University of Notre Dame

French Culture on the Beat

ROFR 20690: French Culture on the Beat

Prerequisites: ROFR 20202 or ROFR 20215 or ROFR 20300 or ROFR 20305 or CEFR score of 401
This course in cultural studies will focus on music in France and its role in the historical and political events of the twentieth century. Music will provide an entry into literary and cinematic developments during the period; it will also give us a sense of movements of national and international significance. Music will be the soundtrack for our exploration of the fluctuating cultural climate of France, not in the sense of background music but as a subject that is worthy of study in its own right. Music in many senses sets the stage for development in other cultural arenas, often in ways that are not immediately visible. Tuning our ears to the role of music in shaping opinions and moving people to action will allow us not only to gain a deeper understanding of twentieth-century France, it will also give us a chance to ascertain the influence of music in shaping personal, communal, and national identities and identifications in any age and in any location. The course will rely heavily on primary materials, including various audio artifacts in the form of musical recordings and film soundtracks. It will also depend on critical articles and complementary reading assignments that give insight into the musical currents and trends that characterize and shape twentieth-century French culture.