European Cultural Studies
The Program in European Cultural Studies was established in 1975 on the joint initiative of a number of faculty members in History, Comparative Literature, Romance Languages and Literatures, Politics, and Architecture and Urban Planning, under the leadership of Carl E. Schorske (1915-2015). Its first certificate class graduated in 1976. Now located on the second floor of Scheide Caldwell House within the Andlinger Center for the Humanities, ECS enjoys the administrative support of the Council of the Humanities.
Since its inception, the Program in European Cultural Studies has maintained two central aims: to deepen students’ understanding of European civilization, and to strengthen their command of cultural interpretation through interdisciplinary investigation. Committed since its founding to encouraging our students’ engagement at an international level, ECS endeavors to situate the study of Europe in broader global contexts. ECS brings together students and faculty from a number of departments in the Humanities and the Social Sciences in a common inquiry. Our focus is, broadly stated, the ways in which European societies, past and present, order reality, make sense of life, and communicate meaning across a range of disciplines and in a wide variety of media. In order to reduce these intellectual problems to manageable proportions, ECS faculty develop innovative seminars on topics in European history, literature, art, architecture, music, cinema, theater, politics, and philosophy.
- Andrew Nelson wins the distinguished Pyne Prize.
- On December 8, 2015, ECS Executive Committee member Irena Gross was interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast about the current political situation in Poland and the refusal of several Eastern European nations to accept refugees.
- The November 15, 2015 edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung featured an interview with ECS Executive Committee member Jan-Werner Müller on the topic of populism in contemporary European politics.
- Carl Emil Schorske, founding director of the Program in European Cultural Studies, died peacefully at his home in the Meadow Lakes retirement community in East Windsor on September 13, 2015. He was 100 years old. Professor Schorske, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his epochal book Fin de Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture (1980) and a 1981 MacArthur Fellowship recipient, was a renowned and beloved teacher, as documented in a memorial reflection posted by Michael Roth, the president of Wesleyan University, who wrote his dissertation under Professor Schorske’s supervision in the History Department at Princeton. An obituary for Professor Schorske appeared in the September 17, 2015 edition of the New York Times.