European Studies


Modern Europe (1798-)

Fall Quarter (F18)

Dept/Description Course No., Title  Instructor
Emphasis/Category: British Studies, French Studies, Italian Studies, Modern Europe (1798-)

English 100 has been designed to provide you with a survey of literary theory and criticism from the fifth century B.C.E. to the present day, an ambition that would read like an incredible prank if it were it not so sincerely earned. The University of California, Irvine has a reputation for bleeding-edge approaches to literature and culture that is, frankly, unmatched: ours was the first university in the country to offer a doctoral program in Critical Theory, now an essential component of literary study, and our library houses the most comprehensive Critical Theory Archive in the world, as well as the manuscripts and papers of many of the field’s most significant thinkers. Irvine’s influence on humanistic inquiry is both historic and ongoing, and this course—English 100—represents everything that we are about.

Behind every survey lies a logic of selection, and my choices have been guided by a belief in the prominence and centrality of Worry in the history of literary criticism and theory. Rather than offer a strictly chronological review, I have organized works by their motivating concerns. Each week will feature a mixture of old and new texts that address a common issue, so that you can receive a more discrete and compelling genealogy of critical discourse.

Requirements include a midterm exam, a final exam, and two reading quizzes.
Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM

Emphasis/Category: Modern Europe (1798-)

This course will sample some of the exciting new combinations and permutations of prose genres that have emerged in French writing since 1945. Topics will include: the “New Novel”; the récit; hybrid genres; “autofiction;” and the relationship between writing and other media, especially film. Texts by Samuel Beckett, Maurice Blanchot, Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Roland Barthes, and Annie Ernaux.
Days: TUTH  03:30-04:50 PM

Emphasis/Category: French Studies, Modern Europe (1798-), Encounters with the Non-European World

This course will study some key literary, cultural, and political episodes in the relationship between France and the New World, focusing particularly on contact-points in Haiti and what is now the United States. Reading will include texts by Montaigne, Toussaint Louverture, Thomas Jefferson, Chateaubriand, and Tocqueville, along with documents of exploration and revolution. All reading, writing, and discussion will be in English
Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM

Emphasis/Category: Modern Europe (1798-)

"The Craft of History Writing" will emphasize the teaching of "History Writing" from a writer's rather than from a historian's perspective.
Each week we will read one fully-realized historical essay, published in a  contemporary, peer-reviewed historical journal and also one chapter from a book-length historical narrative, The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century, by Martha Hodes.
And each week, through these works (all drawn from US history), we will focus on a  different element of "craft" through which we can approach the different language, argument and research skills necessary to compose a compelling and academically credible essay in historical inquiry.

Your own writing will consist of focused reading responses, in-class exercises, and  two essays. Your first essay, developed from response drafts, will be based on analyzing elements of craft exemplified by two or several of the class readings; the second essay will be devoted to applying these elements to a historical subject/text/period/area of your own choosing/specialization (which need not be drawn from US History); this second essay will be workshopped, substantially revised and resubmitted for a third grade.
Days: TU TH  09:30-10:50 AM

Emphasis/Category: Modern Europe (1798-), Encounters with the Non-European World

Problems in History (Europe) provides an introduction to the historical problems, the issues of interpretation, the use of primary sources, and the historical scholarship of the history of Europe with an emphasis on developing skills in historical essay-writing. This particular iteration of History 70B, Monsters and Borders, will focus upon the historical problem of monsters. Monsters (particularly human-animal or human-demon hybrids) of varying types appear regularly in otherwise serious works of European literature, political polemic, and geography written between c. 450 BCE and 1700 CE. In order to better understand the role played by the horrific and fantastic in the unfolding historical events and their recollection, this class will explore how different European communities used the portrayal of monsters to define the boundaries of their communities, understand the unknown, reinterpret the past, promote religious and/or intellectual reform, and establish hierarchical political orders.
(Satisfies Pre-1800 Requirement)
Days: MO WE  11:00-11:50 AM

Emphasis/Category: Italian Studies, Modern Europe (1798-)

This course will concern itself with the response to the Holocaust in the memoirs of Primo Levi and Liana Millu, and in the fiction of Giorgio Bassani. Framing their writings will be brief readings in the work of historians Liliana Picciotto Fargion, Michele Sarfatti and Susan Zuccotti.

Italy had no native tradition of anti-Semitism to compare with the French or Austrian (Action Française; Karl Lueger’s Christian Social Party). Moreover, the Holocaust in Italy begins comparably late–in 1943 with the overthrow of Mussolini–and continued with the consent of the Republic of Salò, the largely puppet state the Germans set up for him after his rescue. The class will briefly address such historical questions as the relation between Italian Fascism and anti-Semitism, the role and responsibility of the Papacy in the eventual deportations, and, finally, the heroism of Italian individuals and even institutions (the diplomatic corps) in the face of unspeakable atrocity. In Levi and Millu we shall address more literary questions: Italian identity, for example. What did it mean to be an Italian Jew in the camps– hence Sephardic–thus to speak no Yiddish and not to be observant, i.e. to be both culturally and religiously ignorant? On the other hand, what did it mean for an Italian Jew to be cultured and completely assimilated to Italian life: “tutti dottori, tutti avvocati” unlike Austrian, Hungarian and Russian Jews? We will study the development of the identity of the protagonist as s/he struggles to survive in the Italy of the race laws and then in the inconceivable conditions of Auschwitz. Incidentally, according to Liliana Picciotto Fargion, the total number of Jews deported was 8,613 or whom 7,631 died. She adds 291 who were murdered in Italy; this out of approximately 43,000 Jews. All readings are in English.
Days: MO WE  02:00-02:50 PM

Emphasis/Category: Russian Studies, Modern Europe (1798-)

Soviet Animation from the 1960s to the 1990s, that is, from the Cold War to Glasnost', was far from child's play. Animation in the former Soviet Union was a medium that allowed for the creation of life other than Soviet reality, despite the strict censorship of ideas during this time period. This course proposes to explore the concepts of the dual audience, ritualized master plots, Disneyfication, and montage. Students will also be introduced to the role of the KGB, the Soviet Underground, International Animation Festivals, the Soiuzmultfilm Animation Studio, and the Communist Party in the creation of animation. Students will become familiarized with the necessary technological aspects of animation, from stop-motion films to CGI, including scripts, storyboards, hand-drawn cells, the role of music and the intertextual relation of other arts and literature to this medium. The animated films will be presented thematically.
Days: TU TH  02:00-03:20 PM