The Last War: The French in WWI

Lawrence Kuiper, Associate Professor

Course: French 192, Section 001
Class Number: 24145
Credits: 3/HU
Day/Time: TR 2:00pm – 3:15pm
Place: Curtin 319

Course Description

2014-2018 marks the 100-year commemoration of the First World War. Much of today’s world – politically, geographically, culturally – was shaped in what the French still refer to as “La Grande Guerre” (The Great War). Such diverse topics as Middle East peace, existential philosophy, surreal art and post-traumatic stress syndrome can trace their roots to the cataclysmic events of 1914-1918. This course, through film, literature, music and other pop culture, will look at how this event, the most catastrophic in French history, continues to shape the way we all look at the world. We’ll take a deep look at the way the World War I generation viewed its world, and how those views continue to have a strong hold on our social, political and economic systems today. Please note: No knowledge of the French language is required to take this course, which is taught entirely in English.

Work Involved

Participation — 30%
Weekly short assignments — 20%
Two short writing assignments — 20%
Final Project — 15%
Final Presentation — 15%

About the Instructor

Larry Kuiper is in his 20th year of teaching French language, literature and culture at UWM. He has also worked extensively with the Food Studies Certificate Program. In recent years, he has devoted much research time to understanding the effect of the First World War on contemporary French language and culture. Along with reading a great many histories of the War that treat it from various angles, he has visited many sites in France related to the War and has increased his understanding of the War’s effects through interviews with French citizens, as well.