Thursday, December 17, 2009

FRE 320 French Women Writers

I have had the great opportunity to teach French Women Writers this semester to our advanced French students. This literature course covered narrative expression from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Students had the experience of reading Chèvrefeuille by Marie de France, two "nouvelles" from Marguerite de Navarre's L'Heptaméron, La Princesse de Clèves by Madame de Lafayette, George Sand's Indiana, Colette's Chéri, followed by Élise ou la vraie vie by Claire Etcherelli. Our last novel was Kamouraska by Anne Hébert, our visit to Québécois literature. We studied narrative style and genre developments in the novel. Our class discussions focused on women's expression of their experiences in relationship to themes of transgression and tabou. The class also had the opportunity to research a French female figure of their choice and learn about her life and contributions, which they presented at the Recital. I congratulate the FRE 320 students this semester for their willing participation and their insightful understanding that made this class so successful.

Christmas in Martinique: News from Britney Holtgrewe

Britney is learning all about Christmas in Martinique as she teaches English in the collège in Martinique. She helping the students speak English by conversing about books, pictures and songs. For the lycéens, she's reviewing an important book that they will have to know to pass the baccalauréat test. She's thrilled her family is visiting her and that the weather, while still hot, is sometimes very agreeable when the wind blows in from the water. Here's what she has to say about Christmas in Martinique: "Ils chantent en créole et mangent beaucoup de la viande (je suis une vegeterienne et donc je ne profite pas!) et boivent du rhum et une boisson qui s'appelle Shrub, c'est le rhum et l'arome orange. Il n'y a pas le meme esprit du noel ici comme aux Etats-Unis. Pas beaucoup de decorations ni la musique de noel. Ici la grande fete est le carnaval!"

Joyeux Noël à tous!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Languages Department Recital

December 2, 2009 marked the Languages Department Recital. Hosted every semester by the Languages Department, the recital gives advanced students in languages the opportunity to present creative works or research projects to their colleagues in a formal setting. This semester, students in Introduction to French Studies: World War II presented dramatic monologues based on historical or fictional characters they encountered in their studies, while those in French Women Writers researched contributions by significant French women and presented their findings in either a formal presentation with PowerPoint or in a round table discussion with Marion Moreau, our French assistant, as the interviewer. Students in Introduction to Hispanic Civilization presented skits based on modern-day renderings of issues covered in their studies. Congratulations to Chriska François, whose dramatic monologue was chosen for this blog for her clarity of French and dramatic representation of Antigone, from Anouilh's play of the same name and to Brittany Duncan, whose round table interview as Catherine Deneuve showed great ease in the language.

Chriska François

Brittany Duncan