History

Sources for French History and Civilization Courses: the Great War

April 8, 2013
By Rachel
VerdunCartePostale

From the Union sacrée to trench warfare, these sources have been effective in introducing to one of the most formative events of twentieth-century France: World War One (or “The Great War” as it was called before there was a second). As with the other materials I choose for teaching history and civilization, my concern...Read more »

Posted in Course Prep, Culture & Politics, History, Materials, Modern France, Politics | No Comments »

Sources for French History and Civilization Courses: the 1920s

October 1, 2012
By Rachel
Rouault Miserere Cover

Delving into “les années folles” means talking about the trauma of rebuilding after the Great War, “les classes creuses” it caused and by extension, the pronatalist movement, a new silhouette for women’s fashion, Josephine Baker and the jazz clubs of Paris, surrealism… Below are some of the sources I’ve used in class lectures, activities, and written assignments...Read more »

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Posted in Course Prep, Culture & Politics, History, Materials, Modern France | 1 Comment »

Studying questions of integration and identity

August 17, 2012
By Rachel
République française

It is often observed that the French model of integration differs greatly from the U.S. idea of multiculturalism, in both theory and practice. When the term “multiculturalism” even comes up in France, it is without fail with negative undertones, referring to a segregated American society where people are grouped according to their differences. In...Read more »

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Posted in Advanced, Culture & Politics, Identity, Modern France, Politics, Urban Culture | No Comments »

Primary Source: Vichy-era agenda from 1941

August 16, 2012
By Rachel
Screen Shot 2012-08-16 at 11.28.57 AM

While living in France a few years ago, I found this old agenda in a pile of post-flea-market trash. Not knowing exactly what I had found, I picked it up along with some other books someone deemed no longer relevant. This piece of Vichy-era propaganda entitled Agenda de la France nouvelle is a gold...Read more »

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The future, as it was: France, en l’an 2000

July 31, 2012
By Rachel
RuralPostman1900

The Public Domain Review just put together this collection of images published as postcards for the 1900 World’s Fair. This would be a great source for discussing the turn of the 19th century (civilization/culture/society/technology) or for practicing the imperfect and conditional: “En l’an 2000, on pensait le courrier arriverait par machine volante…” Partners could...Read more »

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Posted in Advanced, conditionnel, Conversation, Creating Activities, Imparfait, Intermediate, Materials, Modern France, Oral Exercises, Visual Arts | No Comments »

Primary Sources for the study of World War I in France

August 23, 2011
By Rachel
WWIAllezChezVous

Images Postcards from the Bowman Gray Collection at the University of North Carolina You can browse by country, name, or subject (includes photos and many caricatures as well, like the one on the left).   Photos from the French site 1914-1918.fr. Texts For both in-class discussion and as a written assignment, I had students read an...Read more »

Posted in Course Prep, Culture & Politics, History, Materials, Modern France, Reading | No Comments »

Qu’est-ce que la France? Images of French identity through music

May 24, 2011
By Rachel
3590852_wallet

Throughout a course on 20th-century and contemporary France, I’ve been incorporating popular songs into our analysis of what it means to be French, from the post-war period to the present day. I’ve used music in a variety of ways: comparing two songs from the same period, or from vastly different periods (1945 and 1975,...Read more »

Posted in Culture & Politics, Identity, Modern France, Music, Politics, Urban Culture | No Comments »

Tracing French ideas of nationhood: Ernest Renan

February 1, 2011
By Rachel
RenanNation

Patrick Weil, a research fellow at the CNRS and also a former professor of mine, has just published an essay entitled Etre français, les quatre piliers de la nationalité (Editions de l’Aube, January 2011). Although I haven’t yet had the chance to read it, an abstract describes his conjecture that French nationality is based...Read more »

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Posted in Advanced, Course Level, Culture & Politics, History, Identity, Modern France, Politics | No Comments »

Teaching Civilization Through Old French School Manuals

January 25, 2011
By Rachel
Lecons de Morale 1904

Welcome to a new semester! I’m teaching a civilization class this spring and thought I’d share some of the ideas I’m using for course material. In this post I talked about using Gallica to find primary sources, and used the example of a geography text book to demonstrate the process. As an introduction to...Read more »

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“L’opportuniste”: political vocabulary in music

November 28, 2010
By Rachel
Screen shot 2010-11-08 at 10.06.57 PM

I was living in France in 1999-2000 when the millennium was all the rage. On the occasion of the turn of the new century (yes, a year early), I picked up a copy of a compilation CD called Les plus grandes chansons du siècle. I still have it and indeed, it has many classics, one...Read more »

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Posted in Elementary, Intermediate, Materials, Modern France, Politics | No Comments »