Spring 2015

European Intellectual History in the Twentieth Century

Listed in: European Studies, as EUST-242  |  History, as HIST-232

Moodle site: Course


Adi Gordon (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 232 [EU] and EUST 242). This class explores the intellectual history of Europe’s “Age of Extremes” by focusing on its feuding political ideas and their chief advocates: the public intellectuals. Liberalism, Conservatism, Communism, and Fascism – all were created by intellectuals, and all relied on intellectuals for their ideological struggle over Europe. The course will investigate the many – glorious and inglorious – careers of European intellectuals of very different agendas, polities, legacies and fates (Arendt, Gramsci, De Beauvoir, Sartre, Orwell, Schmitt to name a few). The course thus has two goals: first, it is an introduction to 20th-century political ideas in their European historical contexts; second, it is an examination of public intellectuals, their history, role, responsibility and even accountability. Course materials will include historical analysis and works of fiction; works of propaganda and works of art; manifestos and political trial confessions. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Five College Professor Gordon.


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Spring 2015