Between the Charlie Hebdo attacks and the burkini debates, between Emmanuel Macron’s labor reforms and the littérature-monde manifesto, these are momentous times for France and the Francophone world. NYU’s Institute of French Studies brings together historians, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, and other scholars to explore modern France and the French-speaking world in their multiple dimensions. Circulating between New York and France, our faculty and students study the imperial nation and post-colonial situations, welfare and discrimination, memory and forgetting, gender and race, religion and secularism, and other questions that play out in singular ways in the Francophone world.
The IFS offers two Ph.D. degrees — one in French Studies and French Literature, the other in French Studies and History. We also offer a one-year M.A. degree in French Studies, taught in both New York (fall and spring) and Paris (summer), and M.A. programs with Global Journalism, the Business School, and the Law School. 100% of our students receive financial aid, with no teaching or TA requirements.
The IFS provides students with a tight-knit community in lower Manhattan, lodged within a large, well-endowed research university. This entails:
• Small seminars taught by leading scholars from the U.S. and the French-speaking world. NYU’s faculty includes experts on France and Europe, Africa and the Maghreb, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South-East Asia. Each year, we also welcome four visiting professors from France. Recent visitors include Isabelle Clair on Gender and the French Social Sciences, Silyane Larcher on Colonial and Postcolonial French Antilles, Pap Ndaye on Race and Racism in Modern France, Marie-Eve Thérenty on Press, Society, and Literature Since the 19th Century, and Patrick Weil on Immigration and Minority Issues. In 2018 and 2019, our visitors will include among others film-maker Isabelle Boni-Claverie (director of “Too Black to Be French”), sociologist Marie Cartier (Université de Nantes), political scientist Sarah Gensburger (CNRS), and historian Ivan Jablonka (Paris 13).
• A strong research component. Whether they choose archival investigations, ethnographic fieldwork, or journalistic reportage, students conduct research in both New York and Paris (during our eight-week summer program). On both sides of the Atlantic, they receive close mentoring from our faculty.
• Scholarly work in both English and French: By taking half of their courses in French, students perfect their oral and written command of the language and put it to analytical use. Our French Language Lab provides linguistic support as needed.
• An unmatched program of talks and events with scholars, artists, writers, film makers, and activists. Recent conferences have revolved around global populism, disability and accessible futures, and the Resistance in transnational perspective. Other recent events: a roundtable on states of emergency and police power, a talk on gendering French colonial history, a conversation about Jews and universalism in modern France, interventions by Luc Boltanski and Thomas Piketty, and much more.
• Generous funding. We now offer all admitted M.A. students at least one-half tuition remission (and more for our best applicants). Admitted Ph.D. students receive full fellowships (tuition plus stipend) for at least five years.
Our Ph.D. students compete favorably for the best jobs in their disciplines while M.A. students go on to careers in a variety in fields that prize clear thinking, global understanding of the world, and analytical fluency in more than one language. These include the Foreign Service, journalism, humanitarian assistance, immigration law, primary and secondary education, translation, international business. Each year, some M.A. students parlay their research and relationships with IFS faculty into offers from leading Ph.D. programs in history, anthropology, French, linguistics, or politics.
I hope you will drop by the IFS next time you find yourself in Greenwich Village. In the meantime, feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Director, Institute of French Studies