Select Page

Paris: Cultural Capital of the World

    May/June – 18 days on-site (with pre- and post-trip class meetings)
    6 Credits consisting of two 3-credit courses:

  • HUMT396: Humanities/Cultural Studies Travel Elective OR ARTH396: Art History Travel Elective
  • FA396: Fine Arts Studio Travel Elective OR DS396: Design Studio Travel Elective
  • Pre-requisites: Completed Freshman year by time of travel and instructor approval

“Cars, cars, speed, speed! One is carried away, seized by enthusiasm, by joy! Not by enthusiasm at seeing the shiny bodywork glistening in the light of the headlamps. But enthusiasm over the joy of power…We share in this power! We are part of this society whose dawn is breaking. We have confidence in this new society, confidence that it will find the magnificent expression of its energy. We believe in it.”
Le Corbusier 1924

image | MIAD

Paris, a city with a history that extends back 2,000 years will serve as a nucleus to examine how and why this location has produced and continues to foster innovative and revolutionary art and design. The course will expand outward from the small group of islands in the middle of the Seine to understand the city of Paris and its environs. Paris has served as a home to Roman, Medieval, Baroque, Modern, and Contemporary cultural innovations, monuments and environments, which will be utilized to engage student learning. The Paris museums, libraries, and galleries also house extensive collections of art and design from pre-history to the present that will further enhance the experiences of the students.

This course will provide students with an in-depth study of Parisian urban environment and its cultural manifestations in art and design. Students will view the city through various lenses to explore and interpret its many historical layers by examining the connections to the myths and counter-myths of Paris. The events, monuments, spaces, objects, and other artistic production of the city’s avant-garde cultural life will be examined through multi-disciplinary perspectives that address the intellectual relationship between artistic production and rebellion, religion, psychology, technology, philosophy, science, literature, and history.

The student’s experience will be further broadened through immersion in the contemporary art scene of Paris and supplemented by reading, research, discussions, studio work, and written assignments that expand their contextual understanding. Through a study of the city’s culture, history, and contemporary life, students will explore art and design as the medium of Paris’ global identity as the cultural "Capital of the World."

As an advanced-level art history or cultural studies and studio course, it is designed with the understanding that the field studies, individual expression and critique will focus on interpretation, analysis, and critical method rather than mere assimilation and recall of factual material. Students will take a multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary approach in examining questions. There will be components of historical, cultural, and artistic research, as well as, critical reflections of student’s own experiences in France.

Students will be required to do some preparatory coursework in advance of trip and will complete coursework upon return. See syllabus for more complete details.

Dr. Chris Szczesny-Adams, Associate Professor of Art History, received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Architectural History and Historic Preservation.  She also holds an M.A. in Art History from UWM.  Chris’s academic background integrates architecture, art, and design history focusing on issues related to Modernity.  Chris has traveled often within Western Europe particularly Paris. She also co-taught the MIAD study abroad programs in Florence, Italy (2010) and in Paris (2011).

Eric Vogel is Chair of 3D Design at MIAD and teaches in the IA+D area. He has taught senior thesis for six years and has recently introduced a course called “Architecture in the Field” where, twice a week, students visit, draw, analyze and diagram iconic local and regional buildings from the 18th century to the present. He has a Master’s Degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University in art and architectural history. Eric co-taught the Paris study abroad course in 2011.

Estimated Cost: $4150
Includes 6 credits summer tuition, housing, field trips, museum fees, travel health and safety insurance, and some meals. (Airfare NOT included.)

Application Deadline:
November 30, 2012. Students must apply for program. Deposit of $600 must be submitted with completed application materials by deadline. After student is accepted, deposit is non-refundable.

Minimum enrollment (12) must be met for course to run. Deposits will be returned if course is canceled because of insufficient enrollment or if student is not accepted.
Download application materials

Financial Aid:
Financial aid is available for qualified students. Interested students should inquire at the MIAD Financial Aid office as soon as possible to determine eligibility. Students should be aware that financial aid cannot be distributed any earlier than 7 days before trip, so other means to cover required payments, purchase of airfare, etc, should be planned.

Payments on balance of course fee and tuition will be due in the MIAD Business Office*:
November 30, 2012 – $600 Deposit (non-refundable after program acceptance)
February 1, 2013 – $500
March 15, 2013 – $500
May 1, 2013 – $2500 FINAL PAYMENT**

Full payment is required before program begins.
* Payments beyond the initial deposit may also be non-refundable if expenses have already been paid on participant’s behalf.
** Students expecting financial aid can apply this to their final payment

Jenny Krantz, Director, Creative Learning Opportunities & Research –

To download and read a PDF, get Adobe Acrobat Reader