Dialogue of Civilizations

Exploring Fashion in Paris- Summer I

May 23 to June 24, 2017

This Dialogue of Civilization will focus on the history of 19th, 20th and 21st century fashion design and the relationship between mass media and the fashion industry. Paris has been recognized as the center of high fashion for over a century. By studying in Paris, we will have access to primary sources of fashion history including paintings, sculpture, textiles and garments from the periods being studied. Building on this historical foundation, we will explore the workings of the fashion industry, and specifically the fundamental role which mass media plays in the success of the Paris fashion shows- and also the larger fashion industry. Activities include visits to fashion related museum exhibits, walking tours of Paris’s most fashionable areas and cultural activities to enhance and enrich your experience in this world class city.

THTR1233 – 19th & 20th Century Fashion and Costume : This course traces the evolution of fashion and costume in Europe from the beginning of the 19th century to the 21st century. Illustrated lectures focus on the history and meaning of clothing design and the development of style. This class will examine trends in fashion for men and women within its historical, cultural, political and economic contexts. By studying fashion history in Paris, we will have access to primary sources of fashion history including paintings, sculpture, architecture, textiles and garments from the periods being studied. Special emphasis will also be placed on current trends in fashion, with in-depth studies of the work of designers like Dior, Chanel, McQueen, Westwood, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, McCartney, and more.

THTR2550– Mass Media and the Fashion Industry: In this course, students will explore the relationship between mass media and the fashion industry from 19th century Paris to today’s new media platforms and globalized communication networks. While the fashion industry provides an arena for conventional media business, it also involves a coded and complex dialogue among creators, corporations, tastemakers and the masses. The first half of the course addresses the primary forms of conventional fashion media (journalism, photography, film, new media) while the second half of the course emphasizes the media dialogue and diplomacy as well as its value arbitration (representation, taste, status, trend, globalization).

Fashion, Culture and Commerce in Paris- Summer II

July 6 to August 7, 2017

This Dialogue of Civilization will give students an in-depth understanding of the complex world of the fashion industry while exploring this world class city known for its unique fashion style. Students will examine the social and cultural significance of fashion and explore global issues of gender, race, class, identity, image, style, material culture and sustainability. Students will also explore the fundamentals of fashion marketing and merchandising, going beyond a theoretical understanding of how basic marketing principles govern the fashion industry. Included in the program are site visits to industry organizations and fashion related museum exhibits, walking tours of Paris’s most fashionable areas and cultural activities to enhance and enrich our immersion in this world class city.

THTR1237– Introduction to Global Fashion Studies: This course offers students an overview of the most significant and relevant theories on fashion and focuses on the cultural significance of clothing and style. It examines the intersection of fashion and other areas of study including the arts, history, economics, business, anthropology, sociology, and psychology. It explores global issues of gender, race, class, identity, image, style, material culture and sustainability and examines the ways in which these issues connect and intertwine through the lens of fashion.

THTR3350– Fashion Marketing and Merchandising: In this course, students will analyze the fundamentals of fashion marketing, merchandising and general retailing along with the basic marketing principles governing the fashion industry. While considering these issues theoretically , students will study their practical application in the ateliers, businesses, museums and outlets of Paris. Students will personally experience, analyze and evaluate the role and function of day-to-day industry professionals working and succeeding in the capital of fashion. This course is also an excellent complement to related areas of study in management, public relations, fashion journalism, fashion design and visual merchandising.

Destination for Both Programs

While participating in this Dialogue, students will be immersed in the vibrant artistic and cultural community of Paris. In addition to visiting historic homes like Versailles outside of Paris, we will explore distinctive neighborhoods of the city. Anticipate visits to a variety of venues, from the studios of established couture designers to the avant-garde street-style boutiques of the Marais.

Additional activities and events for both programs:

Visit to the Louvre Museum and the Musée d’Orsay

Visit to the Palais Galliera Museum of Fashion (Musee de la Mode de la Ville de Paris)

Visit to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs- Mode et Textile

Tour of the Galleries Lafayette

Day trip to Versailles including a guide tour and access to the gardens and Le Petit Trianon

Weekend visit to London- including a tour of the Victoria & Albert Fashion Collection

Tour of Foundation Pierre Bergé/Yves Saint Laurent, including a guided tour of YSL offices

Documenting the latest styles in trendy neighborhoods like the Marais, Avenue des Champs-Elysées, the Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and more.


Students will reside in shared apartments close to central Paris, with one to five same sex roommates from Northeastern. The apartments provide students with a true sense of French life. Apartments are equipped with beds, tables/desks, in-suite shared bathrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen, including pots, pans, dishes and glasses. Internet service in available. Students will receive unlimited metro passes for the duration of the program.

Host University

Since 1997, CEA has provided high-quality international academic programs and services. The University of New Haven (UNH) of West Haven, Connecticut acts as CEA’s official School of Record. The Mass Media course will be taught by a highly qualified, in-country instructor and will be taught in English. The content of the course will be consistent with the level of difficulty of courses at Northeastern University. With destinations in 21 cities across 12 countries, CEA offers a balance of academics and adventure to thousands of students each year. CEA’s Paris Study Center is in the 3rd arrondissement, blocks away from the Pompidou Center, Hotel de Ville and Notre Dame.

Questions? Contact Frances McSherry- f.mcsherry@northeastern.edu

Please join Frances at an info session for the latest news: November 10th and 15th from 6:30-7:30 pm 180 Ryder Hall

Applications are open online until November 15, 2017.

Blog from the 2015 and 2016 programs- https://exploringfashion.wordpress.com/