Urban Change in Modern France
Emile Zola The Ladies’ Paradise (tr. Brian Nelson).
T.J. Clark The Painting of Modern Life
The subject of this class is urban change. Our primary historical model will be the modernization of Paris in the 19th century. In particular, we will ask how cultural works from this period register, resist or reimagine social change. Our main focus will be on three literary and artistic genres central to the cultural landscape of this century: poetry (Baudelaire), the novel (Zola) and impressionist painting (Manet). We will also ask how the modernization of Paris relates to current issues of urban planning, gentrification and sustainability. In order to better assess the role culture plays during periods of drastic social change, we will spend the last part of the semester studying and comparing the development of other major cities in relation to a wider range cultural works (photography, film, music, performance art).
French R1B satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH.