European Studies

In addition to the European Studies (EURO ST) course offerings and quarterly approved courses, please check the list of General Approved Courses that may be taken for the emphases in the European Studies major.


European Studies courses and non-Humanities courses approved for European Studies emphases this quarter

Fall Quarter (F19)

Dept Course No., Title   Instructor

Today we hear much debate about the value of a humanistic education. What is a humanistic education, and where did the idea of the humanities come from? Who counts as human? Are all humans equal? And where does the natural world fit into our ideas about humanity? This course will focus on the emergence of “humanistic studies,” a key innovation in the formation of European Renaissance culture. Beginning in the fourteenth century, writers and artists who embraced something they called the studia humanitatis began to explore—and to champion—the uniqueness of human individuals. We see this pattern in literary works that probe individual psychology, in portraiture that aims to convey individual “interiority,” in changing family attitudes toward children, and especially in the idea of the multifaceted, individual, scientific and artistic genius: the “Renaissance man.” We will study how these humanists took ideas from Classical Greece and Rome to elaborate not only new practices, but also a new educational program—the humanities—that was dedicated to individual critical inquiry, creative recreation, experimentation, and learning from the past. We will be exploring how changes in early modern society, economic organization, and political culture accompanied these developments, and will extend our discussions to consider the rise of the modern university and the changing  landscape on which college students and teachers operate today. Our task will be both to learn about the roots of many of our current assumptions about education, and to measure our distance from that historical past.
Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM


This course on re-imagining the classics will explore how and why the classics have been retold, reformed, invoked, reinterpreted, and received from antiquity to the present day. We will use the mythological figure of Medea as our case study. Beginning with some theoretical orientation and reading Euripides’ Medea, we will survey the various literary versions of the myth in Roman literature. In the latter part of the course, we will turn to Medea’s place in modern and contemporary literature, theater, and film. While discussing the various reinterpretations and reinventions of Medea, we will remain mindful of issues of intertextuality. How for instance, do later versions of the myth engage with and prefigure earlier works? How might contemporary media reflect upon and suggest new meanings for their classical source texts? The methods and approaches used in this course should provide a model with which to approach other mythological, literary, aesthetic, and philosophical topics in classics and beyond.
Days: MO WE  12:00-01:20 PM


A Germanic language with elements from Hebrew and Aramaic, several Slavic languages, and even Latin, Yiddish was the primary home language of the majority of Europe’s Jews for many centuries. It was and is a language without a country which united Jews from disparate parts of Europe and other places in the world, but which at the same time served as a flashpoint of tensions both within communities of speakers as well as between Jews and non-Jews. In this course, we will learn about the history of the language from its origins in medieval German lands to the present day. Most of the course will focus on its cultural flourishing throughout Eastern Europe from the late eighteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, and we’ll end by examining its status today as a minority language in need of curation and dependent on efforts at revitalization. We will also explore its rich culture through literature, film, theatre plays, and other cultural products. This course is thus part historical-linguistic and sociolinguistic study, part literature and film seminar, and part cultural history. In each segment we will consider critical issues such as the relationship between language and identity, language and religion, and the ways that the language both indexed as well as manifested social-class and gender divisions within the Yiddish-speaking world, and the ways various cultural products and practices served to expose, engage with, or mitigate tensions between Jews and non-Jews.

The format of the course is a combination of lecture and seminar, with students working on quarter-long research projects in one of the areas under consideration: linguistics, prose literature, poetry, folklore, music, film, theatre, print news. The project asks students to make use of primary documents or artifacts, carry out background research, prepare several brief class presentations, and write a short research paper.

The course is taught entirely in English. No knowledge of Yiddish or German is necessary.
Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM

Other Humanities courses approved for European Studies emphases this quarter

Fall Quarter (F19)

Dept/Description Course No., Title  Instructor

None Found