Courses & Instructors for the 2019 program

The Articulate Gesture

Note: Courses offered for the 2019 program will be comparable to those below that were offered in 2018.   

Traversing the City:
A Playbook for Paris
ART 4814-402
(undergraduate, 3 art studio credits)
ART 6811-402
(graduate level, 3-4 art studio credits)
Instructor: Anat Pollack

This is a course in which students will become immersed and engaged in Parisian life, its culture, history, people, food, lifestyle, art and architecture. Through the art-making process, students will examine and interpret their personal experiences as they traverse the city towards a comprehension of it that goes beyond that of the tourist.  The course will focus on understanding the city and its people, framed within both contemporary and historical contexts.  In addition to drawing inspiration from the many cultural institutions available within the city, we will consider the unique and complex cultural spaces of Paris enable us to comprehend the multifaceted nature of contemporary French identity and culture, working from macro to micro, from nationality to individuality. To do this, we will look at how social, political, and economic conditions have shaped the French and how this has influenced creative expression. Our discussions and readings will walk us through French history and culture, while our visits to museums and cultural sites will seek connections between art and the cultural context in which it was created.

Anat Pollack is Associate Professor of Video, Animation, and Digital Arts at the University of South Florida. She is a convergent media artist, who utilizes digital and mechanical systems to stimulate memory and nostalgia and link these with present experience. Her work has been widely exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions. She earned her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University and BA from Indiana University.


Paris: Art History Live
ARH 4890-402 (3 art history credits)
ARH 6891-402 (4 art history credits, graduate level)
Instructor:  Pamela Merrill Brekka

As an ancient city with a rich cultural history and built environment, Paris offers the unique opportunity for students to critically engage art history 'live' over a span of centuries and cultural epochs. In this course, we will encounter significant art collections, monuments and mediated environments, from ancient to modern, that manifest, quite literally, the history of art through the ages. Excursions to museums and historical sites will coincide with relevant scholarly readings. Students will respond to these encounters via engagement journals and seminar-styled discussions in which critical questions keyed to current methodologies in art history will be explored.  Pre-requisite: History of Visual Arts or equivalent.  Pre-requisite may be waived with the approval of the instructor or program director.

Pamela Merrill Brekka is a faculty member in the School of Art and Art History at the University of South Florida, where she teaches History of Visual Arts. Her research focus is Northern European painting, printmaking and cartography. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Florida and an MA in art history from Rutgers University-New Brunswick.  


Monumental Sites of Invention: Monumental ParisParis:
Magic and Mystery by Careful Design

ARH 4890-401 (3 art history credits)

may be also taken as

ARH 3001-401 (3 art history credits, equivalent to "Introduction to Art", satisfies the FKL/Gen Ed, Fine Arts Core Area requirement; Human Historical Context and Process dimension, CAFA HHCP)
Instructor:  Anne Jeffrey


Why does Paris command the cultural attention of the world?  It's a simple question but one with deep and powerful roots.  We'll be on the ground running in this course, seeking answers.  Based on information gained from selected readings, among the 'visual documents' we will observe and analyze are the Louvre Museum, the Orsay Museum, the Grand Palais, the Georges Pompidou Center, Cathedral St. Denis, Mac-Val Museum of Contemporary Art, the Arab Institute, the Picasso Museum, the Cluny museum, Pere-Lachaise Cemetery, Malmaison, the Gustave Moreau Museum and the unique global business center at La Defense.  Our concluding on-site discussions will debate the roles and designs of personalities in creating the allure of Paris.  Such figures include major artists as well as Louis XIV, Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte, Baron Haussmann, Marie Antoinette and recent French presidents.  Successful course completion requires class participation, written responses to the daily handout prompt, and a group project.

Anne Jeffrey (M.A., USF) has taught art history courses in Paris for well over a decade.  For USF tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota campuses, 2001-2016, she taught 19th century art history, 20th century art history, Contemporary Issues in Art, Introduction to Art and Art of the Western World.


Voyages in the Ile de France

ART 4905-401 (1 credit)
Instructor: Lou Marcus

The region surrounding Paris known as the “Ile de France” is culturally one of the richest areas of the country with numerous sites of interest and importance with respect to the art and history of France.    This course will consist of three day trips by either chartered bus or train and scheduled mostly on Fridays, to sites in this region and slightly beyond including Chartres cathedral, the Chateaus of Vaux-le-Vicomte and La Roche-Guyon and Monet’s Garden’s at Giverny.   Grading is on an S/U basis only.  
Note:  This course is required for all undergraduates enrolled in the Paris program.   Students may not enroll in this course alone but must also enroll in one of the Paris art or art history courses above.   (Graduate students will not be enrolled in it but will be expected to participate in these excursions.)   The one credit earned by this course, in combination with the London excursion, will fulfill the extended studies requirement for School of Art and Art History majors.  


Optional Excursion to the Venice Biennale
June 30 - July 6, 2019

ART 4940-401 (undergraduate)
ART 6940-401 or ARH 6055-401 (graduate)
1-2 credits
Instructor:  Lou Marcus

The Biennale di Venezia is the world's oldest and most prestigious exhibition of contemporary art and a showcase for artists selected from nations around the world.  Students who choose to participate in the Venice trip will experience some of the most challenging and innovative art currently being produced while also exploring the streets and architecture of this fascinating and unusual city.  In addition to the venues of the Biennale, visits to other art venues will include the Academia Museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the Palazzo Grassi.


Lou Marcus is the program director and will serve as on-site coordinator and as instructor for "Voyages in the Ile de France" and the optional excursion to Venice. He is a Professor Emeritus at USF, having taught courses on photography and the history of photography and visual culture for many years.  He initiated the Paris program and has directed it since 1987. His work has been exhibited widely and is in numerous public and private collections including that of the Bibliothèque Nationale. He has led numerous groups of students to Paris, has completed four artist-in-residencies at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris and is a part-time resident of the city.


Mary Ann Becker is the on-site program assistant. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado. She is an active artist whose work has been exhibited regionally and nationally.  She has provided assistance to the program since its inception, sharing with students her strong knowledge of the city, its culture and history.


Other USF Credit Options:

Students have the option of earning additional credits by combining this program with other study options in Paris following its conclusion at the end of June, including French language study toward the fulfillment of the language requirement or with other study-abroad opportunities offered by USF including a semester or year-long exchange program in Paris or other locations in France. Contact the program director or the Education Abroad Office for further information.

Application Process:

Students must be approved into the courses through the application process and are encouraged to apply early in order to secure a place in the program. Click here for application information.   Students may enroll in one 3-credit Paris course only.  All undergraduate students will also be enrolled in "Voyages in the Ile-de France" for which they will receive an additional credit.  Those seeking more than four credits are encouraged to enroll in the optional excursion to Venice or to combine this program with other USF study abroad options.