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CLS 86 — Paris After Dark: The Belle Epoque and the Jazz Age, 1890-1935

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Sep 28—Nov 16
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 11
Unit: 1
Tuition: $400
Instructor(s): William Eddelman
On-campus course
7:00—8:50 pm
Sep 28—Nov 16
8 weeks
Drop By
Oct 11
1 Unit
William Eddelman
Vibrant, glittering, hedonistic, and liberating; Paris during “The Belle Epoque” (1890–1914) and “The Jazz Age” (1918–1935) was the city where the world went, where everything was happening, and where life was lived to its fullest. Paris received and entertained the world, becoming a stage for a society of performers, personalities, and spectators. Mixing high life and low life, private gestures and public actions, Paris was a cauldron of creativity, challenges, and revolutionary cultural changes. In this course, we’ll explore the intersection of culture and history during these major periods of change and developing modernity.

Comparing and contrasting these different eras, separated by World War I, will provide the framework for thinking about Paris from 1890 to 1935. We will survey diverse art forms: Art Deco, Cafe Society, salons, music halls, revues, theater, opera, dance, American jazz, early modern dance, and ballet (Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and the Ballet Suedois). Along the way, we will encounter memorable French personalities: Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat, Alfred Jarry, Claude Debussy, Mistinguett, Maurice Chevalier, Jean Cocteau, Sarah Bernhardt, and Coco Chanel, among others. We will also look at the cultural contributions of the American expats: Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Josephine Baker, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Cole Porter, as well as a few other distinguished “visitors” such as Igor Stravinsky and Pablo Picasso.

William Eddelman, Associate Professor of Design and Theater History, Emeritus, Stanford

William Eddelman has taught at the Stanford Berlin Center and has led Stanford Travel/Study trips to Europe. He received a Fulbright scholarship to the Cini Foundation in Italy. He is on the board of the Achenbach Graphic Arts Council of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.