America & France: Crossroads in Civilization

The American Business School Paris

Course Description

  • Course Name

    America & France: Crossroads in Civilization

  • Host University

    The American Business School Paris

  • Location

    Paris, France

  • Area of Study

    History, International Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • US Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course is designed for students with little academic background in History to acquire a global view by juxtaposing parallel but often contrasting events that have marked U.S. and French History. (This course can also serve for majors of various disciplines as a case study for different social, economic or cultural issues.)
    Avoiding a tedious general survey of history, the course will focus on key moments along a timeline (from Roman Gaul / Native American civilization to the present) when a ?crossroads? determined the complexity of US/French relations whether in partnership or opposition. We will see how Monarchies, Colonization, Revolution, Democracy, Imperialism, Capitalism and Globalization developed in both hemispheres as well as at what point the ?Capital of Arts? shifted. Special attention will be made as to what each country has contributed to world civilization and to the particularities of their value systems and attitudes giving insight into how the each of the countries function and what their preoccupations are. We will discuss a series of historical milestones set against various aspects of culture as well as social issues. Briefing lectures and discussions will prepare the groundwork. Then, small teams of students will prepare arguments for their elected country?s policies in order to enter into a lively debate the following week.
    The course?s purpose is to introduce students to an innovating, relativist approach situating everything in a context avoiding the normal patriotic dogma of an individual country?s History course. This, in turn, prepares students to better understand their own countries? place in today?s globalization. Emphasis is on learning to juggle a whole range of political, technological and cultural interactions in order to link their causes and effects and to better evaluate their impact.
    In-class debates, films, and other activities will make US France Crossroads a hands-on experience. A walking tour will trace ?Americans in Paris? giving direct access to the places and institutions referred to in class allowing students learn in the field the hot-spots à l?américaine of the city?s long history. Attendance at a couple of evenings at the France-Amériques Association?s events (amongst others in Paris) will be recommended for bonus points and networking.
    The course will give you the much-needed background to the daily news you see and follow in both countries. Your own story at ABS will be enriched with cross-references and a truly ?French connection?. This course will help make American student?s stay in the city and French students? experience in a US institution (A.B.S.) much more meaningful. It will add a plus to their C.V. and help them in dealing with the French or the Americans in business throughout their careers.

    By the end of the course, the students should:
    - Sort out what is unique in U.S. and French civilizations and what they have contributed to world civilization.
    - Acquire a certain familiarity with the two countries (their history and contemporary life) across a wide spectrum
    - Develop an awareness of the particular ways each epoch created its own approach to life
    - See how infrastructures, foundations and mentalities that make these countries what it is today were established and developed.
    - Understand how to evaluate and appreciate a people whose values and lifestyle may be quite different from your own.
    - Learn to seek out the whole story and not just treat the news as entertaining gossip.
    Presence in class is mandatory. More than 2 absences will lead to a failing grade.

    TEXTBOOK : A Brief History of France ? People, History and Culture by Cecil Jenkins, Running Press 2011 and
    Don?t Know Much About History ? Everything you need to know about American History But never learned by Kenneth Davis, Harper paperback 2012 are required to purchase.

    The final grade will be made up of class tests, class participation and the final examination.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.


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