Undergraduate Courses

The UCLA Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies offers a variety of undergraduate courses. For more information about specific section times and locations, please view the UCLA Schedule of Classes.

For a complete listing and description of department courses visit the UCLA General Catalog.

Fall 2021

Dutch 103A: Elementary Dutch: Learning Dutch The Pleasant Way

Instructor: Cisca Brier

Students will have excellent insight into the language, translate from Dutch to English and from English to Dutch, write in the target language as well. The emphasis is on speech. The course will focus on important cultural cities and celebrate Dutch Holidays such as Sinterklaas and the King’s Birthday. Students will also become familiar with Dutch poets from the 17th century until today. The possibility of continuing with Dutch exists with a program whereby students can go to the University of Utrecht. Taught both in both English and Dutch. 

French 1: Elementary French

Instructor: Kimberly Jansma

This course is designed for students with no or very little prior French language instruction.  It introduces students to the basics of oral and written communication. It is taught almost exclusively in French.  Students will learn how to talk about their friends and family, their courses, their living situation, and their leisure time activities. They will also learn how to perform concrete tasks such as ordering in a café, extending an invitation or renting an apartment. As they acquire the language, they will learn about cultural practices and perspectives in the French-speaking world. FR1 is taught with a flipped instruction format.  Students learn and practice new content online with communicative application 3 days a week in the classroom. Students with prior French experience will need to take the French placement exam before enrolling in FR1. 

French 2: Elementary French

Instructor: Kimberly Jansma

This course is designed for students who’ve taken 1-2 years of high school French, who have some previous experience with the language and for students who’ve completed FR1 at UCLA.  It is taught almost exclusively in French. Students in FR2 will learn how to use the past to talk about life experiences, and current as well as historical events. They will also be able to talk about food, and their daily activities. Cultural perspectives will accompany these themes. FR2 is taught with a blended learning flipped instruction format.  Students learn and practice new content online with communicative application 3 days a week in the classroom. Students in FR2 will be using the Conversifi platform to have conversations with native French-speaking partners. Students should take the French placement exam before enrolling in FR2 if they have not taken a quarter of French at UCLA or elsewhere.

French 3: Elementary French

Instructor: Kimberly Jansma

This course is designed for students who’ve taken 2 – 4 years of language in high school, who have completed FR2 at UCLA or a semester of college language instruction.   In FR3 classes, students learn to use French to read, view, talk and write about travel and geography, health and well -being as well as friendships and romantic relationships. FR3 students work on their ability to participate in spontaneous conversations, to present prepared material and to understand French videos and texts. Students in FR3 will be using the Conversifi platform to have conversations with native French-speaking partners. Students successfully completing FR3 typically reach the Intermediate low or mid-level of language proficiency as measured on the ACTFL scale. FR3 is taught with a blended learning flipped instruction format.  Students learn and practice new content online with communicative application 3 days a week in the classroom. Students should take the French placement exam before enrolling in FR3 if they have not taken FR2 at UCLA or a semester of college French elsewhere. Successful completion of FR3 fulfills the UCLA world language requirement.

French 4: Intermediate French

Instructor: Elsa Duval

This course is designed for students who’ve taken 3-4 years of French in high school, a year of French at the university level, or who have successfully completed FR3 at UCLA. It is taught exclusively in French with a focus on oral and written communication, and the ability to understand and communicate with people from a variety of cultural perspectives. We assume students in FR4 have been introduced to the basic structures of French. Here they will have the opportunity to use the French they’ve already acquired to engage more deeply with extensive readings, media and class discussion. FR 4 is taught with a blended learning flipped instruction format.  Students learn and practice new content online to prepare to engage in classroom interaction. Classes meet 3 days a week. Students in FR3 will be using Conversifi to converse independently with native French-speaking partners on the themes they’re studying in class. Themes include personal and cultural values, appearances and the evolution of the concept of family. Students will read the novel Kiffe Kiffe Demain by FézaGuène. Students should take the French placement exam before enrolling in FR4 if they have not taken a year of university French. Students with an AP score of 3 in French can enroll in FR4.  

French 5: Intermediate French

Instructor: See UCLA Schedule of Classes

This course is designed for students who’ve completed FR4 at UCLA or with equivalent experience in French. It is taught exclusively in French with a focus on oral and written communication, and the ability to understand and communicate with people from a variety of cultural perspectives. We assume students in FR5 have been introduced to the basic structures of French. Here, they will have the opportunity to use the French they have already acquired to engage more deeply with extensive readings, media and class discussion. FR5 is taught with a blended learning flipped instruction format. Students learn and practice new content online to prepare to engage in classroom interaction. Classes meet 3 days a week.  Students in FR5 will be using Conversifi to converse independently with native French-speaking partners on the themes they’re studying in class. These include personal and social identity, looks and style, and the evolution of the concept of family, Students will read a French novel. Students should take the French placement exam before enrolling in FR5 if they have not taken a year of university French. Students with an AP score of 4 may enroll in FR5. 

French 6: Intermediate French

Instructor: See UCLA Schedule of Classes

This course is designed for students who have completed FR5 at UCLA, who’ve taken a semester of second year French at the university level or with equivalent experience in French. Students in FR6 have already been introduced to most French structures. Here they will use their linguistic tools to explore the culture(s) of France and gain a greater appreciation of the diversity of the French-speaking world through extensive readings, media and class discussion. FR6 is taught with a blended learning flipped instruction format.  Students learn and practice new content online to prepare to engage in classroom interaction. Classes meet 3 days a week.  Students in FR6 will be using Conversifi to converse independently with native French-speaking partners on the themes they are studying in class. Themes include personal challenges and coping strategies, the environment, and social institutions. Students will read and discuss the French novel Petit Pays by Gael Faye. Completion of FR 6 provides students with a strong foundation for future upper division work in language and literature. It will also open numerous opportunities such as Education Abroad (EAP) for both majors in French and non-majors. Students should take the French placement exam before enrolling in FR6 if they have not taken second year French at the university level. Students with an AP score of 5 can enroll in FR6. 

French 41: France and its Others: Race, Ethnicity and Difference in French Cinema

Instructor: Lia Brozgal

Exploration of French film, from colonial documentary to contemporary “bromance,” through the lens of race. Particular attention to the complexities of race in France; historical and cultural context; formal film analysis; postcolonial and critical race theory. For Fall 2021 only: asynchronous instruction (lectures); discussion sections are mandatory and offered both in-person (on campus) and via Zoom. Taught in English. 

French 100: Written Expression: Description and Narration

Instructor: Laurence Denié-Higney

The objective of this course is to practice and improve your written expression in French. We are going to carefully read and study four short stories to understand the techniques of storytelling and description. We will also review important grammatical structures in order to develop and improve your style in written French. Throughout the quarter, you will imagine and develop your own short story. You will use the techniques studied in class and seek to develop your own style in French. Taught in French. 

French 139: Paris

Instructor: Laure Murat

This course is designed as a cultural history seminar on Paris, providing a historical and geographical overview of the French capital, from the Middle Ages to nowadays. Following the chronological order of the urban formation, we will try to understand how literature and visual arts analyze poetically and politically a city that has always been the foremost attraction in Europe. Taught in French. 

French 137: The Crisis of Universalism*

Instructor: Laure Murat

Why French universalism, as a project for a fairer society, is now in crisis? How does it compare specifically to the American model? As a political and philosophical concept, universalism has always been at the chore of the debates about democracy in France. From revolutionary idealism to post-colonial era, we will analyze historically the evolution of an idea and its impact on migration, minorities, gender and race. Taught in French. 

*Course taught in conjunction with a graduate seminar (French 207).

German 104: Document Work in Film Culture*

Instructor: Kalani Michell

Film work is often thought to begin when the camera starts rolling: lights and props, stars and takes, and big names on the set looking through the lens and yelling at the crew. This is the labor of major decision-making and is creative and glamourous, reinforcing heroic self-descriptions. But something is conspicuously missing from this fantasy of film labor: the role of paperwork. This course focuses on German and European films that thematize the history and labor of administration and bureaucracy. Drawing recent research on bureaucracy in anthropology, ethnography, legal, and media studies, it will seek to push the study of paperwork beyond industrial cinema and into a film genre that has been reluctant to be seen through the lens of multiple authorship, namely experimental and documentary cinema. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. Taught in English. 

*Course taught in conjunction with a graduate seminar (German 213).

German 110: (Lecture 1) Nation and Migration: Germany

Instructor: Yasemin Yildiz

Migrations have significantly shaped postwar Germany, yet the country has struggled with accepting this fact. Against this backdrop, the course examines the nature and cultural impact of particular migrations, from guest workers to recent refugees, and pays special attention to the long shadow of Nazism on Germany as a complicating factor. Understanding the specific nature of diversity in Germany also provides perspectives on migration dynamics in other contexts. No prior knowledge required. Taught in English. 

 

German 152: Conversation and Composition on Contemporary German Culture and Society

Instructor: Magdalena Tarnawska Senel

This course is an advanced language course that is structured around current political, social, and cultural events related to social justice as they are reported in the German media at the time of the course. In the past topics included presidential elections, BLM movement, influx of the refugees, non-binary gender option on birth certificates, and controversies surrounding memorials of the German colonial past. In addition, we will read a short story by Anna Seghers: “Der Ausflug der toten Mädchen,” which is a poetic reflection on personal choices individuals must make during times of political upheaval. Taught in German (B2-C1 based the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). 

Italian 42C: Food and Literature in Italy

Instructor: Elissa Tognozzi

This course, taught in English, will look at Italian food culture through essays, literature, films and other works that highlight the role and significance of food and eating. Course content will span the origins of Italian cuisine through the present slow food movement in Italy. Themes of discussion will include the relationship between eating and religion, politics, social class, health and gender differences. Ultimately, the course will examine these influences on Italian American cuisine and culture.

Italian 102B: Renaissance Discovery of the Human Genius

Instructor: Elissa Tognozzi

This course looks at the stunning artistic, literary, musical and scientific achievements between the Medieval and Renaissance periods.  The content will cover many factors that contributed to this phenomenon from the period between Boccaccio and Galileo. Themes of discussion will include the Renaissance manuals of behavior, relationships between social classes, religion and politics, as well as gender norms and humor. Additional focus will be on connections to today’s world. Taught in English. 

Italian 110: Dante in English

Instructor: Andrea Moudarres

This course focuses on Dante’s Divine Comedy: a classic masterpiece of world literature, a pinnacle of medieval philosophy and theology, and a crucial work in the development of Italian culture. While we will comparatively discuss Dante’s poem in relation to its biblical and classical archetypes—as well as its philosophical, religious, and political background—we will also seek to consider the protagonist’s journey to “salvation” as a challenge to many of our most entrenched assumptions about the nature of good and evil. Taught in English. 

Italian 116A: Italian Renaissance: Renewal of Art and Thought/Humanisms and Posthumanisms*

Instructor: Andrea Moudarres

This course considers the idea of Humanism or, more correctly, of Humanisms, as the plural form conveys the multiple ways in which one can interpret the word “Humanism.” Although the class focuses primarily on 14th-16th-century Italy, we also aim to reflect on what it means to speak of Humanisms – and critiques thereof – in the 21st century. The course is divided into two parts: 1) we will explore various forms of Humanism; 2) we will examine a specific case of classical adaptation, that of the centaur myth, which will help us probe how these different forms of Humanism defy facile historical and conceptual definitions. Readings include Pico della Mirandola’s On the Dignity of Man, Machiavelli’s The Prince, and Braidotti’s The Posthuman. Taught in English and reading knowledge of Italian recommended.

*Course taught in conjunction with a graduate seminar (Italian 216A).

Scandinavian 1: Elementary Swedish (Online)

Instructor: Johanna Karlsson

This course has its base in southern Sweden and the classes are taught from various places in Sweden. The primary objectives are to develop conversational and written abilities in Swedish and to develop listening and reading comprehension in Swedish. The secondary objectives are to broaden the knowledge of Swedish culture by looking at contemporary and past Sweden, and to learn about how Swedish culture is interconnected with the rest of Scandinavia and Europe, as well as Sweden’s significance in the global arena. This online course will be taught both in English and in Swedish. 

Scandinavian 50: Introduction to Scandinavian Literature and Culture

Instructor: Patrick Wen

This course provides undergraduates with a broad overview of literary and cultural traditions of the Nordic countries. In this course, “literature” will be loosely defined in order to include several types of narratives, including film and folklore in addition to traditional written narrative forms, which include sagas, drama and fiction. Taught in English. 

Scandinavian 141C: Short Story in Scandinavia

Instructor: Patrick Wen

This course focuses on the evolution and elevation of the short narrative in Scandinavia during the 19th and 20th centuries, from the humble folk tale to the “literary” novella. Our study includes short narratives by a number of authors, including Andersen, Axel, Dinesen, Oehlenschläger, Palma, Propp, and others. Taught in English. 

Scandinavian 143C: Scandinavian Crime Literature

Instructor: Patrick Wen

How does the “nonfiction” true crime genre inform the traditional crime “fiction” narrative and vice versa? Do these accounts of crimes of power and crimes of desire reveal anything about culture, identity and ideology?  This course will address these questions from a Scandinavian perspective, exploring recent crime narratives from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the American Midwest. Taught in English. 

Scandinavian 40: Heroic Journey in Northern Myth, Legend, and Epic

Instructor: Kimberly Ball

This course explores representations of heroes and heroic journeys in Nordic narrative traditions.  We will consider stories from myth, epic, folktale, and legend within their historic, geographic, and cultural contexts.  Questions we may ponder include: What makes a hero heroic?  In what ways is a heroine like a hero, and in what ways different?  What is the hero’s relationship to the community?  To the divine?  To death?  What differentiates a hero from a leader?  A trickster?  A monster?  Satisfies GE requirement for “Literary and Cultural Analysis” under the foundation of “Arts and Humanities.” Taught in English. 

Scandinavian 40W: Heroic Journey in Northern Myth, Legend, and Epic – Writing II

Instructor: Kimberly Ball

This course explores representations of heroes and heroic journeys in Nordic narrative traditions.  We will consider stories from myth, epic, folktale, and legend within their historic, geographic, and cultural contexts. This course develops students’ critical thinking and close textual analysis skills, and offers instruction in the development of persuasive, well-structured essays.  Enforced requisite: English Composition 3 or 3H or English as a Second Language 36.  Satisfies Writing II requirement. Taught in English. 

Scandinavian 134: Scandinavian Mythology

Instructor: Kimberly Ball

Study of gods and goddesses, realms and beings, narratives and information that make up lore collectively referred to as Scandinavian, or Norse, myth.  Reading and examination of this lore that is chiefly preserved in two medieval collections traditionally called Poetic(or Elder) Edda and Prose (or Younger) Edda, with supplementary readings in sagas and secondary sources. Taught in English. 

Scandinavian 155: The Modern Breakthrough

Instructor: Arne Lunde

Description: This course will focus on gender, sexuality, class difference, and crisis in Scandinavian literature and the arts of the 1880s and 1890s known as “The Modern Breakthrough.” Scandinavian writers and artists embraced naturalism and scientific discourses, questioned religious and social dogmas, engaged in fierce debates about women’s rights and morality questions, while relentlessly putting society under a critical lens. Our primary works include plays, novels, short fiction, and art by Henrik Ibsen, Herman Bang, Amalie Skram, Victoria Benedictsson, Anne Charlotte Leffler, Edvard Munch, August Strindberg, and Knut Hamsun. Taught in English. 

Scandinavian C166A: Ingmar Bergman*

Instructor: Arne Lunde

This cinema class explores the pre-Modernist classical period (1944-1960) in the career of iconic Swedish auteur filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. The course focuses on Bergman’s first decade and a half as a writer-director working within the Swedish studio system. During this period of ambitious maturation and experimentation, he developed from genre pictures made for the Swedish domestic market toward his international breakthrough triumphs of the mid-to-late 1950s. Lectures and discussions will focus on post-WWII Swedish society and politics, film style and aesthetics, genres, the star system, cinematography, music, et al. Taught in English.

*Course taught in conjunction with a graduate seminar (Scandinavian C266A).

 

Yiddish 101A: Elementary Yiddish

Instructor: Miriam Koral

Learn the basics of a unique and rich heritage language that has an enormous body of cultural achievements, including an outsize influence on today’s pop culture. Learned skills include reading and writing, elementary grammar, and conversation. Also serves as an intro to Yiddish culture through folk and theater songs, humorous and serious readings, viewing a classic Yiddish film, and attending a Yiddish cultural event, locally or virtually. Taught in English and Yiddish.