Between terrorist attacks and debates on race and the French national soccer team, 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, and 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, 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 visiting professors will include among others film-maker Isabelle Boni-Claverie (director of “Too Black to Be French”), political scientist Sarah Gensburger (CNRS), literary scholar Kaoutar Harchi (Paris 3), and historian Christine Bard (Université d’Angers).
• A strong research component. Whether they choose archival investigations, ethnographic fieldwork, or journalistic reportage, students conduct research in both New York and Paris. Having devised a new summer research seminar in Paris, we are now introducing a New York-based research seminar in sociology, “French-Speaking Migrants in New York City.” On both sides of the Atlantic, our students 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, filmmakers, 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. In addition, the IFS has entered into an agreement with the TAPIF teaching assistant program by which we reserve some of our most generous M.A. fellowships to top alumni of the program. These fellowships cover between 75% and 100% of tuition costs. Top former TAPIF alumni will also receive a $3,000 summer scholarship during our program’s summer session in Paris.
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 Foreign Service, journalism, humanitarian assistance, immigration law, primary and secondary education, translation, and 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