European Studies

M.A., European Thought and Culture - Courses

The coursework for the M.A. consists of the three Core Seminars described below plus four Euro St 201 courses, and two Euro St 299 to focus on a thesis or the MA exam

Core Seminar I: Foundations of European Thought and Culture (Euro St 200A)

This course provides a historical, geographical, and methodological overview of foundational texts and issues in European thought and culture. It will be structured thematically around topics such as: the idea of freedom; ideas of sovereignty; forms of intellectual authority; revolutions; terror; religion and secularization; a critical history of modernity; the idea of Europe; nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and transnationalism. In each case, there will be coverage of several historical periods between the Middle Ages and the present, such that students see how ideas and institutions change over time.

Core Seminar II: Theorizing Periods and Movements in European Thought and Culture (Euro St 200B)

Periods and movements still form basic units for organizing European thought and theory, even as such categories are problematized. This course will allow for greater focus on a specific time period or constellation of issues around a movement, selected by the faculty based on their expertise, and address theorizations of periodization. Sample topics will include: the (late) Middle Ages; Humanism; the Renaissance; the Early Modern period; the Enlightenment; Romanticism; Realism; Marxist Thought; Modernism; Psychoanalysis; Feminism; Postmodernism (but also other temporal schemes, like “ca. 1800,” “Revolutions of 1848,” “Turn-of-the- Century,” or “post-1989” or even a given year (as in Gumbrecht’s study of 1926). The goal is not to provide a formal or dogmatic definition of a period/movement but, rather, to look at the use and abuse of such categories for the study of European intellectual and cultural history (including the question of the national and/or transnational nature of such periods and movements).

Core Seminar III: European Thought and Culture Beyond Europe (or: Translations and Transformations of European Thought and Culture) Euro St 200C

This course will study particular cases of the intersection and afterlives of European thought and culture with and in non-European contexts, i.e., the way European thought and culture has been translated and transformed, taken up and challenged, in colonial, postcolonial, and other global situations (such as the analysis of race, gender, and sexuality in the U.S.). The course may take the form of comparative analysis (e.g., psychoanalysis and Fanon, or Hegel, Nietzsche, and queer theory), or explore the different ways in which European and non-European/colonial/ postcolonial thinkers examine fundamental concepts such as identity, community, power, knowledge, or investigate how European cultural forms, imposed on or received in non-European contexts are reinvented and become new critical interventions.
Elective courses vary from quarter to quarter and include courses on European topics from across the campus.