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French & Francophone Studies

Kohlberg Hall

Department Overview

In French and Francophone Studies, you will learn French and acquire global competence in the Francophone world. You are introduced to modern France and a variety of French-speaking countries such as Algeria, Belgium, Haiti, and Senegal. You can develop an in-depth critical and comparative understanding of  the textual, filmic, and cultural productions of each of these regions. Our courses also pay careful attention to the major historical, social, and political developments that have shaped France, and its former colonies, thus providing an opportunity to understand the forces underlying these various cultures, literatures, and films. You will also expand your knowledge of the diversity of French-speaking countries.  In our program, you can explore interests as diverse as critical theory, film studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, or the Islamic world, and work directly with primary sources in their original language.

Studying French gives you access to an exciting and broad intellectual tradition, offers a unique perspective on vibrant cultures, and aims to build a cross-cultural understanding with the goal of educating global citizens better able to participate in an increasingly interconnected world. Over 200 million people speak French...why don't you?

Paris, France
Mausoleé de Sidi El Houari, Oran, Algérie
Stravinksky Fountain at the Pompidou Center, Paris, France
Paris, France
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Upcoming French Events

Wednesday, April 4, 7-9 PM in the Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall

Stéphane Martelly

Meet Our Students

Listen to students share their perspectives on studying French at Swarthmore.



Charlie Hebdo - Vous n'êtes pas Charlie 

Pour pouvoir parler de l'attentat du 8 janvier 2015 dans les locaux de l'hebdomadaire satirique «Charlie-Hebdo», vos professeurs de français suggèrent cet ensemble de textes en français et en anglais. Ils ne représentent pas forcément nos opinions, mais ces textes offrent des réactions, des avis divers, des positions prises, un peu d'histoire et surtout des sujets de réflexion...


French Language Table

Join the conversation at the French Language Table!  The French section will hold the Language Table remotely during the semester on Thursdays from 1:15 pm to 2:00 pm.  Enjoy chatting in French with classmates, native speakers, and professors.  If you would like to join us, please send a message to the section AA, Sue McCarthy, at to receive a Zoom invitation link.  Thanks, and hope to see you there!

French language table

Language Center

The Language Center provides resources to enhance the study of foreign language, literature, and culture at Swarthmore College. Students have access to audio/video materials required for foreign language classes. The lab's resources include 12 Macbook Pros, 8 iMacs, an extensive library of foreign films, video cameras, and audio recorders. The space is a unique, adaptable, multimedia-friendly place to study, practice and develop language skills. 

Learn More

Choose a Language Program