Winter 2023 Undergraduate Courses

Winter 2023

French 101: Advanced Expository Writing: Techniques of Argumentation

Instructor: Laurence Denié-Higney

French 101 will teach students to write strong argumentative essays in French while discovering the UNESCO French and Francophone Intangible Cultural Heritage. We will carefully read and study texts that will help students develop their writing skills and effectively communicate their ideas. In that aim,  they will learn how to write a well-structured introduction in French, how to defend their position while taking into account counter-arguments, and how to effectively conclude their essays. Students will develop their vocabulary, and learn how to use French expressions to introduce examples, causes and consequences, comparisons, and concessions.

MWF 11-11:50    Haines 110

French 104: French Pronunciation: Practice and Theory

Instructor: Kimberly Jansma

People all over the world appreciate the beauty of the French language, yet French is difficult to pronounce and few students of the language feel confident about their pronunciation.  The aim of this course is to improve your French pronunciation and overall fluency. Learning sound – spelling correspondences will help you sight read accurately. A thorough study of the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (API) will give you the tools to work on your pronunciation systematically.  Standard French will serve as our model, but we’ll look at various dialects that are spoken in the Francophone world.  Requisite:  FR5 or equivalent.  Taught in French.

MWF 10-10:50    Haines 110

French 107: Advanced Oral Expression

Instructor: Kimberly Jansma

This course will develop your communication skills in French while introducing you to socio-cultural topics of importance in the world today.  You will develop your ability to understand written and multimedia content produced for French speakers and to discuss it with others.  You’ll also practice presenting what you’ve learned through panels, talks, debates, and podcasts.  You’ve probably noticed that casual everyday French doesn’t sound like the French found in textbooks.  You’ll learn helpful strategies to build your fluency in casual conversation.  Prerequisite:  FR6 or equivalent.  Taught in French.

MWF 12-12:50    Haines 110

French 108: Advanced Practical Translation from French to English

Instructor: Dominic Thomas

Bi-weekly translations of literary and journalistic texts, technical texts (EU policy), focusing on transcultural issues such as diversity and translation, environmental issues, literature, architecture, and political discourse. Authors include: Annie Ernaux, Élisa Shua Dusapin, Léonora Miano, Anna Moï, Faïza Guène, Édouard Louis, Alain Mabanckou, Abnousse Shalmani, Nathalie Sarraute, Louis-Philippe Dalembert, and Philippe Rahm. Taught in English

MW 8-9:15  Haines 110

French 130: UNESCO World Heritage in the Francophone World: Memory, Culture and Diplomacy

Instructor: Elsa Duval

This course on UNESCO’s World heritage Program will allow you to acquire knowledge on diplomacy, memory, and culture of the Francophone world in the 21st century, through the prism of the international organization. Through a variety of documents such as newspaper articles, testimonies, administrative files, photographs, etc. students will examine the political, and cultural context of UNESCO’s world Heritage Program. You will thus learn to find, read, and analyze a wide range of primary sources. You will learn to analyze documents from an international organization and apply this knowledge to create a template for a World Heritage nomination. Taught in French.

TR 2-3:15  Haines A74

French 60: French and Francophone Colonial and Postcolonial Novel

Instructor: Dominic Thomas

This course will examine translations of francophone novels and short-stories published during the colonial and postcolonial eras, and includes films. Issues explored: colonial history, anti-colonial resistance, gender relations, immigration, racism, and political commitment. Authors: Camara Laye, Ferdinand Oyono, Mariama Bâ, Azouz Begag, and Faïza Guène. Taught in English.

MW 9:30-10:45   Dodd 162

German 116: Twentieth Century German Philosophy

Instructor: John McCumber

This course will survey high points in the tormented, but enormously influential, development of German philosophy in the Twentieth Century. We will begin by looking at Edmund Husserl’s critical response to the last great German philosopher of the 19th Century, Friedrich Nietzsche (whom Husserl rarely actually mentions). That response consisted in the development of a “rigorous science” founded upon what Husserl calls phenomenology, which is the description of fundamental traits of human experience. Much as German thinkers in the 19th Century (such as Hegel and Schiller) had “historicized” Kant by viewing his account ot the human mind as the product of history—and so as changeable—Heidegger “historicizes” Husserl. In so doing, however, he falls into the exact trap Husserl was trying to avoid, that of irrationalism. We will conclude with the first generation of critical theorists (primarily Adorno and Horkheimer), who attempt to free philosophy rom Heidegger’s irrationalism by introducing a type of dialectical thought which avoids, they claim, Marx’s own metaphysics.

Evaluation: one short paper (7-10 pp.) on an assigned topic, due Thursday of Week VI; one final term paper (10-15 pp.) due in class on the last day (topics for this paper should be selected after consultation with instructor). Students desiring an extension must notify the instructor.

Taught in English.

TR 11-12:15    Online LA

German 159: German Cultural Studies: Germany Before and After Unification

Instructor: Yasemin Yildiz

Contemporary Germany is still deeply shaped by the aftermath of the postwar division into East and West and the particular manner in which the process of unification unfolded. To understand current debates, conflicts, and transformations, it is thus useful to revisit these moments.


Using a wide range of materials—from documentaries, news footage, and cartoons, to first-person testimony, interviews, and literary works—we will investigate the periods before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall from diverse perspectives. Three basic questions will serve as entryways into larger issues:1. What was everyday life in East Germany like? 2. What actually happened right before and after the Berlin Wall fell? 3. How has unification impacted different groups? Besides learning about and engaging with the topic at hand, the primary goal of the class is to develop your German reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. To this end, the course is conducted entirely in German. Throughout the course, I will provide a variety of materials and exercises to aid your comprehension, and will incorporate targeted grammar review and vocabulary building as well as opportunities for creative language learning. Taught in German.

Prerequisite: German 152 or 153 or permission of the instructor.

Please contact me at if you have any questions.

MW 2-3:15  Haines A74

German 61A: Modern Metropolis: Berlin

Instructor: Yasemin Yildiz

Cultural, political, architectural, and urban history of one of most vibrant and significant cities in world. Exploration of city over 800 years, using innovative mapping tools to understand how Berlin evolved from fortified mercantile town into global city. Taught in English.

(TA discussion sections on Friday)

MW 11-12:15       Dodd 170

Italian 121: Literature and Film

Instructor: Robert Rushing

This quarter, we will look at four different ways that literature and film might explore, analyze and challenge the world we live in, predominantly through the key of the fantastic: the city (Calvino’s Invisible Cities and The Great Beauty), the self (Strangers I Know and N-Capace), the environment (The Iguana and The Four Times), and lastly, what Italians call italianità or “Italianness,” focusing on contemporary Black Italian explorations of Italian identity (Scego’s novel Adua and the Netflix series Zero). What is unusual for a class on literature and film, however, is that none of these literary or cinematic texts is an adaptation of any of the others (indeed, only Zero is an adaptation from a literary source); one of the tasks of the class is not only to understand these beautiful and strange works of Italian imagination, but to also understand the “ideology of adaptation” that underpins the relationship between literature and film — why we usually assume cinematic adaptations are at best equal to their literary counterparts. A take-home midterm, occasional quizzes and one 5-7 page paper at the end of the class. No knowledge of Italian required.

TR 9:30-10:45  Royce 152

Italian 125: Italian through Opera

Instructor: Robert Rushing

In questo corso, faremo un ripasso di quasi 400 anni dell’opera lirica italiana, dalle sue origini nel Seicento alle opere d’oggi, dagli esempi più famosi (AidaIl barbiere di Siviglia) a quelli che meritano un prestigio più ampio (La liberazione di RuggieroSilent City). L’opera rappresenta un contributo alla cultura mondiale, e un modo per capire la cultura italiana — e anche un modo per imparare la lingua italiana. Questo trimestre, vedremo le opere, ne parleremo, e scriverete una specie di “diario operatico” (ci sarà anche un esame e un esame finale). Bisogna venire regolarmente, ben preparati (avendo guardato attentamente le opere, avendo letto il materiale), disposti a parlare e discutere.

Benvenuti al mondo dell’opera lirica italiana!

TR 12:30-1:45      Royce 152

Scandinavian 138: Vikings

Instructor: Kimberly Ball

Survey of history, anthropology, and archaeology of Scandinavian societies in the Viking Age (circa 800–1100 CE), with an emphasis on overseas raiding, trading, and settlement.  We will consider the impact of Vikings on Europe and beyond, as well as the depiction of Vikings in sagas and other post-Viking-Age sources.  Readings draw mainly on medieval texts, with some secondary material.  Fulfills the GE requirement for “Historical Analysis” or for “Social Analysis,” under the foundation of “Society and Culture.”  Taught in English.

TR 9:30-10:45    Dodd 78

Scandinavian 60: Introduction to Nordic Cinema

Instructor: Patrick Wen

Scandinavian 60 provides undergraduates with a broad introductory overview of the cinematic traditions of the Nordic countries. Surveying a wide range of films, we will familiarize ourselves with several significant threads running throughout the history of Nordic film, while simultaneously building the necessary tools with which to write effectively about film narrative. We will also provide an historical and theoretical framework for our understanding of Nordic cinema by reading several relevant texts touching on issues such as globalization, immigration, Dogme 95 and feminist film theory.

Online AS

Scandinavian C133A: Saga

Instructor: Kimberly Ball

Sagas are prose narrative texts written (largely) in Old Norse, in Iceland, in the 13th and 14th centuries, but thought to have some basis in oral traditions of the Viking Age and earlier. We will read examples of some of the different subgenres of sagas (legendary sagas, sagas of Icelanders, kings’ sagas, chivalric sagas, etc.) in English translation, considering them within their historic and cultural contexts.  Taught in English.

TR 12:30-1:45      Kaplan A26