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Beauty and Utility: Blending Architecture
and Art in Paris

by Ariel Maschke, 2011

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Karey Fuhs
Assistant Director, IPD Study Abroad
(847) 467-6953

Schedule Appointment

Open to non-NU students.
Location: Paris, France
Institution: Sciences Po
Term: Fall Quarter (2014 Program Dates: August 30 - December 13)
Application Deadline: February 10, 2014
Fellowship Application Deadline: Extended to January 15, 2014
Language Requirement: None - all classes are taught in English
Academic Interests: Critical Theory, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, French language


The Northwestern IPD Critical Theory, Literature, and Media program questions common sense conceptualizations of the world in which we live, as both fostered and examined by political discourse, literature, the media, and cultural production. Through exposure to foundational critical works, literary reflections, and field trips to historical and cultural sites, students will learn about the development of Critical Theory within the historical context of the ideological enthusiasms and conflicts of twentieth century Europe, while also being challenged to apply these theories to the contemporary world.


Established in 1872, Sciences Po is one of Europe’s most distinguished and well-known schools of public affairs. The majority of France’s political leaders are alumni, including former presidents Jacques Chirac and François Mitterrand. The Paris campus, located near the Seine and within walking distance of Notre Dame de Paris and the Louvre, is the most famous of the seven Sciences Po undergraduate campuses located all over France. While the University primarily conducts classes in French, the education has a strong international dimension, where students are expected to study at least two foreign languages in addition to French, and many courses are offered in English. Forty percent of Science Po’s student population is international, with 60 different nationalities represented.


Accommodations and a meal plan are provided as part of the program package. Students will have two options: living with a French family in a homestay or staying in the dormitory at St. John’s University's Paris Campus. Students living with a homestay family will select between a "half board" meal plan option, with breakfast and dinner included daily, and a "bed & breakfast" option, with breakfast only provided daily. Students living in the dormitory will be provided breakfast daily.


Program courses take place at Sciences Po in Paris.  This is a Northwestern program with a set curriculum, so students must enroll in the courses listed below. Critical Theory participants will receive letter grades on their NU transcript, and the grades are factored into their Northwestern GPA.

POLI SCI 364-SA: France and the European Union (1 credit)
This course provides students with a history of modern French political culture and institutions. It addresses France's participation in European integration, the development of French social policy, and the political crises that informed the emergence of critical theory. The course is taken along with other IPD students abroad in Paris.
Course Instructor: Michael Loriaux

POLI SCI 308-SA: Critical Theory and the Study of Politics (1 credit)
This course examines the relevance of critical theory to political life, as well as the political and moral implications of critical theory. Students will become acquainted with critical theory through the writings of Jacques Derrida, one of the most influential twentieth century thinkers.
Course Instructor: Michael Loriaux

CLS 390-SA: Fundamental Texts in Critical Theory (1 credit)
This course will introduce students to some of the most influential texts of critical theory, notably those of Foucault, Deleuze, Lyotard, and Derrida. The course is articulated around the theme of language politics, and students will use these foundational texts to deconstruct and analyze this theme and its political and ethical implications.
Course Instructor: Marc Crepon

CLS 383-SA: Research Seminar on Critical Theory (1 credit)
Students exchange ideas with scholars and doctoral candidates working in Critical Theory, read and analyze texts together in a seminar setting, debate the meaning and relevance of Critical Theory, visit relevant sites, and develop a research project.
Course taught by a post-graduate student in the Paris Program in Critical Theory at Northwestern.

FRENCH 199-SA or 299-SA: French Language (2 credits)
While there is no language prerequisite to participate in this program, students are required to take intensive language training in French while in Paris. Four levels of language instruction are offered, corresponding to the various levels of student proficiency. In addition to basic language skills, the course covers culture and social aspects of Parisian life.
Courses taught by various instructors.


Northern France
On one of the first weekends of the program, students will travel to see the beaches of Normandy and the American and German cemeteries from World War II. The trip provides a great opportunity for students on the program to get an introduction to France and to each other.

Strasbourg & Freiburg
During a three-day excursion to Strasbourg and Freiburg, students will have the opportunity to visit important sites in the development of Critical Theory. Possible visits include: Martin Heidegger’s “Hütte” in Todtnauberg, Strasbourg University, where Emmanuel Levinas studied, and the Nazi concentration camp at Struthof.


Review the following cost information sheets for a breakdown of and information about program costs:
NUSP Student Budget: Homestay & Dormitory Options (Fall 2014)

Students applying to this program may be eligible for IPD Study Abroad Fellowships and for external funding opportunities. Students participating in this program are subject to Withdrawal Policies for Northwestern-Sponsored Programs.

For more information about billing, finances, and financial aid for study abroad, please refer to the Money Matters resource page of the Study Abroad Office website or contact Krista Buda Bethel in the Financial Aid Office.