Apr 19, 2024  
2012-2013 Academic Catalog 
2012-2013 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

French B.A.

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French and Arabic

   Member of the Division of Humanities


Susan Ireland


Greta Bliss
Gwenola Caradec
Jan Gross
David Harrison
Randa Muhammed
Claire Moisan
Philippe Moisan               
Mervat Youssef


The French department curriculum is designed to promote students’ understanding of the history, literature, and cultures of the French-speaking world, and to develop proficiency in speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing. Students often combine their major in French with a major in another discipline. Grinnell French majors have pursued careers in a broad range of fields including: international affairs, law, business, nonprofit work, medicine, scientific research, the arts, education, and scholarly research. French courses can be incorporated into interdisciplinary majors and concentrations such as Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies; Global Development Studies; Linguistics; and Western European Studies.

All incoming students take the Grinnell placement test and, after consultation with the French department, begin their study of French at the elementary (FRN 101 , FRN 102 , FRN 103 ), intermediate (FRN 221 , FRN 222 ), or advanced level (FRN 301 , FRN 303 , FRN 304 , FRN 305 , FRN 312 , or FRN 313 ). Advanced courses explore the complexity of the French language (FRN 301 ), the cultures of the French-speaking world (FRN 303 , FRN 304 , FRN 305 ), and creative works (literature and film) in French (FRN 312 , FRN 313 ). Department seminars, which are offered every semester, cover a wide range of topics: Contemporary Urban Myths; Molière: Text and Performance; American Stories; Beyond Trauma: From Crisis to Creation; Masculine/Feminine in French Literature and Film; May ’68 and Beyond: A Culture of Revolt; From Decolonization to “La France plurielle”: Ethnic Identity and Change Since 1945; Courtship and Conversation in French Literature; French Poetry: The Art of Doing Things with Words. The opportunity to carry out a Mentored Advanced Project (MAP) is available as part of all seminars. All departmental courses are conducted in French.

Most French majors spend at least a semester on an approved program of study in a city such as Aix-en-Provence, Marseilles, Nantes, or Paris. The off-campus study option is available to all students, even if they start their study of French at Grinnell at the elementary level.


The Grinnell Arabic program offers four semesters of instruction in Modern Standard Arabic, with a focus on both language and culture. Independent study is available at the advanced level. Many students of Arabic spend a semester on an approved program in the Middle East or North Africa. A knowledge of Arabic prepares students for careers in diplomacy, international affairs, international trade, business, nonprofit work, and education. Arabic is not offered as a major.

Major Requirements: A minimum of 32 credits

A minimum of 32 credits (not including FRN 101 , FRN 102 , and FRN 103 ), with at least 20 credits in all and a minimum of three 300-level courses (12 credits) taken in the Department of French at Grinnell.



To be considered for honors in French, graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, must complete two 300-level seminars, take at least one seminar in the senior year, and be recommended by the Department of French, based on performance in seminars.

French and Arabic Course Descriptions


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