France Syllabus

Audri Rodriguez of FIU in the French Alps
Audri Rodriguez of FIU in the French Alps

IDH 4007 (Spring) and IDH 4008 (Summer B)
Spring: Fridays 15:30 to 18:15
Summer B France: 30 June to 31 July

John William Bailly ■ ■ Office Hours by appointment

From great conflict comes great change. This interdisciplinary course examines France’s dramatic political, intellectual, and cultural conflicts. Students will experience French history firsthand, from the Roman conquest of Gaul to the Allied landing on the beaches of Normandy, by way of the intellectual battles of the Enlightenment and the artistic revolution of the 19th century. 

Based in Paris, the class navigates Francois I’s Renaissance in the Loire castles, Marie Antoinette’s final trek through Paris to the guillotine, and Hemingway’s walk through the streets of the Latin Quarter. Students engage in debates about absolutism, nationalism, revolution and human rights in the country that saw the most radical, idealistic, and brutal revolution in Europe. They encounter the personalities that have shaped world history–Voltaire, Rousseau, Maximilien Robespierre, Olympe de Gouges, Napoleon Bonaparte, Dwight D. Eisenhower–as well as the figures that revolutionized art history: David, Gericault, Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso. The class visits the Louvre, Orsay, Invalides, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, and other museums and monuments of Paris. Included in the visitation are the castles of the Loire, the beaches of Normandy, the French Alps, and Lyon.

NOTE: Course content features sexually explicit and/or violent artworks and texts. In addition, many Miami class meetings are off campus; students must provide their own transportation.

The following required text course materials may be purchased in either print or e-book format. Films are available at either FIU Libraries or Miami-Dade County Public Libraries.

▪    Cadbury, Deborah. The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. New York: St. Martin’s Griffen, 2003. ISBN: 9780312320294
▪    Camus, Albert. The Stranger. New York: Vintage International, 1989. ISBN: 9780679720201
▪    Hemingway, Ernest. A Moveable Feast. New York. Scribner, 2010. ISBN: 9781439182710 (To be read between Spring and Summer B. Quiz in Summer B.)
▪    Quint, Michel. In Our Strange Gardens. New York: Riverhead Books, 2001. ISBN: 9781573229166
▪   Ryan, Cornelius. The Longest Day: June 6, 1944. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994. ISBN: 9780671890919
▪   Spiegelman, Art. The Complete Maus. Pantheon, 1996. ISBN: 9780679406419
▪   Voltaire, Francois. Candide. Penguin Classics, 2005. ISBN 9780143039426


▪   Amélie. Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Miramax Films, 2001. Film.
▪   A Very Long Engagement. Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Warner Independent Pictures, 2004. Film.
▪   “Band of Brothers, Episodes 1-3.” Band of Brothers. Various. BBC & HBO. 2001. Television.
▪   Danton. Andrzej Wajda. 1983. Film.
▪   Inglourious Basterds. Quentin Tarantino. 2009. Film.
▪   La Haine. Mathieu Kassovitz. 1995. Film.
▪   Midnight in Paris. Woody Allen. 2011. Film.
▪   Paris, je t’aime. Various. First Look Pictures. 2006.
▪   Saving Private Ryan. Steven Spielberg. DreamWorks Paramount Pictures, 1998. Film.
▪   The Round Up. Roselyne Bosch. Gaumont Film Company, 2010. Film.

Course Calendar is on Google Calendar. Students will be provided with a link to calendar.

Each student accrues points over the length of the semester. The final semester point total equals a letter grade based the official FIU grade scale (Note: Please disregard the Blackboard percentage).

Class Participation: 10 points
Declaration Project: 20 points
Deering as Text: 5 points
Preserve as Text: 5 points
PAMM as Text: 5 points
Vizcaya as Text: 5 points

Stranger quiz: 5 points
Candide quiz: 5 points
Lost King & Danton quiz: 5 points
WW 1 & Engagement quiz: 5 points
MAUS quiz: 5 points
Gardens & Basterds quiz: 5 points
Ryan & Brothers quiz: 5 points
Longest Day quiz: 5 points
Haine & Paris quiz: 5 points
France Lectures quiz: 5 points

Over Under Paris Project: 20 points
Alps as Text: 5 points
Loire Castles as Text: 5 points
Lyon as Text: 5 points
Mont Saint-Michel as Text: 5 points
Paris as Text: 5 points
Père Lachaise as Text: 5 points
Normandy American Cemetery as Text: 5 points
Ancien Regime 1 quiz: 5 points
Ancien Regime 2 quiz: 5 points
Revolution & Art 1 quiz: 5 points
Revolution & Art 2 quiz: 5 points
Paris 1 quiz: 5 points
Paris 2 quiz: 5 points
Lyon & Alps 1 quiz: 5 points
Lyon & Alps 2 quiz: 5 points
Normandy 1 quiz: 5 points
Normandy 2 quiz: 5 points

Class Participation Criteria
▪   participation in class discussions
▪   attendance to class and class excursions
▪   preparation for class
▪   concentration in class (no texting, no sleeping, and so forth)
▪   prompt submission of required information and documents to the Honors College and the Office of Study Abroad

Final grade/total points equivalency
100.0 – 93.00: A
92.99 – 90.00: A-
89.99 – 87.00: B+
86.99 – 83.00: B
82.99 – 80.00: B-
79.99 – 77.00: C+
76.99 – 73.00: C
72.99 – 70.00: C-
69.99 – 67.00: D+
66.99 – 63.00: D
62.99 – 60.00: D-
59.99 – 00.00: F

Each student is allowed one absence per semester. Every absence in excess of this will drop the student’s final semester grade by one full letter grade. Three or more absences will result in an “F” for the semester.

Please review the following policy:

Please review the following policy:

Please review the following policy: