The major in French Cultural Studies (FCS) 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, and 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. No more than two courses taken credit/noncredit at Wellesley College may be applied to the French Cultural Studies major.
FREN 101, FREN 102, FREN 103, and FREN 201 count toward the degree but not toward the major. First-year students who begin with FREN 101-FREN 102 in college and who wish to study internationally should consult the chair of the department during the second semester of their first year.
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 in French. FRST 350, FRST 360 and FRST 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.
Students planning to major in French Cultural Studies should consult with Venita Datta, advisor to the major.
Honors in French Cultural Studies
The only route to honors in the major is writing a thesis and passing an oral examination. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100 level; the department may petition on her behalf if her GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5. Students must complete a 300-level course or its equivalent before the fall of senior year. In addition, a 300-level course is to be taken concurrently with FRST 360-FRST 370.