FirstBridge is discovery

FirstBridge is the hallmark of your first year at AUP. This dynamic, innovative learning experience provides a solid foundation for the rigor of future academic work at AUP and allows you to gain new knowledge and skills that you will use outside the university and beyond in your professional life. You will explore a range of interdisciplinary issues and questions, and complete individual and team projects while improving vital skills in writing, public speaking and information literacy. It will connect you with the people and resources at AUP that will help you chart a critical pathway to academic and personal success. It is both an introduction to university life at AUP and an introduction to the cosmopolitan city of Paris.

Choosing a FirstBridge

You may be arriving at AUP with a strong sense of your intellectual interests and desired educational and career path, or you may not. FirstBridge is designed to help you confirm interests and explore new ones, to go outside of your comfort zone and take risks. If you have decided on a major or minor, we encourage you to choose a FirstBridge that is outside of this field. The following descriptions will help you to decide which FirstBridge is right for you. Follow the link that accompanies each FirstBridge, read the course descriptions carefully and let them spark your curiosity.

FirstBridge Courses (Fall 2024): Overview

  • FirstBridge 1: Exploring Animal Behavior Through Film
  • FirstBridge 2: Modeling, Learning and Teaching: Natural and Other Languages
  • FirstBridge 3: Outer Space: The Science, The Geopolitics
  • FirstBridge 4: Representing the World: A Human & Digital Perspective
  • FirstBridge 5: We Are What We Eat? Food, Environment, and Identity in the Atlantic World
  • FirstBridge 6: Gifts, Money, Debt: Literature and Economics
  • FirstBridge 7: The Concrete and the Mutable: Evolution, Race, and Management
  • FirstBridge 8: The Middle East and North Africa: Cultures and Places
  • FirstBridge 9: International Experience With Migration and Cultural Diversity
  • FirstBridge 10: History, Politics, and Languages
  • FirstBridge 11: Data and Drama: Exploring Gender Evolution Through Science and Art
  • FirstBridge 12: Architecture, Poetry, Ecology
  • FirstBridge 13: Bearing Witness: Storytelling in Law and Arts
  • FirstBridge 14: Writing Self and the City
  • FirstBridge 15: Paris Through It's Artists

FIRSTBRIDGE 1: EXPLORING ANIMAL BEHAVIOR THROUGH FILM

In these times of ecological crisis, slowing down and learning how to observe non-humans may just be the key that enables us to survive. Zoos and aquariums in and around Paris allow a unique exploration of animal behavior that is otherwise extremely difficult to achieve in the wild. In this class, students will explore the unique perceptual worlds of non-human animals through hands-on scientific observation in various Parisian institutions as well as through the medium of film. Filmmaking allows a different type of attunement to ecosystems, which opens new speculative possibilities. How can we center a jellyfish, a family of flamingoes, or even an entire ecosystem in our approach to the world – both in scientific and film-based research? What is the definition of an ecosystem when it is based in a zoo, a man-made institution? Over the course of a semester, they will learn about the science of animal behavior while observing animals and create their own films about a particular species, community, or ecosystem. The course on behavior, taught by Elena Berg, will be devoted to learning about the rich evolutionary history of animal behavior, and to training the students to observe and contextualize animal behavior. Isabelle Carbonell’s companion course on environmental film and filmmaking will contextualize the use of film when studying animals, specifically films made in and around zoos and aquariums, and will help students build the skillset required to produce films and/or media of animals in Paris.

SC 1099 FB1: ANIMALS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE with Professor BERG, Elena

This course will explore the inner and outer worlds of animals in the contemporary world, in which humans are dramatically altering natural landscapes across the globe. We will begin by exploring the evolution and diversification of the animal kingdom. What explains the marvelous variety of behavioral and morphological traits that we can see today? Why do peacocks have such colorful tails? Why do pigeons puff up and strut around after each other in the spring? How do bees find food? Why do some animals live in groups, while others live alone? Why are there so many big mammals in Africa? We will then examine how humans fit into this family tree. When did humans evolve, why do we look and act the way we do, and how did we make our way to the top of the food chain? Finally, we will address the enormous impact that humans have had on this planet since our arrival, an epoch known as the Anthropocene. What are the major threats to biodiversity, and how can we mitigate them? Where is the wildlife in our cities, and how do animals’ lives differ in urban vs. wild environments? What role do – or should – institutions like zoos and museums play in preserving Earth’s legacy?

FM 1099 FB1: ANIMALS AND FILMS with Professor CARBONELL, Isabelle

Capturing animals on film is as old as the medium of film itself: the world’s first bit of cinema is arguably of a horse running. Turning the lens of cinema on animals – whether felines, fishes, or microbes - and by extension on the ecosystems we live in, raises questions about the role of cinema in our understanding of nonhumans. What do these strange beings think about? How do they navigate their worlds? How do they get food, find a mate, sense danger, build a home? Are their senses the same as humans? How do different species interact in the same ecosystem? This hybrid theory-practice course will examine how cinema can explore these questions, both through the analysis of different representations of animals on the screen, as well as by making films with a focus on animals in different Parisian zoos and aquariums. As a production course, students will be trained in experimental and documentary film and sound methods specific to animal behavior and will produce creative film and sound sketches and a final film or sound project that considers how film can be used to attune to other ways of being. No prior experience in film or sound is necessary.

FIRSTBRIDGE 2: MODELING, LEARNING AND TEACHING: NATURAL AND OTHER LANGUAGES

Dive into the rich tapestry of language and mathematical modeling with our paired courses, "Teaching your language in Paris” and “A mathematical journey from ancient roots to ChatGPT”. These interconnected courses offer a multifaceted exploration into the complexities of human communication and the world of mathematical models.

By intertwining the study of languages and mathematical modeling, these courses offer a holistic approach to understanding and engaging with the world around us. Whether you're passionate about language education or mathematical description, this interdisciplinary exploration intends to stimulate questions about how as humans we collectively learn and know about the world.

FR 1099 FB2: TEACHING YOUR OWN LANGUAGE IN PARIS with Professor BLOCH-LAINE, Raphael

This course equips students with the tools to explore the underlying universality of all human languages while celebrating the distinctive features that render their own languages unique and, at times, challenging to learn. Through an array of immersive activities and thought-provoking discussions, students will hone their ability to conquer language acquisition challenges. By the end of the course, they will not only have a deeper understanding of linguistic diversity but also possess the skills necessary to effectively teach their language to classmates, children, or adults while studying in Paris. Whether you're passionate about language acquisition or teaching, this course offers a dynamic platform for exploring the intricacies of human communication and the art of language pedagogy.

MA 1099 FB2: FROM THE ANCIENT ROOTS OF MATHEMATICS TO CHATGPT with Professor CORRAN, Ruth

Humans all over the world developed mathematical methods and concepts in order to learn and solve problems about their families, their societies, their world and their universe. This process, while seen as the achievement of groups of people, mirrors many of the key factors individuals address in their own voyages of learning – curiosity and attention; creativity and intuition; exploration and problem solving, as well as the importance of sociality, collaboration and memory.

In this course we will trace some of these ideas, starting with an autobiography of our own experiences in this domain. We will look at similarities and differences in ways that people from a number of different parts of the world created notions of number and shape and how that helped them better understand and navigate – both figuratively and literally – their worlds.

We will investigate the relationships between an explanation, a justification and a proof; between observations, data and conclusions; and between an analogy, a mental model and a mathematical model. Exploring patterns and coding information, we will invent artificial languages and make music. We will see how humanity’s understanding of learning is being abstracted to machine learning, such as ChatGPT, and how information and data can be shared, and instructions given – in the form of recipes just as computer algorithms.

Throughout, each student will be encouraged to reflect on their own learning experience – how do they learn? How can they adapt their learning style to different subjects? How can they apply the principles of curiosity, creativity, problem solving and collaboration to their own learning voyage?

FIRSTBRIDGE 3: OUTER SPACE – THE SCIENCE, THE GEOPOLITICS

These introductory Bridge courses explore how discoveries in astronomy, in the air and space industry and in the history of scientific competition or cooperation have shaped the cultural, political, and scientific development of humanity. They raise questions about the existence of other beings, including sentinel AI and aliens, and explore ways in which we can coexist.

SC1099 FB3: THE SCIENCE OF OUR UNIVERSE with Professor NGUYEN LUONG, Quang

Experimental science and data science started with Galileo Galilei's studies of the Earth gravity and celestial objects. In this first bridge, we discuss how discoveries in astronomy has shaped the cultural evolution and scientific development. We will investigate several great astronomical observations of the sun, planets, stars, galaxies, cosmology in different cultures/countries.

PO1099 FB3: GEOPOLITICS OF OUTER SPACE with Professor KOBTZEFF, Oleg

Space exploration holds political and strategic significance. Military projects related to space travel held a crucial role in the balance of power towards the end of the Cold War. Yet the constant increase in the cost of space technology ultimately made it necessary to pool global resources and postpone confrontation. An entire economy has emerged around space travel, situated in changing cultural attitudes. Discover how this context provides opportunities to divert power away from the military industrial complex and towards efforts leading to peace.

FIRSTBRIDGE 4: REPRESENTING THE WORLD: A HUMAN & DIGITAL PERSPECTIVE 

This FirstBridge course is at the crossroad of Arts and Computer Science. Its goal is to introduce the representation of the world from traditional drawing techniques and digital perspectives. The students will discover how the representation technics evolved with human history, from the first symbolic representation up to computer assisted design. They will acquire manual and digital drawing skills allowing them to communicate graphically with diverse means of expression.

CS 1099 FB4: REPRESENTING THE WORLD: A DIGITAL PERSPECTIVE with Professor PASCUCCI, Marco

The course will introduce the basic concepts behind digital images.

The students will:

- Understand the process of image formation both from a physical and digital point of view

- Understand how data can carry images and how these are represented on digital devices.

- Discover open-source tools for image creation and manipulation.

- Understand the recent results of AI in image production/manipulation

The course will cover six large topics:

1. Images as pixels matrix

2. Vectorial graphics

3. Computer Assisted Design

4. Drawing in 3D

5. Animations

6. Drawing machines

AR 1099 FB4: REPRESENTING THE WORLD: A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE with Professor TREILHOU, Stéphane

The object of this course is the study of the different modes of representation of space, objects, nature, people through time and the world. Students will learn the essential modes of representation to express themselves, communicate or illustrate the world. These different skills will be acquired gradually, referring to the different modes of representation that will be relocated throughout history.

Students will address the essential issues of drawing such as the representation of the body, volume, space, movement and their use through practical exercises.

We will study different modes of representation and projection of the world used throughout the ages and civilizations. We will study different types of anatomy, different rules of representation and projection (different types of perspectives (axonometric, conical, spherical)). We will also study the different tools developed since Antiquity to facilitate these representations (drawing machines, camera obscura, pantographs etc ...). We will make reconstructions of these tools in class. Different rules of drawing (from different continents and different eras) will also be discussed and compared.

FIRSTBRIDGE 5: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT? FOOD, ENVIRONMENT, AND IDENTITY IN THE ATLANTIC WORLD

This course uses food as an entry point into investigating identity formation and environmental management over space and time in the Atlantic World.

The Atlantic is a heterogenous space of different environments, peoples, and cultures between Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Yet, historians and anthropologists have proposed considering the “Atlantic theater” as a research category for understanding human mobility and environmental change in a region collectively shaped by diasporas of people, plants, and pathogens since c. 1500.

The course is led by a historian (Rosengarten) and a biodiversity scientist (Caballer Gutierrez); each week of the first semester students will think about one crop, dish, or food culture that plays a prominent role in Atlantic history. We will contextualize these items both historically and ecologically as we move around the ocean.

Our weekly case studies include questions such as: what could a Viking arriving in 10th-century Iceland eat and cultivate in volcanic soils? Where can sugarcane grow, and how did sugar production move from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic to drive the trans-Atlantic slave trade from the 15th century? How does the history of the peanut industry in Senegal explain Senegalese national dishes and 19th-century French imperial expansion? What are the consequences of crude oil runoff in the Niger Delta region for Nigerian populations that do not consent to ingesting it, but are nonetheless exposed to this toxicity by today’s Big Oil industries?

Food and crop histories show us how the Atlantic world of uneven geopolitical relationships was forged in modern history. At the same time, they provide insight into the present and futures of climate change and uneven environmental degradation for communities around the world. Throughout our Atlantic itinerary, we ask: do food and consumption practices mirror or obscure our historically shifting identities?

HI1099 FB5: FOOD, DRINKS, AND DRUGS IN WORLD HISTORY with Professor ROSENGARTEN, Andrea

How have food, drinks, and drugs shaped the modern world economy? What empires & global social systems have risen and fallen in contests over crops, animals & the people who raise them? How do recent human mass migrations relate to the history of food & drugs? This course puts crops, stimulants, and intoxicants at the center of major global history topics since 1500. Students will gain insight into understanding and critiquing historical evidence, how to write a college-level essay in history and related social sciences, and how to undertake historical research using the resources of our globally connected library at AUP.

SC1099 FB5: SCIENCE EXPLAINS HOW NATURAL RESOURCES INFLUENCE HISTORY with Professor CABALLER GUTIERREZ, Manuel

History cannot be understood out of it´s social, political and economic context. Actually, most historical events that required decision making can be explained by the need or the use of resources (food or any other). Science explains how natural resources influence History represents a biological approach to these historical events, consistently tackling to proof that they are not independent from their environmental context.

This course´s schedule and outline are coordinated with its counterpart course Food, Drinks, and Drugs in World History taught by Professor Rosengarten (historian) and is focused on explaining the biological reasons why the historical events portrayed in her course happened.

The course is taught twice a week in two different ways: lectures structured over audiovisual content and flipped teaching, using the student´s findings to deepen into the different lectures.

FIRSTBRIDGE 6: GIFTS, MONEY, DEBT: LITERATURE AND ECONOMICS 

This FirstBridge pairing brings together the study of literature and the study of economics, two of the most important ways we have developed for understanding human and social behavior. The disciplines might seem to be opposed to one another: economics seems to deal with the hard facts of the world, literature is often described in terms of beauty, imagination, creativity. We will explore and challenge that opposition, looking at the role of fiction, creativity, and imagination in economics, and the way in which literature models and represents economic behavior. We will consider how the two ways of thinking address a range of themes, including gift exchange, the commodity, value, money, and debt. By doing so we will gain a good understanding of some key concepts in the study of economics and of literature. But we will also consider how studying literature might make you a better economist, and how studying economics could make you a better reader of literature.  

CL 1099 FB6: WRITING AND ECONOMIC IMAGINATION with Professor GILBERT, Geoffrey

The world of literature is often opposed to the world of economics, stressing imagination rather than reality, beauty rather than cost, subjective rather than objective realities. In this course, we will consider why it might be useful to challenge this opposition. Many great works of literature address the same themes and topics as economics – the place of money in our world, the experience of debt, the forces that organize our desires and constrain our freedoms. Economic texts – even when they are full of mathematics – tell stories and use images and metaphors. We will read foundational texts of economics (including work by Adam Smith and Karl Marx) alongside key literary texts from the past and the present in order to enrich and expand our understanding of historical and contemporary individual and social experience. 

EC 1099 FB6: THE ECONOMICS OF MONEY AND DEBT with Professor VALEONTI, Sofia

This course is an introduction to money, debt, and taxes. To examine money, debt, and taxes we adopt a historical analysis based on old and new economic texts, some well-known, others hardly at all. The kinds of questions you will be able to answer by the end of the course include: why does money, of all things, have the ability to exchange all goods? How does money help our economy function? What causes inflation? How can you just invent a new kind of money like a cryptocurrency? What is debt and what role does it play in society? Is debt good, bad or something else? When and why were taxes invented? How can taxes keep or not a society together? 

FIRSTBRIDGE 7: THE CONCRETE AND THE MUTABLE: EVOLUTION, RACE AND MANAGEMENT

All of us are shaped by constructs, myths and paradigms we aren’t even aware of, but that doesn’t keep them from having decisive impacts on how we live our lives and how we interact with others. Such constructs vary across and within cultures and change constantly, complicating our interactions – and sometimes making them quite contentious. There is no biological basis to the shifting category of “race,” yet our societies use it to organize and justify a range of activities and mindsets. Where does that originate and why do we continue? Brands, target markets, and even financial transactions are all equally invented concepts, but managers, organizations and customers must take them into account when making decisions: only by understanding and navigating them will their personal and organizational objectives be met. This FirstBridge will look at the concrete and the mutable from the origins of our species to contemporary practice.  

HI 1099 FB7: SCIENCE, SOCIETY AND HUMAN ORIGINS with Professor MARTZ, Linda

Given that there is only one human species, Homo sapiens, why are some societies so obsessed with separating people into groups and referring to differences between groups as “racial”? Humans have always identified some people as “Us” and everybody else as “Other,” but the “scientific” discourse of race dates from the 19th century. After examining what science can say about the origins and evolution of our species, students will look at how racialized discourse came into use, how it came to justify slavery and imperialism, how it gave rise to eugenics, and how it can culminate in the ultimate denial of the kinship of humanity, genocide.

BA 1099 FB7: MANAGING THE REAL AND THE IMAGINARY with Professor HAMILTON, Gail

In this introductory management course we will study decision making processes of all types and the supporting analysis.  What communities and concepts have been created or developed by management?  How do employees and customers react?  How does the manager motivate or manipulate?  At what point (and why) may decisions cross ethical lines?  Students will perform research, analyze cases, movies, and series as well as play an active role in business simulations.  

FIRSTBRIDGE 8: THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: CULTURES AND PLACES

The cultures of the Middle East and North Africa are plural. Though marked by monotheism, this region, running from the Atlantic Ocean in the West to the Arabian Gulf in the East, is home to diverse languages and cultures, cities and landscapes. In this First Bridge, students discover the region’s societies through literature, cinema, and other materials. They also study the Middle East’s urbanism and architecture, examining cities as diverse as Mecca and Médina, Cairo and Istanbul, Fès, Tunis and Diyarbakir, along with the capsular metropolises of the Gulf emirates. With these twinned classes, students find out how several disciplines, including cultural geography, urban planning and architectural history, as well as literature and cinema, construct knowledge. Paris, city of migrants, offers us museums and neighborhoods to visit that are important to Middle Eastern diasporas. Longer trips outside Paris are planned.

CL 1099 FB8: MODERN TO CONTEMPORARY IN THE ARAB WORLD with Professor TRESILIAN, David

David Tresilian’s CL1099 course on Modern to Contemporary in the Arab World uses literature and film to introduce students to a region which is often poorly understood by outsiders. Providing sound foundations in twentieth-century literature from a range of Arab countries, the course brings students right up to the present. What is the situation in the Arab World, ten years after the uprisings of spring 2011? What are the current debates on identity and culture in the region? Where is cultural life at its most dynamic? How is this culture seen in the students’ home countries? The study of a diverse range of texts, films, and digital materials gives students a basis on which to reflect critically on these questions and use them as a basis for a final project.

ME 1099 FB8: FROM MÉDINA TO METROPOLIS: THE CITIES OF THE NEAR EAST AND NORTH AFRICA with Professor MCGUINNESS, Justin

Bringing together urban planning, architectural history and political geography, course ME1099 looks at cities in Western Asia and North Africa. It provides an overview of urban settlement in the Middle East from the beginnings of Islam to the eighteenth century, before focusing on the processes of urbanization in the region from 1800 until today. After looking at the specificities of the region’s cities we explore the interaction between rapid social change, political power and professional planning. Today, uprisings fuelled by demands for social equity and democracy, major conflict driven migrations and the needs of capital all mark cities in the Middle East and North Africa. Students will reflect on issues related to the management, planning and design of extensive city regions, historic centres and poorly serviced self-built areas. Essentially, this course is an introduction to the challenges facing cities located at the critical meeting point of Africa and Eurasia.

FIRSTBRIDGE 9: INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE WITH MIGRATION AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY  

What is it like to move to Paris? What are the challenges and excitements involved in learning the French language and culture? How to get prepared for interacting with fellow students of different cultural backgrounds? This FirstBridge will guide you to reflect on your experience of relocating, adapting, and multi-cultural mingling in light of scholarly insights.

IDISC 1099 FB9: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON MIGRATION with Professor GAO, Zed

Human migration has shaped the fabrics of the modern world: not only racial conflicts that caused violence and slavery, but also the fine touches we put on our accent, dress and diet to blend in; not only heated congressional debates on whether refugees deserve a spot in “our” society, but also the joy and frustration we experience when navigating a European capital city. How to make sense of our mobile life, treat others with kindness, and address pressing sociopolitical challenges brought by human migration? In this course, we examine how human migration takes place within social, cultural, and political contexts. To showcase the breadth of the field, this course scales up topics from individual experience (such as what objects one brings during studying abroad to maintain a sense of home) to social relations (such as how “White Muslims” negotiate their identity in front of racial/religious others), to national governance (such as the exclusive role of national border and the perils involved in its crossing), and to global affairs (such as how American white couples rent Indian wombs to bear children for them). These topics are informed by major theoretical schools, including the Marxist class paradigm that addresses labor and material condition, symbolic interactionism that articulates how we perform identity work by telling stories, and social constructionism that questions the status quo. At the practical level, this course introduces a range of interdisciplinary methods including quantitative research, autobiography, ethnography, discourse analysis, narrative analysis, policy research, and intersectional analysis.

PY 1099 FB9: EXPERIENCES WITH CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND DIFFERENCE with Professor WINDEL, Friederike

Cultural diversity describes the variety of human experiences based on different cultures. This term is used in many parts of our lives including educational contexts, organizations and businesses, the art world, or political discourses and policy making. In this course, we will explore the social, political, and historical aspects of cultural diversity and difference. Through an interdisciplinary social science lens, we will examine the following questions: How do we experience and understand cultural diversity and difference? How do diversity and differences shape and are shaped by systems that affect individuals, families, communities, and society? How do notions of cultural diversity and difference contribute to practices of exclusions or social transformation and empowerment? We will explore these questions by examining the experiences of diversity, and dynamics of oppression and privilege in local, domestic and global contexts.

FIRSTBRIDGE 10: HISTORY, POLITICS AND LANGUAGES 

We hear and read about struggles in many regions in the world, but how much do we know about the origins and causes of these struggles and about the cultural and linguistic richness of the societies in these regions? This FirstBridge will examine this question through the perspectives of history, politics, and linguistics. The history and politics course will examine the Middle East and its contemporary politics, including the evolution of Arabic through political and social developments and its relation to other languages in the region. The region’s rich array of languages and their histories, as well as languages in other parts of the world, will be the focus of the linguistics course. Excursions that investigate historical, political and linguistic relations between Europe and the Middle East through European, French and Parisian environments will also be a part of the course, as well as external speakers, film screenings, and individual and group research projects based on relevant questions identified together during the semester. 

LI 1099 FB10: LANGUAGE AND SOCIETY with Professor RAST, Rebekah

We often have preconceptions about the languages, dialects and accents spoken in our home countries or elsewhere. An accent, for example, may carry a particular status. One language might be used in schools, while another is spoken at home. A certain dialect might be used by news presenters, while another is not. Where do these ideas and customs come from? How do they affect speech communities and their relationships with other communities? What happens when different languages and dialects come into contact with each other? How do languages and dialects evolve over time and how is this evolution viewed within and outside of specific speech communities? Taking a diachronic perspective, we will examine the movement of people in the Middle East to see how their languages and dialects evolved. We will then follow the movement of people into Europe and the Americas, where a myriad of languages are spoken. Shifting to a synchronic perspective, the course will contemplate language interaction in multilingual communities and within multilingual individuals, code-switching between one’s languages, and the development of pidgins and creoles. Case studies, fieldwork, and reports of your own linguistic experience will be an integral part of the course. 

ME 1099 FB10: STRUGGLES, IDS & REVOLUTIONS IN THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST with Professor MAJED, Ziad

Following the decline of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, five founding moments have marked the history of the Middle East.

The first is the one of European promises, betrayals and establishment of maps and borders (1915 - 1920).

The second moment is that of the creation of Israel in 1947, followed by the First Arab Israeli war (1948-49), and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

The third moment, 1973, is the one of the last Arab-Israeli war (in terms of State to state actor), the end of Nasserism, the oil boom and the rise of political Islam.

The fourth moment is that of the Iranian revolution in 1979 followed by the devastating Iraq-Iran war. It happened at the same moment when the Afghan jihad started against the Soviet army. Both events and their direct consequences led to 9/11 and to the series of conflicts in and around Iraq.

The fifth is the one that started in 2011, when revolutions against dictatorships erupted in many Arab countries. Conflicts, counter-revolutions and foreign military interventions followed and led to the series of crises that the Middle East (and the world) continue to witness today.

The course will explore these moments and will examine how the evolution of languages and dialects affected them culturally and politically.

FIRSTBRIDGE 11: DATA AND DRAMA: EXPLORING GENDER EVOLUTION THROUGH SCIENCE AND ART

We are not only a product of the environment but of our genes… as a human race, we are predisposed, with integrated traits; as individuals, those are shaped by our social and cultural contexts. This course is centered in the topic of Evolution and Gender, which will draw from the fields of statistics and science.

SC 1099 FB11: GENDER EVOLUTION AND STATISTICS: UNRAVELING THE DATA with Professor VALLE ORERO, Jessica

The math-science approach will allow us to examine the origin and evolution of gender statistics, including how the data is collected, analyzed, and presented through case studies. Gender statistics play a key role in measuring gender gaps and assessing progress towards gender equality.

1099 FB11: PERFORMING GENDER ISSUES with Professor PEPIN, Isabelle

The performing arts approach will serve to explore how artists question gender issues through multidisciplinary art forms. Contemporary performer artists use the art scene to deconstruct gender stereotypes and create new gender narratives interrogating us on gender evolution. We will see how the art scene develops sociological and philosophical topics.

FIRSTBRIDGE 12: ARCHITECTURE, POETRY, ECOLOGY

This FirstBridge will pair an in-depth, architectural-historical case study of Paris with a broader creative writing approach to space and place. Both courses will converge on issues of landscape, engaging with urban environments, and ecology.

AH 1099 FB12: PARIS THROUGH ITS ARCHITECTURE with Professor RUSSAKOFF, Anna

This course invites students to study the exciting history of the development of the city of Paris through the lens of its architecture. From Ancient Roman times to the 19th-century projects of Haussmann and beyond, we will explore key architectural monuments within the context of their urban environments, and as often as possible, on site. Special attention will be given to the social, economic and political forces that helped to shape the appearance of the city throughout its history.

EN 1099 FB12: THE POETICS OF PLACE: ARCHITECTURE, ENVIRONMENT, AND ART with Professor DWIBEDY, Biswamit

This course takes its name from the book The Poetics of Space by the author Gaston Bachelard. Students will look at ways in which creative writing approaches space, place, and the environment. Students will explore how creative writers over the last hundred years have engaged with the cities they live in, but our investigation is not related to the urban. Through a close attention to ecopoetics and environmental art, we will also be looking at the work of contemporary artists who use the environment as both message and medium, creating art works that, through their direct engagement with the land, bring much needed attention to the grave dangers of an ecological crisis.

FIRSTBRIDGE 13: BEARING WITNESS: STORYTELLING IN LAW AND ARTS

What is the cultural, legal, and political potential of bearing witness and testifying? How can "being there" at the right moment and giving testimony bring agency – if any – to actors involved in traumatic events? This course focuses on a range of media practices – films, literature, news media, amateur videos, graphic narratives, among others – to explore the underlying judicial and political questions and power of testimonies in our societies.

Students will learn about artistic and literary approaches, as well as the genealogy and basic concepts of international criminal justice, by engaging with both legal sources (such as judgments and witness testimonies) and non-legal sources (including audio-visual material, literature, and graphic narratives). This exploration will encompass significant historical events such as the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials after Word War II, post-partition violence in the Indian subcontinent, the international criminal tribunals for the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, and the judicial regulation of nuclear weapons. Additionally, we will examine testimonies that have emerged on social media platforms, igniting both national and international social movements, such as democratic demonstrations in Iran.

By analyzing different media, students will grasp the newfound legitimacy of the witness and their testimony in history and law, especially as material evidence of Nazi atrocities was destroyed by the Third Reich at the end of the war. Simultaneously, art and literature became means of "representing the unrepresentable", a paradox that characterizes the acts of writing, recording, drawing, and reading testimonies of violence.

This FirstBridge course will showcase how artists, writers, lawyers, judges, legislators, historians, documentary filmmakers, citizen journalists, and social media users convey their experiences and how this act of "telling" can be understood as a form of action in certain situations, fostering social interactions, and rebalancing power relationships to effect change. Rather than a black-letter analysis of rules and doctrines, we will approach the law of war and the legal regulation of violence as a discursive field, taking a historical, conceptual, and narrative approach. The primary goal is for students to position themselves critically in broad discussions about the powers and limitations of law, literature, and art in the face of war, violence, and the lived experiences of trauma and suffering.

FR 1099 FB13: TESTIMONY-WITNESS-VIOLENCE: ETHICS AND AESTHETICS with Professor Laurent

Witnessing an event implies a variety of questions related to involvement and agency. Indeed, individuals can either be witnesses/bystanders, thereby solely observing, while others can be victims or perpetrators actively participating in the event. Moreover, speaking about an event does not necessarily require physical presence; it can be done in absentia. Direct and indirect witnessing can both lead to an act of testifying, one that can possibly take various forms. In this FirstBridge course, we will examine literary, visual, and graphic representations of events that are experienced, seen, recounted, and transmitted. These literary, visual, and graphic works, labeled as testimonies, will allow us to analyze how to translate into words events that often leave us 'speechless' or that are latently processed. Students will focus on philosophical and literary debates regarding the ethical implications of aesthetic representations of violence and revolt. Questions about whether representing the event can lead to regaining a sense of agency will be addressed. Students will also consider the role of listening and of the reader in a potential testimonial chain that could permit different forms of engagement and participation.

LW 1099 FB13: LAW-WAR-CRIME: LEGAL STORYTELLING IN TRIALS with Professor Dharia

The central focus of this Firstbridge course is the evolving notions of ‘war’ and ‘crime’ from the end of World War II to the present day. In the first half of the 20th century, the concept of ‘war crime’ reinvented international law in curious ways. During the Nuremberg trials, war as an event was judicialized- subject to not only to international relations, but to international law. In their aftermath, there has been a transformation in the way law engages with both ‘war’ and ‘crime’ as legal categories that shapes global discourse today. In this course, students will map the legal transformation of war by examining a certain oppositional relationships- between politics and law, local forms of justice and ‘global’ legal spectacles, collective guilt and individual responsibility, victimhood and perpetration.

Narrating war and violence through a criminal trial is a work of memory and affect as well as of legal norms. The promise of law is that it delivers both justice and a form of truth. It does so by telling compelling stories of human suffering through the binary of guilt and innocence. But this function is juxtaposed with its own limitations: law’s compatibility with history, its narrow sense of proportion and enforcement, and its aspiration for legitimacy and universality. In this course, we will learn what it entails to talk about war and violence in the language of criminal law by engaging two fundamental questions: How does law narrate war and crime? What does it highlight and what does it erase?

FIRSTBRIDGE 14: WRITING SELF AND THE CITY

In this First Bridge, students approach the essential question of identity—Who am I?—by reading a variety of autobiographical prose from antiquity to the present; they also interact with their physical, urban environment and its global literary legacy through their own writing. Students do this by responding creatively to the work of writers for whom Paris and other locales have served as setting and inspiration, while contemplating works that excavate the self in a variety of genres. This course encourages the playful effort of retracing the steps of the writers we will read (some of whom we will meet in person), and outings to museums and other locations in Paris will be frequent.

CL 1099 FB14: AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WRITING with Professor MEDIN, Daniel

In this class we consider authors who have used narratives, essays, journals, correspondence, and playfully inventive forms to explore different aspects of self-knowledge. The course has critical and creative components. Critical, since students develop skills of reading analytically and learning how to situate a text within a particular historical context. Creative, since students practice autobiographical writing in the forms deployed by their assigned authors. By learning how others have documented their experience across different genres, students become better readers of themselves and the world around them. They moreover enhance their ability to articulate this understanding in writing with greater clarity. Authors studied may include Saint Augustine, Michael de Montaigne, Madame de Sévigné, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Vincent van Gogh, Jules Renard, Charlotte Salomon, Alejandra Pizarnik, Joe Brainard, Maryse Condé, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Han Kang, and Maria Stepanova.

EN 1099 FB14: WRITING PARIS, WRITING PLACES with Professor DENNIS, Amanda

In this class, we will read novels and short stories that engage with the city of Paris—its history, rhythms, and the rich array of cultural traditions that converge and coexist to compose it. Students will use readings as models for their own creative writing, which will also develop from excursions that move us out into the city to explore lesser-known neighborhoods, learn about the backgrounds of the people who live there, and discover the stories behind street names or monuments. We’ll study techniques for writing place in an affective, engaging way, and, at the same time, use our creative practice as a vector of curiosity, driving us to explore and encounter layers of literary culture in the city in which we live and write. We’ll read (or watch) works by Georges Perec, James Baldwin, Agnes Varda, Patrick Modiano, Maude Casey, Yoko Tawada, Leila Slimani, Charles Baudelaire, Mavis Gallant, and Edgar Allen Poe.

FIRSTBRIDGE 15: PARIS THROUGH ITS ARTISTS

This course introduces students to Paris through the many artists who have lived here and created work inspired by this city. The purpose of this course is two-fold: students will delve into artistic communities and expressions of Paris, from the past to the present. And they will produce creative work based on the lives and works of artists that they encounter.

Bridging art, literature and performance, students will have opportunities for individual and shared creative expression as they discover the city. We will explore key movements in Paris’s artistic history, such as Impressionism and Modernism, and their legacies. Together, we will venture into the city often, and workshop creatively during class, as we engage with the art of Paris and its many meanings.

DR 1099 FB15: DISCOVER PARIS AND ITS ARRDISEMNTS THROUGH LIT AND PERF ARTS with Professor Shiomi

In this course, we explore the different neighborhoods (“arrondissements”) that make up the city of Paris through the lives and works of featured artists from the world of literature and visual / performing arts. We examine how the city and its different neighborhoods have influenced their lives and inspired them to tell their stories in the form of books, paintings, sculptures, plays and films.

Through museum visits and city walks as well as reading excerpts from books and viewing performances and films, we will discover various places in Paris where the artists found their ideas and inspirations that led to their artistic creation. We will also invite artists to our class who are working and creating art today in Paris.

CL 1099 FB15: RE-CREATING PARIS, RE-WRITING THE CITY with Professor Preston

Who made ‘Paris’ in the past, and who makes it today? Architects, lawmakers, or labourers, perhaps. But what about artists? Sometimes overlooked as makers of the metropolis, this course puts artists centre-stage as producers of Paris. Through literature, as well as painting, music, film, performance and design, we will consider how artists and writers have influenced imaginaries, experiences, and understandings of Paris (or, sometimes, misunderstandings). This course will introduce us to various figures (including the urban wanderer and the outsider), places (queer salons of the 1910s, arcades, or surrealist walks through the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont), and experiences (such as migration and activism), as we explore how art and literature variously help form or disrupt ideas of Paris and the people that live here; and how this can help us consider about our place in Paris today.