Our linked courses, funded by the first iteration of the Grand Challenges Initiative, sponsored by the Mellon Foundation, share a focus on Paris as a site of contested and changing identities. Courses need not be taken in a particular order, and more may be added at a later time.
IDS 172. Defining Nations: Paris. This course, taught by Lauren Janes with contributions by Natalie Dykstra, Chuck Green, Pauline Remy, is part of the IDS Cultural Heritage curriculum. It will engage students using history, philosophy, and literature to discuss questions of national identities – their creation, reshaping, and limits – with a primary focus on Paris. The opening unit on the Enlightenment and French Revolution will have students “playing” the elaborate role-playing curriculum Rousseau, Burke, and Revolution in France, 1791. The second unit, led by Natalie Dykstra, will examine Americans who wrote from Paris, with an emphasis on understanding how their experience in the city influenced their experience and understanding of American identity. The final unit, with contributions by Chuck Green and Pauline Remy, will examine the role of race in the definition of Frenchness and the black nationalist literary and philosophical movements that centered on Paris in the twentieth century.
First-Year Seminar: Paris ~ Shaping a City and Defining Nations. Co-created by Lauren Janes and Heidi Kraus, this FYS course will be taught annually in the fall by either Janes or Kraus, alternating. Students will be prompted to think about identity and nationalism by examining Paris from interdisciplinary perspectives. As a way to orient students to college learning, we will highlight key aspects of Parisian and French national life, such as the French Revolution, the 19th-century reshaping of the city, and the global diversity of twenty-first century Paris. Students will reflect on their own identity as citizens of a country and a global community, and connect this to their pursuit of the liberal arts. Working with our colleagues in other departments, students will engage with the writings of contemporary black Parisians with Pauline Remy (French), examine the role of race in the psychology of identity with Chuck Green (psychology), and explore the politics of (un)veiling in France with Marissa Doshi (communication) from an intersectional feminist perspective through readings from Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Lila Abu-Lughod.
Communication 151: Media and Society. This half-semester course fulfills the college’s SS requirement and has a GLI flag. Typically, Marissa Doshi teaches two sections of the course each Fall semester. This course explores the impact of media in society, and students are introduced to the format and function of different types of contemporary media, specifically social media. The course was revised to introduce a new form of global activism that uses social media: activist street art in Paris. Kraus will teach two classes on the topic. In addition, Doshi will include two sessions on contemporary social media discourses about religious pluralism, free speech, and Eurocentrism in French society.
Art 241: Modern Art and Architecture. This course, taught by Heidi Kraus with contributions by Lauren Janes, is a chronological survey of Modern art, architecture, and urban design in Europe and America from the mid-eighteenth-century to approximately 1900. Beginning with the Enlightenment and concluding with Matisse and Picasso, students will examine successive artistic movements, competing art theories, and aesthetic debates. While Paris served as the center of the art world during the Modern period, a reworking of this course will expand its global content and engage more deeply with ideas of art and otherness in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The course will include a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago during the second part of the semester, where students will select works of art to serve as the foundation for a research paper.
IDS 4xx Paris May Term Senior Sem: Defining Nations, Defining Ourselves. This course is taught by Lauren Janes and Heidi Kraus with contributions by Chuck Green, Marissa Doshi, and Natalie Dykstra. Janes and Kraus currently teach (May ‘16/‘17) “Art, History, and Memory in Contemporary Global Paris,” an interdisciplinary course in history and art history, which students may take as history (CHII) or art history (FAI). This course meets on campus for 7 course days before travelling to Paris for just over two weeks. We will revise the course to offer a senior seminar option. This senior seminar will focus on the questions of national identity, inclusion, and exclusion in the Parisian context, and will engage students in self reflection on how they define themselves as citizens of a nation and/or global citizens and the role of faith in that citizenship. During our course time on campus at Hope, Chuck Green will lead a session on the psychology of race and Marissa Doshi will lead a session on intersectional identity from a feminist perspective. Natalie Dykstra will lead sessions in Paris on strategies for reflective writing for the worldview paper.
English 373: American Writers in Paris: From Frederick Douglass to Gertrude Stein. This course is taught by Natalie Dykstra, with contributions by Heidi Kraus and Lauren Janes. The humorist James Thurber may have spoken for many American writers when he wrote: “the whole of Paris is a vast university of Art, Literature and Music…. Paris is a seminar, a post-graduate course in Everything.” For American writers, Paris offered a chance, as Adam Gopnik has written, “to imagine a civilization that lets you be, that gives a crucial margin of eccentric self-expression.” This upper-level English course investigates Paris as a promise, place, stage, state of mind, influence, refuge, and shaper of American identities, asking who has been included/excluded and why. We will study a wide-range of American writers from to James Fenimore Cooper to Frederick Douglass, from Edith Wharton to the modernist Gertrude Stein.