Teaching

HIST 233 In Search of the Enlightenment

What was the Enlightenment? This course aims to help its participants develop an answer to that question. We will examine the state of the art in scholarly answers and test them against a series of classic documents of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European intellectual history on a wide range of important themes: biblical criticism, deism and natural theology, Pietism and the “cult of sensitivity,” religious toleration and freedom of the press, commerce and its moral implications, Newtonianism, rights and representation, and revolution. Authors include Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Thomasius, Beccaria, Herder, and Rousseau.

Prerequisite: None
Distribution: Historical Studies
Semester: Fall Unit: 1.0

HIST 234 The Holy Roman Empire: Religion, Politics, and Culture from Luther to Napoleon

This course traces the tumultuous history of Europe's German lands in the three centuries between the Middle Ages and the modern era, long identified with the origins of twentieth-century German militarism and anti-Semitism. We will focus on what makes this fascinating period distinctive: Germany’s uniquely persistent political diversity and the religious schism that gave Germany multiple national religions. Topics include the Protestant Reformation, the Great Witch Panic, the devastating Thirty Years War that destroyed 150 years of economic growth, Prussia and Frederick the Great, the Enlightenment, the Napoleonic Wars, and the demise of the extraordinarily complex political system known as the Holy Roman Empire. Sources include treaties, treatises, literature, autobiographical texts, visual art, and music, by – among others – Luther, Bach, Lessing, Mozart, and Goethe.

Prerequisite: None
Distribution: Historical Studies
Semester: Fall Unit: 1.0