Language & Culture
Mount Saint Mary's College

Language & Culture

MSMC Ten Days in Paris 2010 Syllabus

If you want to take this trip for academic credit, please see the requirements below. 

Students may earn 1-3 course units as FRE194 Travel/Study

and register for either Spring 2010 or Summer 2010. 

Another option is for students to coordinate a Directed Study course with their professor.

FRE194 Course Description and Objectives (1-3 units):

Students will study the culture and history of medieval and early modern France through class lectures, interactive walking tours, visits to museums as well as field trips to historical sites. This course will track four key areas in the evolution of French national identity: 

  • Politics: The development of the centralized state from feudalism to Louis XIV’s absolutism and the rupture of the French Revolution
  • Religion: The relationship between religion and kingship, the purpose of the crusades and the impact of the Protestant Reformation
  • Culture: The 12th century renaissance, changes in art, architecture, and the function of royal courts
  • Economy: The rise of towns, developments in agriculture and the bourgeois market economy

FRE194 Course Texts and Readings (1-3 units):

  • Medieval Europe and the World, From late Antiquity to Modernity, 400-1500, Robin W. Winks and Teofilo F. Ruiz (2005 Paperback, ISBN: 0195156943) Terrific overview of the era.
  • A Short History of the French Revolution, Fourth Edition, Jeremy D. Popkin (2005 Paperback, ISBN: 0131930370) Concise and accessible for all readers, includes translated texts and images.
  • The Song of Roland (selections), 12th century heroic tale of Charlemagne’s devoted knight.
  • François Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel (selections), 16th century humanist author critiques contemporary society and politics in this satirical work.
  • Alexander Dumas, The Three Musketeers. Historical fiction set in 17th century Paris. 
  • Marge Piercy, City of Darkness, City of Light. Fictionalized historical drama about three real women of the French Revolution. Follow the lives of actress Claire Lacombe, political activist Manon Philipon (Madame Roland) and confectioner Pauline Leon as they participated in the events that changed French history forever.

FRE194 Course Requirements and Grading (1-3 units):

There are four components to your course grade, all of which are equally important and should be approached with the same level of attention and academic integrity as if this were a semester-long course.

  • 20% Participation - Students are required to attend all lectures, walking tours, site visits and museum excursions.
  • 20% Presentations – Students will work in assigned groups to prepare a class presentation on a topic related to the course objectives while we are in France.
  • 30% Journals – Each student will write a response to a daily prompt that relates to the lecture and/or activity that day. The purpose of the journal is to allow students the opportunity to thoughtfully reflect on their daily experience in a foreign country as well as assimilate the information learned from that day’s lecture, walking tour or historic site visit. 
  • 30% Final Paper – Each student will write a paper based on one of the literature readings assigned and their first-hand experience in France. Possible paper topics will be provided. Length of paper commensurate with number of course units.