Spring 2007 Course Offerings
ECS 209/HUM 209/POL 211 Cultural Interpretations
The goal of this course is to introduce students to the foundations of political rhetoric and to study the rhetorical structure of classical works in political theory and political speeches.
Professor Maurizio Viroli
MW 11:00 – 11:50
ECS 321/REL 317/JDS 317 Cultural Systems: The Enlightenment and Its Post-/Modern Critics
"El sueño de la razón produce monstruos" (Goya) -- Is it the "sleep" or the "dream" of reason that produces monsters? Not even the authors of the Age of Reason were certain about the answer. They asked the same questions that are raised with fresh vigor today: What is Enlightenment? What are the implications of science, universalism, tolerance? In order to develop our own approaches, we will explore key texts of the 18th century on the intertwined issues of religion, universalism and colonialism, and we will juxtapose them with the critical inquiries of the 20th century into the -- finished or unfinished? -- project of the Enlightenment.
Professor Andrea Schatz
Wednesday 7:30 – 10:20
ECS 330 Communication and the Arts: The Documentary Avant-Garde
The purpose of this comparative seminar is to consider the role that documentary played in the development of avant-gardist literature in the 20th century. Specifically, by examining the mode by which documentary explores the dynamic boundaries between reality and codes of representation at specific historical moments, this seminar suggests that documentary provides a key case study of the avant-gardist project of dismantling the boundaries between art and life. The course considers texts from a variety of geo-political contexts (the Soviet Union, Germany, France, England and the United States over a period of time extending from inter-war projects to those of the post-War neo avant-garde, and in the process addresses a variety of topics germane to documentary literature: the shifting boundaries between science and literature; industrialization and the primitivized ‘other’ of ethnographic documentary; documentary's revision of tranditional conceptions of literary genre; aestheticization and the question of documentary ‘style’; the relationship between documentary literature and other media such as photography and film; the multiple ideological valences of the techniques of documentary; the birth of the documentary archive as the death of the author; and the postwar preoccupation with witnessing and trauma. The course also includes screenings of films that explore the documentary mode in cinema.
Professor Devin Fore
Monday 7:30 – 10:20
ECS 331 Communication and the Arts: On Landscape; or, Hedging Your Bets
This is not a course about gardens, though some notable examples of the same will be discussed. Instead, it examines a series of improbably defined "landscapes," with the intention of arriving at a working definition of this difficult term. Interpretive emphasis will be placed on the notion of the (man-made) landscape as the unfinished product of restless change. The operation of chance occurrence will not be ruled out as one important agent of this historical process. The loci of discussion represent so many climacterics, the scale, scope, and shape of which we will map, measure, and survey; no mathematics is required.
Professor Edward Eigen
Tuesday 7:30 – 10:20
ECS 363/HIS 463 Intellectuals and Politics in the 20th Century
The experience of 20th century intellectuals engaged in politics has been at once exhilarating and sobering. In both Europe and America, intellectuals have viewed themselves as writers and thinkers whose responsibility it is to bring their rhetorical and literary gifts into the public arena. But intellectuals have also been both victims of and complicit with totalitarian movements and regimes. Focusing on the memoirs of German, French, and East European, Russian and American memoirs and a few films, this course will discuss a selection of intellectuals whose lives were determined by their political choices. Among the intellectuals we will consider are: Leon Trotsky, Albert Speer, Victor Klemperer, George Orwell, André Malraux, Sidney Hook, and Adam Michnik.
Professors Anson Rabinbach, Jan Gross and Adam Michnik
Tuesday 1:30 – 4:20