Winter 2019 Programs

In Winter 2019, the Center in Paris will host four study abroad programs for undergraduate students. See a list of the faculty and their courses below.

Cinema and Media Studies

Jennifer Wild (Cinema and Media Studies, Romance Languages and Literatures) - Film and the Moving Image
This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and interpretation when dealing with film and other moving image media. It encourages the close analysis of audiovisual forms, their materials and formal attributes, and explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given film or moving image text. It also examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study and understanding of moving images. Most importantly, the course aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Texts and films are drawn from the history of narrative, experimental, animated, and documentary or non-fiction cinema.

Dominique Bluher (Cinema and Media Studies) - Cinema in Theory and Practice
The course proposes an introduction to audio-visual creation and understanding through the analysis of films, selective readings, and short film exercises focusing on fundamental cinematic elements such as shot, framing, point of view, camera movement, editing, and relations of image and sound. Assignments will consist in creating three 1-3 minute single-shot movies based on the works seen and discussed in class, as well as a collective final project. Close attention will also be paid to questions of theory and experimentation in film and video.

Jim Lastra (Cinema and Media Studies) - Luis Buñuel in French Context
This course explores both the films and the contexts of Buñuel’s early career as a Surrealist. We will concentrate on his first three films, Un chien andalou, L’Âge d’or, and Land Without Bread, but we will look at the artistic, political, and cultural contexts that give sense to them. Toward that end we will be reading surrealist film criticism, prose, and poetry, as well as film criticism from the French alternative cinema world of the 1920s. Readings will alternate between “primary” texts from the period, and later critical reflections upon them.

European Civilization

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.

Arnaud Coulombel (Center in Paris) - European Civilization in Paris II
In this course, 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 in particular social and political order of the Ancien Regime, the rise of secularization and the Enlightenment. Although we will concentrate on French texts, particular attention will be paid to French relations to other cultures, European (British, German, etc.) and beyond.

Naomi Davidson (University of Ottawa/Visiting Senior Research Associate) - European Civilization in Paris III
This course continues the study of European history into the 19th and 20th centuries, paying particular attention to France. Using written and visual sources, we will explore the possibilities offered by, and the limits of, the era of universalist ideas born of the French Revolution. What did the revolutionary promises of liberty, equality and fraternity mean for Europeans in the modern era? Were women and men equally entitled to them? What of colonial subjects living in overseas European territories, or minorities living on European soil? Together, we will explore how 19th and 20th century European women and men, and women and men living in European colonies, saw this revolutionary promise transformed over the course of two centuries.

Global Health

Kay Macleod (Biomedical Sciences) - Global Health Sciences I: Cancer Concepts: Causes and Consequences
The goal of this course is to build concepts and develop understanding of how cancers arise by addressing the genetic basis of cancer, in addition to the role of environmental stresses in tumorigenesis. Specifically, we will examine how genetic changes, infection, diet and stress all affect tumor cell stemness, tumor evolution & heterogeneity, tumor metabolism and drug resistance. We will focus in on the role of the human papillomavirus (HPV) in humans cancers as a means to dissect basic molecular mechanisms of cancer but also to explore how our understanding of HPV as an etiological factor in cancer has changed in recent years, how efforts to vaccinate against HPV serves as a paradigm (or not) for other cancers and the controversies surrounding all of the above. Finally, we will examine in more detail how obesity, altered metabolism and stress affect tumor metabolism, co-evolution of the tumor with its microenvironment, the gut microbiome and anti-tumor immunity, and how diet may be exploited to prevent cancers (or not). We will conclude with a discussion of possible future directions to better prevent and treat human cancers.

Dominique Missiakas (Microbiology) - Global Health Sciences II: Microbiology
This course will examine infectious diseases with global health impact, analyzing their historic and projected impact, their biological foundations, treatment and preventative control. Course topics include gastrointestinal infections (e.g. cholera, bacillary dysentery, typhoid fever, rotavirus infections), sexually transmitted diseases (HIV), infections transmitted via aerosol droplets (tuberculosis, meningitis) and vector borne diseases (e.g. malaria, typhus, dengue fever, plague). Special emphasis will be placed on emerging infectious diseases (Ebola, Lassa, Rift Valley fever) and either completed or ongoing studies for infectious diseases elimination (smallpox, polio, diphtheria, river blindness). In addition to lectures, the course includes two field trips, and will be evaluated based on quizzes received in class and a take-home final exam.

Christopher Olusola Olopade and Olufunmilayo Olopade (Medicine) - Global Health Sciences III: Topics in Global Health
This course will review the major factors that influence the health of individuals and communities worldwide and seek to gain a better understanding of the complexities of global health. Students will study both broad and disease-specific global health challenges (e.g., cancer, diabetes, and cardiopulmonary disease) and strategies for responding to them; key institutions and stakeholders; environmental impacts on health; ethical considerations in research and interventions; maternal and child health; health and human rights; and international legal frameworks within global health diplomacy. The course encompasses lectures, student presentations, and the preparation of a proposal addressing a significant global health problem with major impact.

Social Sciences

Leora Auslander (History) - The Politics of Memory in Modern France
Most of a nation’s past is forgotten. Unless a conscious effort is made to keep them in consciousness, even the events that seem momentous when they occur and the most heroic or villainous leaders fade from memory within a generation or two. Governments, organized groups, and individuals go to great lengths to rescue aspects of the past they consider important from the oblivion of time. They often make equal efforts to erase shameful events from the nation’s memory. What should be remembered and what forgotten is often contested, however, and there is no consensus concerning appropriate forms of, and audiences for, commemoration. How effective is commemoration through naming of a métro stop or a street? Do people actually see statues? Or do they just walk by them? Is it legitimate to shock passers-by with graphic representations of violence? And, does everyone see them with the same eyes? For example, does a monument commemorating Abolition have the same effect on the descendants of slaves and slave owners? These have been issues debated both by those seeking to preserve memory and scholars analyzing them. Our focus in this course will be on the commemorative sites both banal and monumental inscribed in the French landscape and the Parisian streetscape, including those celebrating national achievement, those mourning loss, and those grappling with shame. While reading the theoretical and empirical scholarship on commemoration, we will analyze a series of sites or events in French history.

The approach taken will be multidisciplinary; secondary readings will be drawn from anthropology, sociology and history. Our primary sources will largely be the sites we visit, although there are a few primary texts.

Alan Kolata (Anthropology) - Urban Worlds: The History, Ecology and Social Organization of Cities
“To think about the city is to hold and maintain its conflictual aspects: constraints and possibilities, peacefulness and violence, meetings and solitude, gatherings and separation, the trivial and the poetic, brutal functionalism and surprising improvisation.” —Henri Lefebvre

Just over a decade ago humankind passed a significant threshold: in 2008 more than 50% of the world’s population lived and worked in cities. The proportion of urban dwellers continues to accelerate. According to projections by the World Bank, rapid urbanization and the overall growth of the world’s population will add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050, with nearly 90 percent of that increase concentrated in Asia and Africa. Increasingly, to understand and to navigate the contemporary world requires deep familiarity with city life. This intensive undergraduate course explores the phenomenon of cities and city life from various historical, sociological and anthropological perspectives. The course analyzes major theoretical frameworks concerned with urban forms, institutions, economic structures and social experiences as well as particular instances of city life. We conclude with reflections on the future and fate of cities. Given our presence in one of the great cities of the world, we will focus particular attention on the history and urban experiences of Paris. The course will consist of brief orienting lectures, class discussion of selected texts concerned with urban phenomena and social theories of the city and final student presentations of their chosen urban ethnography/theory project.

Victor Lima (Economics) - Applied Price Theory: Individual and Family
In this class, we will study the “economic approach” to the non-market sector. We will begin with a review of the basic tools of economics and we will build up to the model of household production. We will use this model to study impulsive behavior, rational addiction, marriage and dating, fertility, religion, information and cascades. The purpose of the class is to introduce theoretical models and discuss applications.