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GRMN 116

Modern European Culture from a Global German Perspective

"All that is solid melts into air"...Thus, Karl Marx describes the massive technological, political, social, artistic, and spiritual transformations which have shaken the modern world and which show no signs of abating. This course critically examines how modern European contributions in literature, philosophy, and the arts (with a German focus) have engaged these changes, from the perspective of 21st century global culture and its discontents. By examining modern Europe's unprecedented emphasis on individual fulfillment both in spiritual awareness and social change as well as seeing the triumphs of cultural achievement against the horrors of colonialism, students will explore models of interpreting a world of constant change, of seeking orientation in times of rapidly changing values, and negotiating a multilingual, multicultural universe. Topic units will vary by semester and may include: the "Project of Enlightenment" and European Imperialism, Romanticism and the "Oriental Renaissance," Contemporary Religion and Spirituality in Transcultural Context. Course offered in English.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Global Learning 1 course

Spring Semester information

Howard Pollack-Milgate

116A: Modern European Culture from a Global German Perspective: Feeling It: Powerful Emotions in Music, Lit, History (taught in English)

Are our emotional lives natural or socially constructed? Are they a product of our bodies or our minds or can they exist in the world outside of individuals? How much are we led by passions and instincts rather than logic and argument? How can emotions bring people together and tear them apart? Can we understand how people managed to live through periods which we can hardly bear to imagine? These are the sorts of questions which have recently become a focus of research. We will begin by looking at attempts to map out the full range of feelings, emotions and moods, and explore how they have changed over time in music, art, literature, and history. Students will have a wide latitude in completing independent projects. All readings and discussions in English.