The Wake Forest University Department of French Studies is committed to innovative, engaged teaching and to excellence in research. Our faculty represent scholarly areas of specialization in French and Francophone literature and cultural studies, in film, and in linguistics. Our department has a major and a minor, a concentration in French for Business, and well-established faculty-led study abroad programs in Tours and Dijon.

The French Studies faculty are dedicated teachers and mentors who are invested in the success of our students. In our department, all faculty – from the most senior professors to the junior faculty who joined our department most recently – teach courses at all levels, from elementary French to our major/minor core courses and seminars. The success of beginning French students is as crucial to our departmental identity as that of students in our capstone seminars. Student engagement and mentoring are at the heart of our vision for the department.

We firmly believe that the study of global languages and cultures is a hallmark of a quality liberal arts education. Knowing another language is key to understanding social, historical, and political events in their contexts. In particular, our program aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop the linguistic and intercultural skills that enable exploration of the French and Francophone world, to engage in critical thinking, and to hone their analytical skills.

The department has a wonderful sense of community. I made friends with my fellow students and found important mentors in French Studies professors.

Julia Mroz, French Studies minor (’20)

Statement of Inclusive Excellence

I gained an understanding of the way that learning another language is learning another culture. This minor has meant the opportunity to step outside of my national context into a truly global one. It has provided me with the opportunity to transform not only my perspective on the francophone world, but on the entire world.

Alexander Holt, French Studies minor (’20)

Félicitations to our French Studies Majors, Minors, and French for Business Concentration students who graduated today! #wfufrenchstudies #wfu24

We are thrilled to share the news that Dr. Ryan Schroth, Assistant Professor of French Studies, has been awarded the Zachary T. Smith Faculty Fellowship from Wake Forest College for 2024-2027. These three-year fellowships honor the best teacher-scholars in the College: faculty who are particularly dedicated and successful teachers and mentors and who demonstrate a strong record of scholarly activity. Félicitations, Dr. Schroth ! 🎉🍾

Mary Holland Waters has been awarded the Couch Scholarship towards her semester-long study abroad program in Dijon, France. Félicitations, Mary Holland! 🎉 🎉

French Studies celebrates Lire en Fête and Le Printemps des Poètes with an afternoon of poetry and literature readings by students in Prof. Pellet`s FRH 112 class, Prof. McNelly`s FRH 212 class, and Prof. Murphy`s FRH 363 class, as well as Anaïs, our FLTA. Bravo and Brava to everyone who shared favorite poems and prose! @wfu @wffrenchstudies

Join us for our final public film screening of the semester: 35 Rhums, Tuesday, April 9 at 7:00 PM in ZSR Auditorium.

Students: sign up on The Link (link in bio)

Director: Claire Denis, France/ Germany, 2008 (100 min)

"From renowned director of High Life, Claire Denis’ sublime 35 Shots of Rum is the moving story of a father and daughter whose close-knit, tender relationship is disrupted by a handsome young suitor.
Sumptuously filmed and featuring an evocative score by Tindersticks, 35 Shots of Rum casts a unique spell.
Official Selection at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival."- Kanopy

For more information contact Dr. Mann at #wfu #wfufrenchstudies

On Thursday 11 April at 5 pm in Annenberg Forum (Carswell Hall), we are thrilled to present Dr. Elisabeth Hodges of the Department of French, Italian, and Classical Studies at Miami University (Ohio), who will give a public lecture on Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop’s award-winning film Atlantique (2019): “Atlantics’ Corporeal Drifts.”

The ocean is a constant presence in Mati Diop’s Atlantique (2019), a ghostly love story about the ongoing migration crisis set in Dakar, Senegal. In her film, Diop explores the expansive continuity of the sea. Dr. Hodges will discuss how oceanic aesthetics emphasize the critical importance of drift. Drift disrupts narrative and temporal flows in the film, resulting in Diop’s reimagining of the cinema as a space for both poetic and political change.

This guest lecture is free and open to the public. It is hosted by the Department of French Studies, with additional support from the Department of Communication and the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. This event is sponsored by the Wake Forest University Humanities Institute with support made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Students can RSVP through The Link.

Dr. Hodges will show clips from Atlantique during her talk. The film is available on Netflix, but those who haven’t seen it yet are encouraged to attend and to discover this wonderful, fascinating film!