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The Making of Modern Paris, 1852-1939

at The Newberry - Near North Side

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Near North Side, Downtown/Loop
60 W Walton St
Btwn N Clark & N Dearborn Streets
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 18 and older
Average Class Size: 14
Teacher: Frank Biletz

What you'll learn in this history lesson:

In this class, we’ll explore the making of modern Paris from the Second Empire through the 1930s.

Political and social turbulence, as well as an architectural and artistic efflorescence, characterized Paris from the Second Empire through the 1930s. Topics to be treated in this class’s exploration of the City of Light will include Baron Haussmann and the remaking of Paris; the everyday lives of ordinary Parisians; life in the city during the Prussian siege and the Paris Commune; the Great Expositions of 1867, 1878, 1889, and 1900; the experiences of the city’s inhabitants during the First World War; and the cultural vitality of Paris during the interwar years.

Frank Biletz received his PhD in history from the University of Chicago, with a primary specialization in modern British and Irish history. He is currently Adjunct Instructor in History at Loyola University Chicago and has been teaching seminars at the Newberry since 1994.



  • Luc Sante, The Other Paris. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2016. ISBN: 978-0374536459

First Reading:

  • No first reading assignment

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Refund Policy
Requests for refunds must be received in writing. To request a refund, email us at [email protected] The Seminars Office retains a 10% processing fee. For single- and two-session seminars, tuition (less the 10% processing fee) is refundable until one day before the seminar begins. For seminars meeting more than twice, tuition (less the 10% processing fee) is refundable until one day prior to the second class meeting; we cannot give a refund once the seminar has met a second time. Requests for refunds may be placed over the phone, but must be received in writing or via email before the class meets a second time.

After this the class has met (for the second time in a longer course) we pay our instructors and do not give any refunds. We do not offer letters of credit.

If the seminar fails to reach a minimum of seven registrations before the early registration deadline (one week before the first day of the term), the seminar will be canceled and all participants will be fully refunded. The instructor is required to teach the seminar if it reaches seven registrations prior to the early registration deadline. In some cases, a seminar may be offered with fewer than seven registrations at the option of the instructor.


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Reviews of Classes at The Newberry (4)

(4 Reviews)
The Making of Modern Paris, 1852-1939
Reviewed by Anonymous on 5/8/2017
The instructor was excellent, a true scholar. One (the participant) did have to know some knowledge on the topic, though, since it was highly specialized.

School: The Newberry

The Newberry

The Newberry is home to a world-class collection of books, manuscripts, maps, music, and other handmade and printed materials related to the history and culture of Western Europe and the Americas. The collections span many centuries and feature items such as illuminated medieval manuscripts, rare early...

Read more about The Newberry

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