Smith & consortium Courses
Smith College Courses Offered at the Smith Center in Reid Hall
Please note: Below are typical courses taught at the center; actual courses may vary from year to year:
Langue et composition (fall)
The objective of this course is to help students obtain French speaking and writing skills that are clear, logical, and well structured. In addition, the students will be exposed to correct grammar usage, a rich vocabulary, and the nuances behind expressions all of which can be found in the exploration of French culture. This course consists of a balance between the written and oral activities (structural exercises in grammar and vocabulary-both oral and written, presentations, stories, essays, discussions/debates, and reading/listening tests).
Écriture académique en français (fall)
The goal of this course is to provide the students with a number of devices and techniques that will improve their writing skills. More precisely, we will focus on the specific constraints attached to "academic writing": the way the arguments are structured, organized, formulated in the French tradition of academic texts. Among other things, we will study ways to make the sentences more concise and efficient; we will also see how to formulate ideas in a simple and clear way. Grammatical and syntactic rules will be reminded, if it appears necessary. This language course is designed for more advanced students in French.
Atelier de méthodologie (fall)
The objective of the methodology course is to ensure that the students feel comfortable in the French university. The course will focus on the specifics of the French university system and will aim to develop techniques to enable students to make the most of their courses and better understand their professors' expectations. A large portion of the course will be devoted to different types of academic work that students will be required to complete during their year in France.
Le Paris invisible. Regards croisé: lectures et visites architecturales, urbaines et sociologiques (fall)
Created as an introduction to a morphological, urban and sociological history, this course aims to go beyond the image of Paris presented by travel guides, film production, and national prejudices, while exploring great works both classical and recent of the humanities. The course will be based on varied type of texts: scientific texts, newspaper articles, icons, movies, literature, popular songs, and more. Several visits will be organized to implement the elements of urban and sociological analysis that will be taught in class.
Grammaire avancée et composition (spring)
This grammar and composition course aims to enhance your skills while offering the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the intricacies of French grammar. The course works to strengthen your speaking and writing: systematic learning of vocabulary, presentations and reports in class, writing various exercises such as summary or text commentary, and deepening the practice of the essay. In grammar, emphasis will be placed on the construction of complex sentences.
Interactions linguistiques et culturelles (spring)
With the objectives of building stylistic capacities, enriching vocabulary, and reviewing grammatical structures, this course will be devoted to the translation of non-literary texts of sociological significance, which emphasize the cultural differences between the U.S. and France. The focus will be on idiomatic phrases and identifying different levels of language. Various grammatical and lexical exercises, translations, and quick comprehension exercises will be included and will relate to the theme as well as translation techniques.
Le théâtre contemporain sur la scène parisienne : analyse de spectacle (spring)
This course has three main objectives: its first objective is the discovery of some of major theatrical sites in Paris and in the suburban). Students will become familiar with trends and the contemporary scene, and will learn - the second objective of the course - how to analyze a mise en scène and develop methodological and aesthetic thoughts. Finally, for the third objective, the course will give the opportunity to read the study of dramatic works, belonging to the repertoire as well as contemporary writings.
Le Paris invisible. Rendre visible : Analyse sociologique et urbaine d'un quartier (spring)
This course invites you to discover Paris through the eyes of a sociologist and an architect. From the interrogation of the history of the city of Paris, the course aims to sensitize students to the tools, methods, and approaches specific to these disciplines and to get them to produce forms of restitution (written and spatial) originals.
Courses offered by Smith, Hamilton and Middlebury Colleges:
- France Europe : chronique d'une relation tumultueuse (fall)
This course aims to study French political life since the post-war (political systems, different governments, policies, reforms, etc.) within its European and international context. Particular emphasis will be put on the European policy of France, its motivation to build Europe, and the ambiguities of its relationship with the European Union. We will examine France's position at the center of the European construction as well as how France may hinder this construction.
- Françafrique: enjeux, histoire et politique (fall)
From 1850 to 1960, France's fate and that of Africa have been connected. To some extent, France and Africa have a common history which was led jointly by French regularity in Africa for several centuries, by the presence of Africans on the hexagonal soil, by the presence of African deputies at the Bourbon palace under the IV Republic and, recently, by immigration. We will see how this relationship is strangely prolonged, even strengthened after decolonization.
L'Union européenne (spring)
This course aims to make students understand the challenges facing Europe as well as the major current debates, both economic and political, through the study of the European Union of today and yesterday. We begin by analyzing the logic that led to Europe and its origin. Next, we discuss the various economic policies to see what are the current issues. Finally, we also study the institutional and legal framework of Europe, which lies at the heart of its construction, as well as current, major issues.
La laïcité (spring)
This course will present the history of French secularism and its key debates. We will address the impact of religious wars (sixteenth century), the absolute power of the state in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the role of the Catholic Church in the monarchy of the ancient regime, the formulation of the idea of secularism in the Enlightenment, the installation of a "model" of secularism active in the Republic (nineteenth and twentieth century), the existence of a "culture" of anti-clericalism, the school quarrel, the new situation posed by the spread of Islam since the 1970's, and the idea of a crisis of secularism today.