Spring 2018 Courses

Joseph Wright of Derby, An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump (1768)

Joseph Wright of Derby, An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump (1768)

Culture Wars in the Age of Enlightenment

The Enlightenment is sometimes called the “Age of Reason,” an ill-fitting title that makes it seem like thinkers conducted themselves in a purely dispassionate fashion. This was not the case. Philosophers engaged in heated disputes with each other, their critics, and the public. This course examines a series of such controversies and considers what they tell us about the modern world. We will also spend several class sessions engaged in an immersive role-playing simulation.

 

Crime and Punishment

This class explores the cultural history of crime and punishment in Europe from 1500-1800 by considering celebrated court cases and criminal figures such as witches, unfaithful wives, impostors, sodomites, and murderers. Along the way, we will analyze historical methods and scholarly writing. To further develop their understanding of the period, students will write a research paper based on primary and secondary sources.

"The cruel death of Calas"

"The cruel death of Calas"