Before the Fall of the Berlin Wall (EURO*3300)
Code and section: EURO*3300*01
Term: Winter 2017
Instructor: R. Cauchi-Santoro
This course explores major trends in European culture in the context of political and social events following World War I. The focus will be on political events and their significance for culture (e.g. fascism, World War II, the Holocaust and repercussions in the second half of the 20th century, the political reorganization of Europe, protest movements), new trends in thought (e.g. existentialism, structuralism, postmodernism, feminism) and the arts and letters (e.g. neorealism, epic theatre, new wave cinema).
This course explores major trends and developments in European culture since the 1920s within the wider context of the key political and socio-economic events of the period. Particular emphasis will be placed on the interaction between politics, society, and culture in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The course will focus variously on literature, film, music, art, and philosophy. Texts will be studied in English translation and films will be viewed with English subtitles. Full-length films that are part of the course will be viewed outside class time (see class schedule) - shorter clips will be incorporated into the lectures. It is the student’s responsibility to watch the films in her/his own time.
Students will acquire critical tools and apply appropriate interdisciplinary methodologies to explain the interaction between cultural trends and social and political developments in (mainly) France, Italy, Germany and Spain from the 1920s to the 1980s. Students will contextualize cultural products in a variety of genres and media (from literature, film, art, music) within an historical, ideological and aesthetic context. They will also enhance their critical and creative thinking as well as reinforce their literacy, global understanding and intercultural communicative competence.