An important site for French literary, philological, and cultural research, Athena holds an extensive collection of links to electronic text centers, such as ABU, Frantext, and the Bibliotheque nationale de France, and it also publishes its own texts. The collection includes works in French as well as English-language translations of French texts, and French-language translations of texts originally written in other languages. The site is searchable by theme, language, author, title, and keywords.
A variety of modes of downloading may be used, some of whose tools are linked to the site. For the most part, texts are formatted in HTML and RTF.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Better understanding of French and Francophone texts and of literary translation; improved research skills.
Athena gives students and scholars of French or world literature ready access to a wealth of well- and lesser-known texts. With links to notes and references, several internal search engines and multimedia editions of texts, it greatly facilitates and enriches traditional literary research.
Athena may be considered as the first place to look for the best editions of classical texts in electronic format. The external links are up to date, making the site a most reliable resource. New titles of excellent quality are regularly developed by Athena team members.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This web site may be used for independent study and research or incorporated into a course in French literature or literary criticism. Since the primary language of the site is French and the subject matter is characteristic of upper-division and graduate courses, it is best suited to researchers and advanced learners of French. More engaging than entertaining, this site is an invaluable resource for serious scholars.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
users may be confused by the order of the choices they are offered, since Athena's own search engine appears only in second position, after Excite. A search run with the Excite engine will take users out of Athena while they thought they were searching this site's collection.
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