Paris Muse: Evoking Place in Literature, History, Music and Myth

Fall 2021
Winter 2022
Spring 2022
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
16 Credits per quarter
Variable credit options, see below
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This program incorporates Greener Foundations. Greener Foundations is Evergreen’s 2-quarter introductory student success course, which provides all first-year students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive at Evergreen. First year students will get 14-credits from this program, and 2-credits from a Greener Foundations course. First year students will need to register for the 14-credit program CRN PLUS Greener Foundations (CRN 20008). 


"An Artist has no Home… Except in Paris." (F. Nietzsche)

Life, as Rimbaud wrote, must be remade. Like Rimbaud, many artists, makers, thinkers, and dreamers of the last two centuries, took the road to Paris.  Baudelaire prowled her streets, Mallarmé drew a world of poets to his living room to talk poetry, while Dadaists, Surrealists and Existentialists made Paris cafés hubs of pure creativity. Stravinsky and Nureyev launched modern music and dance there, and philosophy effected alchemical alliances with poetry, sociology and psychology.  From Sénégal, Martinique, and the U.S. came brilliant Black writers and musicians like Senghor, Césaire, Baldwin and Bricktop.

What magnetism, what power of evocation made Paris the center of the artistic world, a labyrinth of possibilities for remaking thought and art, and a hive of salons which generated energies for creative risks and intellectual vibrancy? What made Paris a muse, the place where life could be remade?

This program will be a broad-reaching, thematic study of French-speaking cultures, arts, and both social and intellectual history.  Many cultures exist within Paris: Martinican, Sénégalese, Haïtian and Algerian communities among them. Through lectures, films, music, and creative workshops students will develop an understanding of aesthetic and intellectual movements driven by French artists, travelers from afar, “exiles and ex-pats” drawn to the cafés and salons of Paris. Seminars—our salons—will be productive spaces for the exploration of the novels, poems, philosophical texts, and musical compositions woven into Paris’s past that have challenged and redefined the way we think about the world.

To complement studies of literature, music and culture, students will immerse themselves in French social history, from late 18 th -century radical revolutionary foment to struggles for representation and voice in 19th , 20th and 21st -century Paris. We’ll see how Parisians have redefined themselves and their city through such moments as the Paris Commune, resistance in occupied Paris during World War II, and in the contemporary era with anti-racism protests in 2005 and the 2019-2020 Yellow Vest movement.

French language will be taught in the program at three levels throughout the year, enriching students' understanding of texts, and of writing and translation. Learning French will be required for those who plan to travel to France during Spring quarter, but optional though encouraged, for everyone. Fall and winter quarter, the majority of program lectures, seminars and workshops will occur during the day, with beginning and intermediate French language instruction on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Advanced French classes will occur during the day. Both absolute beginners and students with prior study of French are welcome!

In spring, students have two options. They can participate in the study abroad option and travel to France for ten weeks, where they will participate in intensive language study, perform cultural and historical fieldwork, and complete a travel-writing project. Alternatively, students may remain on campus to undertake a major personal project, springing from the history, ideas, writers and artists they studied in prior quarters. This is an excellent opportunity to complete a substantive body of creative or research-oriented work, with guidance from faculty and peer critique.

Fall and winter quarter, the majority of program lectures, seminars and workshops will occur during the day. However, students in beginning or intermediate French will have French language instruction on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Advanced French classes will occur during the day.

Faculty will provide an online-only option for students who need it.


Fall 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 10256
So - Sr (1 - 16): 10259
Winter 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 20230
Fr (14): 20280
Spring 2022 Registration

This quarter includes study abroad and no additional students will be allowed to register. 

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 30046
Fr (16): 30349

Academic details

Preparatory for studies and careers in

humanities, history, cultural studies, language teaching, writing, international organizations, and jobs and graduate schools in the European Union.

Variable Credit Options

If a student is still willing to pursue the program as a whole they may, for financial or academic reasons, register for 12 or 14 credits. To arrange this email Drew Buchman before the first week of classes, please.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


In Person or Remote
Hybrid (F)
Hybrid (W)
Hybrid (S)
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

Study Abroad

Approximately $8200 (optional) in spring quarter for students who choose to do a 10-week study abroad in France.

Special Expenses: $5975 (Estimated expenses students will cover themselves to cover airfare, meals and activity expenses, and some in-country transportation and lodging)

Required Student Fee: $1825 (Fee covers homestay and language school expenses, shared transport, and required activities)

Administrative Fee:$400 (Nonrefundable deposit to cover administrative costs of running study abroad)

May be offered again in


Date Revision
2021-10-06 This program is now accepting new students, including first year students, in winter quarter.