History 180: Paris in the 19th Century

This course (Fall 2013), taught by Professor Sarah Horowitz, investigates the political and cultural history of Paris in the nineteenth century.  We will discuss the appeal of Paris in both the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, as well as how Paris became the political and cultural capital of Europe in the period after the French Revolution.  Topics to be covered include immigration, political unrest, the rebuilding of the city under Napoleon III, urban spectatorship, consumer culture, and the birth of the avant-garde. 

As a first-year seminar, this course is also intended to introduce students to the study of history.  We will discuss what history is, how we can make claims about the past, the role of subjectivity in shaping historical narratives and how historians use sources.  This seminar will also help students understand the demands of college-level writing through discussions of the writing process, peer editing and revisions.

Students will participate in a digital humanities based project that utilizes mapping functionality.  Each student posts on the class map once during the term based on the course readings.  Students write about two locations: one that appears in the readings and one that is thematically linked to the readings but with contemporary relevance.  The goals of the assignment are to give students practice writing about individual readings and to give them a sense of the geography of 19th century and present-day Paris.