Summer Abroad France

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Americans in Paris

Paris, France

Arrive Date:  June 21, 2020    End Date:  July 18, 2020

Program Overview

Thomas Jefferson wrote that “[A] walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.” We will explore the city that mesmerized both Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson, the first Americans in Paris. We will examine why writers, from Jefferson to James Baldwin, wrote about Paris; why jazz musicians Sidney Bêchet and Cole Porter composed in Paris; why Josephine Baker danced in Paris and became a fashion icon; and why filmmakers such as Sophia Coppola and Woody Allen have featured Paris in their films. We will learn to read the city and report on its culture from the vantage point of young 21st-century Americans in Paris, and ask whether, as F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “[the] best of America drifts to Paris,” and “The American in Paris is the best American.”

Taught in:  English

Max Enrollment:  20

Program Coordinator:  Jennifer Moylan


Comparative Literature (COM) 180S. Selected Topics in Comparative Literature (4 units)

Comparative Literature (COM) 198. Directed Group Study (4 units, P/NP)

Program Highlights

  • Walk in the footsteps of Jefferson, Twain, Hemingway, Stein, and other Americans in Paris.
  • Sit in cafes and observe Paris and Parisians—the architecture, the fashion, the art that meets you on every corner.
  • Partake in Parisian joie de vivre as you make Paris your own.

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