Since before Charlemagne, there has been a love story between Paris and its citizens. Paris captured artists’ imagination as early as the Middle Ages with the “chanson de gestes,” but in the nineteenth century, it became a myth in French literature.

We will explore this myth and its evolution since the 1830s, starting with the “rooting” of the myth in Balzac’s works. We will also study how the novel developed as a city-defined genre. Authors that will be analyzed include: Balzac, Hugo, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Zola, Verne, Apollinaire, Breton and Modiano. We will study the evolution of the myth in literature and compare the literary constructions of Paris to the physical reality described by urban historians.

Though we will concentrate on Paris in its literary representations, comparisons will also involve other forms of art such as painting, photography and cinema, in order to illustrate the omnipresence of Paris in French imagination. A range of mediums will be discussed, but literature will be used as the grounding element for discussion in each case. Accordingly, we will examine works from: Delacroix, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Pissaro, Degas, Caillebotte, Delaunay, Marville, Atget, Cartier-Bresson, Tati, Klapish and Jeunet. Students will be encouraged to draw comparisons between different forms of representations, across time periods, and to compare and contrast differences between mediums, as well as time periods.


•    Attendance is mandatory.  It is essential that students attend all classes and participate actively.  Unexcused absences will influence the final grade.
•    Reading assignments are critical. Students are expected to read the material as it is assigned and come to class prepared.


Visits to museums and other relevant sites (depending on current exhibits) are an integral part of this course, and failure to attend them will be counted as an unexcused absence.


The final grade for this course will consist of the following components:

Participation in seminar discussions and class preparation        20 %
Oral presentation                            30 %
Final Exam                                50%


Barricelli, Jean-Pierre.  Fireplaces of Civilization.  Riverside:  Xenos Book, 1993.
Benjamin, Walter.  Paris, Capitale du XIXe Siècle:  Le Livre des Passages.  Trans. Jean
Lacoste.  Ed.  Rolf Tiedemann.  Paris:  Les Editions du Cerf, 1993.
Burton, R. “The Unseen Seer, or Proteus in the City: Aspects of a Nineteenth-Century Parisian
Myth”, French Studies XLII, 1 (1988) 50-68.
Collier, Peter.  “Nineteenth Century Paris:  Vision and Nightmare.”  Unreal City:  Urban     Experience in Modern European Literature and Art.  Ed.  Edward Timms and David
Kelley.  New York:  St. Martin’s Press, 1985.
---., & Lethbridge Robert, Artistic Relations. Literature and the Visual Arts in nineteenth
century France. Yale University Press: 1994.
Ferguson, Priscilla Parkhurst. Literary France: The Making of a Culture. Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1987.
---. Paris as Revolution: Writing the Nineteenth Century City. Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1994.
Lehan, Richard. The city in Literature :An Intellectual and Cultural History. Berkeley: The
University of California Press, 1999.
McMahon, Joseph, ed. Paris in Literature. New Haven: Yale French Studies, 1964.
Prendergast, Christopher. Paris and the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell
Publishers, 1992.
Raser, G. The Heart of Balzac’s Paris. Choisy-le-roi: Imprimerie de France, 1970.
Schor, Naomi.  “Zola:  from Window to window.”  Yale French Studies 42 (1969):  38-51.

Brenneman, David A., ed. Paris in the Age of Impressionism: Masterworks From the Musée
d’Orsay. New York; Harry N. Abrams, 2002.
Clark, T.J., The Painting of Modern Life. Paris in the Art of Manet and his Followers. New York:
Knopf, 1985.
Gaussen, Frédéric. Paris des peintres. Paris : Adam Biro, 2002.
Reff, Theodore, ed. Manet and Modern Paris: One Hundred Paintings, Drawings, prints and
Photographs by Manet and His Contemporaries. Washington D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1982.
Rosenthal, Mark. Visions of Paris: Robert Delaunay’s Series. New York: Guggenheim Museum,
Sagner-Düchting, Karin. Renoir: Paris and the Belle Epoque. New York: Prestel, 1996.
Wiser, William. The Crazy Years: Paris in the Twenties. London: Thames & Hudson, 1983.

Atget, Eugène. Eugène Atget’s Paris. Essay by Andreas Krase, edited by Hans Christian Adam.
New York: Taschen, 2001.
---. Atget Paris. Presented by Beaumont-Maillet. Paris: Hazan, 1992.
---. Paris du temps perdu. Text by Marcel Proust. Lausanne: Edita, 1963.
Cartier Bresson, Henri. Paris à vue d’oeil. Paris : Seuil, 1997
---. The Early Work. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Londres: Thames & Hudson, 1987.
---. Henri Cartier-Bresson: à propos de Paris. Boston: Little, Brown, 1994.
Gautrand, Jean-Claude. Paris mon amour. Paris : Marval, 1996.
Mellot, Philippe. Le nouveau Paris sens dessus dessous Marville-photographies 1864-1877.
Paris: Trinckvel, 1995.
Paviot, Françoise. Paris des photographes. Paris: Duchêne, 2002.

Binh, N.T. Paris au cinéma, la vie rêvée de la capitale de Méliès à Amélie Poulain. Paris :
Parigramme, 2003.
Jeanne, René & Charles Ford. Paris vu par le cinéma. Paris: Hachette, 1969.


Week 1

The Birth of a Myth
•    Course syllabus and requirements
•    Paris in the nineteenth century
The Balzacian Archetype : Paris of the Restauration
•    Honoré de Balzac’s Old Goriot (1835) : analysis of the opening scene
•    Parisian social segregation
•    Lavielle’s representation: Cinq étages du monde parisien, coupe d’un immmeuble (1850)

Week 2
What is the myth made of ?
•    Old Goriot
•    Parisian microcosms : the quartier, the boarding house
•    A dialectic of combat

Week 3
Paris as Revolution
•    Passages from Hugo’s Les misérables (1862) and Flaubert’s l’Education sentimentale : a comparison of two perspectives
•    Delacroix : La liberté menant le peuple (1830)

Week 4
Baudelaire’s Paris : The Poet in the City, from a Pastoral to an Urban Mode
•    Introduction to The Flowers of Evil (1861)
•    Analysis of a poem  The Swan

Week 5
Haussmann’s Paris : A Mobile Entity
•    Marville’s and Atget’s Paris
•    Zola’s La curée

Week 6
Haussmann’s Paris : A Mobile Entity
•    What is Naturalism ?
•    Zola’s La curée
•    Zola and the impressionnists see the virtual exhibition “Zola: historien et poète de la modernité”(http://expositions.bnf/Zola/Zola/expo/index.htm)
•    Painters and writers at the café Guerbois

Week 7
Impressionnist Paris
•    Paintings by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Caillebotte, Degas and Pissaro

Week 8
Paris of “l’Esprit Nouveau”

•    Apollinaire’s “Zone” and “Mirabeau Bridge” from Alcools (1913)
•    Paintings by Delaunay

Week 9

Is the Myth Still Alive Today ?
Paris in cinema since Méliès
Paris in Contemporary Literature

Week 10

Final Exam

I.    Structure and goals

The aim of this course is to examine one or more areas of commercial law from a comparative perspective, that students can recognise comparative law issues when they arise in commercial law and are able to analyse those issues using the conceptual tools of comparative law. Based on a comparative analysis this course will  include aspects of corporate laws in civil and common law countries, international buisiness transactions, disputes resolution as well as the contract laws of different countries.

II.    Assessment

Assessment type    Description    Grade
Assignment    Essay not exceeding 1,500 words    30%
Examination    In class examination     70%

III.    Bibliography

•    Foster, NHD 'Comparative Commercial Law: Rules or Context?'
•    in Örücü, E and Nelken, D (eds) Comparative Law: A Handbook Hart
•    John Henry Merryman and Rogelio Pérez-Perdomo, The Civil Law Tradition, An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Europe and Latin America

IV.    Syllabus

1.    INTRODUCTION: Course overview. Some commercial law basics, contracts law basics, french compared to other legal systems, sources of law, judicial process,

2.    Contracts :classification, formation and  nullity;  different type of business, comparative law,  formalities in France

3.    Negotiating and drafting key international business transactions:
distributorship agreement, applicable law, best effort

4. Intellectual Property Rights basics: introduction, patent, trademarks, cases study

5. Licensing and Electronic transactions

6. International Dispute Resolution:  arbitration V/s adjudication

7. Alternative Dispute Resolution : How to use mediation, conciliation
and other ADR? We will then collectively draft the dispute resolution clause
which we decide is the most suitable to our hypothetical case.

8.    Employment law basics: drafting an Employment Agreement, hiring a
foreign employee, terminating an agreement, drafting a transaction

9.    Social media use at work and online privacy: Can you get fired from work for posting on social media when you are not at work, Prohibited reasons for which you can't be fired or let go from work, What does the law consider to be private and not.

10.Final Exam

Culture and Technology

The Internet of Things: Innovation and Management Program


Professor Cynthia Tolentino, PhD



Course description

This course explores the multiple ways in which culture and technology interact. We begin by looking at how technological innovations in transport and print have shaped ideas of community and personhood. Over the course of the semester we explore the ways that technology provides a critical framework for apprehending and assessing aesthetic value, the human experience, social progress, and political change. The concluding weeks are devoted to thinking about how technologies generate, on one hand, new forms of connection, freedom, and agency, and on the other, surveillance, conscription, and homogenization. Assignments include short essays, group presentations, and a final paper.

Critical questions for the class:

• What is culture and how has it been shaped by technological innovations?

• How does technology produce connectedness?

• In what contexts have technological innovations produced notions of difference?

• Is technology neutral?

• In what ways does technology transcend boundaries? Does it also reinforce or construct new divides?


• Be able to define the notions of culture, technology, modernity, and globalization

• Develop familiarity with important scholars/critics, arguments, and debates

• Be at ease talking about technology’s relation to cultural forms in complex, dynamic, and historicized ways


- Three essays, 4-6 pages. Topics will be suggested. Due after Modules 3, 7, and 10.

- 10-12 page final paper: Write a paper that explores one of the themes/questions from the course using texts from the syllabus and outside examples. Or, write an expanded essay based on the in-class assignment for Week 10 (the memoir fragment). Due one week after the last class.

Part I: Technology and the culture of modernity

How has engineering ingenuity shaped the emergence of new types of citizens, consumers, and entrepreneurs?

Module 1 Technological Modernity: Ambivalent Responses


• Selection from Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897 novel; links technological innovations in transportation, medical, and information technology to the rise of a new class of experts)

• E.M. Forster, “The Machine Stops” (1909 short story; value of connection to machine as opposed to connection to natural world)

In-class assignment: Small group work on questions that center on the relation of technology and modernity (What are some responses to technological modernity, as represented in the novel? In what ways are these responses ambivalent cultural and emotional? How does technology evoke both anxiety and desire? (in the novel, anxiety about modernization takes form of anxiety about impact of technology on body and contamination) Can modernity “kill”?). Identify examples to support your responses. Produce a visual aid based on your discussion to share with the class.

Module 2 Print Technology and Community


Benedict Anderson, “Introduction,” “Cultural roots,” “Census, map, museum.” Imagined Communities: The Origins and the Spread of Nationalism (1991); influential anthropology/political science book that links print capitalism (circulation of texts, reading of newspapers and novels) to the development of the modern nation-state, national consciousness and official national culture

• View images that link 16th century Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel’s paintings to the development of the stereotypical image of the witch and by extension, to perspectives on gender and anxiety over magic and sorcery (drawn from exhibition “Bruegel’s Witches” at Museum Catharijineconvent in Utrecht, Netherlands)

In-class assignment: Small group work on questions that include: How do mass media technologies help to generate local, regional and global imaginaries? What are some of the similarities and differences between specific kinds of technology and the communities that they create and facilitate? Consider for example, print capitalism in relation to digital or cable television, online newspaper sites, Facebook, Twitter etc.

Module 3 Technology and aesthetic experience


• Walter Benjamin, “The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction” (1936); examines effects of technological modernity (film, photography) on perception of the originality and authenticity of a work of art

• Bienvenido Santos, “The Day the Dancers Came.” (1955 short story); on recorded sound, memory, and authenticity

• Catherine Clark, “La Vidéotheque de Paris, memory for the future.” Contemporary French Civilization. 40, 1 (2014): 1-23; examines the conversion of an image archive into a high-tech institution as the transformation of users’ relationship to the past and institutionalized history into memory

In-class assignment: Read article below on covert digital scanning of bust of Queen Nefertiti at Neues Museum in Berlin by artists Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles, who also released the scan for free access and use. Identify intersections between digital scanning of artworks with Benjamin’s essay.

Debate politics, ethics, limits and possibilities of digital scanning of artworks.

• Article:

Essay 1 due

Module 4 The recorded voice and the politics of disembodiment


• Her (film, Spike Jonze 2013; 126 minutes), on the romance of disembodied conversation

• Singin’ in the Rain (film, Stanley Donen, 1952, 103 minutes); on impact of microphone and recording technology on narrative cinema

• The Halfmoon Files (film; Philip Scheffner, 2007, 87 min); on intersection of scientific research (sound archive) with war, captivity and memory

• Selection from Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age. MIT Press, 2015. Argues that the pervasiveness of mobile devices has displaced focused conversation and diminished human capacity for empathy

In-class assignment: In small groups, consider the following questions and find examples – in both the assigned texts and beyond - to support your responses: How do innovations in voice technology produce change on the level of the individual, the everyday, and the broader culture? Do new technologies render old ones obsolete? What constitutes humanity and has electronic communication replaced these things?

Module 5 Human/Machine Collision


• Selection from JG Ballard, Crash (1973), cult novel that explores the car crash as an erotic human/machine collision

• Clips from film Crash (David Cronenberg, 1996), explores the reshaping of the human body and mind by machine culture

• Selection from Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto,” from Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (1990); defines the cyborg as a hybrid figure in order to question the conventional binaries of human/machine, natural/artificial, physical/non-physical

In-class assignment: Read and discuss the Cade Metz article on the historic Go match between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol. Consider the significance of the Go match in relation to questions that include: Is it important to define humanity through our difference from machines? Why or why not? Is industrial modernity still defined through the intellectual separation of humans and machines? Why are people drawn to the replaying of the intersection between humans and machines?

• Article: Cade Metz, “In Two Moves, AlphaGo and Lee Sedol Redefined the Future.” March 16, 2016. 7:00:00. Web (on “beautiful moves”).

Part II: Technology and the culture of globalization

How does technology facilitate the production of new forms of connectedness, belonging, and agency? How has technology provided a critical framework for reassessing global history and world systems (e.g., slavery, capitalism, colonialism), in addition to political change?

Module 6 Technology and the production of difference: industrialization


• Selection from Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton: A Global History (2014); links industrialization of cotton (growing, transporting, processing) with violence of forced labor; how can a commodity provide a lens on development of modern world, through the intersections of slavery and colonial conquest with industrial capitalism?

• Selection from Leslie Chang, Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China (2008); examines mass migration to urbanized manufacturing centers through lives of women workers from rural areas.

• Clips from The World (film; Jia Zhangke, 2004); on performers/workers at Beijing World Park, a Chinese tourist park and symbol of economic divide in industrializing China.

In-class assignment: Read the Oculus Rift review below. Identify possible connections with/divergences from Beckert/Chang. Discuss how technological innovations also involve the production of social difference, but also of standards and norms. Do designers/engineers/manufacturers have a social responsibility when imagining users and consumers of their products?

• Article: Brian X. Chen, “Oculus Rift Review: A Clunky Portal to a Promising Virtual Reality.” Personal Tech. The New York Times, March 28, 2016. Web. (new technology reinforces a standard physiognomy)

Module 7 Technology and People Powered Uprisings


• Vicente Rafael, The Cell Phone and the Crowd: Messianic Politics in the Contemporary Philippines (2003; explores role of cell phones and practice of texting in the 1987 People Power II movement in Philippines; questions notion of technology giving voice to masses)

• Selection from Anne Sisson Runyan and V. Spike Peterson, “Gendered Resistances.” Global Gender Issues in the New Millennium (2014). 246-248. Looks at social media and women’s political mobilization.

• Selection from Joseph M. Reagle Jr, Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web. MIT Press, 2015. Explores notions of community and inclusiveness in internet comment culture.

In-class assignment: In small groups, research and discuss a contemporary protest movement frequently associated with social media, such as the Arab Spring, the May 15 Anti-Austerity Movement in Spain, or Occupy Wall Street.

Some topics for discussion:

• Creation of mass public

• Tech-related activism

• Development of science and technology for local populace rather than profits for foreign or corporate entities

• Gaining and/or giving a voice? To what? marginalized group or perspective, Westernized ideals

• Political mobilization, coordination of protest actions

Essay 2 due

Module 8 Technology and Geopolitics


• Selection from Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty First Century (2005) Examines convergence of technological and political developments in generating a new stage for global commerce.

• Susan Douglas, “The Turn Within: The Irony of Technology in a Globalized World.” American Quarterly, 58, 3 (2006): 619-638. Considers impact of digital communications on news reporting and entertainment conventions.

• Selection from Judy Wajcman, Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism (2015) Explores changing relationship between human perception of time and new digital technologies.

In-class assignment: Consider the intersections of technology, financial markets and world trade. In what ways are technologies and globalization shaped by – and facilitators of - time/space compression?

Some discussion questions: Is the I.T. Revolution synonymous with globalization? How do arguments on globalization from the early 2000s relate to those in the past five years? In what ways have the concerns or terms of debate remained the same/been supplanted/transformed?

Module 9 Connectivity/Secrecy/Security/Surveillance/Transparency


• Film: Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, 2014; documentary on the Edward Snowden intelligence leak case and surveillance society)

• Selection from Jonathan Franzen, Purity (2015) Explores digital privacy issues.

• Selection from Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (2013) On internet behavior and behavioral engineering.

In-class assignment: Read article on Facebook’s trending topics feature. Working in small groups, take divergent (or overlapping) positions on the issues below and hold a debate.

• Article: Alex Hern, “Facebook’s New Saga Reminds Us That Humans are Biased by Design.” The Guardian, May 13, 2016. Web.

Issues: Do social media enable new freedoms or generate new forms of conscription? Trust? What are the expectations? Who is accountable for ensuring a climate of trust? Tracking vs research and information. Issues of privacy: internet persona/contamination/outing Digital leaking vs. journalism: Is leaking a form of journalism?

Module 10 Engaging Objects: Technology and the Self


• Selection from Roland Barthes, Mythologies (1957); on the process of mythologisation e.g. how socially constructed ideas and narratives become naturalized or seen as “norms”

• Joan Scott, “The Evidence of Experience.” Critical Inquiry 17,4 (Summer 1991): 773-797. Analyzes experience as mediated rather than natural.

• Selection from Sherry Turkle, Evocative Objects: Things We Think With. MIT Press, 2007. Autobiographical essays that explore emotional and intellectual connections with objects.

In-class assignment: Select a specific object and consider its role in your life. Produce a “memoir fragment” that conveys, in nuanced ways, the personal, cultural, and sociological significance of the chosen object. Present your “memoir fragment” to other students in your group for comment and discussion.

Essay 3 due

Final Paper due (due 1 week after last class)

An Introduction to French Cinema : from the Lumière Brothers to the New Wave



Course pack



Cinema is considered the 7th art (7ème art) in France and it unveils essential aspects of 20th century French culture, society and history. This course aims at developing a good basic knowledge of French cinema and of the culture that produced it.

This course will explore the history of cinema in France from the Lumière brothers’ first films to the New Wave (La Nouvelle Vague). Several films will be analyzed and we will explore several movements since the birth of cinema in 1895: films by Auguste and Louis Lumière, Georges Méliès, Marcel L’Herbier, Jean Renoir, Marcel Carné, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Goddard and Agnès Varda.



Attendance is mandatory.  It is essential that students attend all classes and participate actively.  Unexcused absences will influence the final grade. Reading assignments are critical. Students are expected to read the material as it is assigned and come to class prepared.



 The final grade for this course will consist of the following components:

 Participation in seminar discussions and class preparation                20 %

Oral presentation                                                                       30 %

Final paper                                                                                50%


The French political system and French politics in foreign affairs.


The purpose of this course is to make you familiar with the recent history of France, the French political system and the French position in international affairs. Our method to acquaint you with it, is to link analyses about France within a large point of view about the evolution of western democracies and also to link academic analysis with the day-to-day of current affairs.

The evaluation of our course will consist in a test with twenty short questions. Personal participation to the seminar will be a bonus and raise your grade.


1.  The general frame of politics today : the crisis of the representative government in western democracies / societies divided in open and closed social classes.

 2.  The historical frame of the French political system : from the French revolution towards the Fifth republic / from monarchy to the French presidential regime.

 3.  Two French political traditions or patterns : the parliamentary  government as the unique expression of the people / principles without legal consequences. The Fifth Republic : resolving the tensions between the traditions?

 4. The evolution of the French system party and the risk of stalemate of the system : a bipartisan system around the race for presidency / the rise of non-government parties with the multiplication of voting occasions and the rise of abstentionists.

 5. The general frame and evolution of the international political system : from bipolarity  to multipolarity / from war to competition / from bilateral relationships to multilateral links.

 6. The French Gaullist position in the bipolar world of the Cold war / The French position today between realism and idealism.

 7. The French “soft power” :  the world of Francophony / the French touch / the French image through tourism.

 8. 9. Visiting Paris : historical monuments and places where memorable events occurred to through a reading of the architecture of the city.

10. Exam

Teaching Language: English

Professor: Pierre Renaudeau