History of Women and Feminism

Institut Catholique de Paris

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History of Women and Feminism

  • Host University

    Institut Catholique de Paris

  • Location

    Paris, France

  • Area of Study

    History, Women's and Gender Studies

  • Language Level

    Intermediate, High Intermediate

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

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


    On the basis of the profiles of exceptional women, this course presents the discovery of a history of women in France and their defining characterisitcs; as well as the analysis of feminism as it could be defined according to different eras. We will begin in the eighteenth century and work our way back to the present day; studying the debates that shake French society and understanding the struggles and battles that are yet to come.


    2/ Pedagogical Approach of the Teacher: 


    Using authentic documents, various classroom activities, reading at home, and sharing information from various sources, the course will allow each student to discover the important biographies of French women, their ideas, their actions. Then, the last part of the course will offer a rereading (synthesis) of a more general history of women in France at various times.



    Presentation on Powerpoint, text extracts (law, novels), posters, songs, films, videos and skits



    History of Women in the West, in 5 volumes, by Georges Duby and Michelle Perrot, ed. Plon, 1991. Various bibliographies of exceptional women. Sitography: France.tvéducation



    Notes 1 and 2: 2 classroom tests Note 3: Writing a personal research project. Note 4: participation (attendance, initiative, responsiveness, relevance of the interventions) Each note takes into account knowledge and expression in French. Attendance to both tests is mandatory to obtain the certificate.




    Maximum number of unjustified absences: two. Beyond this, neither the Attendance Certificate nor the Certificate of Achievement can be awarded. In case of absence or delay, inform the professor and the secretariat. Present proof when returning to class. It is up to you to ask a friend about the work done and the tasks you have asked.





    1. Olympe de Gouges (1748-1793)

    2. From Joan of Arc to Marianne

    3. George Sand, writer (1804-1876)

    4. The education of women (Since 1850 Falloux law)

    5. Clémence-Louise Michel (1830-1905)

    6. Marie Curie, scientist (1867-1934)

    7. The right to vote: women in politics

    8. Simone de Beauvoir, philosopher, 1949, The Second Sex

    9. The Women's Liberation Movement (August 26, 1970)

    10. Simone Veil  (1927-2017)

    11. The glass ceiling (1986) Nathalie Loizeau

    12. Elisabeth Badinter, philosopher

    13. Typical portraits of French women (INSEE figures)

    14. Women reporters and journalists: woman in the media

    15. Florence Foresti, comedian









Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.


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