Constantin M. Behler
Study of key figures and intellectual debates of Western modernity, and of major literary movements (romanticism, realism, modernism). Analysis of seminal texts such as Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality, Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals, and Woolf's To the Lighthouse.
In this course we study a number of key figures, intellectual debates, and major literary movements (Romanticism, Realism, Modernism) of Western modernity through the close analysis of a number of important texts. The course emphasizes the profound breaks with the old-European tradition experienced and enacted by modern intellectuals and artists. We will be utilizing a sociological approach to intellectual history in order to advance our insights into key patterns of development of modern European intellectual life.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class time will be divided between lectures and discussions, with an emphasis on critical reading and interpretation.
Courses in European history, art history, philosophy, and/or literature are helpful, though not required.
Class assignments and grading
Students are expected to be well prepared for the class meetings, i.e., to have studied the assigned readings carefully, and to participate actively in the class discussions.
There will be a number of in-class exercises to monitor students' comprehension and preparation (20%), as well as take-home midterm and final exams (25% each), which are designed to reward class preparation and participation. Students are also asked to write a 3-page argumentative essay (30%), dealing with an assigned topic on one of the three novels.