Fashion History Crash Course in Paris

From ancient Mediterranean clothing to 20th-century fashion, join Dr. Anne Bissonnette (Associate Professor, University of Alberta) in Paris, France, for a journey through the historical development of dress. This 6-day course is an immersion into the world of global textiles and apparel and the cultures from which they emerged.

Lectures will occur in the mornings at the Paris American Academy (PAA), within walking distance of many world-class museums. Afternoons will be invested admiring exceptional artifacts at these museums, which will allow participants to better understand the source civilizations and to contextualize dress.

When: The course is typically in the first full week of August

Where: Paris American Academy, Paris, France

Fee:  To Be Determined

This exciting opportunity includes:

  • 6 morning lectures in a PAA classroom
  • 8 nights of accommodations at the PAA (arrive the Sunday before the course starts on Monday morning, depart the Monday after classes end).
  • Guided tour of the Cognac-Jay Museum (includes entry)
  • Shopping trip to Clothing and Textiles Flea Market with the instructor as your French-speaking guide
  • Welcome reception
  • Farewell luncheon

Flights, meals, travel to and from the museums, and museum entrance fees are not included.

Course: Morning lectures commence on a Monday. These lectures will be held from 9 am – 12 pm in a sunny Parisienne classroom and will include fascinating, university-level presentations with abundant visuals. Optional afternoon museum visits will complement the morning lectures. This course is not for credit.

Fee and Cancellation Policy

Fee (includes accommodation): to be announced.

Cancellation Policy: Participant initiated cancellations receive a full refund (less a $20 administration fee) if cancelled by the end of April.

Participant initiated cancellations receive a 60% refund if cancelled after the end of April.

If the University of Alberta cancels the course (e.g., insufficient registration), you will be notified by email and your course fee will be fully refunded.

For an example of activities planned in the past, see the Tentative Class Schedule 2020. While activities may change from year to year as dates and visits to cultural institutions will vary, this link give you a good idea of the structure of the course and possible afternoon activities.

Registration (when enrollment opens)


The Paris American Academy (275 Rue Saint Jacques, 75005, Paris) is located in the famous Latin Quarter within walking distance of many famous landmarks including the Notre-Dame cathedral and the Jardin du Luxembourg. This vibrant neighbourhood is packed with museums, cafes, and situated near a metro and bus lines.

Accommodation is in a number of shared studio apartments clustered around the PAA (see map below). These fully furnished suites are equipped with kitchenettes, private bathrooms, and all linens and dishes. These apartments are designed as student accommodation so there is no air conditioning or housekeeping.