevalent "positivistic" enthusiasm about technology and modernity.
George Simenon, Maigret hésite (Presses de la Cité, 1968). Paris, LGF - Livre de Poche, 1997. ISBN: 2-2531-42158
Purchase at bookstore. See the TV movie version on BlackBoard.
Simenon was the most prolific French-language writer ever, under his own name and a handful of noms de plume; the best-known part of his prodigious output is a series of over 50 detective novels featuring commissaire Maigret. Maigret's investigations focus not so much on the crime at hand as on the people involved: victims, suspects or simple witnesses. The commissaire is above all an observer who seeks to understand the social context of crime in order to solve it, and who often feels compassion for the wretched souls who have been driven to crime by unfavorable circumstances. In this episode, the investigation begins before any crime has been committed as Maigret gets to study in depth the various members of a posh Parisian household, trying to figure out who is going to kill whom. In the midst of wealth and privilege, however, the unassuming Maigret feels ill at ease, because he cannot easily grasp why any of the suspects would resort to murder.


Binet, Les Bidochon en habitation à loyer modéré. Paris, Fluide Glacial, 1993.
The Bidochon series provides a humorous glimpse into the daily life of a very ordinary couple of Français moyen. The unglamorous goings on at the Bidochons deal a fatal blow to the notion that all French people are cultured sophisticates... This volume explores the predicament of suburbanites dwelling in state-subsidized, rent-controlled HLM, where walls seem to made of cardboard, elevators routinely malfunction and neighbors may turn out to be overly noisy, nosy and ornery.

Farid Boudjelal, Gags à l'harissa (Les Slimani). Paris, Les Humanoïdes Associés, 1989.
The Slimani are another example of an "average French" family, culturally, linguistically and religiously split between two worlds. While the mother and father immigrated from Algeria, their many children, born and raised in France, feel perfectly intégrésexcept that they keep being reminded that, somehow, they do not really belong there. Beur cartoonist Boudjelal's good natured humor allows him to deal with very serious issues of racism and exclusion in contemporary France.

Gosciny et Uderzo, «En 50 avant J.C.» Les Aventures d'Astérix has become as integral to French culture as the plays of Molière or the novels of Balzac. Dozens of millions of Astérix albums have been sold since 1959, reaching a readership that cuts across age groups and socio-economic backgrounds. This short story, however, was specially produced for National Geographic in 1977, with hopes of introducing the characters and the series to the U.S. public. Although the authors soon gave up the idea of adapting Astérix for an American readership, «En 50 avant J.C.» stands as an prime example of self-representation.

FILMS (all films can be viewed in streaming video through BlackBoard)

Ridicule directed by Patrice Leconte (1996). Set in the waning days of the Ancien Régime, this drama tells the story of Grégoire Ponceludon de Malavoy, an idealistic provincial nobleman who travels to Paris in order to seek support from King Louis XVI for a swamp drainage project. In the poisonous environment of the royal court, Ponceludon discovers that achieving his goal requires playing a complex and cruel social game where wit is the weapon of choice, and losing face can be worse than death. Commentary available on BlackBoard.

Le Grand Bazar directed by Claude Zidi (1973). In this farce, four shiftless friends help out the owner of a old-fashioned grocery store whose business is threatened by the opening of an enormous "hypermarket." Behind the slapstick and numerous sight gags (provided by a four-man band/comedy team known as Les Charlots), this film offers a strikingly authentic vision of the uneasiness and anguish brought about by the profound economic and social transformations that France underwent during the Trente Glorieuses. Commentary available on BlackBoard.

La Haine directed by Mathieu Kassovitz (1995). This award-winning drama chronicles one fateful day in the life of three teenagers from a drab Parisian banlieue. Shot in black and white, the story opens on an urban riot during which the police has severely wounded a young man from the cité. Waiting for a resolution and seeking an impossible outlet to their anger and frustration (la haine) his friends drift through their neighborhood and into downtown Paris, increasingly aggravated by the treatment that they receive from "ordinary French people." Commentary available here

Violence des échanges en milieu tempéré directed by Jean-Marc Moutout (2004). A modern morality tale about a young management consultant who has just obtained his first job at the Paris office of a prestigious multinational firm. In spite of his modest credentials and provincial origins, Philippe seems set for a promising career; but his very first assignment results in a sharp moral dilemna as he finds himself in the position of hatchet man in a merger scheme. Commentary available on BlackBoard.

Maigret chez les riches
directed by Denys Granier-Deferre (2000). A faithful adaptation of Maigret hésite for French TV, featuring Bruno Crémer (who has played the commissaire in over 40 episodes) and a fine recreation of France in the 50s.

Laurence Wylie and Jean-François Brière. Les Français. Prentice Hall, 2000. Selected pages are available on BlackBoard in PDF format. Although you need to read them for background information, we will not discuss them in class.

A French monolingual dictionary such as the portable Micro Robert or the full-size Petit Robert. If you are majoring in French, it is highly recommended that you purchase your own copy of Le Petit Robert.
A standard French grammar in French, such as Nouvelle Grammaire du Français. Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne, by Y. Delatour, D. Jennepin, M. Leon-Dufour, et B. Tessier. Paris, Hachette FLE, 2004. ISBN 2-01-0155271-0
Lipson, Charles. Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism, and Achieve Real Academic Success. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2004. ISBN: 978-0-226-48473-0 (a standard reference guide at Georgetown University.)

Date /

 Topic - Work in class - Assignment (Graded)

To be completed before class
Readings are availale on BlackBoard, unless otherwise indicated

9/1 - 0 Introduction


9/6 - 1 The notion of "text" and text typology / Writing Strategies

(Re)Read 1) the Gateway reference document on Text and Writing - 2) Texte et types textuels - 3) reviews of Ridicule

9/8 - 2 The identity of France (I) The roots of modern French identity
Discussion of Astérix: en 55 av. J-C.
Read Astérix: en 55 av. J-C. See also:
Dirigeants de la France
- France: Territoire - France: Géographie physique et humaine
9/13 - 3

The identity of France (II) : From Ancien Régime to Republic
Discussion of film and documents

Watch film Ridicule - Read document on La Société d'Ancien Régime
9/15 - 4
9/20 - 5

Political Structures, Institutions and Practices (I)
Discussion of assigned texts
>Deadline for submitting proposed research topic
>Turn in draft 1 of Film Review

Read  L'Esprit des lois (3 p.) - Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen (1 p.) - Déclaration des droits de la femme (8 p.)
9/22 - 6 France at the edge of modernity (I)
Discussion of assigned text
Read Paris au XXe siècle
9/27 - 7

France at the edge of modernity (II)
Discussion of
assigned text

Read Paris au XXe siècle 
9/29 - 8 Research / Writing Strategies Session
>Deadline for turning in research paper outline and preliminary bibliography

10/4 - 9 France at the edge of modernity (III) : WWII and its aftermath
Discussion of assigned texts

Read «La Seconde Guerre mondiale» (2 p.) et «L'Après-Guerre» (2 p.), extraits de P. Restellini et I. Yannakakis, Histoire de France, Hatier (1990)

10/6 - 10

France at the edge of modernity (IV) : Les Trente Glorieuses
Discussion of assigned texts and film

Read «Les Trente Glorieuses» (13 p.) and song lyrics «Complainte du Progrès» / «Le Petit jardin» - Listen to songs
10/11 - 11 France at the edge of modernity (V) : Les Trente Glorieuses
Discussion of assigned texts and film

Watch Le Grand Bazar + read commentary
10/13 - 12 Empire, from colonization to decolonization (1534-1962)
Discussion of assigned texts

Read «décolonisation» 1-2 (7+7 p.) and «La Fin de la guerre d'Algérie» (2 p.) See members of Francophonie here
10/18 - 13 After decolonization: immigration and integration
Discussion of - Les Slimani: Gags à l'harissa

Read Français «Pratiques religieuses et laïcité» (4 p.) - «Être musulman en France aujourd'hui» (7 p.) - Les Slimani: Gags à l'harissa (4 p.) 
10/20 - 14 Class and social structures in contemporary France (I)
Discussion of Maigret hésite
Read  Français «La Société traditionnelle» (2 p.) and Maigret hésite Watch Maigret chez les riches
10/25 - 15 Class and social structures in contemporary France (II)
Discussion of Maigret hésite
Read Maigret hésite
10/27 - 16 Writing Strategies Session     
11/1 - 17 Class and social structures in contemporary France (III)
Discussion of Les Bidochons
>Turn in version 1 of Research report
 Read Les Bidochons
11/3- 18 Class and social structures in contemporary France (IV): Banlieues and social crisis
Discussion of assigned texts

Read rap lyrics: «Plus jamais ça» / «Le Monde de demain» (NTM) «Nés sous la même étoile» (IAM) (4 p.)
11/8 - 19
Class and social structures in contemporary France (V): Banlieues and social crisis
Discussion of assigned text and film

Watch La Haine + read commentary
11/10 - 20 Political Structures, Institutions and Practices (I): Contemporary Politics and the Modern French State
Read Les Français «Le gouvernement»
(6 p.) - «L'échiquier politique» - «Structures de l'État» - See sites of main French political parties list
11/15 - 21

Political Structures, Institutions and Practices (II):
The French educational system : schools, universities and Grandes Écoles. Le système français d'enseignement supérieur here

Read «Education et inégalités» (2 p.) and «Le Système éducatif en France» (infographie) See - -
11/17 - 22

Facing new social and economic realities (I)
On line discussion of Violence des échanges en milieu tempéré

Read «McDo: Le Paradoxe français» (3 p.) See the site for McDonald's France
11/22 - 23

Facing new social and economic realities (II)

On line discussion of
«L'antiaméricanisme: Un mal français»

Read «L'antiaméricanisme: Un mal français» (5 p.)
11/29 - 24 Facing new social and economic realities (III)
Discussion of assigned documents
Watch Violence des échanges en milieu tempéré + Read commentary +
12/1 - 25 Exposés  
12/6 - 26 Exposés >Turn in version 2 of Research report (revised text)  


Keeping abreast of current events in France
    The following sources will enable you to better follow new developments and will provide important sources of information for class discussion.

1. The Internet
Major daily and weekly newspapers/news magazines (with their political orientation)
Le Monde (Center/Left) (daily)
Libération aka «Libé» (Left) (daily)
L'Humanité aka «L'Huma» (Communist) (daily)
Le Figaro (Conservative) (daily)
La Croix (Catholic/Conservative) (daily)
Le Parisien aka Aujourd'hui en France outside of Paris (Conservative/Populist) (daily)
Le Point (Center/Right) (weekly)
Charlie Hebdo (Anarchist/Left) (weekly) [no site available]
Le Canard enchaîné (Anarchist/Left) (weekly) [no site available]
Minute (Far right)(weekly)
L'Express (Center/Right) (weekly)
Le Nouvel Observateur aka «Nouvel Obs» (Center/Left) (weekly)
Marianne (Independent "républicain") (weekly)
Les Echos (business & fina
nce news) (daily)
L'Entreprise (business & finance news)
Valeurs actuelles (business & finance news)
Télérama TV, Movies and other cultural news (weekly)
Sites of ther media
Agence France Presse (AFP) (Main French-Language News Agency)
France Info (an all-news 24/7 radio station)
RFI International (radio news, music and culture for an international audience)
France 2 (Main national, state-run TV channel) The daily JT de 20h broadcast on France 2 is available on line here
France 3 (State-run network of regional TV Channel)
TF1 (National, private TV channel—the most watched in France)
ARTE (Franco-German cultural TV channel)
CANAL+ (Main national, private pay TV channel)

2. Lauinger Library
--Dailies and weeklies like Le Monde and L'Express on microfilm or on the periodical shelves
--From the Library web page
, access to databases (Francis, Lexis/Nexis) which allow you to download full-text articles from various publications access.
3. The French Embassy
The Ambassade de France (on Reservoir Road, just across the street from the GU campus) has a good information center offering databases and past and current issues of daily and weekly French newspapers, reviews and journals. You need to call the Service Presse et documentation at 202-944-6060 (open weekdays 9-5) to make an appointment.
4. The LLT Resource Center (second floor, ICC)
Various audio-visual resources.

FILMS FOR REVIEW (Suggested) - Do not write your review on a film listed above that is part of our syllabus
You may pick a film outside of this list as long as it is in French and features an aspect of contemporary (post WWII) France or of a French-speaking region or country (Québec, Sénégal, Algeria, etc.)
Sample films available from the LAU Gelardin Media Center

Bye Bye (K. Dridi) VHS 3969. A drama about the life of two brothers from Tunisia who want to stay in France, yet do not quite manage to fit in.
La Cité des enfants perdus (J-P Jeunet) DVD 1258. A dark fantasy by the director of Amélie about a monstrous old man who kidnaps children and feeds on their dreams.
Diabolo menthe (D. Kurys) VHS 2973. A gentle comedy-drama about tow teenage sisters in the 1960's.
Le Dîner de cons (F. Veber) VHS 6498. A hilarious but cruel farce about Parisian snobs who entertain themselves with dinner parties where they invite the most idiotic people they can find.
Romuald et Juliette (C. Serreau, ) VHS 2626. A comedy on French corporate life and on the unexpected closeness between two people from very different social and ethnic backgrounds.
Sans toit ni loi (A. Varda) DVD 224. A stark drama about a young female drifter who refuses to abide by mainstream social codes.
La Vie devant soi (M. Mizrahi) VHS 3955. Based on a novel by celebrated auteur Romain Gary, this drama tells the story of an uncanny friedship between an Arab boy and an elderly Jewish woman.
100% Arabica (M. Zemmouri) DVD 6126. A social comedy about a rift in the French-Algerian community, opposing religious fundamentalists and proponents of arab-pop "raï" music. Featuring raï icons Cheb Mami and Khaled.

Sample films available from the LLT Center
L'Auberge espagnole (C. Clapisch). The bittersweet adventures of a French college student enrolled in the European "Erasmus" exchange program, who shares a house in Barcelona with roommates from various other countries.
L'Esquive (A. Kechiche). Abdelkrim, aka Krimo, a teenager of maghrebi origins from a tough neighborhood, finds out that the best strategy to approach his love interest, Lydia, is to try out for the school play in which she is performing.
Ressources humaines (L. Cantet). A documentary-style fiction on the woes of a brilliant business-school student who comes home to complete an internship in the head office of the factory where his father has worked for 30 years as a machine operator.
Les Visiteurs (J-M Poiré)
. When a medieval knight and his servant are magically transported into 20th-century France and meet their descendents, comic chaos ensues.