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Program in European Cultural Studies

Director

Brigid Doherty

Executive Committee

David A. Bell, History

Sandra L. Bermann, Comparative Literature 

Eduardo L. Cadava, English   

Brigid Doherty, German, Art and Archaeology 

Rubén Gallo, Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures 

Daniel Garber, Philosophy

Anthony T. Grafton, History

Wendy Heller, Music 

Michael W. Jennings, German

Serguei A. Oushakine, Anthropology, Slavic Languages and Literatures

Spyridon Papapetros, Architecture 

Anson G. Rabinbach, History 

Eileen A. Reeves, Comparative Literature 

Gideon A. Rosen, Philosophy, ex officio 

Thomas A. Trezise, French and Italian

Sits with Committee

Irena G. Gross, Slavic Languages and Literatures


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 Professor Carl Schorske. Its first certificate class was in 1979.

The program has two purposes: to deepen students understanding of European civilization, and to strengthen their command of cultural interpretation. The Program in European and Cultural Studies (ECS) brings together faculty and undergraduates from a number of departments in the humanities and the social sciences in a common inquiry. Their focus is, broadly stated, the ways in which European societies, past and present, order reality, make sense of life, and communicate meaning. In recent years, the program has expanded its curriculum with courses that situate European societies and cultures in historically specific global contexts. In order to frame the wide-ranging intellectual problems in precise, productive, and engaging ways, the program offers seminars on specific topics in European history, literature, art, architecture, music, and philosophy, often pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to cultural analysis across a range of fields.

Admission to the Program

Students from many departments, including the sciences, choose to complete a certificate in European cultural studies. The program's courses involve interdisciplinary approaches to the interpretation of the products of European culture, from novels, operas, and paintings to cityscapes and land-use patterns. Students should take either the Humanistic Studies 216-219 sequence, or ECS/EPS 301 or 302. Though these courses are desirable as prerequisites, they can be taken in the junior or senior year.

Students normally apply to join the program by the fall of their junior year. Early concentrators, late-comers, and students with further questions about the certificate are urged to contact Brigid Doherty, Director, for additional information.

Program of Study

All students must complete either HUM 216-219 or ECS/EPS 301 or 302. In addition, they must also take two 300-level ECS seminars, and they are encouraged to enroll in a 400-level ECS seminar. The majority of these seminars are cross-listed with other departments in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The program has three final requirements. In their junior year, students will take part in a full-day excursion to a cultural event or exhibition in New York, and will also participate in the visit of the program s annual distinguished Faber lecturer. The ECS Junior Excursion is typically scheduled on a weekend and always includes a festive group meal. For the annual ECS Faber Lecture, juniors participate in a mealtime discussion with the speaker on a topic related to the lecture.

In their senior year, ECS students participate in the Senior Thesis Colloquium supervised by the program director. Although ECS certificate students complete their theses under the direction of their home departments, in late winter and early spring of the senior year they join the ECS director to meet one evening a week, over supper, to address common problems of research, conceptualization, organization, and writing. Each student submits a chapter to the group for feedback and discussion four days in advance of the weekly meeting. Though most ECS students address European topics in their theses, this is not a requirement of the program; for the purposes of the workshop, certificate students from the sciences or engineering may substitute a paper written for a 300-level ECS course for circulation and discussion.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill all the requirements will receive a certificate upon graduation.


Courses


ECS 301 Turning Points in European Culture (also EPS 301)   Fall HA

Seminar draws on expertise of guest faculty from Princeton and elsewhere to provide a broad, multidisciplinary perspective on turning points in European culture from the late middle ages to the present. Gateway course for ECS and Contemporary European Politics and Society. Topics in literature, art, music, philosophy, political theory, history of science. One three-hour seminar. T. Trezise

ECS 302 Landmarks of European Identity (see EPS 302)

ECS 305 Imagined Languages (see TRA 305)

ECS 319 The Modern Period (see COM 318)

ECS 320 Cultural Systems   Not offered this year

Symbolic systems and social life in specific historical eras. Topics will vary. Recent courses include, for example, magic, art, and science in Renaissance culture, political discourse and nationalism, culture and inequality, history of technology, and the rhetoric of new media. Staff

ECS 321 Cultural Systems (also SPA 333)   Spring LA

Symbolic systems and social life in specific historical eras. Topics will vary. Recent courses include, for example, magic, art, and science in Renaissance culture, political discourse and nationalism, culture and inequality, history of technology, and the rhetoric of new media. S. Haag

ECS 322 A Sense of Place in Cinema   LA

What does it mean for a film to be embedded in a local tradition, language, and landscape, while being challenged by a global culture with an increasingly homogenized taste for the films of Hollywood? With the help of Nossiter's 2004 provocative documentary, Mondovino, we will explore the possible analogy between the theory of terroir (a sense of place) in wine production and a theory of local-vernacular filmmaking by comparing classical Hollywood studio films with films of Italian Neo-Realism and works by the highly controversial Danish filmmakers Vinterberg and von Trier. E. Kiss

ECS 326 Versailles: Court and Culture from Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette (also FRE 326)   Spring LA

Three hundred and fifty years ago, the young king of France, Louis XIV, transformed the modest hunting lodge of Versailles into the site par excellence of absolute monarchy and court society. This course will study the making and meaning of the palace and its gardens, and analyze some of the manifold cultural artifacts associated with them. Readings, both literary and non-literary, will be complemented by various visual resources, ranging from original engravings to websites and films. V. Schröder

ECS 330 Communication and the Arts (also COM 321)   Not offered this year LA

The arts and the media in different cultures. Topics will vary, for example, history of the book, art/architecture and society, opera and nationalism, literature and photography, theater and politics. Staff

ECS 331 Communication and the Arts (also HIS 430/COM 350/HLS 332)   Not offered this year LA

The arts and the media in different cultures. Topics will vary, for example, history of the book, art/architecture and society, opera and nationalism, literature and photography, theater and politics. Staff

ECS 332 Special Topics in Performance History and Theory (see THR 331)

ECS 340 Literature and Photography (also COM 340)   Not offered this year LA

A survey of the history of the rapport between literature and photography, looking closely at a number of literary and theoretical texts that differently address questions central to both literature and photography: questions about the nature of representation, reproduction, memory and forgetting, history, images, perception, and knowledge. One three-hour seminar. Staff

ECS 370 Weimar Germany: Painting, Photography, Film (see GER 370)

ECS 450 Seminar. 19th-Century European Art (see ART 450)

ECS 455 Animation: Art, Architecture, History (also ART 464/ARC 455)   Fall LA

Seminar examines the origins of animation in art and architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The class will focus on issues of agency, affect, empathy, projection and other psychological reactions occasioned by inanimate objects as they are probed by major figures in art and architectural historiography, aesthetics, cultural anthropology, ethnography, sociology, psychoanalysis and film theory. Seminar will also analyze specific case studies from modernist avant-garde and architectural movements in Germany and France during the first half of the last century. S. Papapetros

ECS 458 Seminar. Modern Architecture (see ART 458)