Elizabeth Allen has been coordinating the Elementary French sequence since 2000, and she is also in charge of the Conversation, Culture, and Communication series.
Ella Allen offers courses on a wide variety of cultural subjects, including French Cuisine, the history of Bohemian Paris, and experimental non-fiction writing. In her courses, she attempts to communicate the importance of culture as actual, lived experience to her students, preferring to take the subject matter “off the page” and into their daily lives. Her classes include a variety of creative activities, such as Francophone cooking, the creation of art and musical pieces, automatic writing, TED Talks and television talk shows, and discussions of ethics and values. She is currently interested in the transmission of French and Creole heritage, both material and intangible, as expressed in cultural artefacts and traditions along the Mississippi River, and has organized student visits to Sainte Genevieve, a French settlement dating from 1735 that is only an hour away from St. Louis. In Professor Allen's classes, French and Francophone literature and culture serve as a vibrant, prismatic window through which students may discover a heightened sense of self, community, and their place in the world at large.