The Department of French and Francophone Studies endorses Macalester College’s mission of providing its students with a broad liberal arts education that emphasizes the vital importance of internationalism and multiculturalism. The study of the francophone world includes the cultures of European countries, like France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, African countries, the Caribbean, the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, where French is the language of communication and artistic expression. The Department has the following objectives:
- to prepare majors and minors in French language, French and Francophone cultures and literatures, intellectual and artistic movements in various periods, and critical thinking;
- to provide language competencies to non-French majors appropriate for study in their own fields, for future professional needs or for personal enrichment;
- to provide all students with the opportunity to acquire, as part of a liberal arts education, the knowledge of the language, literature and cultures of France and Francophone countries;
- to provide students with courses, taught in French or English, that address diverse disciplinary areas as they relate to France and the francophone world.
The Department actively collaborates with the programs in Media and Cultural Studies, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, African Studies, Latin American Studies Program, Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Civilization, Human Rights and Humanitarianism, International Studies and Critical Theory, through faculty participation in programs’ steering committees or teaching courses specifically cross-listed or primarily designed for these programs.