The View from Paris: Key Moments in French Culture
An intellectually intense, document-based approach to the identity of French culture, made palpable through five moments in the history of Paris (which, more perhaps than any other capital in the western world, has been the center and focus of that nation's productivity. Readings and subsequent discussions will focus on the following contexts in Paris's past: 12th/13th century: the University of Paris as a center of Christian spirituality, intellect, and passion; 17th century: the performance of tragedy on the stages of the city; comedies at the Court of Versailles; 1794: the moment of Terror in the French Revolution and a turning point towards a new form of political life; 1889: Eiffel Tower and World Expo, Paris as the first City of Modernity; 1958: Général de Gaulle assumes power: de-colonization, Existentialism, and France's new identity within Europe. Offered as a part of the Gateways to the World program. Taught in English.