French is a national language of twenty-eight countries, and spoken widely in at least eighteen more. The French brought the world the Bayeux Tapestry (arguably the world’s first comic strip), Versailles, Impressionism, Surrealism, New Wave cinema, Poststructuralist thought, and many other movements and works that have been influential for world culture. But France is also only the beginning of the story. And not even the beginning: before there was anything known as France, there were medieval documents written in “roman,” the new vernaculars derived from Latin that would become our romance languages. In the wake of French colonialism, creoles and other appropriations of French language and literary genres have sprung up around the world. Our French Programs are, in other words, not just for students interested in France, but also for students interested in the literatures and cultures of the pre-and post-Francophone world. Students at Cornell who are interested in French may also want to view the offerings and programs at the Language Houses at Cornell.