MIT’s French+ Initiative was recently designated as a “Center of Excellence in French Studies” by the Embassy of France, during a 2022 campus visit by Philippe Etienne, then-ambassador of France to the United States.
The French+ Initiative gathers scholars working across the humanities and social sciences at MIT whose research and teaching center on the French and francophone cultures and societies. It also serves as a hub appreciated by students, who can find numerous French-related activities under the same banner, such as the MIT Global France Seminar, the January Scholars in France program, and various French cultural events.
With the initiative’s new designation, MIT became part of a network of the best French Studies programs in the United States. It also came with the opportunity for MIT students to participate in the selection committee earlier this spring for the US Goncourt Prize, the U.S. branch of the most important literary prize in France.
Bruno Perreau, the Cynthia Reed Professor of French Studies and founder of the French+ Initiative at MIT, successfully applied for MIT students to take part, and also saw an opportunity to design a course around the prize, class 21G.320 (Introduction to French Literature).