French Language and Literature
The French language and literature collection supports the instructional
and research needs and personal interests of Dartmouth College
undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty, as well as other users
within and beyond the college community.
This policy seeks primarily to support the curriculum of the French and
Italian Department providing coverage of French language, literature,
linguistics and civilization, semiotics, Francophone Studies and
literary theory and criticism as applied to this literature.
However, the library's collections in the previously mentioned areas
also support interdisciplinary and interdepartamental programs including
, African and
African American Studies
, Liberal Studies
, Asian and Middle-Eastern
Moreover materials collected under the framework of this policy, support
some courses and faculty research in the departments of History,
Government, Geography, Philosophy, Film Studies and Drama.
Until 1979, French and Italian together with Spanish and Portuguese made
up the Department of Romance Languages and Literature, at that time one
of the largest departments on campus. Due to the high number of
students taking French (around 2.000 students per year in 1978) and the
increasing interest in other languages such as Spanish, Italian, etc.,
the faculty of Romance Languages submitted, in May of 1979, a
recommendation to the Dartmouth Arts and Sciences faculty for the
creation of two separate Departments. That recommendation was approved,
and in the summer of 1979 French and Italian came into existence as a
separate department in the Humanities Division of the Faculty of Arts
Since then, the new department has completely revised the French
curriculum, adapting the program to changes in College-wide requirement
and the evolution of the field. By the 90’s, the French Department had
become one of the largest foreign literature departments relative to an
undergraduate population in the United States.
* Information taken from the French and Italian
Department 1995 Report
Dartmouth College Program
The Department of French
is a part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Dartmouth
College has recognized the important role that French Studies plays in
the College commitment to providing a liberal arts education. Thus the
programs in French "…(are) designed for students interested in
languages, literature, and cultural; social; political and economic
issues in France (and) in Francophone countries. Courses in French ( )
allow students to begin to know and understand French (culture)and their
roles in today's unified Europe. The variety of departmental offerings
complements the diversity of students' interests and reflect the
spectrum of research fields among French faculty".(*)
The curriculum of the Department of French and Italian presently offers
84 courses in French. It includes introductory and advanced language
courses (7), courses on different periods of French literature, literary
criticism and cultural studies (66); courses on performing arts (4),
feminism (3), and Francophone literature (4). This Department offers
four types of programs to students (a major in French, a major in
Romance Languages, a modified major, and a minor) and two programs
abroad (Bloys/Lyon and Paris/Tolouse).
Masters students pursuing a Master of Arts Liberal Program or a Master
of Arts Program in Comparative Literature are required to take masters
courses organized in the French Department. Students pursuing a Major or
a Minor in Caribbean Studies, Women Studies, African Studies or Asian
Studies may be required to take specific courses offered by the
department as part of their programs.
In the department there are 26 French faculty members (13 professors and
associate professors, 4 assistant professors, 3 senior lecturers and
lecturers, 5 visiting faculty and 1 emeritus faculty). Typically the
advanced courses center around the specializations of the faculty
covering a broad spectrum of areas. Since the beginning of the 90's, the
main and diverse tendencies in New Historicism studies and especially
in the new comparative cultural studies ("transdiciplinary" studies
according to the most current French philosophy) are affecting all
literary studies. French literary studies is not the exception to this
rule and it is becoming a more interdisciplinary field. New faculty
arrive to Dartmouth who work in areas beyond literature. Today Film,
Sociology, Anthropology, cultural history, Feminism, etc. are fields
which are completely interrelated in the intellectual activity of most
French faculty members.
(*) Taken from the French Department homepage
General Subject Boundaries
French language and literature materials fall into the PC, PM, and PQ
classes of the Library of Congress. Pre-1964 acquisitions are in the
840s of the Dewey Decimal System. General literary theory and criticism
are classed in PN. Relevant materials are also found in the appropriate
sections of history, philosophy, women's studies, art, and bibliography.
Besides French language materials originating from France, materials in
Francophone languages such as Creole and Canadian French are selectively
acquired. Secondary works of history and criticism are collected
principally in English but also in other western European languages
including German, Italian and Spanish. English language translations and
critical editions of major literary works and works by many classical
and contemporary authors are acquired.
While the overwhelming output of literature is produced in France, the
collection does not exclude other Francophone cultures beyond France.
The library actively collects French material published in or about the
French-speaking societies of French America [Louisiana], Canada
[primarily Quebec], the Caribbean [French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Haiti, and
Martinique], northwest Africa or Maghreb [Algeria, Morocco, and
Tunisia], Sub-Saharan Africa or Black Africa [Ivory Coast, Cameroon,
Senegal, Congo, among others], and Belgium, Switzerland, and Vietnam.
Types Of Material Collected
The collection consists of monographs, serials, a few select French
language newspapers, and reference sources including the major French
language encyclopedias, dictionaries, periodical indexes, and
bibliographies. Performing arts materials in the French language will be
acquired more actively (sound recordings, films, documentary, etc. in
tapes, videorecording, DVD, CD-ROM, etc.) when the new library is
completed, and in seeking to support the French Department curriculum.
Format Of Materials Collected
The library acquires materials in all formats with no exceptions.
Although most of the materials are in a printed format (monographs and
serials), microfilm is also acquired when necessary--especially for
pre-twentieth century publications. Materials in more innovative formats
such as laser disc, DVD, etc., are also acquired taking first into
consideration their technical compatibility with the College systems.
The library also seeks to subscribe (and disseminate among its
clientele) commercial or non-commercial materials accessed through
Internet, that facilitate access to full text electronic monographs
and/or serials related to the areas covered by this policy. (see Other
Special Collections and Manuscripts
More than 2000 items of French literature and culture written in the
French language are located in Special Collections
covering a period that ranges from the 15th to the 20th centuries
(about 300 of them are from before the 17th century ). Among the unique
French language and literature materials housed in Special Collections
are some unpublished manuscripts of Samuel Beckett; the papers of
Professor Francois Denoeu, author/lexicographer and Dartmouth faculty
member from 1929-1963; the records of Cercle Francais, Dartmouth's
FrenchClub from 1909-1954; and a collection of 20th-century Parisian
Other Resources Available
is the in-house gateway where the library organizes and
provides access to a wide variety of resources in the French language,
including general indexes such as the MLA
, the Index to Foreign Legal
(more than 50 newspapers in French), the Iter-Gateway to
the Middle Ages and Renaissance
, etc.; full text databases such as Lexis Nexis
newspapers in French) or the ARTFL
[American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language]
(access electronically to more than 3,000 monographs in French), etc.
In the near future, the library aims to develop an electronic subject
guide to other resources found on the Internet of interest principally
to the French and Italian Department, including links to areas of study
covered by this policy.
Other Collection Policies of Interest
Areas of study in French covered by the following Collection Policies
are of some interest to the curriculum of the French and Italian
Department specifically, and to Dartmouth College as a whole.
Women's and Gender Studies
June 1982 [Ralph Cryesky]
February 1994 [Robert D. Jaccaud]
November 1999 (Miguel Valladares)
PC 2001 - 3761 French language
PM 7851-7854 Creole language
PQ 1 - 3899 French Literature, history and criticism.
3989.2 - 3919 French Literature: Canada
3920 - 3999 French Literature: Caribbean, Africa, Asia, etc.
Miguel A. Valladares