Sep 23, 2020  
Catalogue 2019-2020 
Catalogue 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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HIST 286 - The Art of Conversation:Living the 18th-century Salon in the 21st-century

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
The eighteenth-century salon was the center of sociability in Paris, bringing together writers and a large cross section of elites.  But socializing was not an end to itself: the salon was first and foremost an engaged intellectual space that saw knowledge as a joint endeavor.  For the women who organized them, many of whom lacked formal education, curated conversations with carefully phrased questions and listening skills fused together friendship and learning.  The boundaries of salons were not restricted to the drawing room because participants kept the world apprised of their activities through correspondence. This course uses the model of sociability and intellectual conversation by convening every other week over lunch or tea.  We converse over topics chosen by students as well as select 18th-century texts that focus on sociability and learning; in one class, we will “perform” a play, a common activity in salons.  Students may also invite someone who would be interested in contributing to a conversation.  The class meets every other week; in the intervening weeks, students will write letters or news items about our class and relevant events. Professor Choudhury Mita Choudhury.

This group will meet bi-weekly for a three hour period for experiential learning in various forms. Opposite weeks will be reserved for individual meetings, writing and research.

Course Format: INT

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