Fall 2020 Courses

French 201: History of the French Language

Instructor: Professor Mairi McLaughlin

This course covers the history of the French language from its Latin roots through to contemporary usage. Both internal and external history will be considered so that students acquire a firm grounding in the linguistic evolution of the language, coupled with an understanding of its development in relation to a range of social and cultural...

French 240: The Literary Construction of Human Rights in France

Instructor: Professor Susan Maslan

In 1789 the revolutionary French National Assembly drafted and promulgated the world’s first formal declaration of Human Rights. In this course we will think about the status of literature in an era before the category of human rights had emerged, when, that is, rather than representing violations of human rights, literature plays a crucial role in...

German 205 or Comp Lit 215: Mysticism and Modernity

Instructor: Professor Niklaus Largier

So-called ‘mystical’ forms of thought and experience have played a major role in the history of modern philosophy and literature from Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Schopenhauer to Lukàcs, Heidegger, Bataille, Benjamin, and Derrida; and from Novalis to Musil, Kafka, Celan, Bachmann, Klossowski, and Cage (to name just a few). In this seminar we will read...

History of Art 200: Graduate Proseminar in History of Art

Instructor: Professors Todd Olson

This seminar is intended to introduce graduate students to a range of critical perspectives, theoretical issues, and methodologies that constitute the practice of art history. The seminar is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of the history of the discipline. The selected topics and readings are in no way entirely inclusive of present...

History of Art 290 / Spanish 280, section 2: Cal Conversations: Object Histories + Critical Concepts + Curatorial Practicum in Latin American Art / The Long Sixteenth-Century: Colonization and its Aftermath

Instructor: Professors Todd Olson and Ivonne del Valle, and Lynne Kimura (BAMPFA)

Starting in the late fifteenth-century the world began to become “global.” This process had many implications in all areas, starting with the economy, religious beliefs and practices, daily life and cultural and artistic practices. Among these some would gradually disappear because they were considered mistaken and therefore dangerous, or be radically transformed (the production...

Italian 215: Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture: The Renaissance of Faith

Instructor: Professor Albert R. Ascoli

The polysemous word-concept, “faith,” usually studied in its separate religious, moral, political, economic, textual, and other acceptations, constitutes an unusually potent means for examining the subtending ideological structures of early modern Italy, and of European culture more generally, as well as the transformative pressures on these during the sixteenth century.  “Fede” is at once...

Philosophy 290: Spinoza’s Ethics

Instructor: Professor Kristin Primus

This course will be an in-depth study of Parts I, II, and V of Spinoza’s Ethics. Topics will include the mode-substance relation, the nature of causation, the doctrine of the “parallelism” of ideas and bodies, epistemic certainty, finite human minds’ relation to the infinite intellect, intellectual love of God, and blessedness. Although our focus will...