Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
Required CIEE Academic Pre-Session Course
FREN 3503 PCCS
Intensive French Writing and Research Program
The Intensive French Writing and Research Program is designed to improve students’ French writing, research, and argumentative skills by providing key linguistic tools and opportunities for hands-on practice. Goals include improving pronunciation, expanding vocabulary, learning to discuss more fluently, accurately, and effectively, structuring and researching oral presentations, and successfully writing papers according to French norms. The program also prepares Critical Studies students for their semester by integrating the discovery of a landmark Parisian neighborhood (Montmartre and/or Montparnasse) into the class. Contact hours: 40 hours over 2 weeks plus tutorials. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
Required CIEE Courses—Fall and Spring
FREN 3001 PCCS
(Required course except for academic year students in the spring semester)
This course focuses on French rhetoric, expository prose, argumentative and stylistic elements, and complex grammatical structures in order to enable students to express their ideas more accurately and effectively when writing and researching academic work. Emphasis is placed on syntactic complexity, lexical nuances, and stylistic variations. Raw material for writing and research is furnished by a structured exploration of the history and culture of the St. Germain des Près neighborhood, known for its jazz, existentialism, and theater. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
FRST 3001 PCCS
Theory and Method in Critical Studies
(Required course for Critical Studies track except for academic year students in the spring semester)
This course explores the disciplines that make up Critical Studies. Its goal is to give students a grounding in the major theories that have enriched French thought in the late 20th century. Through active participation in theory workshops, the close reading of selected texts, weekly structured outings to critical sites in Paris, and lectures given by leading figures in French theory today, students gain an understanding of the influences that structuralism, existentialism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, feminism, and postcolonial theory hold on the French critical imagination. The course provides a structure through which students make connections between their other courses in the Center and at the Université de Paris, and end up with a critical theory “toolbox” for further studies. This course if for Critical Studies track students only. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
CIEE Elective Courses—Fall and Spring
FREN 3002 PCFS
This course is a systematic study of sound in the French language. Emphasis is on proper pronunciation, as well as the classification and transcription of French vowels and consonants. It also includes a comparative analysis with English phonetics. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
COMM 3301 PAFR (FREN)
Intercultural Communication and Leadership
In this course, you will develop skills, knowledge, and understanding that will help you more appropriately and effectively engage, communicate and lead, in Paris and in other intercultural contexts. Course participants explore a variety of topics in intercultural communication based in the context of students’ experiences abroad and practice intercultural learning processes that can be applied when working across cultural differences in a wide variety of common contexts. Students increase their cultural self-awareness and develop critical personal leadership skills that equip them to become more effective citizens and leaders in an increasingly interdependent world. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
Critical Studies track students with a precise research project may choose to enroll in the following course:
PHIL 4001 PCCS
Structured Seminars in Philosophy
Students with an advanced level of French are encouraged to participate in seminars and conferences at the Collège International de Philosophie (*see below for more information about CIP), an autonomous academic institution administered by the Ministry of Culture that offers a variety of specialized seminars with leading French intellectuals. Students may propose a course project that articulates several seminars around a guiding research project. This course is for Critical Studies track students only. Contact hours: 36. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
INDR 3003 PCCS
Directed Independent Research
CIEE supports qualified students who wish to pursue an academically rigorous independent research project while in Paris. Interested students must submit a research proposal including a clearly defined research topic, explanation of research plans, description of preparation in the planned area of study, list of resources, tentative outline of a final paper, and suggested schedule of progress. Students complete a total of 135 hours of research and meet regularly with an academic advisor to complete an academically rigorous, ethically sound, and culturally appropriate research project and final paper. Approval for participation in Directed Independent Research must be obtained from the resident director and the student’s home institution prior to arrival on the program. Research hours: 135. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
Elective CIEE Courses—Fall
AHIS 3002 PCCS
The French Avant-Garde in the 20th Century: From Realism to Surrealism From the 19th century scandals of the paintings of Courbet to the experiments of the Surrealists who would dare organize the meeting of “a sewing machine and an umbrella upon the dissecting table,” Paris has witnessed a succession of avant-garde artistic movements. This course considers the question of modernism and modernity at the heart of those movements that throw into question the Beautiful, Realism, and Surrealism. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
AHIS 3003 PCCS
From Aesthetics to Art Criticism
This course examines philosophical and literary texts related to changing definitions of beauty and standards of aesthetic taste over time, as well as the emergence of aesthetics as a structured discipline in the humanities and its evolution in contemporary literature around art, art criticism, and artistic technique. Works studied may include texts by Baudelaire, Benjamin, Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Didi-Huberman, Agamben, and Rancière. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
GEND 3002 PCCS
This course explores how transplanted, translated, transitory, and transgressive sexual identities have and do fuel avant-garde artistic expression and theoretical debate in modern and contemporary French culture. A study of the works of such creators as Irigaray, Butler, Genet, Cixous, and Lacan help students understand the historical, critical context within which gender and sexuality are done and undone within the French and Francophone context. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
LITT 3009 PCCS
Francophone Writers and the Question of Identity: North African and Sub-Saharan Literature
This course examines the origins of the concept of being francophone as well as themes evoked in the works of French-speaking African writers: alienation and exile, the effects of colonialism, the search for identity, and the role of language. Authors studied include Aime Cesaire, Leopold Senghor, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Assia Djebar, and Calixthe Beyala. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
Elective CIEE Courses —Spring
AHIS 3006 PCCS
Histories of Cinema and Images: Godard & Co.
Starting from a study of Histoire(s) Du Cinema by Jean-Luc Godard, this course explores the varying aspects of the notion of the fixed and moving image to question boundaries that separate artistic disciplines. The cinematic presentation of such creators as Goya, Picasso, Renoir, and Passolini, and the works of such thinkers as Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze, Barthes, Stiegler, and Rancière are studied. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
AHIS 3007 PCCS
20th and 21st Century Art: What’s So French About Contemporary French Art?
After World War II, Paris loses its status as the capital of modern art to the city of New York. Numerous artists, nevertheless, have continued to work in Paris, nourishing its dynamic and diverse artistic scene and giving rise to a certain contemporary French art. This course considers the actors on this artistic scene from the 1950s to today and attempts to understand the “French cultural exception” in the theory and practice of contemporary art. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
LITT 3004 PCFS
From Page to Screen: Classic French Novels as Films
This class examines five classic texts that have been adapted for the screen. The two forms of the work are compared in the context of a discussion on genre and the process of adaptation itself. Authors to be studied include Jules Verne, Balzac, Zola, Pagnol, Gide, and Houellebecq. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
FREN 3002 PCCS
Advanced Writing Workshop
(An elective course for academic year students who have completed FREN 3001 PCCS)
This course deepens students’ understanding of some of the more complex rhetorical and stylistic aspects of French argument and writing. Through a thorough analysis of traditional and experimental French literary forms (from La Fontaine to the Oulipoand Barthes to Deleuze’s Abécédaire, for example), students gain insight into some of the finer lexical and syntactic nuances of the French language, perfecting their control of such difficult French forms as the subjunctive, passé simple, and plus-que-parfait du subjonctif through the writing of polemics, critiques, and tales. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
GEND 3001 PCCS
Gender and Difference
This course offers an investigation into the major theories of gender, sex, and sexuality that have been articulated in France over the last 30 years, and the ways in which these ideas have at times been appropriated in the U.S. Emphasis is given to the concept of sexual difference as it is employed by Freud and Lacan, and to the feminist criticism of Cixous, Irigaray, and Kristeva. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
FRST 3002 PCCS
Metaphors of Translation: Theory and Practice
This course explores past and current debates about the theory of translation, from Babel to Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin and beyond, as well as offers students the opportunity to hone skills in translating from French into English and English into French. Students discuss and translate literary and theoretical texts, and intermittently attend workshops with translators working in France. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
FRST 3004 PCCS/POLI 3002 PCCS
The Poetics and Politics of Postcolonial Identities
This interdisciplinary course explores the impact of colonization and the post-colonial on the construction of identities from the Enlightenment to today. By first focusing on the ambiguities of the colonial mission that would both dominate and welcome, educate and oppress, this course will then attempt to deconstruct the postcolonial relationship between language and bodies, the politics of decolonisation and postcolonisation, and link this analysis to the problem of gender. The works of Memmi, Khatibi, Duras, Genet, Derrida, Nancy, Denis, Djebar and Glissant will be studied. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
PHIL 3006 PCCS
Subjectivity on the Brink
This course examines the ways in which the notion of human subjectivity has gone through a radical sea of change in contemporary critical thought. Starting with a revision of Descartes’ cogito as a primary element of subjective knowledge and moral action, students explore the phenomenological challenges of y, Merleau-Ponty, the existentialist dynamics of Lévinas and Sartre, and the “limit subjectivity” explored by Derrida and Foucault. Contact hours: 45. Credit: 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours.
*Collège International de Philosophie
The Collège International de Philosophie was founded in 1983 by Jacques Derrida, François Châtelet, Dominique Lecourt, and J-P Faye and has since gathered thinkers and scholars from all over the world who experiment with new, hitherto-unheard-of ways of exploring society, art, philosophy, politics, and education with leading French, European, and international intellectuals.
Previous Critical Studies projects with the Collège have included such subjects as: Applied Epistemology and Education, Enlightenment Formalism and Machine Forms, French Cultural and Philosophical Intersections, Hélène Cixous, Human, Plant, Machine Consciousness, Identity and Trauma, The Base and Future and National Identity, The Ends of Man and the Other, The Limits of Subjectivization, The Physics of Contemporary Creation, The Subject of the Signifier, The Aesthetics of Appropriation, Exile, Language and the Limits of Colonization, Mysticism and Technology, The Philosophy of Violence, Feminine Subjectivities and Identities, Justice and the Critique of the Enlightenment, and Human Rights and Revolution in the “Arab Spring.”
To learn more about the Collège International de Philosophie, visit www.ciph.org.