For a detailed program description, please visit the comparative literature Department website:
When Baron Haussmann reconstructed Paris into the “City of Light” (1852-1870), he produced an urban space that came to represent the Western world's break with tradition and the emergence of modernity. Modernism, the characteristic style of cutting-edge art and literature in the first half of the 20th century, was born there, which is why avant-garde artists and writers from all over the world would flock to Paris until the beginning of WWII.
This 10-week study abroad will offer students a unique opportunity to study the emergence of the « modern » within its original cultural, architectural and historical context. The program consists of three courses totaling 15 credits : « Surrealist Paris », taught by Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen (French and Comparative Literature) ; « Paris Fashion : The City à la mode », taught by Jessica Burstein (English and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies) ; « Anglo-American Expatriate Writers in Paris », taught by Katy Masuga (Comparative Literature). Taken together, these three interdisciplinary courses trace the interrelationships between Paris and the development of new representational forms such as photography and film, and the impact of modernity on arts such as painting, the novel, poetry, the theater, design – and fashion.
Paris contains an unparalleled wealth of modernist and proto-modernist art and an essential part of the program will be visits to museums and sites were we will see the actual paintings, sculptures and artifacts that we will be studying : Musée d’Orsay, Musée Gustave Moreau, Musée Rodin, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Musée Marmottan, Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Musée Picasso, Halle Saint-Pierre, Jean Tinguely’s « Le Cyclop », etc. This will enable us to get a sense of the whole sweep of the development of modern art from Impressionism through the various movements of the 20th century.
Students will be housed for the duration of the program in shared student dorms at the Cité Internationale Universitaire, a very nice, comfortable and safe campus for international students in the 14th « arrondissement » of Paris. Lectures will take place on site. Field trips, city walks and research days will be scheduled during the week, leaving ample free time to explore France and Europe during weekends.
The program is open to any UW undergraduate student with an interest in the humanities and the arts. There are no language requirements.