French Studies
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French Studies


News & Events

David Ball, Professor Emeritus of French and Comparative Literature at Smith College, discusses his acclaimed translation and annotation of Jean Guéhenno's Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1944 (Oxford University Press, 2014), at the Lewis Global Studies Center at Smith College. Ball’s is the first ever English translation of this incredible look into life in occupied France.

Postcolonial Migrants Lost in Absence of Translation: The Metro as Labyrinth

Mireille Rosello, University of Amsterdam
Friday, November 7, 7:00 pm
Neilson Browsing Room
How do we know that we have "arrived" or that we "belong"? What kind of social, political and cultural methodologies do we mobilize when we say that we live in Paris or that we are travelling to Paris? These are just a couple of the questions Rosello will explore in her talk about Boudjedra's novel Topographie idéale pour une agression caractérisée, the story of an illiterate Berber migrant lost in the Metro.

A Conversation with Lola Lafon, French Singer and Novelist

Wed. Oct 15, 4:15 p.m.
Lewis Global Studies Center
Meet Lola Lafon, a young politically engaged French author, whose novels, which tackle such ideologies as feminism, capitalism, and anti-fascism, have won critical acclaim and several awards. She will discuss her recently translated novel We Are the Birds of the Coming Storm, the first of her novels to be translated from French to English. As well as discussing this novel - which follows the story of two young women, soul mates, and both survivors of sexual assault, who are trying to survive under an oppressive regime - she will read in French from her latest novel, La Petite Communiste qui ne souriait jamais. Cider, tea, and cookies will be served. For a quick look at Lafon's unique style, check out this video of her in concert, performing passages from We are the Birds of the Coming Storm.

Pioneers: Three Women in Film
Alice Guy-Blaché, Maya Deren, Agnès Varda

Sunday, October 19, 2014 , 3:00 pm
The Fast Forward Film Series at Historic Northampton presents three films by Guy-Blaché, Deren, and Varda. For more information, visit Historic Northampton's website.

Traditional Music and Dance from Québec

Friday, October 3, 3:00 p.m.
Campus Center 103/104
Performed by Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy. For more information, please visit





Open House: Tea with the Cutter Francophone Residential Community

To celebrate the Francophone Residential Community's new home in Cutter House, we are holding a tea in the Cutter House living room at 4 pm on Friday, September 26. All are welcome to learn more about living in Francophone housing and enjoy some special French treats!

La Table française: Join us!

Every Monday, beginning 8 September 2014, noon-1:00 p.m. Duckett House Dining Room (Room A or B on alternating weeks) Non-board guests must sign the log in the room they're using. Smith students who are on the Board plan should swipe their cards at the check-in desk.

Global Books

Thursday, September 25, 4:00-5:00 pm
Lewis Global Studies Center

David Ball, Professor Emeritus of French and Comparative Literature at Smith College, will discuss his acclaimed translation and annotation of Jean Guéhenno's Diary of the Dark Years, (Oxford Press, 2014). Guéhenno's diary reflects on his efforts to resist both the French collaborationist government as well as the Nazi-controlled publishing industry in wartime France.

Placement Test

All students considering a French course should take the French placement exam, to be offered on Monday 1 September in McConnell B15. There will be two sessions, at 1:00-2:00 PM and at 2:00-3:00 PM.

If you studied French in high school, we will pre-place you in one of our courses according to your Achievement and/or Advanced Placement test scores. We strongly encourage you to take our own French placement test administered during orientation, as it will let us place you more accurately than the standardized tests.


Monday 1 September, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM

New Student Welcome Reception

Friday 29 August, 4:00-5:30 PM
Seelye Lawn (rain location, Campus Center)


We offer congratulations to four French majors who were awarded Fulbright Fellowships for 2014-2015:

Nora Nadire '14
Germany: English Teaching Assistantship

"Pepper" Alexandra Neff '14
Turkey: English Teaching Assistantship

Maya Potter '14
India: Anthropology
"Documenting the Negotiated Use of Public Space by Women Street Vendors in Ahmedabad"

Lisa Saladin '13
Ireland: Language and Literature
"Fresh Feminine Voices: Transfiguring Irish-Language Poetry in the Postmodern Era"

Jacobson Center French Tutors

Clementine Hamelin, Naomi Sinnathamby, Grace Kim
By appointment:, ext. 3056

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