Paris, je t'aime
We had our summer abroad course meeting with the parents and kids today. I finally gave them a full syllabus, and it's becoming more real. It's a lot of material for three weeks, but it is intensive and is technically a semester credit. So they'll read a lot of it before they get there. I really like the structure we settled on. Basically, Brian will do a day of history, say 1848-1888. I'll then do the literature the next day - not necessarily keeping to the strict chronology, but latching onto historical ideas he develops and exploring them through the literature, and of course going beyond that. Then, Jo does the art after me. So basically I'll teach every three days. Also, we have three or so hours of classroom time in the morning, and then the rest of the day we go somewhere relevant to continue the conversation about whatever we're reading/talking about in the morning. So, for example, when we read about the Lost Generation, we'll go to the Closerie de Lilas and Shakespeare and Co.; when we talk about the existentialists, Deux Maggots; l'Opera for the Bourgeoisie and Decadents, Hugo's house and Notre-Dame for the Romanticists, Montmarte for the Surrealists...I can't wait.

The syllabus is still evolving; I feel like I keep having to group things together I wish I could separate, or split things up I wish I could put if anyone has suggestions, either about content or structure, or suggestions for where we could go in Paris on particular days, I'd LOVE to hear.

Syllabus for Paris and the Making of the Modern World: 1848-1948Collapse )

I was right on the verge of assigning The Ambassadors, but after a long talk with Cabell about the prospect of assigning 450 pages of dense, "unreadable" prose to 16/17-year-olds, I balked. I mean, 450 pages of James is perhaps a bit unreasonable as one of 3.5 books to read before the class starts in a month, and a month where they are wrapping up the year and doing exams. So we're reading Against Nature instead - Dorian Gray's little yellow book.

Side note: I'm sick of the caterpillars all over campus. They are everywhere, falling from the trees onto our heads, crawling all over the picnic tables when I'm trying to consult with students about their papers. Ugh.

Also, so much grading. I'm buried.


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