Workshops: French History & Culture — Intermediate B1 & above

Fall: Sep 20–Dec 11
Location: In Person at FIAF Manhattan
Type: Workshops
Level: Intermediate B1, Advanced B2, Expert C1 C2
Sep 24 • Oct 8, 22 • Nov 19 • Dec 3

Fridays from 5:30-7pm
Led by Thierry Bidault
$59 per workshop

Discover key moments in the history of France, from its birth to the present day.


  • Fri, September 24 - 5:30-7pm - The French Revolution

    The French Revolution was not just a period of upheaval in France. It unleashed a wave of global conflicts and changes that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. The Revolution deeply altered the course of modern history on a large scale since it later helped Napoleon bring many of its principles to areas he conquered. Despite what many think, the Revolution was not only a people’s movement, it was also the Bourgeois and “Petite noblesse” who took part as well. Many of those who led the revolution actually had a comfortable statute in the society. We can even think that some of the Revolutionary leaders were more interested in power than in providing real change for the people of France. During this workshop, we will take another look at this exceptional period and we will reopen the often hidden “dossiers” of abuses and unfair decisions.

  • Fri, October 8 - 5:30-7pm - Napoléon Bonaparte

    Napoléon Bonaparte, or Napoleone Di Buonaparte in Corsican language, is one of the most famous people in history. But do you really know the man? Besides his military and strategy skills, as well as his love for luxurious items, there are other sides of the “petit corporal” that you could have missed. Did you know that he was not really short? Standing at 5’7, or 1.70 meters, he was average in height for the 18th century in Europe. Until the age of 17, “Napo” did not feel French at all, considering himself only a Corsican citizen. In this workshop, we will discover the true story of the infamous figure in French History.

  • Fri, October 22 - 5:30-7pm - The Impressionist Movement

    During this workshop, we will look at the origins and history of the Impressionist movement. We will cover the life of great painters and their works using pictures and videos.  

    Manet, Pissaro, Boudin, Monet, Degas, Sisley, Renoir, Cezanne, Morisot, and Van Gogh found a new freedom in the expression in painting. They revolutionized the way of viewing by capturing the momentary and the impression objects made on the eyes in a fleeting moment. We will also make a detour in Giverny, Honfleur, Auvers sur Oise, and Provence to see where these artists created their works.

  • Fri, November 19 - 5:30-7pm - Secrets des grands châteaux et monuments de France

    This workshop is not just a guided visit of French chateaux and monuments.  We will travel through time to discover the history and famous inhabitants of such well known places as Verailles, Fontainebleau, Chambord, Chantilly and the cathedrals of Notre Dame, Chartres, and Reims.  We’ll discover the secrets of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Mont St Michel, as well as the fortress of Carcassone and the Roman ruins in Provence.  At the end of this workshop, you’ll be ready to impress the locals with your in-depth knowledge of the French history and culture related to these landmarks!

  • Fri, December 3 - 5:30-7pm - Great French writers and their inspiration

    This workshop will look not only at famous French authors and their works but also what inspired them, notably the events of their time and the world around them.  You may just learn some new details about your favorite work of French literature that you didn’t know before!

    Authors studied: Alexandre Dumas – Victor Hugo – Émile Zola – Marcel Proust – Marcel Pagnol – Albert Camus – Jean Paul Sartre – Simone de Beauvoir – Eugène Ionesco – Françoise Sagan – Patrick Modiano.

This class is HyFlex
Hyflex gives you the flexibility to learn in person or online. In-person students can switch to attending class online at any time by requesting virtual access from their teacher. Watch the video.

Manhattan Safety Measures
Masks are required for everyone over the age of two. Students ages 18 and older attending classes in person at FIAF Manhattan are required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination on the first day of class. Vaccination requirement is only met when the vaccine shot (both shots for a two-dose vaccine) has been administered at least 14 days before the first class.