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European Studies



14 Napoleon's Legends

Napoleon Bonaparte’s legacy in French domestic and international politics and military strategy profoundly influenced nineteenth-century Europe. But so did the legends surrounding him, created before his great defeat and exile, and nurtured after his death in 1821. In painting, caricature, and sculpture, literature, music, and film, the legends--positive and negative--of Napoleon have served many ends. The cultural complexity of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe becomes clearer when one understands the motives behind and results of these representations of Napoleon.

In this course, we will study painting (e.g., David and Goya), narrative fiction (e.g., Balzac, Stendhal, and Tolstoy), poetry (e.g., Wordsworth and Hugo), music (e.g., Beethoven), urban history and architecture (e.g., of Paris), and the silent and sound films of our century (e.g., Gance). We will examine how different generations and a variety of cultures appropriated the real and imagined images of Napoleon for social, political, and artistic ends, and thereby influenced the creation of modern Europe. Three class hours per week.

Omitted 2010-11.  Professor Rosbottom.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Spring 2015

15 World War II in European Literature and Film

This course is designed to introduce students to the impact that World War II (1939-1945) had and continues to have on the society and culture of several European nations. As the last of the generation that lived during the war passes on, their grandchildren persist in raising questions about the reasons and effects of this political cataclysm. During the war, and afterwards with more or less intensity, writers and filmmakers made and have made attempts to analyze and represent the memories, the guilt, and the false histories that the war left behind in every involved nation.

The course will examine the ethics of historical memory, the sincerity of representation, the clever use of history for political purposes. It will also probe and analyze persistent myths of the war as well as discover stories and facts that have been ignored or forgotten. Finally, the course will look at alternative scenarios, that is, “what if” narratives.

Readings might include works by Camus, The Plague, Fallada, Every Man is Alone, Modiano, Dora Bruder, Jünger, On the Marble Cliffs, Semprùn, The Long Journey, De Gaulle’s and Churchill’s memoirs, Némirovsky, La Suite française, and Levi, The Periodic Table. Films might include Rossellini’s Rome: Open City and Germany: Year Zero, Bresson’s Pickpocket, Holland’s Europa, Europa, Clouzot’s Le Corbeau, Reed’s The Third Man, Wyler, Mrs. Miniver, and Peterson, Das Boot.        

The class will study how nations too have attempted to make sense of this hecatomb, seeking explanation, expiation, and often excuses. We will also study how the Second World War’s legacy still affects contemporary European culture and politics.

Spring semester. Professor Rosbottom

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Fall 2020, January 2022, Spring 2022

21 Readings in the European Tradition I

Topics in the past have included readings and discussion of a series of related texts from Homer and Genesis to Dante: Homer’s Iliad, selected Greek tragedies, Virgil’s Aeneid, selections from the Bible, and from medieval texts. The theme this year will be "The Journey." Three class hours per week.

Open not only to European Studies majors but also to any student interested in the intellectual and literary development of the West, from antiquity through the Middle Ages.  Required of European Studies majors.

Fall semester. Professor Doran.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

22 Readings in the European Tradition II

In this course, we will discuss writings and art that have contributed in important ways to the sense of what “European” means. The course covers the intellectual and artistic development of Europe from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The course will use a chronological and/or thematic template that focuses on dominant and persistent preoccupations of the European imagination. We will study poetry, drama, the novel, the essay, painting, photography, and film. In the past, we have studied works by Cervantes, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Molière, Swift, Voltaire, Wordsworth, Austen, Marx, Flaubert and Tolstoy. We have looked at art ranging from Velásquez to Picasso, filmmakers from Chaplin to Godard. This course welcomes all students who enjoy studying literature and essays in depth, as well as those interested in the visual arts.  Required of European Studies majors.

Spring semester. Professor Rosbottom.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

23 The French Empire (1830-1962)

(Offered as HIST 23 [EU] and EUST 23.)  The conquest of new territories beginning in the early 19th century led to the creation of a new French empire, one which incorporated culturally, linguistically and politically diverse regions in Southeast Asia, North and West Africa. This course will study empire from both chronological and thematic perspectives, in order to provide insight into the imperial relationships typical of the French empire. We will discuss both conquest of empire and its maintenance, through analysis of such topics as colonial authority, the structure of colonial society, and the role of colonies in European conflicts. Thematic analysis will focus on the culture of empire, concepts of racial difference and métissage, colonial medicine, and urban planning. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester.  Visiting Professor Edwards.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

24 Poetic Translation

This is a workshop in translating poetry into English, preferably from a Germanic, Slavic, or Romance language (including Latin, of course), whose aim is to produce good poems in English. Students will present first and subsequent drafts to the entire class for regular analysis, which will be fed by reference to readings in translation theory and contemporary translations from European languages. Advanced knowledge of the source language is required and experience with creative writing is welcome.

Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professor Ciepiela.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021

26 Medea: Metamorphoses of a Myth

(Offered as EUST 26 and WAGS 14.) Beginning with Euripides’ tragedy, Medea has continued to occupy the European mind mainly in dramatic treatments by male authors (Seneca, Corneille, Grillparzer, Anouilh, and Heiner Müller). As multiple “outsider”-- woman, foreigner, sorceress, demi-goddess, abandoned wife--Medea embodies “otherness” in manifold ways: she is the representative of the conflict between barbarism and civilization, between the supernatural and the natural, the magical and the commonsensical, madness and reason. Recently, women authors like Christa Wolf have entered the debate, aiming to reclaim Medea as one of the repressed voices of femininity. Our approach will be interdisciplinary in nature: in addition to reading dramatic texts and background material, we will explore the transformations of the Medea myth in the European tradition in the fine arts (Vanloo, Delacroix, Anselm Feuerbach), in dance (Martha Graham, the Bolshoi Ballet), sample the operas of Cherubini and Charpentier, and view the films by Pasolini, Ula Stöckl, and Lars von Trier, as well as priceless B-movie masterpiece, Don Chaffey’s Jason and the Argonauts.  Readings will be in English. Students who know any of the foreign languages represented are encouraged to read the material in the original.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Rogowski.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009

28 Seventeenth-Century European Theater

(Offered as SPAN 28 and EUST 28.) Readings of plays by Spanish, English and French playwrights of what has been, in the modern world, the great century of the stage.  Works of Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, Shakespeare, Molière, Racine, Webster and Wycherly.  Conducted in English.  Students will read plays in the original languages whenever possible.

Limited to 40 students.  Spring semester.  Professor Maraniss.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Fall 2013

30 The Bible as Literature

A close reading of significant portions of the Five Books of Moses, done from the perspective of literature: how are the human and divine characters built, what interior life do they display and what philosophical view do they convey?  Attention will be given to the 19th-century theories that approach the Bible as a composite book delivering a nationalistic story. Students will also reflect on the impact of the Bible in Western literature, from Dante’s Divine Comedy to R. Crumb’s cartoon retelling of Genesis. Taught in English.

Fall semester. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2019

33 Immigration, Integration and Citizenship in Europe

(Offered as HIST 40 [EU] and EUST 33.)  Immigration, integration, and citizenship challenges are not new to Europe, and in today's European Community, they have sparked heated debates over such issues as headscarves in public schools, "ethnic ghettos," and citizenship for immigrants and their descendants. This course will present a comparative analysis of successive immigration policies and nationality laws from the late nineteenth century to the present, with a particular focus on Britain, France and Germany. In addition to the legal and political aspects of immigration and citizenship, we will also address theories and policies of assimilation and integration, debates over secularism and religious symbols, immigrant experiences and notions of multiculturalism. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Edwards.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010

34 Birth of the Avant-Garde: Modern Poetry and Culture in France and Russia, 1870-1930

(Offered as EUST 34 and RUSS 34.) Between the mid-nineteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, poetry was revolutionized both in France and in Russia; nowhere else did the avant-garde proliferate more extravagantly. This class will focus on the key period in the emergence of literary modernity that began with Symbolism and culminated with Surrealism and Constructivism.With the advent of modernism, the poem became a “global phenomenon” that circulated among different languages and different cultures, part of a process of cross-fertilization. An increasingly hybrid genre, avant-garde poetry went beyond its own boundaries by drawing into itself prose literature, philosophy, music, and the visual and performing arts. The relation between the artistic and the literary avant-garde will be an essential concern.We will be reading Rimbaud; the French Symbolists (Mallarmé, Laforgue, Valéry); the Russian Symbolists (Blok, Bely); Apollinaire, Dada, and the Surrealists (Breton, Eluard, Desnos, Char, Michaux); and the Russian avant-garde poets (Mayakovsky, Pasternak, Khlebnikov, Tsvetaeva).Our study of the arts will include Symbolism (Moreau, Redon); Fauvism (Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck); Cubism, Dada, and early Surrealism (Duchamp, Ernst, Dali, Artaud); the “World of Art” movement; Primitivism and Constructivism (Goncharova, Malevich, Rodchenko, Eisenstein). Course will be taught in English. Students who read fluently in French and/or Russian will be encouraged to read the material in the original language. Omitted 2010-11.  Professors Ciepiela and L. Katsaros.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2010, Spring 2014

35 Culture and Politics in 20th-Century Europe

(Offered as POSC 72 [CP, IR] and EUST 35.) This seminar discusses political ideas, ideologies and political culture in 20th-century Europe. Some themes are Nationalism; Marxism, Socialism and Communism; Fascism; anti-Semitism; Existentialism; the “Century of Total War”; the year 1968; Pope John Paul II; Soccer Hooliganism; “The Idea of Europe,” and the question of whether there is a “European identity.” Throughout the course, ideas are connected to historical context. The syllabus is a mix of books and films.

Preference to Political Science and European Studies majors, and juniors and seniors.  Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Tiersky.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

36 Dangerous Reading: The 18th-Century Novel in England and France

(Offered as EUST 36, ENGL 48, and FREN 62.) Why was reading novels considered dangerous in the eighteenth century, especially for young girls?

This course will examine the development, during this period, of the genre of the novel in England and France, in relation to the social and moral dangers it posed and portrayed. Along with the troublesome question of reading fiction itself, we will explore such issues as social class and bastardy, sexuality and self-awareness, the competing values of genealogy and character, and the important role of women--as novelists, readers, and characters--in negotiating these questions. We will examine why the novel was itself considered a bastard genre, and engage formal questions by studying various kinds of novels: picaresque, epistolary, gothic, as well as the novel of ideas. Our approach will combine close textual analysis with historical readings about these two intertwined, yet rival, cultures, and we will pair novels in order to foreground how these cultures may have taken on similar social or representational problems in different ways. Possible pairings might include Prévost and Defoe, Laclos and Richardson, Voltaire and Fielding, Sade and Jane Austen. French novels will be read in translation. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professors Frank and Rosbottom.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2010, Fall 2011

37 Music and Culture I

(Offered as MUSI 21 and EUST 37.) One of three courses in which music is studied in relation to issues of history, theory, culture, and performance, with the focus of the course changing from year to year. This course is an introduction to European music in the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras. We will begin by singing Gregorian chant and will go on to cover such topics as the music of the Troubadours, the polyphonic style associated with Notre Dame, the development of musical notation, Renaissance sacred polyphony, madrigals, court dances, and the birth of opera. Throughout the course we will seek to bring the music we study alive by singing and/or playing. We will also host several professional performers of “early music” who will help us understand how this music is likely to have sounded at the time of its creation.

Requisite: Music 12 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Valentine Professor Moricz.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021

38 Art and Architecture of Europe from 1400 to 1800

(Offered as ARHA 35 and EUST 38.) This course is an introduction to painting, sculpture, and architecture of the early modern period. The goal of the course is to identify artistic innovations that characterize European art from the Renaissance to the French Revolution, and to situate the works of art historically, by examining the intellectual, political, religious, and social currents that contributed to their creation. In addition to tracing stylistic change within the oeuvre of individual artists and understanding its meaning, we will investigate the varied character of art, its interpretation, and its context in different regions, including Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

Limited to 30 students.  Professor Courtright.  Spring Semester

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

39 Music and Culture II

(Offered as MUSI 22 and EUST 39.)  One of three courses in which the development of Western music is studied in its cultural-historical context. As practical, in-class performance and attendance at public concerts in Amherst and elsewhere will be crucial to our work. Composers to be studied include Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Musorgsky, and Brahms. Regular listening assignments will broaden the repertoire we encounter and include a wide sampling of Classical and Romantic music. Periodic writing assignments will provide opportunities to connect detailed musical analysis with historical-cultural interpretation. A variety of readings will include music-historical-aesthetic documents as well as selected critical and analytical studies. Class presentations will contribute to a seminar-style class environment. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (Music 21 and 23). Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: Music 11, 12, or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Kallick.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2019, Spring 2020

42 Music and Revolution: The Symphonies of Mahler and Shostakovich

(Offered as MUSI 42 and EUST 42.)  Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) and Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) are arguably the two greatest symphonic composers after Beethoven. In this course we will compare and contrast their highly charged music and explore the eras in which they worked--for Mahler, imperial Vienna on the eve of World War I, and for Shostakovich, revolutionary Russia under the tyrannical reign of Joseph Stalin. The class will attend Mahler and Shostakovich performances in New York and Boston, particularly as the musical world marks Mahler's 150th birthday in 2010 and the 100th anniversary of his death in 2011. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Requisite: Music 31 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Kallick.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2010, Spring 2014

45 Contemporary Europe

Offered as POSC 45 [CP, IR] and EUST 45.)  Decline and renewal of Europe. An analysis of Europe’s role in the world order and the European Union (EU). What are Europe’s strengths and weaknesses as an international power? Does Europe meet its responsibilities or is it content to be a free rider on the ambitions and policies of other countries? What is the European Union and what are its successes and failures? What is the relationship between various European countries and the EU, between national sovereignty and European integration? Is more European integration still the future of Europe or is there now “enough Europe”?

Limited to 25 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Tiersky.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011

47 God

This interdisciplinary course will reflect on shifting representations of the divine in theology, philosophy, literature and the arts. Students will reflect on the tension between polytheism and monotheism in ancient times, read portions of medieval and Renaissance texts, and treatises and novels from the Enlightenment to the contemporary period. Foundational sources like the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Bible, the Koran, the Vedas, the Popol Vuh, and various others will be featured, along with material by such authors as St. Augustine, Aquinas, al-Ghazali, and Maimonides. Spinoza's geometrical system, the emergence of secularism as a refutation of God's omnipotence, and agnosticism and atheism as modern responses to religious faith will all be covered. The course will include readings from Newton, Berkeley, Dostoevsky, Freud, Unamuno, Einstein, Jung, Kafka, Pirandello, Borges, and Wittgenstein, as well as explorations of music from such composers Johann Sebastian Bach and John Cage to Negro Spirituals. Finally, we will analyze such films as Ingmar Bergman's cinematic meditations, Woody Allen's comedies, and The Matrix.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Stavans.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Spring 2021

48 Early Modern Europe

(Offered as HIST 04 [EUP] and E{UST 48.)  This introductory survey covers Western, Central and Eastern Europe and the European parts of the Ottoman Empire during the period from approximately 1500 to 1800.  It looks at the main political developments of the period, with special attention to court culture, rebellions and revolutions, colonial expansion and contraction, and the clash of states and empires.  It examines new developments in long-distance trade, agriculture, industry, finance, warfare, media and the arts, and their impact on social life, politics and the environment.  It looks at the emergent slave systems of Europe and her colonies as well as the Ottoman Empire.  And it analyzes religious conflict and accommodation with respect to Catholics, Protestants, the Eastern Orthodox, Jews, Muslims and “non-believers.”  The course aims to uncover the political, ethnic and religious diversity of Early Modern Europe as well as to plumb the roots of present-day conflicts and controversies about the historical definition of “Europe” and “Europeans.” Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester.  Professor Hunt.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013

49 The Italian Renaissance

(Offered as HIST 36 [EUP] and EUST 49.)  This course provides an introduction to Renaissance Italy and its Mediterranean setting during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Against a background of endemic plague, religious turmoil and chronic warfare, we’ll focus on such diverse Italian cities as Florence, Venice, and Ferrara, considering how people not unlike us dealt with increasingly complex, challenging times. We’ll also look beyond the peninsula to the Eastern Mediterranean and the immense challenge to European rulers, diplomats, and thinkers posed by the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (1453) and the spread of Islam into the Balkans. Readings and discussions will also devote close attention to developments in literature, philosophy, and the visual arts, so as to examine the validity of the concept of “renaissance.” Generations of scholars have labored mightily to jettison terms like “medieval” and “renaissance.” But the old vocabulary has proven resilient. What accounts for the vitality of the idea of rebirth? What developments in economics, politics, and the arts and sciences does it help us understand, or serve to conceal? How may it mislead or distract us from equally or more important continuities? Because this field routinely yields impressive scholarship in English, extensive readings in primary sources will be supplemented by some of the best current work.  One class meeting per week. 

Fall semester.  Croxton Lecturer Gundersheimer.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010

50 Cityscapes: Imagining the European City

Cities, the largest human artifact, have been at the center of Europeans’ relationships with nature, gods, and their own kind since their first appearance. With the advent of capitalist energy, the European city went through radical change. The resultant invention, re-invention and growth of major metropolises will be the subject of this course.

We will discuss histories and theories of the city and of the urban imagination in Europe since the 18th century. We will consider Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, and St. Petersburg among others, and the counter-example of New York City. We will study examples of city planning and mapping, urban architecture, film and photography, painting, poetry, fiction, and urban theory. And, we may study Atget, Baudelaire, Benjamin, Calvino, Dickens, Joyce, Rilke, Truffaut, Zola, and others.

Questions addressed will include: To what extent do those who would “improve” a city take into account the intangible qualities of that city? How do the economics of capital compromise with the economics of living? How does the body-healthy and unhealthy-interact with the built environment? How and why does the imagination create an “invisible city” that rivals the “real” geo-political site? Two classes per week.

Omitted 2010-11. Professor Rosbottom.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2017

52 Digital Constructions: Intermediate Architectural Design Studio

(Offered as EUST 52 and ARHA 16.) In this intermediate architectural design studio we will explore the intellectual and creative process of making and representing architectural space. The focus will be to explore the boundaries of architecture--physically and theoretically, historically and presently--through digital media. Our process will prompt us to dissect 20th-century European architectures and urban spaces and to explore their relationships to contemporary, global issues. The capstone of the course will be a significant design project (TBD) requiring rigorous studio practices, resulting in plans, sections, elevations and digital models. This course will introduce students to various digital diagramming, drawing, and modeling software, while challenging students to question the theoretical and practical implications of these interdisciplinary media processes. This course will combine lectures, reading, discussion, and extensive studio design.

Requisite: Basic Drawing. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Spring semester. Professor Long.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018

54 Nazi Germany

(Offered as HIST 34 [EU] and EUST 54.)  This course will explore the history of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. It will examine the emergence of Hitler and Nazism in Germany, Nazi ideology and aesthetics, Nazi racial policies, daily life in the Third Reich, women under Nazism, resistance to the Nazis, Nazi foreign policy and World War II, the Holocaust, and the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. Class participants will also discuss themes that range beyond the Nazi case: How do dictatorships function? What constitutes resistance? How and why do regimes engage in mass murder? Texts will include films, diaries, memoirs, government and other official documents, and classic and recent scholarly accounts of the era. Three class meetings per week.

Limited to 60 students. Fall semester. Professor Epstein.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2021

56 Baroque Art in Italy, France, Spain, and the Spanish Netherlands

(Offered as ARHA 56 and EUST 56.) After the canonization of the notion of artistic genius in the Italian Renaissance and the subsequent imaginative license of artists known as Mannerists, phenomena sponsored throughout Europe by the largesse of merchants, courtiers, aristocrats, princes, and Churchmen alike, a crisis occurred in European society--and art--in the second half of the sixteenth century. Overturned dogmas of faith, accompanied by scientific discoveries and brutal political changes, brought about the reconsideration of fundamental values that had undergirded many facets of life and society in Europe at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the starting point of this course. Unexpectedly, these upheavals led to a renewed proliferation of innovative art. In this century of remarkably varied artistic production, paradoxes abounded. Some artists sought the illusion of reality by imitating unimproved, even base nature through close observation of the human body, of landscape, and of ordinary, humble objects of daily use, as others continued to quest for perfection in a return to the lofty principles implicit in ancient artistic canons of ideality. More than ever before, artists explored the expression of passion through dramatic narratives and sharply revealing portraiture, but, famously, artists also imbued art meant to inspire religious devotion with unbounded eroticism or with the gory details of painful suffering and hideous death. They depicted dominating political leaders as flawed mortals--even satirized them through the new art of caricature--at the same time that they developed a potent and persuasive vocabulary for the expression of the rulers’ absolutist political power. This class, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will examine in depth selected works of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced by artists in the countries which remained Catholic after the religious discords of this period-e.g., Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, and Rubens in Italy, France, Spain, and the Spanish Netherlands--as well as engaging the cultural, social, and intellectual framework for their accomplishments. Upper level.

Requisite: One other course in art history or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2010-11. Professor Courtright.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Fall 2013, Fall 2016, Spring 2022

59 The Modern World

(Offered as ARHA 45 and EUST 59.)  This course will explore the self-conscious invention of modernism in painting, sculpture and architecture, from the visual clarion calls of the French Revolution to the performance art and earthworks of "art now." As we move from Goya, David, Monet and Picasso to Kahlo, Kiefer and beyond, we will be attentive to changing responses toward a historical past or societal present, the stance toward popular and alien cultures, the radical redefinition of all artistic media, changing representations of nature and gender, as well as the larger problem of mythologies and meaning in the modern period. Study of original objects and a range of primary texts (artists’ letters, diaries, manifestos, contemporary criticism) will be enhanced with readings from recent historical and theoretical secondary sources.

Limited to 80 students. Spring semester. Professor Staller.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

60 Performance

(Offered as GERM 60 and EUST 60.) Seminar. What is performance? What constitutes an event? How can we address a phenomenon that has disappeared the moment we apprehend it? How does memory operate in our critical perception of an event? How does a body make meaning? These are a few of the questions we will explore in this course, as we discuss critical, theoretical, and compositional approaches in a broad range of multidisciplinary performance phenomena emerging from European--primarily German--culture in the twentieth century. We will focus on issues of performativity, composition, conceptualization, dramaturgy, identity construction, representation, space, gender, and dynamism. Readings of performance theory, performance studies, gender studies, and critical/cultural studies, as well as literary, philosophical, and architectural texts will accompany close examination of performance material. Students will develop performative projects in various media (video, performance, text, online) and deliver a number of critical oral and written presentations on various aspects of the course material and their own projects. Performance material will be experienced live when possible, and in text, video, audio, digital media and online form, drawn from selected works of Dada and Surrealism, Bauhaus, German Expressionism, the Theater of the Absurd, Tanztheater, and Contemporary Theater, Performance, Dance, Opera, New Media, and Performance Art. A number of films, including Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Oskar Schlemmer’s Das Triadische Ballett, Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique, and Kurt Jooss’ Der Grüne Tisch, will be also screened. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Spring semester. Professor Gilpin.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2020

63 Traumatic Events

(Offered as GERM 63, EUST 63, and FAMS 53.) How is memory constructed and represented? How is it possible to bear witness, and what exactly is involved? Who is authorized to testify, to whom, when? Whose story is it? Is it possible to tell "the story" of a traumatic event? What are the disorders of testimony, and how and where do they emerge? This course will observe the workings of trauma (the enactment and working-through of collective and individual symptoms of trauma), memory, and witnessing in various modes of everyday life. We will examine notions of catastrophe, disaster, accident, and violence, and explore the possibilities and impossibilities of bearing witness in many forms of cultural production: in fiction, poetry, architecture, critical theory, oral and written testimonies, visual art, monuments, memorials, philosophy, science, cartoons, film, video, theater, television reportage, newspaper documentation, performance, online, and in our public and domestic spaces. We will study various representations of trauma, paying particular attention to events in Germany and Europe from the twentieth century, as well as to 9/11 and other recent international events. Material to be examined will be drawn from the work of Pina Bausch, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Cathy Caruth, Paul Celan, Marguerite Duras, Peter Eisenman, Shoshana Felman, Florian Freund, Jochen Gerz, Geoffrey Hartman, Rebecca Horn, Marion Kant, Anselm Kiefer, Ruth Klüger, Dominick LaCapra, Claude Lanzmann, Dori Laub, Daniel Libeskind, W.G. Sebald, Art Spiegelman, Paul Virilio, Peter Weiss, Wim Wenders, Elie Wiesel, Christa Wolf, and others. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Fall semester.  Professor Gilpin.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2018

64 Architectures of Disappearance

(Offered as GERM 64 and EUST 64.) This course will address a number of developments and transformations in contemporary urban architecture and performance from an international perspective. We will explore issues including, but not limited to, trauma, memory, absence, perception, corporeality, representation, and the senses in our examination of recent work in Germany and elsewhere, and read a number of texts from the fields of philosophy, critical theory, performance studies, and visual and architectural studies, in an attempt to understand how architecture is beginning to develop compositional systems in which to envision dynamic and responsive spaces in specific cultural contexts. We will focus our research on the work of a number of German and international architects, performance, and new media artists, including Jochen Gerz, Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock, Horst Hoheisel, Micha Ullman, Shimon Attie, Daniel Libeskind, Peter Eisenman, Rem Koolhaas, Greg Lynn, Mark Goulthorpe, R & Sie(n), Axel Kilian, Paul Privitera, Hani Rashid and Lise-Ann Couture, Herzog and de Meuron, Archigram, William Forsythe, Jan Fabre, Rachel Whiteread, Rebecca Horn, Sasha Waltz, Richard Siegal, Michael Schumacher, Robert Wilson, the Blix Brothers of Berlin, Pina Bausch, Granular Synthesis, Sponge, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Toni Dove, and many others. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2010-11. Professor Gilpin.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Fall 2013, Spring 2016, Spring 2019

65 Making Memorials

(Offered as GERM 65 and EUST 65.) This is a course about what happens to difficult memories: memories that are intensely personal, but made public, memories that belong to communities, but which become ideologically possessed by history, politics, or the media. How are memories processed into memorials? What constitutes a memorial? What gets included or excluded? How is memory performed in cultural objects, spaces, and institutions? What is the relationship between the politics of representation and memory? Who owns memory? Who is authorized to convey it? How does memory function? This course will explore the spaces in which memories are “preserved” and experienced. Our attention will focus on the transformation of private and public memories in works of architecture, performance, literature, and the visual arts primarily in Germany, Europe, and the United States. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2010-11. Professor Gilpin.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2021

70 Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters

(Offered as ARHA 85, EUST 70, and WAGS 10.) This course will explore the construction of the monstrous, over cultures, centuries and disciplines. With the greatest possible historical and cultural specificity, we will investigate the varied forms of monstrous creatures, their putative powers, and the explanations given for their existence-as we attempt to articulate the kindred qualities they share. Among the artists to be considered are Bosch, Valdés Leal, Velázquez, Goya, Munch, Ensor, Redon, Nolde, Picasso, Dalí, Kiki Smith, and Cindy Sherman. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Staller.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

71 Poland: Heart of Europe's Twentieth Century

(Offered as HIST 33 [EU] and EUST 71.) Few places experienced the drama of Europe’s twentieth century as did Poland—a country imagined before World War I, created anew in 1918, and shifted west after World War II.  This course will cover the legacy of Poland’s eighteenth-century partitions; World War I; the Polish-Soviet war of 1919-1921; the interwar Polish state; World War II (including the Katyn massacre, the Holocaust, and the Warsaw Uprising); the imposition of communism after World War II; the growth of Solidarity; and revolution and the transition to post-communist society after 1989.  Themes will include nationalism and state-building; the role of Catholicism in Polish society; Poland’s attempts to assert itself against both Germany and Russia; and ethnic relations between Poles and Germans, Jews, Ukrainians, and Lithuanians.  Throughout, we will explore historical controversies surrounding these events and themes. Sources will include films, novels, memoirs, eyewitness accounts, government and other documents, and secondary sources.  Two class meetings per week. 

Spring semester.  Professor Epstein.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

72 Fascism

(Offered as HIST 35 [c] and EUST 72.) This course addresses the vexing questions of what fascism is, whether it was a global phenomenon, and whether it has been historically banished. The first part of the semester will consider the conceptual issues related to nationalism, modernity, and fascism. Next we will address case studies, noting comparative continuities and regional peculiarities. The countries that will receive the most attention are Italy, France, Argentina, Britain, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Mexico, with additional attention to Portugal, Japan, China, New Guinea, Chile, Turkey, Palestine and Australia. This will be followed by an examination of gender and fascism, including the role of women as agents of this radical ideology. The course will close with two recent works of scholarship, one on transnational fascism in early twentieth-century Argentina and the other on the applicability of the term “fascism” to contemporary movements in the Middle East. Two meetings per week.

Spring semester.  Professor López.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2022

74 The Monastic Challenge

(Offered as ARHA 50 and EUST 74.)  This course aims to be a visually and spatially attentive search for the ‘art’ of the monastic and cathedral masterpieces of medieval France. First, by learning how to recognize, define, and respond to the artistic values embodied in several “romanesque” and “gothic” monuments including the Abbeys of Fontenay, Vézelay and Mont St. Michel and the Cathedrals of Laôn, Paris, Chartres, Amiens and Reims, we will try to engage directly (e.g., architecturally and spatially) the human aspiration these structures embody. Secondly, with the help of two literary masterpieces from the period, The Song of Roland and Tristan and Isolde, we will discover that the heart of the “monastic” challenge to our own era is not the common opposition of the medieval and modern worlds, but rather the recognition of the potential diminishment of ‘art’ by an exclusively ratiocinated view of all reality. The tragic love affair of Eloise and Peter Abelard will dramatize a vital existential dilemma too easily forgotten that always (but especially in our time) threatens ‘art,’ human compassion and spirituality. Our goal is to reclaim the poetic potential of the word “cathedral.” Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester.  Professor Upton.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011

76 War and Remembrance: Comparing the Algerian and Vietnam Wars

(Offered as HIST 81 [C] and EUST 76.)  This seminar will explore the creation and transmission of collective memory through a comparison of two particularly traumatic conflicts: the French-Algerian war and the U.S.-Vietnam war. We will begin by studying the similarities between these "undeclared" wars: the use of guerrilla tactics and the targeting of civilians, the use of torture, consequences for colonial populations that sided with French or American forces, protest movements, refugee crises, and the experiences of veterans. We will then examine representations of these conflicts through analysis of commemorative activities and monuments, film, memoirs, and literature. One class meeting per week.

Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Edwards.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

77, 77D, 78, 78D Senior Departmental Honors

A full course.

Fall semester.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

97, 98 Special Topics

Fall semester.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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