Amherst College European Studies for 2013-14
120 The World of Medieval Europe
[EUP] European Medieval history usually begins with clean-cut Roman legionnaires failing to fight off hairy Germanic warriors. It then follows a meandering storyline featuring castles, bishops, and knights to end with the Fall of Constantinople or Christopher Columbus sailing over the Western horizon. In this course these significant characters and scenes will appear, but in the context of a different story. Our study of a diverse and disparate past will present a case for why the Middle Ages matter by actively framing individuals in their society and in their landscape. In order to do so we will pursue a variety of topics including the rise and fall of literal and metaphorical cities: from Rome to London, and from Augustine’s City of God to Christine de Pizan’s City of Ladies. Our investigation will reveal medieval answers to some of the most basic human questions: where, why, and who, am I (or are we)? Such universal questions will render the Middle Ages accessible, yet also indicate just how very strange, how very far away, and how very long ago the Middle Ages are. Assignments will focus on short critical papers. Two class meetings per week.
Spring semester. Visiting Professor Torgerson.
2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014
121 Readings in the European Tradition I
(Offered as EUST 121 and CLAS 141.) 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. Three class hours per week.
Required of European Studies majors. Open to European Studies majors and to any student interested in the intellectual and literary development of the West, from antiquity through the Middle Ages. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Russell.2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015
122 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, 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. Professor Rosbottom.2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016
125 Early Modern Europe
(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.
Limited to 40 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Hunt.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013
130 World War I
(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 2013-14. Professor Boucher.2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
132 Art and Architecture of Europe from 300 to 1500 C.E.
(Offered as ARHA 132 and EUST 132.) By learning how specifically to encounter the transcendent symbolism of the catacombs of Rome, the devotional intensity of monastic book illumination, the grandeur and vision of the first basilica of St. Peter, the Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia, and selected monasteries and cathedrals of France, we will trace the artistic realization of the spiritual idea of Jewish and Christian history from the transformation of the Roman Empire in the fourth century C.E. to the apocalyptic year of 1500 C.E. Several prophetic masterpieces by Albrecht Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti completed on the very eve of the modern world will reveal a profound “forgotten awareness” crucial to our collective and private well-being but long obscured by the “renaissance” bias that called this period “medieval.” Two class meetings per week.
Omitted 2013-14. Professor Upton.2014-15: Not offered
133 Europe in the Twentieth Century
(Offered as HIST 132 [EU] and EUST 133.) This course offers a broad survey of European history in the twentieth century. It will cover events such as World War I; the Bolshevik Revolution and the ensuing Soviet experiment; the Spanish Civil War; Nazism, World War II, and the Holocaust; the Cold War in Europe; the collapse of communism; and the Balkan Wars in the 1990s. In addition, the course will focus on the broad themes of twentieth-century European history: the confrontation between liberalism, fascism, and communism; the role of nationalism; the development of the welfare state; the decline of Europe’s role in the world; the movement for European unity; and changing notions of race, class, and gender during the course of the century. Course materials will focus on primary documents, including films, memoirs, novels, political manifestos, and government and other official documents. Three class meetings per week.
Limited to 60 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Epstein.2014-15: Not offered
135 Art and Architecture of Europe from 1400 to 1800
(Offered as ARHA 135 and EUST 135.) 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. Spring semester. Professor Courtright.2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016
145 The Modern World
(Offered as ARHA 145 and EUST 145.) 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 75 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Staller.2014-15: Not offered
146 Art From the Realm of Dreams
(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.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014
201 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 2013-14. Professor Rosbottom.2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012
202 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 Erich Remarque, Albert Camus, Irène Némirovsky, W. G. Sebald, Primo Levi, and Tony Judt. Films might include selections from Rossellini’s Roma città aperta, Holland’s Europa, Europa, Reed’s The Third Man, and Malle’s Au revoir les enfants.
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.
Students will be expected to participate in discussion, give oral reports, and write a research paper.
Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Rosbottom2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016
203 Cityscapes: Imagining the European City
(Offered as EUST 203 and ARCH 203.) 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.
Fall semester. Professor Rosbottom.2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Fall 2013, Fall 2015
216 Digital Constructions: Intermediate Architectural Design Studio
(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. Five College Professor Long.2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016
221 Music and Culture I
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Móricz.2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013
222 Music and Culture II
(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. Spring semester. Professor Schneider.2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016
223 Music and Culture III
(Offered as MUSI 223 and EUST 223.) Does music effect social change, and who decides? This third semester of the Music and Culture series will consider these questions through attentive listening to music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and related readings. Our investigation will be organized around three primary areas: Crime and Punishment, Violence and Pacifism, and Race and Gender. Among the works to be studied are Puccini's Madame Butterfly, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Britten's War Requiem, Bernstein's West Side Story, Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars, Shostakovich's Symphony Babi Yar, Bob Dylan's album The Times They Are a-Changin', the compilation album Red, Hot, & Blue, and John Adam's The Death of Klinghoffer. Assignments will include regular listening, periodic short papers, and a culminating project. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (MUSI 221 and 222). Two class meetings per week.
Requisite: Music 111 or 112, or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Kallick.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015
228 Seventeenth-Century European Theater
(Offered as SPAN 228 and EUST 228.) 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.
Fall semester. Limited to 40 students. Professor Maraniss.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Fall 2013
229 The European Enlightenment
(Offered as HIST 229 [EUP] and EUST 229.) This course begins with the political, social, cultural and economic upheavals of late seventeenth-century England, France, and the Netherlands. The second part of the course will look at the Enlightenment as a distinctive philosophical movement, evaluating its relationship to science, to classical antiquity, to organized religion, to new conceptions of justice, and to the changing character of European politics. The final part will look at the Enlightenment as a broad-based cultural movement. Among the topics discussed here will be the role played by Enlightened ideas in the French Revolution, women and non-elites in the Enlightenment, scientific racism, pornography and libertinism, orientalism, and the impact of press censorship. Readings for the course will include works by Descartes, Locke, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Hume, Adam Smith, Choderlos de Laclos, Kant and others. Two class meetings per week.
Omitted 2013-14. Professor Hunt.2014-15: Not offered
230 The French Revolution
(Offered as HIST 230 [EU] and EUST 230.) Often viewed as one of the defining events in modern history, the French Revolution has been debated and discussed, derided and celebrated by generations of politicians, cultural commentators, and historians. This course enters into this on-going conversation by examining the nature of the revolutionary process as it unfolded in late eighteenth-century France and its empire. Beginning in the “old regime” of kings and commoners, it untangles the social, political, and intellectual roots of the Revolution and investigates the extent to which these factors contributed to the radical overthrow of the French establishment in 1789. It then follows the extension of the Revolution throughout French society and across the seas to the Caribbean, analyzing how popular and colonial upheavals influenced the revolutionary new order of “liberty, equality, and brotherhood” that was taking shape in France. Finally, the course explores the aftermath of the Revolution by tracing the various ways that its history has been interpreted and reinterpreted from the nineteenth century to the present day. Two class meetings per week.
Omitted 2013-14. Professor Boucher.2014-15: Not offered
231 Race and Empire: The British Experience from 1760
(Offered as HIST 231 [EU] and EUST 231.) From the mid-eighteenth century through the 1960s, Britain presided over the most powerful empire in the world. At its height, this small island nation ruled one-quarter of the earth’s surface and more than 450 million of its inhabitants. Not only did British imperialism play a decisive role in shaping world politics, economics, and cultures in its day, it also left a number of profound legacies that continue to affect our lives in the present. This course traces the rise, fall, and lasting influence of the British empire, and pays particular attention to questions of race and ethnicity. Through a series of colonial encounters --such as the first contacts made between explorers and Pacific Islanders in the 18th century, the interactions between missionaries and Africans in the 19th century, or the migration of South Asians to Britain in the 20th century--it examines what “race” meant in different historical contexts. The course thus explores the institutionalization of racism in government, law, and society, and analyzes moments in which racism has been combated and overturned. Readings and course materials will be drawn from secondary and primary sources, including newspapers, novels, photographs, artwork, oral histories, and films. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 30 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Boucher.2014-15: Not offered
232 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Brenneis.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013
(Offered as SPAN 384 and EUST 233.) This panoramic, interdisciplinary course will explore the concept of love as it changes epoch to epoch and culture to culture. Poetry, novels, paintings, sculptures, movies, TV, and music will be featured. Starting with the Song of Songs, it will include discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Catullus, and other Greek classics, move on to Dante and Petrarch, contemplate Chinese, Arabic, African, and Mesoamerican literatures, devote a central unit to Shakespeare, continue with the Metaphysical poets, and move on to American literature. Special attention will be paid to the difference between love, eroticism, and pornography. Multilingual students will be encouraged to delve into various linguistic traditions, in tongues like French, Russian, German, Yiddish, and Spanish. Conducted in English.
Llimited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Stavans.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2014
234 Nazi Germany
(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.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
An interdisciplinary exploration of the causes behind the social, racial, artistic, and political act—and art—of posing, passing, or pretending to be someone else. Blacks passing for whites, Jews passing for gentiles, and women passing for men, and vice versa, are a central motif. Attention is given to biological and scientific patterns such as memory loss, mental illness, and plastic surgery, and to literary strategies like irony. As a supernatural occurrence, the discussion includes mystical experiences, ghost stories, and séance sessions. The course also covers instances pertaining to institutional religion, from prophesy from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles to the Koran and Mormonism. In technology and communications, analysis concentrates on the invention of the telegraph, the telephone, and the Internet. Entertainment, ventriloquism, puppet shows, voice-overs, children’s cartoon shows, subtitles, and dubbing in movies and TV are topics of analysis. Posers in Greek mythology, the Arabian Nights, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip Roth, Oliver Sacks, and Nella Larsen are examined. Conducted in English.
Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Stavans.2014-15: 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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Stavans.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013
238 Soviet Union During the Cold War
(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.
Omitted 2013-14. Five College Professor Glebov.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2015
242 European Intellectual History in the Twentieth Century
(Offered as HIST 232 [EU] and EUST 242). This class will explore European intellectual history in the twentieth century, focusing on the important trends such as psychoanalysis, phenomenology, structuralism, and post-modernism. While studying thinkers such as Freud, Lacan, Heidegger or Levi-Strauss, we will pay special attention to how world-historical events shaped their thought. How did European intellectuals react to World War I, Communism, Nazism, or de-colonization? How did they imagine a way out of totalitarianism and the assured mutual destruction of the Cold War? How did abstract ideas about the individual, freedom, or beauty develop in response to the historical circumstances in which they were forged? Finally, the class will draw on local archival sources to highlight the thought of several influential European intellectuals who found refuge in the Five Colleges. Two class meetings per week.
Fall semester. Five College Professor Glebov.2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013
245 Stalin and Stalinism
(Offered as HIST 235 [EU] and EUST 245). Joseph Stalin, the infamous Soviet dictator, created a particular type of society in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Stalinism became a phenomenon that influenced the development of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The course will begin with the exploration of Stalin’s own life, and then focus on what historical forces enabled the emergence of Stalinism. The course will cover the period on the eve of and during the Russian Revolution, Stalinist transformation of the USSR in the 1930s, WWII, and the onset of the Cold War. Among issues to be explored are the extent of popular support for Stalinist-type regimes, the mechanisms of large-scale political terror, the longevity of Stalinist regimes, and historical memory about Stalinism. Two class meetings per week.
Spring semester. Five College Professor Glebov.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014
250 The Monastic Challenge
(Offered as ARHA 250 and EUST 250.) 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.
Requisite: One course in Art and the History of Art or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Upton.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011
253 Dutch and Flemish Painting (The Art of Beholding)
(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. In learning how to 'behold', our goal will be to allow a series of exemplary masterpieces including Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Double Portrait and the Ghent Alterpiece, Roger’s Portrait of a Lady, the Prado Deposition, and the Beaune Last Judgment; Bosch’s Death of a Miser; Brueghal's Seasons; Vermeer’s Artist in his Studio and 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.2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
264 Don Quixote [RC]
(Offered as SPAN 364 and EUST 264.) A patient, careful reading of Cervantes' masterpiece (published in 1605 and 1615), taking into consideration the biographical, historical, social, religious, and literary context from which it emerged during the Renaissance. The discussion will center on the novel's structure, style, and durability as a classic and its impact on our understanding of ideas and emotions connected with the Enlightenment and its aftermath. Authors discussed in connection to the material include Erasmus of Rotterdam, Montaigne, Emerson, Tobias Smollett, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky, Unamuno, Nabokov, Borges, García Márquez, and Rushdie. Conducted in Spanish.
Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Stavans.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014
270 Hispanic Humor [RC]
(Offered as SPAN 375 and EUST 270) An exploration on humor from a theoretical and multidisciplinary perspective, taking into consideration psychological, biological, political, social, racial, religious, national, and economic factors. The central questions leading the analysis are: What is humor? How does one understand its various types? What is culturally restrictive about humor? What makes Hispanic humor unique? Distinctions between satire, parody, and hyperbole will be explored in the context of Spain, Latin America, and the United States, from the Middle Ages to contemporary popular culture. Samples analyzed come from myth (from Don Juan to Pedro de Urdemalas), literature (from Quevedo to Cabrera Infante), comics (from Mafalda to La Cucaracha), TV (from Chespirito to El Hormiguero), movies (from Cantinflas to Tin Tan), standup comedy (from George Lopez to Carlos Mencia), and language (from double entendres to Freudian slips.) This course will be conducted in Spanish.Requisite: SPAN 199, 211 or 212 or with consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Stavans.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013
271 Modern Architecture, Design, and the Built Environment
(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. Omitted 2013-14.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013
273 Modernization, Modernity, and Modernism in Europe, 1848-1918
(Offered as ARHA 273 and EUST 273.) This course considers the dynamics of European Modernism between 1848 and 1918 in relation to processes of modernization, such as technological innovation, the advent of mass culture and spectacle, and socio-political change. In tracing the history of visual culture from the introduction of photography through the rise of cinema, we will address the work of Gustave Courbet, William Henry Fox Talbot, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Georges Méliès, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Vladimir Tatlin, and others.
Requisite: a course in art history, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2013-14.2014-15: Not offered
284 Women and Art in Early Modern Europe
(Offered as ARHA 284, EUST 284, and WAGS 206.) This course will examine the ways in which prevailing ideas about women and gender-shaped visual imagery, and how these images influenced ideas concerning women from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. It will adopt a comparative perspective, both by identifying regional differences among European nations and tracing changes over time. In addition to considering patronage of art by women and works by women artists, we will look at the depiction of women heroes such as Judith; the portrayal of women rulers, including Elizabeth I and Marie de' Medici; and the imagery of rape. Topics emerging from these categories of art include biological theories about women; humanist defenses of women; the relationship between the exercise of political power and sexuality; differing attitudes toward women in Catholic and Protestant art; and feminine ideals of beauty.
Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Courtright.2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012
294 Black Europe
(Offered as BLST 294 [D] and EUST 294.) This research-based seminar considers the enduring presence of people of African descent in Europe from the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment, a fact that both confounds and extends canonical theories of African diaspora and black internationalism. Focusing particularly on the histories of black people in Britain, Germany, and France, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach in its study of the African diaspora in Europe. We will examine literature, history, film, art and ephemera, as well as newly available pre-1927 audio recordings from Bear Family Records (http://www.black-europe.com/) in effort to better comprehend the materiality of the black European experience. These inquiries will enable us to comment upon the influence black people continue to have upon Europe today. Reading the central texts in the emerging field of Black European Studies—including African American expatriate memoirs, Afro-German feminist poetry, and black British cultural theory—student work will culminate in an annotated bibliography and a multimedia research project.
Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Polk.2014-15: Not offered
302 Dangerous Reading: The Eighteenth-Century Novel in England and France
(Offered as EUST 302, ENGL 302 [Meets the pre-1800 requirement for English majors.], and FREN 362.) 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.
Omitted 2013-14. Professors Frank and Rosbottom.2014-15: Not offered
303 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. Fall semester: Professor Maraniss.2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2016
305 Isaac Bashevis Singer
Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1993), winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, who moved to the United States in 1935, created a complex fictional world of longing and despair. The course studies his oeuvre in chronological order, from his early experiments in mysticism while in his native Poland, such as the novel Satan in Goray, to his numerous stories like “Gimpel the Fool” and “A Wedding in Brownsville,” rendered in English by a cadre of mostly female translators and published in Forverts, The New Yorker, and other periodicals. The focus is on Singer’s immigrant identity and his embrace by American readers as a symbolic bridge between the Old World and the New. Singer’s sexual persona, his philosophical and political investigations on Spinoza, Communism, and God, his reaction to the Holocaust and the creation of the state of Israel, his interest in Golems and Dybbuks, and his thoughts on translation, are part of the discussion. Some of his children stories are also contemplated. Conducted in English.
Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Stavans.2014-15: Not offered
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Cameron.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2013
311 Birth of the Avant-Garde: Modern Poetry and Culture in France and Russia, 1870-1930
(Offered as EUST 311, FREN 364, and RUSS 311.) 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 writing, 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 Baudelaire, Rimbaud and the French Symbolists; the Russian Symbolists (Blok, Bely); Nietzsche; Apollinaire, Dada, and the Surrealists (Breton, Eluard, Desnos); and the Russian avant-garde poets (Mayakovsky, 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 (Bakst, the Ballets Russes); Primitivism (Goncharova, Larionov); Suprematism (Malevich); and Constructivism (Tatlin, Rodchenko, El Lissitzky). The 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.
Spring semester. Professors Ciepiela and L. Katsaros.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2010, Spring 2014
312 Spanish Detectives and the género negro
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Brenneis.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2012
313 Serving the Tsars and the Party
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Móricz.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012
323 Travel in the Middle Ages
[EUP] Medieval people moved: they traded and sent emissaries, they invaded and migrated, they went on crusade, jihad, and pilgrimage. This topical course will touch upon all of these movements as we pursue a larger question. Can patterns of exchange across the physical and cultural barriers of geography, language, religion, and governance reveal a more global medieval world than we usually envision?
As the Middle Ages passed, patterns and perceptions of movement changed. Itinerancy was institutionalized in certain religious orders while popular heresy and plague rapidly spread out of control. In order to ground our study of such changes the class will first analyze the most consistently preserved sources on medieval movement, accounts of pious travel “for God’s sake and not for pleasure.” Students will then work collaboratively to contextualize such accounts with two other types of movement: the physical journeys of traders and diplomats, and the interiorized journeys of the prophet, the mystic, and the storyteller. Assignments will include critical presentations and a research paper. Two class meetings per week.
Spring semester. Visiting Professor Torgerson.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014
325 The Reformation Era in Europe, 1500-1660
(Offered as HIST 325 [EUP] and EUST 325.) In many ways the Reformation Era created modern Christianity. It also laid the groundwork for many other aspects of modern life, and the great reformers of the 16th century (among them Desiderius Erasmus, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ignatius Loyola) continue to have an impact to this day. We begin this course with these men's own writings. We look at why Reformed ideas took off in the way they did and who was most attracted to them. We also examine a variety of related themes such as anti-Semitism; witchcraft and magic; the impact of both the Catholic and Protestant Reformations on women; reformation movements within Russian Orthodoxy and Islam; the impact of the Reformation on music; and the role of religious ideas in wars and mass movements, including the Anabaptist Revolt at Münster in 1535, the Thirty Years War and the English Revolution of 1640. Readings include original 16th and 17th century sources (in English translation), several classic interpretations of the Reformation, and recent scholarship in early modern European social history, urban history, women's history, Jewish and Islamic history, and the history of popular culture. Knowledge of German not necessary. Two meetings per week.
Requisite: HIST 125 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Hunt2014-15: Not offered
335 European Migrations
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Boucher.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012
339 Defining the Modern: Russia Between Tsars and Communists
(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.
Omitted 2013-14. Five College Professor Glebov.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2016
340 Violence, Art, and Memory of the Spanish Civil War
(Offered as SPAN 340 and EUST 340.) The Spanish Civil War lasted only three years, from 1936 to 1939, yet the conflict cast a long shadow over Spain's twentieth-century history, culture and identity. Indeed, the war's effects were felt worldwide, and it became the inspiration for works of art and literature as varied as Pablo Picasso's Guernica, Pablo Neruda's España en el corazón, Guillermo del Toro's El laberinto del fauno and Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. This course will provide an introduction to the discord and violence of the war as well as to the anguish and catharsis of the stories, poems and films it inspired. Through primary sources and historical accounts, we will understand the causes of this fraternal war. By studying texts and films that track the reverberations of the Spanish Civil War in the United States, Latin America and Continental Europe, we will seek to understand how and why this historical moment has captivated artists and writers. In addition, we will grapple with the diverse ways that lingering memories of the war have affected modern-day Spanish politics and culture. Although readings will be in English and Spanish, this course will be conducted in Spanish.Requisite: SPAN 199, 211, 212 or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Brenneis.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014
345 Contemporary Europe
Offered as POSC 345 [CP, IR] and EUST 345.) [IL - starting with the Class of 2015] 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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Tiersky.2014-15: Not offered
351 Renaissance Art in Italy
(Offered as ARHA 351 and EUST 351.) This course treats painting, sculpture, and architecture of the art historical periods known as the Early and High Renaissance, Mannerism, and the Counter Reformation. It will dwell upon works by artists such as Giotto, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael, Bramante, Michelangelo, and Titian in the urban centers of Florence, Rome, and Venice, art produced for patrons ranging from Florentine merchants and monks to Roman princes and pontiffs. The art itself--portraits, tombs, altarpieces, cycles of imagined scenes from history, palaces, churches, civic monuments--ranges from gravely restrained and intentionally simple to monumental, fantastically complex or blindingly splendid, and the artists themselves range from skilled artisans to ever more sought-after geniuses. Emphasis will be upon the way the form and content of each type of art conveyed ideas concerning creativity, originality, and individuality, but also expressed ideals of devotion and civic virtue; how artists dealt with the revived legacy of antiquity to develop an original visual language; how art imparted the values of its patrons and society, but also sometimes conflicted with them; and how art and attitudes towards it changed over time. Rather than taking the form of a survey, this course, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will examine in depth selected works and will analyze contemporary attitudes toward art of this period through study of the art and the primary sources concerning it. Upper level.
Requisite: One other art history course or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Courtright.2014-15: Not offered
352 Proseminar: Images of Sickness and Healing
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Staller.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012
354 War and Memory
(Offered as FREN 354 and EUST 354.) Through readings of short fiction, historical essays, drama and films, we study how the French have tried to come to terms with their role in World War II, both as individuals and as a nation. We will explore the various myths concerning French heroism and guilt, as well as the challenges to those myths, with particular attention paid to the way wartime memories have become a lightning rod for debate and discord in contemporary French culture and politics. No prior knowledge of the historical period of the war is necessary, but students of French history are welcome. Conducted in French.
Requisite: One of the following--FREN 207, 208, 311, 312 or equivalent. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Hewitt.2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010
356 Baroque Art in Italy, France, Spain, and the Spanish Netherlands
(Offered as ARHA 356 and EUST 356.) 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. Fall semester. Professor Courtright.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Fall 2013
(Offered as GERM 360, ARCH 360, EUST 360 and FAMS 316.) 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.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2014
364 Architectures of Disappearance
(Offered as GERM 364, ARCH 364, and EUST 364.) 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.
Fall semester. Professor Gilpin.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Fall 2013
365 Making Memorials
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Gilpin.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2015
(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. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Gilpin.2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013
370 Mozart and the Classical Style
(Offered as MUSI 420 and EUST 420.) As one of the most popular composers of all time, Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791) has come to be taken as the paradigm for the creative genius who produces beautiful art with seemingly no effort--a child of nature, to use a popular eighteenth-century trope, unencumbered by the struggles of adulthood. In this seminar we will examine the cultural-historical context that produced Mozart, his music, and, even before his untimely death, the "Mozart myth." The main texts for the class will be scores of Mozart's mature compositions--symphonies, chamber music, concertos, and most important, operas--as well as selected works by his contemporaries and predecessors. We will interpret these works with the help of primary documents relating to Mozart's life, and with the help of analytic methods developed by scholars such as Wye J. Allanbrook, William Caplan, Daniel Heartz, Robert Levin, and Leonard Ratner. Our studies will be integrated into attending performances of Mozart's work in New York or Boston. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.
Requisite: MUSI 241 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Schneider.2014-15: Not offered
371 Music and Revolution: The Symphonies of Mahler and Shostakovich
(Offered as MUSI 422 and EUST 371.) 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. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.
Requisite: MUSI 241 or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Kallick.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2010, Spring 2014
372 Culture and Politics in 20th-Century Europe
(Offered as POSC 372 [CP, IR] and EUST 372.) [SC - starting with the Class of 2015] This seminar discusses political and economic ideas and ideologies in 20th-century Europe. Some of the recurring themes are: nationalism; Marxism/socialism/communism; fascism; anti-Semitism; Catholicism and the role of the church in politics; existentialism; the expansion of liberalism and the collapse of Communism; the role of the U.S. and American culture in European societies; the “idea of Europe” and the reality of European integration; European identity and national identities. Seminar discussion is a free-wheeling mix of politics, economics and culture.
Not open to first-year students. Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Tiersky.2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
373 Topics in European History: The Politics of Memory in Twentieth-Century Europe
(Offered as HIST 438 [EU] and EUST 373.) This course will explore the role of historical memory in the politics of twentieth-century Europe. It will examine how evolving memories of major historical events have been articulated and exploited in the political cultures of England, France, Germany, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union/Russia. Topics will include the politics of memory surrounding World Wars I and II, Vichy France, the Holocaust, Soviet Stalinism, and Eastern European communism. Seminar participants will also discuss general issues concerning collective memory: why societies remember and forget historical events, how collective memories resurface, the relationship between memory and authenticity, and the pitfalls of politicizing historical memory. Finally, seminar participants will analyze different sites of memory including film, ritual, monuments, legal proceedings, and state-sponsored cults. One class meeting per week.
Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Epstein.2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2014
374 Lyrics Before the Lyric
[before 1800] (Offered as ENGL 441 and EUST 441.) No word for lyric poetry is in use in Europe until the sixteenth century. This course examines the poems written before and at the dawn of the definition of lyric poetry, in order to form our own working definition of a short, musical poem. We will read poetry by Sappho, Horace, Pindar, anonymous medieval writers, Richard Rolle, William Dunbar, and others, along with classical and medieval tracts on poetry and poetics. The course will conclude with readings from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century lyric poets (Wyatt, Surrey, Shakespeare, Donne) alongside the treatises that defined lyric for the first time (such as Sidney’s Defense of Poesy). Does the “lyric” poem change once it is defined? How do later works speak to the earlier tradition?
Requisite: At least one previous English course, preferably in poetry. Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 15 students. Omitted 2013-14. Professor Nelson.2014-15: Not offered
385 Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters
(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.2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
390, 490 Special Topics
Fall and spring semesters.2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016
498, 499, 499D, 498D Senior Departmental Honors
A full course.
Fall semester.2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015