An Abécédaire of Provence

An Abécédaire of Provence


Taught by Professor Marie-Anne Rossignol, Provence Through Literature & Film is a course that combines both cinematic and literary analysis to show a side of Provence that goes beyond the stereotypes. The Abécédaire course assignment provides students with the opportunity to build their capacity for analytical, descriptive and creative writing  in French, as they describe the Provence that they observe in their daily life and learn about in class.

This particular creative writing project is inspired by Peter Mayle’s « Abécédaire de la Provence, » originally published in the Courrier International. An abécédaire is, by definition, a book that allowed children to learn their alphabet, wherein each letter was represented by a word beginning with that same letter. The Abécédaire project uses this concept to structure a semester-long composition that brings together personal impressions of Provence as well as authors, films, settings or characters from the literature and film that students study during the semester. Students organize these elements in alphabetical order, composing their short texts all throughout the semester. Each piece is worked and reworked in class, allowing students to get continual feedback on their composition and grammar.

The Abécédaire often becomes a precious souvenir of a semester spent in Provence. We’re proud to share these students’ texts with you in the upcoming months in the En Français Dans le Texte section of our blog.


The abécedaire assignment is from Provence through Literature & Films, an AUCP course designed to get students to actively observe, analyze and participate in their study abroad environment, instead of simply watching from the sidelines.