Independent Readings in the French Revolution

Summer 2020 Full Session
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
4 6 8 Credits per quarter
Variable credit options, see below
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Students work independently, studying the social, political, gender and intellectual trajectories of the French Revolution from 1789 through the Terror and the Napoleonic Empire.  To understand the origins of the Revolution, students will read philosophy and political theory from Enlightenment authors like Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu.  Students will share a reading list in common and have the option to participate in asynchronous book chats via Canvas as a group and with the faculty member.  This class does not require any synchronous (zoom) meetings - students complete the material at their own pace. Since this is an independent readings class, students enrolled at different credit levels will read different texts and write different numbers of essays.  Students enrolled for more than 8 credits will complete a research paper on one aspect of the Enlightenment or the French Revolution, using available on-line scholarly sources. Credits are awarded in history, political philosophy and/or gender studies, depending on each student's specific interests and focus.

Our work will be conducted remotely, using Canvas. The faculty will offer alternative assignments if conditions or illness prevent students from accessing our synchronous meetings, which will allow students to earn comparable credit.


Summer 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Full Session (8): 40029
Full Session (4): 40030
Full Session (6): 40031

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies and careers in

history, law, journalism, education, politics, government, philosophy, gender studies

Variable Credit Options

Students will work independently, meeting occasionally or communicating via email with faculty and other students; assignments will differ for 4, 6 and 8 credits; students enrolled for 8 credits will complete a library research project on a topic of their choice.  This independent readings contract is well suited to students who are entirely off-campus.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Advertised Schedule

This independent readings class is designed for students to complete at their own pace and in their own locations. All meetings are optional and are based on students' availability and interests. There is an optional orientation meeting. 

Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule