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French Language, Literature, and Culture

Why Study French?

Salut !

The French program at Syracuse is committed to preparing students for the challenges of a multi-cultural world. We offer a major and minor program in French and Francophone literatures, an exposure to the European Community through SU Abroad in Strasbourg, a Romance languages major, and a graduate M.A. degree, all designed to enhance the linguistic and cultural fluency of our students. As one of the world’s great literatures, such diverse writers as Montaigne, Descartes, Madame de Lafayette, Voltaire, Rousseau, Rimbaud, Simone de Beauvoir, and Camus were instrumental in shaping Europe’s Republic of Letters, just as its philosophes laid the foundation for the French republic and its defense of human rights. Courses in French also interrogate the notion of “frenchness” in such former colonies as North Africa, the Caribbean, south Asia, and Quebec, and courses in cultural studies and cinema present France’s leadership in the arts, politics, and poetics. Finally, to study French is to savor Paris, its arched bridges and Gothic towers standing virtually unchanged since Victor Hugo wrote his great novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. The city’s flower stands, bookstalls and antique shops along the river Seine remind us that cities such as Paris beckon with their ageless charm. Still, Strasbourg is the headquarters of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the Court of Human Rights, all serving the united Europe of the twenty-first century. Our offerings in French reflect both its heritage and its commitment to cultural production stretching well into the future.

French Picture 1

Le déjeuner en plein air à Paris

French Picture 2

La cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

French Picture 3

Devant le Parlement européen

French Picture 4

Le Moulin rouge à Paris

French Picture 5

Devant le pont entre Strasbourg et Kehl

French Picture 6

Une fête limousine en Corrèze