Course Work

The Louvre

Les Jeunes ont la Parole

Les Jeunes ont la parole (JOP) is a one-credit course option that offers Art History students (and highly motivated students from other disciplines) at The American University of Paris the rare opportunity to participate in a hands-on program organized by the Louvre Museum.

On a series of designated Friday evenings, AUP students take their station in the museum’s venerable spaces alongside peers from a series of highly diverse Paris-region institutions: the École du Louvre, the Universities of Paris I, Paris IV and Paris XI, the National Conservatory of Music, the Institut Catholique, the ICART, and tourism-oriented students from the Lycée Évariste Galois.

What is JOP’s goal? To enter into dialogue with museum visitors around a work of art. The Louvre has young visitors in its sights: the museum is free to anyone under 26 years of age on Friday evenings, and the program was originally conceived to draw youth into what are all too often perceived as discouragingly daunting walls. JOP competition is stiff. In a nearby space, a Conservatory student may be playing a musical instrument depicted in the work of art he or she has scrutinized; an ICART student may be displaying his or her modern artistic interpretation of a work from days gone by. The rewards are endless.

Students have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study a work of art as an object of material culture and to present its multiple facets and layered meanings to passers-by (learned or neophyte), who (wittingly or unwittingly) have chosen to stroll through the Louvre during one of the Louvre’s Friday evening events.

The JOP program requires suppleness of mind for organizers and participants alike. Works may be shifted without forewarning; elected museum spaces and Friday evening themes come and go. In any case, former AUP participants (visiting students included) are virtually unanimous in considering the experience truly unique.