Europe

101.005 Spring 2014 Early Modern Europe

This course will be a senior thesis seminar open to students planning to write on early modern Europe, a field broadly defined to include everything from the Italian Renaissance of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to the political revolutions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The seminar will guide students through the process of articulating a research topic, choosing appropriate sources, researching and writing a thesis.

177B Spring 2015 Armenia: From Pre-modern Empires to the Present

This survey course will cover the period from the incorporation of most of the Armenian plateau into the Ottoman Empire to the present. Throughout most of this period Armenians lived in three pre-modern empires: the Persian, the Ottoman, and the Russian. As these political entities shaped Armenian life significantly, they will also serve as geographic subdivisions for the lectures of this course. In the twentieth century, two key events and their consequences will draw our attention.

101 Fall 2014 Topics in Late Modern European History, 1789-1991

This 101 seminar is open to those who wish to write about any aspect of late modern European history (1789 to 1991). The instructor encourages a variety of topics; those focusing on political, cultural, scientific, religious, and social aspects of modern European history, among others, are all welcome. In this course, students will identify a topic, locate source bases, and gain experience working with primary and secondary sources and crafting historical narratives. Reading knowledge of one (or more!) European language is highly desirable, but not required.

103B.003 Fall 2014 Memory and History in Late Modern Europe

What is memory’s relationship to the past? Is memory an obstacle or an asset to historical understanding? How has it been mobilized—consciously or unconsciously—to influence cultural, political, and historical imagination? This seminar will take up these questions, exploring how societies have remembered their pasts and to what ends.  
 

103B.005 Fall 2014 Corruption in Early Modern Europe and the World

This seminar will examine “corruption” in early modern Europe and the wider world (from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century). Drawing upon primary and secondary sources, we will question how understandings of corruption and anti-corruption related to major historical trends, including the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the rise of the modern state, the birth of financial institutions, and Europe’s colonial empires.

103B.002 Fall 2014 The European Economy in the Twentieth Century: The Paths to Prosperity

During the twentieth century, Europe witnessed a dizzying variety of economic regimes, each promising to deliver prosperity. The First World War ushered radical communist and fascist solutions for achieving modern economic growth as the laissez faire capitalism based on international trade and the gold standard lost legitimacy. The Superpowers directed the reconstruction of their respective spheres after Second World War, giving rise to welfare states across Western and Northern Europe and transforming Eastern and Southern Europe into urbanized industrial societies.

280 Fall 2014 Modern German History

This course is a reading seminar intended for graduate students who are specializing in Modern German History. Its purpose is to introduce students to some of the key topics, questions, problems, controversies, and debates that have characterized this field.

285B Fall 2014 Research Topics in Soviet History

Several class meetings devoted to discussions of possible topics, bibliographies, and outlines followed by individual meetings with instructor and general discussions of final drafts. Knowledge of Russian is preferred but not required.

280B Fall 2014 Critical Theory Writ Small

This seminar will be devoted to exploring various exemplars of the small forms, literary as much as philosophical, employed by Critical Theorists in their attempt to make sense of the modern world: aphorisms, Denkbilder, dialectical images, miniatures, etc. We will read works by Walter Benjamin (One-Way Street), Ernst Bloch (Traces), Horkheimer (Dawn and Decline) and Adorno (Minima Moralia), as well as such secondary texts as Gerhard Richter, Thought-Images. We will consider comparable examples in the work of Lichtenberg, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Kraus and Kracauer.

280B Fall 2014 The Substance of Things Unseen: Matter and Spirit, 1650-1800

Between 1650 and 1800, matter, spirit, and their relationship, became subjects of unprecedented attention in Europe. Mechanism, the development of a science of forces, new forms of religious imagination, new spiritualisms, the rise of sensationalist psychology, the development of an aesthetics of the sublime, fascination with legal and political abstraction, new materialist ethics, the discovery of “real” immaterial things (public opinion, society, the economy, e.g.): all of these together fundamentally structured what we might broadly call modern immanence and transcendence.

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