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HIS 65 — Capitals of Cultural Ferment: Artists and Intellectuals in the Modern European City, 1750–1950 (CANCELLED)

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 3—Jun 5
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 16
Units: 2
Tuition: $480
Instructor(s): Peter Mann
Status: Cancelled
7:00—8:50 pm
Apr 3—Jun 5
10 weeks
Drop By
Apr 16
2 Units
Peter Mann
Since the Enlightenment, intellectuals and artists have been agents of agitation during times of social ferment—as challengers of tradition, creators of new ideals and identities, pioneers of utopias, and restorers of imagined pasts. This course explores their role over the last two centuries and across five European cities—Paris, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Madrid, and Berlin—during dramatic moments of cultural transformation. We will begin in Enlightenment Paris—the age of the philosophes, the salons, and the smut-filled print shops that paved the way for the coming revolution. Then on to 1860s St. Petersburg, site of a clash among the ideas of Romanticism, liberalism, and socialism, and home to the Russian nihilism depicted by Turgenev and Dostoevsky. We then proceed to the heady atmosphere of fin-de-siècle Vienna, taut with sexual and political tensions as expressed by the ideas of Freud as well as the paintings of Klimt, Schiele, and Kokoschka. Then on to Madrid in the aftermath of 1898, following Spain’s defeat in the Spanish-American War and the birth of the Silver Age of Spanish literature under Unamuno, Machado, Baroja, and Ortega y Gasset. Next, we take a bumpy ride across the trenches of World War I to the “voluptuous panic” of Weimar-era Berlin, teeming with the Expressionist films of Murnau and Lang, and the paintings of Max Beckmann and George Grosz. Finally, we arrive back in Paris at the end of World War II for the birth of existentialism with Sartre, Beauvoir, and Camus, and the imagining of a new Europe from the ruins.

Peter Mann, Lecturer, Structured Liberal Education Program, Stanford

Peter Mann studies the intellectual history of modern Europe. He has published articles on the German writer Thomas Mann and the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. He received a joint PhD in history and humanities from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality (ISBN ISBN: 978-0-14-044439-1)
(Recommended) E.T.A. Hoffman, Tales of Hoffman (ISBN ISBN-10: 0140443924)
(Required) Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons (ISBN ISBN: 978-0-14-044147-5)
(Recommended) Fydor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (ISBN ISBN: 978-0-679-73452-9)
(Recommended) Miguel de Unamuno, Abel Sanchez and Other Stories (ISBN ISBN: 0-89526-707-1)
(Recommended) Sigmund Freud, Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (ISBN ISBN-10: 0-393-00847-9)
(Required) Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents (ISBN ISB-10: 0-393-30158-3)
(Required) Arthur Schnitzler, Desire and Delusion: Three Novellas (ISBN ISBN-10: 1-56663-603-5)
(Recommended) Hugo von Hoffmansthal, The Lord Chandos Letter and Other Writings (ISBN ISBN-10: 1-590-17-120-9)
(Required) Joseph Roth, What I Saw: Reports from Berlin (ISBN ISBN-10: 0-393-32582-2)
(Recommended) Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays (ISBN ISBN-10: 0-7148-3365-7)
(Required) Jean Paul Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism (ISBN ISBN-10: 0300115466)