Chocolat (FRE4608.01)

Noëlle Rouxel-Cubberly

Why is a Mayan food, chocolate, such a high-stake product in many French-speaking countries?

When it arrived in Paris in the XVIIth century, chocolate constituted a medical and cultural catalyst on French social elites, and, to this day, still carries the heavy weight of its colonial past. In this course, students will explore the economic, historical, social, political, artistic and cultural legacy of chocolate production and consumption in French-speaking contexts to understand how the “food of the gods” turned into “brown gold” has both shaped communities and revealed new forms of slavery and oppression throughout the world. Students will also hone their linguistic skills using various sources such as Dufour’s treatise, literary and theoretical excerpts, documentaries, ads, as well as podcasts, articles, and a conversation with the director of a Togolese chocolate company. Written assignments, conversation exercises, and oral presentations will help students develop their listening and speaking, reading and writing as well as their critical skills. Intermediate High. Conducted in French.


Learning Outcomes:
1. Effectively communicate ideas in the target language, both orally and in writing.
2. Understand, situate, evaluate, and critique various types of discourse used to talk about chocolate within multiple contexts.
3. Analyze the ideas and the concepts from the perspectives of the cultures studied.
4. Understand how sexual and gender identity intersect with nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic class in the context of the production and consumption of chocolate in the French and francophone world.
5. Build proficiency in spoken and written French.
6. Perfect spoken French in a formal setting.
7. Progress in spontaneous, interactive communication.
8. Enrich vocabulary and develop an ease with increasingly complex syntactical structures.
9. Develop the skills of advanced-level speakers
10. Mastery of narration in the present, past, and future,
11. Narrating, describing, and arguing in paragraph-level connected discourse


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Proficiency level to be assessed by the instructor. Please contact Noëlle at nrouxel-cubberly@bennington.edu by May 12.
Corequisites: Attendance at 2 CSL speaker series events
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: Fully In-Person , All courses , French
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