Courses on a wide range of topics

Our department offers a wide variety of courses that will pique your interest regardless of your background. Where else can you learn about bodies and machines in the French baroque theater, how languages in close geographic proximity change each other, and the strategies for carrying on a 36-year tradition of one of the most beloved Italian graphic novels ever? 

Highlighted French/francophone courses

Expressions of Absolutism

This course takes as its premise that the only place where political absolutism incontestably exists is in its manifestations, in the image of itself that royal power projects outwards but also inwards. This course will study this dynamic by looking closely at various artistic expressions of absolutism (theater, poetry, architecture, portraiture, etc.) that respond to and help construct the image of Louis XIV.


The Enlightenment and Other Cultures

This seminar will explore representations of non-European cultures in 18th-century French literature. Why is the reflection on cultural difference, cultural “otherness,” so central to the Enlightenment project? Is the figure of the cultural “other” a mere propaganda tool for 18th-century writers, or is their interest in such a figure a sign of genuine perception of different cultures and their specificity?


Highlighted French Linguistics courses

The Structure of Breton

 The Structure of Regional Languages of France: The Structure of Breton.  Breton, the traditional language of Brittany (western France), is in the Brythonic branch of Celtic which includes Welsh and Cornish. Although they belong to the Indo-European family, the Celtic languages display a number of typologically “exotic” features. 



Structure and Sociolinguistic Aspects of French in Canada

This course covers the various social, political, and historical factors that contributed to the development of French across Canada. With a focus on social and geographical variation, we will examine the linguistic consequences of the contact situation with English on the syntax, lexicon, and phonology of French Canadian speech varieties.

Highlighted Italian courses

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Dante: Lyric and Epic, Philosophy and Science

This course will present a full reading of Dante’s Commedia with attention to the current status of the field of Dante Studies as it is practiced both in Italian and Anglo-American spheres.  Particular attention will be given to Dante’s identity as a lyric poet from first to last, beginning with a reading of his youthful poetry and considering how these strands of lyric identity find their expression in the Commedia.

Italian textbooks spread out on a table.

Methods in Italian Language Teaching

In this course we will explore foreign language teaching and learning from a variety of theoretical and practical perspectives that inform our daily decisions about effective methodologies for fostering second language acquisition. Students will read and discuss a variety of materials pertaining to all L2 skill areas and cultural proficiency. 

Individual Readings courses

You must gain permission to register in Individual Readings courses. Please download and complete the Permission for Individual Readings Form for permission to register for the following:

  • F815 French Individual Readings course
  • M815 Italian Individual Readings course