The History of France is a 30-week course (Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters). The Fall quarter is devoted to the story of the creation of a new national identity on the mainland of Europe. The Celts choose Paris as their capital and give it its name. The Romans contribute a new organization of the land and a new legal and administrative structure, and Christian missionaries contribute new centers and new ideas. We continue in the Winter quarter to study the Renaissance and Reformation. In the Spring quarter, we turn our attention to Versailles, the Bourbon monarchs, and the French Revolution. (A subsequent 30-week History of Modern France class, offered in alternate years, takes the story of France through the Napoleonic Age, the Impressionists and the Belle Epoque, and the calamitous 20th century.)
William H. Fredlund, the Director of the Institute, obtained his B.A. and M.A. from UCLA, where he specialized in European history and art history. He studied in Italy on a Fulbright Fellowship and completed a double Ph.D. in history and humanities at Stanford, specializing in Renaissance Italy. Dr. Fredlund has taught for UCLA, the University of Florence, Stanford, and UCSC Extension.