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 will achieve skill in speaking, writing, reading, and understanding French at the advanced level, as detailed in the ACTFL proficiency guidelines.
· Students will be able to identify major themes in the histories and in the contemporary cultures of France and other Francophone places.
· Students will learn to recognize and construct well-formed arguments about cultural artifacts and historical events that rely on clear writing and in-depth understanding of both primary and secondary sources.
· Students will learn to grasp the complexity of cultural differences. They will know how to spot clichés and avoid using them in thinking about France and the Francophone world in particular, and other cultures in general. As global citizens, they will come to value tolerance, appreciate diversity, and be prepared to face the challenges and reap the benefits of living in an increasingly interconnected 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 FREN 201 are required, including FREN 207 and one of the following: FREN 210, FREN 211 or FREN 212.
In special cases, an upper-level culture course in French approved by the program director may be substituted for FREN 207. At least two units in French at the 300 level are required. 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 FCS 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 advisors to the major.
Students planning to major in French Cultural Studies should consult with Scott Gunther, 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.