French Cultural Studies Major

The French Cultural Studies major is intended for students whose interests in the French and Francophone world are primarily cultural and historical.

This interdepartmental major combines courses from the department of French with those in Africana studies, art, history, music, political science, or any other department offering courses on France or Francophone countries.

The French department’s courses in history and society are the core of the program. These courses examine institutions, political and social movements, along with the mass media, using methodologies grounded in the social sciences, primarily history and sociology. Other French department offerings in the field include courses that place literature and film in a social context. French Cultural Studies majors ordinarily work closely with two advisors, one from the French department and one from their other area of concentration.

Goals for the Major

Students should develop an in-depth understanding of French history, culture, society and politics.

Students should also be able to conduct rigorous in-depth research using primary as well as secondary sources on cultural and historical topics.

Because they take classes in one or more departments outside the French department, students grow in their understanding of the scope and methods of other disciplines and gain new analytical frameworks for thinking about the cultures and histories of France and the Francophone world.

Requirements for the Major

The major in French Cultural Studies consists of a minimum of eight units. At least four units in the French department above the 201 level are required including FREN 211 (or for students entering in 2014 or later, French 210) and FREN 207. In special cases, an upper-level culture course in French approved by the program director may be substituted for FREN 207. All majors must take two 300-level courses at Wellesley College (from the list of related courses or in the French department), at least one of which must be taken in French. FRST 350, 360 and 370 do not normally count towards the minimum requirement of two 300-level courses for the major. In exceptional cases, this requirement may be waived by the French Cultural Studies director and/or the chair of the French department. No more than two courses taken credit/noncredit at Wellesley College may be applied to the French Cultural Studies major.

Students planning to major in French Cultural Studies should consult with Venita Datta, advisor to the major.

Related Courses For Credit Toward the French Cultural Studies Major

AFR 211 Introduction to African Literature

AFR 235 Societies and Cultures of Africa

AFR 251 Religion in Africa

AFR 318 Seminar. African Women, Social Transformation, and Empowerment

ARTH 101 Introduction to the History of Art Part II: Renaissance to the Present

ARTH 224 Modern Art to 1945

ARTH 289 European Art and Architecture, 1750-1900

CAMS 340 The Longest Wave: The Films of Agnés Varda and Jean-Luc Godard

HIST 212 Atlantic Revolutions and the Birth of Nations

HIST 222 The Barbarian Kingdoms of Early Medieval Europe

HIST 232 The Transformation of the Western World: Europe from 1300-1815

HIST 302 Seminar. World War II as Memory and Myth, 1945-2010

HIST 307 Seminar. Religious Change and the Emergence of Modernity in Early Modern Europe, 1600-1800

HIST 330 Seminar. Revolution and Rebellion in Twelfth-Century European Society

MUS 200 History of Western Music I

MUS 201 History of Western Music II

PHIL 221 History of Modern Philosophy

POL4 241 Modern European Political Thought

POL2 383 Politics of Migration

Contact Us

Contact Us

Depart​ment of French
Green Hall 228A
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

Barry Lydgate
Department Chair

Sarah Allahverdi
Administrative Assistant


Tel: 781.283.2403
Fax: 781.283.3578



France After the Paris Attacks


Arthur Goldhammer


scholar and translator



February 25, 2015


5.00 PM at the French House

33 Dover Rd, Wellesley


*presentation will be given in English