"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.
Course Reference Numbers
Course Reference Numbers
humanities, history, cultural studies, language teaching, writing, international organizations, and jobs and graduate schools in the European Union.
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)