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:

Jeff Rider, French Section Head,

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”

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

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, “.”  

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.

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

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

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