Alex Corey, Reed College — The CUPA staff gracefully eased the students into complete immersion with the French language better than any other immersion program I have known. Because of this, students automatically began to improve in French. The concepts we learned in Paris Mythique and the discussions we had in class were profound, both abstract and based in historic detail that trained my mind to think rigorously in another language, which is something that will help me in all my academic endeavors for the rest of my life. I can not thank CUPA enough for all they have done for me.
Students will be placed into one of the two following language courses, and will have a choice between one of the two content courses. Each course carries 60 contact hours, for a total of 120 contact hours, ie 2 full semester credit-bearing courses.
Advanced French: Grammar, Composition & Conversation
For students with 4 semesters of college French (or equivalent), wishing to reinforce their grammar skills and improve their oral and written expression. Students analyze press articles, audio recordings, literary texts, film excerpts, etc., in order to develop a higher level of aural and written comprehension while exploring various aspects of French culture and society. Strong emphasis is placed on helping students acquire better proofreading and editing techniques when writing in French, in order to prepare them for more advanced language courses at their home universities. A number of class-related activities will complement the work covered during class sessions.
Perspectives on Contemporary French Society
This highly advanced French language course is for students who have already completed at least 5 semesters (or the equivalent) of college French, who wish to develop greater proficiency and elegance in their written and oral French. Specific themes will be developed drawing from literary theory, prose texts, theatre, and literary criticism, but also current issues in French society, drawn from press articles and editorials. In depth discussion and debate, coupled with extensive written work, will lead students to elaborate argumentative strategies and a more elegant and precise style in French.
Paris 1850-1939 : the Birth of Modern Art
From the middle of the 19th century marked by Courbet’s uncompromising Realism to the post WW1 period culminating with Breton’s Manifeste du Surréalisme, Paris attracted a great diversity of artists whose aesthetic experiments fueled an exceptionally rich artistic era. The scandalous debut of Matisse’s Femme au chapeau at the Salon d’Automne in 1905 is considered to have marked the birth of Modernism, yet as early as 1850 a series of controversies were already beginning to challenge hegemonic aesthetic norms that had prevailed since the Renaissance. Modern Art was on the rise. To complement classroom lectures and discussion examining what constitutes modern art and its manifestations, students will explore and analyze in situ the impact of major works such as Manet’s infamous Déjeuner sur l’herbe, as well as masterpieces of Impressionism, Fauvism or Cubism, at the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Picasso, or the Centre Pompidou, among others.
Diversity in Paris: From Communities to Communitarianism? (19th-21st Centuries)
A study of the history of immigration in Paris, and its reflections in the contemporary city. The course is split between in-class discussion and field trips to neighborhoods rich in their relationship to immigration, with a special focus on immigrants from the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa. It aims to understand the presence and experience of immigrant and migrant populations in Paris, how these diverse communities situate themselves in the city, and how they assimilate and make Parisian culture evolve. Understanding these relationships helps put into perspective French contemporary debates on issues such as illegal immigration and secularism.