Megan Ulmert

BA, Vanderbilt University. MA, MPhil, PhD, New York University. Dissertation on Jean Vigo and avant-garde documentary films in France in the 1920s and early 1930s. Research interests include: French cinema, European avant-garde visual culture during the interwar period, 19th-century French literature, epistolary novels; francophone North America: issues of identity and narration in French Canadian literature, Acadian history and culture, language politics and literature of Louisiana. SLC, 2014–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

French

Beginning French: Language and Culture

Open , Seminar—Year

This course is conducted in French.

This class will allow students to develop an active command of the fundamentals of spoken and written French. In class and in group conferences, emphasis will be placed on activities relating to students’ daily lives and to French and francophone culture using a variety of French songs, cinema, newspaper articles, poems, and short stories. Group conferences replace individual conference meetings for this level, and a weekly conversation session with a French language assistant(e) is required. Attendance at the weekly French lunch table and French film screenings are both highly encouraged.Students who successfully complete a beginning- and an intermediate-level French course may be eligible to study in Paris with Sarah Lawrence College during their junior year.

Faculty
Related Disciplines

Previous Courses

Intermediate French I: French Language and Culture Through Film

Intermediate , Seminar—Year

The Intermediate I and II French courses are specially designed to help prepare students for studying in Paris with Sarah Lawrence College during their junior year.

This course will offer a systematic review of French grammar and is designed to strengthen and deepen the student’s mastery of grammatical structures and vocabulary. Students will also begin to use linguistic concepts as tools for developing their analytic writing. Through a variety of French films, we will combine the study of language with the investigation of aspects of contemporary French culture, including social, political, and economic issues. We will also draw on other media—including online videos and blogs, newspapers, and literary texts—to enable students to build and increase their language proficiency, cultural awareness, and appreciation of 20th- and 21st-century France.

Faculty
Related Disciplines

Intermediate French I: French and Francophone Cinema (Section 1)

Intermediate , Seminar—Year

Course conducted in French. Admission by placement test to be taken during interview week at the beginning of the fall semester or by completion of Beginning/Advanced Beginning French.

This course will offer a systematic review of French grammar and is designed to strengthen and deepen the student’s mastery of grammatical structures and vocabulary. Students will also begin to use linguistic concepts as tools for developing their analytic writing. To this end, we will incorporate the study of French and francophone film into language learning. This course combines the history of French cinema (from its origins to the contemporary period) with a precise study of film form and film theory. We will pay special attention to the connections between social and historical conditions that gave rise to many trends in French cinema history. Students will watch, discuss, and analyze many landmark films through the lens of varied aspects of French and francophone civilization (history, politics, literature, class, ethnicity, gender, etc.). We will also read short literary works alongside these films in order to focus on skills of textual analysis and comprehension. The Intermediate I and II French courses are specially designed to help prepare students for studying in Paris with Sarah Lawrence College during their junior year.

Faculty

Beginning French: Language and Culture

Open , Seminar—Year

Course conducted in French. There will be two sections offered: the first by Mr. Kilgo-Kelly; the second by Ms. Ulmert and Ms. Lee.

An introduction to French using the multimedia “Débuts” system (textbook/two-part workbook/full-length movie, Le Chemin du retour), this class will allow students to develop an active command of the fundamentals of spoken and written French. In both class and group conferences, emphasis will be placed on activities relating to students’ daily lives and to French and francophone culture. The textbook integrates a French film with grammar study, exposing students to the spoken language from the very beginning of the course. Other materials may include French songs, cinema, newspaper articles, poems, and short stories. Group conferences replace individual conference meetings for this level, and a weekly conversation session with a French language assistant(e) is required. Attendance at the weekly French lunch table and French film screenings are both highly encouraged. Students who successfully complete a beginning- and an intermediate-level French course may be eligible to study in Paris with Sarah Lawrence College during their junior year.

Faculty

French Cinema

Open , Seminar—Spring

France is home to one of the richest, most influential, and most innovative national cinemas in film history. This course will examine how French filmmakers helped pioneer the major genres of early cinema in the 1890s, contributed to the development of narrative film in the 1900s and 1910s, and then created alternatives to mainstream cinema in the 1920s. We will see how the French dealt with the coming of sound in the late 1920s and responded to the rise of the Popular Front in the 1930s and the German occupation and Vichy government during WWII. We will consider the so-called “Tradition of Quality” that emerged during and after the occupation, French film noir of the 1950s, the New Wave and “Left Bank” groups of the 1960s, political modernism and feminist film of the 1970s, and the cinema du look and “new realism" of the 1980s and 1990s. At all times, we will pay careful attention to the historical conditions that gave rise to these trends, as well as to the most important debates in French film theory and criticism.

Faculty