The City

R1A :  English Composition through French Literature in Translation (Section 1)
Spring 2020
V. Bergstrom


Readings may include:

Balzac, Old Goriot

Baudelaire, Parisian Scenes and Le Spleen de Paris

Kristin Ross, Fast Cars, Clean Bodies (excerpts)

Rabinow, French Modern (excerpts)

Viewings may include:

Impressionist painting, early photography and film

Marker, The Lovely Month of May and La jetée

Varda, Daguerréotypes

Course Description:

In this course, we will be exploring representations of urban space in French and Francophone literature and film. We will be exploring two major movements to remake the city of Paris: the Haussmannian modernization of Paris in the mid-nineteenth century and the response to a housing crisis in the 1950s and 60s. Through novels (Balzac), poetry (Baudelaire), and film (Marker, Varda), we will consider the role culture plays during periods of radical social upheaval, and how these diverse genres marshal their particular resources to represent the process and repercussions of urban change. We will also consider the way features of Parisian architecture and city planning get reproduced in French post/colonial cities.

This course is designed to fulfill the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement. The primary goal of this course is to develop students’ reading and writing skills through a series of assignments that will provide them with the opportunity to formulate observations made in class discussions into coherent argumentative essays. Emphasis will be placed on the refinement of effective sentence, paragraph, and thesis formation, keeping in mind the notion of writing as a process.

Additional Information:

Attendance is mandatory the first two weeks of classes.  This includes all enrolled and wait listed students.  Students who do not attend all classes during the first two weeks may be dropped. Students attempting to add this class during weeks 1 and 2 who did not attend the first day will be expected to add themselves to the wait list and attend all class meetings thereafter.  If space permits,  they may be enrolled from the wait list.

French R1A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes