Bachelor of Arts in French and Francophone Studies
In small, seminar-style classes, we teach you not only to express yourself clearly in written and oral French, but to appreciate and interpret the language and cultures of the French and Francophone world, both past and present.
In addition to organizing lectures and film series, we host scholars and artists from French-speaking countries around the world. We encourage you to study abroad.
Because all our classes are taught in French, we offer language instruction at a variety of levels to meet students' individual needs. We even offer individual language instruction within each course.
We can help you tailor a course of study that corresponds to your strengths, needs and aspirations—including incorporating a second major, as many of our students do. Romance Studies is truly interdisciplinary, and includes affiliated faculty from other departments. Our proximity to Montreal makes it easy for you to enjoy the occasional French immersion weekend.
And then there's Boston itself—a living classroom and an important center of French culture. Boston is home to the French Consulate General of France and the French Library and Cultural Center, both of which offer a rich array of cultural opportunities, from concerts, films and theatre to French clubs and social networking.
Academics and Research
Our faculty will work closely with you on special projects and internships, and many will involve you in their own research.
In the fall of your senior year, you may write a 20-to-30-page essay in English or in French on the subject of your choice, pending approval. You may apply for permission to expand your work into an honors thesis in the spring. Recent titles of student essays and theses include "Honoré Daumier and the Theater," "The Body in Middle Ages and Renaissance Poetry," "OuLiPo-Perec-Queneau" and "Descartes and Modern French Philosophy."
Student and Faculty Excellence
The faculty in French and Francophone Studies are scholars as well as teachers. Recent accomplishments in scholarship include:
Professor Catherine Theobald has recently published two articles on questions of identity, viewing and pleasure in the engravings of the first-edition of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Julie, ou la Nouvelle Héloise.
Professor Hollie Harder has recently published articles on Romanticism in Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu and on Romantic transgression in Michel Houllebecq’s Soumission.
Professor Michael Randall has recent publications in journals in France and the US on the notion of good deceit in French Renaissance writers Marguerite de Navarre and Michel de Montaigne.
Professor Emeritus of French and Francophone Studies Edward Kaplan recently published "Abraham Joshua Heschel: Une Biographie," about the professor, rabbi, theologian and activist.
We sponsor the Murray Sachs Prize for Outstanding Work and Dedication in French and Francophone Studies and the Anna S. Aronson Memorial Award, given to a student with outstanding promise in French and Francophone Studies.
Internships and Networking
Boston is home to the French Consulate General of France and the French Library and Cultural Center, both of which work with our program to offer internships.
We encourage you to study abroad in French-speaking countries—not only during your junior year, but during the summer after your freshman year. Our students have honed their speaking and writing skills, not to mention their cultural awareness, in Switzerland, Morocco, Mali, Senegal, Madagascar and, of course, France, Switzerland and Belgium.
Join the Brandeis French and Francophone Club to practice your French language skills. Open to all levels of language competency.
Careers, Graduate Study and Alumni
Our graduates have gone on to work for the Peace Corps in Francophone countries and to teach in French government schools and for Teach for America. Still others have pursued careers in the Foreign Service and in the areas of international development, international business, consulting, communications and museum administration.
Many French and Francophone Studies majors go on to earn graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines and/or pursue a career in academia.
Michael Pizziferri ’15 recently became director of operations and global education programs at WorldBoston, a convener on international topics affecting Boston and the world since 1949.
Other recent graduates have gone on to positions such as professor of French at the University of Virginia; actress, teacher and founder of Into this City International Foreign Language School in New York City; Iran analyst at the Brookings Institution; program coordinator for the Global Libraries Project in Romania and Ukraine; advocacy and education associate for the Landmine Survivors Network in Washington, D.C.; director of marketing and public relations for the Cambridge Arts Council; production designer for film, TV and theater in Hollywood; and attorney at Bryan Cave LLP in Chicago.