From great conflict comes great change. This interdisciplinary course examines France’s dramatic political, intellectual, and cultural conflicts. Students will experience French history firsthand, from the Roman conquest of Gaul to the Allied landing on the beaches of Normandy, by way of the intellectual battles of the Enlightenment and the artistic revolution of the 19th century. Based in Paris, the class will navigate Francois I’s Renaissance in the Loire castles, Marie Antoinette’s final trek through Paris to the guillotine, and Hemingway’s walk through the streets of the Latin Quarter. Engage in debates about absolutism, nationalism, revolution and human rights in the country that saw the most radical, idealistic, and brutal revolution in Europe. Encounter the personalities that have shaped world history–Voltaire, Rousseau, Maximilien Robespierre, Olympe de Gouges, Napoleon Bonaparte, Dwight D. Eisenhower–as well as the figures that revolutionized art history: David, Gericault, Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso. Discover the Louvre, Orsay, Invalides, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, and other museums and monuments of Paris. The class also visits the castles of the Loire, the beaches of Normandy, the French Alps, and Lyon.