Fall 2017  -  Get temporary access to course materials (Amherst College and Five-college students only)

Asia in the European Mind: Modern European Discourse on History and Identity

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-109

Faculty

Trent E. Maxey (Section 01)

Description

In post-Enlightenment Europe, intellectuals frequently drew on images of Asia to illustrate what it meant to be modern, enlightened, and historically progressive. Why and how might we be complicit in this mode of thinking even today? Through close readings of key figures in the intellectual tradition of modern Europe, including Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), Georg W. F. Hegel (1770-1831), Karl Marx (1818-1883), and Max Weber (1864-1920), this seminar will explore the epistemological and ideological function of historicism and the inescapable tension between visions of universal progress and resistance in the name of particular identities.  We will end the seminar with more contemporary thinkers to weigh the abiding influence of Hegel, Marx, and Weber.  The seminar will focus on the related skills of close reading, engaged discussion, and critical writing.  Reading prompts and short exercises will ask you to practice the reading skills required for active class discussion and effective writing.   Two class meetings per week. Fall semester. Professor Maxey.

Offerings

2017-18: Offered in Fall 2017