French

  • Degree Type Bachelor of Arts
  • Department Romance Languages
  • Academic Division The College
  • Offerings Major Minor

A castle in France A castle in France

French majors at W&L learn to speak the language fluently, explore the history and culture of French speakers through coursework and study abroad, and gain expertise by reading and analyzing French texts from the medieval to the post-colonial periods.

French

Recent students have taken positions teaching in France or working in finance, business, accounting and other fields; others have gone on to competitive graduate programs in French language and history.

Completing the World Language FDR

One of the Foundation and Distribution Requirements at W&L is proficiency in a world language. The Romance Languages Department offers coursework towards language proficiency in French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. 

Opportunities 

Romance Languages is affiliated with study abroad programs in most of Spanish America, Portugal and Brazil, Italy, Spain, France and Francophone Africa. An extended study abroad experience sets students on the road to linguistic and cultural fluency and is strongly encouraged by our faculty. Students in French have many opportunities to study abroad. Recent students have studied in Toulouse, Paris, Dakar and Montpellier.

Back in Lexington, language tables such as Table française meet twice a week and are a great way for students to practice languages with W&L’s native teaching assistants and faculty. Students in French are also involved in the Francophone Student Organization, whose aim is to educate the W&L community about French-speaking communities all over the world.

Other opportunities include annual dramatic performances in French and Spanish, Romance Languages Poetry Night and the National Symposium on Theater in Academe.

Students are encouraged to participate in our honors program, which allows engagement in original research with a faculty member on a topic of interest. Completed projects are invaluable assets for graduate or professional school.

Mohamad Kamara

Department Head

Alex Williams

Administrative Assistant

News


W&L’s Tess Deyerle ’24 Selected for Teaching Assistant Program in France

Deyerle will teach English to French public school students before pursuing a career in special education.

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Washington and Lee Names Four Faculty Members to Endowed Professorships

These faculty have been recognized for their outstanding teaching, scholarship and service to the university.

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W&L’s Kristina Roney Receives Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award

The assistant professor of French will utilize the scholarship to perform research in Paris.

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W&L French Professor Publishes New Book

Mohamed Kamara’s book titled “Colonial Legacies in Francophone African Literature” hits bookshelves Dec. 15.

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LaKeisha Fleming '95

The Art Of: The Narrative

Writer and director LaKeisha Fleming ’95 is the founder of Vision 2:2 Productions.

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Moving Fast with Meta

Collin Frazey ’23 spent his summer working for Meta's intellectual property team in the heart of Silicon Valley.

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Margaret Witkofsky '24

Summer in the City

Margaret Witkofsky '24 is researching grants for the city of Lexington, Virginia through her internship with the Office of Community-Based Learning.

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Toulouse France

Three W&L students Awarded Positions in the Teaching Assistant Program in France

Three members of the Class of 2022 will spend seven months in the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) teaching English to public school.

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David Galvez

W&L’s David Gálvez ’22 Awarded Fulbright to France

Galvez has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to France, where he will teach English to secondary school students and serve as a cultural ambassador for the United States.

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Program Spotlight: Center for International Education – Study Abroad

Approximately 70% of students participate in an abroad program during their time at W&L.

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Olivia Lamb '21

W&L’s Lamb ’21 Awarded Place in Teaching Assistant Program in France

The program offers participants the opportunity to work in France for seven months, teaching English to French students of all ages.

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Kristina M. Roney, visiting assistant professor of French at Washington and Lee University.

W&L’s Roney Named Finance Officer for Society for French Historical Studies

Kristina M. Roney, visiting assistant professor of French at W&L, was recently named the incoming finance officer for the SFHS, a three-year term that places her on the society’s Executive Committee.

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Sample Courses

At W&L, we believe education and experience go hand-in-hand. You’ll be encouraged to dive in, explore and discover connections that will broaden your perspective.

FREN 111-164

French (Elementary-Adv. Intermediate)

French courses at W&L begin with an emphasis on listening comprehension and speaking, with gradual introduction of reading and writing. Intermediate French comprises extensive grammar review with acquisition of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in the classroom, while Advanced French covers reading and composition skills, with extensive practice in speaking and listening. Students are also acquainted with French life and culture.

FREN 261

Conversation & Composition

Further development of conversational skills and beginning work in free composition, with systematic grammar review and word study in various relevant cultural contexts.

FREN 280

French Civilization & Culture

A study of significant aspects of culture and civilization in francophone countries. Topics may include: contemporary Africa, pre-colonial Africa, West Indian history and culture, and Canadian contemporary issues. Readings, discussion and papers in French further promote the development of communication skills.

FREN 332

Theater, Poetry & Rock 'n' Roll

An exploration of the connections and synergies between various works of modern and avant-garde French theater, poetry and popular music in the 20th and 21st centuries, from surrealism to the absurd to the postmodern. We journey through the magical worlds of Paul Eluard to Fernando Arrabal's theater of cruelty to French hip hop and the dramas of Eric Emmanuel Schmidt.

FREN 285

Contemporary France Through Film

Taught in Toulouse, this course introduces students to the most important issues in modern French society, including immigration, university life, social justice, art, culture and gastronomy. An integral part of the course is connecting the issues examined through film with the urban and social fabric of Toulouse. During their stay in Toulouse, students are also enrolled in an intensive grammar-review course taught by a French professor, accommodating a variety of linguistic levels. Students live with host families and go on two different excursions, to Albi and Carcassonne.

FREN 397

France Under Nazi Occupation

A close examination of life in France under Nazi occupation (1940-44), through documents, texts, songs and films, and of its effect on memory, institutions, political life and French arts. Students study documents and analyses, alone and in groups; reflect on the ethical and strategic choices facing the authorities and individual citizens; and confront their interpretations in class discussions.

Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.

Mohamed Kamara
Mohamed Kamara

Mohamed Kamara

Department Chair and Professor of Romance Languages; Campus Muslim Student Advisor

Professor Kamara holds degrees in French, English and Secondary Education. He teaches French courses in the Department of Romance Languages and also teaches in the university’s Africana Studies Program. As faculty advisor to campus Muslim students and the W&L African Society, he is a member of the Religious Staff in the Office of Inclusion and Engagement.

Matthew Bailey
Matthew Bailey

Matthew Bailey

Professor of Romance Languages

Bailey teaches Spanish language, culture and literature. His research interests include medieval Spanish literature and culture, and more specifically, medieval epic narrative.

Curriculum Vitae

Dick Kuettner
Dick Kuettner

Dick Kuettner

Adjunct Professor of Romance Languages and Teacher Education; Director, Global Discovery Laboratories

In addition to his responsibilities at the Ruscio Center for Global Learning, Kuettner teaches courses on teaching methods for world languages.

Stephen P. McCormick
Stephen P. McCormick

Stephen P. McCormick

Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Associate Professor of French and Italian

McCormick heads W&L's Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program and teaches courses on French language and culture. He also supervises the French study abroad program. He has researched old French epic and medieval/early modern Italian cartography.

Dominica Radulescu
Dominica Radulescu

Dominica Radulescu

Edwin A. Morris Professor of Comparative Literature

Radulescu teaches upper-level French and Francophone literature, theater, and the representations of women, gender, and sexuality in literature. She researches feminist theater and is an award-winning novelist/playwright.

Website

Kristina Roney
Kristina Roney

Kristina Roney

Assistant Professor of French

Matthew Bailey
Dick Kuettner
Stephen P. McCormick
Dominica Radulescu
Kristina Roney
Mohamed Kamara