| Last update 08-09-2016||
2nd degree (Master)
cont. german studies:politics, soc.&cult
Dr. Francesco Di Palma
Coordinator Office Hours:
by prior arrangement
Dr. Francesco Di Palma
This course is an introduction to 19th and 20th century European Intellectual History and will allow students to learn about and discuss European cultural history against the background of Industrialization, Fascism, Antisemitism, theoretical and pragmatic Resistance, War and Exile. In the context of the development of European politics and society over the two centuries – which witnessed the fall of monarchies and empires, the emergence of race-based discrimination, aggressive nationalism, Fascist and Communist Regimes, that were eventually responsible for harsh repression and genocides – this seminar examines the patterns of reception and interpretation of specific historical continuities and breaks as conceived by leading contemporary intellectuals.
We shall begin by examining the influences of the French Revolution and the industrial revolution on intellectual life. Our focus will thus turn to the genesis of Socialist Thought in the first half of the 19th century and then move to the contradictory relationship between "scientific" rationalism and anti-Rationalist thought in the later 19th century. We will look closely at the cultural crisis in fin de siècle Europe, question how it paved the way to WWI and led up to a general disruption of faith in progress and the predominance of Freudian Psychoanalysis. On this basis, we will consider how this experience can help us fully grasp and understand both Communist and Fascist theories in the inter-war era. Ultimately, we will analyze the basic principles of Existentialism, before ending with a block focusing on major late 20th century intellectual movements (in particular, Critique of Consumption and Post-Structuralism).
The readings and discussions will consider the phenomenology of modern European thought, the theoretical differences between i.a. political, religious and sociological approaches as well as their implications for European Intellectuals, Governments and Society at large. The course will be of primary interest to students of Modern European History, Philosophy or Sociology.
A general, short and pithy statement which informs a student about the subject matter, approach, breadth, and applicability of the course. A detailed list of subjects is not required in this section (2-4 sentences).
Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
This course aims to develop a variety of skills:
1. The mastery of arguments and concepts;
2. The ability to assess and interpret diverse texts;
3. The ability to express ideas and opinions (both in writing and in class)
Teaching arrangement and method of instruction:
The methods of instruction in the course and any other arrangement regarding teaching and learning activity.
Introduction, getting to know each other, aims & expectations of the course, review course syllabus, distribution of oral presentation topics;
The French Revolution; oral presentation; literature:
Marvin Perry, et. al., Western Civilization, 452-486;
Also read Immanuel Kant, What is Enlightenment?
Industrial Revolution and Culture; oral presentation; literature:
Marvin Perry, et. al., Western Civilization, 487-534;
Counterrevolution and Early Socialism; oral presentation; literature:
For Background read Marvin Perry, et. al., Western Civilization, 535-557;
Read Charles Fourier, Theory of Social Organization (http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1820fourier.asp);
Stuart Mill; oral presentation; literature:
For Background read Marvin Perry, et. al., Western Civilization, Chapter 23;
Read John Stuart Mill, The Autobiography of John Stuart Mill, Toronto 1981 (ed. by John M. Robson and Jack Stillinger), 5-40; 137-192;
Karl Marx; oral presentation; literature:
Read Karl Marx / Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, London 2015 (Penguin Classics), 2-20; 44-49;
Late 19th Century Thought; oral presentation; literature:
For Background read Marvin Perry, et. al., Western Civilization, Chapters 25-26;
Read Edward Carey Royce, Classical Social Theory and Modern Society: Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Lanham 2015, 55-125;
Early 20th Century Thought and War; oral presentation; literature:
For Background read Marvin Perry, et. al., Western Civilization, Chapters 27;
Read Paul Schimmel, Sigmund Freud’s Discovery of Psychoanalysis, London 2014, 1-12; 143-149;
Read Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, 29-44; 56-67;
WWI and “Negative” Thought; oral presentation; literature:
For Background read Marvin Perry, et. al., Western Civilization, Chapter 28;
Read Howard Caygill, Benjamin, Heidegger and the Destruction of Tradition, in: eds. Andrew Benjamin / Peter Osborne, Walter Benjamin’s Philosophy. Destruction and Experience, London 1994, 1-31;
Interwar Period and New Social Theories; oral presentation; literature:
For Background read Marvin Perry, et. al., Western Civilization, Chapter 29;
Read Simon Jarvis, Adorno. A Critical Introduction, Cambridge 1998, 20-71;
WWII, Totalitarianism and Thought; oral presentation; literature:
For Background read Marvin Perry, et. al., Western Civilization, Chapter 31;
Read Kathrin T. Gines, Race Thinking and Racism in Hannah Arendt’s “The Origins of Totalitarianism”, in: eds. Richard H. King / Dan Stone, Hannah Arendt and the uses of history: imperialism, nation, race, and genocide, New York 2007, 38-53;
Post WWII and Existentialism; oral presentation; literature:
For Background read Marvin Perry, et. al., Western Civilization, Chapter 32;
Read Andrew W. Neal, Goodbye War on Terror? Foucault and Butler on Discourses of Law, War and Exceptionalism, in: eds. Michael Dillon / Andrew W. Neal, Foucault on Politics, Security and War, New York 2011, 43-64;
The Present – Post-Marxism, Post-Structuralism and the Internet; oral presentation; literature:
For Background read Marvin Perry, et. al., Western Civilization, Chapter 33;
Read Christopher Kelty, Geeks and Recursive Publics: How the Internet and Free Software Make Things Public, in eds. Christian J. Emden / David Midgley, Beyond Habermas: democracy, knowledge, and the public sphere, New York 2013, Chapter 6.
Facultative Reading: Michael Halewood, Butler and Whitehead on the (Social) Body, in: eds. Roland Faber / Andrea M. Stephenson, Secrets of becoming: negotiating Whitehead, Deleuze, and Butler, New York 2011, 107-126.
The bibliography of the course, the literature that students in the course are expected to read and be familiar with.
Additional Reading Material:
Friedrich W. Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, Oxford 2009; Walter Benjamin, Reflections. Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings, New York 1986 (Edited and with an Introduction by Peter Demetz); Max Horkheimer / Theodor W. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightment, Stanford 2007; Giorgio Agamben, State of Exception, Chicago 2005; John Abromeit, Max Horkheimer and the foundations of the Frankfurt School, Cambridge 2011; Jean Baudrillard, The Mirror of Production, New York 1975; ed. Jonathan Webber, Reading Sartre: on phenomenology and existentialism, London 2011; Mari Ruti, Between Levinas and Lacan: self, other, ethics, New York 2015; Mariano Croce, The legal Theory of Carl Schmitt, London 2013; Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism, New York 1994; Beth Hawkins, Reluctant theologians: Franz Kafka, Paul Celan, Edmond Jabès, New York 2003; eds. Arthur Kok / John van Houdt, Reconsidering the origins of recognition : new perspectives on German idealism, Newcastle upon Tyne 2014; Sebastian Luft, The space of culture: towards a neo-kantian philosophy of culture; Cohen, Natorp, and Cassirer, Oxford 2015; Clayton Bohnet, Logic and the limits of philosophy in Kant and Hegel, Basingstoke 2015; Ben Ware, Dialectic of the ladder : Wittgenstein, the "Tractatus" and modernism, London 2015; Stephan Käufer / Anthony Chemero, Phenomenology: an introduction, Cambridge 2015; Roger R. Hock, Forty studies that changed psychology : explorations into the history of psychological research, Boston 2013.
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 100 %
see additional information
Your final grade is based upon:
1. Active participation in class discussions;
2. Doing the readings in advance of the respective classes and preparing 1-2 written discussion questions or short (critical) comments on each reading (20% of final grade). I collect them in the beginning of each session;
3. Oral presentation (summary of the text and a moderation of the discussion) (30% of final grade);
4. Written assignment: You are asked to hand one term paper (final take-home essay) to topics or texts discussed in class (approx. 3500 words) within two weeks after the last session of the course. All written material should be submitted in 12 point Times New Roman Font, double-spaced, with 1 inch margins. Sources must be cited in footnotes. Please send it to me via email (50% of final grade);
5. Attendance Policy: You may not miss more than two sessions. Contact me if you have to be absent more than twice to arrange a make-up task;
Plagiarism Policy: The penalty for plagiarism is failure of the course
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation. |
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.