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Art, Literature, and Contemporary European Thought

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Sponsor: Northwestern University Office of International Program Development (IPD), in partnership with Sciences Po and Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3

Location: Paris, France


This newly redesigned program combines art, literature, and philosophy to understand and critique Western modernity, all in the home of some of the world’s most influential artists and thinkers: Paris. Students will get to immerse themselves in Paris’s extraordinary repository of visual art through visits to museums, such as the renowned Musée National d’Art Moderne, the Centre d’Art Contemporain, and the Musée d’Orsay, which is home to the largest collection of (post)-impressionist art in the world. Students will get to travel to the picturesque village of Auvers-sur-Oise in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, and to the southern city of Arles, to walk in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh. They will also visit the seaside city of Nice to view the collections and inspirations of Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, and other important visual artists. Students will read the literary works of influential novelists and playwrights like Breton, Camus, Jarry, and Kafka, and engage in lively discourse about art, literature, and politics through the perspectives of contemporary European philosophers, such as Heidegger, Adorno, Foucault, Baudrillard, and others. Students interrogate modern life – lived modernity – through the lens of European phenomenology, existentialism, and critical theory. Coursework is taught in English, but students will also take intensive French language classes.

Program Type: Northwestern-Sponsored


  • Fall

Languages: English, French

Language Requirements: 

None; however, students are required to enroll in a French language course on the program.


Choice of home stay or dormitory-style housing.

Program Costs: 

Visit the IPD program page for cost information.

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