Americans in Paris from Thomas Jefferson to the 21st Century: A Long-lasting Fascination (Part 1) (Panel)


American/Diaspora / French and Francophone

Carole Salmon (University of Massachusetts Lowell)

Inspired by NeMLA’s location and topic for this year, “Transnational Spaces: Intersections of Cultures, Languages, and Peoples”, this panel proposes to examine the long-established relationship and multifaceted interactions between Americans and Paris in cultural productions in French or in English: literature, film, music, songs, visual arts and other media. Explorations on teaching Paris to University-level students in the United States or as a study abroad program in Paris are also of interest for this panel. Washington D.C, capital of the United States, was designed by French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant, while Paris, capital of France and City of Light(s), has been a preferred destination for Americans of all social, racial, and economical backgrounds since the birth of the American nation. Paris has given birth to many myths and phantasmagorias, stereotypes and symbols. A cosmopolitan city par excellence, it has always welcomed a large community of American expatriates since the end of the18th century. First through diplomatic and political relationships with founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin coming to Paris around the time of the French Revolution, followed in the 20th century by WWI and WWII soldiers, African-Americans such as Joséphine Baker, artists and writers of the famous Lost Generation such as Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, Gertrude Stein and others, the Parisian life has been a source of fascination for Americans until today. Which aspects of Paris favor this attraction and lead to a rich exchange of ideas, better understanding of each others’ languages and cultures, and mutual fascination?

Submit a 250 words abstract in French or in English to NeMLA’s online submission system: go to www.nemla.org and create your own user account.

Inspired by NeMLA’s location and topic for this year, "Transnational Spaces: Intersections of Cultures, Languages, and Peoples," this panel proposes to examine the long-established relationship and multifaceted interactions between Americans and Paris in cultural productions in French or in English: literature, film, music, songs, visual arts and other media. Explorations on teaching Paris to University-level students in the United States or as a study abroad program in Paris are also of interest. Which aspects of Paris favor this attraction and lead to a rich exchange of ideas, better understanding of each others’ languages and cultures, and mutual fascination?