UC Center Program
French & European Studies

Fall 2011 Semester

The Program in French and European Studies is the creation of faculty and administrators at the University of California. It is designed to immerse students in several dimensions of French culture and life.

The program begins with a 11-day practicum focusing on language learning, with special attention paid to the acquisition practical skills for living in Paris. Every week excursions will allow students to discover the city.

After the practicum students take one French language and two upper-division courses in the Social Sciences and the Humanities intended to provide windows into French history, identity, visual culture, literature, politics and economics in relation to a broader European civilization, and to the United States.

The program is intended as rewarding experience abroad, and it is also a gateway for some students who may choose to extend their stay in France for a second semester at the University of Bordeaux.


Your regular participation in ongoing studies will provide a stable rhythm as you explore a city and a world that will be exciting and foreign to you. All of our classes are designed to give you a unique and valuable perspective on this fascinating city. We have been working with most of our distinguished professors for many years now, and they have all been selected because of the high quality of their work in their respective fields. French educational culture demands your regular on-time attendance and a more formal and respectful approach than you have experienced on your UC campus. A teacher has the right not to allow a student entry into a class once the class has begun. Your responsibility as UC students during our fall semester is to achieve academic excellence in course work, thereby taking advantage of the excellent educational opportunities provided you.

In general, any absence from class is interpreted as a sign that a student is not living up to their UC obligations. Unexcused absences will lower course grades, and repeated absences may lead to academic probation or dismissal from the program. Class attendance is taken at the beginning of each lecture and names of absent students are forwarded to the Academic Coordinator the same day. Unlike your home campus, each unexcused absence from one of the program courses will automatically result in your final grade being lowered by one-third a letter grade (eg. B+ becomes a B; A- becomes B+). If the absence is to be excused, the student must contact the Academic Coordinator within one week; after a week, the absence is fixed as unexcused and the grade reduction can be anticipated.

Excused absences are given only in exceptional circumstances and with documentation. Medical absences must be accompanied by a doctor's note in order to be excused. You will have health insurance during your stay that covers the full cost of doctor services and prescriptions, so make use of it early and often if need be. If you are not feeling well, we will be happy to direct you to a doctor or a doctor to you. Any other type of exceptional circumstance (i.e., non-medical) may be excused only with support documentation and will be subject to the approval of the Study Center Director on a case by case basis.

If you plan to travel during your stay, you can avoid unexcused absences by planning the timing of your departure (no skipping out early) and return carefully (never be on the last flight or train to get you back to Paris).


Content Courses

  PCC 111. Histories of Paris (PDF)
Professor Christina von Koehler
Using the buildings and space of Paris as a laboratory, this course surveys key events in the histories of Paris and France. The course will focus on the social and cultural history of the city in its material dimensions; the relation of streets and buildings to the unfolding events of French history, and the meanings of local topography within the enduring mythologies of the city. A central goal of the course is to teach students to read and write critically about the history of Paris and the cityscape around them. Includes some excursions. 5.0 credits

   PCC 115. European Integration (PDF)
Professor Mariam Habibi
This course aims to provide a general introduction to the history, the structure and the current developments of the European Union with a specific focus on France. We shall look at the circumstances after the second World War that once again put the 'Idea of Europe' on the agenda and the role that France played in the rebirth of this idea. The EU will be studied from a theoretical point of view; how do we define its structure? What determines the shape and speed of the integration process? How does this institution maintain its legitimacy? We will evaluate the success of this project by looking at specific policies, such as the common agricultural policy, the economic and social policy and common foreign and security policies. Finally we will consider the role of the EU as a global actor and study the EU's relations with the rest of the world. 5.0 credits

  PCC 116. Identity Issues in Contemporary France* (PDF)
(*formerly 'Cultural IDs in France')
Professor Stéphane Dufoix
This course explores recent political debates about French identity in light of the challenges posed by immigration (especially non-European immigration), feminism, economic and cultural globalization (considered an American-directed movement), and France's peculiar version of "multiculturalism". Includes a one-hour discussion section. 5.0 credits

  PCC 117. Media in France and the EU (PDF)
Professor Joav Toker
This course will explore and critically analyse major institutions, actors and trends in contemporary French Media and attempt to situate them in the larger contexts of “unifying” Europe and “globalized” world-media-scene. It will examine the operational schemes, performances and internal decisional and power structures of different branches of French media: written national & regional press, specialized magazines, the publishing industry, advertising, radio, television, the internet. It will also engage in a specific analysis of ‘New Media’ and ‘Social Networks’ involvement, influence and interaction with ‘traditional’ media spheres. 5.0 credits

  PCC 120. French Cinema (PDF)
Professor Marc Cerisuelo
In this course we will study the endurance and resilience of French cinema, the causes and effects of film as a "French passion." We will pay special attention to strong directorial personalities (Carn, Bresson, Tati, Godard, etc.); the French star system ; the popular love of cinema; French critical approaches to cinema; and the role of the state in promoting French cinema. We will cast a wide net over cinema to understand the secrets of the privileged relationship between a nation, an art, and a social practice. 6.0 credits

  PCC 125. French Art: 1715 - 1914 (PDF)
Professor Christopher Boicos
This course traces the evolution of French painting from the decline of the Ancien Régime, through the upheavals of the Revolutionary age, to the birth of modern industrial and capitalist France in the 19th century. It ends with the last heroic re-definition of "modernity" in art at the opening of the 20th century. 5.0 credits.

  PCC 128. France and its Struggles over its Empire 1870-2010 (PDF)
Professor Carole Reynaud-Paligot
This course approaches the processes of colonization and decolonization both within the French Empire and in the context of current discussions. It will examine the cultural and social context which facilitated colonial domination (the development of the Social Darwinism and the racial thinking), the construction of colonial myths (the colonial epic, the "mise en valeur") but also the political and cultural resistances to colonial domination. To treat the diverse aspects of this colonial culture, various documents will be analyzed: propaganda texts, comic strips, posters, photos, movies, literary works. 5.0 credits.

  PCC 129. Parisian Voices in Literature (PDF)
Professor Carole Viers-Andronico
In this course, students will engage in discussions prompted by a multiplicity of voices that make up what has been often referred to as the Parisian mosaic - a mosaic whose colorful tiles represent a collection of diverse and multivalent identities. Students will explore how the voices that have emerged in the past several decades bring myriad perspectives, ranging from "traditional" French culture to first and subsequent generation immigrant cultures, many of which come from former French colonies in the Francophone world, to bear on Parisian society and how these contemporary voices take a sometimes playful but often critical look at the identity of their post-war and postcolonial society. The course will, therefore, focus on examining the different social worlds that make contemporary Paris such a fascinating, diverse, and culturally important city. Through readings and class excursions to sites important to their understanding of the texts, students will trace some of the ways French alongside the more problematically termed Francophone writers and filmmakers have made their sundry voices heard over the past half a century. 5.0 credits

  PCC 130. Theater in France (PDF)
Professor Will Bishop
This course is an introduction to the French theatrical tradition and its different techniques for staging drama from the 17th century to the present. It considers what role theater has played in the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic life of France. We will do this principally in close engagement with translations of several of the most important plays in French in readings, in-class staging, and perhaps semi-public performances of our own. We will also pursue the place of theater in France through class excursions to sites that are important for understanding the place of theater in Paris's present and past. According to the offerings of the theatrical season, we will spend an extended amount of time at work on one of the plays in the syllabus in preparation for attending a contemporary performance of that play. We will also be interested in theater's relation to film, and will watch and discuss several film versions of or related to the plays we're reading in class. 5.0 credits

The Fall 2011 Registration is now closed. If you still have not registered please write to center@ucparis.fr