Autumn 2016 Programs

In Autumn 2016, the Center in Paris will host three study abroad programs for undergraduate students. The faculty and their courses are listed below:

African Civilizations: Colonialism, Migration, Diaspora

Emily Osborn (History) - African Civilizations in Paris I
African Civilizations I investigates the entangled histories of France and Africa from the earliest era of contact. We will explore the circulation and exchange of people, ideas, and practices from and through Africa, Europe, and the Americas with a special focus on the trans-Atlantic slave trade and on the transfer of food crops and technologies. Studying Africa from Paris, we will also explore the global consequences of the French Revolution, especially as they affected ideas about slavery. We will also consider Napoleon’s occupation of Egypt and its legacies in France, as well as the role that Senegalese women, or signares, played in building Eurafrican relations and managing coastal commerce in West Africa. The assigned readings will consist of primary sources, fiction, as well as scholarly texts. Field trips include a visit to the Louvre and to the city of Nantes.

Jennifer Cole (Comparative Human Development) - African Civilizations in Paris II
Part two of African Civ in Paris examines the circulation of bodies, ideas and objects between France and Africa, focusing on the colonial and post-colonial period. In the first week, we’ll consider the movement of people and things through two case studies, the first of French recruitment of soldiers in the First and Second World Wars and the second focusing on fashion and Congolese sapeurs. In week two we will learn about Islam and its relationship to the French notion of laïcité, as well as the complex history of North African immigration to France. And finally, in the last week, we’ll examine the movement of bodies and ideas through case studies of family reunification and marriage migration on the one hand, and the role of Africans in French soccer on the other. The assigned readings will include novels as well as scholarly texts.  Fieldtrips include the Museum of Immigration and the African market at Chateau Rouge.

Cécile Fromont (Art History) - African Civilizations in Paris III
African Civ III investigates the role art played in shaping European discourses about Africa, Africans, and their visual and material cultures from the early modern period, to the present. Starting with the era of the so-called great discoveries and the concomitant rise of the private cabinet of curiosity and ending with the creation of the public museum in the late eighteenth century, we will discuss in the first part of the class how the collection and exhibition of exotic specimens illustrate the social, political, economic, and aesthetic ideologies that shaped European perceptions of Africa before the colonial period. In the second part of the class, we will investigate the changing status of African expressive cultures in Europe with the rise of nineteenth century imperial colonialism. Texts, class discussion, and field trips will explore how the collection, conservation, and display of objects from faraway lands contributed to the construction, promotion and implementation of the colonial project. Finally, turning to the Quai Branly Museum and to the recently reopened Musée de l'Homme, we will interrogate contemporary debates about the social and political significance of the collection and display of African objects in France.

European Civilization (taught in English)

Philippe Desan (Romance Languages and Literatures) - European Civilization in Paris I
This course is a hybrid: at once an introduction to European Civilization since the late Middle Ages and an overview of French history. We will have two objectives: on the one hand, to master the historian’s craft; on the other to integrate textual analysis with the discovery of a French history and culture. To do so, we will read historical documents and ‘classic’ texts, discuss and debate them in our 4 weekly meetings.

In several instances, we will embark upon day-long trips: another way of studying history. As important as our classroom meetings, these trips are required of all.

Larry Norman (Romance Languages and Literatures) - European Civilization in Paris II
We will closely read and discuss a number of historical, philosophical, political and literary texts that have shaped the history of ideas in Europe. We will consider the social and political order of the Ancien Regime, the rise of secularization and the Enlightenment, the political and cultural implications of the French Revolution. Although we will concentrate on French texts, attention will be paid to French relations to other cultures — European (British, German, etc.) and beyond (the Islamic world, the Americas) — with a focus on contending notions of cosmopolitanism, relativism, primitivism, nationalism and internationalism.

Françoise Meltzer (Romance Languages and Literatures) - European Civilization in Paris III

European Civilization (taught in French)

Arnaud Coulombel (Center in Paris) - Civilisation Européenne I
Ce cours est un hybride : à la fois une introduction à l’histoire de la civilisation européenne depuis le Moyen Age jusqu’à la Renaissance et une vue d’ensemble de l’histoire de France durant ces périodes. Notre objectif sera double : d’une part, intégrer étude de textes et découverte de certains sites historiques ; d’autre part pratiquer le métier d’historien de la culture.  Pour ce faire, nous analyserons lors de nos quatre réunions hebdomadaires des documents historiques ainsi que des œuvres littéraires, philosophiques et artistiques. Nous complèterons notre étude de la civilisation française et européenne par des conférences sur site de musées, monuments, monastères, et châteaux.

Robert Morrissey (Romance Languages and Literatures) - Civilisation Européenne II
[*same description as above*] Ce cours est un hybride : à la fois une introduction à l’histoire de la civilisation européenne depuis le Moyen Age jusqu’à la Renaissance et une vue d’ensemble de l’histoire de France durant ces périodes. Notre objectif sera double : d’une part, intégrer étude de textes et découverte de certains sites historiques ; d’autre part pratiquer le métier d’historien de la culture.  Pour ce faire, nous analyserons lors de nos quatre réunions hebdomadaires des documents historiques ainsi que des œuvres littéraires, philosophiques et artistiques. Nous complèterons notre étude de la civilisation française et européenne par des conférences sur site de musées, monuments, monastères, et châteaux.

Jean Balsamo (Université de Reims) - Civilisation Européenne III
Ce cours de civilisation européenne combine l’étude des humanités à l’histoire des idées. Il a pour objet la culture européenne de l’époque moderne et une définition culturelle de l’Europe (1840-2000). Il ne consistera pas en un catalogue d’œuvres littéraires, philosophiques ou artistiques, ni en une succession de monographies d’écrivains, de penseurs ou d’artistes, classés par écoles et par nations, il ne suivra pas un canon préétabli de grands noms et d’œuvres. Son but est de donner aux étudiants de l’université de Chicago, quelle que soit leur spécialité, les références historiques, les notions et les clés qui leur permettront de comprendre la conception de la culture, en particulier dans sa dimension littéraire, telle qu’elle s’est développée en Europe et telle qu’elle définit la civilisation européenne, sur un mode toujours problématique et conflictuel. Structuré autour de trois grandes perspectives (la figure et le rôle de l’intellectuel, la relation entre la France et l’Allemagne, la question de la violence), le cours reposera sur la lecture et l’analyse de textes de différents genres (essais, discours, œuvres de fiction) et de différentes origines (française, allemande, italienne, espagnole etc., …), à travers lesquels ces questions ont été développées de façon novatrice et déterminante.