Humanities 220

Modern European Humanities

Fall 2018 Syllabus


Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Penguin)
Kant, Perpetual Peace and Other Essays (Hackett)
Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano (Penguin)
Lessing, Nathan the Wise (Bedford)
Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The Marx-Engels Reader (Norton)
Popkin, Jeremy D. A Short History of the French Revolution (Prentice-Hall)
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Political Writings (Norton)
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein: the 1818 Text, ed. Butler (Oxford)
Wollstonecraft, Mary. Vindication of the Rights of Woman (Penguin)
Wordsworth, William. The Major Works


I. The Enlightenment and Its Critics

Week 1 (August 27)

  • Robinson Crusoe. Recommended Selection: pp. 5-108, 122-37, 154-79, 219-24, 238-41.
  • Alexander Nagel, Medieval Modern, chapter 15. (e-reserves)
  • Image Gallery
  • M: Beginning the Conversations / Jay Dickson
  • W: Lecture on Robinson Crusoe / Steve Wasserstrom
  • F: Watteau and the Invention of Modern Art / William Diebold

Week 2 (September 3)

  • Diderot, "Encyclopedia," in Encyclopédie (e-reserve)
  • Diderot, Encyclopédie, selected plates (e-reserve)
  • Online Encyclopédie Translation Project:, selections by instructor
  • Diderot, Diderot on Art: The Salon of 1765, pp. 3-7; Van Loo, 7-10 and 14-15; Fragonard, pp. 141-148; Boucher, 22-29.
  • Chardin, 60-62. Vernet, 69-71. Greuze, 96-109. (e-reserve)
  • Image Gallery
  • M: Labor Day, No Lecture
  • W: The Information Age / Jay Dickson
  • F: Delicious, Delicious! Diderot, Criticism, and the Emotional Enlightenment / Mary Ashburn Miller

Week 3 (Sept. 10)

  • Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiment (e-reserves)
  • Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (e-reserves)
  • M: Economics and Sentiment / Maureen Harkin

Week 4 (Sept. 17)

  • Rousseau, Political Writings, selections by instructor
  • M: Rousseau and Modernity / Darius Rejali

Week 5 (Sept. 24)

  • Lessing, Nathan the Wise
  • Kant, “What is Enlightenment” and “Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose,” in Perpetual Peace and Other Essays
  • M: Lecture on Lessing / Steve Wasserstrom
  • W: The Enlightenment and Its Discontents / Jan Mieszkowski

Week 6 (Oct. 1)

  • Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano. Recommended selection: pp. 31-61, 77-140, 161-177, 198-236.
  • M: 'The Inhuman Traffic': Atlantic Slavery and its Abolition / Radhika Natarajan

II. The French Revolution and the Rights of Man?

Week 7 (Oct. 8)

  • Abbe Sieyes, “What is the Third Estate?” (e-reserves)
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man & Citizen (e-reserves)
  • Popkin, A Short History of the French Revolution chapters 1-3
  • Edmund Burke, selections from Political Writings (e-reserve)
  • M: Becoming a Revolutionary / Mary Ashburn Miller
  • W: 'To Love the Little Platoon': Tradition and the British Reaction to the Revolution / Radhika Natarajan


Week 8 (Oct. 22)

  • Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Recommended selection: author's introduction, chs. 1-3, 9.
  • Olympe de Gouges, "Declaration of the Rights of Woman" (link)
  • Laurent Dubois and John Garrigus eds., Slave Revolution in the Caribbean, pp. 86-89, 120-125, 129-132, 144-153, 188-191 (e-reserves)
  • Laurent Dubois, "Avenging America: the Politics of Violence in the Haitian Revolution" (e-reserve)
  • Popkin, Chapters 4-6
  • Robespierre, "On Political Morality" (e-reserve)
  • Robespierre, "Report on Religious and Moral Ideas and Republican Principles" (e-reserve)
  • “The Revolutionary Calendar" (e-reserve)
  • M: Wollstonecraft: Posing the Woman Question" – Jay Dickson
  • W: The Haitian Revolution: The Limits of Universalism / Mary Ashburn Miller
  • F: This is Not My Beautiful Revolution / Mary Ashburn Miller

Week 9 (Oct. 29)

  • Primary Texts on David and the Academy (excerpts) in Harrison, ed., Art in Theory, 1648-1815, pp. 710-730 (e-reserve)
  • David Image Gallery
  • Wordsworth, Major Works. Suggested reading: "Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey"; "The Old Cumberland Beggar"; "Michael"; "Ode: Intimations of Immortality"; "Lines Written in Early Spring"
  • M: David and the French Revolution / William Diebold
  • W: On the Subject of Wordsworth / Hugh Hochman

III. Romanticism and Industrialism

Week 10 (November 5)

  • J. Barrell, "John Constable," The Dark Side of the Landscape, 131-64, 174-6 (e-reserve)
  • Constable Image Gallery
  • E.T.A. Hoffmann, “The Sandman” (e-reserve)
  • M: Constable and the Meaning of Landscape / William Diebold
  • W: What is Romanticism? / Jan Mieszkowski

Week 11 (November 12)

  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  • M: Fellow-Creatures: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein / Jay Dickson

Week 12 (November 19)

  • Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, selections (e-reserve)
  • Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor, selections (e-reserve)
  • M: Classifying Class / Mary Ashburn Miller


Week 13 (November 26)

  • William Whewell, "The General Bearing of the Great Exhibition on the Progress of Art and Science" (e-reserve)
  • Jeffrey Auerbach, The Great Exhibition of 1851: A Nation on Display (Commerce and Culture: e-reserve) (Integration and Segregation: e-reserve).
  • Lara Kriegel, "Narrating the Subcontinent in 1851: India at the Crystal Palace," in The Great Exhibition of 1851: New Interdisciplinary Essays, 146-178 (e-reserve)
  • Karl Marx, The Marx-Engels Reader, Instructor Selections. Recommended Readings: The Communist Manifesto, The German Ideology
  • M: The Queen and Prince Consort Went to the Great Exhibition of 1851, and All I Got Was This Lousy Modernity / Jay Dickson
  • W: Marxian Thought / Peter Steinberger

Week 14 (December 3)

  • Marx, The Marx-Engels Reader, Instructor selections. Recommended Readings: Capital.
  • M: Man the Maker / Mary Ashburn Miller