Humanities 220

Modern European Humanities

Spring 2019 Syllabus


Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem (Penguin)
Charles Baudelaire, Flowers of Evil (Oxford)
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (Knopf Doubleday)
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (Grove Press)
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (Oxford)
Aime Cesaire, Discourse on Colonialism (Monthly Review)
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Oxford)
Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory (Oxford)
Paul Gauguin, Noa Noa (Dover)
Ernst Junger, Storm of Steel (Penguin)
Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (Touchstone)
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice (HarperCollins)
Samuel Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (Longman)
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Houghton Mifflin)


Week 1 (January 28)

  • Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
  • M: A Person of Interest / Jay Dickson

Week 2 (February 4)

  • Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle (e-reserves)
  • Charles Darwin, Origin of Species (e-reserves)
  • Charles Baudelaire, Flowers of Evil, ("To the Reader," "The Albatross," "Correspondences," "A Hymn to Beauty," "A Carcass," "Invitation to the Voyage," "Spleen (IV)," "The Sun," "To a Woman Passing By," "The Swan”)
  • Baudelaire, "The Painter of Modern Life," chapters 1-4 and 9-12 (e-reserves)
  • M: Nature's Empire: Darwin and the Study of Man in Context / Mary Ashburn Miller
  • W: Sign City: Baudelaire's Exile on Main Street / Hugh Hochman

Week 3 (February 11)

  • M: Manet and Modernism / William Diebold
  • W : The Paris Commune: Contested Meanings in a Shared City / Mary Ashburn Miller

Week 4 (February 18)

  • M: Horror Story / Jay Dickson
  • W: Gauguin, Conrad, and Colonialism / William Diebold

Week 5 (February 25)

  • M: Beyond the Pleasure Principle / Jan Mieszkowski
  • W: The Decline of the West / Jay Dickson

Week 6 (March 4)

  • Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory, pp. 3-51, 75-82, 169-190, 326-335
  • Poems of WWI (e-reserves)
  • Jünger, Storm of Steel (recommended: 5-33, 91-110, 224-56, 274-89)
  • Jünger, from "War as Inner Experience" (e-reserves)
  • M: An Event Without an Idea: The "Irony" of World War One / Mary Ashburn Miller
  • W: Junger in World War I / Jan Mieszkowski

Week 7 (March 11)

  • M: You Say You Want a Revolution / Leah Goldman
  • W: Lecture on Cubism /  Joanna Fiduccia

Week 8 (March 18)

  • M: Clarissa Explains it All / Jay Dickson


Week 9 (April 1)

  • M: Metropolis at the Crossroads of Past, Present, and Future / William Diebold
  • W: The Nazi Aesthetic / William Diebold

Week 10 (April 8)

  • M: Lecture on Levi / Steve Wasserstrom
  • W: Panel on Holocaust Memory and Representation / Marat Grinberg, Steve Wasserstrom, William Diebold

Week 11 (April 15)

  • M: Lecture on Arendt / Steve Wasserstrom
  • W: A Humanism Made to the Measure of this World / Mary Ashburn Miller

Week 12 (April 22)

  • Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, pp. 3-17, 46-75, 266-74, 468-85, 519-23, 638-45, 661-64, and 753-66.
  • Beckett, Waiting for Godot
  • M: Simone de Beauvoir: Existence and Resistance / Mary Ashburn Miller
  • W: Lecture on Beckett / Maureen Harkin

Week 13 (April 29)

  • Selvon, Lonely Londoners
  • M: “To say these things, to have lived these things”: Colonial Migrants and the Remaking of the Imperial Metropolis / Radhika Natarajan
  • W: Reflections on HUM 220