Spring 2014 Course Offerings
ECS 321/SPA 333/COM 389 Cultural Systems: Proust, Freud, Borges
An overview of three of the most influential writers in the twentieth century. All three were fascinated by similar topics: dreams and memory; sexuality; Judaism. All three lived during traumatic historical periods (Proust during WWI; Freud during WWII; and Borges during Peronismo). Discussion will focus on theories of writing, modernity, modernist aesthetics, the conception of spaces and the construction of sexual identity.
ECS 324/COM 302/FRE 324 Self-Love and the Common Good: from Aristotle to the Invisible Hand
Aristotle opposed self-love to selfishness and regarded the former as the natural reward of virtue. In the Christian tradition, however, self-love is the sinful passion that caused man’s fall. Outside of charity, human virtues are but disguised selfishness. Yet, does it matter so much that our private actions be selfish if they benefit society? Early-modern philosophers became increasingly interested in questioning the controversial paradox that encouraging men to be selfish might result in better government than educating them to be virtuous. We will discuss those debates and their role in early-modern moral, political and economic theories.
ECS 327/GER 329/HUM 327 Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
Focusing on the Vienna metropolis at the turn of the 20th century, this seminar examines key issues in the emergence of European modernism. A booming urban center, the old capital of the Habsburg Empire was a site of innovation in architecture and the applied arts as well as theater, literature and psychology. Through the study of a broad range of both textual and visual works by Freud, Hofmannsthal, Kraus, Loos, Klimt, Herzl and others, we will discuss the complex relationship between the reshaping of urban space, new modes of sensory experience and artistic experimentation.
COM 341/ENG 381/ECS 341/HUM 341 What is Vernacular Filmmaking?
Erika A. Kiss
In this course we will study films that address global audiences yet ground themselves in particular, local, vernacular sources of artistic creation. Our focus will be on three exciting postwar cinematic movements (Italian Neorealism, Iranian New Wave, the Danish Dogma 95), but we will also discuss parallels in American filmmaking. Familiarity with Homer's Ulysses, Virgil's Aeneid and Shakespeare's Hamlet will be helpful since they serve as the frame of reference for many of the examined films.
SLA 366/ECS 356/RES 347 Eastern Europe: Culture and History
Irena G. Gross
This course will discuss the main trends in East European history and culture, concentrating mostly on 20th and 21st centuries. Each week will be devoted to one aspect of East European studies and the classes will combine theme-plus-methodology approach. There will be several invited speakers. The course is part of the track in East European Cultures and Societies (EECS), one of the two tracks for the Certificate in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.
ECS 380/MUS 380/JDS 380 Music and European Jewry
This course examines the experience of the Jewish musician in Europe from the 17th-century through World War II. We will explore how Jewish music; which had so long isolated Jews from mainstream Christian society; would ultimately provide a path to inclusion; how anti-Semitism shaped the careers of Jewish musicians; and how notions about Jewish music fostered anti-Semitism. Topics include: Jewish musicians in early modern Italy; Sephardic Jews in 18th-century Amsterdam; Mendelssohn and the "sincere conversion"; Victorian London and her Jews; operetta, opera, and symphony in fin-de-siècle Vienna; music during and after the Holocaust.
ART 486/ECS 486 Order and Chaos in Eighteenth-Century European Art
James C. Steward
This seminar considers order and chaos as organizing principles in exploring the art of the long 18th century (1700-1830) in Britian, France, and Italy. Drawing on primary texts (artist's treatises, memoirs, poetry, etc.), we will seek to understand the relationship of works of art to fundamental Enlightenment discourses on the ordering of knowledge and society at a time of dramatic social, economic, and political change. Even as we examine this wider context, we will look closely at original works of art, including paintings, prints, and drawings in Princeton's collections.
ECS 391/COM 391/JDS 391 Holocaust Testimony
Thomas A. Trezise
This course focuses on major issues raised by but also extending beyond Holocaust survivor testimony, including the communication of trauma, genres of witnessing, the ethical implications of artistic representation, conflicts between history and memory, the fate of individuality in collective upheaval, the condition of survival itself, and the crucial role played by reception in enabling and transmitting survivors' speech.
Summer 2014 Course