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Centenary in Paris 2019 Course Descriptions 


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.


Bohemian Visions: Reframing Paris

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.

We will also examine the definition of a frame in the context of displaying artwork. How does “framing” something change it? How do you “frame” a 3D object? What does it mean to “frame” a poem? Can you “frame” a concept, place, or experience?

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, based on the reframing of content generated by the other Centenary in Paris courses, will reveal contemporary art theories surrounding the idea of a “frame” and how people experience an art exhibit.



Dr. Jeanne Hamming and Dr. Katherine Brandl

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.


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

Dr. Cory Wikan

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!

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.



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.


Writing Paris / Writing Home

Dr. Emily Leithauser 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.”

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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!