Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • AD - Arts & Design

Typically offered:


This course will use the theme of the journey to select French language films for study that span the history of filmmaking. We will use these films and accompanying readings to study the ideas of crossing cultures and geographies (real or imagined). Particular focus will be given to films which look at events and themes which are historically and culturally important for the regions in which we will be studying. This portion of the class is designed to help students understand the new contexts in which they find themselves.

Students will also explore the form and nature of the illustrated travel journal, or carnet de voyage, and create a personal record of their travel abroad. We will survey the illustrated travel journal as an art, and as a record of cultural interaction through historic and contemporary examples shown in class, and through first-hand observation in museums and other cultural institutions in France. Readings will include criticism pertaining to representations of culture. This portion of the class is designed to enable students to reflect on changes in themselves as they adapt to new locations and circumstances.

Additionally, each student will choose a term-long research topic; they will process and share their research through several short papers and a final in-class presentation. Research can be related to a particular filmmaker or artist, an historical event or series of events of cultural importance, or a cultural concept such as collaboration, laïcité, or terroir. Vichy’s extensive Médiathèque Valery Larbaud, Clermont-Ferrand’s La Jetée (research library/archive of cinema materials, particularly related to the short film), and Paris’ Cinémathèque française are examples of some of the places in which this research will occur.

Class participants will be given technical guidance as needed on their projects and will share their work during in-progress and final critiques. Students will be required to create a copy of their work in final form for submission and evaluation. Evaluation will be based on participation in class discussions and activities, and in the thoroughness, level of thought, creativity, and artistry in their multiple projects.


Instructor permission; students who take this course must also be enrolled in the Immersion Program in French Language and Culture.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.