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DEADLINE: UNC Summer in Paris
February 9, 2017
FREN 398: How Paris became the city it is today: discovering Paris through the cityscapes from yesteryear to today
Dates: June 27 – August 5, 2017
Resident Director: Dr. John Pickles, Earl N Phillips Distinguished Professor of International Studies
GPA requirement: 2.7
Class Standing: Rising Sophomore (min); Open to Graduate and non-UNC students
Cost: See website
Application deadline: Feb. 9, 2017
Students will be introduced to the cityscapes of what Walter Benjamin referred to as the Capital of the Nineteenth Century through to the contemporary world-city of culture, tourism, government, finance, and immigrant life. In class and across the city we will ask, how was Paris “put together”, how can we understand its range and depths, and how can we become informed travelers through its many streets, boulevards, parks, museums, and everyday landscapes?
Students will focus on three main themes. First, we will learn about, visit, and study the historical landscapes of the city both above ground (monuments, Haussmann’s boulevards, social spaces, museums, and cemeteries) and underground (the sewers and the Catacombs). Second, we will consider the ways in which the city life has been, and continues to be, defined by the cultural practices of the life of the street (the flaneur of Baudelaire, the arcades project of Walter Benjamin, the spaces of impressionist art, existentialist cafés, back alleys of Pigalle, Guy Debord’s explorations of city situations, student life from the late 1960s, and the street graffiti artists of today). Third, we will explore the production of key contemporary Parisian sites and their neighborhoods, such as the building of Sacré Coeur, neighborhood struggles over the museum Centre Pompidou, the financial district La Défense, the lives and livelihoods of ethnically, economically, and electorally divided neighborhoods, and new spaces of security and asylum seeking.
Much of the work of the course will incorporate fieldwork and class time on site. Students will engage with a wide range of written and visual materials, including street and sewer art, museum displays, military miniatures, and maps.
French language course taken at the Sorbonne.
Students will be placed in a section after taking the placement exam.