Dominique Agostini





Course List: 

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

FREN 6526 - Methodology:Culture&Modern Soc      

Methodology Applied to Sociology and Civilization: Culture and Modern Society

The principal aim of this course is to provide a methodological background in civilization. Students will work on summary, synthesis, dissertation, critical reading and oral presentation and will study a broad range of texts.
The second aim is to understand the social trends at work in contemporary society with a focus on France. We will study several themes such as sports, fashion, art, gastronomy, Paris, travel, ethics, social stratification, happiness etc. These different subjects based on different texts will draw a picture of our society as well as of the main social theories used to explain social trends.
The class will be organized around oral presentations followed by discussion. There will be also written assignments (summary, synthesis and dissertation).

Required Text:
FREN 6523 Coursepack Methodology

Summer 2015 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session, Summer 2016 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session, Summer 2017 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

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FREN 6633 - Globalized France      

The aim of the course is to give a broad historical view of the extension of France from the renaissance to the present time.

We will show that France cannot be reduced to its main territory, which is often called the Hexagon. France and its culture have spread throughout the world, due to the following four reasons:

1. The dark past of its colonial empire. France shared with England one of the most important colonial empires. France was present in America, Africa and South East Asia and in Oceania. In the post-colonial era, this was a basis for the organizing of the “francophonie”.
2. France’s cultural influence during the seventeenth and the eighteenth century, a time when Europe spoke French and was eager to imitate French art (painting, architecture, literature, etc.). France’s influence is still present today in Europe.
3. The French revolution and Napoleonic empire. France was then seen as a country of freedom and equality.
4. The role Paris played in the nineteenth and the twentieth century as a center for artists and musicians. This was called the school of Paris; Picasso, Stravinsky, Dali, Modigliani, etc. chose Paris as their capital. In the sixties, French theory influenced intellectuals all over the world.

Of course, we will show that culture is not a one-way ticket, but a give and take. France has declined as a world power but, due to its past, Africa, the Maghreb, Quebec and a large population coming from the former colonial empire play a deep role in rejuvenating French culture. We will show the benefit of this influence.

Required text:
- Patrick BOUCHERON, La France dans le monde, Le Seuil 2017, ISBN: 978-2021336290 Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2018 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

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FREN 6639 - World Economy 1945-2014      

The World Economy from 1945 to 2014
(Section A - Methodology ; Section B - Civilization)

The aim of this course is to give the students a broad view of the main economical events since the post war reconstruction to the world crisis.
We will first study the rebuilding of the world economy after the WWII, the beginning of the common market, the thirties golden years as well as the american leadership. Then, we will focus on the oil crisis and of the new economical order that came after the seventies. In this period, we will study the windening of Europe, the collapse of communist world and the victory of liberalism. Finally, we will explain the outcome of the globalisation and the rise the emmerging economies like China, India and Brazil as well as the growth of the African countries. Of course, we will spend some time to explain the world crisis and its consequences on the economical structures. We will give an interdisciplinary view of those topics. Our analysis will be mainly economical but we will also give a sociological, cultural and historical point of view. The students do not need to have an economical background to follow this course.

Required Text:
Daniel Cohen; La Prospérité du vice; ISBN est : 978-2-253-15965-0; édition le livre de poche

Summer 2014 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

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FREN 6641 - Taste and Social Trends      

It is very hard to define what taste is: a personal point of view as well as an aesthetic value in a society at a certain moment in time. Taste is often linked to the upper class, which distinguishes good taste from bad taste. P. Bourdieu considered taste as a means for the elite class to maintain its cultural power. Th. Weblen, the American sociologist, saw in taste a field of competition between classes and criticized taste as economic waste.

Taste is also a form of soft power. For a long time, France has dominated the rules of taste, fashion, gastronomy, decorative arts and fine arts. It has been the basis of one of the most powerful industries in France: le luxe. However, taste went through a deep revolution in the seventies and the eighties. In a postmodern society, taste changes very rapidly. It does not always come from the top but from all parts of society, especially from outsiders. In an era of globalization, taste is more and more multicultural, and it shows the changing pace of our society.

Studying taste is a way of understanding social changes. The aim of this course is to understand what taste is, the role it has played in our past since the renaissance, how it has evolved and the different changes over recent times.

We will follow a multi-disciplinary approach: historical, sociological, economic and geopolitical, which will provide a broad overview of this topic.

Required text:
- Guillaume ERNER,Sociologie des tendances, PUF 2009.
ISBN-13: 978-2130575139 Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2018 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

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FREN 6664 - Europe: Past, Present & Future      

In 2015 many events have threatened the unity of Europe. For some analysts, the unity of Europe won’t last very long. For some others, this crisis could be a new start to strengthen the links between the members of the EU. This is why it is now necessary to study the state of Europe today in order to answer those questions.
The idea of this course is very simple. To understand the present state of Europe, we must know what happened in the past and this will also allow us to consider some possible evolutions for the EU.
The course will be divided in three parts. First, the past: what were the main evolutions of Europe from Antiquity to World War Two. This broad historical perspective will explain how the unity of Europe made its way through history. Second, the history of European unity from the treaty of Rome to the present. Third, we will focus on the economic, geopolitical and political problems of Europe (Ukraine, Greece, the refugee crisis, globalization). This point will help us to give some hints of its future.
The students do not need to have previous knowledge of the subject. They will be evaluated on oral presentation and on two exams in class as well as on a research paper.

Required texts :
- François de TEISSIER, Gilles BAUDIER, La construction de l’Europe, ISBN : 978-2-13-063269-6
- Jean-Paul BETBEZE, Jean-Dominique GIULIANANI, Les 100 mots de l’Europe, ISBN : 978-2-13-058143-7 Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2016 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

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FREN 6679 - Contemporary France      

France has gone through many changes: European integration, globalization, euro zone crisis. Despite all these changes, France still aspires to play a major role in the world. This role is based on its « soft power », that is to say its cultural and social model. The aim of this course is to give a general outlook of French culture and society in an era of globalization and crisis. We will focus mainly on demography, immigration, social stratification, educational system, religious beliefs, work and leisure, art trends, etc. These topics will always be studied in their economic and historical context.

Required text:
L’état de la France 2014-2015 Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2014 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session, Summer 2015 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

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FREN 6706 - France & Europe: A Long Story      

France and Europe: A Long Story

March the 25th, 2017 will see the 60th birthday of the Rome treaty which started the common market, the basis of what the EU is today. After 60 years, we can see that this organization has brought one of the longest periods of peace on the continent. It has also brought a long period of growth, as it has made Europe the wealthiest part of the world.
But today, Europe is going through a lot of troubles (the rise of populist parties, Brexit, a lagging growth) and this has put Europe on the brink of collapse. Europe is at a turning point. Either it goes through constitutional reforms that will reinforce the links between European countries or it is the end of the idea of European unification. France has been a leading nation in the past but after two world wars, the European project was the last chance to remain a leading nation and keep its international status.
The course will focus on the role France played in the European construction. We will also give a large historical view to understand why France has accepted to give away a large part of its sovereignty and why there is a rise of a strong anti-European feeling in France at the moment. We will give a historical, cultural and political view of the current situation.

Required text:
Serge BERNSTEIN et Pierre MILZA Histoire de l'Europe du XIX au début du XXI siècle Hatier 2014 ISBN 978-2-218-97904-0 Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2017 Language Schools, LS 6 Week Session

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The Betty Ashbury Jones MA ’86 School of French

Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury College
P: 802.443.5526
F: 802.443.2075

Mailing address
Betty Ashbury Jones MA ’86 School of French
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT  05753

Sheila Schwaneflugel, Coordinator