European Studies

422A Lehman Hall  
212-854-4733

Mission

The European Studies program at Barnard College enables students to combine disciplinary approaches to the study of Europe. Students ground themselves in a core discipline (history, political science, anthropology, sociology, theater, and philosophy, among others) that provides them with methodological expertise. They also take courses in the language and literature of a chosen region of Europe and complement this program with a selection of courses exploring Europe from other disciplinary perspectives. Students are encouraged to study abroad in the region of their interest.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a major in European Studies will be able to attain the following outcomes:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the breadth of Europe’s cultural heritage as well as its distinctive components;
  • Explain the role of language and literature within culture;
  • Apply different disciplinary perspectives to the study of a single region.

This program is supervised by the Committee on European Studies:

Co-Chairs: Erk Grimm (Associate Professor of German), Lisa S. Tiersten (Professor of History)

Requirements for the Major

Students who intend to major in European Studies should consult a member of the department in their sophomore year to plan their academic programs.

The senior requirements vary according to the discipline studied. Majors should consult their advisers for details.

Students may focus on one country or one region of Europe. Competence in the language of the region is expected. The major includes:

  1. A concentration consisting of five courses in an academic discipline chosen in consultation with the major adviser. A maximum of two of these courses that deal with European topics may be counted among the ten courses in the regional concentration (Part B).
  2. Ten courses focusing on a country or region to include:
    • Two courses in European History;
    • Two courses in the literature or cultural studies of one country in the original language;
    • Two semester senior projects under the direction of the program adviser or an adviser in the minor field;
    • Four courses outside the field of concentration dealing with the selected country or region.

The following list is only a sample selection of courses that may be applied to the major.

ECON BC3041Theoretical Foundations of Political Economy3
HIST BC1101
 - HIST BC1302
Introduction to European History: Renaissance to French Revolution
and Introduction to European History: French Revolution to the Present (recommended as prerequisites for other history courses)
8
HIST BC2321Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Culture of Empire3
HIST BC3323The City in Europe4
HIST BC3360London: From Great Wen to World City4
HIST BC3368History of the Senses4
PHIL UN3352 3
PHIL UN3353European Social Philosophy3
PHIL V3740Hermeneutics and the Humanities3
POLS UN1501Introduction to Comparative Politics4
POLS UN3401Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe3
RELI V3501Introduction To the Hebrew Bible3
RELI V2801Introduction to Western Religions3
THTR V3150Western Theatre Traditions: Classic to Romantic3
SOCI UN3000Social Theory3
THTR V3152Nazism in Performance4
French courses in Culture and Literature See French
German courses in Culture and Literature See German
Italian courses in Culture and Literature See Italian
Spanish courses in Culture and Literature See Spanish

Cross-Listed Courses

Art History (Barnard)

AHIS BC1002 Introduction to the History of Art II. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART)., Discussion Section Required

  The second part of the Introduction to Art History goes from about 1400 to 2015, circles the world, and includes all media. It is organized around one theme for each lecture, and approximately 100 works of art. Visits to New York museums and discussions sections are crucial parts of the course.

Spring 2018: AHIS BC1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 1002 001/01823 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
304 Barnard Hall
Anne Higonnet 4 203

AHIS W4480 Art In the Age of Reformation. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Artistic production in Germany and the Netherlands in the 16th century and the transformation of the social function of art as a consequence of the development of reformed theories of art and the introduction of humanist culture: Albrecht Durer, Hans Baldung Grien, Hans Holbein the Younger, Albrecht Altdorfer, Quentin Massys, Lucas van Leyden, Jan Gossaert, Jan van Hemessen, and Pieter Aertsen.

Economics (Barnard)

ECON BC3041 Theoretical Foundations of Political Economy. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Prerequisites: An introductory course in economics or permission of the instructor.

Intellectual origins of the main schools of thought in political economy. Study of the founding texts in classical political economy, Marxian economics, neoclassicism, and Keynesianism.

Fall 2017: ECON BC3041
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3041 001/07742 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
328 Milbank Hall
David Weiman 3 33/45
ECON 3041 002/08111 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Ll104 Diana Center
Belinda Archibong 3 34/45
Spring 2018: ECON BC3041
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3041 001/07742 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Sonia Pereira 3 44/45

History (Barnard)

HIST BC1062 Introduction to Later Middle Ages: 1050-1450. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Social environment, political, and religious institutions, and the main intellectual currents of the Latin West studied through primary sources and modern historical writings.

HIST BC1302 Introduction to European History: French Revolution to the Present. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Emergence of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary mass political movements; European industrialization, nationalism, and imperialism; 20th-century world wars, the Great Depression, and Fascism.

Spring 2018: HIST BC1302
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1302 001/02084 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Lisa Tiersten 4 96/100

HIST BC3062 Medieval Economic Life and Thought ca 1000 to 1500. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

Traces the development of economic enterprises and techniques in their cultural context: agricultural markets, industry, commercial partnerships, credit, large-scale banking, insurance, and merchant culture. Examines usury and just price theory, the scholastic analysis of price and value, and the recognition of the market as a self-regulating system, centuries before Adam Smith.

HIST BC2116 The History of Money. 3 points.

Examining the history of money and the history of ways of thinking about money. We investigate how different monetary forms developed and how they have shaped and been shaped by culture, society, and politics. Tracing money from gift-giving societies to the European Monetary Union, the focus is on early modern Europe.

HIST BC2180 Merchants, Pirates, and Slaves in the Making of Atlantic Capitalism. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).

Examines how the Atlantic Ocean and its boundaries were tied together through the flow of people, goods, and ideas. Studies the cultures of the communities formed by merchants, pirates, and slaves; investigates how their interactions and frictions combined to shape the unique combination of liberty and oppression that characterizes early modern capitalism.

HIST BC2230 Central Europe: Nations, Culture, and Ideas. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

The making and re-making of Central Europe as place and myth from the Enlightenment to post-Communism. Focuses on the cultural, intellectual, and political struggles of the peoples of this region to define themselves. Themes include modernization and backwardness, rationalism and censorship, nationalism and pluralism, landscape and the spatial imagination.

HIST BC2321 Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Culture of Empire. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).

Examines the shaping of European cultural identity through encounters with non-European cultures from 1500 to the post-colonial era. Novels, paintings, and films will be among the sources used to examine such topics as exoticism in the Enlightenment, slavery and European capitalism, Orientalism in art, ethnographic writings on the primitive, and tourism.

HIST BC3360 London: From Great Wen to World City. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

Social and cultural history of London from the Great Fire of 1666 to the 1960s. An examination of the changing experience of urban identity through the commercial life, public spaces, and diverse inhabitants of London. Topics include 17th-century rebuilding, immigrants and emigrants, suburbs, literary culture, war, and redevelopment.

HIST BC3368 History of the Senses. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

Examination of European understandings of human senses through the production and reception of art, literature, music, food, and sensual enjoyments in Britain and France. Readings include changing theories concerning the five senses; efforts to master the passions; the rise of sensibility and feeling for others; concerts and the patronage of art; the professionalization of the senses.

Philosophy (Barnard)

PHIL UN2101 The History of Philosophy I: Presocratics to Augustine. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., Recitation Section Required

Corequisites: PHIL V2111 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

Exposition and analysis of the positions of the major philosophers from the pre-Socratics through Augustine.  This course has unrestricted enrollment.

Fall 2017: PHIL UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 2101 001/75945 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Katja Vogt 4 89/100

PHIL UN2201 History of Philosophy II: Aquinas to Kant. 4 points.

Recitation Section Required

Corequisites: PHIL V2211 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

PHIL V2101 is not a prerequisite for this course. Exposition and analysis of the metaphysics, epistemology, and natural philosophy of the major philosophers from Aquinas through Kant. Authors include Aquinas, Galileo, Gassendi, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.  This course has unrestricted enrollment.

Spring 2018: PHIL UN2201
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 2201 001/04794 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
136 Thompson Hall (Tc)
John Morrison 4 57/80

PHIL W3264 19th Century Philosophy: Hegel. 3 points.

Examines major themes of Hegel's philosophy, with emphasis on social and political thought. Topics include Hegel's critique of Kant, the possibility of metaphysics, the master-slave dialectic, and the role of freedom in a rational society. Readings from Fichte help explain how Hegel's project develops out of Kant's transcendental idealism.  Some knowledge of Kant's moral theory and his Critique of Pure Reason is presupposed. Prerequisite: at least one of PHIL 2201, 2301, or 3251.

Political Science (Barnard)

POLS UN3401 Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course will examine the development of democracies and dictatorships in Europe from the French Revolution to the present day. It will analyze the nature and dynamics of European political history and use the European experience as a foundation upon which to build a broader understanding of how different types of political regimes emerge, function and are sustained over time. Prior knowledge of European history and comparative politics is welcome, but not presumed.

Fall 2017: POLS UN3401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3401 001/08728 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Ll104 Diana Center
Sheri Berman 3 56/72

POLS BC3505 * Colloquium on Making Democracy Work. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Examination of democratic consolidation and promotion. What makes democracy work and what, if anything, can outside actors do to help this process along? Topics include the theoretical literature on democratic consolidation, historical cases of intervention, debates about America’s role in promoting democracy, and examination of some of the research on democracy promotion. (Cross-listed by the Europen Studies and Human Rights Programs.)

Spring 2018: POLS BC3505
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3505 001/00522 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Sheri Berman 4 13/16

Sociology

SOCI UN3000 Social Theory. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

Required for all sociology majors.  Prerequisite: at least one sociology course of the instructor's permission.  Theoretical accounts of the rise and transformations of modern society in the19th and 20th centuries.  Theories studied include those of Adam Smith, Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim, Max Weber, Roberto Michels.  Selected topics:  individual, society, and polity; economy, class, and status: organization and ideology; religion and society; moral and instrumental action.

Fall 2017: SOCI UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3000 001/05710 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
504 Diana Center
Deborah Becher 3 50/68
Spring 2018: SOCI UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3000 001/63594 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
702 Hamilton Hall
Shamus Khan 3 65

Theatre (Barnard)

THTR V3141 Socialism/Communism in Performance. 4 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Analyzes dramatic texts and performances under the Communist regimes behind the Iron Curtain before 1989. Principal focus is on Czech, Polish, and East German playwrights and their productions; we will consider their work in both legal and illegal contexts. In order to gain a wider understanding of the diversity of underground performative cultures, works from Hungary, Romania, and Slovenia will be considered as well. The seminar also attends to dissident performative activities in the framework of the 1980s revolutions, and reflects on works by western authors and emigrant/diasporic writers produced on stages behind the Iron Curtain.  Fulfills one (of two) required courses in dramatic literature for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts major.

THTR V3152 Nazism in Performance. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Course enrollment limited to 16; permission of instructor given at first class meeting.

Explores the cultivation of national and transnational performances as a significant force of National Socialism, at the same time as challenging the notion of “Nazi Theatre” as monolithic formation. The core of the course inquires into the dialectical analysis of artistic creations in diverse art genres, while working towards an understanding of the social dramaturgy of such events as staging the Führer and the racialized body of the privileged people. Nazism did not harbor ideologies without benefits for the allied nations. Thus, the dynamic performance of transnationalism among the “brothers in arms” will be included as well, in order to elucidate how works of art crossing into the Third Reich were reimagined, sometimes in ways challenging to the presumed values of the state stage. Fulfills one (of two) required courses in dramatic literature for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts major.