Apart from doing the weekly Readings, students are required to complete three types of assignments for this course:

  • Oral presentation: Students are required to present on the weekly theme for one session (they will choose which session they will present upon on the first day of class). Presentations will be given either individually or in pairs and should be limited to 10 minutes maximum. During the presentation, students will be required to speak to the class rather than read a pre-written text.
  • Short-answer papers: For the sessions in the table below with a question listed, students will be required to write a short, half-page argument in response to the question (which in turn relates to the weekly theme).
  • Creative video project: Students will complete a creative video project based on a piece of art selected by each student at the Museum of Fine Arts. Students will first visit the MFA and select a work of art related to French culture and society.

They will then write a one page paper explaining why they chose that work of art. Finally, they will create a video that will explore to what extent the work they selected would have been different if it were an American one. The video should be 5 min maximum, and students are strongly encouraged to submit their 1 page outline before they start recording the video. The video will be submitted two weeks before the end of classes.

1 Is There French Theory in This Class? Choice of oral presentation topic due
Leaving Repressive Society
2 Judging the War, Rebuilding a Nation Short answer question: Is death penalty worse than life sentence and why?
3 The Genesis of May 1968 Short answer question: Is entertainment the new “opium of the people?”
4 Revolution and its Outsiders: Women, Migrants, Sexual Minorities Short answer question: If you had to stage a revolution, what would you do first?
5 The Capitalist Machine: Society as Prison Short answer question: Is surveillance desirable in a democracy?
Cultural Taste, National Identity
6–7 Cultural Mythologies Visit: Museum of Fine Arts
7 The Idea of Europe Submit individual research paper plan
8 “Parlez-vous français?” The New Politics of Language Short answer question: Do you think migrants have to speak French to become French citizens?
9 Social Distinction Short answer question: Do you consider yourself educated and why?
Beyond Liberation
10 Feminist and LGBT Politics: the Ethics of Ambiguities Short answer question: Is surrogacy against women’s rights?
11 Communities and Anticommunitarianism Video project due
12 Postcolonial France  
13 Video Project Presentations  

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2012
Learning Resource Types
Presentation Assignments
Written Assignments
Media Assignments