Age of Resaon Moliere French Revolution

Detailed Course Description for Humanities 54 H
Formerly Humanities 34

HUM 54 H (Winter 2013)

The Age of Reason: Art and Thought in the 18th Century

In the 18th century, 'sapere aude' (dare to know) became the battle cry of the monumental intellectual movement called the Enlightenment, which produced a new way of looking at the world and humanity's place in it. This course explores how the interaction between art and thought during the 'Age of Reason' advanced the progressive emphasis on learning, the exploration of nature, and the daring critique of social structures. In particular, we will focus on the changes of aesthetic production and consumption, and their role in fostering social activisms and planting the seeds of revolution.

HUM 54 H (Spring 2013)

"Art and Transgression: The Holocaust in the Aesthetic Imagination"

When Theodor Adorno, the German-Jewish cultural critic, claimed that "Writing Poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric", he challenged us to reflect upon the dangers that come with artistic representation. In this course, we will explore how art (literature, films, memorials, sculpture and painting) has shaped our understanding of the Holocaust and explore how art mediates our encounters with history. Specifically we will ask if art is necessarily complicit in utilizing the Holocaust for political interests or if art can provide a space that affords us to behold a realm beyond reason.

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