Spring 2020 - HIST 319 D100

Modern France (4)

Class Number: 4618

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 6 – Apr 9, 2020: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Roxanne Panchasi
    1 778 782-6809
    Office: AQ 6017
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history.



An examination of the history of modern France from 1789 to the present with a focus on the social, political, and cultural divisions within the French nation resulting from the Revolutionary era, industrialization, the expansion and eventual decolonization of France's colonial empire, and the World Wars and their consequences.


Over the past two hundred years, France has undergone massive transformations in the form of revolutions, industrial and technological changes, wars within and beyond Europe, as well as a range of social and cultural metamorphoses. This term, we will study these crucial shifts, focusing on how the identity of France as a nation has been defined, contested, and re-imagined in a variety of ways since the late-eighteenth century. We will explore different social, political, and cultural tensions within the nation, including complex divisions of class, race and ethnicity, gender, rural vs. urban populations, generations, etc. We will also consider modern French history as a transnational set of events, ideas, and experiences, including international exchanges and conflicts and a variety of imperial contacts, struggles, and legacies.


In this course, students will learn how to better interpret primary documents across a variety of genres (including fictional, non-fictional, written, and audio-visual sources). They will also learn how to identify, evaluate, and respond critically to evidence and argument in their reading of scholarly sources. In addition to becoming familiar with the major periods and events in French history since 1789, students will define and develop a research project of their own, making connections between past and present, and developing a central argument about the legacies of history for our understanding of contemporary France.


  • Participation 15%
  • Quizzes 10%
  • Short Papers 45%
  • Research Assignment 30%



Tyler Stovall, Transnational France: The Modern History of a Universal Nation (2015)

Emile Zola, The Belly of Paris (1873)

Michael Vann, The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt (2019)

Annie Ernaux, The Years (2008

*A number of additional short selections will be distributed via CANVAS.

Registrar Notes:

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