Spring 2017 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, focusing on selected masterpieces. 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. Seminar will explore the relationship between literature modernism, politics, and religion..
ECS 331/HIS 430/COM 317
Communication and the Arts - The Battle of the Books: Culture Wars in Early Modern Europe
Anthony T. Grafton
This course will focus on a major intellectual controversy of the 17th and 18th centuries known as the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns. Through close readings of seminal texts we will address issues pertaining to the historical significance of the Quarrel, its sociopolitical implications, and the role it played in the cultural and scientific evolution of early modern Europe. We will approach the Quarrel as a critical moment in the prehistory of modernity that resulted in a redefinition of concepts such as mimesis and originality, tradition and innovation, decline and progress.
SLA 366/ECS 356/RES 347
Eastern Europe: Culture and History
Irena G. Gross
The 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 Certificate in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.
ECS 376/ARC 376/ART 386
The Body in Space: Art, Architecture, and Performance
An interdisciplinary investigation of the status of the human body in the modern reinvention of space within the overlapping frames of art, architecture, and the performing arts, from the fin-de-siècle to the present. Works by artists, architects, theater designers, and film makers who address the human figure in space will be supplemented by readings on architectural theory, intellectual and cultural history, psychoanalysis, anthropology, and aesthetics. Course will address issues of bodily empathy, the relation between bodily perception and space, as well as the animation and mechanization of bodies and things inside modern enclosures.
ECS 391/COM 391/JDS 391
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.
HIS 424/ECS 424
Intellectual History of Europe since 1880
Anson G. Rabinbach
This course is an introduction to Modern Intellectual History. It will examine the period from 1870-1960 focusing on several main trends and key figures. Late nineteenth century authors like Nietzsche, Weber, and Freud will be examined against the backdrop of the classical social theories of Marx and Mill. The era of totalitarianism after World War I will be examined with particular attention to Communism, Nazism (Carl Schmitt), and the debates over humanism and existentialism. The course will conclude with discussions of thinkers during the Cold War including, Raphael Lemkin, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Hannah Arendt.
ART 448/ECS 448
Seminar. 17th- and 18th-Century Art
Thomas D. Kaufmann
ENROLLMENT BY APPLICATION OR INTERVIEW. DEPARTMENTAL PERMISSION REQUIRED.
In 2017, the seminar will survey art and architecture in the Czech Lands (Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia) ca. 1500-1800 in relation to those elsewhere in Central Europe and more generally on the continent (e.g Italy, Germany, Low Countries). Focus on the "magic city" of Prague. Some attention will be paid to previous and subsequent time periods. Trip to Prague, Brno, and Olomouc during Spring Break.
HIS 449/FRE 449/ECS 449
The French Enlightenment
David A. Bell
The French Enlightenment was one of the most intensely creative and significant episodes in the history of Western thought. This course will provide an introduction to its major works. Each class meeting will consist of a two-hour discussion, followed by a 45-minute background lecture for the subsequent week's readings.
ART 454/ECS 454
Topics in the History of Photography - Pre-Raphaelite Painting and Photography
Photography and painting after the founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 entered into a complicated dialogue in which the limits of the real and the fantastic were renegotiated. By looking at the writings of John Ruskin, Wilkie Collins, and Tennyson; the paintings of Rossetti, Holman Hunt, and Millais; and the photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Rejlander, and Lewis Carroll, (among others), we will consider topics such as the Oxford movement and religious art; machinery, labor and poverty; the Great Exhibition of 1851; Victorian childhood; and the feminine ideal.
GER 480/ECS 480/ART 480
Art Against Culture?
What are we to make of art that presents itself in opposition to culture? German art of the 20th century compels us to reckon with that question. The first part of this course will do so through close readings of literary and philosophical texts from Nietzsche to Beckett. Our approach to reading will be collaborative and experimental. The second part of the course will pursue a case study of the multimedia art of Hanne Darboven (1941-2009), which we will explore in person at Dia in New York City, in the collections of the Art Museum and Marquand Library, and in conversation with contemporary artists to whom Darboven's work has been important.