Topics in French Culture: France During the Pandemic - Resistance and Resilience

FRIT-F225 — Fall 2021 — Themester

Oana Panaïté
SB 231
Days and Times
3:15P- 4:30P TR
Course Description

Fulfills GenEd World Cultures Credit

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused French society to question its fundamental values: liberty, equality, and fraternity at all levels of society and culture. In the early days of the pandemic, President Macron launched “Operation Resilience” signaling the country’s determination to mobilize all its resources to find a successful response to the challenge. This global medical, economic, political, and racial crisis has brought into new focus France’s collective memory of overcoming but also adapting to past milestones and challenges such as the 1789 Revolution, the Nazi Occupation of 1940-1944, the abolition of slavery in 1848, the wars of decolonization in the 1950s and 1960s and the recent issue of global immigration. We will delve into a rich and exciting set of cultural materials such as mass-media and social media, literature, film, and visual art to understand how society in France has reacted and adapted or failed to adapt to the issues of economic and social justice, racism and immigration, political polarization, and the pressures for rethinking group and individual identities created or accelerated by the pandemic. Ultimately, this course will allow us to examine how, in the French context, beliefs, worldviews, and institutions in some cases resist change but also manage to adapt creatively to this moment in its national and global history.

The course will be taught entirely in English.

Image attribution: Associated Press

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