Examples chosen from the realms of art, literature, and music produced during the Enlightenment demonstrate both the multiplicity and the interrelation of the three arts in Europe beginning with Watteau, Addison, and Couperin and ending with David, Goethe, and Mozart.
Being an option core for Culture, Literature, and the Arts, students will have the opportunity to engage with key texts of the cultural production of the eighteenth century in Europe. We will participate in close viewing, listening, and reading of various paintings, pieces of music, and literature focusing on three artistic centers across the "long" eighteenth century: Paris in the 1710s-1740s, Venice/Vienna in the 1770s-1780s, and London in the 1790s-1810s. We will work on critical analysis and interpretation in class and through the paper assignment. The Enlightenment and its attendant consumption of culture are the underlying assumptions for this class in which intellectual and commercial ideas easily crossed national boundaries and entered into the imagination of an increasingly literate and mobile population.
Student learning goals
gain historical awareness of literature, visual culture, and music
increase ability in visual, literary, and musical analysis
make connections among art forms in an interdisciplinary interpretive framework
recognize the relationship between the world of politics, social values, and artistic production
formulate ideas on the arts through speaking and writing, including a research paper
General method of instruction
We will have lecture/discussions, small-group interactions, in-class written exercises, and viewing of full-length films based on our three major texts: Marivaux's Triumph of Love, Da Ponte's Don Giovanni, and Austen's Sense and Sensibility.
One or more classes in European literature, art or music history, or general humanities course would be beneficial.
Class assignments and grading
There will be midterm and final exams with short answer and essays on visual, musical, and literary works. For the 5-7-page paper, the students will write on a visual cultural topic. This will require research and clear writing honed through the iterative process of first and second versions.
Grades will be based on performance on the two exams, the first and second versions of the research/analytical/interpretative paper, and in-class participation.