The Living & Learning Community “Paris: From Department Stores to Mystery Stories”

I am really excited for this new first-year experience: a living and learning community linked to Professor Kendall Tarte’s First-Year Seminar (FYS 100), “Paris: From Department Stores to Mystery Stories.”

This course is reserved for undergraduate women who are interested in participating in a unique learning community inside and outside the classroom. These students will take this course together, live in the same residence hall (South Hall), and form a lower-division advising group, with Professor Tarte as their faculty adviser. 20100407french3977

The course will explore stories and images of Paris, from the rise of the city as a consumer paradise in the nineteenth century to the lives of its multi-ethnic youth today. They will draw on novels, short stories, and paintings to examine a variety of depictions of the places and people of that city. They will focus on the artistic qualities of these texts and on the social and political concerns their language and form convey. Their discovery of real and imaginary Paris will focus on such topics as transformations of the urban landscape, ethnicity and identity, Parisian mysteries and realities, and ways of looking at the city.

During the semester, students will participate in a few selected activities on campus such as plays, a service project such as Campus Kitchen, a film at a local independent cinema, etc. They may even decide to prepare a Parisian-themed dinner together! These activities will be determined by the topic of the course, the interests of the students, schedules and calendars.

Through these activities, students and Professor Tarte will cultivate relationships with one another and with the community around them, whilst exploring and developing their individual strengths, common interests, and leadership skills.

This pilot program, the first of its kind at Wake Forest, is based on research showing that students who live and learn together benefit personally and academically in their transition to college life.  I look forward to seeing the student outcomes from this innovative and interesting course.

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