European Cultural Studies

  • Cultural Systems: Proust, Freud, Borges

    An overview of three of the most influential writers in the twentieth century, focusing on selected masterpieces. All three were fascinated by similar topics: dreams and memory; sexuality; Judaism. All three lived during traumatic historical periods. Proust during WWI; Freud during WWII; and Borges during Peronismo. Seminar will explore the relationship between literature modernism, politics, and religion.
  • Holocaust Testimony

    This course focuses on major issues raised by but also extending beyond Holocaust survivor testimony, including genres of witnessing, the communication of trauma, the ethical implications of artistic representation, conflicts between history and memory, the fate of individuality in collective upheaval, the condition of survival itself, and the crucial role played by reception in enabling and transmitting survivors' speech.
  • Cultural Systems: Proust, Freud, Borges

    An overview of three of the most influential writers in the twentieth century, focusing on selected masterpieces. All three were fascinated by similar topics: dreams and memory; sexuality; Judaism. All three lived during traumatic historical periods. Proust during WWI; Freud during WWII; and Borges during Peronismo. Seminar will explore the relationship between literature modernism, politics, and religion.
  • Holocaust Testimony

    This course focuses on major issues raised by but also extending beyond Holocaust survivor testimony, including genres of witnessing, the communication of trauma, the ethical implications of artistic representation, conflicts between history and memory, the fate of individuality in collective upheaval, the condition of survival itself, and the crucial role played by reception in enabling and transmitting survivors' speech.
  • Nature vs. Culture: A European Problem

    Where does nature end? Where does culture begin? In this seminar, we will walk the contested borderlands claimed by both, exploring key works of literature, art, and film from the Middle Ages to the present that challenge, represent, perform, condition, and subvert our notions of morality and human conduct. Is nature cruel or edifying? Should human values be informed by botany? How can an earthquake become an act of natural justice? Is the environment a field of scientific study or a human-made reality?
  • Afterlives of the Artists

    We will examine the ways in which Giorgio Vasari's "Lives of the Artists" have morphed into modern and postmodern literature, focusing on the novelistic and lyric subversions of the original model. Adjustments to the standard narrative include biographies of wretched artists, artsy dealers, and aesthetically inclined criminals; texts set within the imagined world of a painting; tales privileging the instrument or materials over the artist; and dramatically rewritten or unwritten lives of the usual suspects.
  • Nature vs. Culture: A European Problem

    Where does nature end? Where does culture begin? In this seminar, we will walk the contested borderlands claimed by both, exploring key works of literature, art, and film from the Middle Ages to the present that challenge, represent, perform, condition, and subvert our notions of morality and human conduct. Is nature cruel or edifying? Should human values be informed by botany? How can an earthquake become an act of natural justice? Is the environment a field of scientific study or a human-made reality?
  • Afterlives of the Artists

    We will examine the ways in which Giorgio Vasari's "Lives of the Artists" have morphed into modern and postmodern literature, focusing on the novelistic and lyric subversions of the original model. Adjustments to the standard narrative include biographies of wretched artists, artsy dealers, and aesthetically inclined criminals; texts set within the imagined world of a painting; tales privileging the instrument or materials over the artist; and dramatically rewritten or unwritten lives of the usual suspects.
  • Cultural Systems: Proust, Freud, Borges

    An overview of three of the most influential writers in the twentieth century, focusing on selected masterpieces. All three were fascinated by similar topics: dreams and memory; sexuality; Judaism. All three lived during traumatic historical periods. Proust during WWI; Freud during WWII; and Borges during Peronismo. Seminar will explore the relationship between literature modernism, politics, and religion.
  • Literature and Photography

    Since its advent in the 19th century, photography has been a privileged figure in literature's efforts to reflect upon its own modes of representation. This seminar will trace the history of the rapport between literature and photography by looking closely at a number of literary and theoretical texts that differently address questions central to both literature and photography: questions about the nature of representation, reproduction, memory and forgetting, history, images, perception, and knowledge.

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