European Studies

2022-23

111 The Holocaust

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Fall 2023

112 Russian Empire in Eurasia

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2018, Spring 2022, Fall 2024

117 Arthurian Literature

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2024

121 Readings in the European Tradition I

Topics in the past have included readings and discussion of a series of related texts from Homer and Genesis to Dante: Homer’s Iliad, selected Greek tragedies, Virgil’s Aeneid, selections from the Bible and from medieval texts. 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. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. 

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

122 Readings in the European Tradition II

(Offered as EUST 122 and HIST 122[EU]) This course offers a critical examination of the concept of European civilization from the seventeenth century through the present day. What did it mean to be “European” in the modern era? To what extent was “European” civilization forged by Europe’s connections to the wider world, and by ideas, art, literature, and politics that originated outside the geographical boundaries of Europe? How was the idea of a coherent European culture and character used as a tool of conquest within the European empires? And how did various people—in Europe, in the empires, and beyond—forge new social, cultural, and political solidarities through their critiques of the idea of European civilization? Does the concept of European civilization remain valuable in our modern, globalized era? This course will combine a study of canonical works of European art, literature, and politics with less well-known texts and works of art created by “non-European” people. Required of European Studies majors.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2122. Professor A. Gordon. 

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2024

125 The Italian Renaissance: Politics, Culture, and Society

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2023

129 European Intellectual History and Its Discontents

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

130 World War I

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Fall 2022

131 History and Theory of Architecture

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022

135 Renaissance to Revolution: Early Modern European Art and Architecture

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

145 The Modern World

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2011, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

146 Art From the Realm of Dreams

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2023

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.

January term. Professor Rosbottom. 

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Fall 2020, January 2022, Spring 2022

221 Voices from a Bygone Time

Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

222 Music and Culture II

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2023

223 The Musical Symptoms of Modernism

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2023

227 Law, Sex, and Family in the Wider Mediterranean (1300–1800)

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2021

231 Race and Empire: The British Experience from 1760

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2016, Spring 2021

232 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

233 Love

(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.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2022-23. Professor Stavans.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2022, Fall 2024

234 Nazi Germany

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2021

235 Impostors

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, will be the central motif, with attention 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, discussion will  include mystical experiences, ghost stories, and séance sessions. The course will also cover 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. The class will also analyze entertainment, ventriloquism, puppet shows, voice-overs, children’s cartoon shows, subtitles, and dubbing in movies and TV and examine 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. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2022-23. Professor Stavans.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018, Fall 2021

236 The Bible as Literature

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

Omitted 2022-23. Professor Stavans.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2019

237 God

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, the Popol Vuh, the Ramayana, and Spinoza’s work as a cornerstone to the Enlightenment. We will contemplate secularism in modern culture and analyze the contemporary atheist movement of Dawkins and Hitchens . 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 2022-23. Professor Stavans. 

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Spring 2021

238 Soviet Union During the Cold War

Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2023

240 The Last Russian Revolution: State and Society from the Late Soviet Period to the Present

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2022

241 The Age of Michelangelo: Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2023

245 Stalin and Stalinism

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023

246 The Bauhaus

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017

247 Utopia

"Utopia," in Latin, means there is no such place. The course is a broad exploration, across time, space, cultures, and languages, of the quest for no-such-place, at times understood as a return in time, or to our origins, or an alternate reality (Paradise, Arcadia, Datong, Ketumati, etc.) Sources include the Hebrew Bible, Christianity, medieval Muslim philosophy, Buddhism, the Enlightenment, Capitalist, Communism, millenarianism, Feminism, science and technology, religious fundamentalism, racial purism, and political cults. Class discussions will rotate around the Mayan book Popol Vuh, More’s Utopia, Montaigne, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, false messiahs, Marx and Engle’s Communist Manifesto, Herzl’s The Jewish State, Soviet propaganda, Huxley’s Brave New World, as well as around Fidel Castro’s Cuba, North Korea, Disneyland, shopping malls, social media, green politics, and SF. Multilingual students will be encouraged to delve into various linguistic traditions, in tongues like French, Russian, German, Yiddish, Esperanto, and Spanish. Students will engage in creative-writing meditations. Conducted in English.

Fall semester. Professor Stavans.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

252 Witches, Saints, and Whores: Representing Gender in Premodern Europe

2024-25: Not offered

258 Art, Things, Spaces, and Places

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2022, Spring 2024

259 Shakespeare in Prison

Taught at the Hampshire County Jail, the course is devoted to close readings and staging of parts of Shakespeare’s plays while exploring in depth his historical context, dramatic and stylistic style, and world view. The topics of bondage, revenge, injustice, and forgiveness will serve as leitmotifs. In Spring 2018, four plays were the focus: As You Like It, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Conducted in English.

Omitted 2022-23. Professor Stavans.

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

269 Baroque Art

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2016, Spring 2022

284 Women and Art in Early Modern Europe

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2021

294 Black Europe

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

303 Literature as Translation

(Offered as EUST 303, ENGL 320 and RUSS 310) Acts of translation underwrite many kinds of cultural production, often invisibly. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, for instance, engaged with black internationalism through bilingualism and translation, as Brent Edwards has reminded us. In this course we will study literary translation as a creative practice involved in the making of subjects and cultures. We will read key statements about translation by theorists and translators, such as Walter Benjamin, Roman Jakobson, Lawrence Venuti, Peter Cole and Gayatri Spivak. We also will directly engage in translation work: each student will regularly present translations in a workshop format to produce a portfolio as a final project. The class will be “polyglot,” meaning that students are welcome to translate from any language of which they have knowledge; when they share translations, they will be asked also to provide interlinear, or “literal,” translations for those who may not understand the language they are working in.

Requisite: Two years of college-level study of the chosen language. Limited to 15 students. Professors Bosman and Ciepiela. 

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021, Spring 2023

306 A World of Evidence: Architecture, Race, and the Amherst College Archive

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

310 History of Fascism

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2022

316 Angels and Ghosts

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2024

320 Seminar on Opera and Musical Theatre

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2019, Spring 2022, Fall 2024

327 Fascism, War, and Freedom: Spain and Japan On Screen

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2014

328 Trial and Error: An Interdisciplinary Experiment with Montaigne's Essais

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Spring 2022

330 Race and Otherness in the Middle Ages

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2023

344 Empires in Global History

Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2023, Fall 2023

360 Performance

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2020, Spring 2023

363 Traumatic Events

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2018

364 Architectures of Disappearance

Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Spring 2016, Spring 2019, Fall 2022

365 Making Memorials

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2021, Spring 2024

368 SPACE

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2018, Spring 2022, Fall 2024

369 TIME

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2023

374 Medieval and Renaissance Lyric

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2024

385 Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023

390, 490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2024

426 Spanish Antifa

Other years: Offered in Fall 2021

430 Renaissance Bodies

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

498D, 499, 499D Senior Departmental Honors

Spring semester. The Department.

Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Culture

324 Studies in Medieval Romance Literature and Culture

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2020, Spring 2023

Nation-Specific Studies

450 Barcelona

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023

Course Specialized by Auther & Text

264 Don Quixote

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2022

Thematic Analysis

465 Multicultural Spain

2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020, Spring 2022

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