French Urban Space: From City of Lights to the Banlieue

Module code: FR2046

The city of Paris has long been known as the ‘City of Lights’ because of the key role it has played in bringing together artists, writers and great thinkers. For a long time, Paris was seen as the worldwide pinnacle of ‘development’, a place of high culture and enlightenment that artists, writers and film-makers flocked to for inspiration. How can we reconcile this with aspects of Paris’ character today? Since the riots of the banlieue in 2005, Paris today is a site of struggle for inclusion and exclusion, a place in which many different people try to find a voice in which to express themselves. This module will help you understand the shifting layers of meaning and multiple identities of Paris via the study of film, art and literature.

Topics covered

  • The French Revolution
  • The Enlightenment
  • Urbanisation
  • Urban modernisation
  • The Banlieue
  • May 1968
  • French Urban Policy
  • Revolt, protest and strikes
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