French at Wesleyan

French is spoken by more than 220 million people worldwide and is the only language other than English spoken on five continents, from Senegal to New Caledonia, from Quebec to Louisiana, from Belgium to Guadeloupe. Moreover, French is also one of the official languages of the United Nations, UNESCO, NATO, the International Red Cross, Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), les Jeux Olympiques, la Féderation Internationale de Football Association, and many other international organizations.


Wesleyan’s French faculty offer a diverse and multidisciplinary curriculum that opens a window onto the literatures, ideas, and cultures of the French-speaking world, from the Middle Ages to the present day. Our courses foster the linguistic proficiency and intercultural awareness necessary for living, studying, and working successfully in a French-speaking environment, in the U.S. or abroad. Students who study French will develop critical self-awareness by becoming more adept at understanding other points of view and will acquire the resources needed to develop their own creative and critical capacities and to succeed in future academic and professional endeavors. French majors and minors at Wesleyan have combined their studies with other majors including Neuroscience, History, Computer Science, Music, English, College of Letters, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and Psychology. Recent graduates have gone on to pursue studies and careers in law, education, the humanities, business, medicine, international relations, finance, music, and fine arts, among other fields.

Related Sites

Office of International Studies

Caribbean Studies

Of Note:

John D. Lyons (University of Virginia)

October 31, 2018: “The Cadaver of the Count de Gormas: Tragedy and the Care of the Dead”

Christian Biet (Paris Nanterre, NYU, IUF)

October 10, 2018: “Les théâtres de la catastrophe (XVIe-XVIIe siècle v. XXe-XXIe siècle”

Professor Andrew Curran publishes L’Anatomie de la noirceur at Classiques Garnier

France Honors Five Educators with Academic Palm Award

Bruna Conconi (Bologna), October 11, 2017: “La réception de Pierre l’Arétin en France (XVIe-XVIIe siècles)”

Jacqueline Couti (Kentucky), October 4, 2017: "Tropical Seductress: Colonial Desire and Poetics of Eroticism”

Michèle Longino (Duke), September 13, 2017: “Early Modern French Travel Writing in the Ottoman Empire: An Overview”

Congratulations to Rachel Rosenman '17 (FRST/MUSC) for receiving University Honors

Congratulations to Sophie Dora Tulchin (’20)!

Sophie Dora’s essay “Subtleties of Subversion” has won third place in the inaugural Endeavor Foundation First-Year Seminar Essay Contest. Sophie Dora wrote the essay in Fall 2016 for Prof. Michael Meere’s first-year seminar: FIST 123, “Love, Sex, and Marriage in Renaissance Europe.”  

Congratulations to Rachel Rosenman (’17, French/Music)!

Rachel’s essay “‘Mais la musique demeurera toujours’: Repurposing the French Baroque” (dir. Jane Alden, Music) has won first place in the inaugural Friends of the Wesleyan Library Undergraduate Research Prize.

Catherine Poisson talks about Simone de Beauvoir

Jettie Word '08 French Studies

Jessie Word (’08, French Studies) received a Masters of Public Administration in Sustainable Development and International Development from the London School of Economics and Sciences Po and is currently the director of the Borneo Project, which brings international attention and support to community-led efforts to defend forests, sustainable livelihoods, and human rights in Borneo

Anne Rosenthal ’10, French Studies

discusses her Fulbright grant for an MA in Environmental Studies at the University of Brussels

Shapiro Named University Translator

Alice Maggio '10 discusses Berkshares program on PBS NewsHour

Shapiro Speaks at Longfellow House Summer Fest

IFE's snazzy new website

learn / immersion programs / regional programs / new york

The Building Blocks of Breaking Ground

Jeff Rider discusses his two Fulbright Grants

Rider a Royal Flemish Academy Fellow in Brussels

"Wall Street Journal - Learning to Be French in Brooklyn"

Catherine Poisson, president of Education Française à New York, and Wesleyan professor is interviewed in this article by the Wall Steet Journal.

Professor Poisson, recently named a Chevalier L’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (a Knight of the Order of Academic Palms)