Paris, Sites of Modernity

This seminar—culminating in a 6-day trip to Paris—will study the histories of the most prominent Parisian sites associated with the rise of modernity in the 19th century: the Eiffel tower, shopping arcades, department stores (like the Bon Marché), sewers, the catacombs, the world’s fair grounds and the Bois de Boulogne, the Opéra Garnier, the “boulevards,” and their artistic and popular representations. We will study contemporary caricatures and magazine illustration, as well as paintings by Manet, Monet and others. And we will also analyze the extent to which famous characterizations of modernity, from Charles Baudelaire to Walter Benjamin and beyond, have stood the test of subsequent art and cultural history, as we ll as urban archaeology. Students will be expected to have at least some background in art history or visual studies