RLFR 316 Fall 2014 Paris on Fire: Incendiary Voices from the City of Light (1830-2005)

Cross Listed as WGSS315
During the 1830s, Balzac described Paris as a "surprising assemblage of movements, machines, and ideas, a city of one hundred thousand novels, the head of the world," but also characterized the French capital as a "land of contrasts," a "monstrous wonder," a "moral sewer." Similarly, writers from Hugo to Zola have simultaneously celebrated Parisian elegance and condemned the appalling misery of Paris's urban poor. Since 1889, Paris has been fĂȘted as the "City of Light" for its Enlightenment legacy, its Eiffel Tower modernity, and its luminous urban energy, captured in countless paintings, photographs, and film. However, Paris is also the historical site of revolution, resistance, and riots. From revolutionary revolt (1830, 1848, 1871), to wartime resistance (1870, 1914-18, 1940-44), to reformist and race riots (1968 and 2005), Paris has repetitively sparked with incendiary passion and political protest. As fires raged during the riots in 2005, many heard the echo of Hitler's ominous 1944 question, "Is Paris burning?" and asked: why was Paris burning again at the dawn of the twenty-first century? To answer this question, we will examine the social, political, and literary landscape of Paris during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from urbanization and modernization, to occupation and liberation, to immigration and globalization. Readings to include poetry, short stories, and novels by Hugo, Balzac, Baudelaire, Maupassant, Verne, Zola, Apollinaire, Colette, Duras, Perec, Rochefort, and Charef. Films to include works by Clair, Truffaut, Godard, Minnelli, ClĂ©ment, Lelouch, Luhrmann, Kassovitz, Besson, and Jeunet. Conducted in French.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, two short papers, an oral presentation, and a final paper
Additional Info:
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: RLFR 201, or 202, or 203; or another RLFR 200-level course; or permission of the instructor.
Enrollment Preference: French majors and certificate students; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies majors; Comparative Literature majors; and those with compelling justification for admission
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under RLFR; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under WGSS
Divisional Attributes: Division I
Other Attributes: INST - Urbanizing World Electives
Enrollment Limit: 20
Expected Enrollment: 20
Class Number: 1802
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER ENRL CONSENT
RLFR 316 - 01 (F) SEM Paris On Fire Division 1: Languages and the Arts Brian Martin
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM Hollander 240 1802
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