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Bohemian Visions: Avant-Garde Artists in Paris & Shreveport

Professor Bruce Allen and Mr. Sean Fitzgibbons

In nineteenth-century Paris, groups of young artists banded together to challenge social and artistic conventions. The Romantics, Impressionists, and Post-Impressionists--all seen as radicals in their day--created new artistic approaches by breaking with the official teachings of the French Art Academy. Their artistic influence attracted many followers, young adults throughout Europe spread this cultural rebellion, and the word “bohemian” entered the English language. Ironically, their art is now highly valued and considered mainstream, as we’ll see by examining the museums of Paris.Their independent, creative influence can be felt all the way to 21st-century Shreveport, where we’ll return to examine the work of contemporary “bohemian” artists, while working on our own creative projects, be they artworks, art historical writing, or museum installations. Our experiential study of avant-garde art, from artist’s studio to art museum, and our in-class creation of a Paris-themed Meadows Museum of Art exhibition will reveal that a creative life can be a life well lived.

 

Paris Noir

Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy and Dr. Dana Kress

This course examines the achievements of a few of the countless African-Americans who sought refuge in Paris because their own country did not share or value their experiences and denied them the very human dignity and opportunity they found so abundantly in France. Their experiences can help us learn to appreciate the common ground we share so that we can build mutually beneficial relationships through respectful engagement with a broader world.

 

Great Events in STEM: The History of Science Revealed in Paris

Dr. David Bieler and Dr. Kathrine Weeks

Gustave Eiffel built a tower, but did he do anything else?  (Hint:  The Wright brothers were keenly interested in his work.) What is so important about a mechanical adding machine? The medievalists knew there were four elements: earth, air, water, and fire; but then someone came along and claimed that water was made of two different things? For many years, the prestige and funding levels of the French Academy drove the scientific and mathematical agenda of Western civilization.  We will use monuments and museums of Paris as one of our texts to explore the impact of French practitioners on the history of those scientific discoveries.

 

Beliefs and Values in Shreveport and Paris

Dr. Chris Ciocchetti

Develop a strong core of beliefs and values. We participate in discussions with people who hold a range of beliefs and values in both Shreveport and Paris. By listening to others, sharing other thoughts, and learning about the history of these cities, we will explore our own beliefs and values. Students will find the class personally challenging as these encounters help them develop a stronger sense of their own beliefs and values.

 

Moulin Rouge! Yes We CanCan!

Dr. Amy Hammond and Professor Don Hooper

This is a team-taught special topics course that uses the methods and materials of two distinct disciplines—Design and Psychology—to explore the themes that arise within Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film Moulin Rouge! You will explore the Living a Meaningful Life 21st Century Challenge by critically examining the relationships between the characters, between the peoples of Paris and Shreveport, the ways that designers manipulate environments to affect mood and behavior, and by developing interpersonal and communications skills that will ground your time at Centenary and allow you to begin to develop the values, beliefs, and ideals that will allow you to live your best life.

 

Writing Paris / Writing Home

Dr. David Havird and Dr. Jeff Hendricks

An introductory, immersive course in creative writing. Through the close reading of short poems and literary nonfiction by established authors and through the composition and group critique of work of their own, students will discover and put into practice basic techniques of creative writing that draws its subject from the sensations of home and the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch of Paris. A culminating portfolio will represent each student’s tentative articulation of “the meaningful life.”

 

Let Us Entertain You: French Music, Music Theatre, and Film

Dr. Ross Smith

Let Us Entertain You was conceived as an immersion into the perception (aesthetics) of French music, music theatre, and film. The course title is a derivative of the well-known tune from the American musical, Gypsy, which is grounded in the vaudeville and burlesque traditions—both distinctly French. Using popular American media (film, music theatre, live concerts, etc.) as an entry point, students will explore the concept of aesthetics as they are applied to various forms of entertainment. Students will then study the roles and perceptions (aesthetics) of music, music theatre, and film in Paris before, during, and after the French Revolution, circa 1750–present. Designed to meet Centenary’s expanding circles challenge, students will identify significant social structures at various time periods, simultaneously charting the effects of significant cultural change (e.g. the French Revolution or the advent of film) on Parisian society and its patronage of music, music theatre, and film—what affected what (What came first? The chicken or … ). French opera and film are ideal genres since they arguably reflect Parisian culture and its evolution better than many art forms. Therefore, key operatic works and films, which exemplify salient features of the relationship between 18th–21st-century Parisian society and its entertainment, will be our primary focus. Having been exposed to the basic concepts of aesthetics, students will immerse themselves in modern French music (live concerts & street music), music theatre (Paris Opera), and film while in Paris.

 

Historical Scenes in Paris

Dr. Chad Fulwider

This course has been designed to meet the challenges of socially expanding circles. History has shown us that people do not always share the same values or experiences, but we are increasingly more aware of our interdependent relationship to the world around us. Our challenge, then, is to expand our understanding to promote respectful engagement with a broader world. Learning how the people of Paris experienced the city around them as it changed and modernized from roughly 1600 to the present can give us great insight into how modern western cities as we know them today came to exist. Our task is to relate to their experiences and to try to understand them better and to respectfully engage with a broader world today.

 

 

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