European Studies

In addition to the European Studies (EURO ST) course offerings, please check the list General Approved Courses and Quarterly Approved Courses for the emphases in the European Studies major.


Spring Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
This course will survey a centuries-old debate about whether language was invented by humans on their own or was granted to them. If humans cannot reason without language, how would a human ever be able to invent language? On the other hand, if language were granted to humans as a gift, how would humans be able to receive this gift without already possessing some faculty of reason and thus linguistic ability? In the 18th century, this debate centered around whether humans invented language or whether it was granted by God. In the 20th and 21st centuries, a similar debate considers whether language arose as a spontaneous mutation or as something that was gradually learned. In this course, you will learn methods of symbol-based logic and universal grammar as techniques for understanding the functioning of human language and apply these methods to answer the question of the origin of language. In reading works of philosophy, linguistics, biology, and literature, you will also learn how different disciplines approach the question of the origin of language.

This course fulfills two General Education requirements: 1) the GE Vb requirement and 2) your choice of either the GE III or the GE IV requirement.

In 1095, Pope Urban II called upon the military elite of Western Europe to undertake an arduous journey to rescue their fellow Christians and the holy city of Jerusalem from Muslim rule. His words marked the beginning of a crusade movement of warriors fighting under the sign of the cross, which resulted in the establishment of European colonies in Syria and Palestine. This movement had a profound effect upon the development of European society and inspired other wars of expansion and colonization. Although the prolonged and violent contact among European crusaders, Byzantine Christians and Muslims in the eastern Mediterranean profoundly changed all three cultures, this course will primarily focus on medieval Europe for the purpose of answering two questions. First we will ask what caused the Europeans to engage in what they understood to be a holy war against eastern Mediterranean Muslims in 1095. Second, we will ask how did the active engagement in a prolonged crusade movement change European culture, institutions, and attitudes towards those they perceived to be religious others.
When the French destroyed their monarchy in the Revolution of 1789, they created a republic based on ideas of nationhood and citizenship specifically tied to France, its language and its people -- but with universal inspirations. Students will learn about the tumultuous century, from the reign of Napoleon to the eve of World War I, during which the French forged a nation based on republican principles. Fought over at home and imposed abroad in the French empire, these principles also inspired revolutionaries around the globe. We will study the dynamism of French culture and society that gave France an importance in world history disproportionate to its size. We will end the class by considering the ways in which contemporary developments (particularly the rise of Islam in Europe) have challenged the French republican model elaborated in the nineteenth century.

Topics include: nation building, empire, French universalism, secularism vs. religion in public life, class structures and class relations, the central role of Paris in political and cultural life, relations within the family and between genders, the birth of cinema.