Culture Courses - Language and Culture Track

111. Histories of Paris 

Christina von Koehler
Using the buildings and space of Paris as a laboratory, this course surveys key events in the histories of Paris and France. The course will focus on the social and cultural history of the city in its material dimensions; the relation of streets and buildings to the unfolding events of French history, and the meanings of local topography within the enduring mythologies of the city. A central goal of the course is to teach students to read and write critically about the history of Paris and the cityscape around them. Includes some excursions.
5.0 UC quarter units.  
This course has previously transferred for these subject areas:  History/Sociology/Urban Studies

115. Unbound Boundaries:  The Idea of Europe and European Integration

Mariam Habibi
This course aims to provide a general introduction to the history, the structure and the current developments of the European Union with a specific focus on France. We shall look at the circumstances after the second World War that once again put the 'Idea of Europe' on the agenda and the role that France played in the rebirth of this idea. The EU will be studied from a theoretical point of view; how do we define its structure? What determines the shape and speed of the integration process? How does this institution maintain its legitimacy? We will evaluate the success of this project by looking at specific policies, such as the common agricultural policy, the economic and social policy and common foreign and security policies. Finally we will consider the role of the EU as a global actor and study the EU's link with the rest of the world.
5.0 UC quarter units. 
This course has previously transferred for these subject areas:  European Studies/History/Political Science

137The Art of War: From Old Regime Glory to Contemporary Disenchantment

Amanda Herold-Marme
War, a constant in society across time and space, is also a constant in art.  For centuries, representations of war served the purpose of celebrating, legitimizing and glorifying victorious sovereigns, states and/or civilizations, justifying what was considered a necessary, if unpleasant, social reality. However, over the course of the Napoleonic Wars at the turn of the 19th century, a significant shift occurs in the art of war, as images of suffering and disenchantment infiltrate the canvas, at the dawn of an age increasingly open to aesthetic subjectivity.

The way in which war is depicted in art—both in terms of subject matter and style—is a product not just of aesthetic currents and concerns, but also of the place and perception of war in society. Through the exploration of changing visions of war across artistic media from Old Regime France to the present, in relation to, and as a reflection of, the evolving socio-political and cultural context from which they emerge, this course aims to explore modern society’s progressive aversion to war.  

After addressing historical perspectives on representation and war, we will embark on a chronological visual history of war through selected major conflicts involving France taking place from the 17th century to the present. Throughout the course, we will seek to define war, revealing how this definition is bound to social context, as part of a larger reflection on the nature, purpose and impact of the art of war over time. We will study how artists act as harbingers of society’s evolving mentalities on war, modifying their forms and styles to capture conflict as it becomes increasingly ideological and destructive, and art less constrained by convention. Themes covered include representations of monarchical quests for glory, post-revolutionary ideological campaigns, orientalism and colonial conquest, war and technology (both in terms of weaponry and means of representation), war and nationalism, war as the clash of civilization and barbarianism, and the role of identity (including race, class, gender) and military experience in representing and perceiving war.  

Paris and its museum collections will provide the material background for the discussion of representations of war in art, and our reflection on the art of war will be enriched by selected theoretical and literary texts and cinematographic depictions of conflict.
5.0 UC quarter units credits. Suggested subject areas for this course: Art History/European Studies/History