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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sabine Wilke
EURO 302
Seattle Campus

The Politics and Cultures of Europe

Builds upon themes and topics introduced in EURO 301. Provides rigorous and specialized investigation of European political institutions, societies, and cultures in the modern era. Prerequisite: EURO 301.

Class description

This course offers an introduction to the literature, culture, philosophy, and arts of the period of European Romanticism (around 1800) and its effects on contemporary popular culture. Romanticism as a movement is a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and the political challenges of the French Revolution and its aftermaths. Some define it as a reaction to the rationalization of nature. Instead of scientific rational explanations of natural phenomena, their aesthetic experience and sublimity is emphasized highlighting nature as a place for the picturesque as well as the horrific. Romantic poets loved to experiment with mixing literary genres and the arts, they explored former periods, particularly the Middle Ages, revitalized folk and fairy tales, imagined themselves in far away, frequently exotic and orientalized places, studied the natural forms of their environment such as rocks and trees, wandered about in the woods singing songs, philosophized about nature, language, and subjectivity, got together with friends in salons, and formed intellectual circles. Women formed strong relationships with other women and took to the pen. All in all, it was a time of social and artistic experimentation and imagining the self in new and exciting environments. We will research and recreate this time period inside and outside of class in a variety of interactive formats including lecture, class discussion, team debates, presentation of team projects, blogs, etc. Students are expected to attend each class period with all assignments completed by the beginning of class and ready to engage in and do online research about the topic of the day. Students will contribute individual entries to our blog, be part of a team that works together throughout the quarter, communicate with each other outside of class, complete assignments, and be expected to be active interlocutors in class discussion. (w/ GERMAN 390)

Student learning goals

By the end of the quarter students will develop a better sense of Romanticism as a period, its European context and contemporary effects in popular culture today. This overall objective encompasses many particular goals as well. As a result of this class, you should be able to:

explain key concepts of Romanticism

identify a range of approaches to the study of European culture

read and analyze texts closely and work in teams

apply the questions in each unit to a variety of cultural productions

Because the course moves from exploring key concepts to actively researching issues that apply to cultural studies in a European context, another set of goals concerns active learning through group work and individual research. We will therefore devote considerable class time to discussion and debate.

General method of instruction

see above

Recommended preparation


Class assignments and grading

This class allows students to develop and demonstrate your skills in a variety of ways:

Group work: Team debates; various classroom activities; final project

Individual work: blogs, in-class contributions

The course grade will be calculated in the following way: 25% individual blogs 25% classroom performance and team grade 25% team portfolio 25% final project and team paper

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Samuel T Lederer
Date: 10/08/2009