Why do we call scheming political calculation “Machiavellian”? What inspired Parisian crowds in July 1789 to storm the Bastille prison, igniting the French Revolution? What is Italian food and why is Italian cuisine so popular around the world? Why does the French census not collect racial and ethnic data?
This course will explore these and other questions, in order to help us better understand the histories and present-day cultures of Italy, France and the Francophone world. We’ll study selected episodes, contributions, and struggles that define the past, present, and future of these countries: the rise of nationalism, Euro-skepticism and anti-immigrant sentiment; the enduring importance of literary culture, embodied by a figure such as Dante, still a national poet 700 years after his death; issues of multilingual interactions and translation in/of the Francophone world. No knowledge of French or Italian is required. All lectures, readings and assignments in English.
Completely Online Asynchronous Course - Summer A term 2021