Explores the issues of urban culture and history in the city of Paris. Uses pertinent primary and secondary texts to explore why Paris has been regarded as the jewel of European cities and what constitutes its sense of place.
We will study through a variety of texts related to social, political, cultural, and architectural history how the city developed into a modern metropolis from the late Middle Ages to the late 20th century. The students will present seminar papers related to the readings, write exam essays on specific topics, and prepare an imaginary day in Paris itinerary, citing routes taken to various historical, commercial, and tourist locales. By the end of the term, you should feel like you know at least the central districts or arrondissements well.
Student learning goals
1.Trace the outlines of Parisian history from the late 16th century to the present.
2.Read and critique the literature of architectural, social and cultural history and urbanism.
3.Write persuasively about the context of the city’s history, its buildings, and major artistic accomplishments.
4. Develop disciplinary or interdisciplinary research skills for a term project of the students' choice exploring how the social, cultural or political events stand against the urban fabric.
5.Gain mastery of oral presentation skills in class on the readings and slides and draw connections among them.
General method of instruction
We will have brief lectures, seminar papers on readings to discuss in small groups, and occasional viewing of videos and slides to bring the visual beauty of the city to life. There is an abundant password-protected website to allow the students to become familiar with the city's landmarks through visual images and hot links to important sites.
Any western history or art history class would be helpful and/or a humanities class where the critical reading of texts was an explicit skill set.
Class assignments and grading
There will be two exams, multiple seminar papers on readings to be presented orally in small groups, and the itinerary assignment (5-6 pages).
In addition to the compilation of assignments listed above, the class participation grade will be important to the students' success and sense of mastery.