This course is a cross-disciplinary advanced French course that provides a detailed account of the most influential French women from various disciplines who helped shape the French identity. We will study the accomplishments of Jean d'Arc, Catherine de Medicis, Marie-Antoinette, Marie Curie, Gabrielle Chanel, Simone de Beauvoir, and others. In class we will also examine French feminism as opposed to its American counterpart, gain better understanding of gender roles in French society, and question the relevance of the representations of women in the media, literature, and the arts.
or equivalent level through placement
This course is a survey of French vocal music from the troubadour tradition of the Middle Ages to the realistic tones of Edith Pilaf to the electronic vibes of Daft Punk and modern-day rap and rai. Students examine how singing has always been a part of the French art de vivre and political scene and has reflected major changes in society. Although students gain insight into all genre and eras, as well as the specifics of the French music industry, special focus will be given to Bell Epoque cabaret music, 20th century drinking songs, WWI and WWI military songs, "chansons realists," and Francophone performers such as Josephine Baker, Jacques Brel, Celine Dion, Cheb Khaled, and Stromae, who have helped French-singing repertoire reach out to global listeners.
Using scholarly and magazine articles, advertisements, commercials, interviews, and films, this course explores the evolution of French fashion from the strict sartorial laws of the Middle Ages to the recent scandals around Dior's firing of former head designer John Galliano. Students will be introduced to the connections between the historical background and the emergence of trends and to the ethical challenges the globalized economy poses to large groups such as LVMH. The course offers a plunge into what makes French fashion unique - pret-a-porter, haute-couture, and craftmanship- and it provides insight into legendary designers such as Chanel, Dior, St. Laurent, and Gaultier.
In this course, students explore the role and importance of food in French history, society, the media, and the arts. We will look at a variety of sources: cookbooks, newspapers, novels, movies, and writings by Claude Levi-Strauss and some French sociologists. Students investigate the material, and study of French food will serve as a context to review French grammar, vocabulary, and composition skills. We will also cook and eat from time to time.
For centuries, Paris has been an inspiration and home to artists, writers, and performers, and a place where artistic expression is central to everyday life. This course looks at the art and its cultural context over a broad period of time. Students study great works of art and architecture, and read literary excerpts that help define the intellectual and cultural context of each time period. Course work surveys the French art world, briefly for the Middle Ages, Renaissance, 17th and 18th centuries, and in more detail for the 19th and 20th centuries. As the occasion arises, other forms of artistry may have a place in this course, including the culinary arts, cinema, and music.