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.2019-20: Not offered
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, Mann, 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. Five College Professor Branson.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
(Offered as HIST 125 [EUP] and EUST 125.) 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.
Spring semester. Professor Hunt.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as HIST 130 [EU] and EUST 130). When one thinks of the First World War today, a few stock images tend to come to mind: trenches, mud, the machine gun. Yet this insular vision does not do justice to the immensity and complexity of the twentieth century’s first global conflict. This course aims to move beyond the conventional understanding of World War I by exploring its varied impact on Europe and the world. It examines how the war shaped the lives, beliefs, and emotions of people both on and off the battlefield, from European and colonial soldiers to politicians, civilians, and families. It also explores how the war has been commemorated, remembered, and studied, questioning whether later depictions of the “Great War” sufficiently capture the perspectives of those who lived through it. Through a close examination of the causes, course, and legacy of World War I, this course reflects upon the experience of modern warfare more generally. Readings and materials will be drawn from secondary and primary sources, including letters, diaries, memoirs, short stories, artwork, photographs, and films. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 35 students. Omitted 2012-13. Professor Boucher.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 146, EUST 146, and WAGS 113.) We begin with a long-standing Spanish obsession with dreams, analyzing images and texts by Calderón, Quevedo and Goya. We next will consider a range of dream workers from a range of cultures, centuries, and disciplines--among them Apollinaire, Freud, Breton, Dalí, Carrington, and Kahlo--as well as others working around the globe in our own time.
Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Staller.2019-20: Not offered
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.
Fall semester. Professor Rosbottom.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as EUST 216, ARCH 216, and ARHA 216.) 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: ARHA 111. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Spring semester. Professor Long.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as MUSI 221 and EUST 221.) 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: MUSI 112 or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Valentine Professor Móricz.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as MUSI 222 and EUST 222.) 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 (MUSI 221 and 223). Two class meetings per week.
Requisite: MUSI 111, 112, or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Schneider.2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
(Offered as SPAN 236, EUST 232 and FAMS 328.) Once severely constrained by dictator Francisco Franco’s censorship laws and rarely exported beyond the country’s borders, Spanish film has been transformed into an internationally-known cinema in the last decades. This course offers a critical overview of Spanish film from 1950 to the present, examining how Spain’s culture and society are imagined onscreen by directors such as Berlanga, Erice, Bollaín, and Almodóvar. Students will analyze works of Spanish cinema alongside theoretical and critical texts, exploring such topics as gendered roles in contemporary society, immigration, globalization, censorship, and experiences of war and violence. We will also track the sociological, cultural, and political forces inside Spain that have inspired such cinematic representations. This course provides an introduction to visual analysis and critical writing about film and will be conducted in English. Students are expected to attend weekly screenings where films will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles. Spanish majors who wish to count this course toward fulfillment of requirements will be asked to write papers in Spanish.
Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Brenneis.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as HIST 234 [EU] and EUST 234.) 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.2019-20: Not offered
This course rotates around the shifting notion of the divine in Western Civilization, focusing on theology, philosophy, literature, and music. Students explore the development of the three major prophetic religions as well as some of the mystical movements they fostered. Discussions rotate around the King James Bible, Augustine’s Confessions, the Koran, Maimonides’ The Guide for the Perplexed, the Zohar, and Spinoza’s work as a cornerstone to the Enlightenment. Secularism in modern culture is contemplated and the contemporary atheist movement of Dawkins and Hitchens is analyzed. Music explorations range from Johann Sebastian Bach to John Cage; in science, from Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking; and in film, from Ingmar Bergman to Woody Allen. Readings include parts of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, Kafka’s The Castle, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Borges’ “The Secret Miracle” and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.
Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Stavans.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as HIST 236 [EU] and EUST 238.) The Cold War indelibly shaped the second half of the twentieth century. Spies seemed ubiquitous; nuclear annihilation imminent. Films such as Red October and the James Bond series forged a Western image of the Soviet Union. But how were these decades experienced behind the Iron Curtain? This class explores Soviet history between the end of World War II and the collapse of the USSR. We will study the roots of the Cold War; the politics of de-Stalinization in the USSR; the unfolding of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe; and Soviet relations with the West, China, and the developing world. We will also explore the internal dynamics of Soviet society: the rise of the Soviet middle class, consumerism, tourism, the entertainment industry, demographic trends, education, and public health. Two class meetings per week.
Fall semester. Five College Professor Glebov.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as HIST 237 [EU] and EUST 239.) From the Beatles to the World Cup, from punk to protest, popular culture flourished in Europe in the fifty years between 1950 and 2000. With the increase of leisure time, expendable income and a "baby boom" that resulted in a youth-heavy population, art, film, fashion, music and sport had an increasingly wide appeal. At the same time, anti-war activism, right-wing nationalism, feminism, gay liberation and anti-racism all used music, art, sport, literature and film to rally support and carve out distinctive cultural idioms. This course looks at the ways in which popular culture and popular movements reflected and responded to broader changes in post-war Europe. Although focused on Western Europe, the course places the history of popular culture in the context of the Cold War world and post-colonial cultural transfer. Topics include: fashion and fascism in the context of post-war immigration; football, class and racism; anti-capitalism and art; punk and popular politics; the Beatles, religion and sexual liberation; feminism and gay rights in art and film; and responses to racism through literature, television and in film. Two class meetings per week.
Spring semester. Visiting Professor Gust.
2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 253 and EUST 253). This course means to ask the question: What would it be like to engage with the paintings of Jan van Eyck, Roger van der Weyden, Hieronymous Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Jan Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn as a consciously embodied person and to reclaim in such a direct encounter the rejuvenating powers of erôs, insight and wisdom residing within ourselves and in the art of works of art with which we would behold. In addition to reaffirming the practice of artistic contemplation for its own sake, “Dutch and Flemish Painting” will offer explicit guidance in both the means and the attitude of being that underlie and enable such beholding. Our goal will be to allow a series of exemplary masterpieces including Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Double Portrait, Roger’s Prado Deposition, Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, Vermeer’s Portrait of a Girl with a Pearl Earring, Rembrandt’s Nightwatch and several intimate Self Portraits to open outward and implicate us in their human aspiration to wholeness. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Upton.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 255 and EUST 255.) A monographic course designed to allow the study in some depth of Michelangelo’s accomplishments as a painter, sculptor and architect, as well as a preliminary exploration of his poetry.Serious attention will be paid to establishing a credible and coherent biography of the artist, who carefully shaped – in fact invented – many details of his life story, promoting the image of himself that he wanted posterity to have. His fictional autobiography is one of Michelangelo’s most successful and durable creations and the course offers, as well as the chance to study the breadth of his achievement, the opportunity to develop skill at determining what is real in a welter of conflicting and self-serving claims.The course will be organized as a colloquium, with introductory lectures and assigned readings on specific topics, followed by class discussion of the stylistic and historical issues. There will be three short papers summarizing the state of our knowledge about particular subjects, and one more substantial research paper.
Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Lieberman.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 271, ARCH 271 and EUST 271.) This course considers architecture and design of the 19th and 20th centuries in light of contemporary disciplinary themes like space, globalization, and sustainability. In doing so, it strives to highlight the social, political, intellectual, and technological forces that have influenced (and continue to motivate) modern design. Key figures to be addressed include: Gottfried Semper, William Morris, Peter Behrens, Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, Daniel Libeskind, Herzog and de Meuron, and Zaha Hadid. Two class meetings per week.
Requisite: EUST 216, EUST 364, a course in art history, studio art, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Saletnik.2019-20: Not offered
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. Fall semester: Professor Maraniss. Spring semester: Professor Ciepiela.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
(Offered as ENGL 309 and EUST 309.) A critical reading in English translation of substantial portions of Marcel Proust’s great work of fiction and philosophy, A la Recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time). An extended synopsis of the entire work will be provided. Class discussion and exercises will concentrate on major passages of the work (amounting to roughly half of the whole). Attention will be given to the tradition of critical commentary in English on Proust’s work and its place as a document of European modernism. Two class meetings per week.
Requisite: Recommend prior study in nineteenth- or early twentieth-century English or French novel. Not recommended for first-year students. Spring semester. Professor Cameron.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as SPAN 392 and EUST 312) The Spanish detective narrative has developed as a manifestation of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Spain’s confrontations with social and political chaos. Offering a critical examination of a genre that has both resided on and represented the margins of Spanish society, this course traces the rise of the Spanish género negro during and after the Franco dictatorship, through its arrival in recent years as a mainstream, exportable cultural phenomenon. Readings will consist of contemporary Spanish novels by authors such as Javier Marías and Antonio Muñoz Molina, critical approaches to the genre, and short narrative works from Latin America and the United States for a comparative perspective. Additional films and other media consisting of detective parodies, popular suspense tales, and new trends in historical investigation from Spain will also come under examination. Conducted in Spanish.
Requisite: SPAN 199, 211, 212 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Brenneis.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as MUSI 442 and EUST 313.) Russian music has long been a staple of the repertory of "classical music" in the concert halls of the world, but the relationship of the seductive sounds of this music to the complex culture that produced it is rarely understood outside of Russia. This course examines connections between Russian culture and Russian music through in-depth analysis of individual works of music and reading of related canonic texts. Starting with the emergence of Russian nationalism and the nationally motivated myths of Pushkin and Glinka in the 1830s, we will critically assess the achievements of the Russian national school in music in the nineteenth century; explore the Western face of Russian art through the showcases of Diaghilev's Russian Ballet in Paris in the first decades of the twentieth century; follow the cataclysmic changes in cultural politics after the October Revolution and their effect on music; and take a close look at musical politics during the years of Stalinist terror. Composers to be discussed include Glinka, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Balakirev, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.
Requisite: MUSI 242 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Valentine Professor Móricz.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as MUSI 444 and EUST 314.) In this seminar we explore stylistic characteristics of compositions that demonstrate the most important tendencies in twentieth-century music. Instead of applying one analytical method, we try out various approaches to twentieth-century music, taking into consideration the composers' different educational and cultural backgrounds. The repertory of focus will consist of compositions written in the first half of the twentieth century in Europe, Russia and America (including works by Debussy, Scriabin, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Bartok, Copland), but will also sample music by late twentieth-century composers. Two class meetings and two ear-training sections per week. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.
Requisite: MUSI 241 and 242, or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Meltzer.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as HIST 335 [EU] and EUST 335). By tracing the journeys of people into, across, and out of Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this course explores the role of migration in forging modern national, regional, and global identities. On one level, it analyzes the factors that have impelled groups of people to cross borders. On another, it examines how these migrations have changed the social landscape of Europe, serving both to forge and to challenge the divides of culture, religion, and nationhood. Topics will include: mass emigration and the rise of European imperialism; debates over “belonging” in the era of nation-building; the development of passports, visa restrictions, and quotas; the emergence of the categories of “refugee” and “asylum seeker”; forced migration and human trafficking; colonial and postcolonial immigration into Europe; and contestations over multiculturalism. Readings will relate to a variety of geographical locations, but with special emphasis on migration into and out of Britain, France, Germany, and their empires. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 35 students. Fall semester. Professor Boucher.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as HIST 439 [EU] and EUST 339) The course will explore a most intense and fascinating period in Russian history: the years 1890-1910. This period witnessed rapid urbanization and industrialization; the rise of professional and mass politics; first instances of modern terrorism and an intensification of nationalist struggles; imperialist ventures in Central Asia, Manchuria, and Korea; several revolutions and wars; and, above all, an unprecedented efflorescence of modernist culture in the late Russian Empire which was readily exported to and consumed in Europe. We will analyze these developments through a range of sources, including resources found at the Mead Art Museum. In addition to acquainting students with major developments in turn-of-the-century Russian Empire, the class will address contemporary scholarly debates that focus on concepts such as “modernity,” “self,” “discipline,” “knowledge,” “civil society,” and “nationalism.” Students will be required to complete an independent research paper. Two class meetings per week.
Spring semester. Five College Professor Glebov.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 352, EUST 352 and WAGS 352.) In this research seminar, we will explore how sickness and healing were understood, taking examples over centuries. We will analyze attitudes toward bodies, sexuality, and deviance--toward physical and spiritual suffering--as we analyze dreams of cures and transcendence. We will interrogate works by artists such as Grünewald, Goya, Géricault, Munch, Ensor, Van Gogh, Schiele, Cornell and Picasso, as well as images by artists in our own time: Kiki Smith, the AIDS quilt, Nicolas Nixon, Hannah Wilke, and others. Texts by Edgar Allen Poe, Sander Gilman, Roy Porter, Susan Sontag, Thomas Laquer and Caroline Walker Bynum will inspire us as well. Significant research projects with presentations in class. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Staller.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as GERM 365 ARCH 365, and EUST 365.) 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. Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, the visual arts, interactive installation and/or the environment. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.
Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Gilpin.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as GERM 368, ARCH 368, EUST 368, and FAMS 373.) This research seminar will explore conceptions of space as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual materials will be drawn from the fields of literature and philosophy; from architectural, art, and film theory and history; from performance studies and performance theory; and from theories of technology and the natural and built environment. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is a core of this seminar.
Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment. Conducted in English. German majors will select a research project focused on a German Studies context, and will do a substantial portion of the readings in German.
Limited to 15 students. Enrollment requires attendance at the first class meeting. Spring semester. Professor Gilpin.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as POSC 372 [CP, IR] and EUST 372.) [SC - starting with the Class of 2015] 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.
Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Tiersky.2019-20: Not offered
(Offered as ARHA 385, EUST 385, and WAGS 310.) 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 Valdés Leal, Velázquez, Goya, Munch, Ensor, Redon, Nolde, Picasso, Dalí, Kiki Smith, and Cindy Sherman. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Staller.2019-20: Not offered
Fall and spring semesters.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
A full course.
Fall semester.2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019