• This course traces the idea of “the underground” as it appears in French texts between 1788 and 1873 both from the literary canon and in other works that compose the larger cultural structure of the time. To gain a deeper understanding of literary works, and indeed what it meant for a text to be “literary” in the long nineteenth century, we look at a wide variety of discursive objects in dialogue with one another about the nature of the underground. Close readings of major works by Balzac, Hugo, Baudelaire, and Zola will be complemented by newspaper articles, moralist social surveys, short stories, poems, cabaret songs, photographs, sketches, caricatures, and even film clips.