Fall 2014 Course Offerings
EPS 302/ECS 302 Landmarks of European Identity
This course gives a broad and inter-disciplinary perspective on some of the very diverse cultural and historical roots of European identity. It examines contemporary debates over contested identity in the light of long historical trajectories in which identities were continually defined and reshaped. It is conceived as an introduction to many of the courses in Princeton dealing with European issues. The landmarks include, but are not restricted to, written texts. They include Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Marx and .S. Mill, but also Fra Angelico, Beethoven and Thomas Mann.
SLA 345/ECS 354/COM 345/RES 345 East European Literature and Politics
Irena G. Gross
The seminar will analyze the way totalitarian oppression was represented and resisted in literature of the second part of the East-Central European 20th Century. We will look through the lens of literature at the main political and historical issues that afflicted Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and other countries of the region. WE will study texts (essays, memoirs, novels, short stories, plays and poems) which offered various ways to resist moral and political oppression. The authors will include George Orwell, Franz Kafka (as a precursor), Hannah Arendt, Vaclav Havel, Tadeusz Borowski, Bertolt Brecht, Heda Kovaly.
ECS 348/COM 390 The Literary Fantastic
Thomas A. Trezise
Thomas A. Trezise
A study of the fantastic in nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction and in a selection of theoretical texts. Issues to be discussed include the relation of the fantastic and neighboring genres such as magical realism, the cognitive challenges it poses, thematic preoccupations such as the double and altered sensory states, the importance of reception, and the interdisciplinary approaches drawing on philosophy, psychoanalysis, and literary theory.
ECS 352/FRE 356 The Englightenment and the Interpretation of Pain
Christophe Frédéric Laurent Litwin
When the sum of our pains surpasses that of our pleasures, non-existence becomes preferable to existence. This argument rapidly became ubiquitous in Enlightenment philosophical debates. Many used it to discuss the rationality of suicide, of God’s creation, of religious faith, as well as the metaphysical grounds of human existence & the idea of progress. Some criticized the quantitative premises of the argument & questioned the idea that pain could change the positive value of human existence into a negative one. We will examine those debates in philosophical and literary texts & discuss some of their later and contemporary echoes in ethics.
COM 362/CHV 362/ECS 362/GSS 366 Stolen Years: Youth Under the Nazis in WWII
Froma I. Zeitlin
This course examines the experiences of childhood & adolescence under the Nazis in World War II as witnessed, remembered, and represented in texts and images through a variety of means, genres and different nationalities. We include historical studies, diaries, testimonies, memoirs, fiction (semi-autobiographical or otherwise), photos, and film (documentary and feature) of 1st and 2d generations. While we focus on the fate of Jewish youth, who were specific targets of genocidal policy, not just unintended victims, we will also attend to others in the occupied countries. In final projects, students may elect to study other theaters of war.
GER 372/ART 372/ECS 372 Writing About Art: Rilke, Freud, Benjamin
Seminar addresses significance of works of art, and of practices of writing about visual art, in the work of three great writers of German in the early 20th-century: poet Rainer Maria Rilke; founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud; and philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin. Emphasis on close reading and critical analysis. Readings drawn from variety of fields and genres, including: lyric poetry, experimental prose, psychoanalytic theory, cultural analysis, aesthetic theory, criticism. Topics include: situation of work of art in modernity; art and the unconscious; the work of art and the historical transmission of culture in modern Europe.
Summer 2014 Course
GLS 316/ECS 316/COM 313/TRA 313/LIN 317 Our Multilingual World: Regional and Global Responses to Linguistics Diversity
Summer 2014, Schedule TBA
This course will introduce the study of language and the nature of translation and focus on specialized topics including the use of English as a lingua franca, the ideology of national languages, European Union language policy, the development and implementation of the Swiss model of a multilingual state, the history of the major international organizations since 1918 and their current language practices, the politics of language use, language issues in the spread of international law, translation in global cultural exchange, international languages, and the ethics of translation in humanitarian work and in conflict zones.