The French Program offers a wide range of courses on French and Francophone literature, history, philosophy, and film. We take an interdisciplinary approach, stressing the relations among the aesthetic, the political, and the ethical. Students who take courses in the department have the chance to work with outstanding teachers and scholars in small seminars and design their own program of study

On the undergraduate level, students can choose to either major or minor in French and Francophone literature and culture. They also have the opportunity to double major in French and International Studies by receiving double credit for two upper-division courses.

Majors, minors, and double majors are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to study in France for a summer, a semester, or a year at one of the several centers run by the Education Abroad Program.

The Francophone World - A new focus in French & International Studies. Students may count two courses in French toward both a French major and an International Studies major. (Click Here for Brochure)

On the graduate level (currently suspended), we have designed our graduate program to be as flexible as possible, in order to allow students to customize their coursework and their M.A. and Ph.D examinations to fit their own intellectual interests. We have few fixed requirements for the degree, in order to allow each student's course of study to be shaped in consultation with faculty mentors selected by the student. We encourage students to take advantage of one of the interdisciplinary emphases we offer with Comparative Literature, Critical Theory, and Women's Studies.

Graduate students have the chance to do research in Paris for a year, either with the support of a fellowship, as a participant in the exchange program we have instituted with University of Paris X (Nanterre), or as a graduate tutor with the UC Education Abroad Program in Paris.

The Undergraduate Program in French offers a broad humanistic course of study designed for students in the liberal arts. The orientation of the program is multidisciplinary, where the study of literature is linked to critical, cultural, and historical concerns. Courses reflect the faculty's interest in the related disciplines of history, philosophy, anthropology, women's studies, cultural studies, postcolonial theory and comparative literature, and express its conviction that the study of French literature and culture is enriched by pursuing its relations with other disciplines, fields, and cultures.

Lower-division language courses encourage students to participate in the creative process of language, to think in French as they learn to understand, speak, read, and write. These courses are taught entirely in French, and the approach to teaching stresses the interdependence of the four basic language skills and makes them mutually reinforcing.

At the intermediate lower-division level, texts of contemporary literary and social interest provide the focus for advanced conversation, reading, and composition. After the second year, advanced courses in conversation and writing enable students to attain a greater degree of proficiency, preparing them for further study in the multidisciplinary upper-division program.

All upper-division offerings are taught in the seminar mode. Because classes are limited in size, they promote and encourage participation and discussion and facilitate direct contact with professors. In the introductory courses in literature, complete texts are studied in their historical context. The student learns to analyze and interpret different types of creative literature and is introduced to various critical concepts and vocabularies. At the more advanced level, the multidisciplinary courses bring together material and methodologies from the various disciplines in order to address interpretive problems of French literature, culture, and history.The content of these courses changes yearly according to the interests of both faculty and students.

In addition to these courses, the French program offers to its undergraduate students a series of extra-curricular activities: French plays and movies, lectures and group discussions on French culture and society as well as a weekly French table organized by the Graduate students.

Study Abroad

Students in French are encouraged to spend from one quarter to a full academic year in a French university. Through the Education Abroad Program (EAP), UCI participates in several exchange programs with major French schools and universities in the following cities: Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Grenoble and Lyon.

As part of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the University of California, the Study Abroad Center (CIE) also helps students to find internships, summer programs, and volunteering opportunities in France.


Maxime Bey-Rozet
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Assistant Professor of European Languages and Studies; French Core Faculty
Interests: Extreme cinemas, 20th century French literature and culture, French cinema and television, trauma studies, industry studies, memory studies



Laura Klein
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Lecturer, French



Christophe Litwin
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Associate Professor of European Languages and Studies; French Core Faculty; German Joint Faculty; M.A. in European Thought and Culture Core Faculty



Catherine Malabou
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Professor of Comparative Literature and European Languages and Studies; French Core Faculty; German Joint Faculty; M.A. in European Thought and Culture Core Faculty
Interests: German Idealism, Contemporary French Philosophy, Critical Theory, Neurobiology, Epigenetics



Maryse Mijalski
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Sr. Lecturer in French and Director of the French Language Program
Interests: Second Language Teaching & Learning, Telecollaboration, Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence



Ghada Mourad 
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Lecturer, French
Interests: French and Francophone studies, postcolonial Francophone North African literature, Senegalese cinema, Arabic literature, modernity, decoloniality, political dissent through non-normative gender expressions, translation practice and studies.



Ann Billiaert Rosen 
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Lecturer, French
Interests: 20th-century French literature, decolonization; 20th-century Latin American literature (PhD), the Latin American detective novel, re-presentation of the Body in 20th- and 21st-century Latin American literature; language and culture of francophone countries



Anaïs Tisserand
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Nanterre Lecturer, French
Interests: Immigration, diaspora studies, Chicana feminism, second language teaching


Van Den Abbeele

Georges Van Den Abbeele
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Professor Comparative Literature, English, European Languages and Studies; French Core Faculty
Interests: French and European philosophical literature, travel narrative and tourism/migration studies; critical theory and aesthetics


French Studies


1. On Campus

  • Humanities Out There (HOT) - Students are also encouraged to participate in the service learning program, Humanities Out There, an educational partnership between UCI's School of Humanities and the Santa Ana Unified School District. HOT strives to "create a new community of scholar-citizens united by shared values of intellectual inquiry, action through creativity, and civic inclusiveness." Graduate students lead groups of undergraduates and develop curriculum for K-12 classrooms. Research shows that graduate students in the humanities who have participated in this program have a 100% rate of job placement in institutions of higher learning.
  • Humanities Research Institute - Housed on the UC-Irvine campus, the UCHRI provides a unique experience for UCI graduate students,making accessible lectures by distinguished professors from all throughout the UC system and beyond.
  • Reading Groups and Works-in-Progress - Graduate students may want to take advantage of the many Reading Groups generated by faculty and graduate students. The Cross-Campus Francophone Reading Group gathers together anthropologists and students of literature to discuss the theories of diaspora, transnationalism, and hybridity. The graduate students of the Department of Comparative Literature regularly present works-in-progress at casual gatherings in the homes of different faculty members. Students are encouraged to initiate reading groups and workshops in their area of interest.
  • School of Humanities - The home page of the School of Humanities.
  • The Critical Theory Emphasis - The Emphasis offers a certification in Critical Theory as well as courses every term on theoretical controversies;it also hosts a series of exciting speakers, conferences, and workshops open to graduate students campus-wide.
  • The Department of Comparative Literature - Graduate Students may pursue an Emphasis in Comparative Literature by studying with professors renowned for their critical interventions in the fields of cultural studies, psychoanalysis, rhetoric, early modern studies, and film & new media.
  • The Department of Women's Studies - Graduate Students may also pursue a Women's Studies Emphasis through a department that has been central to the project of interrogating the links between gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. The Department of Women's Studies is also known for examining gender through the lens of transnationalism, and maintains close ties to Anthropology and Sociology.
  • UCI Home Page - For general information on the University of California at Irvine, please consult the UCI Homepage and the homepage for the School of Humanities.


2. UCI Library

  • French Library Resources - UCI possesses one of the best collections of books in French and on French and francophone literature in the United States. If the Langson Library does not have the volume, it can be quickly accessed by Interlibrary loan from anywhere within the UC system (or beyond) within a matter of days. Unique to UCI is the Special Collection in Critical Theory. Housed in this collection are the manuscripts of Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, and others. Graduate students are welcome to use this excellent resource. The California Digital Library contains on-line books and journals and a variety of links to other collections. UCI also subscribes to the ARTFL Project, a resource administered by the University of Chicago providing access to an extraordinary number of French texts on line. Students might also want to consult The Voice of the Shuttle, a website for humanities research, as well as the MLA Bibliography, an invaluable resource for conducting research on literature and the arts.
  • Library Home Page


3. California Digital Library