Fall 2003 Mr. Cohen
History 440: Modern/Postmodern (1885-2001)
Cahoone, Lawrence E. (ed.), From Modernism to Postmodernism (Blackwell)
Schorske, Carl, Fin de Siècle Vienna (Vintage)
Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (Vintage)
Freud, Sigmund, Dora: An Analysis of a Case History (Simon and Schuster)
Foucault, Michel, A History of Sexuality (Volume I) (Random)
Kafka, Franz, The Metamorphosis (Bantam)
On Reserve (and/or e-Reserve)
Bullock, Alan, “The Double Image”
Einstein, Albert, Relativity
Weber, Max, Protestant Ethic (selection)
Toennies, Ferdinand, “The Individual in the Modern World”
Derrida, Jacques, “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences”
Cixous, Hélène, The Laugh of the Medusa (selection)
De Beauvoir, Simone, The Second Sex (selection)
Baudrillard, Jean, “L’Esprit du Terrorisme”
Baudrillard, Jean, “The Procession of Simulcra”
Powell, Jim, Postmodernism for Beginners
Sim, Stuart, The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism
University of Colorado Postmodern Thought Site
History 440 is designed to be a seminar and not a lecture course; therefore, both class attendance and participation will constitute a portion (approximately 10%) of your final grade. In addition, each student will be required to complete three 2-3 page papers chosen from the topics listed below, a 1-page preliminary research prospectus, and a full research prospectus of at least 10 pages (see instructions at the end of the syllabus). Students will also be required to report orally on their proposed research during the last week of the term; history majors may choose to complete their research papers in History 650 (The Practice of History). There will be an in-class final exam but no midterm.
9/26 Cahoone, From Modernism to Postmodernism, 1-23, 51-57, 72-82
9/29 Cahoone, 91-101
10/1 Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 2-32, 79-141
10/3 Nietzsche, 35-56, 141-170, 201-237; Cahoone, 103-04, 130
10/6 Bullock, Allan, “The Double Image” (see reserve) ; Schorske, Fin de Siècle Vienna, 24-115
10/8 Einstein, Relativity, 1-57
10/10- Cahoone, 157-176; Weber, Protestant Ethic (see reserve)
10/15 Toennies, “The Individual in the Modern World” (see reserve)
10/17 Freud, Dora: An Analysis of a Case History
10/20 Freud, continued
10/22 Schorske, 322-366
10/24 Schorske, 116-181; Cahoone, 185-190
10/27 Kafka, The Metamorphosis
10/29 Cahoone, 259-265; De Beauvoir, The Second Sex (selection on reserve)
10/31-11/3 Sim, Postmodernism, 3-15 (see reserve); Cahoone, 77-84; Derrida, “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” (see reserve)
11/7 READING PERIOD
11/11 RESEARCH TOPICS DUE; Cahoone, 309-324, 481-513
11/10- Foucault, A History of Sexuality [entire]; Cahoone, 379-381
11/14 Cahoone, 461-468; Cixous, The Laugh of the Medusa (see reserve)
11/17 Baudrillard, “The Procession of Simulcra” (see reserve)
11/19 Baudrillard, “L’Esprit du Terrorisme” (see reserve)
11/21 Cahoone, 589-616; Sim, Postmodernism, 28-40
11/24 Research Topic Workshop (see end of syllabus for instructions)
11/26 THANKSGIVING BREAK
12/1 Oral Reports
12/3 Oral Reports
12/5 Catch up and review; RESEARCH PROSPECTUS DUE
Note: All responses to these questions should be informed by a knowledge of the historical contexts to which they refer.
I. Write a 2-3-page paper on one of the following:
a. Compare and contrast the views of Condorcet and Marx & Engels on human reason and its relationship to historical progress. Where do they agree, where do they disagree, and why?
b. How does Nietzsche view science, progress, and their relationship to human reason?
c. How does Einstein view scientific knowledge and its relationship to the human self?
d. How does Max Weber view science, rationality and their relationship to historical progress?
II. Write a 2-3-page paper on one of the following:
a. How does Freud view scientific knowledge and its relationship to the human self?
b. What does Carl Schorske mean by the phrase “politics in a sharper key”? How might the Italian futurists fit into his model?
c. How does Kafka view the human self and its relationship to society?
III. Write a 2-3-page paper on one of the following:
a. What does Lyotard mean by the phrase “incredulity toward metanarratives”? How does it relate to the question of scientific knowledge?
b. What is Foucault’s thesis in The History of Sexuality, Volume I? What is his view of the human ‘subject’? Of the human sciences?
c. Compare and contrast the feminist views of Simone De Beauvoir and Hélène Cixous. Where do they agree, where do they disagree, and why?
d. What is Jean Baudrillard’s view of September 11? How does it square—or not—with his prior views of the media, “simulacra,” and the “hyperreal”?
All students must define and present a topic for further research. You may focus on an individual (e.g., Nietzsche, Foucault, Cixous), subject area (e.g., science, the arts), or theme (e.g., “feminist responses to postmodernism”). One possible point of departure might be the twelve short paper topics listed above, but you need not remain within the confines of the syllabus. You may, for example, wish to explore a modernist writer such as Joseph Conrad or Virginia Woolf, postmodern motifs in European films of the 1980s, or a modern or postmodern thinker (e.g., Martin Heidegger, Gilles Deleuze) whom we have not addressed in class. Your topic must, however: 1) relate to the general topic of the seminar, 2) be based on primary sources, and 3) demonstrate a familiarity with the most relevant secondary scholarship.
Your final prospectus, accordingly, should include:
|A question of historical significance that you intend to address|
|A conceivable answer to that question—that is, a thesis, argument, or hypothesis that you intend to test|
|An explanation of how your question has been treated by other scholars, and how your approach will differ from theirs|
|An account of what sources and evidence you will use|
|A sense of how you will organize your research paper|
|A bibliography of no less than twelve works, including both primary and secondary sources|
Research Topic Workshop
On November 24 (the class meeting before Thanksgiving Break) each student will prepare a preliminary research prospectus and bring enough copies of it to distribute to the class. The prosepectus should consist of 1) a working title; 2) a one page description of your proposed topic; and 3) a preliminary bibliography. The class will read and interrogate each one in turn.