International History of Arts, Literature, and Photography

The American Business School Paris

Course Description

  • Course Name

    International History of Arts, Literature, and Photography

  • Host University

    The American Business School Paris

  • Location

    Paris, France

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, 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 to introduce students to the literature, art and photography of France with an
    overview from the 19th through the 20th century creations. The last two hundred years has been a
    period of stunning changes in societies throughout the world, with the arrival of the industrial revolution
    and the move from largely agrarian societies to those much more centered in urban areas. As a
    consequence of a changing society and the spread of wealth to a larger and larger group we see the
    steady development of a consumer society. Naturally, all of these changes left their mark on the
    creative class which reacted sometimes in celebration and sometimes with criticism to these
    transformations. Paris, throughout much of this period, can be said to have been the capital of the art,
    literature and photography worlds but also of the burgeoning world of luxury products which develop
    side by side with these various art forms. The inter-relations and influences between these creative
    worlds has been complex and diverse but it is clear that each springs from similar sources even if the
    goals are not always identical. We will focus on some of the seminal creations in literature, visual art
    and photography to help students better understand how to analyze and evaluate works in these
    creative pursuits to better understand the place of luxury goods in a larger cultural context.
    It is hoped that the students will:
    • develop a foundation for understanding some of the more important periods and artistic/intellectual movements in the literary, artistic and photographic worlds of the last two centuries.
    • develop a better idea of some of the important world events and their impact on the creative world.
    • begin to recognize some of the most accomplished names in the literary, artistic and photographic worlds.
    • develop sensitivity for understanding and analyzing the subtleties of creative work in these different artistic worlds.
    • begin to see similarities and differences between the artistic and the luxury goods worlds over these past two centuries; how each has impacted as well as been influenced by the other creative worlds.
    Upon completion of this course, students should be able to: engage in a richer, more sophisticated
    way both verbally and in writing with creations in literature, the visual arts and in photography. They
    will likewise begin to better understand and articulate what makes various creations interesting and/or
    important. Additionally, students will develop a greater sense of the history of these three creative
    endeavors over the course of the last two hundred years.
    Students will be asked to complete regular reading assignments throughout the semester. There will
    be one long novel--Marcel Proust's Swan in Love, which will be supplemented with other smaller texts
    by French poets. Students will likewise be expected to read several chapters introducing photo history
    from Naomi Rosenblum and art history from H.E. Gombrich. Class participation will be an important
    component of student's grades as will a journal students will keep in which students will be asked to
    offer written reactions to the various readings during the semester. Likewise, students will frequently
    be asked to write brief reactions to questions the teacher will raise which relate to subjects we are
    discussing in class. This journal will be graded as a kind of work book of student reflection about
    classroom topics. Students will make one or two oral presentations in class and there will be one
    photographic project where students will use a camera (your telephone camera is perfect) to create
    images which will illustrate questions discussed in class. There will also be a mid term exam and one
    or two short quizzes.
    The final grade will be determined as follows:
    Class participation: 15%, Journal writings: 20% Quizzes: 15%, Midterm: 25%, Oral Presentations: 25%
    Session 1
    Read Gombrich, Introduction.
    Rosenblum Ch. 1 Early Years.
    Write journal response.
    Student questionnaire, discussion of student interests and knowledge about 19th/20th century culture and history. General class introduction, overview of historical background of 19th and 20th centuries.
    Session 2
    Read Gombrich, Ch. 25
    Permanent Revolution. Write journal response.
    Discussion of Invention of photography, early practictioners
    (Nièpce, Daguere, Fox Talbot)
    Session 3
    Read Gombrich, Ch. 26, New Standards. Journal responses for all including
    Discussion of Realist (Corot, Millet, Courbet) and Impressionist painters (Sisley, Monet, Manet)
    Session 4
    Purchase Camus?s Th e
    Ou t s i d e r . Read Hirsch, Ch. 9, write journal responses.
    Discussion of Post-Impressionist painters (Toulouse Lautrec, Gauguin, Van Gogh)
    Session 5
    Begin Camus? The Outsider Field Trip (Musée d?Orsay) : Look at Realists (Courbet, Corot), Impressionists (Sisley, Monet, Manet) and Post-Impressionists (Gauguin, Van Gogh)
    Session 6
    Read Rosenblum Ch. 5 Photo & Art. Continue Th e O u t s i d e r .
    Discuss Cézanne paintings, late 19th century photography.
    Session 7
    Read Hirsch, Ch. 10
    (Modernism), write journal
    Mid Term Exam Introduction to Modernism, and early 20th century photography and visual arts (Picasso, Braque)
    Session 8
    Continue Th e O u t s i d e r Read Gombrich Ch. 27 Experimental
    Field Trip (Pompidou) : Look at early modernist works in
    painting and photography.
    Continue Th e O u t s i d e r Read Gombrich Ch. 28 Story without End
    No class, national holiday
    Session 9
    Read Rosenblum, Ch. 10 Words & Pictures. Finish The Outsider
    Discuss Th e O u t s i d e r . Discuss French Humanist
    Session 10
    Prepare Oral Presentations
    Continue discussion of The Outsider. Discussion of Post World War II art & photography. Oral Presentations
    Session 11
    Prepare Oral Presentations
    Oral Presentations
    Session 12
    Prepare for final exam
    Final Exam

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.


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