Modern France: Nation, Empire, and Decolonization
will explore the history of modern France from the fall of the old regime
in 1789 to the complex challenges of immigration and multi-culturalism
in the late twentieth century. We will begin with the premise that something
decidedly modern begins to emerge, with the inauguration of the French
Revolution in 1789. We will trace the twists and turns of the modernization
of France in social, political, economic and cultural spheres. For this
nation rooted in powerful traditions the experience of modernity was filled
with ambivalence and willful obstruction. We will examine the quest to
construct a modern state, or prevent its rise; and the rise of a culturally
vibrant, technologically ambivalent 19th century middle class whose creativity
produced a network of modern railroads, pasteurized milk, department stores,
and a revolution in painting known as Impressionism.
class, eager to compete with its European and American rivals, also embarked
on an ambitious project to colonize much of the world and its natural
resources. We will track France's changing place in the world, from an
imperial world power to a post-colonial power of declining global influence,
with the rest of world increasingly (and to some disturbingly) present
within its borders.
The course will
travel the path of the historical development of modern France, encounter
some of its most celebrated literary, artistic, and political personalities
as well as many of its everyday citizens. We will explore some the most
enduring obstacles to France achieving the principles of its own revolutionary
platform, "liberty, equality, and fraternity."
A History of Modern France
Emilie Carles, A Life of Her Own
Henry Russo, The Vichy Syndrome
Emile Zola, Ladies' Paradise
Marc Bloch, Strange Defeat
Tu Binh Tran, The Red Earth: A Vietnamese Memoir of Life on a Colonial
Karl Marx, Class Struggles in France
Mehdi Charef, Tea and the Harem
Packet of readings
1) All reading
assignments must be done before each class.
2) Weekly 2-3 page writing assignment on each week's assigned reading
due on Thursday. I will not accept late papers. These response papers
will be grade 1,2,3.
Class preparation, participation, and weekly writing assignments: 40 %
of your grade.
3) Three essay assignments.
will be penalized at the rate of a full grade per day.
You may miss
up to three classes without penalty. More than three absences will adversely
affect your class participation grade, and more than seven absences will
mean automatic failure of the course.
Old Regime and the coming of the French Revolution (Arthur Young, Sièyes.)
The Liberal Phase (source book, cahiers de doleances); Popkin, pp.
The Radical Republic and Popular Politics (source book); Popkin, pp.
Napoleon Bonaparte: Al-jabarti's Chronicle
of the French Occupation, (on e-reserve), Popkin, pp. 66-77. Guest speaker:
July Monarchy and Liberal France:
St Simon; Mark Traugott, The French Worker: Autobiographies from the Early
Industrial Era. Popkin, pp. 78 - 94.
in the 1840s: realism/class
social consciousness, Pere Goriot selections. Popkin, 95 - 106; begin
Revolution of 1848 and Utopianism: Marx
- guest speaker Johan Ayr: Peddlers in Paris, Popkin, pp.107-115. Social
and Cultural Modernity. PAPER DUE.
Politics and Poetics: The Transformation
of Paris (Pinkney, Berman, Baudelaire), Popkin, pp 116-131.
Commerce and the City: Discuss Zola
The Birth of the Third Republic: Finish
Zola, The Paris Commune (documents); Popkin, pp.132 - 139.
Wax Museum (Schwarz), cabaret, Siegel, Weber/bicycle (panel discussion),
The Dark Side of the Fin de Siècle:
The Dreyfus Affair, Popkin, 165-183. Zola, J'Accuse.
Empire: Ferry; French Indo-China:
Tran Tu Binh, The Red Earth: A Vietnamese memoir of Life on a Colonial
Total War, World War One and its Impact: documents;
memory and monument Objects of Memory/Sherman, Popkin, 184-201.
Modernity of Everyday Life in the 20s and 30s: Mary
Louise Roberts Fashion, Popkin, pp.194-218. Elizabeth Ezra, "Colonialism
Break. PAPER DUE: Modernity Paper
The Collapse of the Republic: Marc Bloch:
Strange Defeat, Popkin, p.219-229.
Paxton, Ch. 2; Popkin, p.230-245.
Les Trentes glorieuses: Modernization
in France 1945-1975, Ellen Furlough Packaging Pleasures: Club Mediterranée
and French Consumer Culture in France, 1950-1986" Robert Frost, "Machine
Liberation: Inventing Housewives and Home Appliances in Interwar France."
Begin Emilie Carles , Popkin, 246-255.
A Peasant Woman Recounts the Twentieth Century:
The Algerian War and Decolonization: Franz
Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (Intro by Jean Paul Sartre, and Chapter
on Terror); Popkin, 256-272.
Film: The Battle of Algiers / May 68 --
Memory, History, and War: Vichy Syndrome
The Radical Right and Immigration: Gaspard,
Small City in France, selections Screen the film: Hate
Race and Immigration: Tea and the Harem,
Guest Speaker, Michelle Hartman
A New Europe? Conclusions