Spring 2023

European Intellectual History and Its Discontents

Listed in: European Studies, as EUST-129  |  History, as HIST-205


Alexander Semyonov (Section 01)


Offered as HIST-205 [EU/TC/TS] and EUST-129. Intellectual history concerns itself with the study of social and political ideas. These ideas are known by big words, such as Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism. As George Orwell once remarked: “The worst thing one can do with words is to surrender to them.” This course will help students to create a distance needed to analyze the big ideas and the meaning beneath them and help acquire skills for exploration of the origin of key social and political concepts, their development and impact.  The readings for this class will take students on a journey through the battle of ideas in Europe at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century when tensions and paradoxes of modernity surfaced in the form of political and social divisions. This journey will continue through the “Age of Extremes” and the confrontation between Communism, Fascism, and renewed Liberalism, observing the legacy of this defining for the twentieth century history moment. Two meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Semyonov.

How to handle overenrollment: preference to History and EUST majors

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Close analysis of historical evidence, which will include written documents of different genres and images from the historical period under study. Exploration of scholarly, methodological, and theoretical debates about historical topics. Extensive reading, 1-2 page pre-class written assignments, 3-4 page midterm paper, 8-10 page term paper, and intensive in-class discussions.

HIST 205 - LEC

Section 01
M 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM WEBS 219
W 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM WEBS 219


Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024