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  • Department Website
  • Courses/Requirements
A Sampling:

FRN-300. Modern France/La France Actuelle
Studies of contemporary French culture through authentic material, texts, films, radio and television broadcasts dealing with historical, political, sociological and aesthetic issues.

Studies in the French Caribbean Exploration of how French colonialism has informed artistic expression in the French Antilles.

Studies in Francophone North America: Quebec Cultural, literary and linguistic expressions from the province of Quebec in the historical and social context of the French-speaking Americas.

The Writers of Romanticism Writers of personal and imaginative prose, poetry and drama following the French Revolution.

Sex Lives and Videotape: Casting Sexuality in French and Francophone Film (cross-listed with MLT-212) Analysis and critique of films whose focus is the "sexual orientation" of its characters.

Studies in the French Theater Studies of French-language theatrical texts and performances from the classical period to the present.

The 20th Century Novel Exploration of significant writings from 20th century France that have been considered scandalous and scandal-making.

Histoire de la danse, Danse de l’histoire / History of Dance, Dance of History (cross-listed with MLT-211, ADA-153) Examination of Western European dance and dance texts as revelatory of broader historical and cultural patterns.

West African Oral Literature (cross-listed with MLT-213) West-African oral genres with a focus on tales and epics in their form and ideologies.

British Literature in Historical Context: The Age of Heroes
The literature of the Anglo-Saxon era, which, despite (or perhaps because of) successive waves of foreign invasion and political disunity, developed arguably the most distinctive and sophisticated culture in early medieval Europe

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Silliman 204
807 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12308
(518) 388-6211
Term abroad program in Rennes, France
Term abroad program in Rennes, France

French & Francophone Studies

See where Union takes you:
  • Visiting Research Associate, Keio University, Tokyo
  • Marketing and Communications Project Manager, Jayne Agency
  • Associate Professor of French, Villanova University
  • Graduate Student, NYU
  • Practice Development Asia Lead, Ropes & Gray LLP, Hong Kong
  • Educator, Teach for America
  • Art Instructor, Boston Museum of Fine Arts
  • Digital Account Manager NBC Universal
  • Research Assistant, RPI
  • Tour Consultant, ACIS Educational Tours
Study Abroad
Explore, Experience, Engage
Mouseover to change map:
  • Rennes, France
    This university town is known for its fascinating mixture of French and Celtic cultures.
  • Martinique
    Improve your French and learn about the culture and history of this Caribbean island.
  • Senegal
    The westernmost point in Africa is a crossroad between the Middle East and Europe.
International Programs Office» Union Abroad Map»

Did you know that French is unique among the modern languages of the world in its influence on English? Our classes will help you understand French's many contributions to world cultures.

 Stefanie Charles ’12

"My term abroad in Rennes was incredibly enriching. I became immersed in French culture, language, cinema, politics and history. I had great support from my Union French professor and my host family. As a result, I am more globally aware and understand the importance of getting to know another culture."

Stefanie Charles '12

French is the official language of more than 140 million people, including residents of Quebec, located just a four-hour drive from Union.

French speakers and Francophone cultures contribute greatly to our diverse and interconnected world. As we study figures from Rousseau to Sartre, from Hugo to Simone de Beauvoir, from Truffaut to Césaire, you will see that Union offers a variety of French courses tailored for language competency, cultural proficiency and critical thinking.

As a Union College French and Francophone Studies major, you will interact with a talented pool of professors who know your name (in two languages!) and be part of an exciting academic program that encompasses language, culture and literature courses.

From our basic and intermediate language courses to our upper-level courses including a Senior Project, we examine a broad spectrum of French and Francophone topics including women’s and gender studies, theater, literature and cinema. Our classes emphasize the importance of global awareness as a key element of 21st century life.

To develop and maintain your linguistic skills and cultural proficiency, you live with host families abroad or in a language-oriented theme house on campus. You can participate in French Club activities and French Table, and attend presentations throughout the academic year by renowned speakers, poets, artists and performers.

French is the only language other than English named as an official language on five continents. Unique alongside English, French is also the official working language of worldwide organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee and International Red Cross. Knowledge of French is invaluable for international business and law, diplomacy, journalism and many other fields.