Revised Last Updated: 06/08/2009
Fall, Winter and Spring quarters
Faculty Signature Required: NO signature requirement for 16 credit option; signature necessary for 4, 8, or 12 credits.
Major areas of study include European art history, European social and cultural history, literature and philosophy, French language.
Class Standing: Sophomores or above; transfer students welcome.
Accepts Winter Enrollment: This program will accept new enrollment, without signature.
..and for what purpose are there poets in a lean time..
Hölderlin Bread and Wine
We will study art history, literature, philosophy and music in their social and historical contexts in order to understand the Romantic avant garde thinkers and artists, outsiders in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe, and their tenuous but fruitful dialogue with mainstream, insider culture and the emerging popular culture of the laboring class. We will emphasize French Romanticism but will also consider the pan-European nature of the phenomenon. This era offers a figurative battlefield where concepts of art, nature and self, order and chaos locked swords, testing the limits of rational thought. French language study will be an important component of our weekly work; students will study French at one of four levels, from beginning to advanced, depending on previous experience.
The nineteenth century was an era of immense political change spanning revolutions, empires and finally the establishment of a democracy at home just as French and European imperialism spread across North and West Africa and Asia. We will ask the question: what does it mean for the average person to move from subject to citizen? Besides the ways in which such political turmoil affected common men in France, Britain and Germany, we will also probe the responses of both women and colonial subjects, who were not allowed a voice in the political process. Through the lens of art and social movements we will study ways in which average women and men crafted their own identities and responded to the larger social forces of industrialization, the creation of a new working class, the solidification of gender and class roles, the rise of modern cities and the redefinition of the criminal, the socially-acceptable, and the outsider.
In fall, our work will begin with the paintings, poems and ideas of the early Romantics who laid the foundations for 200 years in art and thought. The Romantics privileged feeling, intuition and empathy. Like adepts in an ancient mystery cult, they sought to commune with Nature. Romantic philosophers, from Schopenhauer to Nietzsche, spoke of Becoming rather than Being. Rejecting Classical order, clarity and restraint, they envisioned a pure art, beyond language and depiction, which speaks musically through color, passion, suggestion; enigmatically, as do dreams.
In winter, our focus will turn to the late Romantics. Decadents pushed the Romantic temperament and aesthetic to extremes through self-parody and the aesthetic of fragmentation. Symbolists raised art onto a transcendent altar, attempting to express the inexpressible through their art. Yet Mallarmé, Wilde and Yeats, Moreau and Gauguin, among others, helped prepare the rites of spring of the dawning 20th century, the arising vanguard of modernist and postmodern movements.
In Dark Romantics, students will gain a significant grasp of key ideas in art, history and thought within their context, and will have the opportunity to specialize, creating advanced work in their choice of seminar in history, art history or writing and literature. We expect strong interest and background in humanities, and considerable self-discipline and motivation. The works we study and the workload, including French language study, will be substantial and difficult.
In the program's third quarter, students will have the option to travel to France for 10 weeks. There they will study in a Rennes, Brittany language school, do cultural and historical study in Paris and Lyon, as well as make side trips for research of their own.
Credits: 4, 12 or 16 fall quarter, 4, 12 or 16 winter quarter and 4, 8 or 16 spring quarter
Enrollment: 75 Fall, 75 Winter and 50 Spring
Special Expenses: $6500/$7000 for 10 week study abroad in France in the spring
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in humanities, advanced French studies, history, diplomacy and international relations.
Planning Units: Culture, Text and Language
|March 26th, 2009||Signature required on 4, 8, or 12 credit options.|
|May 5th, 2009||Winter enrollment details added.|
|June 8th, 2009||Hiro Kawasaki added to faculty team in Fall and Winter; enrollments raised.|