CPLN 300/FREN 300: The Making of Modern Paris

Spring 2020



Paris, Ville-Lumiere, has long been renowned for its urbanity, architecture, and city design. This class will trace the people, ideas, and projects that contributed to this reputation, through an exploration of the city’s built environment as expressed in literature and urban planning projects of the 19th and 20th centuries. Literary readings, including texts by Hugo, Baudelaire, Zola, and Breton, will be studied in conjunction with historical writings and projects ranging from works by Napoleon III and Haussmann to Mitterrand and Sarkozy. The course includes a field trip to France’s capital city during Penn’s Spring Break. Student travel expenses will be subsidized by the Mellon Foundation-sponsored Humanities + Urbanism + Design Project.


Eugenie Birch, Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education and Chair of the Graduate Group in City and Regional Planning (Design) and Andrea Goulet, Professor of Romance Languages (SAS)

Members of the Paris seminar continued to meet virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic