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Centenary in Paris 2019 Course Descriptions 


Beliefs and Values in Shreveport and Paris (Update 18 June: WAIT-LIST only)

Dr. Chris Ciocchetti

Residence Hall: Sexton Hall (NB: service/support animals live in this hall.)

Credit Hours: 2 and 4 hour options available 

Develop a strong core of beliefs and values to start your college experience. We engage in personal, in-depth discussions about the most important questions arising from philosophy, religion, ethics, and politics. We visit various religious sites, read about the French and American existentialists, and carefully examine how different people answer questions about work, death, love, and suffering. Students will find the class personally challenging, but they will leave the course with a stronger sense of their own beliefs and values and the skills and community support needed to thrive in a diverse world.


FOOD AND CULTURE (Update 11 June: Wait-list only)

Dr. Jeanne Hamming and Dr. Katherine Brandl

Residence Hall: James Hall

Credit Hours: 2 and 4 hour options available 

This course explores the connection between what and how we eat and who we are. By looking comparatively at French and American food cultures, and their cultural intersections in America’s southern francophone region, we will examine how food shapes society, culture, and identity. Throughout this experience, we will engage in contemporary debates about such issues as environmental sustainability, globalization, health, social class, and what it means to live “the good life.


Historical Scenes in Paris

Dr. Chad Fulwider

Residence Hall: Sexton Hall

Credit Hours: 4 hours

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.  


Let Us Entertain You: French Music, Music Theatre, and Film (Update 18 June: WAIT-LIST only)

Dr. Cory Wikan

Residence Hall: Cline Hall

Credit Hours: 2 hours

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.


Moulin Rouge: Yes We CanCan! (Update 18 June: WAIT-LIST only)

Dr. Amy Hammond and Professor Don Hooper

Residence Hall: Cline Hall

Credit Hours: 2 and 4 hour options available 

In this course, we use Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film Moulin Rouge! as the lens through which we explore our classroom, the city of Paris. We will walk the streets the bohemians walked in the Montmartre district, visit many of Paris’s most famous destinations—the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre—and some locations you may not expect, and we will attend a traditional Parisian burlesque show. Through readings, discussions, and short writing assignments, our goal is to understand and to build personal relationships, visualize the world through a designer's eye, and experience Paris as both a traveler and scholar.


PARIS NOIR (Update 11 June: Wait-list only)

Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy and Dr. Dana Kress

Residence Hall: Cline Hall

Credit Hours: 4 hours 

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.


Paris Places: Making Meaning and Identity (Update 18 June: WAIT-LIST only)

Dr. Edward Ragan and Kate Pedrotty

Residence Hall: James Hall

Credit Hours: 2 and 4 hour options available

Why do people mark and promote places and spaces as important? How do these places help us make sense of the world we see and our place in it? What kinds of stories do historical sites and monuments tell? Do these sites have one meaning or several meanings? How do we learn about and understand these meanings? These questions will guide us as we visit iconic Paris places and learn how the people of Paris have experienced and narrated the city around them. Analyzing how and why Parisians marked certain sites as important (and recording our own impressions of these sites) can give us great insight into questions of history, memory, and identity.


Writing Paris / Writing Home

Dr. Emily Leithauser and Dr. Jeff Hendricks

Residence Hall: James Hall

Credit Hours: 4 hours 

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.”

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Paris is your classroom!

What's it like to take class in Paris? Read our article from the new Centenary Magazine and find out!