In the first semester, we explore the themes of love and justice, purity and power, fidelity to the family, and loyalty to the state. Through reading selections from the Hebrew Bible, Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Virgil, Dante and others, we investigate these themes as they find expression in the Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman traditions and in their enduring European legacies.
Continuing the inquiries begun in 113Y-114Y, this seminar addresses the rise of modernism, which represented a massive fissure in Western consciousness. A fault line visible since Romanticism suddenly fractures. One consequence was that something utterly unique, highly unsettling, and profoundly revolutionary occurred: the role of art and the artist leapt into extraordinary prominence. Why in modernism do the issues of "self," "society," and "authority" figure so prominently in the aesthetic domain? What does the signal role of art suggest about the character of modernism itself? How successful has art been as the focal point of questions regarding authority? Is art's centrality itself a paradoxical response to the issues of complexity, specialization, fragmentation, and relativity which inform the modern world? In view of modernism's paradoxes and chief concerns, we will address contending views of art and authority in various disciplines and media, including the visual arts, architecture, philosophy, literature, music, dance, and film. Readings will include Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Woolf, Kafka, Breton, and Sartre. Films will include Triumph of the Will, Rashomon, and Mulholland Drive. This course may be used as .50 unit of history ftowards fulfilling diversification requirements in the Social Sciences Division. Prerequisite: IPHS 113Y-114Y
In the early seventeenth Century, Galileo's writings on physics and astronomy helped to establish modern scientific thought. Three centuries later, Einstein's work on relativity and quantum theory helped to transform it. The ideas of both men proved influential and ignited controversy far beyond the bounds of their scientific disciplines. In this class, we will read essential works by Galileo and Einstein (among others) and explore, not only their discoveries, but also their wider views of Nature and the human striving to understand her. What principles guide the scientific quest? Are there limits to scientific knowledge? What are the relationships between between observation and imagination, between genius and ethics, between science and religion?
In this course we will examine some of the works and cultures of the pre-modern European North, both in their interaction with the Mediterranean cultures of antiquity and later times and in their own right. Readings will include: Beowulf, The Prose Edda, Selections from the Poetic Edda, The Saga of the Volsungs, Njal's Saga, Grettir's Saga, Early Irish Myths and Sagas, The Mabanogion, The Lais of Marie de France, Sir Orfeo, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
This course, designed as a research and/or studio workshop, allows students to pursue their own interdisciplinary projects. Students are encouraged to take thoughtful, creative risks in developing their ideas and themes. Those engaged in major long-term projects may continue with them during the second semester.