Paris Fall Seminar
In fall 2017, study in Paris with Skidmore Professor Hédi Jaouad from the Department of World Languages and Literatures. The fall 2017 Paris Fall Seminar, titled “Paris and its Margins,” allows students to experience another side of Paris, a side that is rarely looked at; it is the Paris of those who live on its margins. It is the Paris of immigrants and artists. Clearly, nothing compares with an on-site experience. This truism is particularly true of Paris, the most cosmopolitan place on earth. But there is Paris and Paris. Everyone is familiar with the tourist’s Paris of the Louvre and Eiffel Tower; in short, the Paris of monuments, high culture and lights. But there is the other Paris: underground, hidden and invisible but teeming with life and creativity. This is the Paris that enchanted Surrealist writers and artists. This is the Paris of today’s immigrants, mainly from North Africa. This is also the Paris that the Fall Seminar Director experienced as a student in the mid-70’s, the one that he would like to share with Skidmore students.
The Program and Seminar Director
The Seminar Director for the fall 2017 program is Hédi Jaouad, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, who specializes in French Avant-garde art and literature, especially Surrealism.
The Paris Fall Seminar program, offered every fall, is a faculty-led program designed to offer students an opportunity to study in Paris, even if they have little or no French language skills. The program is hosted by the IES Abroad French Studies Center, which is Skidmore’s onsite partner in Paris for the Skidmore in Paris programs. The Seminar Director position is filled by a different Skidmore professor each year, and past directors have come from the departments of Anthropology, English, History, Government, Philosophy, and World Languages & Literatures.
Paris Fall Seminar 2017
Paris and its Margins
The seminar courses will explore the North African experience in Paris, including the political, religious, educational and musical aspects, as well as examining the Surrealist art movement that began and flourished in Paris. This seminar is developed for students with little or no French and aims to provide an opportunity for students to experience Paris in a very special way. The program will make use of the incredible resources that Paris has to offer by integrating cultural activities and excursions into the core courses. Students live with French hosts to allow them to experience French life firsthand.
Courses & Credits
Participants enroll in a total of four courses: a French language course, two seminar courses taught by the Professor Jaouad, and one additional course from the Skidmore in Paris: Liberal Arts, Language, & Business program. There is no French language requirement to apply for the Paris Fall Seminar − all courses, except the French language course, are taught in English.
The 2017 Paris Fall Seminar program, Paris and its Margins, is made up of the following courses for a total of 15-16 credits:
- JPLL-263 "North Africa in Paris" (4 credits)
Paris is not only the capital of France but of the French-speaking or francophone world. Hundreds of thousands of Africans from the former colonies have settled in Paris. This course will expose students to the rich and diverse ethos of the "other Paris," the one that rarely gets media attention, the Paris of immigrant communities. The growth of new ethnic minorities in Paris since 1946 has led to anxious reappraisals of national identity in France and made immigration a burning political issue in contemporary France. This course focuses on the study of peoples originating from North Africa, the largest immigrant community in the metropolitan area. Students will examine the other Paris from the perspectives of politics, education, religion, and Rai music. Students will encounter the North African communities in Paris through special activities such as home stays and meetings with local artists, writers, and community activists. (fulfills Cultural Diversity breadth requirement)
JPLL-363 "Paris of the Surrealists" (4 credits)
Paris is the capital of Avant-garde art and literature. It is the birthplace of Surrealism. This course examines Surrealism as a critical and an aesthetic mode of apprehending reality. Students will study Surrealism's forerunners (Futurism, Cubism, Dadaism), practitioners (Breton, Artaud, Dalí, Bunuel) and disciples (Cesaire, Ginsberg, Gorki), focusing on its characteristics in poetry, painting, theater, and film, its philosophical and psychoanalytical precepts, and its impact on politics. The two most studied texts in surrealist literature, Andre Breton's Nadja and Louis Aragon's Le Paysan de Paris, are set in Paris. The class will reenact the characters' meanderings through the streets of Paris. Students will visit the Surrealists' many hangouts in the city, their "ateliers," the art galleries where their work was exhibited, and museums where Surrealist art is shown.
- French Language - Students will take an exam in Paris to place in the appropriate level of French (beginning
- Choose 1-2 additional courses from the Skidmore in Paris: Liberal Arts, Language, & Business program offered at the IES Business & International Affairs (BIA) Center in Paris or a partner institution. Choose from courses taught in English in art history, business, dance, French & European Studies, English, History, International Affairs, Political Science, and Studio Art. Additional course options available at the IES French Studies Center or partner institutions for students with the equivalent of 4 semesters of college-level French or more.