French 250 Course Syllabus
Maymester (May 11-29)

French 250 - France Today: The French People and Their Culture (3 credits), 10:45am-1:45pm in H417. 2009 UTM Maymester [CREN 30089, under "Summer" in Banner].  No prerequisites-taught in English-all resources in English. Instructor: Prof. TennesseeBob Peckham [office: H427E, tel.: 881-7424, email:].


    Nadeau, Jean-Benoit and Julie Barlow. Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French. Naperville, Illinois:    
    Sourcebooks, Inc., 2003.

    Course web site: [using "learning objects" to go with the book]

    French films: "Le Gone du Chaâba" and "L'Auberge Espagnole" (both with English subtitles)

    Two essays or short stories written by Franco-Canadian and Franco-African authors (TBA)

GOAL: This course, among the choices under "Humanities Curriculum Requirements" the UTM Catalog, proposes "an interdisciplinary study of the French people today, with emphasis on their life-styles, customs, mentality, and overall culture. Discussion and analysis of current trends in French politics, education, media, religion, and literature and the arts (including popular culture and cultural iconography) especially as they illustrate important cultural values and attitudes, comparing them often with our own. Critical consideration of France's cultural influence on selected areas of the francophone world (e.g., sub-Saharan Africa and Quebec).

OBJECTIVES: To use the exploration of contemporary French society by a pair of prize-winning Canadian journalists on a funded research stay in France (Institute of Current World Affairs) in understanding what it is about the character, values situation, culture, history, institutions, of the French that causes us to give French people such a mixed review. We will see how a country as linguistically diversified as France is able to present a unity image through policy statements and a publication, Le Journal Officiel.Through our web site's "learning objects" students will be able to extend their contact with the French beyond the covers of the book, while remaining within Nadeau and Barlow's range of topics.  We will further extend our understanding of the French by seeing what role they play in and attitudes they have toward Imigration from places like North Africa,  their relations with the European Union and La Francophonie (other French-speaking parts of the world). Finally, we will look at their former and present influence in Tennessee.

STRATEGIES: are examplified in the "Lesson List" below, where chapters refer to the book Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong...  I will create a questionnaire to promote discussion, and illustrate brief moments of lecture with audio and video media from a variety of sources. Students are expected to participate in online discussion with at least three entries a week in our email list.
We will also watch two French films with English subtitles and read an essay or short story from Quebec and one from a French-speaking West African country while we are addressing the topic of La Francophonie.

LESSON LIST  (See Learning Objects)

May 11: course introduction, French geography and demography
May 12: ch. 1 & ch. 2
May 13: ch. 3 & ch. 4
May 14: ch. 5 & ch. 6
May 15: ch. 7 & ch. 8, review test 1

May 18: ch. 9 & 10, Rai and related music, "beur" culture,
May 19: ch. 11 & 12
May 20: ch. 13 & 14
May 21: ch. 15 & 16
May 22: ch. 17 & 18

May 25: Memorial Day (no class)
May 26: ch. 19 & 20, test 2
May 27: ch. 20 & 21, "L'Auberge espagnole" (film)
May 28: ch. 22 & 23, "L'Auberge espagnole" (film)
May 29: The French-Speaking World, test 3

GRADE DETERMINATION: Each of 3 tests is worth 250 points. Class participation and assignments are worth 250 points for a total of 1000 points.

CLASS ATTENDANCE: Attendance in this course is required, and roll is taken every day. Unexcused absences reduce your final attendance and participation grade by 50 points (out of 1000) each per day. Students will be allowed one unexcused absence before being penalized.

HOPE SCHOLARS (lottery): Please understand that work and performance expectations for you are that you maintain a minimum enrollment and the appropriate GPA, detailed in Tennessee Lottery (HOPE) Scholarship Information, under " TLS Policies and Procedures Acknowledgement Form". This scholarship is a privilege granted to you, based on your past performance, but it is also based on the state's expectation that you will continue performing well. You are expected to work and perform along side of other students who do not have a scholarship at risk. In this course, you will have lots of help, but it is entirely up to you to take advantage of it; nobody will push you to make that decision.

GENERAL & ETHICAL EXPECTATIONS:  We expect students to demonstrate a solid work ethic, and to conduct themselves as ladies and gentlemen, with special attention given to the "Standards of Conduct" and "Academic Integrity" sections of

    The University of Tennessee at Martin Student Handbook (latest edition)

    as a base-line minimum for their behavior. Anything else is unacceptable to this instructor.

HELP! Be honest with yourself and with me. If you have difficulty in this course, use your resource materials, and contact me ASAP. I want you to succeed.