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European Studies

Advisory Committee: Professors Barbezat, Ciepiela, Courtright, de la Carrera †, Epstein, Griffiths ‡, Katsaros, R. López, Machala, Móricz, Raskin ‡,  Rockwell ‡, Rogowski, Sarat, Schneider, Sinos, R., Staller, and Stavans; Associate Professors Boucher *, Brenneis, Engelhardt (Chair,fall), Gilpin, Nelson †, Polk *, van den Berg, and Wolfson; Assistant Professors Gordon *, Infante, Paul, and Zanker; Five College Associate Professor Long.

European Studies is a major program that provides opportunity for independent and interdisciplinary study of European culture. Through integrated work in the humanities and social sciences, the student major examines a significant portion of the European experience and seeks to define those elements that have given European culture its unity and distinctiveness.

Major Program. The core of the major consists of eight courses that will examine a significant portion of European civilization through a variety of disciplines. Two of these courses will be EUST 121 and 122 (or the equivalent; see below).  All majors must give evidence of proficiency in one European language besides English. Save in exceptional circumstances, majors will spend at least one semester of the junior year pursuing an approved course of study in Europe. By the end of their junior year, all majors shall complete a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture. Prior arrangement for supervision must be made if a student intends to do this project while abroad. For their senior year, European Studies majors will then opt into one of two possible paths: Thesis or Capstone. 

Thesis Option. Students wishing to pursue an independent project as an honors thesis will take one thesis research course in the first semester of the senior year, and another in the final semester. Students may designate the research course of the final semester as a double course (EUST 499D), in which case the total number of courses required to complete the major becomes nine.

Possible approaches for the senior thesis project include comparative literary studies, interdisciplinary work in history, sociology, philosophy, political science, economics, performance studies, visual arts, architecture or music involving one or more European countries. Students are encouraged to take a relevant methods class fitting their research approach (such as HIST-301 or SOCI-315), which, with permission from the EUST chair may count toward the major’s eight courses. 

Capstone Option. In the capstone option students, after having completed a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture, will complete their eight European Studies courses without an independent project. A month into their final semester, capstone majors will submit a five-page retrospective essay on the entirety of the course of their studies in the major, which will be followed by a conversation with the European Studies faculty members. 

Honors Program.  Students may be recommended for Program honors only if they complete a thesis.

 

*On leave 2021-22.
†On leave fall semester 2021-22.
‡On leave spring semester 2021-22.
 

112 Russian Empire in Eurasia

(Offered as HIST 112 [AS/EUCP], ASLC 112, EUST 112 and RUSS 130) In the course of five hundred years, the Russian empire in Eurasia evolved as the largest territorial polity in the world. In this course, we will explore the medieval foundations of the imperial state and look at its predecessors and models (Kievan Rus’ and the empire of the Mongols), discuss ways in which cooperation and resistance shaped the imperial state and society, and study cultural and political entanglements among different ethnic, linguistic and confessional groups in Eurasia. Chronologically, we will cover the period from the tenth century to the crisis of the empire in the early twentieth century. Thematically, we will focus on structures of imperial state and society (the imperial house, peasantry, nobility, confessions, intelligentsia, revolutionary movement) and most important regions of the Russian Empire (Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Baltics, Siberia, Central Asia). Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2018

117 Arthurian Literature

(Offered as ENGL 117 and EUST 117) [Before 1800] Knights, monsters, quests, and true love: these are the things we associate with King Arthur and tales of his court. Why has Arthurian literature proved so enchanting to centuries of poets, novelists, and recently, filmmakers? In this introductory English course, we will read and watch Arthurian legends from Chaucer to Monty Python, examining the ways in which they have been represented in different eras. Beginning with the historical foundations of the King Arthur legend, we will examine how it blossomed and took form in later eras. Our focus will be on close literary and visual analysis of British, American, and French (in translation) versions of these legends. We will also discuss what cultural forces lie behind the popularity of Arthurian legend in certain eras: later medieval England and France; the Victorian era; and twentieth-century England and America. There will be frequent writing assignments and presentations, as well as a final creative project.

Open to first-year students and sophomores. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2020

121 Readings in the European Tradition I

Topics in the past have included readings and discussion of a series of related texts from Homer and Genesis to Dante: Homer’s Iliad, selected Greek tragedies, Virgil’s Aeneid, selections from the Bible and from medieval texts. Three class hours per week. Required of European Studies majors.

Open to European Studies majors and to any student interested in the intellectual and literary development of the West, from antiquity through the Middle Ages. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

122 Readings in the European Tradition II

(Offered as EUST 122 and HIST 122[EU]) This course offers a critical examination of the concept of European civilization from the seventeenth century through the present day. What did it mean to be “European” in the modern era? To what extent was “European” civilization forged by Europe’s connections to the wider world, and by ideas, art, literature, and politics that originated outside the geographical boundaries of Europe? How was the idea of a coherent European culture and character used as a tool of conquest within the European empires? And how did various people—in Europe, in the empires, and beyond—forge new social, cultural, and political solidarities through their critiques of the idea of European civilization? Does the concept of European civilization remain valuable in our modern, globalized era? This course will combine a study of canonical works of European art, literature, and politics with less well-known texts and works of art created by “non-European” people. Required of European Studies majors.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2122. Professor A. Gordon. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

125 The Italian Renaissance: Politics, Culture, and Society

(Offered as HIST 125 [EU/TC/P], EUST 125)

Given the misrepresentations of Renaissance Florentine politics in popular media (Netflix series Medici) and the attacks on Renaissance European culture from theorists of decolonization (Walter Mignolo), one might ask: what is the relevance of the Renaissance today? In this course, we will discuss the extent to which the Florentine and Venetian republics’ struggles for survival in the midst of wars and despotic/oligarchic/feudal usurpations might, again, be of interest to us. We will critically examine Renaissance cultural productions (humanist history writing, portraiture, perspective, mapping, erotic art) while also appreciating the politics of beauty in architecture, urban planning, and figurative art. Other topics include: the African presence; the gendered politics of charity; patriarchal families; women writers; domestic slavery; Jewish communities; interactions with Islamic culture; the conquest of America. 

Spring semester. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023

127 Early Modern Europe in a Global Context (1500–1800)

(Offered as HIST 127 [EU/TC/TE/TR/P] and EUST 127) This course introduces students to the history of Europe in the age of imperialism and colonization. It analyzes the emergence of "modernity" as a result of conquest and colonization, the globalization of commerce, the Atlantic slave trade, and the genocide of indigenous peoples. We will investigate instances of resistance to European imperialism and carefully examine the society that produced global capitalism. Among the topics we will address are the Italian Renaissance and the invention of perspective; the German Reformation and the emergence of interiority; gender, family, and the rise of domesticity; early modern science; new forms of visuality as methods of knowledge production; the emergence of racism; the French and Haitian Revolutions; religious syncretism; instances of hybridity and resistance in the imperial "contact zone." This course is essential for an understanding of the many contradictions and contestations we still live with. We will analyze primary sources, academic literature, and visual materials. There will be a mix of short lectures, discussions, group work, and in-class assignments.

Not offered 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

131 History and Theory of Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 131, ARCH 131 and EUST 131.) Throughout history, buildings have directed human activity, shaping social interactions, symbolizing political power, and influencing multiple kinds of artistic expression. This course is a selected introduction to the history and theory of architecture, from the earliest forms of human habitation to medieval and Renaissance buildings, Enlightenment utopian visions, modern industrial structures and skyscrapers, and contemporary sustainable practices.  Interwoven with a sampling of theoretical texts and architectural treatises, the course covers selected moments in the history and theory of Western architecture, from Vitruvius to Alberti and Corbusier to Koolhaas, from primordial shelters to computer generated designs.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Koehler.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

135 Renaissance to Revolution: Early Modern European Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 135, ARCH 135, and EUST 135) This course, a gateway class for the study of art history, introduces the ways that artists and architects imaginatively invented visual language to interpret the world for contemporary patrons, viewers, and citizens in early modern Europe. Painters, printmakers, sculptors and architects in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands created new ways of seeing empirical phenomena and interpreting them, by means of both ancient and new principles of art, science and philosophy and through powerful engagement with the senses. They produced godlike illusions of nature, from grand frescoes bursting from the walls of papal residences to spectacular gardens covering noble estates in Baroque France and colonializing England. They fundamentally altered the design of major cities such as Rome and Paris so that the visitor encountered an entirely new urban experience than ever before. Along the way, they learned from one another’s example, but, prizing innovation, sought fiercely to surpass previous generations, and argued at length about values in art. They contributed to fashioning an ideal picture of empire and society and conjured the dazzling wealth and power of those who paid them. But as time passed, some came to ironize the social order mightily, and some elevated beggars, farmers, servants, so-called fools, and bourgeois women leading seemingly mundane domestic lives as much as others praised the prosperous few. Finally, artists actively participated in the overthrow of the monarchy during the French Revolution and yet also passionately critiqued the violence of war it engendered. Throughout, the course will investigate how concepts of progress, civilization, the state, religion, race, gender, and the individual came to be defined through art.

The goals of the course are:
above all, to achieve the skill of close looking to gain visual understanding;
• also, to identify artistic innovations that characterize European art and architecture from the Italian Renaissance to the French Revolution;
• to understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
• to situate the works of art historically, by examining the intellectual, political, religious, and social currents that contributed to their creation;
• to read texts about the period critically and analytically.
No previous experience with art or art history is necessary. 

Fall semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

145 The Modern World

(Offered as ARHA 145, EUST 145, and SWAG 145)  This course will explore the self-conscious invention of modernism in painting, sculpture and architecture, from the visual clarion calls of the French Revolution to the performance art and earthworks of "art now." As we move from Goya, David, Monet and Picasso to Kahlo, Kiefer and beyond, we will be attentive to changing responses toward a historical past or societal present, the stance toward popular and alien cultures, the radical redefinition of all artistic media, changing representations of nature and gender, as well as the larger problem of mythologies and meaning in the modern period. Study of original objects and a range of primary texts (artists’ letters, diaries, manifestos, contemporary criticism) will be enhanced with readings from recent historical and theoretical secondary sources.

Limited to 50 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Staller.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2011, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

202 World War II in European Literature and Film

This course is designed to introduce students to the impact that World War II (1939–1945) had and continues to have on the society and culture of several European nations. As the last of the generation that lived during the war passes on, their grandchildren persist in raising questions about the reasons and effects of this political cataclysm. During the war, and afterwards with more or less intensity, writers and filmmakers made and have made attempts to analyze and represent the memories, the guilt, and the false histories that the war left behind in every involved nation.

The course will examine the ethics of historical memory, the sincerity of representation, the clever use of history for political purposes. It will also probe and analyze persistent myths of the war as well as discover stories and facts that have been ignored or forgotten. Finally, the course will look at alternative scenarios, that is, “what if” narratives.

Readings might include works by Erich Remarque, Albert Camus, Irène Némirovsky, W. G. Sebald, Primo Levi, and Tony Judt. Films might include selections from Rossellini’s Roma città aperta, Holland’s Europa, Europa, Reed’s The Third Man, and Malle’s Au revoir les enfants.

The class will study how nations too have attempted to make sense of this hecatomb, seeking explanation, expiation, and often excuses. We will also study how the Second World War’s legacy still affects contemporary European culture and politics.

Students will be expected to participate in discussion, give oral reports, and write a research paper.

January term. Professor Rosbottom. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

221 Voices from a Bygone Time

(Offered as MUSI 221 and EUST 221) Monks living in monastic seclusion, troubadours serving their ladies and fighting wars, mad princes writing complicated polyphonic music, male castrato singers celebrated as the pop-stars of opera houses are just a few of the fascinating characters who participated in music making from the Middle Ages until the middle of the eighteenth century in Europe. The music they produced is frequently called "early music," a falsely unifying label that hides the kaleidoscopic nature of this fantastic repertory, ranging from monophonic chant to opera. In this course we will study how the invention of musical notation affected the development of music, turning an oral tradition of chant into a written tradition of complex polyphonic textures unimaginable without the help of notation. Reading historical documents and listening to selected pieces of music, we'll visit the soundscape of this bygone time that still influences our thinking about music. Assignments include listening, reading, and short papers. Knowledge of musical notation at least at the rudimentary level is recommended.

Requisite: MUSI 112 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Móricz. The course will be offered Hyflex with as much individual/in-person contact as practical.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

222 Music and Culture II

(Offered as MUSI 222 and EUST 222) One of three courses in which the development of Western music is studied in its cultural-historical context. Occasionally we will attend concerts in Amherst and elsewhere. Composers to be studied include Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Mussorgsky, and Brahms. Regular listening assignments will broaden the repertoire we encounter and include a wide sampling of Classical and Romantic music. Periodic writing assignments will provide opportunities to connect the music with historical-cultural interpretation. Readings will focus on Gibbs/Taruskin Oxford History of Western Music with additional historical documents and selected critical and analytical studies. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (MUSI 221 and 223). Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: MUSI 111, 112, or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2023

223 The Musical Symptoms of Modernism

(Offered as MUSI 223 and EUST 223) Two World Wars, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the dropping of the atomic bomb were cataclysmic events that made the twentieth century one of the most traumatizing time periods in human history. And yet music did not fall silent. Composers continued writing music, giving aural expression to symptoms characteristic of the condition of modernism. How did Richard Strauss's opera Salome about a necrophiliac princess lusting for a severed head become one of the most successful operas in Europe? Why did Stalin alternately persecute and reward the Soviet Union's most talented composer, Dmitri Shostakovich? Why did composers insist on writing unlistenable, incomprehensibly complex music after World War II? Listening to a wide variety of music from Mahler to Kaija Saariaho, reading historical documents and other relevant essays, we'll explore symptoms of modernism and how composers and their music interacted with their culture milieu and historical context. Assignments will include regular listening, periodic short papers, and a culminating project.

This course will be taught in person. 

Requisite: MUSI 111 or 112, or consent of the instructor. January semester. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Offered in January 2022, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, January 2022

226 Women and War in European History, 1558–1918

(Offered as HIST 226 [EU/TC/P], ARHA 226, EUST 226, and SWAG 225) Although overlooked in military histories until recently, women have long been actively involved in warfare: as combatants, as victims, as workers, and as symbols. This course examines both the changing role of women, and the shifting constructions of “womanhood,” in four major European conflicts: the wars of Elizabeth I in sixteenth-century England, the wars and peace of Marie de Médicis in seventeenth-century France, the French Revolution, and the First World War. Using methodologies drawn from Art History and History, the course seeks to understand the gendered nature of warfare. Why are images of women and the family central to the iconography of war, and how have representations of womanhood shifted according to the aims of particular conflicts? To what extent do women’s experiences of warfare differ from men’s, and can war be considered a source of women’s liberation or oppression? Students will analyze a range of historical images in conjunction with primary source texts from these conflicts and will also develop an original research project related to the course’s themes. Two class meetings per week.

Recommended requisite: A course in Art History or History. Limited to 25 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019

230 The French Revolution

(Offered as HIST 230 [EUPTC] and EUST 230) Often viewed as one of the defining events in modern history, the French Revolution has been debated and discussed, derided and celebrated by generations of politicians, cultural commentators, and historians. This course enters into this on-going conversation by examining the nature of the revolutionary process as it unfolded in late eighteenth-century France and its empire. Beginning in the “old regime” of kings and commoners, it untangles the social, political, and intellectual roots of the Revolution and investigates the extent to which these factors contributed to the radical overthrow of the French establishment in 1789. It then follows the extension of the Revolution throughout French society and across the seas to the Caribbean, analyzing how popular and colonial upheavals influenced the revolutionary new order of “liberty, equality, and brotherhood” that was taking shape in France. Finally, the course explores the aftermath of the Revolution by tracing the various ways that its history has been interpreted and reinterpreted from the nineteenth century to the present day. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018

231 Race and Empire: The British Experience from 1760

(Offered as HIST 231 [EU/TE/TR/TS] and EUST 231) From the mid-eighteenth century through the 1960s, Britain presided over the most powerful empire in the world. At its height, this small island nation ruled one-quarter of the earth’s surface and more than 450 million of its inhabitants. Not only did British imperialism play a decisive role in shaping world politics, economics, and cultures in its day, it also left a number of profound legacies that continue to affect our lives in the present. This course traces the rise, fall, and lasting influence of the British empire, and pays particular attention to questions of race and ethnicity. Through a series of colonial encounters--such as the first contacts made between explorers and Pacific Islanders in the  eighteenth century, the interactions between missionaries and Africans in the nineteenth century, or the migration of South Asians to Britain in the twentieth century--it examines what “race” meant in different historical contexts. The course thus explores the institutionalization of racism in government, law, and society, and analyzes moments in which racism has been combated and overturned. Readings and course materials will be drawn from secondary and primary sources, including newspapers, novels, photographs, artwork, oral histories, and films.

Not offered in 2021-22. Enrollment limited to 30 students. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2016, Spring 2021

232 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 315, EUST 232, and FAMS 328) From Pedro Almodóvar to Penélope Cruz, Spanish directors and actors are now international stars. But the origins of Spain’s cinema are rooted in censorship and patriarchy. This course offers an overview of Spanish film from 1950 to the present along with an introduction to film studies. Through weekly streaming films and discussions, students will follow how Spain’s culture, history and society have been imagined onscreen, as well as how Spanish filmmakers interact with the rest of Europe and Latin America. We will pay particular attention to issues surrounding gender and sexuality as well as contemporary social justice movements. No prior experience with film analysis is needed. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

233 Love

This panoramic, interdisciplinary course will explore the concept of love as it changes epoch to epoch and culture to culture. Poetry, novels, paintings, sculptures, movies, TV, and music will be featured. Starting with the Song of Songs, it will include discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Catullus, and other Greek classics, move on to Dante and Petrarch, contemplate Chinese, Arabic, African, and Mesoamerican literatures, devote a central unit to Shakespeare, continue with the Metaphysical poets, and move on to American literature. Special attention will be paid to the difference between love, eroticism, and pornography. Multilingual students will be encouraged to delve into various linguistic traditions, in tongues like French, Russian, German, Yiddish, and Spanish. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2014, Spring 2017

235 Impostors

An interdisciplinary exploration of the causes behind the social, racial, artistic, and political act—and art—of posing, passing, or pretending to be someone else. Blacks passing for whites, Jews passing for gentiles, and women passing for men, and vice versa, will be the central motif, with attention given to biological and scientific patterns such as memory loss, mental illness, and plastic surgery, and to literary strategies like irony. As a supernatural occurrence, discussion will  include mystical experiences, ghost stories, and séance sessions. The course will also cover instances pertaining to institutional religion, from prophesy from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles to the Koran and Mormonism. In technology and communications, analysis concentrates on the invention of the telegraph, the telephone, and the Internet. The class will also analyze entertainment, ventriloquism, puppet shows, voice-overs, children’s cartoon shows, subtitles, and dubbing in movies and TV and examine posers in Greek mythology, the Arabian Nights, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip Roth, Oliver Sacks, and Nella Larsen. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018, Fall 2021

236 The Bible as Literature

A close reading of significant portions of the Five Books of Moses, done from the perspective of literature: how are the human and divine characters built, what interior life do they display and what philosophical view do they convey? Attention will be given to the nineteenth-century theories that approach the Bible as a composite book delivering a nationalistic story. Students will also reflect on the impact of the Bible in Western literature, from Dante’s Divine Comedy to R. Crumb’s cartoon retelling of Genesis. Taught in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2019

237 God

This course rotates around the shifting notion of the divine in Western Civilization, focusing on theology, philosophy, literature, and music. Students explore the development of the three major prophetic religions as well as some of the mystical movements they fostered. Discussions rotate around the King James Bible, Augustine’s Confessions, the Koran, Maimonides’ The Guide for the Perplexed, the Zohar, the Popol Vuh, the Ramayana, and Spinoza’s work as a cornerstone to the Enlightenment. We will contemplate secularism in modern culture and analyze the contemporary atheist movement of Dawkins and Hitchens . Music explorations range from Johann Sebastian Bach to John Cage; in science, from Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking; and in film, from Ingmar Bergman to Woody Allen. Readings include parts of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, Kafka’s The Castle, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Borges’ “The Secret Miracle” and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Spring 2021

238 Soviet Union During the Cold War

(Offered as HIST 236 [EU], EUST 238, and RUSS 237) The Cold War indelibly shaped the second half of the twentieth century. Spies seemed ubiquitous; nuclear annihilation imminent. Films such as Red October and the James Bond series forged a Western image of the Soviet Union. But how were these decades experienced behind the Iron Curtain? This course explores Soviet history between the end of World War II and the collapse of the USSR. We will study the roots of the Cold War; the politics of de-Stalinization in the USSR; the unfolding of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe; and Soviet relations with the West, China, and the developing world. We will also explore the internal dynamics of Soviet society: the rise of the Soviet middle class, consumerism, tourism, the entertainment industry, demographic trends, education, and public health. Two class meetings per week. 

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2023

240 The Last Russian Revolution: State and Society from the Late Soviet Period to the Present

(Offered as HIST 240 [EU], EUST 240, and RUSS 240) This course explores the tumultuous and unprecedented transition from the late Soviet Communism to contemporary Russian Federation. We will discuss the state of the Soviet Union on the eve of dissolution and politics of nationalism; emergence of the post-Soviet states and divergence in their historical development; transition to capitalism and privatization; challenges of federalism and regionalism in post-Soviet Russia; relations between the Russian Federation and “Near Abroad,” NATO and China, and the social and cultural developments from the late Soviet period to the early twenty-first century. The class will also explore the historical evolution of the phenomenon of Putinism as rooted in long-term transformation of the former Soviet space. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2022

241 The Age of Michelangelo: Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 241, ARCH 241, and EUST 241)  Michelangelo, a defining genius of the Italian Renaissance, emerged from a rich cultural environment that forever changed how we think of art. Artists of the Renaissance developed an original visual language from the legacy of the ancient world, while also examining nature, their environment, and encounters with other worlds to the East and West. Their art revealed a profound engagement with philosophical attitudes toward the body and the spirit, as well as with ideals of pious devotion and civic virtue. Those concepts changed radically over the period of the Renaissance, however. Artists developed the rhetoric of genius and artistic struggle by vaunting an artist’s godlike role, owing to his imaginative creation of art and his ability to mimic reality illusionistically, yet they also questioned a human’s place in the cosmos. We will analyze in depth the visual language of painting, sculpture, and architecture created for merchants, monks, princes and popes in the urban centers of Florence, Rome and Venice from the 14th through the 16th centuries, and examine the virtuosic processes artists used to achieve their goals. 

Rather than taking the form of a survey, this course, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will analyze selected works and contemporary attitudes toward the visual through study of the art and its primary sources.

 Learning goals:

  • Gain confidence in the art of close looking to gain visual understanding;
  • Achieve an understanding about how art and its culture are intertwined;
  • Develop the critical skills to analyze points of view from a historical period other than our own;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Develop and argue an original thesis about a single work of art in a research paper.

Meets twice a week, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

One course in ARHA, FAMS, or ARCH recommended.

Uncapped.

 Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2023

245 Stalin and Stalinism

(Offered as HIST 235 [EU/TC/TE/TR/TS], EUST 245 and RUS 235) Joseph Stalin, the infamous Soviet dictator, created a particular type of society in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Stalinism became a phenomenon that influenced the development of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The course will begin with the exploration of Stalin’s own life and then focus on what historical forces enabled the emergence of Stalinism. It will cover the period on the eve of and during the Russian Revolution, Stalinist transformation of the USSR in the 1930s, WWII, and the onset of the Cold War. Among issues to be explored are the extent of popular support for Stalinist-type regimes, the mechanisms of large-scale political terror, the longevity of Stalinist regimes, and historical memory about Stalinism. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

255 Imposture: Con-men, Swindlers, and Other Pretenders

(Offered by RUSS 255 and EUST 255) This course investigates various figures of imposture. Beginning with Nikolai Gogol’s classic figure of Chichikov from Dead Souls and his genre-bending reversal of the theme in The Inspector General, the course will examine how authors have used confidence games and imposture to reveal particular ploys and gambits in literature. The course will also consider the ways that con-men, swindlers, and pretenders reflect and manipulate the cultural, political, and social dilemmas of their respective periods. While we will focus particularly on the case of Russia—and the distinct place the arts of confidence have had there – we will also consider forms of imposture beyond just a hustle for money and beyond the case of Russia. We will examine imposture in terms of race (as in Nella Larsen's Passing), in the realm of politics (as in Alexander Pushkin's “Boris Godunov”), in relation to the Holocaust (as in Stefan Maechler’s definitive report on the memoirist Benjamin Wilkomirskij), and in such expansive novelistic treatments of this theme by Herman Melville and Thomas Mann. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Professor Kunichika. Omitted 2021-22

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

258 Art, Things, Spaces, and Places

(Offered as ARHA 258, ARCH 258 and EUST 258) The purpose of this course is to introduce students to research on lived environments from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, the architecture that shaped them, and the art and objects that they contained. The goal of each class, through reading and discussion, is to investigate what a researchable question is in the fields of history, art history, architecture, and material culture in Europe, England, and the Americas. Using multi-disciplinary research strategies, we will examine the power of precious and ordinary objects (including furniture, tapestries, devotional paintings, family portraits, and sculpture), the contemporary connotations of their materiality, and consider what objects in a home might signify about a family’s status, political allegiance, spirituality, and place in the world. Further, we will ask how art, objects and décor shape the beholder’s experience of spaces inside and outside a residence, in private and in public. What does the display of objects in collections, including those from far-away cultures other than the patron’s, signify to the owner and the viewer? Visiting lecturers will present their ideas on various topics such as the anthropology of art, the significance of precious materials, and collecting. We will take field trips to museums and meet curators in order to identify a research topic.

This course will give students tools to conduct their own research into past lived environments and their contents, and identify how we in the 21st century might come to understand them. As the culmination of the course students will collaboratively develop a prospectus for a research project with one or two other classmates. Assignments to meet that goal include adding new content to Wikipedia as a record of students’ findings and a contribution to knowledge for a wider public.

Open to sophomores but also motivated first-years interested in research in a variety of fields. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

259 Shakespeare in Prison

Taught at the Hampshire County Jail, the course is devoted to close readings and staging of parts of Shakespeare’s plays while exploring in depth his historical context, dramatic and stylistic style, and world view. The topics of bondage, revenge, injustice, and forgiveness will serve as leitmotifs. In Spring 2018, four plays were the focus: As You Like It, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Conducted in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

269 Baroque Art

(Offered as ARHA 269, ARCH 269, EUST 269) At the beginning of the seventeenth century, religious and social upheavals in Europe led to a renewed proliferation of exciting, innovative art. In this century of remarkably varied artistic production, paradoxes abounded. Artists sought the illusion of reality by imitating unimproved, even base or monstrous nature through close observation of the human body, landscape, and ordinary, humble objects of daily use. They imbued art meant to inspire religious devotion with unbounded eroticism or with the gory details of painful suffering and hideous death. Artists and architects made the visionary appear real and sensual. They adored the past but re-cast it in modern terms. Others continued to quest for perfection in a return to the lofty principles implicit in ancient artistic canons of ideality. More than ever before, artists explored the expression of passion through dramatic narratives and sharply revealing portraiture. They depicted dominating political leaders as flawed mortals—even satirized them through the new art of caricature—at the same time that they developed a potent and persuasive vocabulary in art, architecture, and gardens for the expression of the rulers’ absolutist political power.

This class will examine issues in Baroque art in depth through selected works of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced by artists in the Catholic countries of the seventeenth century, e.g. Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, and Rubens in Italy, France, Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, and parts of the Americas. It also engages the cultural, social, and intellectual framework for their accomplishments. 

Intermediate level, one other course in art history preferred but not required. Uncapped.

Spring Semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2016

284 Women and Art in Early Modern Europe

(Offered as ARHA 284, EUST 284, and SWAG 206)  This introductory discussion-based course will examine how prevailing ideas about women and gender shaped visual imagery in Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, and how these images, in turn, presented surprisingly varied pictures of women and their domains. Artists vividly expressed the paradoxical power that women possessed even more than language could. Both admired and feared in their societies, aristocrats, queens, mistresses, saints, witches, heroines, and housewives were all depicted in art in elevated and debased manners, sometimes as eroticized subjects and at other times as powerful, idealized actors—occasionally both at the same time. We will analyze the art and material goods that women paid for and what it communicated about them; women’s homes and the objects they held; the portrayal of women from merchant societies in Italian city-states to aristocratic women in India, of female saints, heroes and rulers, including Elizabeth I of England and Maria de' Medici of France; and the troubling imagery of rape. These different types of art raise questions about biological theories about women; feminine ideals of beauty; what marriage meant in different societies; the relationship between the exercise of political power and gender; women’s expression of transcendent spirituality; and what the portrayal of indigenous and enslaved women in Dutch and Spanish colonies conveyed about race.

 GOALS FOR LEARNING

  • Understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
  • Gain an understanding of how historical attitudes about women and by women affect art made about and by women;
  • Develop an analytical ability to examine points of view expressed in texts and art of a historical period other than our own and to distinguish them from another;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Learn how to perform 2 kinds of research:

1) find materials to contribute publicly useful scholarship, by creating or revising Wikipedia entries, which greatly lack material on women;

2) Develop and argue an original thesis in a 10-page research paper.

 No prerequisites. Uncapped.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2021

294 Black Europe

(Offered as BLST 294 [D], SWAG 294 and EUST 294) This research-based seminar considers the enduring presence of people of African descent in Europe from the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment, a fact that both confounds and extends canonical theories of African diaspora and black internationalism.  Focusing particularly on the histories of black people in Britain, Germany, and France, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach in its study of the African diaspora in Europe. We will examine literature, history, film, art and ephemera, as well as newly available pre-1927 audio recordings from Bear Family Records (http://www.black-europe.com/) in effort to better comprehend the materiality of the black European experience. These inquiries will enable us to comment upon the influence black people continue to have upon Europe today. Reading the central texts in the emerging field of Black European Studies—including African American expatriate memoirs, Afro-German feminist poetry, and black British cultural theory—student work will culminate in an annotated bibliography and a multimedia research project.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Polk.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

303 Literature as Translation

(Offered as EUST 303, ENGL 320 and RUSS 310) Acts of translation underwrite many kinds of cultural production, often invisibly. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, for instance, engaged with black internationalism through bilingualism and translation, as Brent Edwards has reminded us. In this course we will study literary translation as a creative practice involved in the making of subjects and cultures. We will read key statements about translation by theorists and translators, such as Walter Benjamin, Roman Jakobson, Lawrence Venuti, Peter Cole and Gayatri Spivak. We also will directly engage in translation work: each student will regularly present translations in a workshop format to produce a portfolio as a final project. The class will be “polyglot,” meaning that students are welcome to translate from any language of which they have knowledge; when they share translations, they will be asked also to provide interlinear, or “literal,” translations for those who may not understand the language they are working in.

Requisite: Two years of college-level study of the chosen language. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professors Bosman and Ciepiela. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021

310 History of Fascism

(Offered as HIST 310[EU/TE/TR] and EUST 310) Fascism emerged as a political ideology that was simultaneously revolutionary and reactionary, promising national rebirth in opposition to both liberalism and Marxist socialism. But after the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II, fascism seemingly ceased to be a factor in global politics. How do we assess fascism a century after the establishment of the first fascist regime in Italy? This course will explore the social, cultural, and intellectual origins of fascism, the rise of fascist movements in Europe in the early to mid-twentieth century, the politics and policies of fascist parties and regimes—including in Germany, Italy, Iberia, the Balkans, and the Baltic States—and transnational fascist links between Europe and the Americas, Asia, and Africa. This course will conclude with a consideration of anti-fascism and the "fascism question" in contemporary politics. Readings and course materials will be drawn from a variety of secondary and primary sources. Two meetings per week. 

Spring semester. Professor Merritt.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

315 What is Language? Russian and Soviet Views in Comparative Context

(Offered as RUSS 315 and EUST 315) “We die. That may be the meaning of life,” writes Toni Morrison. “But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” Russian thinkers, writers, philosophers, and politicians have likewise sought to take measure of their lives and of culture by thinking about the nature of language, and its role in culture, society, and politics. In examining how Russian writers and thinkers have sought to answer the question what is language? — how they did and do language—we will consider a range of sources from intellectual history, linguistics, literary and critical theory, mythology, theology, and philosophy. We will examine the distinctive contributions of Russian thinking about language, while also seeking to situate Russian views on this question within a comparative context. To that end, we will also read intellectual sources that proved seminal for articulating an answer to this question (Vico, Herder, Rousseau, Saussure, and Benveniste, among others). As we consider this broad question, and how it has animated Russian thought and culture, we will also focus upon a range of other questions: What are the origins of language? How does language evolve? What is the relationship of language to national culture? What is the relationship of language to politics? Throughout the course, we will see how views on the nature of language served as an arena in which vying conceptions of culture, politics, and the human have all been contested. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Omit 2021-22. Professor Kunichika.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Fall 2022

317 Women in Early Modern Spain

(Offered as SPAN 405, EUST 317, and SWAG 317) This course will examine the diverse and often contradictory representations of women in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain as seen through the eyes of both male and female writers. This approach will allow us to inquire into how women represented themselves versus how they were understood by men. In our analysis of this topic, we will also take into consideration some scientific, legal, and moral discourses that attempted to define the nature and value of women in early modern Spain. Works by authors such as Cervantes, María de Zayas, Calderón de la Barca, and Catalina de Erauso, among others, will offer us fascinating examples and different approaches to the subject. Conducted in Spanish.

For Spring 2021, this course will be taught “hyflex,” with instruction conducted synchronously via Zoom as well as in-person meetings for students on campus. All course materials will be available digitally and will be provided by the instructor.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

320 Seminar on Opera and Musical Theatre

(Offered as MUSI 420, EUST 320 and THDA 320) This course examines the two genres of lyric theater (opera and musical) with special attention to composers’ musical characterizations of the women and men who populate them. The first part of the class will focus on case studies of works by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini,  Rogers & Hammerstein, and Sondheim. Analyzing these works will help us develop an understanding of how composers work with conventions of vocal type and musical gesture to define character. The second part of the class will be devoted to developing independent research projects. Health conditions permitting, some of the works studied will be chosen in coordination with performances we can attend in New York or Boston.

Spring semester. Professor Schneider.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

327 Fascism, War, and Freedom: Spain and Japan On Screen

(Offered as ASLC 327, EUST 327, and FAMS 327) The relationships among media, the state, and civil society are complex.  This course aims to address these relationships by examining cinema—the art form of the twentieth century—in Japan and Spain during different but overlapping eras of tumult: the 1930s to the 1980s. Putting these two national cinemas in a comparative framework will allow us to address issues such as: the interest in film by authoritarian regimes; the way cinema is harnessed to wartime goals by the state; the nature of censorship and self-censorship in war and peace; the potential of image, sound, and narrative to give expression to propaganda and democratic ideals; the cathartic release following the end of an authoritarian regime or occupation. The course, taught in English, does not assume prior knowledge of either country, nor of film studies. All films have English subtitles.

Spring semester. Professors Brenneis and Van Compernolle.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

328 Trial and Error: An Interdisciplinary Experiment with Montaigne's Essais

(Offered as FREN 328 and EUST 328) "If my mind could gain a firm footing, I would not make essays, I would make decisions; but it is always in apprenticeship and on trial" (III, 2 "Of Repentance"). A Renaissance jurist and thinker, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) is widely recognized as one of the key figures in the history of self-writing and of the essay as genre. This course, however, situates Montaigne beyond these two frames. In the spirit of Montaigne himself, it proposes to attempt, to sample, to taste—in sum, to essay—the Essais (1580-1595). From confessions of impotence to love affairs with books; from rebuttals of human reason to reflections on solitude and age; from networks of exchange to disease and contagion, the uncategorizable content of the Essais, combined with a dynamic form replete with detours and deviations, is an invitation to err among and try a variety of subjects. Similarly, our objective is not to gain expertise, but to experiment and to experience. Our trials will combine a close reading of a selection of Montaigne’s Essais alongside critical, historical, or theoretical texts from a diverse range of methodologies and fields, such as medicine, sound studies, cultural gerontology and more. In addition to engaging with the writings of Montaigne, this course therefore serves as a more general opportunity to consider the place of literature among and within other disciplines. Conducted in English.

Spring semester. Professor Nader-Esfahani.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

330 Race and Otherness in the Middle Ages

(Offered as ENGL 330 and EUST 330) [Before 1800] By many accounts, a concept of “race” does not emerge in the West until the colonizing of the New World in the Renaissance. Yet medieval people had many ways of identifying, exoticizing, excluding, and discriminating against “others.” This was often framed in terms of religion (Christianity vs. Islam), but it also manifests in terms of physiognomic description and ideas of monstrosity in romance and quest narratives. In this course, we will explore how the “othering” of certain medieval peoples creates a racialized language and discourse at once specific to the Middle Ages and relevant to our current understanding of race. We will read from medieval travel narratives (The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Prester John, The Medieval Romance of Alexander) as well as literature by Chaucer and others, alongside critical race theory and historical scholarship to give context to our discussions. We will also explore how the Middle Ages have been racialized in contemporary political and popular discourse.

Format: If at least 5 in-person students register for this course, it will run in person, with hybrid options for remote students. Course meetings will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

340 Violence, Art and Memory of the Spanish Civil War

(Offered as SPAN 420 and EUST 340.) The Spanish Civil War lasted only three years, from 1936 to 1939, yet the conflict cast a long shadow over Spain’s twentieth-century history, culture and identity. Indeed, as a precursor to World War II, the war's effects were felt worldwide, and it became the inspiration for works of art and literature as varied as Pablo Picasso's Guernica, Pablo Neruda's España en el corazón, Guillermo del Toro's El laberinto del fauno and Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. This course will delve into the discord and violence of the war as well as to the anguish and catharsis of the literature, poetry and film it inspired. Through primary sources and historical accounts, we will understand the war’s causes. By studying texts and films that track the reverberations of the Spanish Civil War in the United States, Latin America and Continental Europe, we will trace the war’s effects. In addition, we will grapple with the diverse ways that lingering memories of the war have affected modern-day politics and culture, with particular attention to legacies of race, class and gender. This course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course has been designed with a strong digital component. For S21, instruction will likely be remote and synchronous via Zoom. If circumstances permit, there may be opportunities for in person group work and meetings with the professor for those students on campus. All course and research materials will be available digitally.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

360 Performance

(Offered as GERM 360, ARCH 360, EUST 360 and FAMS 316) What is performance? What constitutes an event? How can we address a phenomenon that has disappeared the moment we apprehend it? How does memory operate in our critical perception of an event? How does a body make meaning? These are a few of the questions we will explore in this course, as we discuss critical, theoretical, and compositional approaches in a broad range of multidisciplinary performance phenomena emerging from European—primarily German—culture in the twentieth century. We will focus on issues of performativity, composition, conceptualization, dramaturgy, identity construction, representation, space, gender, and dynamism. Readings of performance theory, performance studies, gender studies, and critical/cultural studies, as well as literary, philosophical, and architectural texts, will accompany close examination of performance material. Students will develop performative projects in various media (video, performance, text, online) and deliver a number of critical oral and written presentations on various aspects of the course material and their own projects. Performance material will be experienced live when possible, and in text, video, audio, digital media and online form, drawn from selected works of Dada and Surrealism, Bauhaus, German Expressionism, the Theater of the Absurd, Tanztheater, and Contemporary Theater, Performance, Dance, Opera, New Media, and Performance Art. A number of films, including Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Oskar Schlemmer’s Das Triadische Ballett, Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique, and Kurt Jooss’ Der Grüne Tisch, will also be screened. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 16 students.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2020, Spring 2023

363 Traumatic Events

(Offered as GERM 363, ARCH 363, EUST 363, and FAMS 370) How is memory constructed and represented? How is it possible to bear witness, and what exactly is involved? Who is authorized to testify, to whom, when? Whose story is it? Is it possible to tell "the story" of a traumatic event? What are the disorders of testimony, and how and where do they emerge? This course will observe the workings of trauma (the enactment and working-through of collective and individual symptoms of trauma), memory, and witnessing in various modes of everyday life. We will examine notions of catastrophe, disaster, accident, and violence, and explore the possibilities and impossibilities of bearing witness in many forms of cultural production: in fiction, poetry, architecture, critical theory, oral and written testimonies, visual art, monuments, memorials, philosophy, science, cartoons, film, video, theater, social media, and performance, online and in our public and domestic spaces. We will study various representations of trauma, paying particular attention to events in Germany and Europe from the twentieth century, as well as to 9/11, the Covid-19 pandemic and inter/national events of 2020. Material to be examined will be drawn from the work of Pina Bausch, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Cathy Caruth, Paul Celan, Marguerite Duras, Peter Eisenman, Shoshana Felman, Florian Freund, Jochen Gerz, Geoffrey Hartman, Rebecca Horn, Marion Kant, Anselm Kiefer, Ruth Klüger, Dominick LaCapra, Claude Lanzmann, Dori Laub, Daniel Libeskind, W.G. Sebald, Art Spiegelman, Paul Virilio, Peter Weiss, Wim Wenders, Elie Wiesel, Christa Wolf, and others. Conducted in English with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2018

365 Making Memorials

(Offered as GERM 365, ARCH 365, and EUST 365) This is a course about what happens to difficult memories: memories that are intensely personal, but made public, memories that belong to communities, but which become ideologically possessed by history, politics, or the media. How are memories processed into memorials? What constitutes a memorial? What gets included or excluded? How is memory performed in cultural objects, spaces, and institutions? What is the relationship between the politics of representation and memory? Who owns memory? Who is authorized to convey it? How does memory function? This course will explore the spaces in which memories are “preserved” and experienced. Our attention will focus on the transformation of private and public memories in works of architecture, performance, literature, and the visual arts, primarily in Germany, Europe, and the United States in the twentieth century, including also 9/11, the COVID-19 pandemic, and inter/national events of 2020. Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, the visual arts, interactive installation and/or the environment. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 20 students. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2021

368 SPACE

(Offered as GERM 368, ARCH 368, EUST 368, and FAMS 380) This research seminar will explore conceptions of space as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual materials will be drawn from the fields of literature and philosophy; architectural, art, and film theory and history; performance studies and performance theory; and theories of technology and the natural and built environment. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is a core of this seminar.

Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment. Conducted in English. German majors will select a research project focused on a German Studies context, and will do a substantial portion of the readings in German. 

Limited to 18 students. Enrollment requires attendance at the first class meeting. Spring semester. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2018

369 TIME

(Offered as ARCH 369 and EUST 369) This research seminar will explore conceptions of time as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, philosophy, neuroscience, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual/sonic materials will be drawn from the fields of European literature, philosophy and critical theory; from architectural, art, music, neuroscience and film theory and history; from performance studies and performance theory; and from theories of technology and the natural and built environment. We will sustain a focus on issues of perception, cognition, duration, movement, attention, imagination, memory, and narrative throughout. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is central to this seminar. Conducted in English.

Preference given to ARCH and EUST majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment.

Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Fall 2019

374 Medieval and Renaissance Lyric

(Offered as ENGL 441 and EUST 374) [Before 1800] In this course, we read a selection of English and other European lyrics (in translation) from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries. An exciting, fertile era in poetic innovation, these centuries see the dawn of the first romantic love poetry in these languages, the invention of new forms like the sonnet, and the invention of the lyric “anthology.” Reading the lyrics of the French troubadour poets, Chaucer, Petrarch, Wyatt, Donne, Shakespeare, and the many brilliant anonymous poets of medieval England, we will examine both the text and contexts of these short poems. Close readings will be put in dialogue with cultural contexts (such as the volatile court of Henry VIII, in which Thomas Wyatt wrote), and the material contexts of the lyrics (the medieval and early modern manuscripts and books in which they first appeared). We will further think about how the term “lyric” emerges as a privileged poetic category, by reading contemporary “defenses” of poetry and thinking about why the word “lyric” only appears in the sixteenth century. Does the “lyric” poem change once it is defined? How do later works speak to the earlier tradition?

Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2020

385 Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters

(Offered as ARHA 385, EUST 385, and SWAG 310) Our course will explore how evil was imagined, over cultures, centuries and disciplines. With the greatest possible historical and cultural specificity, we will investigate an array of monstrous creatures and plagues -- their terrifying powers, the explanations for why they came to be, and the strategies for how they could be purged -- as we attempt to articulate the kindred qualities they shared. We will study centuries-old witch burning manuals, and note the striking degree to which dangerous tropes -- about women, about pestilence, about dangerous sexuality, and about differences of all kinds -- have continued to our day. Among the artists to be considered are Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí, Buñuel, Dreyer, Wilder, Almodóvar, and the community who made the AIDS Quilt.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

390, 490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

420 Antisemitism

An in-depth, thorough chronological study of Antisemitism—“the longest hatred”—from Hellenistic and Roman times to early Christian thinkers, the development of Islam, the Middle Ages, especially the Holy Office of the Spanish Inquisition, the Enlightenment, Nazism and other forms of fascism, Communism, to the twenty-first century. Special attention will be placed on geographical varieties and national traditions (France, Germany, Russia, Iran, the United States, Spain, and Argentina), the Dreyfus Affair, the Protocols of the Wise of Zion, Henry Ford, and other focal points. The class will analyze in detail the metastasis of antisemitism into anti-Zionism before and after the creation of the State of Israel. We will also discuss antisemitism in politics, education, culture, and media, and its link to racism, anti-immigration, xenophobia and other hatreds.

This course will be conducted online. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

425 European Economic Take-Off in Global Perspective, c. 1050–1750

(Offered as HIST 425 [EUP] and EUST 425) The history of the pre-modern European economy is usually understood as the singular and exceptional rise of the first modern economy. Yet recent research in economic history and shifts in the world economy have provided new perspectives to reconsider the rise of the European economy. From this long-term and global viewpoint, the story of Europe’s economic take-off becomes the remarkable story of a backwater that became mainstream. How was Europe able to reposition itself from a periphery of the Eurasian economy to a central node of the global economy? What drove Europeans further and further into the East and how did their incursions disrupt or adapt to previous trade networks and practices? How did the exports and imports of Europe change as their relation to the world economy changed? By considering these questions, the course will revisit the familiar histories of the Commercial Revolution, the travels of Marco Polo, the Age of Discovery, the East India Companies, the Atlantic System, and the road to the Industrial Revolution. Using the analysis and synthesis of modern historians, we will situate the economic take-off of Europe in the context of the transformation of the world economy. Utilizing past travel logs, eyewitness reports, business contracts, customs receipts, and other non-narrative sources, students will complete a research paper that tackles one of these histories and casts them in new light. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018

430 Renaissance Bodies

(Offered as HIST 430 [EUP/TC/TR], EUST 430 and SWAG 430) "Renaissance Bodies" investigates the ways in which early modern sciences and the figurative arts of the Renaissance collaborated to represent body-centered visual knowledges ranging from the "secrets of women" to scientific "monstrosities." The course also examines the ways in which Catholicism enhanced body-centered, sensual and visual forms of devotion. Discussions center on the eroticization of male, female, and queer bodies in a variety of discourses and visual rhetorics. A particular focus is on the representation of black bodies before the onset of modern racism. Case studies will include Eckhout’s "ethnographic" portrayals of African slaves and the native inhabitants of Brazil; Chiara di Montefalco’s miraculous relics; Elena Duglioli’s career as a spontaneously lactating saint; the cultural history of the dildo; Elena/o de Cespedes’s life as a transman; Sarah Bartmann as fetishized object of desire; male prostitution; and anatomical wax figures.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

432 Gender, Class, and Crime: The Victorian Underworld

(Offered as HIST 432 [EU/TC/TS] and EUST 432) Victorian Britain was a nation of contrasts. It was at once the world’s foremost economic and imperial power, the richest nation in Europe, and the country where the consequences of industrialization–slums, poverty, disease, alcoholism, sexual violence–took some of their bleakest forms. In an era of revolution, Britain enjoyed one of the most stable political systems in Europe; yet it was also a society plagued by crime and by fears of popular unrest, the place where Marx predicted the worker’s revolt would begin. This seminar explores the complex world of the Victorians through a focus on what contemporaries termed the “social problem”: the underclass of criminals, paupers, and prostitutes who seemed immune to reform. Themes will include political liberalism and the Poor Law, imperialism at home and abroad, industrialization and urbanization, sanitation, hygiene, and disease control initiatives, shifting cultural understandings of gender and class, and Jack the Ripper. Students will be expected to write a research paper on a topic of their choice. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2015, Spring 2019

465 Multicultural Spain

A vital question in today’s multicultural societies is how individuals with different identities—religious, racial, ethnic, etc.—can live and prosper together. This course will explore the literature, culture, and history of medieval and early modern Spain, paying special attention to how people with diverse backgrounds coexisted and interacted with each other. Examining the context of Spain during this time period will also serve as a means to help us think through issues of diversity in our world today. First we will look at the situation of medieval Spain where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side-by-side for centuries. Then we’ll turn to Spain’s exploration of the New World and how the diverse encounters that took place influenced Spanish culture. Finally, we will consider representations of other cultural minorities, such as gypsies, in Spain during the early modern period. Primary sources will include literary texts, historical accounts, legal documents, and maps and will be supplemented by secondary critical texts. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020

498, 499, 499D Senior Departmental Honors

A full course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Related Courses

CLAS-121 Greek Mythology and Religion (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-332 Chaucer: <em>The Canterbury Tales</em> (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-348 Modern British Literature, 1900-1950 (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-324 Studies in Medieval Romance Literature and Culture (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-330 The Doing and Undoing of Genres in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-339 Worldliness and Otherworldliness (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-342 Women of Ill Repute: Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century French Literature (Course not offered this year.)
HIST-101 World War II in Global Perspective (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-248 Law And War (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-356 Representing and Judging the Holocaust. (Course not offered this year.)
MUSI-444 Formation of the Self in Twentieth-Century Music (Course not offered this year.)
PHIL-218 Early Modern Philosophy (Course not offered this year.)
POSC-415 Taking Marx Seriously (Course not offered this year.)
PSYC-368 Autobiographical Memory (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-123 Century of Catastrophe: Soviet and Contemporary Russia in Writing and Film (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-227 Fyodor Dostoevsky (Course not offered this year.)

About Amherst College

About Amherst College

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European Studies

Advisory Committee: Professors Barbezat, Ciepiela, Courtright, de la Carrera †, Epstein, Griffiths ‡, Katsaros, R. López, Machala, Móricz, Raskin ‡,  Rockwell ‡, Rogowski, Sarat, Schneider, Sinos, R., Staller, and Stavans; Associate Professors Boucher *, Brenneis, Engelhardt (Chair,fall), Gilpin, Nelson †, Polk *, van den Berg, and Wolfson; Assistant Professors Gordon *, Infante, Paul, and Zanker; Five College Associate Professor Long.

European Studies is a major program that provides opportunity for independent and interdisciplinary study of European culture. Through integrated work in the humanities and social sciences, the student major examines a significant portion of the European experience and seeks to define those elements that have given European culture its unity and distinctiveness.

Major Program. The core of the major consists of eight courses that will examine a significant portion of European civilization through a variety of disciplines. Two of these courses will be EUST 121 and 122 (or the equivalent; see below).  All majors must give evidence of proficiency in one European language besides English. Save in exceptional circumstances, majors will spend at least one semester of the junior year pursuing an approved course of study in Europe. By the end of their junior year, all majors shall complete a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture. Prior arrangement for supervision must be made if a student intends to do this project while abroad. For their senior year, European Studies majors will then opt into one of two possible paths: Thesis or Capstone. 

Thesis Option. Students wishing to pursue an independent project as an honors thesis will take one thesis research course in the first semester of the senior year, and another in the final semester. Students may designate the research course of the final semester as a double course (EUST 499D), in which case the total number of courses required to complete the major becomes nine.

Possible approaches for the senior thesis project include comparative literary studies, interdisciplinary work in history, sociology, philosophy, political science, economics, performance studies, visual arts, architecture or music involving one or more European countries. Students are encouraged to take a relevant methods class fitting their research approach (such as HIST-301 or SOCI-315), which, with permission from the EUST chair may count toward the major’s eight courses. 

Capstone Option. In the capstone option students, after having completed a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture, will complete their eight European Studies courses without an independent project. A month into their final semester, capstone majors will submit a five-page retrospective essay on the entirety of the course of their studies in the major, which will be followed by a conversation with the European Studies faculty members. 

Honors Program.  Students may be recommended for Program honors only if they complete a thesis.

 

*On leave 2021-22.
†On leave fall semester 2021-22.
‡On leave spring semester 2021-22.
 

112 Russian Empire in Eurasia

(Offered as HIST 112 [AS/EUCP], ASLC 112, EUST 112 and RUSS 130) In the course of five hundred years, the Russian empire in Eurasia evolved as the largest territorial polity in the world. In this course, we will explore the medieval foundations of the imperial state and look at its predecessors and models (Kievan Rus’ and the empire of the Mongols), discuss ways in which cooperation and resistance shaped the imperial state and society, and study cultural and political entanglements among different ethnic, linguistic and confessional groups in Eurasia. Chronologically, we will cover the period from the tenth century to the crisis of the empire in the early twentieth century. Thematically, we will focus on structures of imperial state and society (the imperial house, peasantry, nobility, confessions, intelligentsia, revolutionary movement) and most important regions of the Russian Empire (Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Baltics, Siberia, Central Asia). Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2018

117 Arthurian Literature

(Offered as ENGL 117 and EUST 117) [Before 1800] Knights, monsters, quests, and true love: these are the things we associate with King Arthur and tales of his court. Why has Arthurian literature proved so enchanting to centuries of poets, novelists, and recently, filmmakers? In this introductory English course, we will read and watch Arthurian legends from Chaucer to Monty Python, examining the ways in which they have been represented in different eras. Beginning with the historical foundations of the King Arthur legend, we will examine how it blossomed and took form in later eras. Our focus will be on close literary and visual analysis of British, American, and French (in translation) versions of these legends. We will also discuss what cultural forces lie behind the popularity of Arthurian legend in certain eras: later medieval England and France; the Victorian era; and twentieth-century England and America. There will be frequent writing assignments and presentations, as well as a final creative project.

Open to first-year students and sophomores. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2020

121 Readings in the European Tradition I

Topics in the past have included readings and discussion of a series of related texts from Homer and Genesis to Dante: Homer’s Iliad, selected Greek tragedies, Virgil’s Aeneid, selections from the Bible and from medieval texts. Three class hours per week. Required of European Studies majors.

Open to European Studies majors and to any student interested in the intellectual and literary development of the West, from antiquity through the Middle Ages. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

122 Readings in the European Tradition II

(Offered as EUST 122 and HIST 122[EU]) This course offers a critical examination of the concept of European civilization from the seventeenth century through the present day. What did it mean to be “European” in the modern era? To what extent was “European” civilization forged by Europe’s connections to the wider world, and by ideas, art, literature, and politics that originated outside the geographical boundaries of Europe? How was the idea of a coherent European culture and character used as a tool of conquest within the European empires? And how did various people—in Europe, in the empires, and beyond—forge new social, cultural, and political solidarities through their critiques of the idea of European civilization? Does the concept of European civilization remain valuable in our modern, globalized era? This course will combine a study of canonical works of European art, literature, and politics with less well-known texts and works of art created by “non-European” people. Required of European Studies majors.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2122. Professor A. Gordon. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

125 The Italian Renaissance: Politics, Culture, and Society

(Offered as HIST 125 [EU/TC/P], EUST 125)

Given the misrepresentations of Renaissance Florentine politics in popular media (Netflix series Medici) and the attacks on Renaissance European culture from theorists of decolonization (Walter Mignolo), one might ask: what is the relevance of the Renaissance today? In this course, we will discuss the extent to which the Florentine and Venetian republics’ struggles for survival in the midst of wars and despotic/oligarchic/feudal usurpations might, again, be of interest to us. We will critically examine Renaissance cultural productions (humanist history writing, portraiture, perspective, mapping, erotic art) while also appreciating the politics of beauty in architecture, urban planning, and figurative art. Other topics include: the African presence; the gendered politics of charity; patriarchal families; women writers; domestic slavery; Jewish communities; interactions with Islamic culture; the conquest of America. 

Spring semester. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023

127 Early Modern Europe in a Global Context (1500–1800)

(Offered as HIST 127 [EU/TC/TE/TR/P] and EUST 127) This course introduces students to the history of Europe in the age of imperialism and colonization. It analyzes the emergence of "modernity" as a result of conquest and colonization, the globalization of commerce, the Atlantic slave trade, and the genocide of indigenous peoples. We will investigate instances of resistance to European imperialism and carefully examine the society that produced global capitalism. Among the topics we will address are the Italian Renaissance and the invention of perspective; the German Reformation and the emergence of interiority; gender, family, and the rise of domesticity; early modern science; new forms of visuality as methods of knowledge production; the emergence of racism; the French and Haitian Revolutions; religious syncretism; instances of hybridity and resistance in the imperial "contact zone." This course is essential for an understanding of the many contradictions and contestations we still live with. We will analyze primary sources, academic literature, and visual materials. There will be a mix of short lectures, discussions, group work, and in-class assignments.

Not offered 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

131 History and Theory of Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 131, ARCH 131 and EUST 131.) Throughout history, buildings have directed human activity, shaping social interactions, symbolizing political power, and influencing multiple kinds of artistic expression. This course is a selected introduction to the history and theory of architecture, from the earliest forms of human habitation to medieval and Renaissance buildings, Enlightenment utopian visions, modern industrial structures and skyscrapers, and contemporary sustainable practices.  Interwoven with a sampling of theoretical texts and architectural treatises, the course covers selected moments in the history and theory of Western architecture, from Vitruvius to Alberti and Corbusier to Koolhaas, from primordial shelters to computer generated designs.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Koehler.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

135 Renaissance to Revolution: Early Modern European Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 135, ARCH 135, and EUST 135) This course, a gateway class for the study of art history, introduces the ways that artists and architects imaginatively invented visual language to interpret the world for contemporary patrons, viewers, and citizens in early modern Europe. Painters, printmakers, sculptors and architects in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands created new ways of seeing empirical phenomena and interpreting them, by means of both ancient and new principles of art, science and philosophy and through powerful engagement with the senses. They produced godlike illusions of nature, from grand frescoes bursting from the walls of papal residences to spectacular gardens covering noble estates in Baroque France and colonializing England. They fundamentally altered the design of major cities such as Rome and Paris so that the visitor encountered an entirely new urban experience than ever before. Along the way, they learned from one another’s example, but, prizing innovation, sought fiercely to surpass previous generations, and argued at length about values in art. They contributed to fashioning an ideal picture of empire and society and conjured the dazzling wealth and power of those who paid them. But as time passed, some came to ironize the social order mightily, and some elevated beggars, farmers, servants, so-called fools, and bourgeois women leading seemingly mundane domestic lives as much as others praised the prosperous few. Finally, artists actively participated in the overthrow of the monarchy during the French Revolution and yet also passionately critiqued the violence of war it engendered. Throughout, the course will investigate how concepts of progress, civilization, the state, religion, race, gender, and the individual came to be defined through art.

The goals of the course are:
above all, to achieve the skill of close looking to gain visual understanding;
• also, to identify artistic innovations that characterize European art and architecture from the Italian Renaissance to the French Revolution;
• to understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
• to situate the works of art historically, by examining the intellectual, political, religious, and social currents that contributed to their creation;
• to read texts about the period critically and analytically.
No previous experience with art or art history is necessary. 

Fall semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

145 The Modern World

(Offered as ARHA 145, EUST 145, and SWAG 145)  This course will explore the self-conscious invention of modernism in painting, sculpture and architecture, from the visual clarion calls of the French Revolution to the performance art and earthworks of "art now." As we move from Goya, David, Monet and Picasso to Kahlo, Kiefer and beyond, we will be attentive to changing responses toward a historical past or societal present, the stance toward popular and alien cultures, the radical redefinition of all artistic media, changing representations of nature and gender, as well as the larger problem of mythologies and meaning in the modern period. Study of original objects and a range of primary texts (artists’ letters, diaries, manifestos, contemporary criticism) will be enhanced with readings from recent historical and theoretical secondary sources.

Limited to 50 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Staller.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2011, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

202 World War II in European Literature and Film

This course is designed to introduce students to the impact that World War II (1939–1945) had and continues to have on the society and culture of several European nations. As the last of the generation that lived during the war passes on, their grandchildren persist in raising questions about the reasons and effects of this political cataclysm. During the war, and afterwards with more or less intensity, writers and filmmakers made and have made attempts to analyze and represent the memories, the guilt, and the false histories that the war left behind in every involved nation.

The course will examine the ethics of historical memory, the sincerity of representation, the clever use of history for political purposes. It will also probe and analyze persistent myths of the war as well as discover stories and facts that have been ignored or forgotten. Finally, the course will look at alternative scenarios, that is, “what if” narratives.

Readings might include works by Erich Remarque, Albert Camus, Irène Némirovsky, W. G. Sebald, Primo Levi, and Tony Judt. Films might include selections from Rossellini’s Roma città aperta, Holland’s Europa, Europa, Reed’s The Third Man, and Malle’s Au revoir les enfants.

The class will study how nations too have attempted to make sense of this hecatomb, seeking explanation, expiation, and often excuses. We will also study how the Second World War’s legacy still affects contemporary European culture and politics.

Students will be expected to participate in discussion, give oral reports, and write a research paper.

January term. Professor Rosbottom. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

221 Voices from a Bygone Time

(Offered as MUSI 221 and EUST 221) Monks living in monastic seclusion, troubadours serving their ladies and fighting wars, mad princes writing complicated polyphonic music, male castrato singers celebrated as the pop-stars of opera houses are just a few of the fascinating characters who participated in music making from the Middle Ages until the middle of the eighteenth century in Europe. The music they produced is frequently called "early music," a falsely unifying label that hides the kaleidoscopic nature of this fantastic repertory, ranging from monophonic chant to opera. In this course we will study how the invention of musical notation affected the development of music, turning an oral tradition of chant into a written tradition of complex polyphonic textures unimaginable without the help of notation. Reading historical documents and listening to selected pieces of music, we'll visit the soundscape of this bygone time that still influences our thinking about music. Assignments include listening, reading, and short papers. Knowledge of musical notation at least at the rudimentary level is recommended.

Requisite: MUSI 112 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Móricz. The course will be offered Hyflex with as much individual/in-person contact as practical.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

222 Music and Culture II

(Offered as MUSI 222 and EUST 222) One of three courses in which the development of Western music is studied in its cultural-historical context. Occasionally we will attend concerts in Amherst and elsewhere. Composers to be studied include Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Mussorgsky, and Brahms. Regular listening assignments will broaden the repertoire we encounter and include a wide sampling of Classical and Romantic music. Periodic writing assignments will provide opportunities to connect the music with historical-cultural interpretation. Readings will focus on Gibbs/Taruskin Oxford History of Western Music with additional historical documents and selected critical and analytical studies. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (MUSI 221 and 223). Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: MUSI 111, 112, or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2023

223 The Musical Symptoms of Modernism

(Offered as MUSI 223 and EUST 223) Two World Wars, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the dropping of the atomic bomb were cataclysmic events that made the twentieth century one of the most traumatizing time periods in human history. And yet music did not fall silent. Composers continued writing music, giving aural expression to symptoms characteristic of the condition of modernism. How did Richard Strauss's opera Salome about a necrophiliac princess lusting for a severed head become one of the most successful operas in Europe? Why did Stalin alternately persecute and reward the Soviet Union's most talented composer, Dmitri Shostakovich? Why did composers insist on writing unlistenable, incomprehensibly complex music after World War II? Listening to a wide variety of music from Mahler to Kaija Saariaho, reading historical documents and other relevant essays, we'll explore symptoms of modernism and how composers and their music interacted with their culture milieu and historical context. Assignments will include regular listening, periodic short papers, and a culminating project.

This course will be taught in person. 

Requisite: MUSI 111 or 112, or consent of the instructor. January semester. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Offered in January 2022, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, January 2022

226 Women and War in European History, 1558–1918

(Offered as HIST 226 [EU/TC/P], ARHA 226, EUST 226, and SWAG 225) Although overlooked in military histories until recently, women have long been actively involved in warfare: as combatants, as victims, as workers, and as symbols. This course examines both the changing role of women, and the shifting constructions of “womanhood,” in four major European conflicts: the wars of Elizabeth I in sixteenth-century England, the wars and peace of Marie de Médicis in seventeenth-century France, the French Revolution, and the First World War. Using methodologies drawn from Art History and History, the course seeks to understand the gendered nature of warfare. Why are images of women and the family central to the iconography of war, and how have representations of womanhood shifted according to the aims of particular conflicts? To what extent do women’s experiences of warfare differ from men’s, and can war be considered a source of women’s liberation or oppression? Students will analyze a range of historical images in conjunction with primary source texts from these conflicts and will also develop an original research project related to the course’s themes. Two class meetings per week.

Recommended requisite: A course in Art History or History. Limited to 25 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019

230 The French Revolution

(Offered as HIST 230 [EUPTC] and EUST 230) Often viewed as one of the defining events in modern history, the French Revolution has been debated and discussed, derided and celebrated by generations of politicians, cultural commentators, and historians. This course enters into this on-going conversation by examining the nature of the revolutionary process as it unfolded in late eighteenth-century France and its empire. Beginning in the “old regime” of kings and commoners, it untangles the social, political, and intellectual roots of the Revolution and investigates the extent to which these factors contributed to the radical overthrow of the French establishment in 1789. It then follows the extension of the Revolution throughout French society and across the seas to the Caribbean, analyzing how popular and colonial upheavals influenced the revolutionary new order of “liberty, equality, and brotherhood” that was taking shape in France. Finally, the course explores the aftermath of the Revolution by tracing the various ways that its history has been interpreted and reinterpreted from the nineteenth century to the present day. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018

231 Race and Empire: The British Experience from 1760

(Offered as HIST 231 [EU/TE/TR/TS] and EUST 231) From the mid-eighteenth century through the 1960s, Britain presided over the most powerful empire in the world. At its height, this small island nation ruled one-quarter of the earth’s surface and more than 450 million of its inhabitants. Not only did British imperialism play a decisive role in shaping world politics, economics, and cultures in its day, it also left a number of profound legacies that continue to affect our lives in the present. This course traces the rise, fall, and lasting influence of the British empire, and pays particular attention to questions of race and ethnicity. Through a series of colonial encounters--such as the first contacts made between explorers and Pacific Islanders in the  eighteenth century, the interactions between missionaries and Africans in the nineteenth century, or the migration of South Asians to Britain in the twentieth century--it examines what “race” meant in different historical contexts. The course thus explores the institutionalization of racism in government, law, and society, and analyzes moments in which racism has been combated and overturned. Readings and course materials will be drawn from secondary and primary sources, including newspapers, novels, photographs, artwork, oral histories, and films.

Not offered in 2021-22. Enrollment limited to 30 students. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2016, Spring 2021

232 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 315, EUST 232, and FAMS 328) From Pedro Almodóvar to Penélope Cruz, Spanish directors and actors are now international stars. But the origins of Spain’s cinema are rooted in censorship and patriarchy. This course offers an overview of Spanish film from 1950 to the present along with an introduction to film studies. Through weekly streaming films and discussions, students will follow how Spain’s culture, history and society have been imagined onscreen, as well as how Spanish filmmakers interact with the rest of Europe and Latin America. We will pay particular attention to issues surrounding gender and sexuality as well as contemporary social justice movements. No prior experience with film analysis is needed. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

233 Love

This panoramic, interdisciplinary course will explore the concept of love as it changes epoch to epoch and culture to culture. Poetry, novels, paintings, sculptures, movies, TV, and music will be featured. Starting with the Song of Songs, it will include discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Catullus, and other Greek classics, move on to Dante and Petrarch, contemplate Chinese, Arabic, African, and Mesoamerican literatures, devote a central unit to Shakespeare, continue with the Metaphysical poets, and move on to American literature. Special attention will be paid to the difference between love, eroticism, and pornography. Multilingual students will be encouraged to delve into various linguistic traditions, in tongues like French, Russian, German, Yiddish, and Spanish. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2014, Spring 2017

235 Impostors

An interdisciplinary exploration of the causes behind the social, racial, artistic, and political act—and art—of posing, passing, or pretending to be someone else. Blacks passing for whites, Jews passing for gentiles, and women passing for men, and vice versa, will be the central motif, with attention given to biological and scientific patterns such as memory loss, mental illness, and plastic surgery, and to literary strategies like irony. As a supernatural occurrence, discussion will  include mystical experiences, ghost stories, and séance sessions. The course will also cover instances pertaining to institutional religion, from prophesy from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles to the Koran and Mormonism. In technology and communications, analysis concentrates on the invention of the telegraph, the telephone, and the Internet. The class will also analyze entertainment, ventriloquism, puppet shows, voice-overs, children’s cartoon shows, subtitles, and dubbing in movies and TV and examine posers in Greek mythology, the Arabian Nights, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip Roth, Oliver Sacks, and Nella Larsen. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018, Fall 2021

236 The Bible as Literature

A close reading of significant portions of the Five Books of Moses, done from the perspective of literature: how are the human and divine characters built, what interior life do they display and what philosophical view do they convey? Attention will be given to the nineteenth-century theories that approach the Bible as a composite book delivering a nationalistic story. Students will also reflect on the impact of the Bible in Western literature, from Dante’s Divine Comedy to R. Crumb’s cartoon retelling of Genesis. Taught in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2019

237 God

This course rotates around the shifting notion of the divine in Western Civilization, focusing on theology, philosophy, literature, and music. Students explore the development of the three major prophetic religions as well as some of the mystical movements they fostered. Discussions rotate around the King James Bible, Augustine’s Confessions, the Koran, Maimonides’ The Guide for the Perplexed, the Zohar, the Popol Vuh, the Ramayana, and Spinoza’s work as a cornerstone to the Enlightenment. We will contemplate secularism in modern culture and analyze the contemporary atheist movement of Dawkins and Hitchens . Music explorations range from Johann Sebastian Bach to John Cage; in science, from Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking; and in film, from Ingmar Bergman to Woody Allen. Readings include parts of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, Kafka’s The Castle, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Borges’ “The Secret Miracle” and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Spring 2021

238 Soviet Union During the Cold War

(Offered as HIST 236 [EU], EUST 238, and RUSS 237) The Cold War indelibly shaped the second half of the twentieth century. Spies seemed ubiquitous; nuclear annihilation imminent. Films such as Red October and the James Bond series forged a Western image of the Soviet Union. But how were these decades experienced behind the Iron Curtain? This course explores Soviet history between the end of World War II and the collapse of the USSR. We will study the roots of the Cold War; the politics of de-Stalinization in the USSR; the unfolding of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe; and Soviet relations with the West, China, and the developing world. We will also explore the internal dynamics of Soviet society: the rise of the Soviet middle class, consumerism, tourism, the entertainment industry, demographic trends, education, and public health. Two class meetings per week. 

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2023

240 The Last Russian Revolution: State and Society from the Late Soviet Period to the Present

(Offered as HIST 240 [EU], EUST 240, and RUSS 240) This course explores the tumultuous and unprecedented transition from the late Soviet Communism to contemporary Russian Federation. We will discuss the state of the Soviet Union on the eve of dissolution and politics of nationalism; emergence of the post-Soviet states and divergence in their historical development; transition to capitalism and privatization; challenges of federalism and regionalism in post-Soviet Russia; relations between the Russian Federation and “Near Abroad,” NATO and China, and the social and cultural developments from the late Soviet period to the early twenty-first century. The class will also explore the historical evolution of the phenomenon of Putinism as rooted in long-term transformation of the former Soviet space. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2022

241 The Age of Michelangelo: Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 241, ARCH 241, and EUST 241)  Michelangelo, a defining genius of the Italian Renaissance, emerged from a rich cultural environment that forever changed how we think of art. Artists of the Renaissance developed an original visual language from the legacy of the ancient world, while also examining nature, their environment, and encounters with other worlds to the East and West. Their art revealed a profound engagement with philosophical attitudes toward the body and the spirit, as well as with ideals of pious devotion and civic virtue. Those concepts changed radically over the period of the Renaissance, however. Artists developed the rhetoric of genius and artistic struggle by vaunting an artist’s godlike role, owing to his imaginative creation of art and his ability to mimic reality illusionistically, yet they also questioned a human’s place in the cosmos. We will analyze in depth the visual language of painting, sculpture, and architecture created for merchants, monks, princes and popes in the urban centers of Florence, Rome and Venice from the 14th through the 16th centuries, and examine the virtuosic processes artists used to achieve their goals. 

Rather than taking the form of a survey, this course, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will analyze selected works and contemporary attitudes toward the visual through study of the art and its primary sources.

 Learning goals:

  • Gain confidence in the art of close looking to gain visual understanding;
  • Achieve an understanding about how art and its culture are intertwined;
  • Develop the critical skills to analyze points of view from a historical period other than our own;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Develop and argue an original thesis about a single work of art in a research paper.

Meets twice a week, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

One course in ARHA, FAMS, or ARCH recommended.

Uncapped.

 Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2023

245 Stalin and Stalinism

(Offered as HIST 235 [EU/TC/TE/TR/TS], EUST 245 and RUS 235) Joseph Stalin, the infamous Soviet dictator, created a particular type of society in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Stalinism became a phenomenon that influenced the development of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The course will begin with the exploration of Stalin’s own life and then focus on what historical forces enabled the emergence of Stalinism. It will cover the period on the eve of and during the Russian Revolution, Stalinist transformation of the USSR in the 1930s, WWII, and the onset of the Cold War. Among issues to be explored are the extent of popular support for Stalinist-type regimes, the mechanisms of large-scale political terror, the longevity of Stalinist regimes, and historical memory about Stalinism. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

255 Imposture: Con-men, Swindlers, and Other Pretenders

(Offered by RUSS 255 and EUST 255) This course investigates various figures of imposture. Beginning with Nikolai Gogol’s classic figure of Chichikov from Dead Souls and his genre-bending reversal of the theme in The Inspector General, the course will examine how authors have used confidence games and imposture to reveal particular ploys and gambits in literature. The course will also consider the ways that con-men, swindlers, and pretenders reflect and manipulate the cultural, political, and social dilemmas of their respective periods. While we will focus particularly on the case of Russia—and the distinct place the arts of confidence have had there – we will also consider forms of imposture beyond just a hustle for money and beyond the case of Russia. We will examine imposture in terms of race (as in Nella Larsen's Passing), in the realm of politics (as in Alexander Pushkin's “Boris Godunov”), in relation to the Holocaust (as in Stefan Maechler’s definitive report on the memoirist Benjamin Wilkomirskij), and in such expansive novelistic treatments of this theme by Herman Melville and Thomas Mann. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Professor Kunichika. Omitted 2021-22

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

258 Art, Things, Spaces, and Places

(Offered as ARHA 258, ARCH 258 and EUST 258) The purpose of this course is to introduce students to research on lived environments from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, the architecture that shaped them, and the art and objects that they contained. The goal of each class, through reading and discussion, is to investigate what a researchable question is in the fields of history, art history, architecture, and material culture in Europe, England, and the Americas. Using multi-disciplinary research strategies, we will examine the power of precious and ordinary objects (including furniture, tapestries, devotional paintings, family portraits, and sculpture), the contemporary connotations of their materiality, and consider what objects in a home might signify about a family’s status, political allegiance, spirituality, and place in the world. Further, we will ask how art, objects and décor shape the beholder’s experience of spaces inside and outside a residence, in private and in public. What does the display of objects in collections, including those from far-away cultures other than the patron’s, signify to the owner and the viewer? Visiting lecturers will present their ideas on various topics such as the anthropology of art, the significance of precious materials, and collecting. We will take field trips to museums and meet curators in order to identify a research topic.

This course will give students tools to conduct their own research into past lived environments and their contents, and identify how we in the 21st century might come to understand them. As the culmination of the course students will collaboratively develop a prospectus for a research project with one or two other classmates. Assignments to meet that goal include adding new content to Wikipedia as a record of students’ findings and a contribution to knowledge for a wider public.

Open to sophomores but also motivated first-years interested in research in a variety of fields. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

259 Shakespeare in Prison

Taught at the Hampshire County Jail, the course is devoted to close readings and staging of parts of Shakespeare’s plays while exploring in depth his historical context, dramatic and stylistic style, and world view. The topics of bondage, revenge, injustice, and forgiveness will serve as leitmotifs. In Spring 2018, four plays were the focus: As You Like It, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Conducted in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

269 Baroque Art

(Offered as ARHA 269, ARCH 269, EUST 269) At the beginning of the seventeenth century, religious and social upheavals in Europe led to a renewed proliferation of exciting, innovative art. In this century of remarkably varied artistic production, paradoxes abounded. Artists sought the illusion of reality by imitating unimproved, even base or monstrous nature through close observation of the human body, landscape, and ordinary, humble objects of daily use. They imbued art meant to inspire religious devotion with unbounded eroticism or with the gory details of painful suffering and hideous death. Artists and architects made the visionary appear real and sensual. They adored the past but re-cast it in modern terms. Others continued to quest for perfection in a return to the lofty principles implicit in ancient artistic canons of ideality. More than ever before, artists explored the expression of passion through dramatic narratives and sharply revealing portraiture. They depicted dominating political leaders as flawed mortals—even satirized them through the new art of caricature—at the same time that they developed a potent and persuasive vocabulary in art, architecture, and gardens for the expression of the rulers’ absolutist political power.

This class will examine issues in Baroque art in depth through selected works of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced by artists in the Catholic countries of the seventeenth century, e.g. Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, and Rubens in Italy, France, Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, and parts of the Americas. It also engages the cultural, social, and intellectual framework for their accomplishments. 

Intermediate level, one other course in art history preferred but not required. Uncapped.

Spring Semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2016

284 Women and Art in Early Modern Europe

(Offered as ARHA 284, EUST 284, and SWAG 206)  This introductory discussion-based course will examine how prevailing ideas about women and gender shaped visual imagery in Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, and how these images, in turn, presented surprisingly varied pictures of women and their domains. Artists vividly expressed the paradoxical power that women possessed even more than language could. Both admired and feared in their societies, aristocrats, queens, mistresses, saints, witches, heroines, and housewives were all depicted in art in elevated and debased manners, sometimes as eroticized subjects and at other times as powerful, idealized actors—occasionally both at the same time. We will analyze the art and material goods that women paid for and what it communicated about them; women’s homes and the objects they held; the portrayal of women from merchant societies in Italian city-states to aristocratic women in India, of female saints, heroes and rulers, including Elizabeth I of England and Maria de' Medici of France; and the troubling imagery of rape. These different types of art raise questions about biological theories about women; feminine ideals of beauty; what marriage meant in different societies; the relationship between the exercise of political power and gender; women’s expression of transcendent spirituality; and what the portrayal of indigenous and enslaved women in Dutch and Spanish colonies conveyed about race.

 GOALS FOR LEARNING

  • Understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
  • Gain an understanding of how historical attitudes about women and by women affect art made about and by women;
  • Develop an analytical ability to examine points of view expressed in texts and art of a historical period other than our own and to distinguish them from another;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Learn how to perform 2 kinds of research:

1) find materials to contribute publicly useful scholarship, by creating or revising Wikipedia entries, which greatly lack material on women;

2) Develop and argue an original thesis in a 10-page research paper.

 No prerequisites. Uncapped.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2021

294 Black Europe

(Offered as BLST 294 [D], SWAG 294 and EUST 294) This research-based seminar considers the enduring presence of people of African descent in Europe from the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment, a fact that both confounds and extends canonical theories of African diaspora and black internationalism.  Focusing particularly on the histories of black people in Britain, Germany, and France, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach in its study of the African diaspora in Europe. We will examine literature, history, film, art and ephemera, as well as newly available pre-1927 audio recordings from Bear Family Records (http://www.black-europe.com/) in effort to better comprehend the materiality of the black European experience. These inquiries will enable us to comment upon the influence black people continue to have upon Europe today. Reading the central texts in the emerging field of Black European Studies—including African American expatriate memoirs, Afro-German feminist poetry, and black British cultural theory—student work will culminate in an annotated bibliography and a multimedia research project.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Polk.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

303 Literature as Translation

(Offered as EUST 303, ENGL 320 and RUSS 310) Acts of translation underwrite many kinds of cultural production, often invisibly. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, for instance, engaged with black internationalism through bilingualism and translation, as Brent Edwards has reminded us. In this course we will study literary translation as a creative practice involved in the making of subjects and cultures. We will read key statements about translation by theorists and translators, such as Walter Benjamin, Roman Jakobson, Lawrence Venuti, Peter Cole and Gayatri Spivak. We also will directly engage in translation work: each student will regularly present translations in a workshop format to produce a portfolio as a final project. The class will be “polyglot,” meaning that students are welcome to translate from any language of which they have knowledge; when they share translations, they will be asked also to provide interlinear, or “literal,” translations for those who may not understand the language they are working in.

Requisite: Two years of college-level study of the chosen language. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professors Bosman and Ciepiela. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021

310 History of Fascism

(Offered as HIST 310[EU/TE/TR] and EUST 310) Fascism emerged as a political ideology that was simultaneously revolutionary and reactionary, promising national rebirth in opposition to both liberalism and Marxist socialism. But after the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II, fascism seemingly ceased to be a factor in global politics. How do we assess fascism a century after the establishment of the first fascist regime in Italy? This course will explore the social, cultural, and intellectual origins of fascism, the rise of fascist movements in Europe in the early to mid-twentieth century, the politics and policies of fascist parties and regimes—including in Germany, Italy, Iberia, the Balkans, and the Baltic States—and transnational fascist links between Europe and the Americas, Asia, and Africa. This course will conclude with a consideration of anti-fascism and the "fascism question" in contemporary politics. Readings and course materials will be drawn from a variety of secondary and primary sources. Two meetings per week. 

Spring semester. Professor Merritt.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

315 What is Language? Russian and Soviet Views in Comparative Context

(Offered as RUSS 315 and EUST 315) “We die. That may be the meaning of life,” writes Toni Morrison. “But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” Russian thinkers, writers, philosophers, and politicians have likewise sought to take measure of their lives and of culture by thinking about the nature of language, and its role in culture, society, and politics. In examining how Russian writers and thinkers have sought to answer the question what is language? — how they did and do language—we will consider a range of sources from intellectual history, linguistics, literary and critical theory, mythology, theology, and philosophy. We will examine the distinctive contributions of Russian thinking about language, while also seeking to situate Russian views on this question within a comparative context. To that end, we will also read intellectual sources that proved seminal for articulating an answer to this question (Vico, Herder, Rousseau, Saussure, and Benveniste, among others). As we consider this broad question, and how it has animated Russian thought and culture, we will also focus upon a range of other questions: What are the origins of language? How does language evolve? What is the relationship of language to national culture? What is the relationship of language to politics? Throughout the course, we will see how views on the nature of language served as an arena in which vying conceptions of culture, politics, and the human have all been contested. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Omit 2021-22. Professor Kunichika.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Fall 2022

317 Women in Early Modern Spain

(Offered as SPAN 405, EUST 317, and SWAG 317) This course will examine the diverse and often contradictory representations of women in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain as seen through the eyes of both male and female writers. This approach will allow us to inquire into how women represented themselves versus how they were understood by men. In our analysis of this topic, we will also take into consideration some scientific, legal, and moral discourses that attempted to define the nature and value of women in early modern Spain. Works by authors such as Cervantes, María de Zayas, Calderón de la Barca, and Catalina de Erauso, among others, will offer us fascinating examples and different approaches to the subject. Conducted in Spanish.

For Spring 2021, this course will be taught “hyflex,” with instruction conducted synchronously via Zoom as well as in-person meetings for students on campus. All course materials will be available digitally and will be provided by the instructor.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

320 Seminar on Opera and Musical Theatre

(Offered as MUSI 420, EUST 320 and THDA 320) This course examines the two genres of lyric theater (opera and musical) with special attention to composers’ musical characterizations of the women and men who populate them. The first part of the class will focus on case studies of works by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini,  Rogers & Hammerstein, and Sondheim. Analyzing these works will help us develop an understanding of how composers work with conventions of vocal type and musical gesture to define character. The second part of the class will be devoted to developing independent research projects. Health conditions permitting, some of the works studied will be chosen in coordination with performances we can attend in New York or Boston.

Spring semester. Professor Schneider.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

327 Fascism, War, and Freedom: Spain and Japan On Screen

(Offered as ASLC 327, EUST 327, and FAMS 327) The relationships among media, the state, and civil society are complex.  This course aims to address these relationships by examining cinema—the art form of the twentieth century—in Japan and Spain during different but overlapping eras of tumult: the 1930s to the 1980s. Putting these two national cinemas in a comparative framework will allow us to address issues such as: the interest in film by authoritarian regimes; the way cinema is harnessed to wartime goals by the state; the nature of censorship and self-censorship in war and peace; the potential of image, sound, and narrative to give expression to propaganda and democratic ideals; the cathartic release following the end of an authoritarian regime or occupation. The course, taught in English, does not assume prior knowledge of either country, nor of film studies. All films have English subtitles.

Spring semester. Professors Brenneis and Van Compernolle.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

328 Trial and Error: An Interdisciplinary Experiment with Montaigne's Essais

(Offered as FREN 328 and EUST 328) "If my mind could gain a firm footing, I would not make essays, I would make decisions; but it is always in apprenticeship and on trial" (III, 2 "Of Repentance"). A Renaissance jurist and thinker, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) is widely recognized as one of the key figures in the history of self-writing and of the essay as genre. This course, however, situates Montaigne beyond these two frames. In the spirit of Montaigne himself, it proposes to attempt, to sample, to taste—in sum, to essay—the Essais (1580-1595). From confessions of impotence to love affairs with books; from rebuttals of human reason to reflections on solitude and age; from networks of exchange to disease and contagion, the uncategorizable content of the Essais, combined with a dynamic form replete with detours and deviations, is an invitation to err among and try a variety of subjects. Similarly, our objective is not to gain expertise, but to experiment and to experience. Our trials will combine a close reading of a selection of Montaigne’s Essais alongside critical, historical, or theoretical texts from a diverse range of methodologies and fields, such as medicine, sound studies, cultural gerontology and more. In addition to engaging with the writings of Montaigne, this course therefore serves as a more general opportunity to consider the place of literature among and within other disciplines. Conducted in English.

Spring semester. Professor Nader-Esfahani.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

330 Race and Otherness in the Middle Ages

(Offered as ENGL 330 and EUST 330) [Before 1800] By many accounts, a concept of “race” does not emerge in the West until the colonizing of the New World in the Renaissance. Yet medieval people had many ways of identifying, exoticizing, excluding, and discriminating against “others.” This was often framed in terms of religion (Christianity vs. Islam), but it also manifests in terms of physiognomic description and ideas of monstrosity in romance and quest narratives. In this course, we will explore how the “othering” of certain medieval peoples creates a racialized language and discourse at once specific to the Middle Ages and relevant to our current understanding of race. We will read from medieval travel narratives (The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Prester John, The Medieval Romance of Alexander) as well as literature by Chaucer and others, alongside critical race theory and historical scholarship to give context to our discussions. We will also explore how the Middle Ages have been racialized in contemporary political and popular discourse.

Format: If at least 5 in-person students register for this course, it will run in person, with hybrid options for remote students. Course meetings will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

340 Violence, Art and Memory of the Spanish Civil War

(Offered as SPAN 420 and EUST 340.) The Spanish Civil War lasted only three years, from 1936 to 1939, yet the conflict cast a long shadow over Spain’s twentieth-century history, culture and identity. Indeed, as a precursor to World War II, the war's effects were felt worldwide, and it became the inspiration for works of art and literature as varied as Pablo Picasso's Guernica, Pablo Neruda's España en el corazón, Guillermo del Toro's El laberinto del fauno and Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. This course will delve into the discord and violence of the war as well as to the anguish and catharsis of the literature, poetry and film it inspired. Through primary sources and historical accounts, we will understand the war’s causes. By studying texts and films that track the reverberations of the Spanish Civil War in the United States, Latin America and Continental Europe, we will trace the war’s effects. In addition, we will grapple with the diverse ways that lingering memories of the war have affected modern-day politics and culture, with particular attention to legacies of race, class and gender. This course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course has been designed with a strong digital component. For S21, instruction will likely be remote and synchronous via Zoom. If circumstances permit, there may be opportunities for in person group work and meetings with the professor for those students on campus. All course and research materials will be available digitally.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

360 Performance

(Offered as GERM 360, ARCH 360, EUST 360 and FAMS 316) What is performance? What constitutes an event? How can we address a phenomenon that has disappeared the moment we apprehend it? How does memory operate in our critical perception of an event? How does a body make meaning? These are a few of the questions we will explore in this course, as we discuss critical, theoretical, and compositional approaches in a broad range of multidisciplinary performance phenomena emerging from European—primarily German—culture in the twentieth century. We will focus on issues of performativity, composition, conceptualization, dramaturgy, identity construction, representation, space, gender, and dynamism. Readings of performance theory, performance studies, gender studies, and critical/cultural studies, as well as literary, philosophical, and architectural texts, will accompany close examination of performance material. Students will develop performative projects in various media (video, performance, text, online) and deliver a number of critical oral and written presentations on various aspects of the course material and their own projects. Performance material will be experienced live when possible, and in text, video, audio, digital media and online form, drawn from selected works of Dada and Surrealism, Bauhaus, German Expressionism, the Theater of the Absurd, Tanztheater, and Contemporary Theater, Performance, Dance, Opera, New Media, and Performance Art. A number of films, including Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Oskar Schlemmer’s Das Triadische Ballett, Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique, and Kurt Jooss’ Der Grüne Tisch, will also be screened. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 16 students.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2020, Spring 2023

363 Traumatic Events

(Offered as GERM 363, ARCH 363, EUST 363, and FAMS 370) How is memory constructed and represented? How is it possible to bear witness, and what exactly is involved? Who is authorized to testify, to whom, when? Whose story is it? Is it possible to tell "the story" of a traumatic event? What are the disorders of testimony, and how and where do they emerge? This course will observe the workings of trauma (the enactment and working-through of collective and individual symptoms of trauma), memory, and witnessing in various modes of everyday life. We will examine notions of catastrophe, disaster, accident, and violence, and explore the possibilities and impossibilities of bearing witness in many forms of cultural production: in fiction, poetry, architecture, critical theory, oral and written testimonies, visual art, monuments, memorials, philosophy, science, cartoons, film, video, theater, social media, and performance, online and in our public and domestic spaces. We will study various representations of trauma, paying particular attention to events in Germany and Europe from the twentieth century, as well as to 9/11, the Covid-19 pandemic and inter/national events of 2020. Material to be examined will be drawn from the work of Pina Bausch, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Cathy Caruth, Paul Celan, Marguerite Duras, Peter Eisenman, Shoshana Felman, Florian Freund, Jochen Gerz, Geoffrey Hartman, Rebecca Horn, Marion Kant, Anselm Kiefer, Ruth Klüger, Dominick LaCapra, Claude Lanzmann, Dori Laub, Daniel Libeskind, W.G. Sebald, Art Spiegelman, Paul Virilio, Peter Weiss, Wim Wenders, Elie Wiesel, Christa Wolf, and others. Conducted in English with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2018

365 Making Memorials

(Offered as GERM 365, ARCH 365, and EUST 365) This is a course about what happens to difficult memories: memories that are intensely personal, but made public, memories that belong to communities, but which become ideologically possessed by history, politics, or the media. How are memories processed into memorials? What constitutes a memorial? What gets included or excluded? How is memory performed in cultural objects, spaces, and institutions? What is the relationship between the politics of representation and memory? Who owns memory? Who is authorized to convey it? How does memory function? This course will explore the spaces in which memories are “preserved” and experienced. Our attention will focus on the transformation of private and public memories in works of architecture, performance, literature, and the visual arts, primarily in Germany, Europe, and the United States in the twentieth century, including also 9/11, the COVID-19 pandemic, and inter/national events of 2020. Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, the visual arts, interactive installation and/or the environment. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 20 students. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2021

368 SPACE

(Offered as GERM 368, ARCH 368, EUST 368, and FAMS 380) This research seminar will explore conceptions of space as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual materials will be drawn from the fields of literature and philosophy; architectural, art, and film theory and history; performance studies and performance theory; and theories of technology and the natural and built environment. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is a core of this seminar.

Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment. Conducted in English. German majors will select a research project focused on a German Studies context, and will do a substantial portion of the readings in German. 

Limited to 18 students. Enrollment requires attendance at the first class meeting. Spring semester. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2018

369 TIME

(Offered as ARCH 369 and EUST 369) This research seminar will explore conceptions of time as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, philosophy, neuroscience, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual/sonic materials will be drawn from the fields of European literature, philosophy and critical theory; from architectural, art, music, neuroscience and film theory and history; from performance studies and performance theory; and from theories of technology and the natural and built environment. We will sustain a focus on issues of perception, cognition, duration, movement, attention, imagination, memory, and narrative throughout. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is central to this seminar. Conducted in English.

Preference given to ARCH and EUST majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment.

Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Fall 2019

374 Medieval and Renaissance Lyric

(Offered as ENGL 441 and EUST 374) [Before 1800] In this course, we read a selection of English and other European lyrics (in translation) from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries. An exciting, fertile era in poetic innovation, these centuries see the dawn of the first romantic love poetry in these languages, the invention of new forms like the sonnet, and the invention of the lyric “anthology.” Reading the lyrics of the French troubadour poets, Chaucer, Petrarch, Wyatt, Donne, Shakespeare, and the many brilliant anonymous poets of medieval England, we will examine both the text and contexts of these short poems. Close readings will be put in dialogue with cultural contexts (such as the volatile court of Henry VIII, in which Thomas Wyatt wrote), and the material contexts of the lyrics (the medieval and early modern manuscripts and books in which they first appeared). We will further think about how the term “lyric” emerges as a privileged poetic category, by reading contemporary “defenses” of poetry and thinking about why the word “lyric” only appears in the sixteenth century. Does the “lyric” poem change once it is defined? How do later works speak to the earlier tradition?

Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2020

385 Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters

(Offered as ARHA 385, EUST 385, and SWAG 310) Our course will explore how evil was imagined, over cultures, centuries and disciplines. With the greatest possible historical and cultural specificity, we will investigate an array of monstrous creatures and plagues -- their terrifying powers, the explanations for why they came to be, and the strategies for how they could be purged -- as we attempt to articulate the kindred qualities they shared. We will study centuries-old witch burning manuals, and note the striking degree to which dangerous tropes -- about women, about pestilence, about dangerous sexuality, and about differences of all kinds -- have continued to our day. Among the artists to be considered are Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí, Buñuel, Dreyer, Wilder, Almodóvar, and the community who made the AIDS Quilt.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

390, 490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

420 Antisemitism

An in-depth, thorough chronological study of Antisemitism—“the longest hatred”—from Hellenistic and Roman times to early Christian thinkers, the development of Islam, the Middle Ages, especially the Holy Office of the Spanish Inquisition, the Enlightenment, Nazism and other forms of fascism, Communism, to the twenty-first century. Special attention will be placed on geographical varieties and national traditions (France, Germany, Russia, Iran, the United States, Spain, and Argentina), the Dreyfus Affair, the Protocols of the Wise of Zion, Henry Ford, and other focal points. The class will analyze in detail the metastasis of antisemitism into anti-Zionism before and after the creation of the State of Israel. We will also discuss antisemitism in politics, education, culture, and media, and its link to racism, anti-immigration, xenophobia and other hatreds.

This course will be conducted online. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

425 European Economic Take-Off in Global Perspective, c. 1050–1750

(Offered as HIST 425 [EUP] and EUST 425) The history of the pre-modern European economy is usually understood as the singular and exceptional rise of the first modern economy. Yet recent research in economic history and shifts in the world economy have provided new perspectives to reconsider the rise of the European economy. From this long-term and global viewpoint, the story of Europe’s economic take-off becomes the remarkable story of a backwater that became mainstream. How was Europe able to reposition itself from a periphery of the Eurasian economy to a central node of the global economy? What drove Europeans further and further into the East and how did their incursions disrupt or adapt to previous trade networks and practices? How did the exports and imports of Europe change as their relation to the world economy changed? By considering these questions, the course will revisit the familiar histories of the Commercial Revolution, the travels of Marco Polo, the Age of Discovery, the East India Companies, the Atlantic System, and the road to the Industrial Revolution. Using the analysis and synthesis of modern historians, we will situate the economic take-off of Europe in the context of the transformation of the world economy. Utilizing past travel logs, eyewitness reports, business contracts, customs receipts, and other non-narrative sources, students will complete a research paper that tackles one of these histories and casts them in new light. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018

430 Renaissance Bodies

(Offered as HIST 430 [EUP/TC/TR], EUST 430 and SWAG 430) "Renaissance Bodies" investigates the ways in which early modern sciences and the figurative arts of the Renaissance collaborated to represent body-centered visual knowledges ranging from the "secrets of women" to scientific "monstrosities." The course also examines the ways in which Catholicism enhanced body-centered, sensual and visual forms of devotion. Discussions center on the eroticization of male, female, and queer bodies in a variety of discourses and visual rhetorics. A particular focus is on the representation of black bodies before the onset of modern racism. Case studies will include Eckhout’s "ethnographic" portrayals of African slaves and the native inhabitants of Brazil; Chiara di Montefalco’s miraculous relics; Elena Duglioli’s career as a spontaneously lactating saint; the cultural history of the dildo; Elena/o de Cespedes’s life as a transman; Sarah Bartmann as fetishized object of desire; male prostitution; and anatomical wax figures.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

432 Gender, Class, and Crime: The Victorian Underworld

(Offered as HIST 432 [EU/TC/TS] and EUST 432) Victorian Britain was a nation of contrasts. It was at once the world’s foremost economic and imperial power, the richest nation in Europe, and the country where the consequences of industrialization–slums, poverty, disease, alcoholism, sexual violence–took some of their bleakest forms. In an era of revolution, Britain enjoyed one of the most stable political systems in Europe; yet it was also a society plagued by crime and by fears of popular unrest, the place where Marx predicted the worker’s revolt would begin. This seminar explores the complex world of the Victorians through a focus on what contemporaries termed the “social problem”: the underclass of criminals, paupers, and prostitutes who seemed immune to reform. Themes will include political liberalism and the Poor Law, imperialism at home and abroad, industrialization and urbanization, sanitation, hygiene, and disease control initiatives, shifting cultural understandings of gender and class, and Jack the Ripper. Students will be expected to write a research paper on a topic of their choice. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2015, Spring 2019

465 Multicultural Spain

A vital question in today’s multicultural societies is how individuals with different identities—religious, racial, ethnic, etc.—can live and prosper together. This course will explore the literature, culture, and history of medieval and early modern Spain, paying special attention to how people with diverse backgrounds coexisted and interacted with each other. Examining the context of Spain during this time period will also serve as a means to help us think through issues of diversity in our world today. First we will look at the situation of medieval Spain where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side-by-side for centuries. Then we’ll turn to Spain’s exploration of the New World and how the diverse encounters that took place influenced Spanish culture. Finally, we will consider representations of other cultural minorities, such as gypsies, in Spain during the early modern period. Primary sources will include literary texts, historical accounts, legal documents, and maps and will be supplemented by secondary critical texts. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020

498, 499, 499D Senior Departmental Honors

A full course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Related Courses

CLAS-121 Greek Mythology and Religion (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-332 Chaucer: <em>The Canterbury Tales</em> (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-348 Modern British Literature, 1900-1950 (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-324 Studies in Medieval Romance Literature and Culture (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-330 The Doing and Undoing of Genres in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-339 Worldliness and Otherworldliness (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-342 Women of Ill Repute: Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century French Literature (Course not offered this year.)
HIST-101 World War II in Global Perspective (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-248 Law And War (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-356 Representing and Judging the Holocaust. (Course not offered this year.)
MUSI-444 Formation of the Self in Twentieth-Century Music (Course not offered this year.)
PHIL-218 Early Modern Philosophy (Course not offered this year.)
POSC-415 Taking Marx Seriously (Course not offered this year.)
PSYC-368 Autobiographical Memory (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-123 Century of Catastrophe: Soviet and Contemporary Russia in Writing and Film (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-227 Fyodor Dostoevsky (Course not offered this year.)

Admission & Financial Aid

Admission & Financial Aid

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European Studies

Advisory Committee: Professors Barbezat, Ciepiela, Courtright, de la Carrera †, Epstein, Griffiths ‡, Katsaros, R. López, Machala, Móricz, Raskin ‡,  Rockwell ‡, Rogowski, Sarat, Schneider, Sinos, R., Staller, and Stavans; Associate Professors Boucher *, Brenneis, Engelhardt (Chair,fall), Gilpin, Nelson †, Polk *, van den Berg, and Wolfson; Assistant Professors Gordon *, Infante, Paul, and Zanker; Five College Associate Professor Long.

European Studies is a major program that provides opportunity for independent and interdisciplinary study of European culture. Through integrated work in the humanities and social sciences, the student major examines a significant portion of the European experience and seeks to define those elements that have given European culture its unity and distinctiveness.

Major Program. The core of the major consists of eight courses that will examine a significant portion of European civilization through a variety of disciplines. Two of these courses will be EUST 121 and 122 (or the equivalent; see below).  All majors must give evidence of proficiency in one European language besides English. Save in exceptional circumstances, majors will spend at least one semester of the junior year pursuing an approved course of study in Europe. By the end of their junior year, all majors shall complete a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture. Prior arrangement for supervision must be made if a student intends to do this project while abroad. For their senior year, European Studies majors will then opt into one of two possible paths: Thesis or Capstone. 

Thesis Option. Students wishing to pursue an independent project as an honors thesis will take one thesis research course in the first semester of the senior year, and another in the final semester. Students may designate the research course of the final semester as a double course (EUST 499D), in which case the total number of courses required to complete the major becomes nine.

Possible approaches for the senior thesis project include comparative literary studies, interdisciplinary work in history, sociology, philosophy, political science, economics, performance studies, visual arts, architecture or music involving one or more European countries. Students are encouraged to take a relevant methods class fitting their research approach (such as HIST-301 or SOCI-315), which, with permission from the EUST chair may count toward the major’s eight courses. 

Capstone Option. In the capstone option students, after having completed a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture, will complete their eight European Studies courses without an independent project. A month into their final semester, capstone majors will submit a five-page retrospective essay on the entirety of the course of their studies in the major, which will be followed by a conversation with the European Studies faculty members. 

Honors Program.  Students may be recommended for Program honors only if they complete a thesis.

 

*On leave 2021-22.
†On leave fall semester 2021-22.
‡On leave spring semester 2021-22.
 

112 Russian Empire in Eurasia

(Offered as HIST 112 [AS/EUCP], ASLC 112, EUST 112 and RUSS 130) In the course of five hundred years, the Russian empire in Eurasia evolved as the largest territorial polity in the world. In this course, we will explore the medieval foundations of the imperial state and look at its predecessors and models (Kievan Rus’ and the empire of the Mongols), discuss ways in which cooperation and resistance shaped the imperial state and society, and study cultural and political entanglements among different ethnic, linguistic and confessional groups in Eurasia. Chronologically, we will cover the period from the tenth century to the crisis of the empire in the early twentieth century. Thematically, we will focus on structures of imperial state and society (the imperial house, peasantry, nobility, confessions, intelligentsia, revolutionary movement) and most important regions of the Russian Empire (Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Baltics, Siberia, Central Asia). Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2018

117 Arthurian Literature

(Offered as ENGL 117 and EUST 117) [Before 1800] Knights, monsters, quests, and true love: these are the things we associate with King Arthur and tales of his court. Why has Arthurian literature proved so enchanting to centuries of poets, novelists, and recently, filmmakers? In this introductory English course, we will read and watch Arthurian legends from Chaucer to Monty Python, examining the ways in which they have been represented in different eras. Beginning with the historical foundations of the King Arthur legend, we will examine how it blossomed and took form in later eras. Our focus will be on close literary and visual analysis of British, American, and French (in translation) versions of these legends. We will also discuss what cultural forces lie behind the popularity of Arthurian legend in certain eras: later medieval England and France; the Victorian era; and twentieth-century England and America. There will be frequent writing assignments and presentations, as well as a final creative project.

Open to first-year students and sophomores. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2020

121 Readings in the European Tradition I

Topics in the past have included readings and discussion of a series of related texts from Homer and Genesis to Dante: Homer’s Iliad, selected Greek tragedies, Virgil’s Aeneid, selections from the Bible and from medieval texts. Three class hours per week. Required of European Studies majors.

Open to European Studies majors and to any student interested in the intellectual and literary development of the West, from antiquity through the Middle Ages. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

122 Readings in the European Tradition II

(Offered as EUST 122 and HIST 122[EU]) This course offers a critical examination of the concept of European civilization from the seventeenth century through the present day. What did it mean to be “European” in the modern era? To what extent was “European” civilization forged by Europe’s connections to the wider world, and by ideas, art, literature, and politics that originated outside the geographical boundaries of Europe? How was the idea of a coherent European culture and character used as a tool of conquest within the European empires? And how did various people—in Europe, in the empires, and beyond—forge new social, cultural, and political solidarities through their critiques of the idea of European civilization? Does the concept of European civilization remain valuable in our modern, globalized era? This course will combine a study of canonical works of European art, literature, and politics with less well-known texts and works of art created by “non-European” people. Required of European Studies majors.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2122. Professor A. Gordon. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

125 The Italian Renaissance: Politics, Culture, and Society

(Offered as HIST 125 [EU/TC/P], EUST 125)

Given the misrepresentations of Renaissance Florentine politics in popular media (Netflix series Medici) and the attacks on Renaissance European culture from theorists of decolonization (Walter Mignolo), one might ask: what is the relevance of the Renaissance today? In this course, we will discuss the extent to which the Florentine and Venetian republics’ struggles for survival in the midst of wars and despotic/oligarchic/feudal usurpations might, again, be of interest to us. We will critically examine Renaissance cultural productions (humanist history writing, portraiture, perspective, mapping, erotic art) while also appreciating the politics of beauty in architecture, urban planning, and figurative art. Other topics include: the African presence; the gendered politics of charity; patriarchal families; women writers; domestic slavery; Jewish communities; interactions with Islamic culture; the conquest of America. 

Spring semester. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023

127 Early Modern Europe in a Global Context (1500–1800)

(Offered as HIST 127 [EU/TC/TE/TR/P] and EUST 127) This course introduces students to the history of Europe in the age of imperialism and colonization. It analyzes the emergence of "modernity" as a result of conquest and colonization, the globalization of commerce, the Atlantic slave trade, and the genocide of indigenous peoples. We will investigate instances of resistance to European imperialism and carefully examine the society that produced global capitalism. Among the topics we will address are the Italian Renaissance and the invention of perspective; the German Reformation and the emergence of interiority; gender, family, and the rise of domesticity; early modern science; new forms of visuality as methods of knowledge production; the emergence of racism; the French and Haitian Revolutions; religious syncretism; instances of hybridity and resistance in the imperial "contact zone." This course is essential for an understanding of the many contradictions and contestations we still live with. We will analyze primary sources, academic literature, and visual materials. There will be a mix of short lectures, discussions, group work, and in-class assignments.

Not offered 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

131 History and Theory of Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 131, ARCH 131 and EUST 131.) Throughout history, buildings have directed human activity, shaping social interactions, symbolizing political power, and influencing multiple kinds of artistic expression. This course is a selected introduction to the history and theory of architecture, from the earliest forms of human habitation to medieval and Renaissance buildings, Enlightenment utopian visions, modern industrial structures and skyscrapers, and contemporary sustainable practices.  Interwoven with a sampling of theoretical texts and architectural treatises, the course covers selected moments in the history and theory of Western architecture, from Vitruvius to Alberti and Corbusier to Koolhaas, from primordial shelters to computer generated designs.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Koehler.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

135 Renaissance to Revolution: Early Modern European Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 135, ARCH 135, and EUST 135) This course, a gateway class for the study of art history, introduces the ways that artists and architects imaginatively invented visual language to interpret the world for contemporary patrons, viewers, and citizens in early modern Europe. Painters, printmakers, sculptors and architects in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands created new ways of seeing empirical phenomena and interpreting them, by means of both ancient and new principles of art, science and philosophy and through powerful engagement with the senses. They produced godlike illusions of nature, from grand frescoes bursting from the walls of papal residences to spectacular gardens covering noble estates in Baroque France and colonializing England. They fundamentally altered the design of major cities such as Rome and Paris so that the visitor encountered an entirely new urban experience than ever before. Along the way, they learned from one another’s example, but, prizing innovation, sought fiercely to surpass previous generations, and argued at length about values in art. They contributed to fashioning an ideal picture of empire and society and conjured the dazzling wealth and power of those who paid them. But as time passed, some came to ironize the social order mightily, and some elevated beggars, farmers, servants, so-called fools, and bourgeois women leading seemingly mundane domestic lives as much as others praised the prosperous few. Finally, artists actively participated in the overthrow of the monarchy during the French Revolution and yet also passionately critiqued the violence of war it engendered. Throughout, the course will investigate how concepts of progress, civilization, the state, religion, race, gender, and the individual came to be defined through art.

The goals of the course are:
above all, to achieve the skill of close looking to gain visual understanding;
• also, to identify artistic innovations that characterize European art and architecture from the Italian Renaissance to the French Revolution;
• to understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
• to situate the works of art historically, by examining the intellectual, political, religious, and social currents that contributed to their creation;
• to read texts about the period critically and analytically.
No previous experience with art or art history is necessary. 

Fall semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

145 The Modern World

(Offered as ARHA 145, EUST 145, and SWAG 145)  This course will explore the self-conscious invention of modernism in painting, sculpture and architecture, from the visual clarion calls of the French Revolution to the performance art and earthworks of "art now." As we move from Goya, David, Monet and Picasso to Kahlo, Kiefer and beyond, we will be attentive to changing responses toward a historical past or societal present, the stance toward popular and alien cultures, the radical redefinition of all artistic media, changing representations of nature and gender, as well as the larger problem of mythologies and meaning in the modern period. Study of original objects and a range of primary texts (artists’ letters, diaries, manifestos, contemporary criticism) will be enhanced with readings from recent historical and theoretical secondary sources.

Limited to 50 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Staller.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2011, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

202 World War II in European Literature and Film

This course is designed to introduce students to the impact that World War II (1939–1945) had and continues to have on the society and culture of several European nations. As the last of the generation that lived during the war passes on, their grandchildren persist in raising questions about the reasons and effects of this political cataclysm. During the war, and afterwards with more or less intensity, writers and filmmakers made and have made attempts to analyze and represent the memories, the guilt, and the false histories that the war left behind in every involved nation.

The course will examine the ethics of historical memory, the sincerity of representation, the clever use of history for political purposes. It will also probe and analyze persistent myths of the war as well as discover stories and facts that have been ignored or forgotten. Finally, the course will look at alternative scenarios, that is, “what if” narratives.

Readings might include works by Erich Remarque, Albert Camus, Irène Némirovsky, W. G. Sebald, Primo Levi, and Tony Judt. Films might include selections from Rossellini’s Roma città aperta, Holland’s Europa, Europa, Reed’s The Third Man, and Malle’s Au revoir les enfants.

The class will study how nations too have attempted to make sense of this hecatomb, seeking explanation, expiation, and often excuses. We will also study how the Second World War’s legacy still affects contemporary European culture and politics.

Students will be expected to participate in discussion, give oral reports, and write a research paper.

January term. Professor Rosbottom. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

221 Voices from a Bygone Time

(Offered as MUSI 221 and EUST 221) Monks living in monastic seclusion, troubadours serving their ladies and fighting wars, mad princes writing complicated polyphonic music, male castrato singers celebrated as the pop-stars of opera houses are just a few of the fascinating characters who participated in music making from the Middle Ages until the middle of the eighteenth century in Europe. The music they produced is frequently called "early music," a falsely unifying label that hides the kaleidoscopic nature of this fantastic repertory, ranging from monophonic chant to opera. In this course we will study how the invention of musical notation affected the development of music, turning an oral tradition of chant into a written tradition of complex polyphonic textures unimaginable without the help of notation. Reading historical documents and listening to selected pieces of music, we'll visit the soundscape of this bygone time that still influences our thinking about music. Assignments include listening, reading, and short papers. Knowledge of musical notation at least at the rudimentary level is recommended.

Requisite: MUSI 112 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Móricz. The course will be offered Hyflex with as much individual/in-person contact as practical.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

222 Music and Culture II

(Offered as MUSI 222 and EUST 222) One of three courses in which the development of Western music is studied in its cultural-historical context. Occasionally we will attend concerts in Amherst and elsewhere. Composers to be studied include Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Mussorgsky, and Brahms. Regular listening assignments will broaden the repertoire we encounter and include a wide sampling of Classical and Romantic music. Periodic writing assignments will provide opportunities to connect the music with historical-cultural interpretation. Readings will focus on Gibbs/Taruskin Oxford History of Western Music with additional historical documents and selected critical and analytical studies. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (MUSI 221 and 223). Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: MUSI 111, 112, or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2023

223 The Musical Symptoms of Modernism

(Offered as MUSI 223 and EUST 223) Two World Wars, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the dropping of the atomic bomb were cataclysmic events that made the twentieth century one of the most traumatizing time periods in human history. And yet music did not fall silent. Composers continued writing music, giving aural expression to symptoms characteristic of the condition of modernism. How did Richard Strauss's opera Salome about a necrophiliac princess lusting for a severed head become one of the most successful operas in Europe? Why did Stalin alternately persecute and reward the Soviet Union's most talented composer, Dmitri Shostakovich? Why did composers insist on writing unlistenable, incomprehensibly complex music after World War II? Listening to a wide variety of music from Mahler to Kaija Saariaho, reading historical documents and other relevant essays, we'll explore symptoms of modernism and how composers and their music interacted with their culture milieu and historical context. Assignments will include regular listening, periodic short papers, and a culminating project.

This course will be taught in person. 

Requisite: MUSI 111 or 112, or consent of the instructor. January semester. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Offered in January 2022, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, January 2022

226 Women and War in European History, 1558–1918

(Offered as HIST 226 [EU/TC/P], ARHA 226, EUST 226, and SWAG 225) Although overlooked in military histories until recently, women have long been actively involved in warfare: as combatants, as victims, as workers, and as symbols. This course examines both the changing role of women, and the shifting constructions of “womanhood,” in four major European conflicts: the wars of Elizabeth I in sixteenth-century England, the wars and peace of Marie de Médicis in seventeenth-century France, the French Revolution, and the First World War. Using methodologies drawn from Art History and History, the course seeks to understand the gendered nature of warfare. Why are images of women and the family central to the iconography of war, and how have representations of womanhood shifted according to the aims of particular conflicts? To what extent do women’s experiences of warfare differ from men’s, and can war be considered a source of women’s liberation or oppression? Students will analyze a range of historical images in conjunction with primary source texts from these conflicts and will also develop an original research project related to the course’s themes. Two class meetings per week.

Recommended requisite: A course in Art History or History. Limited to 25 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019

230 The French Revolution

(Offered as HIST 230 [EUPTC] and EUST 230) Often viewed as one of the defining events in modern history, the French Revolution has been debated and discussed, derided and celebrated by generations of politicians, cultural commentators, and historians. This course enters into this on-going conversation by examining the nature of the revolutionary process as it unfolded in late eighteenth-century France and its empire. Beginning in the “old regime” of kings and commoners, it untangles the social, political, and intellectual roots of the Revolution and investigates the extent to which these factors contributed to the radical overthrow of the French establishment in 1789. It then follows the extension of the Revolution throughout French society and across the seas to the Caribbean, analyzing how popular and colonial upheavals influenced the revolutionary new order of “liberty, equality, and brotherhood” that was taking shape in France. Finally, the course explores the aftermath of the Revolution by tracing the various ways that its history has been interpreted and reinterpreted from the nineteenth century to the present day. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018

231 Race and Empire: The British Experience from 1760

(Offered as HIST 231 [EU/TE/TR/TS] and EUST 231) From the mid-eighteenth century through the 1960s, Britain presided over the most powerful empire in the world. At its height, this small island nation ruled one-quarter of the earth’s surface and more than 450 million of its inhabitants. Not only did British imperialism play a decisive role in shaping world politics, economics, and cultures in its day, it also left a number of profound legacies that continue to affect our lives in the present. This course traces the rise, fall, and lasting influence of the British empire, and pays particular attention to questions of race and ethnicity. Through a series of colonial encounters--such as the first contacts made between explorers and Pacific Islanders in the  eighteenth century, the interactions between missionaries and Africans in the nineteenth century, or the migration of South Asians to Britain in the twentieth century--it examines what “race” meant in different historical contexts. The course thus explores the institutionalization of racism in government, law, and society, and analyzes moments in which racism has been combated and overturned. Readings and course materials will be drawn from secondary and primary sources, including newspapers, novels, photographs, artwork, oral histories, and films.

Not offered in 2021-22. Enrollment limited to 30 students. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2016, Spring 2021

232 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 315, EUST 232, and FAMS 328) From Pedro Almodóvar to Penélope Cruz, Spanish directors and actors are now international stars. But the origins of Spain’s cinema are rooted in censorship and patriarchy. This course offers an overview of Spanish film from 1950 to the present along with an introduction to film studies. Through weekly streaming films and discussions, students will follow how Spain’s culture, history and society have been imagined onscreen, as well as how Spanish filmmakers interact with the rest of Europe and Latin America. We will pay particular attention to issues surrounding gender and sexuality as well as contemporary social justice movements. No prior experience with film analysis is needed. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

233 Love

This panoramic, interdisciplinary course will explore the concept of love as it changes epoch to epoch and culture to culture. Poetry, novels, paintings, sculptures, movies, TV, and music will be featured. Starting with the Song of Songs, it will include discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Catullus, and other Greek classics, move on to Dante and Petrarch, contemplate Chinese, Arabic, African, and Mesoamerican literatures, devote a central unit to Shakespeare, continue with the Metaphysical poets, and move on to American literature. Special attention will be paid to the difference between love, eroticism, and pornography. Multilingual students will be encouraged to delve into various linguistic traditions, in tongues like French, Russian, German, Yiddish, and Spanish. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2014, Spring 2017

235 Impostors

An interdisciplinary exploration of the causes behind the social, racial, artistic, and political act—and art—of posing, passing, or pretending to be someone else. Blacks passing for whites, Jews passing for gentiles, and women passing for men, and vice versa, will be the central motif, with attention given to biological and scientific patterns such as memory loss, mental illness, and plastic surgery, and to literary strategies like irony. As a supernatural occurrence, discussion will  include mystical experiences, ghost stories, and séance sessions. The course will also cover instances pertaining to institutional religion, from prophesy from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles to the Koran and Mormonism. In technology and communications, analysis concentrates on the invention of the telegraph, the telephone, and the Internet. The class will also analyze entertainment, ventriloquism, puppet shows, voice-overs, children’s cartoon shows, subtitles, and dubbing in movies and TV and examine posers in Greek mythology, the Arabian Nights, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip Roth, Oliver Sacks, and Nella Larsen. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018, Fall 2021

236 The Bible as Literature

A close reading of significant portions of the Five Books of Moses, done from the perspective of literature: how are the human and divine characters built, what interior life do they display and what philosophical view do they convey? Attention will be given to the nineteenth-century theories that approach the Bible as a composite book delivering a nationalistic story. Students will also reflect on the impact of the Bible in Western literature, from Dante’s Divine Comedy to R. Crumb’s cartoon retelling of Genesis. Taught in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2019

237 God

This course rotates around the shifting notion of the divine in Western Civilization, focusing on theology, philosophy, literature, and music. Students explore the development of the three major prophetic religions as well as some of the mystical movements they fostered. Discussions rotate around the King James Bible, Augustine’s Confessions, the Koran, Maimonides’ The Guide for the Perplexed, the Zohar, the Popol Vuh, the Ramayana, and Spinoza’s work as a cornerstone to the Enlightenment. We will contemplate secularism in modern culture and analyze the contemporary atheist movement of Dawkins and Hitchens . Music explorations range from Johann Sebastian Bach to John Cage; in science, from Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking; and in film, from Ingmar Bergman to Woody Allen. Readings include parts of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, Kafka’s The Castle, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Borges’ “The Secret Miracle” and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Spring 2021

238 Soviet Union During the Cold War

(Offered as HIST 236 [EU], EUST 238, and RUSS 237) The Cold War indelibly shaped the second half of the twentieth century. Spies seemed ubiquitous; nuclear annihilation imminent. Films such as Red October and the James Bond series forged a Western image of the Soviet Union. But how were these decades experienced behind the Iron Curtain? This course explores Soviet history between the end of World War II and the collapse of the USSR. We will study the roots of the Cold War; the politics of de-Stalinization in the USSR; the unfolding of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe; and Soviet relations with the West, China, and the developing world. We will also explore the internal dynamics of Soviet society: the rise of the Soviet middle class, consumerism, tourism, the entertainment industry, demographic trends, education, and public health. Two class meetings per week. 

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2023

240 The Last Russian Revolution: State and Society from the Late Soviet Period to the Present

(Offered as HIST 240 [EU], EUST 240, and RUSS 240) This course explores the tumultuous and unprecedented transition from the late Soviet Communism to contemporary Russian Federation. We will discuss the state of the Soviet Union on the eve of dissolution and politics of nationalism; emergence of the post-Soviet states and divergence in their historical development; transition to capitalism and privatization; challenges of federalism and regionalism in post-Soviet Russia; relations between the Russian Federation and “Near Abroad,” NATO and China, and the social and cultural developments from the late Soviet period to the early twenty-first century. The class will also explore the historical evolution of the phenomenon of Putinism as rooted in long-term transformation of the former Soviet space. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2022

241 The Age of Michelangelo: Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 241, ARCH 241, and EUST 241)  Michelangelo, a defining genius of the Italian Renaissance, emerged from a rich cultural environment that forever changed how we think of art. Artists of the Renaissance developed an original visual language from the legacy of the ancient world, while also examining nature, their environment, and encounters with other worlds to the East and West. Their art revealed a profound engagement with philosophical attitudes toward the body and the spirit, as well as with ideals of pious devotion and civic virtue. Those concepts changed radically over the period of the Renaissance, however. Artists developed the rhetoric of genius and artistic struggle by vaunting an artist’s godlike role, owing to his imaginative creation of art and his ability to mimic reality illusionistically, yet they also questioned a human’s place in the cosmos. We will analyze in depth the visual language of painting, sculpture, and architecture created for merchants, monks, princes and popes in the urban centers of Florence, Rome and Venice from the 14th through the 16th centuries, and examine the virtuosic processes artists used to achieve their goals. 

Rather than taking the form of a survey, this course, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will analyze selected works and contemporary attitudes toward the visual through study of the art and its primary sources.

 Learning goals:

  • Gain confidence in the art of close looking to gain visual understanding;
  • Achieve an understanding about how art and its culture are intertwined;
  • Develop the critical skills to analyze points of view from a historical period other than our own;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Develop and argue an original thesis about a single work of art in a research paper.

Meets twice a week, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

One course in ARHA, FAMS, or ARCH recommended.

Uncapped.

 Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2023

245 Stalin and Stalinism

(Offered as HIST 235 [EU/TC/TE/TR/TS], EUST 245 and RUS 235) Joseph Stalin, the infamous Soviet dictator, created a particular type of society in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Stalinism became a phenomenon that influenced the development of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The course will begin with the exploration of Stalin’s own life and then focus on what historical forces enabled the emergence of Stalinism. It will cover the period on the eve of and during the Russian Revolution, Stalinist transformation of the USSR in the 1930s, WWII, and the onset of the Cold War. Among issues to be explored are the extent of popular support for Stalinist-type regimes, the mechanisms of large-scale political terror, the longevity of Stalinist regimes, and historical memory about Stalinism. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

255 Imposture: Con-men, Swindlers, and Other Pretenders

(Offered by RUSS 255 and EUST 255) This course investigates various figures of imposture. Beginning with Nikolai Gogol’s classic figure of Chichikov from Dead Souls and his genre-bending reversal of the theme in The Inspector General, the course will examine how authors have used confidence games and imposture to reveal particular ploys and gambits in literature. The course will also consider the ways that con-men, swindlers, and pretenders reflect and manipulate the cultural, political, and social dilemmas of their respective periods. While we will focus particularly on the case of Russia—and the distinct place the arts of confidence have had there – we will also consider forms of imposture beyond just a hustle for money and beyond the case of Russia. We will examine imposture in terms of race (as in Nella Larsen's Passing), in the realm of politics (as in Alexander Pushkin's “Boris Godunov”), in relation to the Holocaust (as in Stefan Maechler’s definitive report on the memoirist Benjamin Wilkomirskij), and in such expansive novelistic treatments of this theme by Herman Melville and Thomas Mann. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Professor Kunichika. Omitted 2021-22

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

258 Art, Things, Spaces, and Places

(Offered as ARHA 258, ARCH 258 and EUST 258) The purpose of this course is to introduce students to research on lived environments from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, the architecture that shaped them, and the art and objects that they contained. The goal of each class, through reading and discussion, is to investigate what a researchable question is in the fields of history, art history, architecture, and material culture in Europe, England, and the Americas. Using multi-disciplinary research strategies, we will examine the power of precious and ordinary objects (including furniture, tapestries, devotional paintings, family portraits, and sculpture), the contemporary connotations of their materiality, and consider what objects in a home might signify about a family’s status, political allegiance, spirituality, and place in the world. Further, we will ask how art, objects and décor shape the beholder’s experience of spaces inside and outside a residence, in private and in public. What does the display of objects in collections, including those from far-away cultures other than the patron’s, signify to the owner and the viewer? Visiting lecturers will present their ideas on various topics such as the anthropology of art, the significance of precious materials, and collecting. We will take field trips to museums and meet curators in order to identify a research topic.

This course will give students tools to conduct their own research into past lived environments and their contents, and identify how we in the 21st century might come to understand them. As the culmination of the course students will collaboratively develop a prospectus for a research project with one or two other classmates. Assignments to meet that goal include adding new content to Wikipedia as a record of students’ findings and a contribution to knowledge for a wider public.

Open to sophomores but also motivated first-years interested in research in a variety of fields. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

259 Shakespeare in Prison

Taught at the Hampshire County Jail, the course is devoted to close readings and staging of parts of Shakespeare’s plays while exploring in depth his historical context, dramatic and stylistic style, and world view. The topics of bondage, revenge, injustice, and forgiveness will serve as leitmotifs. In Spring 2018, four plays were the focus: As You Like It, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Conducted in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

269 Baroque Art

(Offered as ARHA 269, ARCH 269, EUST 269) At the beginning of the seventeenth century, religious and social upheavals in Europe led to a renewed proliferation of exciting, innovative art. In this century of remarkably varied artistic production, paradoxes abounded. Artists sought the illusion of reality by imitating unimproved, even base or monstrous nature through close observation of the human body, landscape, and ordinary, humble objects of daily use. They imbued art meant to inspire religious devotion with unbounded eroticism or with the gory details of painful suffering and hideous death. Artists and architects made the visionary appear real and sensual. They adored the past but re-cast it in modern terms. Others continued to quest for perfection in a return to the lofty principles implicit in ancient artistic canons of ideality. More than ever before, artists explored the expression of passion through dramatic narratives and sharply revealing portraiture. They depicted dominating political leaders as flawed mortals—even satirized them through the new art of caricature—at the same time that they developed a potent and persuasive vocabulary in art, architecture, and gardens for the expression of the rulers’ absolutist political power.

This class will examine issues in Baroque art in depth through selected works of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced by artists in the Catholic countries of the seventeenth century, e.g. Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, and Rubens in Italy, France, Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, and parts of the Americas. It also engages the cultural, social, and intellectual framework for their accomplishments. 

Intermediate level, one other course in art history preferred but not required. Uncapped.

Spring Semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2016

284 Women and Art in Early Modern Europe

(Offered as ARHA 284, EUST 284, and SWAG 206)  This introductory discussion-based course will examine how prevailing ideas about women and gender shaped visual imagery in Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, and how these images, in turn, presented surprisingly varied pictures of women and their domains. Artists vividly expressed the paradoxical power that women possessed even more than language could. Both admired and feared in their societies, aristocrats, queens, mistresses, saints, witches, heroines, and housewives were all depicted in art in elevated and debased manners, sometimes as eroticized subjects and at other times as powerful, idealized actors—occasionally both at the same time. We will analyze the art and material goods that women paid for and what it communicated about them; women’s homes and the objects they held; the portrayal of women from merchant societies in Italian city-states to aristocratic women in India, of female saints, heroes and rulers, including Elizabeth I of England and Maria de' Medici of France; and the troubling imagery of rape. These different types of art raise questions about biological theories about women; feminine ideals of beauty; what marriage meant in different societies; the relationship between the exercise of political power and gender; women’s expression of transcendent spirituality; and what the portrayal of indigenous and enslaved women in Dutch and Spanish colonies conveyed about race.

 GOALS FOR LEARNING

  • Understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
  • Gain an understanding of how historical attitudes about women and by women affect art made about and by women;
  • Develop an analytical ability to examine points of view expressed in texts and art of a historical period other than our own and to distinguish them from another;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Learn how to perform 2 kinds of research:

1) find materials to contribute publicly useful scholarship, by creating or revising Wikipedia entries, which greatly lack material on women;

2) Develop and argue an original thesis in a 10-page research paper.

 No prerequisites. Uncapped.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2021

294 Black Europe

(Offered as BLST 294 [D], SWAG 294 and EUST 294) This research-based seminar considers the enduring presence of people of African descent in Europe from the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment, a fact that both confounds and extends canonical theories of African diaspora and black internationalism.  Focusing particularly on the histories of black people in Britain, Germany, and France, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach in its study of the African diaspora in Europe. We will examine literature, history, film, art and ephemera, as well as newly available pre-1927 audio recordings from Bear Family Records (http://www.black-europe.com/) in effort to better comprehend the materiality of the black European experience. These inquiries will enable us to comment upon the influence black people continue to have upon Europe today. Reading the central texts in the emerging field of Black European Studies—including African American expatriate memoirs, Afro-German feminist poetry, and black British cultural theory—student work will culminate in an annotated bibliography and a multimedia research project.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Polk.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

303 Literature as Translation

(Offered as EUST 303, ENGL 320 and RUSS 310) Acts of translation underwrite many kinds of cultural production, often invisibly. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, for instance, engaged with black internationalism through bilingualism and translation, as Brent Edwards has reminded us. In this course we will study literary translation as a creative practice involved in the making of subjects and cultures. We will read key statements about translation by theorists and translators, such as Walter Benjamin, Roman Jakobson, Lawrence Venuti, Peter Cole and Gayatri Spivak. We also will directly engage in translation work: each student will regularly present translations in a workshop format to produce a portfolio as a final project. The class will be “polyglot,” meaning that students are welcome to translate from any language of which they have knowledge; when they share translations, they will be asked also to provide interlinear, or “literal,” translations for those who may not understand the language they are working in.

Requisite: Two years of college-level study of the chosen language. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professors Bosman and Ciepiela. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021

310 History of Fascism

(Offered as HIST 310[EU/TE/TR] and EUST 310) Fascism emerged as a political ideology that was simultaneously revolutionary and reactionary, promising national rebirth in opposition to both liberalism and Marxist socialism. But after the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II, fascism seemingly ceased to be a factor in global politics. How do we assess fascism a century after the establishment of the first fascist regime in Italy? This course will explore the social, cultural, and intellectual origins of fascism, the rise of fascist movements in Europe in the early to mid-twentieth century, the politics and policies of fascist parties and regimes—including in Germany, Italy, Iberia, the Balkans, and the Baltic States—and transnational fascist links between Europe and the Americas, Asia, and Africa. This course will conclude with a consideration of anti-fascism and the "fascism question" in contemporary politics. Readings and course materials will be drawn from a variety of secondary and primary sources. Two meetings per week. 

Spring semester. Professor Merritt.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

315 What is Language? Russian and Soviet Views in Comparative Context

(Offered as RUSS 315 and EUST 315) “We die. That may be the meaning of life,” writes Toni Morrison. “But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” Russian thinkers, writers, philosophers, and politicians have likewise sought to take measure of their lives and of culture by thinking about the nature of language, and its role in culture, society, and politics. In examining how Russian writers and thinkers have sought to answer the question what is language? — how they did and do language—we will consider a range of sources from intellectual history, linguistics, literary and critical theory, mythology, theology, and philosophy. We will examine the distinctive contributions of Russian thinking about language, while also seeking to situate Russian views on this question within a comparative context. To that end, we will also read intellectual sources that proved seminal for articulating an answer to this question (Vico, Herder, Rousseau, Saussure, and Benveniste, among others). As we consider this broad question, and how it has animated Russian thought and culture, we will also focus upon a range of other questions: What are the origins of language? How does language evolve? What is the relationship of language to national culture? What is the relationship of language to politics? Throughout the course, we will see how views on the nature of language served as an arena in which vying conceptions of culture, politics, and the human have all been contested. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Omit 2021-22. Professor Kunichika.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Fall 2022

317 Women in Early Modern Spain

(Offered as SPAN 405, EUST 317, and SWAG 317) This course will examine the diverse and often contradictory representations of women in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain as seen through the eyes of both male and female writers. This approach will allow us to inquire into how women represented themselves versus how they were understood by men. In our analysis of this topic, we will also take into consideration some scientific, legal, and moral discourses that attempted to define the nature and value of women in early modern Spain. Works by authors such as Cervantes, María de Zayas, Calderón de la Barca, and Catalina de Erauso, among others, will offer us fascinating examples and different approaches to the subject. Conducted in Spanish.

For Spring 2021, this course will be taught “hyflex,” with instruction conducted synchronously via Zoom as well as in-person meetings for students on campus. All course materials will be available digitally and will be provided by the instructor.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

320 Seminar on Opera and Musical Theatre

(Offered as MUSI 420, EUST 320 and THDA 320) This course examines the two genres of lyric theater (opera and musical) with special attention to composers’ musical characterizations of the women and men who populate them. The first part of the class will focus on case studies of works by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini,  Rogers & Hammerstein, and Sondheim. Analyzing these works will help us develop an understanding of how composers work with conventions of vocal type and musical gesture to define character. The second part of the class will be devoted to developing independent research projects. Health conditions permitting, some of the works studied will be chosen in coordination with performances we can attend in New York or Boston.

Spring semester. Professor Schneider.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

327 Fascism, War, and Freedom: Spain and Japan On Screen

(Offered as ASLC 327, EUST 327, and FAMS 327) The relationships among media, the state, and civil society are complex.  This course aims to address these relationships by examining cinema—the art form of the twentieth century—in Japan and Spain during different but overlapping eras of tumult: the 1930s to the 1980s. Putting these two national cinemas in a comparative framework will allow us to address issues such as: the interest in film by authoritarian regimes; the way cinema is harnessed to wartime goals by the state; the nature of censorship and self-censorship in war and peace; the potential of image, sound, and narrative to give expression to propaganda and democratic ideals; the cathartic release following the end of an authoritarian regime or occupation. The course, taught in English, does not assume prior knowledge of either country, nor of film studies. All films have English subtitles.

Spring semester. Professors Brenneis and Van Compernolle.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

328 Trial and Error: An Interdisciplinary Experiment with Montaigne's Essais

(Offered as FREN 328 and EUST 328) "If my mind could gain a firm footing, I would not make essays, I would make decisions; but it is always in apprenticeship and on trial" (III, 2 "Of Repentance"). A Renaissance jurist and thinker, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) is widely recognized as one of the key figures in the history of self-writing and of the essay as genre. This course, however, situates Montaigne beyond these two frames. In the spirit of Montaigne himself, it proposes to attempt, to sample, to taste—in sum, to essay—the Essais (1580-1595). From confessions of impotence to love affairs with books; from rebuttals of human reason to reflections on solitude and age; from networks of exchange to disease and contagion, the uncategorizable content of the Essais, combined with a dynamic form replete with detours and deviations, is an invitation to err among and try a variety of subjects. Similarly, our objective is not to gain expertise, but to experiment and to experience. Our trials will combine a close reading of a selection of Montaigne’s Essais alongside critical, historical, or theoretical texts from a diverse range of methodologies and fields, such as medicine, sound studies, cultural gerontology and more. In addition to engaging with the writings of Montaigne, this course therefore serves as a more general opportunity to consider the place of literature among and within other disciplines. Conducted in English.

Spring semester. Professor Nader-Esfahani.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

330 Race and Otherness in the Middle Ages

(Offered as ENGL 330 and EUST 330) [Before 1800] By many accounts, a concept of “race” does not emerge in the West until the colonizing of the New World in the Renaissance. Yet medieval people had many ways of identifying, exoticizing, excluding, and discriminating against “others.” This was often framed in terms of religion (Christianity vs. Islam), but it also manifests in terms of physiognomic description and ideas of monstrosity in romance and quest narratives. In this course, we will explore how the “othering” of certain medieval peoples creates a racialized language and discourse at once specific to the Middle Ages and relevant to our current understanding of race. We will read from medieval travel narratives (The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Prester John, The Medieval Romance of Alexander) as well as literature by Chaucer and others, alongside critical race theory and historical scholarship to give context to our discussions. We will also explore how the Middle Ages have been racialized in contemporary political and popular discourse.

Format: If at least 5 in-person students register for this course, it will run in person, with hybrid options for remote students. Course meetings will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

340 Violence, Art and Memory of the Spanish Civil War

(Offered as SPAN 420 and EUST 340.) The Spanish Civil War lasted only three years, from 1936 to 1939, yet the conflict cast a long shadow over Spain’s twentieth-century history, culture and identity. Indeed, as a precursor to World War II, the war's effects were felt worldwide, and it became the inspiration for works of art and literature as varied as Pablo Picasso's Guernica, Pablo Neruda's España en el corazón, Guillermo del Toro's El laberinto del fauno and Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. This course will delve into the discord and violence of the war as well as to the anguish and catharsis of the literature, poetry and film it inspired. Through primary sources and historical accounts, we will understand the war’s causes. By studying texts and films that track the reverberations of the Spanish Civil War in the United States, Latin America and Continental Europe, we will trace the war’s effects. In addition, we will grapple with the diverse ways that lingering memories of the war have affected modern-day politics and culture, with particular attention to legacies of race, class and gender. This course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course has been designed with a strong digital component. For S21, instruction will likely be remote and synchronous via Zoom. If circumstances permit, there may be opportunities for in person group work and meetings with the professor for those students on campus. All course and research materials will be available digitally.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

360 Performance

(Offered as GERM 360, ARCH 360, EUST 360 and FAMS 316) What is performance? What constitutes an event? How can we address a phenomenon that has disappeared the moment we apprehend it? How does memory operate in our critical perception of an event? How does a body make meaning? These are a few of the questions we will explore in this course, as we discuss critical, theoretical, and compositional approaches in a broad range of multidisciplinary performance phenomena emerging from European—primarily German—culture in the twentieth century. We will focus on issues of performativity, composition, conceptualization, dramaturgy, identity construction, representation, space, gender, and dynamism. Readings of performance theory, performance studies, gender studies, and critical/cultural studies, as well as literary, philosophical, and architectural texts, will accompany close examination of performance material. Students will develop performative projects in various media (video, performance, text, online) and deliver a number of critical oral and written presentations on various aspects of the course material and their own projects. Performance material will be experienced live when possible, and in text, video, audio, digital media and online form, drawn from selected works of Dada and Surrealism, Bauhaus, German Expressionism, the Theater of the Absurd, Tanztheater, and Contemporary Theater, Performance, Dance, Opera, New Media, and Performance Art. A number of films, including Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Oskar Schlemmer’s Das Triadische Ballett, Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique, and Kurt Jooss’ Der Grüne Tisch, will also be screened. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 16 students.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2020, Spring 2023

363 Traumatic Events

(Offered as GERM 363, ARCH 363, EUST 363, and FAMS 370) How is memory constructed and represented? How is it possible to bear witness, and what exactly is involved? Who is authorized to testify, to whom, when? Whose story is it? Is it possible to tell "the story" of a traumatic event? What are the disorders of testimony, and how and where do they emerge? This course will observe the workings of trauma (the enactment and working-through of collective and individual symptoms of trauma), memory, and witnessing in various modes of everyday life. We will examine notions of catastrophe, disaster, accident, and violence, and explore the possibilities and impossibilities of bearing witness in many forms of cultural production: in fiction, poetry, architecture, critical theory, oral and written testimonies, visual art, monuments, memorials, philosophy, science, cartoons, film, video, theater, social media, and performance, online and in our public and domestic spaces. We will study various representations of trauma, paying particular attention to events in Germany and Europe from the twentieth century, as well as to 9/11, the Covid-19 pandemic and inter/national events of 2020. Material to be examined will be drawn from the work of Pina Bausch, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Cathy Caruth, Paul Celan, Marguerite Duras, Peter Eisenman, Shoshana Felman, Florian Freund, Jochen Gerz, Geoffrey Hartman, Rebecca Horn, Marion Kant, Anselm Kiefer, Ruth Klüger, Dominick LaCapra, Claude Lanzmann, Dori Laub, Daniel Libeskind, W.G. Sebald, Art Spiegelman, Paul Virilio, Peter Weiss, Wim Wenders, Elie Wiesel, Christa Wolf, and others. Conducted in English with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2018

365 Making Memorials

(Offered as GERM 365, ARCH 365, and EUST 365) This is a course about what happens to difficult memories: memories that are intensely personal, but made public, memories that belong to communities, but which become ideologically possessed by history, politics, or the media. How are memories processed into memorials? What constitutes a memorial? What gets included or excluded? How is memory performed in cultural objects, spaces, and institutions? What is the relationship between the politics of representation and memory? Who owns memory? Who is authorized to convey it? How does memory function? This course will explore the spaces in which memories are “preserved” and experienced. Our attention will focus on the transformation of private and public memories in works of architecture, performance, literature, and the visual arts, primarily in Germany, Europe, and the United States in the twentieth century, including also 9/11, the COVID-19 pandemic, and inter/national events of 2020. Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, the visual arts, interactive installation and/or the environment. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 20 students. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2021

368 SPACE

(Offered as GERM 368, ARCH 368, EUST 368, and FAMS 380) This research seminar will explore conceptions of space as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual materials will be drawn from the fields of literature and philosophy; architectural, art, and film theory and history; performance studies and performance theory; and theories of technology and the natural and built environment. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is a core of this seminar.

Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment. Conducted in English. German majors will select a research project focused on a German Studies context, and will do a substantial portion of the readings in German. 

Limited to 18 students. Enrollment requires attendance at the first class meeting. Spring semester. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2018

369 TIME

(Offered as ARCH 369 and EUST 369) This research seminar will explore conceptions of time as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, philosophy, neuroscience, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual/sonic materials will be drawn from the fields of European literature, philosophy and critical theory; from architectural, art, music, neuroscience and film theory and history; from performance studies and performance theory; and from theories of technology and the natural and built environment. We will sustain a focus on issues of perception, cognition, duration, movement, attention, imagination, memory, and narrative throughout. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is central to this seminar. Conducted in English.

Preference given to ARCH and EUST majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment.

Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Fall 2019

374 Medieval and Renaissance Lyric

(Offered as ENGL 441 and EUST 374) [Before 1800] In this course, we read a selection of English and other European lyrics (in translation) from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries. An exciting, fertile era in poetic innovation, these centuries see the dawn of the first romantic love poetry in these languages, the invention of new forms like the sonnet, and the invention of the lyric “anthology.” Reading the lyrics of the French troubadour poets, Chaucer, Petrarch, Wyatt, Donne, Shakespeare, and the many brilliant anonymous poets of medieval England, we will examine both the text and contexts of these short poems. Close readings will be put in dialogue with cultural contexts (such as the volatile court of Henry VIII, in which Thomas Wyatt wrote), and the material contexts of the lyrics (the medieval and early modern manuscripts and books in which they first appeared). We will further think about how the term “lyric” emerges as a privileged poetic category, by reading contemporary “defenses” of poetry and thinking about why the word “lyric” only appears in the sixteenth century. Does the “lyric” poem change once it is defined? How do later works speak to the earlier tradition?

Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2020

385 Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters

(Offered as ARHA 385, EUST 385, and SWAG 310) Our course will explore how evil was imagined, over cultures, centuries and disciplines. With the greatest possible historical and cultural specificity, we will investigate an array of monstrous creatures and plagues -- their terrifying powers, the explanations for why they came to be, and the strategies for how they could be purged -- as we attempt to articulate the kindred qualities they shared. We will study centuries-old witch burning manuals, and note the striking degree to which dangerous tropes -- about women, about pestilence, about dangerous sexuality, and about differences of all kinds -- have continued to our day. Among the artists to be considered are Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí, Buñuel, Dreyer, Wilder, Almodóvar, and the community who made the AIDS Quilt.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

390, 490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

420 Antisemitism

An in-depth, thorough chronological study of Antisemitism—“the longest hatred”—from Hellenistic and Roman times to early Christian thinkers, the development of Islam, the Middle Ages, especially the Holy Office of the Spanish Inquisition, the Enlightenment, Nazism and other forms of fascism, Communism, to the twenty-first century. Special attention will be placed on geographical varieties and national traditions (France, Germany, Russia, Iran, the United States, Spain, and Argentina), the Dreyfus Affair, the Protocols of the Wise of Zion, Henry Ford, and other focal points. The class will analyze in detail the metastasis of antisemitism into anti-Zionism before and after the creation of the State of Israel. We will also discuss antisemitism in politics, education, culture, and media, and its link to racism, anti-immigration, xenophobia and other hatreds.

This course will be conducted online. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

425 European Economic Take-Off in Global Perspective, c. 1050–1750

(Offered as HIST 425 [EUP] and EUST 425) The history of the pre-modern European economy is usually understood as the singular and exceptional rise of the first modern economy. Yet recent research in economic history and shifts in the world economy have provided new perspectives to reconsider the rise of the European economy. From this long-term and global viewpoint, the story of Europe’s economic take-off becomes the remarkable story of a backwater that became mainstream. How was Europe able to reposition itself from a periphery of the Eurasian economy to a central node of the global economy? What drove Europeans further and further into the East and how did their incursions disrupt or adapt to previous trade networks and practices? How did the exports and imports of Europe change as their relation to the world economy changed? By considering these questions, the course will revisit the familiar histories of the Commercial Revolution, the travels of Marco Polo, the Age of Discovery, the East India Companies, the Atlantic System, and the road to the Industrial Revolution. Using the analysis and synthesis of modern historians, we will situate the economic take-off of Europe in the context of the transformation of the world economy. Utilizing past travel logs, eyewitness reports, business contracts, customs receipts, and other non-narrative sources, students will complete a research paper that tackles one of these histories and casts them in new light. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018

430 Renaissance Bodies

(Offered as HIST 430 [EUP/TC/TR], EUST 430 and SWAG 430) "Renaissance Bodies" investigates the ways in which early modern sciences and the figurative arts of the Renaissance collaborated to represent body-centered visual knowledges ranging from the "secrets of women" to scientific "monstrosities." The course also examines the ways in which Catholicism enhanced body-centered, sensual and visual forms of devotion. Discussions center on the eroticization of male, female, and queer bodies in a variety of discourses and visual rhetorics. A particular focus is on the representation of black bodies before the onset of modern racism. Case studies will include Eckhout’s "ethnographic" portrayals of African slaves and the native inhabitants of Brazil; Chiara di Montefalco’s miraculous relics; Elena Duglioli’s career as a spontaneously lactating saint; the cultural history of the dildo; Elena/o de Cespedes’s life as a transman; Sarah Bartmann as fetishized object of desire; male prostitution; and anatomical wax figures.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

432 Gender, Class, and Crime: The Victorian Underworld

(Offered as HIST 432 [EU/TC/TS] and EUST 432) Victorian Britain was a nation of contrasts. It was at once the world’s foremost economic and imperial power, the richest nation in Europe, and the country where the consequences of industrialization–slums, poverty, disease, alcoholism, sexual violence–took some of their bleakest forms. In an era of revolution, Britain enjoyed one of the most stable political systems in Europe; yet it was also a society plagued by crime and by fears of popular unrest, the place where Marx predicted the worker’s revolt would begin. This seminar explores the complex world of the Victorians through a focus on what contemporaries termed the “social problem”: the underclass of criminals, paupers, and prostitutes who seemed immune to reform. Themes will include political liberalism and the Poor Law, imperialism at home and abroad, industrialization and urbanization, sanitation, hygiene, and disease control initiatives, shifting cultural understandings of gender and class, and Jack the Ripper. Students will be expected to write a research paper on a topic of their choice. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2015, Spring 2019

465 Multicultural Spain

A vital question in today’s multicultural societies is how individuals with different identities—religious, racial, ethnic, etc.—can live and prosper together. This course will explore the literature, culture, and history of medieval and early modern Spain, paying special attention to how people with diverse backgrounds coexisted and interacted with each other. Examining the context of Spain during this time period will also serve as a means to help us think through issues of diversity in our world today. First we will look at the situation of medieval Spain where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side-by-side for centuries. Then we’ll turn to Spain’s exploration of the New World and how the diverse encounters that took place influenced Spanish culture. Finally, we will consider representations of other cultural minorities, such as gypsies, in Spain during the early modern period. Primary sources will include literary texts, historical accounts, legal documents, and maps and will be supplemented by secondary critical texts. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020

498, 499, 499D Senior Departmental Honors

A full course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Related Courses

CLAS-121 Greek Mythology and Religion (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-332 Chaucer: <em>The Canterbury Tales</em> (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-348 Modern British Literature, 1900-1950 (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-324 Studies in Medieval Romance Literature and Culture (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-330 The Doing and Undoing of Genres in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-339 Worldliness and Otherworldliness (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-342 Women of Ill Repute: Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century French Literature (Course not offered this year.)
HIST-101 World War II in Global Perspective (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-248 Law And War (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-356 Representing and Judging the Holocaust. (Course not offered this year.)
MUSI-444 Formation of the Self in Twentieth-Century Music (Course not offered this year.)
PHIL-218 Early Modern Philosophy (Course not offered this year.)
POSC-415 Taking Marx Seriously (Course not offered this year.)
PSYC-368 Autobiographical Memory (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-123 Century of Catastrophe: Soviet and Contemporary Russia in Writing and Film (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-227 Fyodor Dostoevsky (Course not offered this year.)

Regulations & Requirements

Regulations & Requirements

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European Studies

Advisory Committee: Professors Barbezat, Ciepiela, Courtright, de la Carrera †, Epstein, Griffiths ‡, Katsaros, R. López, Machala, Móricz, Raskin ‡,  Rockwell ‡, Rogowski, Sarat, Schneider, Sinos, R., Staller, and Stavans; Associate Professors Boucher *, Brenneis, Engelhardt (Chair,fall), Gilpin, Nelson †, Polk *, van den Berg, and Wolfson; Assistant Professors Gordon *, Infante, Paul, and Zanker; Five College Associate Professor Long.

European Studies is a major program that provides opportunity for independent and interdisciplinary study of European culture. Through integrated work in the humanities and social sciences, the student major examines a significant portion of the European experience and seeks to define those elements that have given European culture its unity and distinctiveness.

Major Program. The core of the major consists of eight courses that will examine a significant portion of European civilization through a variety of disciplines. Two of these courses will be EUST 121 and 122 (or the equivalent; see below).  All majors must give evidence of proficiency in one European language besides English. Save in exceptional circumstances, majors will spend at least one semester of the junior year pursuing an approved course of study in Europe. By the end of their junior year, all majors shall complete a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture. Prior arrangement for supervision must be made if a student intends to do this project while abroad. For their senior year, European Studies majors will then opt into one of two possible paths: Thesis or Capstone. 

Thesis Option. Students wishing to pursue an independent project as an honors thesis will take one thesis research course in the first semester of the senior year, and another in the final semester. Students may designate the research course of the final semester as a double course (EUST 499D), in which case the total number of courses required to complete the major becomes nine.

Possible approaches for the senior thesis project include comparative literary studies, interdisciplinary work in history, sociology, philosophy, political science, economics, performance studies, visual arts, architecture or music involving one or more European countries. Students are encouraged to take a relevant methods class fitting their research approach (such as HIST-301 or SOCI-315), which, with permission from the EUST chair may count toward the major’s eight courses. 

Capstone Option. In the capstone option students, after having completed a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture, will complete their eight European Studies courses without an independent project. A month into their final semester, capstone majors will submit a five-page retrospective essay on the entirety of the course of their studies in the major, which will be followed by a conversation with the European Studies faculty members. 

Honors Program.  Students may be recommended for Program honors only if they complete a thesis.

 

*On leave 2021-22.
†On leave fall semester 2021-22.
‡On leave spring semester 2021-22.
 

112 Russian Empire in Eurasia

(Offered as HIST 112 [AS/EUCP], ASLC 112, EUST 112 and RUSS 130) In the course of five hundred years, the Russian empire in Eurasia evolved as the largest territorial polity in the world. In this course, we will explore the medieval foundations of the imperial state and look at its predecessors and models (Kievan Rus’ and the empire of the Mongols), discuss ways in which cooperation and resistance shaped the imperial state and society, and study cultural and political entanglements among different ethnic, linguistic and confessional groups in Eurasia. Chronologically, we will cover the period from the tenth century to the crisis of the empire in the early twentieth century. Thematically, we will focus on structures of imperial state and society (the imperial house, peasantry, nobility, confessions, intelligentsia, revolutionary movement) and most important regions of the Russian Empire (Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Baltics, Siberia, Central Asia). Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2018

117 Arthurian Literature

(Offered as ENGL 117 and EUST 117) [Before 1800] Knights, monsters, quests, and true love: these are the things we associate with King Arthur and tales of his court. Why has Arthurian literature proved so enchanting to centuries of poets, novelists, and recently, filmmakers? In this introductory English course, we will read and watch Arthurian legends from Chaucer to Monty Python, examining the ways in which they have been represented in different eras. Beginning with the historical foundations of the King Arthur legend, we will examine how it blossomed and took form in later eras. Our focus will be on close literary and visual analysis of British, American, and French (in translation) versions of these legends. We will also discuss what cultural forces lie behind the popularity of Arthurian legend in certain eras: later medieval England and France; the Victorian era; and twentieth-century England and America. There will be frequent writing assignments and presentations, as well as a final creative project.

Open to first-year students and sophomores. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2020

121 Readings in the European Tradition I

Topics in the past have included readings and discussion of a series of related texts from Homer and Genesis to Dante: Homer’s Iliad, selected Greek tragedies, Virgil’s Aeneid, selections from the Bible and from medieval texts. Three class hours per week. Required of European Studies majors.

Open to European Studies majors and to any student interested in the intellectual and literary development of the West, from antiquity through the Middle Ages. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

122 Readings in the European Tradition II

(Offered as EUST 122 and HIST 122[EU]) This course offers a critical examination of the concept of European civilization from the seventeenth century through the present day. What did it mean to be “European” in the modern era? To what extent was “European” civilization forged by Europe’s connections to the wider world, and by ideas, art, literature, and politics that originated outside the geographical boundaries of Europe? How was the idea of a coherent European culture and character used as a tool of conquest within the European empires? And how did various people—in Europe, in the empires, and beyond—forge new social, cultural, and political solidarities through their critiques of the idea of European civilization? Does the concept of European civilization remain valuable in our modern, globalized era? This course will combine a study of canonical works of European art, literature, and politics with less well-known texts and works of art created by “non-European” people. Required of European Studies majors.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2122. Professor A. Gordon. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

125 The Italian Renaissance: Politics, Culture, and Society

(Offered as HIST 125 [EU/TC/P], EUST 125)

Given the misrepresentations of Renaissance Florentine politics in popular media (Netflix series Medici) and the attacks on Renaissance European culture from theorists of decolonization (Walter Mignolo), one might ask: what is the relevance of the Renaissance today? In this course, we will discuss the extent to which the Florentine and Venetian republics’ struggles for survival in the midst of wars and despotic/oligarchic/feudal usurpations might, again, be of interest to us. We will critically examine Renaissance cultural productions (humanist history writing, portraiture, perspective, mapping, erotic art) while also appreciating the politics of beauty in architecture, urban planning, and figurative art. Other topics include: the African presence; the gendered politics of charity; patriarchal families; women writers; domestic slavery; Jewish communities; interactions with Islamic culture; the conquest of America. 

Spring semester. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023

127 Early Modern Europe in a Global Context (1500–1800)

(Offered as HIST 127 [EU/TC/TE/TR/P] and EUST 127) This course introduces students to the history of Europe in the age of imperialism and colonization. It analyzes the emergence of "modernity" as a result of conquest and colonization, the globalization of commerce, the Atlantic slave trade, and the genocide of indigenous peoples. We will investigate instances of resistance to European imperialism and carefully examine the society that produced global capitalism. Among the topics we will address are the Italian Renaissance and the invention of perspective; the German Reformation and the emergence of interiority; gender, family, and the rise of domesticity; early modern science; new forms of visuality as methods of knowledge production; the emergence of racism; the French and Haitian Revolutions; religious syncretism; instances of hybridity and resistance in the imperial "contact zone." This course is essential for an understanding of the many contradictions and contestations we still live with. We will analyze primary sources, academic literature, and visual materials. There will be a mix of short lectures, discussions, group work, and in-class assignments.

Not offered 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

131 History and Theory of Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 131, ARCH 131 and EUST 131.) Throughout history, buildings have directed human activity, shaping social interactions, symbolizing political power, and influencing multiple kinds of artistic expression. This course is a selected introduction to the history and theory of architecture, from the earliest forms of human habitation to medieval and Renaissance buildings, Enlightenment utopian visions, modern industrial structures and skyscrapers, and contemporary sustainable practices.  Interwoven with a sampling of theoretical texts and architectural treatises, the course covers selected moments in the history and theory of Western architecture, from Vitruvius to Alberti and Corbusier to Koolhaas, from primordial shelters to computer generated designs.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Koehler.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

135 Renaissance to Revolution: Early Modern European Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 135, ARCH 135, and EUST 135) This course, a gateway class for the study of art history, introduces the ways that artists and architects imaginatively invented visual language to interpret the world for contemporary patrons, viewers, and citizens in early modern Europe. Painters, printmakers, sculptors and architects in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands created new ways of seeing empirical phenomena and interpreting them, by means of both ancient and new principles of art, science and philosophy and through powerful engagement with the senses. They produced godlike illusions of nature, from grand frescoes bursting from the walls of papal residences to spectacular gardens covering noble estates in Baroque France and colonializing England. They fundamentally altered the design of major cities such as Rome and Paris so that the visitor encountered an entirely new urban experience than ever before. Along the way, they learned from one another’s example, but, prizing innovation, sought fiercely to surpass previous generations, and argued at length about values in art. They contributed to fashioning an ideal picture of empire and society and conjured the dazzling wealth and power of those who paid them. But as time passed, some came to ironize the social order mightily, and some elevated beggars, farmers, servants, so-called fools, and bourgeois women leading seemingly mundane domestic lives as much as others praised the prosperous few. Finally, artists actively participated in the overthrow of the monarchy during the French Revolution and yet also passionately critiqued the violence of war it engendered. Throughout, the course will investigate how concepts of progress, civilization, the state, religion, race, gender, and the individual came to be defined through art.

The goals of the course are:
above all, to achieve the skill of close looking to gain visual understanding;
• also, to identify artistic innovations that characterize European art and architecture from the Italian Renaissance to the French Revolution;
• to understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
• to situate the works of art historically, by examining the intellectual, political, religious, and social currents that contributed to their creation;
• to read texts about the period critically and analytically.
No previous experience with art or art history is necessary. 

Fall semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

145 The Modern World

(Offered as ARHA 145, EUST 145, and SWAG 145)  This course will explore the self-conscious invention of modernism in painting, sculpture and architecture, from the visual clarion calls of the French Revolution to the performance art and earthworks of "art now." As we move from Goya, David, Monet and Picasso to Kahlo, Kiefer and beyond, we will be attentive to changing responses toward a historical past or societal present, the stance toward popular and alien cultures, the radical redefinition of all artistic media, changing representations of nature and gender, as well as the larger problem of mythologies and meaning in the modern period. Study of original objects and a range of primary texts (artists’ letters, diaries, manifestos, contemporary criticism) will be enhanced with readings from recent historical and theoretical secondary sources.

Limited to 50 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Staller.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2011, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

202 World War II in European Literature and Film

This course is designed to introduce students to the impact that World War II (1939–1945) had and continues to have on the society and culture of several European nations. As the last of the generation that lived during the war passes on, their grandchildren persist in raising questions about the reasons and effects of this political cataclysm. During the war, and afterwards with more or less intensity, writers and filmmakers made and have made attempts to analyze and represent the memories, the guilt, and the false histories that the war left behind in every involved nation.

The course will examine the ethics of historical memory, the sincerity of representation, the clever use of history for political purposes. It will also probe and analyze persistent myths of the war as well as discover stories and facts that have been ignored or forgotten. Finally, the course will look at alternative scenarios, that is, “what if” narratives.

Readings might include works by Erich Remarque, Albert Camus, Irène Némirovsky, W. G. Sebald, Primo Levi, and Tony Judt. Films might include selections from Rossellini’s Roma città aperta, Holland’s Europa, Europa, Reed’s The Third Man, and Malle’s Au revoir les enfants.

The class will study how nations too have attempted to make sense of this hecatomb, seeking explanation, expiation, and often excuses. We will also study how the Second World War’s legacy still affects contemporary European culture and politics.

Students will be expected to participate in discussion, give oral reports, and write a research paper.

January term. Professor Rosbottom. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

221 Voices from a Bygone Time

(Offered as MUSI 221 and EUST 221) Monks living in monastic seclusion, troubadours serving their ladies and fighting wars, mad princes writing complicated polyphonic music, male castrato singers celebrated as the pop-stars of opera houses are just a few of the fascinating characters who participated in music making from the Middle Ages until the middle of the eighteenth century in Europe. The music they produced is frequently called "early music," a falsely unifying label that hides the kaleidoscopic nature of this fantastic repertory, ranging from monophonic chant to opera. In this course we will study how the invention of musical notation affected the development of music, turning an oral tradition of chant into a written tradition of complex polyphonic textures unimaginable without the help of notation. Reading historical documents and listening to selected pieces of music, we'll visit the soundscape of this bygone time that still influences our thinking about music. Assignments include listening, reading, and short papers. Knowledge of musical notation at least at the rudimentary level is recommended.

Requisite: MUSI 112 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Móricz. The course will be offered Hyflex with as much individual/in-person contact as practical.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

222 Music and Culture II

(Offered as MUSI 222 and EUST 222) One of three courses in which the development of Western music is studied in its cultural-historical context. Occasionally we will attend concerts in Amherst and elsewhere. Composers to be studied include Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Mussorgsky, and Brahms. Regular listening assignments will broaden the repertoire we encounter and include a wide sampling of Classical and Romantic music. Periodic writing assignments will provide opportunities to connect the music with historical-cultural interpretation. Readings will focus on Gibbs/Taruskin Oxford History of Western Music with additional historical documents and selected critical and analytical studies. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (MUSI 221 and 223). Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: MUSI 111, 112, or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2023

223 The Musical Symptoms of Modernism

(Offered as MUSI 223 and EUST 223) Two World Wars, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the dropping of the atomic bomb were cataclysmic events that made the twentieth century one of the most traumatizing time periods in human history. And yet music did not fall silent. Composers continued writing music, giving aural expression to symptoms characteristic of the condition of modernism. How did Richard Strauss's opera Salome about a necrophiliac princess lusting for a severed head become one of the most successful operas in Europe? Why did Stalin alternately persecute and reward the Soviet Union's most talented composer, Dmitri Shostakovich? Why did composers insist on writing unlistenable, incomprehensibly complex music after World War II? Listening to a wide variety of music from Mahler to Kaija Saariaho, reading historical documents and other relevant essays, we'll explore symptoms of modernism and how composers and their music interacted with their culture milieu and historical context. Assignments will include regular listening, periodic short papers, and a culminating project.

This course will be taught in person. 

Requisite: MUSI 111 or 112, or consent of the instructor. January semester. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Offered in January 2022, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, January 2022

226 Women and War in European History, 1558–1918

(Offered as HIST 226 [EU/TC/P], ARHA 226, EUST 226, and SWAG 225) Although overlooked in military histories until recently, women have long been actively involved in warfare: as combatants, as victims, as workers, and as symbols. This course examines both the changing role of women, and the shifting constructions of “womanhood,” in four major European conflicts: the wars of Elizabeth I in sixteenth-century England, the wars and peace of Marie de Médicis in seventeenth-century France, the French Revolution, and the First World War. Using methodologies drawn from Art History and History, the course seeks to understand the gendered nature of warfare. Why are images of women and the family central to the iconography of war, and how have representations of womanhood shifted according to the aims of particular conflicts? To what extent do women’s experiences of warfare differ from men’s, and can war be considered a source of women’s liberation or oppression? Students will analyze a range of historical images in conjunction with primary source texts from these conflicts and will also develop an original research project related to the course’s themes. Two class meetings per week.

Recommended requisite: A course in Art History or History. Limited to 25 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019

230 The French Revolution

(Offered as HIST 230 [EUPTC] and EUST 230) Often viewed as one of the defining events in modern history, the French Revolution has been debated and discussed, derided and celebrated by generations of politicians, cultural commentators, and historians. This course enters into this on-going conversation by examining the nature of the revolutionary process as it unfolded in late eighteenth-century France and its empire. Beginning in the “old regime” of kings and commoners, it untangles the social, political, and intellectual roots of the Revolution and investigates the extent to which these factors contributed to the radical overthrow of the French establishment in 1789. It then follows the extension of the Revolution throughout French society and across the seas to the Caribbean, analyzing how popular and colonial upheavals influenced the revolutionary new order of “liberty, equality, and brotherhood” that was taking shape in France. Finally, the course explores the aftermath of the Revolution by tracing the various ways that its history has been interpreted and reinterpreted from the nineteenth century to the present day. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018

231 Race and Empire: The British Experience from 1760

(Offered as HIST 231 [EU/TE/TR/TS] and EUST 231) From the mid-eighteenth century through the 1960s, Britain presided over the most powerful empire in the world. At its height, this small island nation ruled one-quarter of the earth’s surface and more than 450 million of its inhabitants. Not only did British imperialism play a decisive role in shaping world politics, economics, and cultures in its day, it also left a number of profound legacies that continue to affect our lives in the present. This course traces the rise, fall, and lasting influence of the British empire, and pays particular attention to questions of race and ethnicity. Through a series of colonial encounters--such as the first contacts made between explorers and Pacific Islanders in the  eighteenth century, the interactions between missionaries and Africans in the nineteenth century, or the migration of South Asians to Britain in the twentieth century--it examines what “race” meant in different historical contexts. The course thus explores the institutionalization of racism in government, law, and society, and analyzes moments in which racism has been combated and overturned. Readings and course materials will be drawn from secondary and primary sources, including newspapers, novels, photographs, artwork, oral histories, and films.

Not offered in 2021-22. Enrollment limited to 30 students. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2016, Spring 2021

232 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 315, EUST 232, and FAMS 328) From Pedro Almodóvar to Penélope Cruz, Spanish directors and actors are now international stars. But the origins of Spain’s cinema are rooted in censorship and patriarchy. This course offers an overview of Spanish film from 1950 to the present along with an introduction to film studies. Through weekly streaming films and discussions, students will follow how Spain’s culture, history and society have been imagined onscreen, as well as how Spanish filmmakers interact with the rest of Europe and Latin America. We will pay particular attention to issues surrounding gender and sexuality as well as contemporary social justice movements. No prior experience with film analysis is needed. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

233 Love

This panoramic, interdisciplinary course will explore the concept of love as it changes epoch to epoch and culture to culture. Poetry, novels, paintings, sculptures, movies, TV, and music will be featured. Starting with the Song of Songs, it will include discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Catullus, and other Greek classics, move on to Dante and Petrarch, contemplate Chinese, Arabic, African, and Mesoamerican literatures, devote a central unit to Shakespeare, continue with the Metaphysical poets, and move on to American literature. Special attention will be paid to the difference between love, eroticism, and pornography. Multilingual students will be encouraged to delve into various linguistic traditions, in tongues like French, Russian, German, Yiddish, and Spanish. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2014, Spring 2017

235 Impostors

An interdisciplinary exploration of the causes behind the social, racial, artistic, and political act—and art—of posing, passing, or pretending to be someone else. Blacks passing for whites, Jews passing for gentiles, and women passing for men, and vice versa, will be the central motif, with attention given to biological and scientific patterns such as memory loss, mental illness, and plastic surgery, and to literary strategies like irony. As a supernatural occurrence, discussion will  include mystical experiences, ghost stories, and séance sessions. The course will also cover instances pertaining to institutional religion, from prophesy from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles to the Koran and Mormonism. In technology and communications, analysis concentrates on the invention of the telegraph, the telephone, and the Internet. The class will also analyze entertainment, ventriloquism, puppet shows, voice-overs, children’s cartoon shows, subtitles, and dubbing in movies and TV and examine posers in Greek mythology, the Arabian Nights, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip Roth, Oliver Sacks, and Nella Larsen. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018, Fall 2021

236 The Bible as Literature

A close reading of significant portions of the Five Books of Moses, done from the perspective of literature: how are the human and divine characters built, what interior life do they display and what philosophical view do they convey? Attention will be given to the nineteenth-century theories that approach the Bible as a composite book delivering a nationalistic story. Students will also reflect on the impact of the Bible in Western literature, from Dante’s Divine Comedy to R. Crumb’s cartoon retelling of Genesis. Taught in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2019

237 God

This course rotates around the shifting notion of the divine in Western Civilization, focusing on theology, philosophy, literature, and music. Students explore the development of the three major prophetic religions as well as some of the mystical movements they fostered. Discussions rotate around the King James Bible, Augustine’s Confessions, the Koran, Maimonides’ The Guide for the Perplexed, the Zohar, the Popol Vuh, the Ramayana, and Spinoza’s work as a cornerstone to the Enlightenment. We will contemplate secularism in modern culture and analyze the contemporary atheist movement of Dawkins and Hitchens . Music explorations range from Johann Sebastian Bach to John Cage; in science, from Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking; and in film, from Ingmar Bergman to Woody Allen. Readings include parts of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, Kafka’s The Castle, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Borges’ “The Secret Miracle” and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Spring 2021

238 Soviet Union During the Cold War

(Offered as HIST 236 [EU], EUST 238, and RUSS 237) The Cold War indelibly shaped the second half of the twentieth century. Spies seemed ubiquitous; nuclear annihilation imminent. Films such as Red October and the James Bond series forged a Western image of the Soviet Union. But how were these decades experienced behind the Iron Curtain? This course explores Soviet history between the end of World War II and the collapse of the USSR. We will study the roots of the Cold War; the politics of de-Stalinization in the USSR; the unfolding of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe; and Soviet relations with the West, China, and the developing world. We will also explore the internal dynamics of Soviet society: the rise of the Soviet middle class, consumerism, tourism, the entertainment industry, demographic trends, education, and public health. Two class meetings per week. 

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2023

240 The Last Russian Revolution: State and Society from the Late Soviet Period to the Present

(Offered as HIST 240 [EU], EUST 240, and RUSS 240) This course explores the tumultuous and unprecedented transition from the late Soviet Communism to contemporary Russian Federation. We will discuss the state of the Soviet Union on the eve of dissolution and politics of nationalism; emergence of the post-Soviet states and divergence in their historical development; transition to capitalism and privatization; challenges of federalism and regionalism in post-Soviet Russia; relations between the Russian Federation and “Near Abroad,” NATO and China, and the social and cultural developments from the late Soviet period to the early twenty-first century. The class will also explore the historical evolution of the phenomenon of Putinism as rooted in long-term transformation of the former Soviet space. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2022

241 The Age of Michelangelo: Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 241, ARCH 241, and EUST 241)  Michelangelo, a defining genius of the Italian Renaissance, emerged from a rich cultural environment that forever changed how we think of art. Artists of the Renaissance developed an original visual language from the legacy of the ancient world, while also examining nature, their environment, and encounters with other worlds to the East and West. Their art revealed a profound engagement with philosophical attitudes toward the body and the spirit, as well as with ideals of pious devotion and civic virtue. Those concepts changed radically over the period of the Renaissance, however. Artists developed the rhetoric of genius and artistic struggle by vaunting an artist’s godlike role, owing to his imaginative creation of art and his ability to mimic reality illusionistically, yet they also questioned a human’s place in the cosmos. We will analyze in depth the visual language of painting, sculpture, and architecture created for merchants, monks, princes and popes in the urban centers of Florence, Rome and Venice from the 14th through the 16th centuries, and examine the virtuosic processes artists used to achieve their goals. 

Rather than taking the form of a survey, this course, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will analyze selected works and contemporary attitudes toward the visual through study of the art and its primary sources.

 Learning goals:

  • Gain confidence in the art of close looking to gain visual understanding;
  • Achieve an understanding about how art and its culture are intertwined;
  • Develop the critical skills to analyze points of view from a historical period other than our own;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Develop and argue an original thesis about a single work of art in a research paper.

Meets twice a week, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

One course in ARHA, FAMS, or ARCH recommended.

Uncapped.

 Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2023

245 Stalin and Stalinism

(Offered as HIST 235 [EU/TC/TE/TR/TS], EUST 245 and RUS 235) Joseph Stalin, the infamous Soviet dictator, created a particular type of society in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Stalinism became a phenomenon that influenced the development of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The course will begin with the exploration of Stalin’s own life and then focus on what historical forces enabled the emergence of Stalinism. It will cover the period on the eve of and during the Russian Revolution, Stalinist transformation of the USSR in the 1930s, WWII, and the onset of the Cold War. Among issues to be explored are the extent of popular support for Stalinist-type regimes, the mechanisms of large-scale political terror, the longevity of Stalinist regimes, and historical memory about Stalinism. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

255 Imposture: Con-men, Swindlers, and Other Pretenders

(Offered by RUSS 255 and EUST 255) This course investigates various figures of imposture. Beginning with Nikolai Gogol’s classic figure of Chichikov from Dead Souls and his genre-bending reversal of the theme in The Inspector General, the course will examine how authors have used confidence games and imposture to reveal particular ploys and gambits in literature. The course will also consider the ways that con-men, swindlers, and pretenders reflect and manipulate the cultural, political, and social dilemmas of their respective periods. While we will focus particularly on the case of Russia—and the distinct place the arts of confidence have had there – we will also consider forms of imposture beyond just a hustle for money and beyond the case of Russia. We will examine imposture in terms of race (as in Nella Larsen's Passing), in the realm of politics (as in Alexander Pushkin's “Boris Godunov”), in relation to the Holocaust (as in Stefan Maechler’s definitive report on the memoirist Benjamin Wilkomirskij), and in such expansive novelistic treatments of this theme by Herman Melville and Thomas Mann. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Professor Kunichika. Omitted 2021-22

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

258 Art, Things, Spaces, and Places

(Offered as ARHA 258, ARCH 258 and EUST 258) The purpose of this course is to introduce students to research on lived environments from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, the architecture that shaped them, and the art and objects that they contained. The goal of each class, through reading and discussion, is to investigate what a researchable question is in the fields of history, art history, architecture, and material culture in Europe, England, and the Americas. Using multi-disciplinary research strategies, we will examine the power of precious and ordinary objects (including furniture, tapestries, devotional paintings, family portraits, and sculpture), the contemporary connotations of their materiality, and consider what objects in a home might signify about a family’s status, political allegiance, spirituality, and place in the world. Further, we will ask how art, objects and décor shape the beholder’s experience of spaces inside and outside a residence, in private and in public. What does the display of objects in collections, including those from far-away cultures other than the patron’s, signify to the owner and the viewer? Visiting lecturers will present their ideas on various topics such as the anthropology of art, the significance of precious materials, and collecting. We will take field trips to museums and meet curators in order to identify a research topic.

This course will give students tools to conduct their own research into past lived environments and their contents, and identify how we in the 21st century might come to understand them. As the culmination of the course students will collaboratively develop a prospectus for a research project with one or two other classmates. Assignments to meet that goal include adding new content to Wikipedia as a record of students’ findings and a contribution to knowledge for a wider public.

Open to sophomores but also motivated first-years interested in research in a variety of fields. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

259 Shakespeare in Prison

Taught at the Hampshire County Jail, the course is devoted to close readings and staging of parts of Shakespeare’s plays while exploring in depth his historical context, dramatic and stylistic style, and world view. The topics of bondage, revenge, injustice, and forgiveness will serve as leitmotifs. In Spring 2018, four plays were the focus: As You Like It, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Conducted in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

269 Baroque Art

(Offered as ARHA 269, ARCH 269, EUST 269) At the beginning of the seventeenth century, religious and social upheavals in Europe led to a renewed proliferation of exciting, innovative art. In this century of remarkably varied artistic production, paradoxes abounded. Artists sought the illusion of reality by imitating unimproved, even base or monstrous nature through close observation of the human body, landscape, and ordinary, humble objects of daily use. They imbued art meant to inspire religious devotion with unbounded eroticism or with the gory details of painful suffering and hideous death. Artists and architects made the visionary appear real and sensual. They adored the past but re-cast it in modern terms. Others continued to quest for perfection in a return to the lofty principles implicit in ancient artistic canons of ideality. More than ever before, artists explored the expression of passion through dramatic narratives and sharply revealing portraiture. They depicted dominating political leaders as flawed mortals—even satirized them through the new art of caricature—at the same time that they developed a potent and persuasive vocabulary in art, architecture, and gardens for the expression of the rulers’ absolutist political power.

This class will examine issues in Baroque art in depth through selected works of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced by artists in the Catholic countries of the seventeenth century, e.g. Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, and Rubens in Italy, France, Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, and parts of the Americas. It also engages the cultural, social, and intellectual framework for their accomplishments. 

Intermediate level, one other course in art history preferred but not required. Uncapped.

Spring Semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2016

284 Women and Art in Early Modern Europe

(Offered as ARHA 284, EUST 284, and SWAG 206)  This introductory discussion-based course will examine how prevailing ideas about women and gender shaped visual imagery in Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, and how these images, in turn, presented surprisingly varied pictures of women and their domains. Artists vividly expressed the paradoxical power that women possessed even more than language could. Both admired and feared in their societies, aristocrats, queens, mistresses, saints, witches, heroines, and housewives were all depicted in art in elevated and debased manners, sometimes as eroticized subjects and at other times as powerful, idealized actors—occasionally both at the same time. We will analyze the art and material goods that women paid for and what it communicated about them; women’s homes and the objects they held; the portrayal of women from merchant societies in Italian city-states to aristocratic women in India, of female saints, heroes and rulers, including Elizabeth I of England and Maria de' Medici of France; and the troubling imagery of rape. These different types of art raise questions about biological theories about women; feminine ideals of beauty; what marriage meant in different societies; the relationship between the exercise of political power and gender; women’s expression of transcendent spirituality; and what the portrayal of indigenous and enslaved women in Dutch and Spanish colonies conveyed about race.

 GOALS FOR LEARNING

  • Understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
  • Gain an understanding of how historical attitudes about women and by women affect art made about and by women;
  • Develop an analytical ability to examine points of view expressed in texts and art of a historical period other than our own and to distinguish them from another;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Learn how to perform 2 kinds of research:

1) find materials to contribute publicly useful scholarship, by creating or revising Wikipedia entries, which greatly lack material on women;

2) Develop and argue an original thesis in a 10-page research paper.

 No prerequisites. Uncapped.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2021

294 Black Europe

(Offered as BLST 294 [D], SWAG 294 and EUST 294) This research-based seminar considers the enduring presence of people of African descent in Europe from the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment, a fact that both confounds and extends canonical theories of African diaspora and black internationalism.  Focusing particularly on the histories of black people in Britain, Germany, and France, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach in its study of the African diaspora in Europe. We will examine literature, history, film, art and ephemera, as well as newly available pre-1927 audio recordings from Bear Family Records (http://www.black-europe.com/) in effort to better comprehend the materiality of the black European experience. These inquiries will enable us to comment upon the influence black people continue to have upon Europe today. Reading the central texts in the emerging field of Black European Studies—including African American expatriate memoirs, Afro-German feminist poetry, and black British cultural theory—student work will culminate in an annotated bibliography and a multimedia research project.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Polk.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

303 Literature as Translation

(Offered as EUST 303, ENGL 320 and RUSS 310) Acts of translation underwrite many kinds of cultural production, often invisibly. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, for instance, engaged with black internationalism through bilingualism and translation, as Brent Edwards has reminded us. In this course we will study literary translation as a creative practice involved in the making of subjects and cultures. We will read key statements about translation by theorists and translators, such as Walter Benjamin, Roman Jakobson, Lawrence Venuti, Peter Cole and Gayatri Spivak. We also will directly engage in translation work: each student will regularly present translations in a workshop format to produce a portfolio as a final project. The class will be “polyglot,” meaning that students are welcome to translate from any language of which they have knowledge; when they share translations, they will be asked also to provide interlinear, or “literal,” translations for those who may not understand the language they are working in.

Requisite: Two years of college-level study of the chosen language. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professors Bosman and Ciepiela. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021

310 History of Fascism

(Offered as HIST 310[EU/TE/TR] and EUST 310) Fascism emerged as a political ideology that was simultaneously revolutionary and reactionary, promising national rebirth in opposition to both liberalism and Marxist socialism. But after the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II, fascism seemingly ceased to be a factor in global politics. How do we assess fascism a century after the establishment of the first fascist regime in Italy? This course will explore the social, cultural, and intellectual origins of fascism, the rise of fascist movements in Europe in the early to mid-twentieth century, the politics and policies of fascist parties and regimes—including in Germany, Italy, Iberia, the Balkans, and the Baltic States—and transnational fascist links between Europe and the Americas, Asia, and Africa. This course will conclude with a consideration of anti-fascism and the "fascism question" in contemporary politics. Readings and course materials will be drawn from a variety of secondary and primary sources. Two meetings per week. 

Spring semester. Professor Merritt.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

315 What is Language? Russian and Soviet Views in Comparative Context

(Offered as RUSS 315 and EUST 315) “We die. That may be the meaning of life,” writes Toni Morrison. “But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” Russian thinkers, writers, philosophers, and politicians have likewise sought to take measure of their lives and of culture by thinking about the nature of language, and its role in culture, society, and politics. In examining how Russian writers and thinkers have sought to answer the question what is language? — how they did and do language—we will consider a range of sources from intellectual history, linguistics, literary and critical theory, mythology, theology, and philosophy. We will examine the distinctive contributions of Russian thinking about language, while also seeking to situate Russian views on this question within a comparative context. To that end, we will also read intellectual sources that proved seminal for articulating an answer to this question (Vico, Herder, Rousseau, Saussure, and Benveniste, among others). As we consider this broad question, and how it has animated Russian thought and culture, we will also focus upon a range of other questions: What are the origins of language? How does language evolve? What is the relationship of language to national culture? What is the relationship of language to politics? Throughout the course, we will see how views on the nature of language served as an arena in which vying conceptions of culture, politics, and the human have all been contested. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Omit 2021-22. Professor Kunichika.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Fall 2022

317 Women in Early Modern Spain

(Offered as SPAN 405, EUST 317, and SWAG 317) This course will examine the diverse and often contradictory representations of women in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain as seen through the eyes of both male and female writers. This approach will allow us to inquire into how women represented themselves versus how they were understood by men. In our analysis of this topic, we will also take into consideration some scientific, legal, and moral discourses that attempted to define the nature and value of women in early modern Spain. Works by authors such as Cervantes, María de Zayas, Calderón de la Barca, and Catalina de Erauso, among others, will offer us fascinating examples and different approaches to the subject. Conducted in Spanish.

For Spring 2021, this course will be taught “hyflex,” with instruction conducted synchronously via Zoom as well as in-person meetings for students on campus. All course materials will be available digitally and will be provided by the instructor.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

320 Seminar on Opera and Musical Theatre

(Offered as MUSI 420, EUST 320 and THDA 320) This course examines the two genres of lyric theater (opera and musical) with special attention to composers’ musical characterizations of the women and men who populate them. The first part of the class will focus on case studies of works by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini,  Rogers & Hammerstein, and Sondheim. Analyzing these works will help us develop an understanding of how composers work with conventions of vocal type and musical gesture to define character. The second part of the class will be devoted to developing independent research projects. Health conditions permitting, some of the works studied will be chosen in coordination with performances we can attend in New York or Boston.

Spring semester. Professor Schneider.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

327 Fascism, War, and Freedom: Spain and Japan On Screen

(Offered as ASLC 327, EUST 327, and FAMS 327) The relationships among media, the state, and civil society are complex.  This course aims to address these relationships by examining cinema—the art form of the twentieth century—in Japan and Spain during different but overlapping eras of tumult: the 1930s to the 1980s. Putting these two national cinemas in a comparative framework will allow us to address issues such as: the interest in film by authoritarian regimes; the way cinema is harnessed to wartime goals by the state; the nature of censorship and self-censorship in war and peace; the potential of image, sound, and narrative to give expression to propaganda and democratic ideals; the cathartic release following the end of an authoritarian regime or occupation. The course, taught in English, does not assume prior knowledge of either country, nor of film studies. All films have English subtitles.

Spring semester. Professors Brenneis and Van Compernolle.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

328 Trial and Error: An Interdisciplinary Experiment with Montaigne's Essais

(Offered as FREN 328 and EUST 328) "If my mind could gain a firm footing, I would not make essays, I would make decisions; but it is always in apprenticeship and on trial" (III, 2 "Of Repentance"). A Renaissance jurist and thinker, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) is widely recognized as one of the key figures in the history of self-writing and of the essay as genre. This course, however, situates Montaigne beyond these two frames. In the spirit of Montaigne himself, it proposes to attempt, to sample, to taste—in sum, to essay—the Essais (1580-1595). From confessions of impotence to love affairs with books; from rebuttals of human reason to reflections on solitude and age; from networks of exchange to disease and contagion, the uncategorizable content of the Essais, combined with a dynamic form replete with detours and deviations, is an invitation to err among and try a variety of subjects. Similarly, our objective is not to gain expertise, but to experiment and to experience. Our trials will combine a close reading of a selection of Montaigne’s Essais alongside critical, historical, or theoretical texts from a diverse range of methodologies and fields, such as medicine, sound studies, cultural gerontology and more. In addition to engaging with the writings of Montaigne, this course therefore serves as a more general opportunity to consider the place of literature among and within other disciplines. Conducted in English.

Spring semester. Professor Nader-Esfahani.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

330 Race and Otherness in the Middle Ages

(Offered as ENGL 330 and EUST 330) [Before 1800] By many accounts, a concept of “race” does not emerge in the West until the colonizing of the New World in the Renaissance. Yet medieval people had many ways of identifying, exoticizing, excluding, and discriminating against “others.” This was often framed in terms of religion (Christianity vs. Islam), but it also manifests in terms of physiognomic description and ideas of monstrosity in romance and quest narratives. In this course, we will explore how the “othering” of certain medieval peoples creates a racialized language and discourse at once specific to the Middle Ages and relevant to our current understanding of race. We will read from medieval travel narratives (The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Prester John, The Medieval Romance of Alexander) as well as literature by Chaucer and others, alongside critical race theory and historical scholarship to give context to our discussions. We will also explore how the Middle Ages have been racialized in contemporary political and popular discourse.

Format: If at least 5 in-person students register for this course, it will run in person, with hybrid options for remote students. Course meetings will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

340 Violence, Art and Memory of the Spanish Civil War

(Offered as SPAN 420 and EUST 340.) The Spanish Civil War lasted only three years, from 1936 to 1939, yet the conflict cast a long shadow over Spain’s twentieth-century history, culture and identity. Indeed, as a precursor to World War II, the war's effects were felt worldwide, and it became the inspiration for works of art and literature as varied as Pablo Picasso's Guernica, Pablo Neruda's España en el corazón, Guillermo del Toro's El laberinto del fauno and Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. This course will delve into the discord and violence of the war as well as to the anguish and catharsis of the literature, poetry and film it inspired. Through primary sources and historical accounts, we will understand the war’s causes. By studying texts and films that track the reverberations of the Spanish Civil War in the United States, Latin America and Continental Europe, we will trace the war’s effects. In addition, we will grapple with the diverse ways that lingering memories of the war have affected modern-day politics and culture, with particular attention to legacies of race, class and gender. This course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course has been designed with a strong digital component. For S21, instruction will likely be remote and synchronous via Zoom. If circumstances permit, there may be opportunities for in person group work and meetings with the professor for those students on campus. All course and research materials will be available digitally.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

360 Performance

(Offered as GERM 360, ARCH 360, EUST 360 and FAMS 316) What is performance? What constitutes an event? How can we address a phenomenon that has disappeared the moment we apprehend it? How does memory operate in our critical perception of an event? How does a body make meaning? These are a few of the questions we will explore in this course, as we discuss critical, theoretical, and compositional approaches in a broad range of multidisciplinary performance phenomena emerging from European—primarily German—culture in the twentieth century. We will focus on issues of performativity, composition, conceptualization, dramaturgy, identity construction, representation, space, gender, and dynamism. Readings of performance theory, performance studies, gender studies, and critical/cultural studies, as well as literary, philosophical, and architectural texts, will accompany close examination of performance material. Students will develop performative projects in various media (video, performance, text, online) and deliver a number of critical oral and written presentations on various aspects of the course material and their own projects. Performance material will be experienced live when possible, and in text, video, audio, digital media and online form, drawn from selected works of Dada and Surrealism, Bauhaus, German Expressionism, the Theater of the Absurd, Tanztheater, and Contemporary Theater, Performance, Dance, Opera, New Media, and Performance Art. A number of films, including Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Oskar Schlemmer’s Das Triadische Ballett, Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique, and Kurt Jooss’ Der Grüne Tisch, will also be screened. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 16 students.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2020, Spring 2023

363 Traumatic Events

(Offered as GERM 363, ARCH 363, EUST 363, and FAMS 370) How is memory constructed and represented? How is it possible to bear witness, and what exactly is involved? Who is authorized to testify, to whom, when? Whose story is it? Is it possible to tell "the story" of a traumatic event? What are the disorders of testimony, and how and where do they emerge? This course will observe the workings of trauma (the enactment and working-through of collective and individual symptoms of trauma), memory, and witnessing in various modes of everyday life. We will examine notions of catastrophe, disaster, accident, and violence, and explore the possibilities and impossibilities of bearing witness in many forms of cultural production: in fiction, poetry, architecture, critical theory, oral and written testimonies, visual art, monuments, memorials, philosophy, science, cartoons, film, video, theater, social media, and performance, online and in our public and domestic spaces. We will study various representations of trauma, paying particular attention to events in Germany and Europe from the twentieth century, as well as to 9/11, the Covid-19 pandemic and inter/national events of 2020. Material to be examined will be drawn from the work of Pina Bausch, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Cathy Caruth, Paul Celan, Marguerite Duras, Peter Eisenman, Shoshana Felman, Florian Freund, Jochen Gerz, Geoffrey Hartman, Rebecca Horn, Marion Kant, Anselm Kiefer, Ruth Klüger, Dominick LaCapra, Claude Lanzmann, Dori Laub, Daniel Libeskind, W.G. Sebald, Art Spiegelman, Paul Virilio, Peter Weiss, Wim Wenders, Elie Wiesel, Christa Wolf, and others. Conducted in English with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2018

365 Making Memorials

(Offered as GERM 365, ARCH 365, and EUST 365) This is a course about what happens to difficult memories: memories that are intensely personal, but made public, memories that belong to communities, but which become ideologically possessed by history, politics, or the media. How are memories processed into memorials? What constitutes a memorial? What gets included or excluded? How is memory performed in cultural objects, spaces, and institutions? What is the relationship between the politics of representation and memory? Who owns memory? Who is authorized to convey it? How does memory function? This course will explore the spaces in which memories are “preserved” and experienced. Our attention will focus on the transformation of private and public memories in works of architecture, performance, literature, and the visual arts, primarily in Germany, Europe, and the United States in the twentieth century, including also 9/11, the COVID-19 pandemic, and inter/national events of 2020. Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, the visual arts, interactive installation and/or the environment. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 20 students. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2021

368 SPACE

(Offered as GERM 368, ARCH 368, EUST 368, and FAMS 380) This research seminar will explore conceptions of space as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual materials will be drawn from the fields of literature and philosophy; architectural, art, and film theory and history; performance studies and performance theory; and theories of technology and the natural and built environment. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is a core of this seminar.

Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment. Conducted in English. German majors will select a research project focused on a German Studies context, and will do a substantial portion of the readings in German. 

Limited to 18 students. Enrollment requires attendance at the first class meeting. Spring semester. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2018

369 TIME

(Offered as ARCH 369 and EUST 369) This research seminar will explore conceptions of time as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, philosophy, neuroscience, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual/sonic materials will be drawn from the fields of European literature, philosophy and critical theory; from architectural, art, music, neuroscience and film theory and history; from performance studies and performance theory; and from theories of technology and the natural and built environment. We will sustain a focus on issues of perception, cognition, duration, movement, attention, imagination, memory, and narrative throughout. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is central to this seminar. Conducted in English.

Preference given to ARCH and EUST majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment.

Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Fall 2019

374 Medieval and Renaissance Lyric

(Offered as ENGL 441 and EUST 374) [Before 1800] In this course, we read a selection of English and other European lyrics (in translation) from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries. An exciting, fertile era in poetic innovation, these centuries see the dawn of the first romantic love poetry in these languages, the invention of new forms like the sonnet, and the invention of the lyric “anthology.” Reading the lyrics of the French troubadour poets, Chaucer, Petrarch, Wyatt, Donne, Shakespeare, and the many brilliant anonymous poets of medieval England, we will examine both the text and contexts of these short poems. Close readings will be put in dialogue with cultural contexts (such as the volatile court of Henry VIII, in which Thomas Wyatt wrote), and the material contexts of the lyrics (the medieval and early modern manuscripts and books in which they first appeared). We will further think about how the term “lyric” emerges as a privileged poetic category, by reading contemporary “defenses” of poetry and thinking about why the word “lyric” only appears in the sixteenth century. Does the “lyric” poem change once it is defined? How do later works speak to the earlier tradition?

Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2020

385 Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters

(Offered as ARHA 385, EUST 385, and SWAG 310) Our course will explore how evil was imagined, over cultures, centuries and disciplines. With the greatest possible historical and cultural specificity, we will investigate an array of monstrous creatures and plagues -- their terrifying powers, the explanations for why they came to be, and the strategies for how they could be purged -- as we attempt to articulate the kindred qualities they shared. We will study centuries-old witch burning manuals, and note the striking degree to which dangerous tropes -- about women, about pestilence, about dangerous sexuality, and about differences of all kinds -- have continued to our day. Among the artists to be considered are Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí, Buñuel, Dreyer, Wilder, Almodóvar, and the community who made the AIDS Quilt.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

390, 490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

420 Antisemitism

An in-depth, thorough chronological study of Antisemitism—“the longest hatred”—from Hellenistic and Roman times to early Christian thinkers, the development of Islam, the Middle Ages, especially the Holy Office of the Spanish Inquisition, the Enlightenment, Nazism and other forms of fascism, Communism, to the twenty-first century. Special attention will be placed on geographical varieties and national traditions (France, Germany, Russia, Iran, the United States, Spain, and Argentina), the Dreyfus Affair, the Protocols of the Wise of Zion, Henry Ford, and other focal points. The class will analyze in detail the metastasis of antisemitism into anti-Zionism before and after the creation of the State of Israel. We will also discuss antisemitism in politics, education, culture, and media, and its link to racism, anti-immigration, xenophobia and other hatreds.

This course will be conducted online. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

425 European Economic Take-Off in Global Perspective, c. 1050–1750

(Offered as HIST 425 [EUP] and EUST 425) The history of the pre-modern European economy is usually understood as the singular and exceptional rise of the first modern economy. Yet recent research in economic history and shifts in the world economy have provided new perspectives to reconsider the rise of the European economy. From this long-term and global viewpoint, the story of Europe’s economic take-off becomes the remarkable story of a backwater that became mainstream. How was Europe able to reposition itself from a periphery of the Eurasian economy to a central node of the global economy? What drove Europeans further and further into the East and how did their incursions disrupt or adapt to previous trade networks and practices? How did the exports and imports of Europe change as their relation to the world economy changed? By considering these questions, the course will revisit the familiar histories of the Commercial Revolution, the travels of Marco Polo, the Age of Discovery, the East India Companies, the Atlantic System, and the road to the Industrial Revolution. Using the analysis and synthesis of modern historians, we will situate the economic take-off of Europe in the context of the transformation of the world economy. Utilizing past travel logs, eyewitness reports, business contracts, customs receipts, and other non-narrative sources, students will complete a research paper that tackles one of these histories and casts them in new light. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018

430 Renaissance Bodies

(Offered as HIST 430 [EUP/TC/TR], EUST 430 and SWAG 430) "Renaissance Bodies" investigates the ways in which early modern sciences and the figurative arts of the Renaissance collaborated to represent body-centered visual knowledges ranging from the "secrets of women" to scientific "monstrosities." The course also examines the ways in which Catholicism enhanced body-centered, sensual and visual forms of devotion. Discussions center on the eroticization of male, female, and queer bodies in a variety of discourses and visual rhetorics. A particular focus is on the representation of black bodies before the onset of modern racism. Case studies will include Eckhout’s "ethnographic" portrayals of African slaves and the native inhabitants of Brazil; Chiara di Montefalco’s miraculous relics; Elena Duglioli’s career as a spontaneously lactating saint; the cultural history of the dildo; Elena/o de Cespedes’s life as a transman; Sarah Bartmann as fetishized object of desire; male prostitution; and anatomical wax figures.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

432 Gender, Class, and Crime: The Victorian Underworld

(Offered as HIST 432 [EU/TC/TS] and EUST 432) Victorian Britain was a nation of contrasts. It was at once the world’s foremost economic and imperial power, the richest nation in Europe, and the country where the consequences of industrialization–slums, poverty, disease, alcoholism, sexual violence–took some of their bleakest forms. In an era of revolution, Britain enjoyed one of the most stable political systems in Europe; yet it was also a society plagued by crime and by fears of popular unrest, the place where Marx predicted the worker’s revolt would begin. This seminar explores the complex world of the Victorians through a focus on what contemporaries termed the “social problem”: the underclass of criminals, paupers, and prostitutes who seemed immune to reform. Themes will include political liberalism and the Poor Law, imperialism at home and abroad, industrialization and urbanization, sanitation, hygiene, and disease control initiatives, shifting cultural understandings of gender and class, and Jack the Ripper. Students will be expected to write a research paper on a topic of their choice. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2015, Spring 2019

465 Multicultural Spain

A vital question in today’s multicultural societies is how individuals with different identities—religious, racial, ethnic, etc.—can live and prosper together. This course will explore the literature, culture, and history of medieval and early modern Spain, paying special attention to how people with diverse backgrounds coexisted and interacted with each other. Examining the context of Spain during this time period will also serve as a means to help us think through issues of diversity in our world today. First we will look at the situation of medieval Spain where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side-by-side for centuries. Then we’ll turn to Spain’s exploration of the New World and how the diverse encounters that took place influenced Spanish culture. Finally, we will consider representations of other cultural minorities, such as gypsies, in Spain during the early modern period. Primary sources will include literary texts, historical accounts, legal documents, and maps and will be supplemented by secondary critical texts. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020

498, 499, 499D Senior Departmental Honors

A full course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Related Courses

CLAS-121 Greek Mythology and Religion (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-332 Chaucer: <em>The Canterbury Tales</em> (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-348 Modern British Literature, 1900-1950 (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-324 Studies in Medieval Romance Literature and Culture (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-330 The Doing and Undoing of Genres in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-339 Worldliness and Otherworldliness (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-342 Women of Ill Repute: Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century French Literature (Course not offered this year.)
HIST-101 World War II in Global Perspective (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-248 Law And War (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-356 Representing and Judging the Holocaust. (Course not offered this year.)
MUSI-444 Formation of the Self in Twentieth-Century Music (Course not offered this year.)
PHIL-218 Early Modern Philosophy (Course not offered this year.)
POSC-415 Taking Marx Seriously (Course not offered this year.)
PSYC-368 Autobiographical Memory (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-123 Century of Catastrophe: Soviet and Contemporary Russia in Writing and Film (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-227 Fyodor Dostoevsky (Course not offered this year.)

Amherst College Courses

Amherst College Courses

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European Studies

Advisory Committee: Professors Barbezat, Ciepiela, Courtright, de la Carrera †, Epstein, Griffiths ‡, Katsaros, R. López, Machala, Móricz, Raskin ‡,  Rockwell ‡, Rogowski, Sarat, Schneider, Sinos, R., Staller, and Stavans; Associate Professors Boucher *, Brenneis, Engelhardt (Chair,fall), Gilpin, Nelson †, Polk *, van den Berg, and Wolfson; Assistant Professors Gordon *, Infante, Paul, and Zanker; Five College Associate Professor Long.

European Studies is a major program that provides opportunity for independent and interdisciplinary study of European culture. Through integrated work in the humanities and social sciences, the student major examines a significant portion of the European experience and seeks to define those elements that have given European culture its unity and distinctiveness.

Major Program. The core of the major consists of eight courses that will examine a significant portion of European civilization through a variety of disciplines. Two of these courses will be EUST 121 and 122 (or the equivalent; see below).  All majors must give evidence of proficiency in one European language besides English. Save in exceptional circumstances, majors will spend at least one semester of the junior year pursuing an approved course of study in Europe. By the end of their junior year, all majors shall complete a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture. Prior arrangement for supervision must be made if a student intends to do this project while abroad. For their senior year, European Studies majors will then opt into one of two possible paths: Thesis or Capstone. 

Thesis Option. Students wishing to pursue an independent project as an honors thesis will take one thesis research course in the first semester of the senior year, and another in the final semester. Students may designate the research course of the final semester as a double course (EUST 499D), in which case the total number of courses required to complete the major becomes nine.

Possible approaches for the senior thesis project include comparative literary studies, interdisciplinary work in history, sociology, philosophy, political science, economics, performance studies, visual arts, architecture or music involving one or more European countries. Students are encouraged to take a relevant methods class fitting their research approach (such as HIST-301 or SOCI-315), which, with permission from the EUST chair may count toward the major’s eight courses. 

Capstone Option. In the capstone option students, after having completed a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture, will complete their eight European Studies courses without an independent project. A month into their final semester, capstone majors will submit a five-page retrospective essay on the entirety of the course of their studies in the major, which will be followed by a conversation with the European Studies faculty members. 

Honors Program.  Students may be recommended for Program honors only if they complete a thesis.

 

*On leave 2021-22.
†On leave fall semester 2021-22.
‡On leave spring semester 2021-22.
 

112 Russian Empire in Eurasia

(Offered as HIST 112 [AS/EUCP], ASLC 112, EUST 112 and RUSS 130) In the course of five hundred years, the Russian empire in Eurasia evolved as the largest territorial polity in the world. In this course, we will explore the medieval foundations of the imperial state and look at its predecessors and models (Kievan Rus’ and the empire of the Mongols), discuss ways in which cooperation and resistance shaped the imperial state and society, and study cultural and political entanglements among different ethnic, linguistic and confessional groups in Eurasia. Chronologically, we will cover the period from the tenth century to the crisis of the empire in the early twentieth century. Thematically, we will focus on structures of imperial state and society (the imperial house, peasantry, nobility, confessions, intelligentsia, revolutionary movement) and most important regions of the Russian Empire (Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Baltics, Siberia, Central Asia). Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2018

117 Arthurian Literature

(Offered as ENGL 117 and EUST 117) [Before 1800] Knights, monsters, quests, and true love: these are the things we associate with King Arthur and tales of his court. Why has Arthurian literature proved so enchanting to centuries of poets, novelists, and recently, filmmakers? In this introductory English course, we will read and watch Arthurian legends from Chaucer to Monty Python, examining the ways in which they have been represented in different eras. Beginning with the historical foundations of the King Arthur legend, we will examine how it blossomed and took form in later eras. Our focus will be on close literary and visual analysis of British, American, and French (in translation) versions of these legends. We will also discuss what cultural forces lie behind the popularity of Arthurian legend in certain eras: later medieval England and France; the Victorian era; and twentieth-century England and America. There will be frequent writing assignments and presentations, as well as a final creative project.

Open to first-year students and sophomores. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2020

121 Readings in the European Tradition I

Topics in the past have included readings and discussion of a series of related texts from Homer and Genesis to Dante: Homer’s Iliad, selected Greek tragedies, Virgil’s Aeneid, selections from the Bible and from medieval texts. Three class hours per week. Required of European Studies majors.

Open to European Studies majors and to any student interested in the intellectual and literary development of the West, from antiquity through the Middle Ages. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

122 Readings in the European Tradition II

(Offered as EUST 122 and HIST 122[EU]) This course offers a critical examination of the concept of European civilization from the seventeenth century through the present day. What did it mean to be “European” in the modern era? To what extent was “European” civilization forged by Europe’s connections to the wider world, and by ideas, art, literature, and politics that originated outside the geographical boundaries of Europe? How was the idea of a coherent European culture and character used as a tool of conquest within the European empires? And how did various people—in Europe, in the empires, and beyond—forge new social, cultural, and political solidarities through their critiques of the idea of European civilization? Does the concept of European civilization remain valuable in our modern, globalized era? This course will combine a study of canonical works of European art, literature, and politics with less well-known texts and works of art created by “non-European” people. Required of European Studies majors.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2122. Professor A. Gordon. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

125 The Italian Renaissance: Politics, Culture, and Society

(Offered as HIST 125 [EU/TC/P], EUST 125)

Given the misrepresentations of Renaissance Florentine politics in popular media (Netflix series Medici) and the attacks on Renaissance European culture from theorists of decolonization (Walter Mignolo), one might ask: what is the relevance of the Renaissance today? In this course, we will discuss the extent to which the Florentine and Venetian republics’ struggles for survival in the midst of wars and despotic/oligarchic/feudal usurpations might, again, be of interest to us. We will critically examine Renaissance cultural productions (humanist history writing, portraiture, perspective, mapping, erotic art) while also appreciating the politics of beauty in architecture, urban planning, and figurative art. Other topics include: the African presence; the gendered politics of charity; patriarchal families; women writers; domestic slavery; Jewish communities; interactions with Islamic culture; the conquest of America. 

Spring semester. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023

127 Early Modern Europe in a Global Context (1500–1800)

(Offered as HIST 127 [EU/TC/TE/TR/P] and EUST 127) This course introduces students to the history of Europe in the age of imperialism and colonization. It analyzes the emergence of "modernity" as a result of conquest and colonization, the globalization of commerce, the Atlantic slave trade, and the genocide of indigenous peoples. We will investigate instances of resistance to European imperialism and carefully examine the society that produced global capitalism. Among the topics we will address are the Italian Renaissance and the invention of perspective; the German Reformation and the emergence of interiority; gender, family, and the rise of domesticity; early modern science; new forms of visuality as methods of knowledge production; the emergence of racism; the French and Haitian Revolutions; religious syncretism; instances of hybridity and resistance in the imperial "contact zone." This course is essential for an understanding of the many contradictions and contestations we still live with. We will analyze primary sources, academic literature, and visual materials. There will be a mix of short lectures, discussions, group work, and in-class assignments.

Not offered 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

131 History and Theory of Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 131, ARCH 131 and EUST 131.) Throughout history, buildings have directed human activity, shaping social interactions, symbolizing political power, and influencing multiple kinds of artistic expression. This course is a selected introduction to the history and theory of architecture, from the earliest forms of human habitation to medieval and Renaissance buildings, Enlightenment utopian visions, modern industrial structures and skyscrapers, and contemporary sustainable practices.  Interwoven with a sampling of theoretical texts and architectural treatises, the course covers selected moments in the history and theory of Western architecture, from Vitruvius to Alberti and Corbusier to Koolhaas, from primordial shelters to computer generated designs.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Koehler.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

135 Renaissance to Revolution: Early Modern European Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 135, ARCH 135, and EUST 135) This course, a gateway class for the study of art history, introduces the ways that artists and architects imaginatively invented visual language to interpret the world for contemporary patrons, viewers, and citizens in early modern Europe. Painters, printmakers, sculptors and architects in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands created new ways of seeing empirical phenomena and interpreting them, by means of both ancient and new principles of art, science and philosophy and through powerful engagement with the senses. They produced godlike illusions of nature, from grand frescoes bursting from the walls of papal residences to spectacular gardens covering noble estates in Baroque France and colonializing England. They fundamentally altered the design of major cities such as Rome and Paris so that the visitor encountered an entirely new urban experience than ever before. Along the way, they learned from one another’s example, but, prizing innovation, sought fiercely to surpass previous generations, and argued at length about values in art. They contributed to fashioning an ideal picture of empire and society and conjured the dazzling wealth and power of those who paid them. But as time passed, some came to ironize the social order mightily, and some elevated beggars, farmers, servants, so-called fools, and bourgeois women leading seemingly mundane domestic lives as much as others praised the prosperous few. Finally, artists actively participated in the overthrow of the monarchy during the French Revolution and yet also passionately critiqued the violence of war it engendered. Throughout, the course will investigate how concepts of progress, civilization, the state, religion, race, gender, and the individual came to be defined through art.

The goals of the course are:
above all, to achieve the skill of close looking to gain visual understanding;
• also, to identify artistic innovations that characterize European art and architecture from the Italian Renaissance to the French Revolution;
• to understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
• to situate the works of art historically, by examining the intellectual, political, religious, and social currents that contributed to their creation;
• to read texts about the period critically and analytically.
No previous experience with art or art history is necessary. 

Fall semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

145 The Modern World

(Offered as ARHA 145, EUST 145, and SWAG 145)  This course will explore the self-conscious invention of modernism in painting, sculpture and architecture, from the visual clarion calls of the French Revolution to the performance art and earthworks of "art now." As we move from Goya, David, Monet and Picasso to Kahlo, Kiefer and beyond, we will be attentive to changing responses toward a historical past or societal present, the stance toward popular and alien cultures, the radical redefinition of all artistic media, changing representations of nature and gender, as well as the larger problem of mythologies and meaning in the modern period. Study of original objects and a range of primary texts (artists’ letters, diaries, manifestos, contemporary criticism) will be enhanced with readings from recent historical and theoretical secondary sources.

Limited to 50 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Staller.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2011, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

202 World War II in European Literature and Film

This course is designed to introduce students to the impact that World War II (1939–1945) had and continues to have on the society and culture of several European nations. As the last of the generation that lived during the war passes on, their grandchildren persist in raising questions about the reasons and effects of this political cataclysm. During the war, and afterwards with more or less intensity, writers and filmmakers made and have made attempts to analyze and represent the memories, the guilt, and the false histories that the war left behind in every involved nation.

The course will examine the ethics of historical memory, the sincerity of representation, the clever use of history for political purposes. It will also probe and analyze persistent myths of the war as well as discover stories and facts that have been ignored or forgotten. Finally, the course will look at alternative scenarios, that is, “what if” narratives.

Readings might include works by Erich Remarque, Albert Camus, Irène Némirovsky, W. G. Sebald, Primo Levi, and Tony Judt. Films might include selections from Rossellini’s Roma città aperta, Holland’s Europa, Europa, Reed’s The Third Man, and Malle’s Au revoir les enfants.

The class will study how nations too have attempted to make sense of this hecatomb, seeking explanation, expiation, and often excuses. We will also study how the Second World War’s legacy still affects contemporary European culture and politics.

Students will be expected to participate in discussion, give oral reports, and write a research paper.

January term. Professor Rosbottom. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

221 Voices from a Bygone Time

(Offered as MUSI 221 and EUST 221) Monks living in monastic seclusion, troubadours serving their ladies and fighting wars, mad princes writing complicated polyphonic music, male castrato singers celebrated as the pop-stars of opera houses are just a few of the fascinating characters who participated in music making from the Middle Ages until the middle of the eighteenth century in Europe. The music they produced is frequently called "early music," a falsely unifying label that hides the kaleidoscopic nature of this fantastic repertory, ranging from monophonic chant to opera. In this course we will study how the invention of musical notation affected the development of music, turning an oral tradition of chant into a written tradition of complex polyphonic textures unimaginable without the help of notation. Reading historical documents and listening to selected pieces of music, we'll visit the soundscape of this bygone time that still influences our thinking about music. Assignments include listening, reading, and short papers. Knowledge of musical notation at least at the rudimentary level is recommended.

Requisite: MUSI 112 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Móricz. The course will be offered Hyflex with as much individual/in-person contact as practical.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

222 Music and Culture II

(Offered as MUSI 222 and EUST 222) One of three courses in which the development of Western music is studied in its cultural-historical context. Occasionally we will attend concerts in Amherst and elsewhere. Composers to be studied include Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Mussorgsky, and Brahms. Regular listening assignments will broaden the repertoire we encounter and include a wide sampling of Classical and Romantic music. Periodic writing assignments will provide opportunities to connect the music with historical-cultural interpretation. Readings will focus on Gibbs/Taruskin Oxford History of Western Music with additional historical documents and selected critical and analytical studies. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (MUSI 221 and 223). Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: MUSI 111, 112, or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2023

223 The Musical Symptoms of Modernism

(Offered as MUSI 223 and EUST 223) Two World Wars, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the dropping of the atomic bomb were cataclysmic events that made the twentieth century one of the most traumatizing time periods in human history. And yet music did not fall silent. Composers continued writing music, giving aural expression to symptoms characteristic of the condition of modernism. How did Richard Strauss's opera Salome about a necrophiliac princess lusting for a severed head become one of the most successful operas in Europe? Why did Stalin alternately persecute and reward the Soviet Union's most talented composer, Dmitri Shostakovich? Why did composers insist on writing unlistenable, incomprehensibly complex music after World War II? Listening to a wide variety of music from Mahler to Kaija Saariaho, reading historical documents and other relevant essays, we'll explore symptoms of modernism and how composers and their music interacted with their culture milieu and historical context. Assignments will include regular listening, periodic short papers, and a culminating project.

This course will be taught in person. 

Requisite: MUSI 111 or 112, or consent of the instructor. January semester. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Offered in January 2022, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, January 2022

226 Women and War in European History, 1558–1918

(Offered as HIST 226 [EU/TC/P], ARHA 226, EUST 226, and SWAG 225) Although overlooked in military histories until recently, women have long been actively involved in warfare: as combatants, as victims, as workers, and as symbols. This course examines both the changing role of women, and the shifting constructions of “womanhood,” in four major European conflicts: the wars of Elizabeth I in sixteenth-century England, the wars and peace of Marie de Médicis in seventeenth-century France, the French Revolution, and the First World War. Using methodologies drawn from Art History and History, the course seeks to understand the gendered nature of warfare. Why are images of women and the family central to the iconography of war, and how have representations of womanhood shifted according to the aims of particular conflicts? To what extent do women’s experiences of warfare differ from men’s, and can war be considered a source of women’s liberation or oppression? Students will analyze a range of historical images in conjunction with primary source texts from these conflicts and will also develop an original research project related to the course’s themes. Two class meetings per week.

Recommended requisite: A course in Art History or History. Limited to 25 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019

230 The French Revolution

(Offered as HIST 230 [EUPTC] and EUST 230) Often viewed as one of the defining events in modern history, the French Revolution has been debated and discussed, derided and celebrated by generations of politicians, cultural commentators, and historians. This course enters into this on-going conversation by examining the nature of the revolutionary process as it unfolded in late eighteenth-century France and its empire. Beginning in the “old regime” of kings and commoners, it untangles the social, political, and intellectual roots of the Revolution and investigates the extent to which these factors contributed to the radical overthrow of the French establishment in 1789. It then follows the extension of the Revolution throughout French society and across the seas to the Caribbean, analyzing how popular and colonial upheavals influenced the revolutionary new order of “liberty, equality, and brotherhood” that was taking shape in France. Finally, the course explores the aftermath of the Revolution by tracing the various ways that its history has been interpreted and reinterpreted from the nineteenth century to the present day. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018

231 Race and Empire: The British Experience from 1760

(Offered as HIST 231 [EU/TE/TR/TS] and EUST 231) From the mid-eighteenth century through the 1960s, Britain presided over the most powerful empire in the world. At its height, this small island nation ruled one-quarter of the earth’s surface and more than 450 million of its inhabitants. Not only did British imperialism play a decisive role in shaping world politics, economics, and cultures in its day, it also left a number of profound legacies that continue to affect our lives in the present. This course traces the rise, fall, and lasting influence of the British empire, and pays particular attention to questions of race and ethnicity. Through a series of colonial encounters--such as the first contacts made between explorers and Pacific Islanders in the  eighteenth century, the interactions between missionaries and Africans in the nineteenth century, or the migration of South Asians to Britain in the twentieth century--it examines what “race” meant in different historical contexts. The course thus explores the institutionalization of racism in government, law, and society, and analyzes moments in which racism has been combated and overturned. Readings and course materials will be drawn from secondary and primary sources, including newspapers, novels, photographs, artwork, oral histories, and films.

Not offered in 2021-22. Enrollment limited to 30 students. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2016, Spring 2021

232 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 315, EUST 232, and FAMS 328) From Pedro Almodóvar to Penélope Cruz, Spanish directors and actors are now international stars. But the origins of Spain’s cinema are rooted in censorship and patriarchy. This course offers an overview of Spanish film from 1950 to the present along with an introduction to film studies. Through weekly streaming films and discussions, students will follow how Spain’s culture, history and society have been imagined onscreen, as well as how Spanish filmmakers interact with the rest of Europe and Latin America. We will pay particular attention to issues surrounding gender and sexuality as well as contemporary social justice movements. No prior experience with film analysis is needed. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

233 Love

This panoramic, interdisciplinary course will explore the concept of love as it changes epoch to epoch and culture to culture. Poetry, novels, paintings, sculptures, movies, TV, and music will be featured. Starting with the Song of Songs, it will include discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Catullus, and other Greek classics, move on to Dante and Petrarch, contemplate Chinese, Arabic, African, and Mesoamerican literatures, devote a central unit to Shakespeare, continue with the Metaphysical poets, and move on to American literature. Special attention will be paid to the difference between love, eroticism, and pornography. Multilingual students will be encouraged to delve into various linguistic traditions, in tongues like French, Russian, German, Yiddish, and Spanish. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2014, Spring 2017

235 Impostors

An interdisciplinary exploration of the causes behind the social, racial, artistic, and political act—and art—of posing, passing, or pretending to be someone else. Blacks passing for whites, Jews passing for gentiles, and women passing for men, and vice versa, will be the central motif, with attention given to biological and scientific patterns such as memory loss, mental illness, and plastic surgery, and to literary strategies like irony. As a supernatural occurrence, discussion will  include mystical experiences, ghost stories, and séance sessions. The course will also cover instances pertaining to institutional religion, from prophesy from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles to the Koran and Mormonism. In technology and communications, analysis concentrates on the invention of the telegraph, the telephone, and the Internet. The class will also analyze entertainment, ventriloquism, puppet shows, voice-overs, children’s cartoon shows, subtitles, and dubbing in movies and TV and examine posers in Greek mythology, the Arabian Nights, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip Roth, Oliver Sacks, and Nella Larsen. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018, Fall 2021

236 The Bible as Literature

A close reading of significant portions of the Five Books of Moses, done from the perspective of literature: how are the human and divine characters built, what interior life do they display and what philosophical view do they convey? Attention will be given to the nineteenth-century theories that approach the Bible as a composite book delivering a nationalistic story. Students will also reflect on the impact of the Bible in Western literature, from Dante’s Divine Comedy to R. Crumb’s cartoon retelling of Genesis. Taught in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2019

237 God

This course rotates around the shifting notion of the divine in Western Civilization, focusing on theology, philosophy, literature, and music. Students explore the development of the three major prophetic religions as well as some of the mystical movements they fostered. Discussions rotate around the King James Bible, Augustine’s Confessions, the Koran, Maimonides’ The Guide for the Perplexed, the Zohar, the Popol Vuh, the Ramayana, and Spinoza’s work as a cornerstone to the Enlightenment. We will contemplate secularism in modern culture and analyze the contemporary atheist movement of Dawkins and Hitchens . Music explorations range from Johann Sebastian Bach to John Cage; in science, from Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking; and in film, from Ingmar Bergman to Woody Allen. Readings include parts of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, Kafka’s The Castle, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Borges’ “The Secret Miracle” and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Spring 2021

238 Soviet Union During the Cold War

(Offered as HIST 236 [EU], EUST 238, and RUSS 237) The Cold War indelibly shaped the second half of the twentieth century. Spies seemed ubiquitous; nuclear annihilation imminent. Films such as Red October and the James Bond series forged a Western image of the Soviet Union. But how were these decades experienced behind the Iron Curtain? This course explores Soviet history between the end of World War II and the collapse of the USSR. We will study the roots of the Cold War; the politics of de-Stalinization in the USSR; the unfolding of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe; and Soviet relations with the West, China, and the developing world. We will also explore the internal dynamics of Soviet society: the rise of the Soviet middle class, consumerism, tourism, the entertainment industry, demographic trends, education, and public health. Two class meetings per week. 

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2023

240 The Last Russian Revolution: State and Society from the Late Soviet Period to the Present

(Offered as HIST 240 [EU], EUST 240, and RUSS 240) This course explores the tumultuous and unprecedented transition from the late Soviet Communism to contemporary Russian Federation. We will discuss the state of the Soviet Union on the eve of dissolution and politics of nationalism; emergence of the post-Soviet states and divergence in their historical development; transition to capitalism and privatization; challenges of federalism and regionalism in post-Soviet Russia; relations between the Russian Federation and “Near Abroad,” NATO and China, and the social and cultural developments from the late Soviet period to the early twenty-first century. The class will also explore the historical evolution of the phenomenon of Putinism as rooted in long-term transformation of the former Soviet space. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2022

241 The Age of Michelangelo: Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 241, ARCH 241, and EUST 241)  Michelangelo, a defining genius of the Italian Renaissance, emerged from a rich cultural environment that forever changed how we think of art. Artists of the Renaissance developed an original visual language from the legacy of the ancient world, while also examining nature, their environment, and encounters with other worlds to the East and West. Their art revealed a profound engagement with philosophical attitudes toward the body and the spirit, as well as with ideals of pious devotion and civic virtue. Those concepts changed radically over the period of the Renaissance, however. Artists developed the rhetoric of genius and artistic struggle by vaunting an artist’s godlike role, owing to his imaginative creation of art and his ability to mimic reality illusionistically, yet they also questioned a human’s place in the cosmos. We will analyze in depth the visual language of painting, sculpture, and architecture created for merchants, monks, princes and popes in the urban centers of Florence, Rome and Venice from the 14th through the 16th centuries, and examine the virtuosic processes artists used to achieve their goals. 

Rather than taking the form of a survey, this course, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will analyze selected works and contemporary attitudes toward the visual through study of the art and its primary sources.

 Learning goals:

  • Gain confidence in the art of close looking to gain visual understanding;
  • Achieve an understanding about how art and its culture are intertwined;
  • Develop the critical skills to analyze points of view from a historical period other than our own;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Develop and argue an original thesis about a single work of art in a research paper.

Meets twice a week, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

One course in ARHA, FAMS, or ARCH recommended.

Uncapped.

 Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2023

245 Stalin and Stalinism

(Offered as HIST 235 [EU/TC/TE/TR/TS], EUST 245 and RUS 235) Joseph Stalin, the infamous Soviet dictator, created a particular type of society in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Stalinism became a phenomenon that influenced the development of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The course will begin with the exploration of Stalin’s own life and then focus on what historical forces enabled the emergence of Stalinism. It will cover the period on the eve of and during the Russian Revolution, Stalinist transformation of the USSR in the 1930s, WWII, and the onset of the Cold War. Among issues to be explored are the extent of popular support for Stalinist-type regimes, the mechanisms of large-scale political terror, the longevity of Stalinist regimes, and historical memory about Stalinism. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

255 Imposture: Con-men, Swindlers, and Other Pretenders

(Offered by RUSS 255 and EUST 255) This course investigates various figures of imposture. Beginning with Nikolai Gogol’s classic figure of Chichikov from Dead Souls and his genre-bending reversal of the theme in The Inspector General, the course will examine how authors have used confidence games and imposture to reveal particular ploys and gambits in literature. The course will also consider the ways that con-men, swindlers, and pretenders reflect and manipulate the cultural, political, and social dilemmas of their respective periods. While we will focus particularly on the case of Russia—and the distinct place the arts of confidence have had there – we will also consider forms of imposture beyond just a hustle for money and beyond the case of Russia. We will examine imposture in terms of race (as in Nella Larsen's Passing), in the realm of politics (as in Alexander Pushkin's “Boris Godunov”), in relation to the Holocaust (as in Stefan Maechler’s definitive report on the memoirist Benjamin Wilkomirskij), and in such expansive novelistic treatments of this theme by Herman Melville and Thomas Mann. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Professor Kunichika. Omitted 2021-22

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

258 Art, Things, Spaces, and Places

(Offered as ARHA 258, ARCH 258 and EUST 258) The purpose of this course is to introduce students to research on lived environments from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, the architecture that shaped them, and the art and objects that they contained. The goal of each class, through reading and discussion, is to investigate what a researchable question is in the fields of history, art history, architecture, and material culture in Europe, England, and the Americas. Using multi-disciplinary research strategies, we will examine the power of precious and ordinary objects (including furniture, tapestries, devotional paintings, family portraits, and sculpture), the contemporary connotations of their materiality, and consider what objects in a home might signify about a family’s status, political allegiance, spirituality, and place in the world. Further, we will ask how art, objects and décor shape the beholder’s experience of spaces inside and outside a residence, in private and in public. What does the display of objects in collections, including those from far-away cultures other than the patron’s, signify to the owner and the viewer? Visiting lecturers will present their ideas on various topics such as the anthropology of art, the significance of precious materials, and collecting. We will take field trips to museums and meet curators in order to identify a research topic.

This course will give students tools to conduct their own research into past lived environments and their contents, and identify how we in the 21st century might come to understand them. As the culmination of the course students will collaboratively develop a prospectus for a research project with one or two other classmates. Assignments to meet that goal include adding new content to Wikipedia as a record of students’ findings and a contribution to knowledge for a wider public.

Open to sophomores but also motivated first-years interested in research in a variety of fields. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

259 Shakespeare in Prison

Taught at the Hampshire County Jail, the course is devoted to close readings and staging of parts of Shakespeare’s plays while exploring in depth his historical context, dramatic and stylistic style, and world view. The topics of bondage, revenge, injustice, and forgiveness will serve as leitmotifs. In Spring 2018, four plays were the focus: As You Like It, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Conducted in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

269 Baroque Art

(Offered as ARHA 269, ARCH 269, EUST 269) At the beginning of the seventeenth century, religious and social upheavals in Europe led to a renewed proliferation of exciting, innovative art. In this century of remarkably varied artistic production, paradoxes abounded. Artists sought the illusion of reality by imitating unimproved, even base or monstrous nature through close observation of the human body, landscape, and ordinary, humble objects of daily use. They imbued art meant to inspire religious devotion with unbounded eroticism or with the gory details of painful suffering and hideous death. Artists and architects made the visionary appear real and sensual. They adored the past but re-cast it in modern terms. Others continued to quest for perfection in a return to the lofty principles implicit in ancient artistic canons of ideality. More than ever before, artists explored the expression of passion through dramatic narratives and sharply revealing portraiture. They depicted dominating political leaders as flawed mortals—even satirized them through the new art of caricature—at the same time that they developed a potent and persuasive vocabulary in art, architecture, and gardens for the expression of the rulers’ absolutist political power.

This class will examine issues in Baroque art in depth through selected works of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced by artists in the Catholic countries of the seventeenth century, e.g. Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, and Rubens in Italy, France, Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, and parts of the Americas. It also engages the cultural, social, and intellectual framework for their accomplishments. 

Intermediate level, one other course in art history preferred but not required. Uncapped.

Spring Semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2016

284 Women and Art in Early Modern Europe

(Offered as ARHA 284, EUST 284, and SWAG 206)  This introductory discussion-based course will examine how prevailing ideas about women and gender shaped visual imagery in Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, and how these images, in turn, presented surprisingly varied pictures of women and their domains. Artists vividly expressed the paradoxical power that women possessed even more than language could. Both admired and feared in their societies, aristocrats, queens, mistresses, saints, witches, heroines, and housewives were all depicted in art in elevated and debased manners, sometimes as eroticized subjects and at other times as powerful, idealized actors—occasionally both at the same time. We will analyze the art and material goods that women paid for and what it communicated about them; women’s homes and the objects they held; the portrayal of women from merchant societies in Italian city-states to aristocratic women in India, of female saints, heroes and rulers, including Elizabeth I of England and Maria de' Medici of France; and the troubling imagery of rape. These different types of art raise questions about biological theories about women; feminine ideals of beauty; what marriage meant in different societies; the relationship between the exercise of political power and gender; women’s expression of transcendent spirituality; and what the portrayal of indigenous and enslaved women in Dutch and Spanish colonies conveyed about race.

 GOALS FOR LEARNING

  • Understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
  • Gain an understanding of how historical attitudes about women and by women affect art made about and by women;
  • Develop an analytical ability to examine points of view expressed in texts and art of a historical period other than our own and to distinguish them from another;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Learn how to perform 2 kinds of research:

1) find materials to contribute publicly useful scholarship, by creating or revising Wikipedia entries, which greatly lack material on women;

2) Develop and argue an original thesis in a 10-page research paper.

 No prerequisites. Uncapped.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2021

294 Black Europe

(Offered as BLST 294 [D], SWAG 294 and EUST 294) This research-based seminar considers the enduring presence of people of African descent in Europe from the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment, a fact that both confounds and extends canonical theories of African diaspora and black internationalism.  Focusing particularly on the histories of black people in Britain, Germany, and France, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach in its study of the African diaspora in Europe. We will examine literature, history, film, art and ephemera, as well as newly available pre-1927 audio recordings from Bear Family Records (http://www.black-europe.com/) in effort to better comprehend the materiality of the black European experience. These inquiries will enable us to comment upon the influence black people continue to have upon Europe today. Reading the central texts in the emerging field of Black European Studies—including African American expatriate memoirs, Afro-German feminist poetry, and black British cultural theory—student work will culminate in an annotated bibliography and a multimedia research project.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Polk.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

303 Literature as Translation

(Offered as EUST 303, ENGL 320 and RUSS 310) Acts of translation underwrite many kinds of cultural production, often invisibly. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, for instance, engaged with black internationalism through bilingualism and translation, as Brent Edwards has reminded us. In this course we will study literary translation as a creative practice involved in the making of subjects and cultures. We will read key statements about translation by theorists and translators, such as Walter Benjamin, Roman Jakobson, Lawrence Venuti, Peter Cole and Gayatri Spivak. We also will directly engage in translation work: each student will regularly present translations in a workshop format to produce a portfolio as a final project. The class will be “polyglot,” meaning that students are welcome to translate from any language of which they have knowledge; when they share translations, they will be asked also to provide interlinear, or “literal,” translations for those who may not understand the language they are working in.

Requisite: Two years of college-level study of the chosen language. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professors Bosman and Ciepiela. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021

310 History of Fascism

(Offered as HIST 310[EU/TE/TR] and EUST 310) Fascism emerged as a political ideology that was simultaneously revolutionary and reactionary, promising national rebirth in opposition to both liberalism and Marxist socialism. But after the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II, fascism seemingly ceased to be a factor in global politics. How do we assess fascism a century after the establishment of the first fascist regime in Italy? This course will explore the social, cultural, and intellectual origins of fascism, the rise of fascist movements in Europe in the early to mid-twentieth century, the politics and policies of fascist parties and regimes—including in Germany, Italy, Iberia, the Balkans, and the Baltic States—and transnational fascist links between Europe and the Americas, Asia, and Africa. This course will conclude with a consideration of anti-fascism and the "fascism question" in contemporary politics. Readings and course materials will be drawn from a variety of secondary and primary sources. Two meetings per week. 

Spring semester. Professor Merritt.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

315 What is Language? Russian and Soviet Views in Comparative Context

(Offered as RUSS 315 and EUST 315) “We die. That may be the meaning of life,” writes Toni Morrison. “But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” Russian thinkers, writers, philosophers, and politicians have likewise sought to take measure of their lives and of culture by thinking about the nature of language, and its role in culture, society, and politics. In examining how Russian writers and thinkers have sought to answer the question what is language? — how they did and do language—we will consider a range of sources from intellectual history, linguistics, literary and critical theory, mythology, theology, and philosophy. We will examine the distinctive contributions of Russian thinking about language, while also seeking to situate Russian views on this question within a comparative context. To that end, we will also read intellectual sources that proved seminal for articulating an answer to this question (Vico, Herder, Rousseau, Saussure, and Benveniste, among others). As we consider this broad question, and how it has animated Russian thought and culture, we will also focus upon a range of other questions: What are the origins of language? How does language evolve? What is the relationship of language to national culture? What is the relationship of language to politics? Throughout the course, we will see how views on the nature of language served as an arena in which vying conceptions of culture, politics, and the human have all been contested. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Omit 2021-22. Professor Kunichika.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Fall 2022

317 Women in Early Modern Spain

(Offered as SPAN 405, EUST 317, and SWAG 317) This course will examine the diverse and often contradictory representations of women in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain as seen through the eyes of both male and female writers. This approach will allow us to inquire into how women represented themselves versus how they were understood by men. In our analysis of this topic, we will also take into consideration some scientific, legal, and moral discourses that attempted to define the nature and value of women in early modern Spain. Works by authors such as Cervantes, María de Zayas, Calderón de la Barca, and Catalina de Erauso, among others, will offer us fascinating examples and different approaches to the subject. Conducted in Spanish.

For Spring 2021, this course will be taught “hyflex,” with instruction conducted synchronously via Zoom as well as in-person meetings for students on campus. All course materials will be available digitally and will be provided by the instructor.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

320 Seminar on Opera and Musical Theatre

(Offered as MUSI 420, EUST 320 and THDA 320) This course examines the two genres of lyric theater (opera and musical) with special attention to composers’ musical characterizations of the women and men who populate them. The first part of the class will focus on case studies of works by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini,  Rogers & Hammerstein, and Sondheim. Analyzing these works will help us develop an understanding of how composers work with conventions of vocal type and musical gesture to define character. The second part of the class will be devoted to developing independent research projects. Health conditions permitting, some of the works studied will be chosen in coordination with performances we can attend in New York or Boston.

Spring semester. Professor Schneider.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

327 Fascism, War, and Freedom: Spain and Japan On Screen

(Offered as ASLC 327, EUST 327, and FAMS 327) The relationships among media, the state, and civil society are complex.  This course aims to address these relationships by examining cinema—the art form of the twentieth century—in Japan and Spain during different but overlapping eras of tumult: the 1930s to the 1980s. Putting these two national cinemas in a comparative framework will allow us to address issues such as: the interest in film by authoritarian regimes; the way cinema is harnessed to wartime goals by the state; the nature of censorship and self-censorship in war and peace; the potential of image, sound, and narrative to give expression to propaganda and democratic ideals; the cathartic release following the end of an authoritarian regime or occupation. The course, taught in English, does not assume prior knowledge of either country, nor of film studies. All films have English subtitles.

Spring semester. Professors Brenneis and Van Compernolle.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

328 Trial and Error: An Interdisciplinary Experiment with Montaigne's Essais

(Offered as FREN 328 and EUST 328) "If my mind could gain a firm footing, I would not make essays, I would make decisions; but it is always in apprenticeship and on trial" (III, 2 "Of Repentance"). A Renaissance jurist and thinker, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) is widely recognized as one of the key figures in the history of self-writing and of the essay as genre. This course, however, situates Montaigne beyond these two frames. In the spirit of Montaigne himself, it proposes to attempt, to sample, to taste—in sum, to essay—the Essais (1580-1595). From confessions of impotence to love affairs with books; from rebuttals of human reason to reflections on solitude and age; from networks of exchange to disease and contagion, the uncategorizable content of the Essais, combined with a dynamic form replete with detours and deviations, is an invitation to err among and try a variety of subjects. Similarly, our objective is not to gain expertise, but to experiment and to experience. Our trials will combine a close reading of a selection of Montaigne’s Essais alongside critical, historical, or theoretical texts from a diverse range of methodologies and fields, such as medicine, sound studies, cultural gerontology and more. In addition to engaging with the writings of Montaigne, this course therefore serves as a more general opportunity to consider the place of literature among and within other disciplines. Conducted in English.

Spring semester. Professor Nader-Esfahani.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

330 Race and Otherness in the Middle Ages

(Offered as ENGL 330 and EUST 330) [Before 1800] By many accounts, a concept of “race” does not emerge in the West until the colonizing of the New World in the Renaissance. Yet medieval people had many ways of identifying, exoticizing, excluding, and discriminating against “others.” This was often framed in terms of religion (Christianity vs. Islam), but it also manifests in terms of physiognomic description and ideas of monstrosity in romance and quest narratives. In this course, we will explore how the “othering” of certain medieval peoples creates a racialized language and discourse at once specific to the Middle Ages and relevant to our current understanding of race. We will read from medieval travel narratives (The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Prester John, The Medieval Romance of Alexander) as well as literature by Chaucer and others, alongside critical race theory and historical scholarship to give context to our discussions. We will also explore how the Middle Ages have been racialized in contemporary political and popular discourse.

Format: If at least 5 in-person students register for this course, it will run in person, with hybrid options for remote students. Course meetings will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

340 Violence, Art and Memory of the Spanish Civil War

(Offered as SPAN 420 and EUST 340.) The Spanish Civil War lasted only three years, from 1936 to 1939, yet the conflict cast a long shadow over Spain’s twentieth-century history, culture and identity. Indeed, as a precursor to World War II, the war's effects were felt worldwide, and it became the inspiration for works of art and literature as varied as Pablo Picasso's Guernica, Pablo Neruda's España en el corazón, Guillermo del Toro's El laberinto del fauno and Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. This course will delve into the discord and violence of the war as well as to the anguish and catharsis of the literature, poetry and film it inspired. Through primary sources and historical accounts, we will understand the war’s causes. By studying texts and films that track the reverberations of the Spanish Civil War in the United States, Latin America and Continental Europe, we will trace the war’s effects. In addition, we will grapple with the diverse ways that lingering memories of the war have affected modern-day politics and culture, with particular attention to legacies of race, class and gender. This course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course has been designed with a strong digital component. For S21, instruction will likely be remote and synchronous via Zoom. If circumstances permit, there may be opportunities for in person group work and meetings with the professor for those students on campus. All course and research materials will be available digitally.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

360 Performance

(Offered as GERM 360, ARCH 360, EUST 360 and FAMS 316) What is performance? What constitutes an event? How can we address a phenomenon that has disappeared the moment we apprehend it? How does memory operate in our critical perception of an event? How does a body make meaning? These are a few of the questions we will explore in this course, as we discuss critical, theoretical, and compositional approaches in a broad range of multidisciplinary performance phenomena emerging from European—primarily German—culture in the twentieth century. We will focus on issues of performativity, composition, conceptualization, dramaturgy, identity construction, representation, space, gender, and dynamism. Readings of performance theory, performance studies, gender studies, and critical/cultural studies, as well as literary, philosophical, and architectural texts, will accompany close examination of performance material. Students will develop performative projects in various media (video, performance, text, online) and deliver a number of critical oral and written presentations on various aspects of the course material and their own projects. Performance material will be experienced live when possible, and in text, video, audio, digital media and online form, drawn from selected works of Dada and Surrealism, Bauhaus, German Expressionism, the Theater of the Absurd, Tanztheater, and Contemporary Theater, Performance, Dance, Opera, New Media, and Performance Art. A number of films, including Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Oskar Schlemmer’s Das Triadische Ballett, Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique, and Kurt Jooss’ Der Grüne Tisch, will also be screened. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 16 students.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2020, Spring 2023

363 Traumatic Events

(Offered as GERM 363, ARCH 363, EUST 363, and FAMS 370) How is memory constructed and represented? How is it possible to bear witness, and what exactly is involved? Who is authorized to testify, to whom, when? Whose story is it? Is it possible to tell "the story" of a traumatic event? What are the disorders of testimony, and how and where do they emerge? This course will observe the workings of trauma (the enactment and working-through of collective and individual symptoms of trauma), memory, and witnessing in various modes of everyday life. We will examine notions of catastrophe, disaster, accident, and violence, and explore the possibilities and impossibilities of bearing witness in many forms of cultural production: in fiction, poetry, architecture, critical theory, oral and written testimonies, visual art, monuments, memorials, philosophy, science, cartoons, film, video, theater, social media, and performance, online and in our public and domestic spaces. We will study various representations of trauma, paying particular attention to events in Germany and Europe from the twentieth century, as well as to 9/11, the Covid-19 pandemic and inter/national events of 2020. Material to be examined will be drawn from the work of Pina Bausch, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Cathy Caruth, Paul Celan, Marguerite Duras, Peter Eisenman, Shoshana Felman, Florian Freund, Jochen Gerz, Geoffrey Hartman, Rebecca Horn, Marion Kant, Anselm Kiefer, Ruth Klüger, Dominick LaCapra, Claude Lanzmann, Dori Laub, Daniel Libeskind, W.G. Sebald, Art Spiegelman, Paul Virilio, Peter Weiss, Wim Wenders, Elie Wiesel, Christa Wolf, and others. Conducted in English with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2018

365 Making Memorials

(Offered as GERM 365, ARCH 365, and EUST 365) This is a course about what happens to difficult memories: memories that are intensely personal, but made public, memories that belong to communities, but which become ideologically possessed by history, politics, or the media. How are memories processed into memorials? What constitutes a memorial? What gets included or excluded? How is memory performed in cultural objects, spaces, and institutions? What is the relationship between the politics of representation and memory? Who owns memory? Who is authorized to convey it? How does memory function? This course will explore the spaces in which memories are “preserved” and experienced. Our attention will focus on the transformation of private and public memories in works of architecture, performance, literature, and the visual arts, primarily in Germany, Europe, and the United States in the twentieth century, including also 9/11, the COVID-19 pandemic, and inter/national events of 2020. Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, the visual arts, interactive installation and/or the environment. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 20 students. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2021

368 SPACE

(Offered as GERM 368, ARCH 368, EUST 368, and FAMS 380) This research seminar will explore conceptions of space as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual materials will be drawn from the fields of literature and philosophy; architectural, art, and film theory and history; performance studies and performance theory; and theories of technology and the natural and built environment. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is a core of this seminar.

Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment. Conducted in English. German majors will select a research project focused on a German Studies context, and will do a substantial portion of the readings in German. 

Limited to 18 students. Enrollment requires attendance at the first class meeting. Spring semester. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2018

369 TIME

(Offered as ARCH 369 and EUST 369) This research seminar will explore conceptions of time as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, philosophy, neuroscience, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual/sonic materials will be drawn from the fields of European literature, philosophy and critical theory; from architectural, art, music, neuroscience and film theory and history; from performance studies and performance theory; and from theories of technology and the natural and built environment. We will sustain a focus on issues of perception, cognition, duration, movement, attention, imagination, memory, and narrative throughout. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is central to this seminar. Conducted in English.

Preference given to ARCH and EUST majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment.

Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Fall 2019

374 Medieval and Renaissance Lyric

(Offered as ENGL 441 and EUST 374) [Before 1800] In this course, we read a selection of English and other European lyrics (in translation) from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries. An exciting, fertile era in poetic innovation, these centuries see the dawn of the first romantic love poetry in these languages, the invention of new forms like the sonnet, and the invention of the lyric “anthology.” Reading the lyrics of the French troubadour poets, Chaucer, Petrarch, Wyatt, Donne, Shakespeare, and the many brilliant anonymous poets of medieval England, we will examine both the text and contexts of these short poems. Close readings will be put in dialogue with cultural contexts (such as the volatile court of Henry VIII, in which Thomas Wyatt wrote), and the material contexts of the lyrics (the medieval and early modern manuscripts and books in which they first appeared). We will further think about how the term “lyric” emerges as a privileged poetic category, by reading contemporary “defenses” of poetry and thinking about why the word “lyric” only appears in the sixteenth century. Does the “lyric” poem change once it is defined? How do later works speak to the earlier tradition?

Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2020

385 Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters

(Offered as ARHA 385, EUST 385, and SWAG 310) Our course will explore how evil was imagined, over cultures, centuries and disciplines. With the greatest possible historical and cultural specificity, we will investigate an array of monstrous creatures and plagues -- their terrifying powers, the explanations for why they came to be, and the strategies for how they could be purged -- as we attempt to articulate the kindred qualities they shared. We will study centuries-old witch burning manuals, and note the striking degree to which dangerous tropes -- about women, about pestilence, about dangerous sexuality, and about differences of all kinds -- have continued to our day. Among the artists to be considered are Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí, Buñuel, Dreyer, Wilder, Almodóvar, and the community who made the AIDS Quilt.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

390, 490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

420 Antisemitism

An in-depth, thorough chronological study of Antisemitism—“the longest hatred”—from Hellenistic and Roman times to early Christian thinkers, the development of Islam, the Middle Ages, especially the Holy Office of the Spanish Inquisition, the Enlightenment, Nazism and other forms of fascism, Communism, to the twenty-first century. Special attention will be placed on geographical varieties and national traditions (France, Germany, Russia, Iran, the United States, Spain, and Argentina), the Dreyfus Affair, the Protocols of the Wise of Zion, Henry Ford, and other focal points. The class will analyze in detail the metastasis of antisemitism into anti-Zionism before and after the creation of the State of Israel. We will also discuss antisemitism in politics, education, culture, and media, and its link to racism, anti-immigration, xenophobia and other hatreds.

This course will be conducted online. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

425 European Economic Take-Off in Global Perspective, c. 1050–1750

(Offered as HIST 425 [EUP] and EUST 425) The history of the pre-modern European economy is usually understood as the singular and exceptional rise of the first modern economy. Yet recent research in economic history and shifts in the world economy have provided new perspectives to reconsider the rise of the European economy. From this long-term and global viewpoint, the story of Europe’s economic take-off becomes the remarkable story of a backwater that became mainstream. How was Europe able to reposition itself from a periphery of the Eurasian economy to a central node of the global economy? What drove Europeans further and further into the East and how did their incursions disrupt or adapt to previous trade networks and practices? How did the exports and imports of Europe change as their relation to the world economy changed? By considering these questions, the course will revisit the familiar histories of the Commercial Revolution, the travels of Marco Polo, the Age of Discovery, the East India Companies, the Atlantic System, and the road to the Industrial Revolution. Using the analysis and synthesis of modern historians, we will situate the economic take-off of Europe in the context of the transformation of the world economy. Utilizing past travel logs, eyewitness reports, business contracts, customs receipts, and other non-narrative sources, students will complete a research paper that tackles one of these histories and casts them in new light. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018

430 Renaissance Bodies

(Offered as HIST 430 [EUP/TC/TR], EUST 430 and SWAG 430) "Renaissance Bodies" investigates the ways in which early modern sciences and the figurative arts of the Renaissance collaborated to represent body-centered visual knowledges ranging from the "secrets of women" to scientific "monstrosities." The course also examines the ways in which Catholicism enhanced body-centered, sensual and visual forms of devotion. Discussions center on the eroticization of male, female, and queer bodies in a variety of discourses and visual rhetorics. A particular focus is on the representation of black bodies before the onset of modern racism. Case studies will include Eckhout’s "ethnographic" portrayals of African slaves and the native inhabitants of Brazil; Chiara di Montefalco’s miraculous relics; Elena Duglioli’s career as a spontaneously lactating saint; the cultural history of the dildo; Elena/o de Cespedes’s life as a transman; Sarah Bartmann as fetishized object of desire; male prostitution; and anatomical wax figures.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

432 Gender, Class, and Crime: The Victorian Underworld

(Offered as HIST 432 [EU/TC/TS] and EUST 432) Victorian Britain was a nation of contrasts. It was at once the world’s foremost economic and imperial power, the richest nation in Europe, and the country where the consequences of industrialization–slums, poverty, disease, alcoholism, sexual violence–took some of their bleakest forms. In an era of revolution, Britain enjoyed one of the most stable political systems in Europe; yet it was also a society plagued by crime and by fears of popular unrest, the place where Marx predicted the worker’s revolt would begin. This seminar explores the complex world of the Victorians through a focus on what contemporaries termed the “social problem”: the underclass of criminals, paupers, and prostitutes who seemed immune to reform. Themes will include political liberalism and the Poor Law, imperialism at home and abroad, industrialization and urbanization, sanitation, hygiene, and disease control initiatives, shifting cultural understandings of gender and class, and Jack the Ripper. Students will be expected to write a research paper on a topic of their choice. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2015, Spring 2019

465 Multicultural Spain

A vital question in today’s multicultural societies is how individuals with different identities—religious, racial, ethnic, etc.—can live and prosper together. This course will explore the literature, culture, and history of medieval and early modern Spain, paying special attention to how people with diverse backgrounds coexisted and interacted with each other. Examining the context of Spain during this time period will also serve as a means to help us think through issues of diversity in our world today. First we will look at the situation of medieval Spain where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side-by-side for centuries. Then we’ll turn to Spain’s exploration of the New World and how the diverse encounters that took place influenced Spanish culture. Finally, we will consider representations of other cultural minorities, such as gypsies, in Spain during the early modern period. Primary sources will include literary texts, historical accounts, legal documents, and maps and will be supplemented by secondary critical texts. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020

498, 499, 499D Senior Departmental Honors

A full course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Related Courses

CLAS-121 Greek Mythology and Religion (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-332 Chaucer: <em>The Canterbury Tales</em> (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-348 Modern British Literature, 1900-1950 (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-324 Studies in Medieval Romance Literature and Culture (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-330 The Doing and Undoing of Genres in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-339 Worldliness and Otherworldliness (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-342 Women of Ill Repute: Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century French Literature (Course not offered this year.)
HIST-101 World War II in Global Perspective (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-248 Law And War (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-356 Representing and Judging the Holocaust. (Course not offered this year.)
MUSI-444 Formation of the Self in Twentieth-Century Music (Course not offered this year.)
PHIL-218 Early Modern Philosophy (Course not offered this year.)
POSC-415 Taking Marx Seriously (Course not offered this year.)
PSYC-368 Autobiographical Memory (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-123 Century of Catastrophe: Soviet and Contemporary Russia in Writing and Film (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-227 Fyodor Dostoevsky (Course not offered this year.)

Five College Programs & Certificates

Five College Programs & Certificates

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European Studies

Advisory Committee: Professors Barbezat, Ciepiela, Courtright, de la Carrera †, Epstein, Griffiths ‡, Katsaros, R. López, Machala, Móricz, Raskin ‡,  Rockwell ‡, Rogowski, Sarat, Schneider, Sinos, R., Staller, and Stavans; Associate Professors Boucher *, Brenneis, Engelhardt (Chair,fall), Gilpin, Nelson †, Polk *, van den Berg, and Wolfson; Assistant Professors Gordon *, Infante, Paul, and Zanker; Five College Associate Professor Long.

European Studies is a major program that provides opportunity for independent and interdisciplinary study of European culture. Through integrated work in the humanities and social sciences, the student major examines a significant portion of the European experience and seeks to define those elements that have given European culture its unity and distinctiveness.

Major Program. The core of the major consists of eight courses that will examine a significant portion of European civilization through a variety of disciplines. Two of these courses will be EUST 121 and 122 (or the equivalent; see below).  All majors must give evidence of proficiency in one European language besides English. Save in exceptional circumstances, majors will spend at least one semester of the junior year pursuing an approved course of study in Europe. By the end of their junior year, all majors shall complete a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture. Prior arrangement for supervision must be made if a student intends to do this project while abroad. For their senior year, European Studies majors will then opt into one of two possible paths: Thesis or Capstone. 

Thesis Option. Students wishing to pursue an independent project as an honors thesis will take one thesis research course in the first semester of the senior year, and another in the final semester. Students may designate the research course of the final semester as a double course (EUST 499D), in which case the total number of courses required to complete the major becomes nine.

Possible approaches for the senior thesis project include comparative literary studies, interdisciplinary work in history, sociology, philosophy, political science, economics, performance studies, visual arts, architecture or music involving one or more European countries. Students are encouraged to take a relevant methods class fitting their research approach (such as HIST-301 or SOCI-315), which, with permission from the EUST chair may count toward the major’s eight courses. 

Capstone Option. In the capstone option students, after having completed a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture, will complete their eight European Studies courses without an independent project. A month into their final semester, capstone majors will submit a five-page retrospective essay on the entirety of the course of their studies in the major, which will be followed by a conversation with the European Studies faculty members. 

Honors Program.  Students may be recommended for Program honors only if they complete a thesis.

 

*On leave 2021-22.
†On leave fall semester 2021-22.
‡On leave spring semester 2021-22.
 

112 Russian Empire in Eurasia

(Offered as HIST 112 [AS/EUCP], ASLC 112, EUST 112 and RUSS 130) In the course of five hundred years, the Russian empire in Eurasia evolved as the largest territorial polity in the world. In this course, we will explore the medieval foundations of the imperial state and look at its predecessors and models (Kievan Rus’ and the empire of the Mongols), discuss ways in which cooperation and resistance shaped the imperial state and society, and study cultural and political entanglements among different ethnic, linguistic and confessional groups in Eurasia. Chronologically, we will cover the period from the tenth century to the crisis of the empire in the early twentieth century. Thematically, we will focus on structures of imperial state and society (the imperial house, peasantry, nobility, confessions, intelligentsia, revolutionary movement) and most important regions of the Russian Empire (Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Baltics, Siberia, Central Asia). Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2018

117 Arthurian Literature

(Offered as ENGL 117 and EUST 117) [Before 1800] Knights, monsters, quests, and true love: these are the things we associate with King Arthur and tales of his court. Why has Arthurian literature proved so enchanting to centuries of poets, novelists, and recently, filmmakers? In this introductory English course, we will read and watch Arthurian legends from Chaucer to Monty Python, examining the ways in which they have been represented in different eras. Beginning with the historical foundations of the King Arthur legend, we will examine how it blossomed and took form in later eras. Our focus will be on close literary and visual analysis of British, American, and French (in translation) versions of these legends. We will also discuss what cultural forces lie behind the popularity of Arthurian legend in certain eras: later medieval England and France; the Victorian era; and twentieth-century England and America. There will be frequent writing assignments and presentations, as well as a final creative project.

Open to first-year students and sophomores. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2020

121 Readings in the European Tradition I

Topics in the past have included readings and discussion of a series of related texts from Homer and Genesis to Dante: Homer’s Iliad, selected Greek tragedies, Virgil’s Aeneid, selections from the Bible and from medieval texts. Three class hours per week. Required of European Studies majors.

Open to European Studies majors and to any student interested in the intellectual and literary development of the West, from antiquity through the Middle Ages. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

122 Readings in the European Tradition II

(Offered as EUST 122 and HIST 122[EU]) This course offers a critical examination of the concept of European civilization from the seventeenth century through the present day. What did it mean to be “European” in the modern era? To what extent was “European” civilization forged by Europe’s connections to the wider world, and by ideas, art, literature, and politics that originated outside the geographical boundaries of Europe? How was the idea of a coherent European culture and character used as a tool of conquest within the European empires? And how did various people—in Europe, in the empires, and beyond—forge new social, cultural, and political solidarities through their critiques of the idea of European civilization? Does the concept of European civilization remain valuable in our modern, globalized era? This course will combine a study of canonical works of European art, literature, and politics with less well-known texts and works of art created by “non-European” people. Required of European Studies majors.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2122. Professor A. Gordon. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

125 The Italian Renaissance: Politics, Culture, and Society

(Offered as HIST 125 [EU/TC/P], EUST 125)

Given the misrepresentations of Renaissance Florentine politics in popular media (Netflix series Medici) and the attacks on Renaissance European culture from theorists of decolonization (Walter Mignolo), one might ask: what is the relevance of the Renaissance today? In this course, we will discuss the extent to which the Florentine and Venetian republics’ struggles for survival in the midst of wars and despotic/oligarchic/feudal usurpations might, again, be of interest to us. We will critically examine Renaissance cultural productions (humanist history writing, portraiture, perspective, mapping, erotic art) while also appreciating the politics of beauty in architecture, urban planning, and figurative art. Other topics include: the African presence; the gendered politics of charity; patriarchal families; women writers; domestic slavery; Jewish communities; interactions with Islamic culture; the conquest of America. 

Spring semester. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023

127 Early Modern Europe in a Global Context (1500–1800)

(Offered as HIST 127 [EU/TC/TE/TR/P] and EUST 127) This course introduces students to the history of Europe in the age of imperialism and colonization. It analyzes the emergence of "modernity" as a result of conquest and colonization, the globalization of commerce, the Atlantic slave trade, and the genocide of indigenous peoples. We will investigate instances of resistance to European imperialism and carefully examine the society that produced global capitalism. Among the topics we will address are the Italian Renaissance and the invention of perspective; the German Reformation and the emergence of interiority; gender, family, and the rise of domesticity; early modern science; new forms of visuality as methods of knowledge production; the emergence of racism; the French and Haitian Revolutions; religious syncretism; instances of hybridity and resistance in the imperial "contact zone." This course is essential for an understanding of the many contradictions and contestations we still live with. We will analyze primary sources, academic literature, and visual materials. There will be a mix of short lectures, discussions, group work, and in-class assignments.

Not offered 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

131 History and Theory of Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 131, ARCH 131 and EUST 131.) Throughout history, buildings have directed human activity, shaping social interactions, symbolizing political power, and influencing multiple kinds of artistic expression. This course is a selected introduction to the history and theory of architecture, from the earliest forms of human habitation to medieval and Renaissance buildings, Enlightenment utopian visions, modern industrial structures and skyscrapers, and contemporary sustainable practices.  Interwoven with a sampling of theoretical texts and architectural treatises, the course covers selected moments in the history and theory of Western architecture, from Vitruvius to Alberti and Corbusier to Koolhaas, from primordial shelters to computer generated designs.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Koehler.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

135 Renaissance to Revolution: Early Modern European Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 135, ARCH 135, and EUST 135) This course, a gateway class for the study of art history, introduces the ways that artists and architects imaginatively invented visual language to interpret the world for contemporary patrons, viewers, and citizens in early modern Europe. Painters, printmakers, sculptors and architects in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands created new ways of seeing empirical phenomena and interpreting them, by means of both ancient and new principles of art, science and philosophy and through powerful engagement with the senses. They produced godlike illusions of nature, from grand frescoes bursting from the walls of papal residences to spectacular gardens covering noble estates in Baroque France and colonializing England. They fundamentally altered the design of major cities such as Rome and Paris so that the visitor encountered an entirely new urban experience than ever before. Along the way, they learned from one another’s example, but, prizing innovation, sought fiercely to surpass previous generations, and argued at length about values in art. They contributed to fashioning an ideal picture of empire and society and conjured the dazzling wealth and power of those who paid them. But as time passed, some came to ironize the social order mightily, and some elevated beggars, farmers, servants, so-called fools, and bourgeois women leading seemingly mundane domestic lives as much as others praised the prosperous few. Finally, artists actively participated in the overthrow of the monarchy during the French Revolution and yet also passionately critiqued the violence of war it engendered. Throughout, the course will investigate how concepts of progress, civilization, the state, religion, race, gender, and the individual came to be defined through art.

The goals of the course are:
above all, to achieve the skill of close looking to gain visual understanding;
• also, to identify artistic innovations that characterize European art and architecture from the Italian Renaissance to the French Revolution;
• to understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
• to situate the works of art historically, by examining the intellectual, political, religious, and social currents that contributed to their creation;
• to read texts about the period critically and analytically.
No previous experience with art or art history is necessary. 

Fall semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

145 The Modern World

(Offered as ARHA 145, EUST 145, and SWAG 145)  This course will explore the self-conscious invention of modernism in painting, sculpture and architecture, from the visual clarion calls of the French Revolution to the performance art and earthworks of "art now." As we move from Goya, David, Monet and Picasso to Kahlo, Kiefer and beyond, we will be attentive to changing responses toward a historical past or societal present, the stance toward popular and alien cultures, the radical redefinition of all artistic media, changing representations of nature and gender, as well as the larger problem of mythologies and meaning in the modern period. Study of original objects and a range of primary texts (artists’ letters, diaries, manifestos, contemporary criticism) will be enhanced with readings from recent historical and theoretical secondary sources.

Limited to 50 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Staller.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2011, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

202 World War II in European Literature and Film

This course is designed to introduce students to the impact that World War II (1939–1945) had and continues to have on the society and culture of several European nations. As the last of the generation that lived during the war passes on, their grandchildren persist in raising questions about the reasons and effects of this political cataclysm. During the war, and afterwards with more or less intensity, writers and filmmakers made and have made attempts to analyze and represent the memories, the guilt, and the false histories that the war left behind in every involved nation.

The course will examine the ethics of historical memory, the sincerity of representation, the clever use of history for political purposes. It will also probe and analyze persistent myths of the war as well as discover stories and facts that have been ignored or forgotten. Finally, the course will look at alternative scenarios, that is, “what if” narratives.

Readings might include works by Erich Remarque, Albert Camus, Irène Némirovsky, W. G. Sebald, Primo Levi, and Tony Judt. Films might include selections from Rossellini’s Roma città aperta, Holland’s Europa, Europa, Reed’s The Third Man, and Malle’s Au revoir les enfants.

The class will study how nations too have attempted to make sense of this hecatomb, seeking explanation, expiation, and often excuses. We will also study how the Second World War’s legacy still affects contemporary European culture and politics.

Students will be expected to participate in discussion, give oral reports, and write a research paper.

January term. Professor Rosbottom. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

221 Voices from a Bygone Time

(Offered as MUSI 221 and EUST 221) Monks living in monastic seclusion, troubadours serving their ladies and fighting wars, mad princes writing complicated polyphonic music, male castrato singers celebrated as the pop-stars of opera houses are just a few of the fascinating characters who participated in music making from the Middle Ages until the middle of the eighteenth century in Europe. The music they produced is frequently called "early music," a falsely unifying label that hides the kaleidoscopic nature of this fantastic repertory, ranging from monophonic chant to opera. In this course we will study how the invention of musical notation affected the development of music, turning an oral tradition of chant into a written tradition of complex polyphonic textures unimaginable without the help of notation. Reading historical documents and listening to selected pieces of music, we'll visit the soundscape of this bygone time that still influences our thinking about music. Assignments include listening, reading, and short papers. Knowledge of musical notation at least at the rudimentary level is recommended.

Requisite: MUSI 112 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Móricz. The course will be offered Hyflex with as much individual/in-person contact as practical.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

222 Music and Culture II

(Offered as MUSI 222 and EUST 222) One of three courses in which the development of Western music is studied in its cultural-historical context. Occasionally we will attend concerts in Amherst and elsewhere. Composers to be studied include Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Mussorgsky, and Brahms. Regular listening assignments will broaden the repertoire we encounter and include a wide sampling of Classical and Romantic music. Periodic writing assignments will provide opportunities to connect the music with historical-cultural interpretation. Readings will focus on Gibbs/Taruskin Oxford History of Western Music with additional historical documents and selected critical and analytical studies. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (MUSI 221 and 223). Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: MUSI 111, 112, or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2023

223 The Musical Symptoms of Modernism

(Offered as MUSI 223 and EUST 223) Two World Wars, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the dropping of the atomic bomb were cataclysmic events that made the twentieth century one of the most traumatizing time periods in human history. And yet music did not fall silent. Composers continued writing music, giving aural expression to symptoms characteristic of the condition of modernism. How did Richard Strauss's opera Salome about a necrophiliac princess lusting for a severed head become one of the most successful operas in Europe? Why did Stalin alternately persecute and reward the Soviet Union's most talented composer, Dmitri Shostakovich? Why did composers insist on writing unlistenable, incomprehensibly complex music after World War II? Listening to a wide variety of music from Mahler to Kaija Saariaho, reading historical documents and other relevant essays, we'll explore symptoms of modernism and how composers and their music interacted with their culture milieu and historical context. Assignments will include regular listening, periodic short papers, and a culminating project.

This course will be taught in person. 

Requisite: MUSI 111 or 112, or consent of the instructor. January semester. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Offered in January 2022, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, January 2022

226 Women and War in European History, 1558–1918

(Offered as HIST 226 [EU/TC/P], ARHA 226, EUST 226, and SWAG 225) Although overlooked in military histories until recently, women have long been actively involved in warfare: as combatants, as victims, as workers, and as symbols. This course examines both the changing role of women, and the shifting constructions of “womanhood,” in four major European conflicts: the wars of Elizabeth I in sixteenth-century England, the wars and peace of Marie de Médicis in seventeenth-century France, the French Revolution, and the First World War. Using methodologies drawn from Art History and History, the course seeks to understand the gendered nature of warfare. Why are images of women and the family central to the iconography of war, and how have representations of womanhood shifted according to the aims of particular conflicts? To what extent do women’s experiences of warfare differ from men’s, and can war be considered a source of women’s liberation or oppression? Students will analyze a range of historical images in conjunction with primary source texts from these conflicts and will also develop an original research project related to the course’s themes. Two class meetings per week.

Recommended requisite: A course in Art History or History. Limited to 25 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019

230 The French Revolution

(Offered as HIST 230 [EUPTC] and EUST 230) Often viewed as one of the defining events in modern history, the French Revolution has been debated and discussed, derided and celebrated by generations of politicians, cultural commentators, and historians. This course enters into this on-going conversation by examining the nature of the revolutionary process as it unfolded in late eighteenth-century France and its empire. Beginning in the “old regime” of kings and commoners, it untangles the social, political, and intellectual roots of the Revolution and investigates the extent to which these factors contributed to the radical overthrow of the French establishment in 1789. It then follows the extension of the Revolution throughout French society and across the seas to the Caribbean, analyzing how popular and colonial upheavals influenced the revolutionary new order of “liberty, equality, and brotherhood” that was taking shape in France. Finally, the course explores the aftermath of the Revolution by tracing the various ways that its history has been interpreted and reinterpreted from the nineteenth century to the present day. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018

231 Race and Empire: The British Experience from 1760

(Offered as HIST 231 [EU/TE/TR/TS] and EUST 231) From the mid-eighteenth century through the 1960s, Britain presided over the most powerful empire in the world. At its height, this small island nation ruled one-quarter of the earth’s surface and more than 450 million of its inhabitants. Not only did British imperialism play a decisive role in shaping world politics, economics, and cultures in its day, it also left a number of profound legacies that continue to affect our lives in the present. This course traces the rise, fall, and lasting influence of the British empire, and pays particular attention to questions of race and ethnicity. Through a series of colonial encounters--such as the first contacts made between explorers and Pacific Islanders in the  eighteenth century, the interactions between missionaries and Africans in the nineteenth century, or the migration of South Asians to Britain in the twentieth century--it examines what “race” meant in different historical contexts. The course thus explores the institutionalization of racism in government, law, and society, and analyzes moments in which racism has been combated and overturned. Readings and course materials will be drawn from secondary and primary sources, including newspapers, novels, photographs, artwork, oral histories, and films.

Not offered in 2021-22. Enrollment limited to 30 students. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2016, Spring 2021

232 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 315, EUST 232, and FAMS 328) From Pedro Almodóvar to Penélope Cruz, Spanish directors and actors are now international stars. But the origins of Spain’s cinema are rooted in censorship and patriarchy. This course offers an overview of Spanish film from 1950 to the present along with an introduction to film studies. Through weekly streaming films and discussions, students will follow how Spain’s culture, history and society have been imagined onscreen, as well as how Spanish filmmakers interact with the rest of Europe and Latin America. We will pay particular attention to issues surrounding gender and sexuality as well as contemporary social justice movements. No prior experience with film analysis is needed. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

233 Love

This panoramic, interdisciplinary course will explore the concept of love as it changes epoch to epoch and culture to culture. Poetry, novels, paintings, sculptures, movies, TV, and music will be featured. Starting with the Song of Songs, it will include discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Catullus, and other Greek classics, move on to Dante and Petrarch, contemplate Chinese, Arabic, African, and Mesoamerican literatures, devote a central unit to Shakespeare, continue with the Metaphysical poets, and move on to American literature. Special attention will be paid to the difference between love, eroticism, and pornography. Multilingual students will be encouraged to delve into various linguistic traditions, in tongues like French, Russian, German, Yiddish, and Spanish. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2014, Spring 2017

235 Impostors

An interdisciplinary exploration of the causes behind the social, racial, artistic, and political act—and art—of posing, passing, or pretending to be someone else. Blacks passing for whites, Jews passing for gentiles, and women passing for men, and vice versa, will be the central motif, with attention given to biological and scientific patterns such as memory loss, mental illness, and plastic surgery, and to literary strategies like irony. As a supernatural occurrence, discussion will  include mystical experiences, ghost stories, and séance sessions. The course will also cover instances pertaining to institutional religion, from prophesy from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles to the Koran and Mormonism. In technology and communications, analysis concentrates on the invention of the telegraph, the telephone, and the Internet. The class will also analyze entertainment, ventriloquism, puppet shows, voice-overs, children’s cartoon shows, subtitles, and dubbing in movies and TV and examine posers in Greek mythology, the Arabian Nights, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip Roth, Oliver Sacks, and Nella Larsen. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018, Fall 2021

236 The Bible as Literature

A close reading of significant portions of the Five Books of Moses, done from the perspective of literature: how are the human and divine characters built, what interior life do they display and what philosophical view do they convey? Attention will be given to the nineteenth-century theories that approach the Bible as a composite book delivering a nationalistic story. Students will also reflect on the impact of the Bible in Western literature, from Dante’s Divine Comedy to R. Crumb’s cartoon retelling of Genesis. Taught in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2019

237 God

This course rotates around the shifting notion of the divine in Western Civilization, focusing on theology, philosophy, literature, and music. Students explore the development of the three major prophetic religions as well as some of the mystical movements they fostered. Discussions rotate around the King James Bible, Augustine’s Confessions, the Koran, Maimonides’ The Guide for the Perplexed, the Zohar, the Popol Vuh, the Ramayana, and Spinoza’s work as a cornerstone to the Enlightenment. We will contemplate secularism in modern culture and analyze the contemporary atheist movement of Dawkins and Hitchens . Music explorations range from Johann Sebastian Bach to John Cage; in science, from Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking; and in film, from Ingmar Bergman to Woody Allen. Readings include parts of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, Kafka’s The Castle, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Borges’ “The Secret Miracle” and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Spring 2021

238 Soviet Union During the Cold War

(Offered as HIST 236 [EU], EUST 238, and RUSS 237) The Cold War indelibly shaped the second half of the twentieth century. Spies seemed ubiquitous; nuclear annihilation imminent. Films such as Red October and the James Bond series forged a Western image of the Soviet Union. But how were these decades experienced behind the Iron Curtain? This course explores Soviet history between the end of World War II and the collapse of the USSR. We will study the roots of the Cold War; the politics of de-Stalinization in the USSR; the unfolding of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe; and Soviet relations with the West, China, and the developing world. We will also explore the internal dynamics of Soviet society: the rise of the Soviet middle class, consumerism, tourism, the entertainment industry, demographic trends, education, and public health. Two class meetings per week. 

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2023

240 The Last Russian Revolution: State and Society from the Late Soviet Period to the Present

(Offered as HIST 240 [EU], EUST 240, and RUSS 240) This course explores the tumultuous and unprecedented transition from the late Soviet Communism to contemporary Russian Federation. We will discuss the state of the Soviet Union on the eve of dissolution and politics of nationalism; emergence of the post-Soviet states and divergence in their historical development; transition to capitalism and privatization; challenges of federalism and regionalism in post-Soviet Russia; relations between the Russian Federation and “Near Abroad,” NATO and China, and the social and cultural developments from the late Soviet period to the early twenty-first century. The class will also explore the historical evolution of the phenomenon of Putinism as rooted in long-term transformation of the former Soviet space. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2022

241 The Age of Michelangelo: Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 241, ARCH 241, and EUST 241)  Michelangelo, a defining genius of the Italian Renaissance, emerged from a rich cultural environment that forever changed how we think of art. Artists of the Renaissance developed an original visual language from the legacy of the ancient world, while also examining nature, their environment, and encounters with other worlds to the East and West. Their art revealed a profound engagement with philosophical attitudes toward the body and the spirit, as well as with ideals of pious devotion and civic virtue. Those concepts changed radically over the period of the Renaissance, however. Artists developed the rhetoric of genius and artistic struggle by vaunting an artist’s godlike role, owing to his imaginative creation of art and his ability to mimic reality illusionistically, yet they also questioned a human’s place in the cosmos. We will analyze in depth the visual language of painting, sculpture, and architecture created for merchants, monks, princes and popes in the urban centers of Florence, Rome and Venice from the 14th through the 16th centuries, and examine the virtuosic processes artists used to achieve their goals. 

Rather than taking the form of a survey, this course, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will analyze selected works and contemporary attitudes toward the visual through study of the art and its primary sources.

 Learning goals:

  • Gain confidence in the art of close looking to gain visual understanding;
  • Achieve an understanding about how art and its culture are intertwined;
  • Develop the critical skills to analyze points of view from a historical period other than our own;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Develop and argue an original thesis about a single work of art in a research paper.

Meets twice a week, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

One course in ARHA, FAMS, or ARCH recommended.

Uncapped.

 Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2023

245 Stalin and Stalinism

(Offered as HIST 235 [EU/TC/TE/TR/TS], EUST 245 and RUS 235) Joseph Stalin, the infamous Soviet dictator, created a particular type of society in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Stalinism became a phenomenon that influenced the development of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The course will begin with the exploration of Stalin’s own life and then focus on what historical forces enabled the emergence of Stalinism. It will cover the period on the eve of and during the Russian Revolution, Stalinist transformation of the USSR in the 1930s, WWII, and the onset of the Cold War. Among issues to be explored are the extent of popular support for Stalinist-type regimes, the mechanisms of large-scale political terror, the longevity of Stalinist regimes, and historical memory about Stalinism. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

255 Imposture: Con-men, Swindlers, and Other Pretenders

(Offered by RUSS 255 and EUST 255) This course investigates various figures of imposture. Beginning with Nikolai Gogol’s classic figure of Chichikov from Dead Souls and his genre-bending reversal of the theme in The Inspector General, the course will examine how authors have used confidence games and imposture to reveal particular ploys and gambits in literature. The course will also consider the ways that con-men, swindlers, and pretenders reflect and manipulate the cultural, political, and social dilemmas of their respective periods. While we will focus particularly on the case of Russia—and the distinct place the arts of confidence have had there – we will also consider forms of imposture beyond just a hustle for money and beyond the case of Russia. We will examine imposture in terms of race (as in Nella Larsen's Passing), in the realm of politics (as in Alexander Pushkin's “Boris Godunov”), in relation to the Holocaust (as in Stefan Maechler’s definitive report on the memoirist Benjamin Wilkomirskij), and in such expansive novelistic treatments of this theme by Herman Melville and Thomas Mann. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Professor Kunichika. Omitted 2021-22

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

258 Art, Things, Spaces, and Places

(Offered as ARHA 258, ARCH 258 and EUST 258) The purpose of this course is to introduce students to research on lived environments from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, the architecture that shaped them, and the art and objects that they contained. The goal of each class, through reading and discussion, is to investigate what a researchable question is in the fields of history, art history, architecture, and material culture in Europe, England, and the Americas. Using multi-disciplinary research strategies, we will examine the power of precious and ordinary objects (including furniture, tapestries, devotional paintings, family portraits, and sculpture), the contemporary connotations of their materiality, and consider what objects in a home might signify about a family’s status, political allegiance, spirituality, and place in the world. Further, we will ask how art, objects and décor shape the beholder’s experience of spaces inside and outside a residence, in private and in public. What does the display of objects in collections, including those from far-away cultures other than the patron’s, signify to the owner and the viewer? Visiting lecturers will present their ideas on various topics such as the anthropology of art, the significance of precious materials, and collecting. We will take field trips to museums and meet curators in order to identify a research topic.

This course will give students tools to conduct their own research into past lived environments and their contents, and identify how we in the 21st century might come to understand them. As the culmination of the course students will collaboratively develop a prospectus for a research project with one or two other classmates. Assignments to meet that goal include adding new content to Wikipedia as a record of students’ findings and a contribution to knowledge for a wider public.

Open to sophomores but also motivated first-years interested in research in a variety of fields. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

259 Shakespeare in Prison

Taught at the Hampshire County Jail, the course is devoted to close readings and staging of parts of Shakespeare’s plays while exploring in depth his historical context, dramatic and stylistic style, and world view. The topics of bondage, revenge, injustice, and forgiveness will serve as leitmotifs. In Spring 2018, four plays were the focus: As You Like It, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Conducted in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

269 Baroque Art

(Offered as ARHA 269, ARCH 269, EUST 269) At the beginning of the seventeenth century, religious and social upheavals in Europe led to a renewed proliferation of exciting, innovative art. In this century of remarkably varied artistic production, paradoxes abounded. Artists sought the illusion of reality by imitating unimproved, even base or monstrous nature through close observation of the human body, landscape, and ordinary, humble objects of daily use. They imbued art meant to inspire religious devotion with unbounded eroticism or with the gory details of painful suffering and hideous death. Artists and architects made the visionary appear real and sensual. They adored the past but re-cast it in modern terms. Others continued to quest for perfection in a return to the lofty principles implicit in ancient artistic canons of ideality. More than ever before, artists explored the expression of passion through dramatic narratives and sharply revealing portraiture. They depicted dominating political leaders as flawed mortals—even satirized them through the new art of caricature—at the same time that they developed a potent and persuasive vocabulary in art, architecture, and gardens for the expression of the rulers’ absolutist political power.

This class will examine issues in Baroque art in depth through selected works of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced by artists in the Catholic countries of the seventeenth century, e.g. Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, and Rubens in Italy, France, Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, and parts of the Americas. It also engages the cultural, social, and intellectual framework for their accomplishments. 

Intermediate level, one other course in art history preferred but not required. Uncapped.

Spring Semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2016

284 Women and Art in Early Modern Europe

(Offered as ARHA 284, EUST 284, and SWAG 206)  This introductory discussion-based course will examine how prevailing ideas about women and gender shaped visual imagery in Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, and how these images, in turn, presented surprisingly varied pictures of women and their domains. Artists vividly expressed the paradoxical power that women possessed even more than language could. Both admired and feared in their societies, aristocrats, queens, mistresses, saints, witches, heroines, and housewives were all depicted in art in elevated and debased manners, sometimes as eroticized subjects and at other times as powerful, idealized actors—occasionally both at the same time. We will analyze the art and material goods that women paid for and what it communicated about them; women’s homes and the objects they held; the portrayal of women from merchant societies in Italian city-states to aristocratic women in India, of female saints, heroes and rulers, including Elizabeth I of England and Maria de' Medici of France; and the troubling imagery of rape. These different types of art raise questions about biological theories about women; feminine ideals of beauty; what marriage meant in different societies; the relationship between the exercise of political power and gender; women’s expression of transcendent spirituality; and what the portrayal of indigenous and enslaved women in Dutch and Spanish colonies conveyed about race.

 GOALS FOR LEARNING

  • Understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
  • Gain an understanding of how historical attitudes about women and by women affect art made about and by women;
  • Develop an analytical ability to examine points of view expressed in texts and art of a historical period other than our own and to distinguish them from another;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Learn how to perform 2 kinds of research:

1) find materials to contribute publicly useful scholarship, by creating or revising Wikipedia entries, which greatly lack material on women;

2) Develop and argue an original thesis in a 10-page research paper.

 No prerequisites. Uncapped.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2021

294 Black Europe

(Offered as BLST 294 [D], SWAG 294 and EUST 294) This research-based seminar considers the enduring presence of people of African descent in Europe from the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment, a fact that both confounds and extends canonical theories of African diaspora and black internationalism.  Focusing particularly on the histories of black people in Britain, Germany, and France, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach in its study of the African diaspora in Europe. We will examine literature, history, film, art and ephemera, as well as newly available pre-1927 audio recordings from Bear Family Records (http://www.black-europe.com/) in effort to better comprehend the materiality of the black European experience. These inquiries will enable us to comment upon the influence black people continue to have upon Europe today. Reading the central texts in the emerging field of Black European Studies—including African American expatriate memoirs, Afro-German feminist poetry, and black British cultural theory—student work will culminate in an annotated bibliography and a multimedia research project.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Polk.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

303 Literature as Translation

(Offered as EUST 303, ENGL 320 and RUSS 310) Acts of translation underwrite many kinds of cultural production, often invisibly. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, for instance, engaged with black internationalism through bilingualism and translation, as Brent Edwards has reminded us. In this course we will study literary translation as a creative practice involved in the making of subjects and cultures. We will read key statements about translation by theorists and translators, such as Walter Benjamin, Roman Jakobson, Lawrence Venuti, Peter Cole and Gayatri Spivak. We also will directly engage in translation work: each student will regularly present translations in a workshop format to produce a portfolio as a final project. The class will be “polyglot,” meaning that students are welcome to translate from any language of which they have knowledge; when they share translations, they will be asked also to provide interlinear, or “literal,” translations for those who may not understand the language they are working in.

Requisite: Two years of college-level study of the chosen language. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professors Bosman and Ciepiela. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021

310 History of Fascism

(Offered as HIST 310[EU/TE/TR] and EUST 310) Fascism emerged as a political ideology that was simultaneously revolutionary and reactionary, promising national rebirth in opposition to both liberalism and Marxist socialism. But after the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II, fascism seemingly ceased to be a factor in global politics. How do we assess fascism a century after the establishment of the first fascist regime in Italy? This course will explore the social, cultural, and intellectual origins of fascism, the rise of fascist movements in Europe in the early to mid-twentieth century, the politics and policies of fascist parties and regimes—including in Germany, Italy, Iberia, the Balkans, and the Baltic States—and transnational fascist links between Europe and the Americas, Asia, and Africa. This course will conclude with a consideration of anti-fascism and the "fascism question" in contemporary politics. Readings and course materials will be drawn from a variety of secondary and primary sources. Two meetings per week. 

Spring semester. Professor Merritt.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

315 What is Language? Russian and Soviet Views in Comparative Context

(Offered as RUSS 315 and EUST 315) “We die. That may be the meaning of life,” writes Toni Morrison. “But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” Russian thinkers, writers, philosophers, and politicians have likewise sought to take measure of their lives and of culture by thinking about the nature of language, and its role in culture, society, and politics. In examining how Russian writers and thinkers have sought to answer the question what is language? — how they did and do language—we will consider a range of sources from intellectual history, linguistics, literary and critical theory, mythology, theology, and philosophy. We will examine the distinctive contributions of Russian thinking about language, while also seeking to situate Russian views on this question within a comparative context. To that end, we will also read intellectual sources that proved seminal for articulating an answer to this question (Vico, Herder, Rousseau, Saussure, and Benveniste, among others). As we consider this broad question, and how it has animated Russian thought and culture, we will also focus upon a range of other questions: What are the origins of language? How does language evolve? What is the relationship of language to national culture? What is the relationship of language to politics? Throughout the course, we will see how views on the nature of language served as an arena in which vying conceptions of culture, politics, and the human have all been contested. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Omit 2021-22. Professor Kunichika.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Fall 2022

317 Women in Early Modern Spain

(Offered as SPAN 405, EUST 317, and SWAG 317) This course will examine the diverse and often contradictory representations of women in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain as seen through the eyes of both male and female writers. This approach will allow us to inquire into how women represented themselves versus how they were understood by men. In our analysis of this topic, we will also take into consideration some scientific, legal, and moral discourses that attempted to define the nature and value of women in early modern Spain. Works by authors such as Cervantes, María de Zayas, Calderón de la Barca, and Catalina de Erauso, among others, will offer us fascinating examples and different approaches to the subject. Conducted in Spanish.

For Spring 2021, this course will be taught “hyflex,” with instruction conducted synchronously via Zoom as well as in-person meetings for students on campus. All course materials will be available digitally and will be provided by the instructor.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

320 Seminar on Opera and Musical Theatre

(Offered as MUSI 420, EUST 320 and THDA 320) This course examines the two genres of lyric theater (opera and musical) with special attention to composers’ musical characterizations of the women and men who populate them. The first part of the class will focus on case studies of works by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini,  Rogers & Hammerstein, and Sondheim. Analyzing these works will help us develop an understanding of how composers work with conventions of vocal type and musical gesture to define character. The second part of the class will be devoted to developing independent research projects. Health conditions permitting, some of the works studied will be chosen in coordination with performances we can attend in New York or Boston.

Spring semester. Professor Schneider.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

327 Fascism, War, and Freedom: Spain and Japan On Screen

(Offered as ASLC 327, EUST 327, and FAMS 327) The relationships among media, the state, and civil society are complex.  This course aims to address these relationships by examining cinema—the art form of the twentieth century—in Japan and Spain during different but overlapping eras of tumult: the 1930s to the 1980s. Putting these two national cinemas in a comparative framework will allow us to address issues such as: the interest in film by authoritarian regimes; the way cinema is harnessed to wartime goals by the state; the nature of censorship and self-censorship in war and peace; the potential of image, sound, and narrative to give expression to propaganda and democratic ideals; the cathartic release following the end of an authoritarian regime or occupation. The course, taught in English, does not assume prior knowledge of either country, nor of film studies. All films have English subtitles.

Spring semester. Professors Brenneis and Van Compernolle.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

328 Trial and Error: An Interdisciplinary Experiment with Montaigne's Essais

(Offered as FREN 328 and EUST 328) "If my mind could gain a firm footing, I would not make essays, I would make decisions; but it is always in apprenticeship and on trial" (III, 2 "Of Repentance"). A Renaissance jurist and thinker, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) is widely recognized as one of the key figures in the history of self-writing and of the essay as genre. This course, however, situates Montaigne beyond these two frames. In the spirit of Montaigne himself, it proposes to attempt, to sample, to taste—in sum, to essay—the Essais (1580-1595). From confessions of impotence to love affairs with books; from rebuttals of human reason to reflections on solitude and age; from networks of exchange to disease and contagion, the uncategorizable content of the Essais, combined with a dynamic form replete with detours and deviations, is an invitation to err among and try a variety of subjects. Similarly, our objective is not to gain expertise, but to experiment and to experience. Our trials will combine a close reading of a selection of Montaigne’s Essais alongside critical, historical, or theoretical texts from a diverse range of methodologies and fields, such as medicine, sound studies, cultural gerontology and more. In addition to engaging with the writings of Montaigne, this course therefore serves as a more general opportunity to consider the place of literature among and within other disciplines. Conducted in English.

Spring semester. Professor Nader-Esfahani.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

330 Race and Otherness in the Middle Ages

(Offered as ENGL 330 and EUST 330) [Before 1800] By many accounts, a concept of “race” does not emerge in the West until the colonizing of the New World in the Renaissance. Yet medieval people had many ways of identifying, exoticizing, excluding, and discriminating against “others.” This was often framed in terms of religion (Christianity vs. Islam), but it also manifests in terms of physiognomic description and ideas of monstrosity in romance and quest narratives. In this course, we will explore how the “othering” of certain medieval peoples creates a racialized language and discourse at once specific to the Middle Ages and relevant to our current understanding of race. We will read from medieval travel narratives (The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Prester John, The Medieval Romance of Alexander) as well as literature by Chaucer and others, alongside critical race theory and historical scholarship to give context to our discussions. We will also explore how the Middle Ages have been racialized in contemporary political and popular discourse.

Format: If at least 5 in-person students register for this course, it will run in person, with hybrid options for remote students. Course meetings will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

340 Violence, Art and Memory of the Spanish Civil War

(Offered as SPAN 420 and EUST 340.) The Spanish Civil War lasted only three years, from 1936 to 1939, yet the conflict cast a long shadow over Spain’s twentieth-century history, culture and identity. Indeed, as a precursor to World War II, the war's effects were felt worldwide, and it became the inspiration for works of art and literature as varied as Pablo Picasso's Guernica, Pablo Neruda's España en el corazón, Guillermo del Toro's El laberinto del fauno and Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. This course will delve into the discord and violence of the war as well as to the anguish and catharsis of the literature, poetry and film it inspired. Through primary sources and historical accounts, we will understand the war’s causes. By studying texts and films that track the reverberations of the Spanish Civil War in the United States, Latin America and Continental Europe, we will trace the war’s effects. In addition, we will grapple with the diverse ways that lingering memories of the war have affected modern-day politics and culture, with particular attention to legacies of race, class and gender. This course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course has been designed with a strong digital component. For S21, instruction will likely be remote and synchronous via Zoom. If circumstances permit, there may be opportunities for in person group work and meetings with the professor for those students on campus. All course and research materials will be available digitally.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

360 Performance

(Offered as GERM 360, ARCH 360, EUST 360 and FAMS 316) What is performance? What constitutes an event? How can we address a phenomenon that has disappeared the moment we apprehend it? How does memory operate in our critical perception of an event? How does a body make meaning? These are a few of the questions we will explore in this course, as we discuss critical, theoretical, and compositional approaches in a broad range of multidisciplinary performance phenomena emerging from European—primarily German—culture in the twentieth century. We will focus on issues of performativity, composition, conceptualization, dramaturgy, identity construction, representation, space, gender, and dynamism. Readings of performance theory, performance studies, gender studies, and critical/cultural studies, as well as literary, philosophical, and architectural texts, will accompany close examination of performance material. Students will develop performative projects in various media (video, performance, text, online) and deliver a number of critical oral and written presentations on various aspects of the course material and their own projects. Performance material will be experienced live when possible, and in text, video, audio, digital media and online form, drawn from selected works of Dada and Surrealism, Bauhaus, German Expressionism, the Theater of the Absurd, Tanztheater, and Contemporary Theater, Performance, Dance, Opera, New Media, and Performance Art. A number of films, including Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Oskar Schlemmer’s Das Triadische Ballett, Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique, and Kurt Jooss’ Der Grüne Tisch, will also be screened. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 16 students.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2020, Spring 2023

363 Traumatic Events

(Offered as GERM 363, ARCH 363, EUST 363, and FAMS 370) How is memory constructed and represented? How is it possible to bear witness, and what exactly is involved? Who is authorized to testify, to whom, when? Whose story is it? Is it possible to tell "the story" of a traumatic event? What are the disorders of testimony, and how and where do they emerge? This course will observe the workings of trauma (the enactment and working-through of collective and individual symptoms of trauma), memory, and witnessing in various modes of everyday life. We will examine notions of catastrophe, disaster, accident, and violence, and explore the possibilities and impossibilities of bearing witness in many forms of cultural production: in fiction, poetry, architecture, critical theory, oral and written testimonies, visual art, monuments, memorials, philosophy, science, cartoons, film, video, theater, social media, and performance, online and in our public and domestic spaces. We will study various representations of trauma, paying particular attention to events in Germany and Europe from the twentieth century, as well as to 9/11, the Covid-19 pandemic and inter/national events of 2020. Material to be examined will be drawn from the work of Pina Bausch, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Cathy Caruth, Paul Celan, Marguerite Duras, Peter Eisenman, Shoshana Felman, Florian Freund, Jochen Gerz, Geoffrey Hartman, Rebecca Horn, Marion Kant, Anselm Kiefer, Ruth Klüger, Dominick LaCapra, Claude Lanzmann, Dori Laub, Daniel Libeskind, W.G. Sebald, Art Spiegelman, Paul Virilio, Peter Weiss, Wim Wenders, Elie Wiesel, Christa Wolf, and others. Conducted in English with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2018

365 Making Memorials

(Offered as GERM 365, ARCH 365, and EUST 365) This is a course about what happens to difficult memories: memories that are intensely personal, but made public, memories that belong to communities, but which become ideologically possessed by history, politics, or the media. How are memories processed into memorials? What constitutes a memorial? What gets included or excluded? How is memory performed in cultural objects, spaces, and institutions? What is the relationship between the politics of representation and memory? Who owns memory? Who is authorized to convey it? How does memory function? This course will explore the spaces in which memories are “preserved” and experienced. Our attention will focus on the transformation of private and public memories in works of architecture, performance, literature, and the visual arts, primarily in Germany, Europe, and the United States in the twentieth century, including also 9/11, the COVID-19 pandemic, and inter/national events of 2020. Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, the visual arts, interactive installation and/or the environment. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 20 students. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2021

368 SPACE

(Offered as GERM 368, ARCH 368, EUST 368, and FAMS 380) This research seminar will explore conceptions of space as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual materials will be drawn from the fields of literature and philosophy; architectural, art, and film theory and history; performance studies and performance theory; and theories of technology and the natural and built environment. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is a core of this seminar.

Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment. Conducted in English. German majors will select a research project focused on a German Studies context, and will do a substantial portion of the readings in German. 

Limited to 18 students. Enrollment requires attendance at the first class meeting. Spring semester. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2018

369 TIME

(Offered as ARCH 369 and EUST 369) This research seminar will explore conceptions of time as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, philosophy, neuroscience, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual/sonic materials will be drawn from the fields of European literature, philosophy and critical theory; from architectural, art, music, neuroscience and film theory and history; from performance studies and performance theory; and from theories of technology and the natural and built environment. We will sustain a focus on issues of perception, cognition, duration, movement, attention, imagination, memory, and narrative throughout. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is central to this seminar. Conducted in English.

Preference given to ARCH and EUST majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment.

Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Fall 2019

374 Medieval and Renaissance Lyric

(Offered as ENGL 441 and EUST 374) [Before 1800] In this course, we read a selection of English and other European lyrics (in translation) from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries. An exciting, fertile era in poetic innovation, these centuries see the dawn of the first romantic love poetry in these languages, the invention of new forms like the sonnet, and the invention of the lyric “anthology.” Reading the lyrics of the French troubadour poets, Chaucer, Petrarch, Wyatt, Donne, Shakespeare, and the many brilliant anonymous poets of medieval England, we will examine both the text and contexts of these short poems. Close readings will be put in dialogue with cultural contexts (such as the volatile court of Henry VIII, in which Thomas Wyatt wrote), and the material contexts of the lyrics (the medieval and early modern manuscripts and books in which they first appeared). We will further think about how the term “lyric” emerges as a privileged poetic category, by reading contemporary “defenses” of poetry and thinking about why the word “lyric” only appears in the sixteenth century. Does the “lyric” poem change once it is defined? How do later works speak to the earlier tradition?

Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2020

385 Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters

(Offered as ARHA 385, EUST 385, and SWAG 310) Our course will explore how evil was imagined, over cultures, centuries and disciplines. With the greatest possible historical and cultural specificity, we will investigate an array of monstrous creatures and plagues -- their terrifying powers, the explanations for why they came to be, and the strategies for how they could be purged -- as we attempt to articulate the kindred qualities they shared. We will study centuries-old witch burning manuals, and note the striking degree to which dangerous tropes -- about women, about pestilence, about dangerous sexuality, and about differences of all kinds -- have continued to our day. Among the artists to be considered are Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí, Buñuel, Dreyer, Wilder, Almodóvar, and the community who made the AIDS Quilt.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

390, 490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

420 Antisemitism

An in-depth, thorough chronological study of Antisemitism—“the longest hatred”—from Hellenistic and Roman times to early Christian thinkers, the development of Islam, the Middle Ages, especially the Holy Office of the Spanish Inquisition, the Enlightenment, Nazism and other forms of fascism, Communism, to the twenty-first century. Special attention will be placed on geographical varieties and national traditions (France, Germany, Russia, Iran, the United States, Spain, and Argentina), the Dreyfus Affair, the Protocols of the Wise of Zion, Henry Ford, and other focal points. The class will analyze in detail the metastasis of antisemitism into anti-Zionism before and after the creation of the State of Israel. We will also discuss antisemitism in politics, education, culture, and media, and its link to racism, anti-immigration, xenophobia and other hatreds.

This course will be conducted online. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

425 European Economic Take-Off in Global Perspective, c. 1050–1750

(Offered as HIST 425 [EUP] and EUST 425) The history of the pre-modern European economy is usually understood as the singular and exceptional rise of the first modern economy. Yet recent research in economic history and shifts in the world economy have provided new perspectives to reconsider the rise of the European economy. From this long-term and global viewpoint, the story of Europe’s economic take-off becomes the remarkable story of a backwater that became mainstream. How was Europe able to reposition itself from a periphery of the Eurasian economy to a central node of the global economy? What drove Europeans further and further into the East and how did their incursions disrupt or adapt to previous trade networks and practices? How did the exports and imports of Europe change as their relation to the world economy changed? By considering these questions, the course will revisit the familiar histories of the Commercial Revolution, the travels of Marco Polo, the Age of Discovery, the East India Companies, the Atlantic System, and the road to the Industrial Revolution. Using the analysis and synthesis of modern historians, we will situate the economic take-off of Europe in the context of the transformation of the world economy. Utilizing past travel logs, eyewitness reports, business contracts, customs receipts, and other non-narrative sources, students will complete a research paper that tackles one of these histories and casts them in new light. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018

430 Renaissance Bodies

(Offered as HIST 430 [EUP/TC/TR], EUST 430 and SWAG 430) "Renaissance Bodies" investigates the ways in which early modern sciences and the figurative arts of the Renaissance collaborated to represent body-centered visual knowledges ranging from the "secrets of women" to scientific "monstrosities." The course also examines the ways in which Catholicism enhanced body-centered, sensual and visual forms of devotion. Discussions center on the eroticization of male, female, and queer bodies in a variety of discourses and visual rhetorics. A particular focus is on the representation of black bodies before the onset of modern racism. Case studies will include Eckhout’s "ethnographic" portrayals of African slaves and the native inhabitants of Brazil; Chiara di Montefalco’s miraculous relics; Elena Duglioli’s career as a spontaneously lactating saint; the cultural history of the dildo; Elena/o de Cespedes’s life as a transman; Sarah Bartmann as fetishized object of desire; male prostitution; and anatomical wax figures.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

432 Gender, Class, and Crime: The Victorian Underworld

(Offered as HIST 432 [EU/TC/TS] and EUST 432) Victorian Britain was a nation of contrasts. It was at once the world’s foremost economic and imperial power, the richest nation in Europe, and the country where the consequences of industrialization–slums, poverty, disease, alcoholism, sexual violence–took some of their bleakest forms. In an era of revolution, Britain enjoyed one of the most stable political systems in Europe; yet it was also a society plagued by crime and by fears of popular unrest, the place where Marx predicted the worker’s revolt would begin. This seminar explores the complex world of the Victorians through a focus on what contemporaries termed the “social problem”: the underclass of criminals, paupers, and prostitutes who seemed immune to reform. Themes will include political liberalism and the Poor Law, imperialism at home and abroad, industrialization and urbanization, sanitation, hygiene, and disease control initiatives, shifting cultural understandings of gender and class, and Jack the Ripper. Students will be expected to write a research paper on a topic of their choice. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2015, Spring 2019

465 Multicultural Spain

A vital question in today’s multicultural societies is how individuals with different identities—religious, racial, ethnic, etc.—can live and prosper together. This course will explore the literature, culture, and history of medieval and early modern Spain, paying special attention to how people with diverse backgrounds coexisted and interacted with each other. Examining the context of Spain during this time period will also serve as a means to help us think through issues of diversity in our world today. First we will look at the situation of medieval Spain where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side-by-side for centuries. Then we’ll turn to Spain’s exploration of the New World and how the diverse encounters that took place influenced Spanish culture. Finally, we will consider representations of other cultural minorities, such as gypsies, in Spain during the early modern period. Primary sources will include literary texts, historical accounts, legal documents, and maps and will be supplemented by secondary critical texts. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020

498, 499, 499D Senior Departmental Honors

A full course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Related Courses

CLAS-121 Greek Mythology and Religion (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-332 Chaucer: <em>The Canterbury Tales</em> (Course not offered this year.)
ENGL-348 Modern British Literature, 1900-1950 (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-324 Studies in Medieval Romance Literature and Culture (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-330 The Doing and Undoing of Genres in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-339 Worldliness and Otherworldliness (Course not offered this year.)
FREN-342 Women of Ill Repute: Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century French Literature (Course not offered this year.)
HIST-101 World War II in Global Perspective (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-248 Law And War (Course not offered this year.)
LJST-356 Representing and Judging the Holocaust. (Course not offered this year.)
MUSI-444 Formation of the Self in Twentieth-Century Music (Course not offered this year.)
PHIL-218 Early Modern Philosophy (Course not offered this year.)
POSC-415 Taking Marx Seriously (Course not offered this year.)
PSYC-368 Autobiographical Memory (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-123 Century of Catastrophe: Soviet and Contemporary Russia in Writing and Film (Course not offered this year.)
RUSS-227 Fyodor Dostoevsky (Course not offered this year.)

Honors & Fellowships

Honors & Fellowships

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European Studies

Advisory Committee: Professors Barbezat, Ciepiela, Courtright, de la Carrera †, Epstein, Griffiths ‡, Katsaros, R. López, Machala, Móricz, Raskin ‡,  Rockwell ‡, Rogowski, Sarat, Schneider, Sinos, R., Staller, and Stavans; Associate Professors Boucher *, Brenneis, Engelhardt (Chair,fall), Gilpin, Nelson †, Polk *, van den Berg, and Wolfson; Assistant Professors Gordon *, Infante, Paul, and Zanker; Five College Associate Professor Long.

European Studies is a major program that provides opportunity for independent and interdisciplinary study of European culture. Through integrated work in the humanities and social sciences, the student major examines a significant portion of the European experience and seeks to define those elements that have given European culture its unity and distinctiveness.

Major Program. The core of the major consists of eight courses that will examine a significant portion of European civilization through a variety of disciplines. Two of these courses will be EUST 121 and 122 (or the equivalent; see below).  All majors must give evidence of proficiency in one European language besides English. Save in exceptional circumstances, majors will spend at least one semester of the junior year pursuing an approved course of study in Europe. By the end of their junior year, all majors shall complete a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture. Prior arrangement for supervision must be made if a student intends to do this project while abroad. For their senior year, European Studies majors will then opt into one of two possible paths: Thesis or Capstone. 

Thesis Option. Students wishing to pursue an independent project as an honors thesis will take one thesis research course in the first semester of the senior year, and another in the final semester. Students may designate the research course of the final semester as a double course (EUST 499D), in which case the total number of courses required to complete the major becomes nine.

Possible approaches for the senior thesis project include comparative literary studies, interdisciplinary work in history, sociology, philosophy, political science, economics, performance studies, visual arts, architecture or music involving one or more European countries. Students are encouraged to take a relevant methods class fitting their research approach (such as HIST-301 or SOCI-315), which, with permission from the EUST chair may count toward the major’s eight courses. 

Capstone Option. In the capstone option students, after having completed a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture, will complete their eight European Studies courses without an independent project. A month into their final semester, capstone majors will submit a five-page retrospective essay on the entirety of the course of their studies in the major, which will be followed by a conversation with the European Studies faculty members. 

Honors Program.  Students may be recommended for Program honors only if they complete a thesis.

 

*On leave 2021-22.
†On leave fall semester 2021-22.
‡On leave spring semester 2021-22.
 

112 Russian Empire in Eurasia

(Offered as HIST 112 [AS/EUCP], ASLC 112, EUST 112 and RUSS 130) In the course of five hundred years, the Russian empire in Eurasia evolved as the largest territorial polity in the world. In this course, we will explore the medieval foundations of the imperial state and look at its predecessors and models (Kievan Rus’ and the empire of the Mongols), discuss ways in which cooperation and resistance shaped the imperial state and society, and study cultural and political entanglements among different ethnic, linguistic and confessional groups in Eurasia. Chronologically, we will cover the period from the tenth century to the crisis of the empire in the early twentieth century. Thematically, we will focus on structures of imperial state and society (the imperial house, peasantry, nobility, confessions, intelligentsia, revolutionary movement) and most important regions of the Russian Empire (Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Baltics, Siberia, Central Asia). Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2018

117 Arthurian Literature

(Offered as ENGL 117 and EUST 117) [Before 1800] Knights, monsters, quests, and true love: these are the things we associate with King Arthur and tales of his court. Why has Arthurian literature proved so enchanting to centuries of poets, novelists, and recently, filmmakers? In this introductory English course, we will read and watch Arthurian legends from Chaucer to Monty Python, examining the ways in which they have been represented in different eras. Beginning with the historical foundations of the King Arthur legend, we will examine how it blossomed and took form in later eras. Our focus will be on close literary and visual analysis of British, American, and French (in translation) versions of these legends. We will also discuss what cultural forces lie behind the popularity of Arthurian legend in certain eras: later medieval England and France; the Victorian era; and twentieth-century England and America. There will be frequent writing assignments and presentations, as well as a final creative project.

Open to first-year students and sophomores. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2020

121 Readings in the European Tradition I

Topics in the past have included readings and discussion of a series of related texts from Homer and Genesis to Dante: Homer’s Iliad, selected Greek tragedies, Virgil’s Aeneid, selections from the Bible and from medieval texts. Three class hours per week. Required of European Studies majors.

Open to European Studies majors and to any student interested in the intellectual and literary development of the West, from antiquity through the Middle Ages. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

122 Readings in the European Tradition II

(Offered as EUST 122 and HIST 122[EU]) This course offers a critical examination of the concept of European civilization from the seventeenth century through the present day. What did it mean to be “European” in the modern era? To what extent was “European” civilization forged by Europe’s connections to the wider world, and by ideas, art, literature, and politics that originated outside the geographical boundaries of Europe? How was the idea of a coherent European culture and character used as a tool of conquest within the European empires? And how did various people—in Europe, in the empires, and beyond—forge new social, cultural, and political solidarities through their critiques of the idea of European civilization? Does the concept of European civilization remain valuable in our modern, globalized era? This course will combine a study of canonical works of European art, literature, and politics with less well-known texts and works of art created by “non-European” people. Required of European Studies majors.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2122. Professor A. Gordon. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

125 The Italian Renaissance: Politics, Culture, and Society

(Offered as HIST 125 [EU/TC/P], EUST 125)

Given the misrepresentations of Renaissance Florentine politics in popular media (Netflix series Medici) and the attacks on Renaissance European culture from theorists of decolonization (Walter Mignolo), one might ask: what is the relevance of the Renaissance today? In this course, we will discuss the extent to which the Florentine and Venetian republics’ struggles for survival in the midst of wars and despotic/oligarchic/feudal usurpations might, again, be of interest to us. We will critically examine Renaissance cultural productions (humanist history writing, portraiture, perspective, mapping, erotic art) while also appreciating the politics of beauty in architecture, urban planning, and figurative art. Other topics include: the African presence; the gendered politics of charity; patriarchal families; women writers; domestic slavery; Jewish communities; interactions with Islamic culture; the conquest of America. 

Spring semester. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023

127 Early Modern Europe in a Global Context (1500–1800)

(Offered as HIST 127 [EU/TC/TE/TR/P] and EUST 127) This course introduces students to the history of Europe in the age of imperialism and colonization. It analyzes the emergence of "modernity" as a result of conquest and colonization, the globalization of commerce, the Atlantic slave trade, and the genocide of indigenous peoples. We will investigate instances of resistance to European imperialism and carefully examine the society that produced global capitalism. Among the topics we will address are the Italian Renaissance and the invention of perspective; the German Reformation and the emergence of interiority; gender, family, and the rise of domesticity; early modern science; new forms of visuality as methods of knowledge production; the emergence of racism; the French and Haitian Revolutions; religious syncretism; instances of hybridity and resistance in the imperial "contact zone." This course is essential for an understanding of the many contradictions and contestations we still live with. We will analyze primary sources, academic literature, and visual materials. There will be a mix of short lectures, discussions, group work, and in-class assignments.

Not offered 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

131 History and Theory of Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 131, ARCH 131 and EUST 131.) Throughout history, buildings have directed human activity, shaping social interactions, symbolizing political power, and influencing multiple kinds of artistic expression. This course is a selected introduction to the history and theory of architecture, from the earliest forms of human habitation to medieval and Renaissance buildings, Enlightenment utopian visions, modern industrial structures and skyscrapers, and contemporary sustainable practices.  Interwoven with a sampling of theoretical texts and architectural treatises, the course covers selected moments in the history and theory of Western architecture, from Vitruvius to Alberti and Corbusier to Koolhaas, from primordial shelters to computer generated designs.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Koehler.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

135 Renaissance to Revolution: Early Modern European Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 135, ARCH 135, and EUST 135) This course, a gateway class for the study of art history, introduces the ways that artists and architects imaginatively invented visual language to interpret the world for contemporary patrons, viewers, and citizens in early modern Europe. Painters, printmakers, sculptors and architects in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands created new ways of seeing empirical phenomena and interpreting them, by means of both ancient and new principles of art, science and philosophy and through powerful engagement with the senses. They produced godlike illusions of nature, from grand frescoes bursting from the walls of papal residences to spectacular gardens covering noble estates in Baroque France and colonializing England. They fundamentally altered the design of major cities such as Rome and Paris so that the visitor encountered an entirely new urban experience than ever before. Along the way, they learned from one another’s example, but, prizing innovation, sought fiercely to surpass previous generations, and argued at length about values in art. They contributed to fashioning an ideal picture of empire and society and conjured the dazzling wealth and power of those who paid them. But as time passed, some came to ironize the social order mightily, and some elevated beggars, farmers, servants, so-called fools, and bourgeois women leading seemingly mundane domestic lives as much as others praised the prosperous few. Finally, artists actively participated in the overthrow of the monarchy during the French Revolution and yet also passionately critiqued the violence of war it engendered. Throughout, the course will investigate how concepts of progress, civilization, the state, religion, race, gender, and the individual came to be defined through art.

The goals of the course are:
above all, to achieve the skill of close looking to gain visual understanding;
• also, to identify artistic innovations that characterize European art and architecture from the Italian Renaissance to the French Revolution;
• to understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
• to situate the works of art historically, by examining the intellectual, political, religious, and social currents that contributed to their creation;
• to read texts about the period critically and analytically.
No previous experience with art or art history is necessary. 

Fall semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

145 The Modern World

(Offered as ARHA 145, EUST 145, and SWAG 145)  This course will explore the self-conscious invention of modernism in painting, sculpture and architecture, from the visual clarion calls of the French Revolution to the performance art and earthworks of "art now." As we move from Goya, David, Monet and Picasso to Kahlo, Kiefer and beyond, we will be attentive to changing responses toward a historical past or societal present, the stance toward popular and alien cultures, the radical redefinition of all artistic media, changing representations of nature and gender, as well as the larger problem of mythologies and meaning in the modern period. Study of original objects and a range of primary texts (artists’ letters, diaries, manifestos, contemporary criticism) will be enhanced with readings from recent historical and theoretical secondary sources.

Limited to 50 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Staller.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2011, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

202 World War II in European Literature and Film

This course is designed to introduce students to the impact that World War II (1939–1945) had and continues to have on the society and culture of several European nations. As the last of the generation that lived during the war passes on, their grandchildren persist in raising questions about the reasons and effects of this political cataclysm. During the war, and afterwards with more or less intensity, writers and filmmakers made and have made attempts to analyze and represent the memories, the guilt, and the false histories that the war left behind in every involved nation.

The course will examine the ethics of historical memory, the sincerity of representation, the clever use of history for political purposes. It will also probe and analyze persistent myths of the war as well as discover stories and facts that have been ignored or forgotten. Finally, the course will look at alternative scenarios, that is, “what if” narratives.

Readings might include works by Erich Remarque, Albert Camus, Irène Némirovsky, W. G. Sebald, Primo Levi, and Tony Judt. Films might include selections from Rossellini’s Roma città aperta, Holland’s Europa, Europa, Reed’s The Third Man, and Malle’s Au revoir les enfants.

The class will study how nations too have attempted to make sense of this hecatomb, seeking explanation, expiation, and often excuses. We will also study how the Second World War’s legacy still affects contemporary European culture and politics.

Students will be expected to participate in discussion, give oral reports, and write a research paper.

January term. Professor Rosbottom. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

221 Voices from a Bygone Time

(Offered as MUSI 221 and EUST 221) Monks living in monastic seclusion, troubadours serving their ladies and fighting wars, mad princes writing complicated polyphonic music, male castrato singers celebrated as the pop-stars of opera houses are just a few of the fascinating characters who participated in music making from the Middle Ages until the middle of the eighteenth century in Europe. The music they produced is frequently called "early music," a falsely unifying label that hides the kaleidoscopic nature of this fantastic repertory, ranging from monophonic chant to opera. In this course we will study how the invention of musical notation affected the development of music, turning an oral tradition of chant into a written tradition of complex polyphonic textures unimaginable without the help of notation. Reading historical documents and listening to selected pieces of music, we'll visit the soundscape of this bygone time that still influences our thinking about music. Assignments include listening, reading, and short papers. Knowledge of musical notation at least at the rudimentary level is recommended.

Requisite: MUSI 112 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Móricz. The course will be offered Hyflex with as much individual/in-person contact as practical.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

222 Music and Culture II

(Offered as MUSI 222 and EUST 222) One of three courses in which the development of Western music is studied in its cultural-historical context. Occasionally we will attend concerts in Amherst and elsewhere. Composers to be studied include Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Mussorgsky, and Brahms. Regular listening assignments will broaden the repertoire we encounter and include a wide sampling of Classical and Romantic music. Periodic writing assignments will provide opportunities to connect the music with historical-cultural interpretation. Readings will focus on Gibbs/Taruskin Oxford History of Western Music with additional historical documents and selected critical and analytical studies. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (MUSI 221 and 223). Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: MUSI 111, 112, or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2023

223 The Musical Symptoms of Modernism

(Offered as MUSI 223 and EUST 223) Two World Wars, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the dropping of the atomic bomb were cataclysmic events that made the twentieth century one of the most traumatizing time periods in human history. And yet music did not fall silent. Composers continued writing music, giving aural expression to symptoms characteristic of the condition of modernism. How did Richard Strauss's opera Salome about a necrophiliac princess lusting for a severed head become one of the most successful operas in Europe? Why did Stalin alternately persecute and reward the Soviet Union's most talented composer, Dmitri Shostakovich? Why did composers insist on writing unlistenable, incomprehensibly complex music after World War II? Listening to a wide variety of music from Mahler to Kaija Saariaho, reading historical documents and other relevant essays, we'll explore symptoms of modernism and how composers and their music interacted with their culture milieu and historical context. Assignments will include regular listening, periodic short papers, and a culminating project.

This course will be taught in person. 

Requisite: MUSI 111 or 112, or consent of the instructor. January semester. Professor Moricz.

2021-22: Offered in January 2022, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, January 2022

226 Women and War in European History, 1558–1918

(Offered as HIST 226 [EU/TC/P], ARHA 226, EUST 226, and SWAG 225) Although overlooked in military histories until recently, women have long been actively involved in warfare: as combatants, as victims, as workers, and as symbols. This course examines both the changing role of women, and the shifting constructions of “womanhood,” in four major European conflicts: the wars of Elizabeth I in sixteenth-century England, the wars and peace of Marie de Médicis in seventeenth-century France, the French Revolution, and the First World War. Using methodologies drawn from Art History and History, the course seeks to understand the gendered nature of warfare. Why are images of women and the family central to the iconography of war, and how have representations of womanhood shifted according to the aims of particular conflicts? To what extent do women’s experiences of warfare differ from men’s, and can war be considered a source of women’s liberation or oppression? Students will analyze a range of historical images in conjunction with primary source texts from these conflicts and will also develop an original research project related to the course’s themes. Two class meetings per week.

Recommended requisite: A course in Art History or History. Limited to 25 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019

230 The French Revolution

(Offered as HIST 230 [EUPTC] and EUST 230) Often viewed as one of the defining events in modern history, the French Revolution has been debated and discussed, derided and celebrated by generations of politicians, cultural commentators, and historians. This course enters into this on-going conversation by examining the nature of the revolutionary process as it unfolded in late eighteenth-century France and its empire. Beginning in the “old regime” of kings and commoners, it untangles the social, political, and intellectual roots of the Revolution and investigates the extent to which these factors contributed to the radical overthrow of the French establishment in 1789. It then follows the extension of the Revolution throughout French society and across the seas to the Caribbean, analyzing how popular and colonial upheavals influenced the revolutionary new order of “liberty, equality, and brotherhood” that was taking shape in France. Finally, the course explores the aftermath of the Revolution by tracing the various ways that its history has been interpreted and reinterpreted from the nineteenth century to the present day. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018

231 Race and Empire: The British Experience from 1760

(Offered as HIST 231 [EU/TE/TR/TS] and EUST 231) From the mid-eighteenth century through the 1960s, Britain presided over the most powerful empire in the world. At its height, this small island nation ruled one-quarter of the earth’s surface and more than 450 million of its inhabitants. Not only did British imperialism play a decisive role in shaping world politics, economics, and cultures in its day, it also left a number of profound legacies that continue to affect our lives in the present. This course traces the rise, fall, and lasting influence of the British empire, and pays particular attention to questions of race and ethnicity. Through a series of colonial encounters--such as the first contacts made between explorers and Pacific Islanders in the  eighteenth century, the interactions between missionaries and Africans in the nineteenth century, or the migration of South Asians to Britain in the twentieth century--it examines what “race” meant in different historical contexts. The course thus explores the institutionalization of racism in government, law, and society, and analyzes moments in which racism has been combated and overturned. Readings and course materials will be drawn from secondary and primary sources, including newspapers, novels, photographs, artwork, oral histories, and films.

Not offered in 2021-22. Enrollment limited to 30 students. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2016, Spring 2021

232 Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema

(Offered as SPAN 315, EUST 232, and FAMS 328) From Pedro Almodóvar to Penélope Cruz, Spanish directors and actors are now international stars. But the origins of Spain’s cinema are rooted in censorship and patriarchy. This course offers an overview of Spanish film from 1950 to the present along with an introduction to film studies. Through weekly streaming films and discussions, students will follow how Spain’s culture, history and society have been imagined onscreen, as well as how Spanish filmmakers interact with the rest of Europe and Latin America. We will pay particular attention to issues surrounding gender and sexuality as well as contemporary social justice movements. No prior experience with film analysis is needed. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 211, SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

233 Love

This panoramic, interdisciplinary course will explore the concept of love as it changes epoch to epoch and culture to culture. Poetry, novels, paintings, sculptures, movies, TV, and music will be featured. Starting with the Song of Songs, it will include discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Catullus, and other Greek classics, move on to Dante and Petrarch, contemplate Chinese, Arabic, African, and Mesoamerican literatures, devote a central unit to Shakespeare, continue with the Metaphysical poets, and move on to American literature. Special attention will be paid to the difference between love, eroticism, and pornography. Multilingual students will be encouraged to delve into various linguistic traditions, in tongues like French, Russian, German, Yiddish, and Spanish. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2014, Spring 2017

235 Impostors

An interdisciplinary exploration of the causes behind the social, racial, artistic, and political act—and art—of posing, passing, or pretending to be someone else. Blacks passing for whites, Jews passing for gentiles, and women passing for men, and vice versa, will be the central motif, with attention given to biological and scientific patterns such as memory loss, mental illness, and plastic surgery, and to literary strategies like irony. As a supernatural occurrence, discussion will  include mystical experiences, ghost stories, and séance sessions. The course will also cover instances pertaining to institutional religion, from prophesy from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles to the Koran and Mormonism. In technology and communications, analysis concentrates on the invention of the telegraph, the telephone, and the Internet. The class will also analyze entertainment, ventriloquism, puppet shows, voice-overs, children’s cartoon shows, subtitles, and dubbing in movies and TV and examine posers in Greek mythology, the Arabian Nights, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip Roth, Oliver Sacks, and Nella Larsen. Conducted in English.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018, Fall 2021

236 The Bible as Literature

A close reading of significant portions of the Five Books of Moses, done from the perspective of literature: how are the human and divine characters built, what interior life do they display and what philosophical view do they convey? Attention will be given to the nineteenth-century theories that approach the Bible as a composite book delivering a nationalistic story. Students will also reflect on the impact of the Bible in Western literature, from Dante’s Divine Comedy to R. Crumb’s cartoon retelling of Genesis. Taught in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2019

237 God

This course rotates around the shifting notion of the divine in Western Civilization, focusing on theology, philosophy, literature, and music. Students explore the development of the three major prophetic religions as well as some of the mystical movements they fostered. Discussions rotate around the King James Bible, Augustine’s Confessions, the Koran, Maimonides’ The Guide for the Perplexed, the Zohar, the Popol Vuh, the Ramayana, and Spinoza’s work as a cornerstone to the Enlightenment. We will contemplate secularism in modern culture and analyze the contemporary atheist movement of Dawkins and Hitchens . Music explorations range from Johann Sebastian Bach to John Cage; in science, from Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking; and in film, from Ingmar Bergman to Woody Allen. Readings include parts of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, Kafka’s The Castle, Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, Borges’ “The Secret Miracle” and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Spring 2021

238 Soviet Union During the Cold War

(Offered as HIST 236 [EU], EUST 238, and RUSS 237) The Cold War indelibly shaped the second half of the twentieth century. Spies seemed ubiquitous; nuclear annihilation imminent. Films such as Red October and the James Bond series forged a Western image of the Soviet Union. But how were these decades experienced behind the Iron Curtain? This course explores Soviet history between the end of World War II and the collapse of the USSR. We will study the roots of the Cold War; the politics of de-Stalinization in the USSR; the unfolding of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe; and Soviet relations with the West, China, and the developing world. We will also explore the internal dynamics of Soviet society: the rise of the Soviet middle class, consumerism, tourism, the entertainment industry, demographic trends, education, and public health. Two class meetings per week. 

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Spring 2023

240 The Last Russian Revolution: State and Society from the Late Soviet Period to the Present

(Offered as HIST 240 [EU], EUST 240, and RUSS 240) This course explores the tumultuous and unprecedented transition from the late Soviet Communism to contemporary Russian Federation. We will discuss the state of the Soviet Union on the eve of dissolution and politics of nationalism; emergence of the post-Soviet states and divergence in their historical development; transition to capitalism and privatization; challenges of federalism and regionalism in post-Soviet Russia; relations between the Russian Federation and “Near Abroad,” NATO and China, and the social and cultural developments from the late Soviet period to the early twenty-first century. The class will also explore the historical evolution of the phenomenon of Putinism as rooted in long-term transformation of the former Soviet space. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2020, Fall 2022

241 The Age of Michelangelo: Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 241, ARCH 241, and EUST 241)  Michelangelo, a defining genius of the Italian Renaissance, emerged from a rich cultural environment that forever changed how we think of art. Artists of the Renaissance developed an original visual language from the legacy of the ancient world, while also examining nature, their environment, and encounters with other worlds to the East and West. Their art revealed a profound engagement with philosophical attitudes toward the body and the spirit, as well as with ideals of pious devotion and civic virtue. Those concepts changed radically over the period of the Renaissance, however. Artists developed the rhetoric of genius and artistic struggle by vaunting an artist’s godlike role, owing to his imaginative creation of art and his ability to mimic reality illusionistically, yet they also questioned a human’s place in the cosmos. We will analyze in depth the visual language of painting, sculpture, and architecture created for merchants, monks, princes and popes in the urban centers of Florence, Rome and Venice from the 14th through the 16th centuries, and examine the virtuosic processes artists used to achieve their goals. 

Rather than taking the form of a survey, this course, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will analyze selected works and contemporary attitudes toward the visual through study of the art and its primary sources.

 Learning goals:

  • Gain confidence in the art of close looking to gain visual understanding;
  • Achieve an understanding about how art and its culture are intertwined;
  • Develop the critical skills to analyze points of view from a historical period other than our own;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Develop and argue an original thesis about a single work of art in a research paper.

Meets twice a week, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

One course in ARHA, FAMS, or ARCH recommended.

Uncapped.

 Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2023

245 Stalin and Stalinism

(Offered as HIST 235 [EU/TC/TE/TR/TS], EUST 245 and RUS 235) Joseph Stalin, the infamous Soviet dictator, created a particular type of society in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Stalinism became a phenomenon that influenced the development of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The course will begin with the exploration of Stalin’s own life and then focus on what historical forces enabled the emergence of Stalinism. It will cover the period on the eve of and during the Russian Revolution, Stalinist transformation of the USSR in the 1930s, WWII, and the onset of the Cold War. Among issues to be explored are the extent of popular support for Stalinist-type regimes, the mechanisms of large-scale political terror, the longevity of Stalinist regimes, and historical memory about Stalinism. Two class meetings per week.

Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Glebov.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

255 Imposture: Con-men, Swindlers, and Other Pretenders

(Offered by RUSS 255 and EUST 255) This course investigates various figures of imposture. Beginning with Nikolai Gogol’s classic figure of Chichikov from Dead Souls and his genre-bending reversal of the theme in The Inspector General, the course will examine how authors have used confidence games and imposture to reveal particular ploys and gambits in literature. The course will also consider the ways that con-men, swindlers, and pretenders reflect and manipulate the cultural, political, and social dilemmas of their respective periods. While we will focus particularly on the case of Russia—and the distinct place the arts of confidence have had there – we will also consider forms of imposture beyond just a hustle for money and beyond the case of Russia. We will examine imposture in terms of race (as in Nella Larsen's Passing), in the realm of politics (as in Alexander Pushkin's “Boris Godunov”), in relation to the Holocaust (as in Stefan Maechler’s definitive report on the memoirist Benjamin Wilkomirskij), and in such expansive novelistic treatments of this theme by Herman Melville and Thomas Mann. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Professor Kunichika. Omitted 2021-22

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

258 Art, Things, Spaces, and Places

(Offered as ARHA 258, ARCH 258 and EUST 258) The purpose of this course is to introduce students to research on lived environments from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, the architecture that shaped them, and the art and objects that they contained. The goal of each class, through reading and discussion, is to investigate what a researchable question is in the fields of history, art history, architecture, and material culture in Europe, England, and the Americas. Using multi-disciplinary research strategies, we will examine the power of precious and ordinary objects (including furniture, tapestries, devotional paintings, family portraits, and sculpture), the contemporary connotations of their materiality, and consider what objects in a home might signify about a family’s status, political allegiance, spirituality, and place in the world. Further, we will ask how art, objects and décor shape the beholder’s experience of spaces inside and outside a residence, in private and in public. What does the display of objects in collections, including those from far-away cultures other than the patron’s, signify to the owner and the viewer? Visiting lecturers will present their ideas on various topics such as the anthropology of art, the significance of precious materials, and collecting. We will take field trips to museums and meet curators in order to identify a research topic.

This course will give students tools to conduct their own research into past lived environments and their contents, and identify how we in the 21st century might come to understand them. As the culmination of the course students will collaboratively develop a prospectus for a research project with one or two other classmates. Assignments to meet that goal include adding new content to Wikipedia as a record of students’ findings and a contribution to knowledge for a wider public.

Open to sophomores but also motivated first-years interested in research in a variety of fields. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

259 Shakespeare in Prison

Taught at the Hampshire County Jail, the course is devoted to close readings and staging of parts of Shakespeare’s plays while exploring in depth his historical context, dramatic and stylistic style, and world view. The topics of bondage, revenge, injustice, and forgiveness will serve as leitmotifs. In Spring 2018, four plays were the focus: As You Like It, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Conducted in English.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans.

 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

269 Baroque Art

(Offered as ARHA 269, ARCH 269, EUST 269) At the beginning of the seventeenth century, religious and social upheavals in Europe led to a renewed proliferation of exciting, innovative art. In this century of remarkably varied artistic production, paradoxes abounded. Artists sought the illusion of reality by imitating unimproved, even base or monstrous nature through close observation of the human body, landscape, and ordinary, humble objects of daily use. They imbued art meant to inspire religious devotion with unbounded eroticism or with the gory details of painful suffering and hideous death. Artists and architects made the visionary appear real and sensual. They adored the past but re-cast it in modern terms. Others continued to quest for perfection in a return to the lofty principles implicit in ancient artistic canons of ideality. More than ever before, artists explored the expression of passion through dramatic narratives and sharply revealing portraiture. They depicted dominating political leaders as flawed mortals—even satirized them through the new art of caricature—at the same time that they developed a potent and persuasive vocabulary in art, architecture, and gardens for the expression of the rulers’ absolutist political power.

This class will examine issues in Baroque art in depth through selected works of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced by artists in the Catholic countries of the seventeenth century, e.g. Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, and Rubens in Italy, France, Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, and parts of the Americas. It also engages the cultural, social, and intellectual framework for their accomplishments. 

Intermediate level, one other course in art history preferred but not required. Uncapped.

Spring Semester. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2016

284 Women and Art in Early Modern Europe

(Offered as ARHA 284, EUST 284, and SWAG 206)  This introductory discussion-based course will examine how prevailing ideas about women and gender shaped visual imagery in Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, and how these images, in turn, presented surprisingly varied pictures of women and their domains. Artists vividly expressed the paradoxical power that women possessed even more than language could. Both admired and feared in their societies, aristocrats, queens, mistresses, saints, witches, heroines, and housewives were all depicted in art in elevated and debased manners, sometimes as eroticized subjects and at other times as powerful, idealized actors—occasionally both at the same time. We will analyze the art and material goods that women paid for and what it communicated about them; women’s homes and the objects they held; the portrayal of women from merchant societies in Italian city-states to aristocratic women in India, of female saints, heroes and rulers, including Elizabeth I of England and Maria de' Medici of France; and the troubling imagery of rape. These different types of art raise questions about biological theories about women; feminine ideals of beauty; what marriage meant in different societies; the relationship between the exercise of political power and gender; women’s expression of transcendent spirituality; and what the portrayal of indigenous and enslaved women in Dutch and Spanish colonies conveyed about race.

 GOALS FOR LEARNING

  • Understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
  • Gain an understanding of how historical attitudes about women and by women affect art made about and by women;
  • Develop an analytical ability to examine points of view expressed in texts and art of a historical period other than our own and to distinguish them from another;
  • Learn collaboratively with classmates;
  • Learn how to perform 2 kinds of research:

1) find materials to contribute publicly useful scholarship, by creating or revising Wikipedia entries, which greatly lack material on women;

2) Develop and argue an original thesis in a 10-page research paper.

 No prerequisites. Uncapped.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Courtright.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2021

294 Black Europe

(Offered as BLST 294 [D], SWAG 294 and EUST 294) This research-based seminar considers the enduring presence of people of African descent in Europe from the nineteenth century to the contemporary moment, a fact that both confounds and extends canonical theories of African diaspora and black internationalism.  Focusing particularly on the histories of black people in Britain, Germany, and France, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach in its study of the African diaspora in Europe. We will examine literature, history, film, art and ephemera, as well as newly available pre-1927 audio recordings from Bear Family Records (http://www.black-europe.com/) in effort to better comprehend the materiality of the black European experience. These inquiries will enable us to comment upon the influence black people continue to have upon Europe today. Reading the central texts in the emerging field of Black European Studies—including African American expatriate memoirs, Afro-German feminist poetry, and black British cultural theory—student work will culminate in an annotated bibliography and a multimedia research project.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Polk.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

303 Literature as Translation

(Offered as EUST 303, ENGL 320 and RUSS 310) Acts of translation underwrite many kinds of cultural production, often invisibly. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, for instance, engaged with black internationalism through bilingualism and translation, as Brent Edwards has reminded us. In this course we will study literary translation as a creative practice involved in the making of subjects and cultures. We will read key statements about translation by theorists and translators, such as Walter Benjamin, Roman Jakobson, Lawrence Venuti, Peter Cole and Gayatri Spivak. We also will directly engage in translation work: each student will regularly present translations in a workshop format to produce a portfolio as a final project. The class will be “polyglot,” meaning that students are welcome to translate from any language of which they have knowledge; when they share translations, they will be asked also to provide interlinear, or “literal,” translations for those who may not understand the language they are working in.

Requisite: Two years of college-level study of the chosen language. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professors Bosman and Ciepiela. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2019, Fall 2021

310 History of Fascism

(Offered as HIST 310[EU/TE/TR] and EUST 310) Fascism emerged as a political ideology that was simultaneously revolutionary and reactionary, promising national rebirth in opposition to both liberalism and Marxist socialism. But after the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II, fascism seemingly ceased to be a factor in global politics. How do we assess fascism a century after the establishment of the first fascist regime in Italy? This course will explore the social, cultural, and intellectual origins of fascism, the rise of fascist movements in Europe in the early to mid-twentieth century, the politics and policies of fascist parties and regimes—including in Germany, Italy, Iberia, the Balkans, and the Baltic States—and transnational fascist links between Europe and the Americas, Asia, and Africa. This course will conclude with a consideration of anti-fascism and the "fascism question" in contemporary politics. Readings and course materials will be drawn from a variety of secondary and primary sources. Two meetings per week. 

Spring semester. Professor Merritt.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011

315 What is Language? Russian and Soviet Views in Comparative Context

(Offered as RUSS 315 and EUST 315) “We die. That may be the meaning of life,” writes Toni Morrison. “But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” Russian thinkers, writers, philosophers, and politicians have likewise sought to take measure of their lives and of culture by thinking about the nature of language, and its role in culture, society, and politics. In examining how Russian writers and thinkers have sought to answer the question what is language? — how they did and do language—we will consider a range of sources from intellectual history, linguistics, literary and critical theory, mythology, theology, and philosophy. We will examine the distinctive contributions of Russian thinking about language, while also seeking to situate Russian views on this question within a comparative context. To that end, we will also read intellectual sources that proved seminal for articulating an answer to this question (Vico, Herder, Rousseau, Saussure, and Benveniste, among others). As we consider this broad question, and how it has animated Russian thought and culture, we will also focus upon a range of other questions: What are the origins of language? How does language evolve? What is the relationship of language to national culture? What is the relationship of language to politics? Throughout the course, we will see how views on the nature of language served as an arena in which vying conceptions of culture, politics, and the human have all been contested. All readings in English. No previous knowledge of Russian culture or history expected.

Omit 2021-22. Professor Kunichika.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Fall 2022

317 Women in Early Modern Spain

(Offered as SPAN 405, EUST 317, and SWAG 317) This course will examine the diverse and often contradictory representations of women in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain as seen through the eyes of both male and female writers. This approach will allow us to inquire into how women represented themselves versus how they were understood by men. In our analysis of this topic, we will also take into consideration some scientific, legal, and moral discourses that attempted to define the nature and value of women in early modern Spain. Works by authors such as Cervantes, María de Zayas, Calderón de la Barca, and Catalina de Erauso, among others, will offer us fascinating examples and different approaches to the subject. Conducted in Spanish.

For Spring 2021, this course will be taught “hyflex,” with instruction conducted synchronously via Zoom as well as in-person meetings for students on campus. All course materials will be available digitally and will be provided by the instructor.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2019, Spring 2021

320 Seminar on Opera and Musical Theatre

(Offered as MUSI 420, EUST 320 and THDA 320) This course examines the two genres of lyric theater (opera and musical) with special attention to composers’ musical characterizations of the women and men who populate them. The first part of the class will focus on case studies of works by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini,  Rogers & Hammerstein, and Sondheim. Analyzing these works will help us develop an understanding of how composers work with conventions of vocal type and musical gesture to define character. The second part of the class will be devoted to developing independent research projects. Health conditions permitting, some of the works studied will be chosen in coordination with performances we can attend in New York or Boston.

Spring semester. Professor Schneider.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

327 Fascism, War, and Freedom: Spain and Japan On Screen

(Offered as ASLC 327, EUST 327, and FAMS 327) The relationships among media, the state, and civil society are complex.  This course aims to address these relationships by examining cinema—the art form of the twentieth century—in Japan and Spain during different but overlapping eras of tumult: the 1930s to the 1980s. Putting these two national cinemas in a comparative framework will allow us to address issues such as: the interest in film by authoritarian regimes; the way cinema is harnessed to wartime goals by the state; the nature of censorship and self-censorship in war and peace; the potential of image, sound, and narrative to give expression to propaganda and democratic ideals; the cathartic release following the end of an authoritarian regime or occupation. The course, taught in English, does not assume prior knowledge of either country, nor of film studies. All films have English subtitles.

Spring semester. Professors Brenneis and Van Compernolle.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022

328 Trial and Error: An Interdisciplinary Experiment with Montaigne's Essais

(Offered as FREN 328 and EUST 328) "If my mind could gain a firm footing, I would not make essays, I would make decisions; but it is always in apprenticeship and on trial" (III, 2 "Of Repentance"). A Renaissance jurist and thinker, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) is widely recognized as one of the key figures in the history of self-writing and of the essay as genre. This course, however, situates Montaigne beyond these two frames. In the spirit of Montaigne himself, it proposes to attempt, to sample, to taste—in sum, to essay—the Essais (1580-1595). From confessions of impotence to love affairs with books; from rebuttals of human reason to reflections on solitude and age; from networks of exchange to disease and contagion, the uncategorizable content of the Essais, combined with a dynamic form replete with detours and deviations, is an invitation to err among and try a variety of subjects. Similarly, our objective is not to gain expertise, but to experiment and to experience. Our trials will combine a close reading of a selection of Montaigne’s Essais alongside critical, historical, or theoretical texts from a diverse range of methodologies and fields, such as medicine, sound studies, cultural gerontology and more. In addition to engaging with the writings of Montaigne, this course therefore serves as a more general opportunity to consider the place of literature among and within other disciplines. Conducted in English.

Spring semester. Professor Nader-Esfahani.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

330 Race and Otherness in the Middle Ages

(Offered as ENGL 330 and EUST 330) [Before 1800] By many accounts, a concept of “race” does not emerge in the West until the colonizing of the New World in the Renaissance. Yet medieval people had many ways of identifying, exoticizing, excluding, and discriminating against “others.” This was often framed in terms of religion (Christianity vs. Islam), but it also manifests in terms of physiognomic description and ideas of monstrosity in romance and quest narratives. In this course, we will explore how the “othering” of certain medieval peoples creates a racialized language and discourse at once specific to the Middle Ages and relevant to our current understanding of race. We will read from medieval travel narratives (The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Prester John, The Medieval Romance of Alexander) as well as literature by Chaucer and others, alongside critical race theory and historical scholarship to give context to our discussions. We will also explore how the Middle Ages have been racialized in contemporary political and popular discourse.

Format: If at least 5 in-person students register for this course, it will run in person, with hybrid options for remote students. Course meetings will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

340 Violence, Art and Memory of the Spanish Civil War

(Offered as SPAN 420 and EUST 340.) The Spanish Civil War lasted only three years, from 1936 to 1939, yet the conflict cast a long shadow over Spain’s twentieth-century history, culture and identity. Indeed, as a precursor to World War II, the war's effects were felt worldwide, and it became the inspiration for works of art and literature as varied as Pablo Picasso's Guernica, Pablo Neruda's España en el corazón, Guillermo del Toro's El laberinto del fauno and Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. This course will delve into the discord and violence of the war as well as to the anguish and catharsis of the literature, poetry and film it inspired. Through primary sources and historical accounts, we will understand the war’s causes. By studying texts and films that track the reverberations of the Spanish Civil War in the United States, Latin America and Continental Europe, we will trace the war’s effects. In addition, we will grapple with the diverse ways that lingering memories of the war have affected modern-day politics and culture, with particular attention to legacies of race, class and gender. This course will be conducted in Spanish.

This course has been designed with a strong digital component. For S21, instruction will likely be remote and synchronous via Zoom. If circumstances permit, there may be opportunities for in person group work and meetings with the professor for those students on campus. All course and research materials will be available digitally.

Prerequisite: 301 or consent of the instructor.  Omitted 2021-2022

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2021

360 Performance

(Offered as GERM 360, ARCH 360, EUST 360 and FAMS 316) What is performance? What constitutes an event? How can we address a phenomenon that has disappeared the moment we apprehend it? How does memory operate in our critical perception of an event? How does a body make meaning? These are a few of the questions we will explore in this course, as we discuss critical, theoretical, and compositional approaches in a broad range of multidisciplinary performance phenomena emerging from European—primarily German—culture in the twentieth century. We will focus on issues of performativity, composition, conceptualization, dramaturgy, identity construction, representation, space, gender, and dynamism. Readings of performance theory, performance studies, gender studies, and critical/cultural studies, as well as literary, philosophical, and architectural texts, will accompany close examination of performance material. Students will develop performative projects in various media (video, performance, text, online) and deliver a number of critical oral and written presentations on various aspects of the course material and their own projects. Performance material will be experienced live when possible, and in text, video, audio, digital media and online form, drawn from selected works of Dada and Surrealism, Bauhaus, German Expressionism, the Theater of the Absurd, Tanztheater, and Contemporary Theater, Performance, Dance, Opera, New Media, and Performance Art. A number of films, including Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Oskar Schlemmer’s Das Triadische Ballett, Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique, and Kurt Jooss’ Der Grüne Tisch, will also be screened. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 16 students.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2020, Spring 2023

363 Traumatic Events

(Offered as GERM 363, ARCH 363, EUST 363, and FAMS 370) How is memory constructed and represented? How is it possible to bear witness, and what exactly is involved? Who is authorized to testify, to whom, when? Whose story is it? Is it possible to tell "the story" of a traumatic event? What are the disorders of testimony, and how and where do they emerge? This course will observe the workings of trauma (the enactment and working-through of collective and individual symptoms of trauma), memory, and witnessing in various modes of everyday life. We will examine notions of catastrophe, disaster, accident, and violence, and explore the possibilities and impossibilities of bearing witness in many forms of cultural production: in fiction, poetry, architecture, critical theory, oral and written testimonies, visual art, monuments, memorials, philosophy, science, cartoons, film, video, theater, social media, and performance, online and in our public and domestic spaces. We will study various representations of trauma, paying particular attention to events in Germany and Europe from the twentieth century, as well as to 9/11, the Covid-19 pandemic and inter/national events of 2020. Material to be examined will be drawn from the work of Pina Bausch, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Cathy Caruth, Paul Celan, Marguerite Duras, Peter Eisenman, Shoshana Felman, Florian Freund, Jochen Gerz, Geoffrey Hartman, Rebecca Horn, Marion Kant, Anselm Kiefer, Ruth Klüger, Dominick LaCapra, Claude Lanzmann, Dori Laub, Daniel Libeskind, W.G. Sebald, Art Spiegelman, Paul Virilio, Peter Weiss, Wim Wenders, Elie Wiesel, Christa Wolf, and others. Conducted in English with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2018

365 Making Memorials

(Offered as GERM 365, ARCH 365, and EUST 365) This is a course about what happens to difficult memories: memories that are intensely personal, but made public, memories that belong to communities, but which become ideologically possessed by history, politics, or the media. How are memories processed into memorials? What constitutes a memorial? What gets included or excluded? How is memory performed in cultural objects, spaces, and institutions? What is the relationship between the politics of representation and memory? Who owns memory? Who is authorized to convey it? How does memory function? This course will explore the spaces in which memories are “preserved” and experienced. Our attention will focus on the transformation of private and public memories in works of architecture, performance, literature, and the visual arts, primarily in Germany, Europe, and the United States in the twentieth century, including also 9/11, the COVID-19 pandemic, and inter/national events of 2020. Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, the visual arts, interactive installation and/or the environment. Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Limited to 20 students. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2016, Fall 2021

368 SPACE

(Offered as GERM 368, ARCH 368, EUST 368, and FAMS 380) This research seminar will explore conceptions of space as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual materials will be drawn from the fields of literature and philosophy; architectural, art, and film theory and history; performance studies and performance theory; and theories of technology and the natural and built environment. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is a core of this seminar.

Preference given to German majors and European Studies majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment. Conducted in English. German majors will select a research project focused on a German Studies context, and will do a substantial portion of the readings in German. 

Limited to 18 students. Enrollment requires attendance at the first class meeting. Spring semester. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2018

369 TIME

(Offered as ARCH 369 and EUST 369) This research seminar will explore conceptions of time as they have informed and influenced thought and creativity in the fields of cultural studies, literature, architecture, urban studies, philosophy, neuroscience, performance, and the visual, electronic, and time-based arts. Students will select and pursue a major semester-long research project early in the semester in consultation with the professor, and present their research in its various stages of development throughout the semester, in a variety of media formats (writing, performance, video, electronic art/interactive media, installation, online and networked events, architectural/design drawings/renderings), along with oral presentations of readings and other materials. Readings and visual/sonic materials will be drawn from the fields of European literature, philosophy and critical theory; from architectural, art, music, neuroscience and film theory and history; from performance studies and performance theory; and from theories of technology and the natural and built environment. We will sustain a focus on issues of perception, cognition, duration, movement, attention, imagination, memory, and narrative throughout. Emphasis on developing research, writing, and presentation skills is central to this seminar. Conducted in English.

Preference given to ARCH and EUST majors, as well as to students interested in architecture/design, performance, film/video, interactive installation, and/or the environment.

Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Gilpin.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Fall 2019

374 Medieval and Renaissance Lyric

(Offered as ENGL 441 and EUST 374) [Before 1800] In this course, we read a selection of English and other European lyrics (in translation) from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries. An exciting, fertile era in poetic innovation, these centuries see the dawn of the first romantic love poetry in these languages, the invention of new forms like the sonnet, and the invention of the lyric “anthology.” Reading the lyrics of the French troubadour poets, Chaucer, Petrarch, Wyatt, Donne, Shakespeare, and the many brilliant anonymous poets of medieval England, we will examine both the text and contexts of these short poems. Close readings will be put in dialogue with cultural contexts (such as the volatile court of Henry VIII, in which Thomas Wyatt wrote), and the material contexts of the lyrics (the medieval and early modern manuscripts and books in which they first appeared). We will further think about how the term “lyric” emerges as a privileged poetic category, by reading contemporary “defenses” of poetry and thinking about why the word “lyric” only appears in the sixteenth century. Does the “lyric” poem change once it is defined? How do later works speak to the earlier tradition?

Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Spring 2020

385 Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters

(Offered as ARHA 385, EUST 385, and SWAG 310) Our course will explore how evil was imagined, over cultures, centuries and disciplines. With the greatest possible historical and cultural specificity, we will investigate an array of monstrous creatures and plagues -- their terrifying powers, the explanations for why they came to be, and the strategies for how they could be purged -- as we attempt to articulate the kindred qualities they shared. We will study centuries-old witch burning manuals, and note the striking degree to which dangerous tropes -- about women, about pestilence, about dangerous sexuality, and about differences of all kinds -- have continued to our day. Among the artists to be considered are Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí, Buñuel, Dreyer, Wilder, Almodóvar, and the community who made the AIDS Quilt.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. 

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

390, 490 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021, Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

420 Antisemitism

An in-depth, thorough chronological study of Antisemitism—“the longest hatred”—from Hellenistic and Roman times to early Christian thinkers, the development of Islam, the Middle Ages, especially the Holy Office of the Spanish Inquisition, the Enlightenment, Nazism and other forms of fascism, Communism, to the twenty-first century. Special attention will be placed on geographical varieties and national traditions (France, Germany, Russia, Iran, the United States, Spain, and Argentina), the Dreyfus Affair, the Protocols of the Wise of Zion, Henry Ford, and other focal points. The class will analyze in detail the metastasis of antisemitism into anti-Zionism before and after the creation of the State of Israel. We will also discuss antisemitism in politics, education, culture, and media, and its link to racism, anti-immigration, xenophobia and other hatreds.

This course will be conducted online. Limited to 25 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Stavans. 

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

425 European Economic Take-Off in Global Perspective, c. 1050–1750

(Offered as HIST 425 [EUP] and EUST 425) The history of the pre-modern European economy is usually understood as the singular and exceptional rise of the first modern economy. Yet recent research in economic history and shifts in the world economy have provided new perspectives to reconsider the rise of the European economy. From this long-term and global viewpoint, the story of Europe’s economic take-off becomes the remarkable story of a backwater that became mainstream. How was Europe able to reposition itself from a periphery of the Eurasian economy to a central node of the global economy? What drove Europeans further and further into the East and how did their incursions disrupt or adapt to previous trade networks and practices? How did the exports and imports of Europe change as their relation to the world economy changed? By considering these questions, the course will revisit the familiar histories of the Commercial Revolution, the travels of Marco Polo, the Age of Discovery, the East India Companies, the Atlantic System, and the road to the Industrial Revolution. Using the analysis and synthesis of modern historians, we will situate the economic take-off of Europe in the context of the transformation of the world economy. Utilizing past travel logs, eyewitness reports, business contracts, customs receipts, and other non-narrative sources, students will complete a research paper that tackles one of these histories and casts them in new light. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2018

430 Renaissance Bodies

(Offered as HIST 430 [EUP/TC/TR], EUST 430 and SWAG 430) "Renaissance Bodies" investigates the ways in which early modern sciences and the figurative arts of the Renaissance collaborated to represent body-centered visual knowledges ranging from the "secrets of women" to scientific "monstrosities." The course also examines the ways in which Catholicism enhanced body-centered, sensual and visual forms of devotion. Discussions center on the eroticization of male, female, and queer bodies in a variety of discourses and visual rhetorics. A particular focus is on the representation of black bodies before the onset of modern racism. Case studies will include Eckhout’s "ethnographic" portrayals of African slaves and the native inhabitants of Brazil; Chiara di Montefalco’s miraculous relics; Elena Duglioli’s career as a spontaneously lactating saint; the cultural history of the dildo; Elena/o de Cespedes’s life as a transman; Sarah Bartmann as fetishized object of desire; male prostitution; and anatomical wax figures.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2021-22. Professor Sperling.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

432 Gender, Class, and Crime: The Victorian Underworld

(Offered as HIST 432 [EU/TC/TS] and EUST 432) Victorian Britain was a nation of contrasts. It was at once the world’s foremost economic and imperial power, the richest nation in Europe, and the country where the consequences of industrialization–slums, poverty, disease, alcoholism, sexual violence–took some of their bleakest forms. In an era of revolution, Britain enjoyed one of the most stable political systems in Europe; yet it was also a society plagued by crime and by fears of popular unrest, the place where Marx predicted the worker’s revolt would begin. This seminar explores the complex world of the Victorians through a focus on what contemporaries termed the “social problem”: the underclass of criminals, paupers, and prostitutes who seemed immune to reform. Themes will include political liberalism and the Poor Law, imperialism at home and abroad, industrialization and urbanization, sanitation, hygiene, and disease control initiatives, shifting cultural understandings of gender and class, and Jack the Ripper. Students will be expected to write a research paper on a topic of their choice. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2021-22. Professor Boucher.

2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2015, Spring 2019

465 Multicultural Spain

A vital question in today’s multicultural societies is how individuals with different identities—religious, racial, ethnic, etc.—can live and prosper together. This course will explore the literature, culture, and history of medieval and early modern Spain, paying special attention to how people with diverse backgrounds coexisted and interacted with each other. Examining the context of Spain during this time period will also serve as a means to help us think through issues of diversity in our world today. First we will look at the situation of medieval Spain where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived side-by-side for centuries. Then we’ll turn to Spain’s exploration of the New World and how the diverse encounters that took place influenced Spanish culture. Finally, we will consider representations of other cultural minorities, such as gypsies, in Spain during the early modern period. Primary sources will include literary texts, historical accounts, legal documents, and maps and will be supplemented by secondary critical texts. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Infante.

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2020

498, 499, 499D Senior Departmental Honors

A full course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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