Paula Schwartz

Lois B. Watson Professor of French

 Spring 2015: Tues&Thurs 3:00-4:30, CHT 112; Wed 3:00-5:00 RAJ B04 and by appointment

Paula Schwartz holds an A.B., from Duke University; an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the Institute of French Studies, New York University.

Her teaching and research interests include twentieth-century France, French civilization and history, World War Two, the French Resistance, gender studies, and food and culture studies.

See below for a list of some of her recent publications.




Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FREN 0205 - Toward Liberated Expression      

Toward Liberated Expression
A course designed to increase and perfect the ability to express oneself in spoken and written French. Emphasis on precision, variety, and vocabulary acquisition. Sections limited to 15 students. (FREN 0203 or placement) This requirement for the major and the minor may be satisfied by placement at a higher level. 3 hrs. lect./disc. LNG

Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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FREN 0230 - Introduction to Contemp France      

Introduction to Contemporary France
In this interdisciplinary course we will examine the evolving social and political landscape of France in the 21st century. How is French society reconciling contemporary challenges with deeply entrenched institutions and values? How does everyday life reflect the evolution of long-term trends? How are immigration, growing inequalities, and membership in the European Union challenging French identity and the notion of “Frenchness”? We will focus our attention on demography and the family, the educational system, politics, and the French social model or welfare state. Emphasis will be on oral expression and the acquisition of specialized vocabulary. Sources will include articles from the French and American press, documents, and film. This course is recommended for all students planning to study in France. (FREN 0210 or FREN 0221; open to first-semester first-year students with permission.) EUR LNG SOC

Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

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FREN 0233 - Hist Perspectives/Mod France      

Historical Perspectives on Modern France
This course is a survey of political, social, and economic developments in France from the end of the Second World War to the present. Our approach will be both historical and thematic, beginning with the rebuilding of democratic institutions after the devastation of the war, and ending with the election of French socialist president François Hollande in 2012. We will focus our inquiry on key moments in contemporary French history: decolonization, the social upheavals of the 60s, the economic miracle of the Trente glorieuses, the revival of the far right, and changing French identities in the early 21st century. Emphasis will be on oral expression, the acquisition of specialized vocabulary, and cultural literacy. (FREN 0210 or FREN 0221) 3 hrs. lect./disc. EUR LNG SOC

Fall 2015

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FREN 0346 - Food And Culture      

"I eat - therefore I am", Food and Culture in France*
What's in a meal? Historians and anthropologists have long shown food and eating practices to be a function of culture. In France in particular, food and cuisine are fundamental elements of national heritage and cultural identity. What does the organization of the eating ritual say about the French? What do food and eating have to do with class and gender, time and space? How are eating and drinking unique forms of political expression? Works from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives will inform our study of French society through its singular approach to the culture of the table. Readings will include works by Brillat-Savarin, Barthes, Zola, and others. (FREN 0221 or FREN 0230 or by waiver). 3 hrs. lect./disc. EUR LNG SOC

Spring 2013, Fall 2014

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FREN 0500 - Independent Projects      

Independent Project
Qualified students may be permitted to undertake a special project in reading and research under the direction of a member of the department. Students should seek an advisor and submit a proposal to the department well in advance of registration for the term in which the work is to be undertaken. (Approval required)

Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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FREN 0700 - Senior Honors Essay      

Senior Honors Essay
(Approval required).

Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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FREN 0701 - Senior Honors Thesis      

Senior Honors Thesis
Qualified senior majors who wish to be considered for Honors in French must submit a proposal well in advance of registration for the term in which the work is to be undertaken. (Approval required; see requirements above.)

Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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FREN 1004 - French & American Encounters      

Close Encounters of the French and American Kind
The relationship between France and the United States is sometimes satirized in the imaginary dialogue of a couple. To one’s declaration of love (“I love you”), the other responds: “Me neither.” Misunderstandings, resentments, and tensions have come to characterize each people’s notion of the other, but that has not stood in the way of genuine, mutual admiration and even love. In this course we will explore manifestations of this cross-cultural phenomenon in politics, society, and daily life to uncover the assumptions and values that inform a passionate transnational story of love and hate. Readings will be interdisciplinary in nature. Students will do substantial research projects to present to the class. This course counts as elective credit towards the French major. EUR LNG WTR

Winter 2012

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IGST 0460 / SOAN 0460 / FREN 0460 / INTL 0460 - Global Consumptions      

Global Consumptions: Food, Eating, and Power in Comparative Perspective
Using interdisciplinary approaches, we will examine the practices and politics of food and eating in a range of regions. Food sustains not only bodies, but national, ethnic, and social identities as well. Notions of time and space, order and transgression, nature and culture have long affected what people eat and how they do it. How does eating, this most basic and universal of human practices, both reflect difference and create it? How are food systems, symbolic and “real,” linked to national and international politics: Finally, how are contemporary food practices influenced by “modernization” and “globalization”? We will consider these and other questions as they apply to Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. This course is equivalent to SOAN 0460. 3 hrs. sem.

Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

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IGST 0702 / INTL 0702 - EUS Senior Thesis      

European Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2014

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Recent Publications

"Occuper les occupants: Maedelarbeit ou le 'travail de jeunes filles'," in Amours, guerres et sexualité, 1914-1945,Musée de la Bibliothèque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine-Musée de l'Armée, Gallimard, 2007.

" 'On vit mal': Food Shortages and Popular Culture in Occupied France, 1940-44," Food, Culture & Society 10:2, summer 2007: 262-295 (with Kenneth Mouré, coauthor).

"Partisanes and Gender Politics in Vichy France," French Historical Studies 16:1, Spring 1989. Reprinted in: The Home Fronts, International Library of Essays in Military History, volume IV, Ashgate Press, 2007; The Second World War, International Library of Essays in Military History, Ashgate Press, 2006; The World War Two Reader, Routledge, 2004.
SEE ALSO : « Les Partisanes et la politique du genre dans la France de Vichy, » in France Bloch et Frédo Sérazin : Un couple en Résistance [dossier pédagogique, CD, DVD], Sérén-CRDP, Paris, Poitiers, 2009.

"Resistance et différence des sexes: bilan et perspectives," Mechtild Gilzmer et al., eds., Les femmes dans la Résistance en France, Tallandier, 2002.

"Women's studies, gender studies: le contexte américain," Vingtième siècle. Revue d'histoire 75, juillet-septembre 2002.


Program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies

Chellis House Women's Resource Center
56 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753