Pre-Approved Electives for Majors


AHIS BC3934: Dada and Surrealism 4 pts.
J. McGrath.
Course Limited to 15 Students with Instructor's Permission. Go to the BC AH website for more information and to download an application.
Of all the prewar avant-garde formations, it is perhaps Dada and Surrealism that loom the largest in the Western imaginary. Perhaps most impactful of all, these were the movements that surrounded one Marcel Duchamp, an artist whose work was central to both. In this seminar, we will trace the entwined histories of these vanguard groups-Dada in its various centers (Zurich, New York, Paris, Berlin, Cologne, and Hanover), and Surrealism, whose zeal for Paris could not prevent its forced, if temporary, dislocation to the United States. We will look to these formations in their aesthetic, theoretical, and political complexity, with special attention to the indispensable role played by women, especially Hannah Höch, Emmy Ball Hennings, and Claude Cahun.
 
AHIS BC3948: Nineteenth-Century Criticism 4 pts.
TBA instructor
Selected readings in philosophy and criticism of art with special emphasis on the problem of the observer in the context of 19th-century modernity. Texts by Diderot, Kant, Blake, Goethe, Hegel, Ruskin, Baudelaire, and Nietzsche.
 
AHIS UN4480: Art in the Age of the Reformation 3 pts.
K. Moxey
Explores the ways in which the culture and social functions of artistic production in Germany and the Netherlands were transformed as a consequence of the dissemination of the ideologies of humanism and the Reformation.
 
HIST BC1302: Introduction to European History - French Revolution to the Present 4 pts.
D. Coen
Emergence of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary mass political movements; European industrialization, nationalism, and imperialism; 20th-century world wars, the Great Depression, and Fascism
 
HIST BC2230: Central Europe - Nations, Culture, and Ideas 3 pts.
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 BC2980: World Migration 3 pts.
J. Moya
Overview of human migration from pre-history to the present. Sessions on classical Rome; Jewish diaspora; Viking, Mongol, and Arab conquests; peopling of New World, European colonization, and African slavery; 19th-century European mass migration; Chinese and Indian diasporas; resurgence of global migration in last three decades, and current debates
 
HIST BC3323: The City in Europe 4 pts.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preference to upper-class students. Preregistration required. A social history of the city in Europe from early modern times; the economic, political, and intellectual forces influencing the growth of Paris, London, Vienna, and other urban centers.
 
HIST BC3324: Vienna and the Birth of the Modern 4 pts.
Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required. Examines Vienna from the 1860s through the 1930s as the site of intellectual, political, and aesthetic responses to the challenges of modern urban life. Through readings in politics, literature, science, and philosophy, as well as through art and music, we explore three contested elements of personal identity: nationality, sexuality, and rationality.
 
MUSI BC1001: An Introduction to Music I 3 pts.
G. Archer, K. Barbacane.
A survey of the development of Western music from 6th-century Gregorian Chant to Bach and Handel, with emphasis upon important composers and forms.
 
MUSI BC1002: An Introduction to Music II 3 pts.
G. Archer, K. Barbacane.
A survey of the development of Western music from the first Viennese Classical school at the end of the 18th century to the present, with emphasis upon composers and forms. Extensive listening required.
 
MUSI UN2023: Beethoven 3 pts.
E. Sisman
Prerequisites: HUMA UN1123 or the equivalent.
A study of the life and works of Ludwig van Beethoven, with emphasis on selected symphonies, string quartets, and piano sonatas. Also consider the changing nature of the critical reception of Beethoven and issues of classicism and romanticism in music
 
MUSI UN2024: Mozart 3 pts.
E. Sisman
Prerequisites: HUMA UN1123 or the equivalent. In this course we will study major works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) in the context of Viennese classicism and its multiple audiences, the cultures of the Enlightenment, and the connections between biography and art. We will also consider Mozart's impact on later composers and publics, the changing approaches to performing his music, and his role in popular culture. Reading knowledge of music is NOT required in this course, nor is a background beyond Music Humanities.
 
MUSI UN3023: Late Beethoven 3 pts.
E. Sisman
Prerequisites: MUSI UN2318-UN2319 or the instructor's permission. An examination of the visionary works of Beethoven's last dozen or so years as a composer, beginning with the revision of his only opera, Fidelio, in 1814, and continuing with the late piano sonatas, cello sonatas, string quartets, Diabelli variations, Ninth Symphony, and the Missa Solemnis. Topics will include late style, romanticism, politics, deafness, and the changing nature of the musical work and its performance.
 
MUSI UN3128: History of Western Music I: Middle Ages To Baroque. 3 pts.
Prerequisites: MUSI UN2318-UN2319. May be taken before or concurrently with this course.
Topics in Western music from Antiquity through Bach and Handel, focusing on the development of musical style and thought, and analysis of selected works.
 
MUSI UN3138: The Music of Brahms 3 pts.
Prerequisites: HUMA UN1123 or the equivalent, and the ability to read musical notation.
Survey of the music of Brahms, examining a wide range of genres as well as his historical and cultural position.
 
MUSI GU4102: Music and Writings of Wagner 3 pts.
W. Frisch
The development of Wagner's musical-dramatic style and critical thought, with special reference to The Flying Dutchman, Lohengrin, Die Walküre, Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal, as well as selected prose writings in translation.

PHIL UN2201: History of Philosophy II - Aquinas to Kant 4 pts.
J. Morrison.
Exposition and analysis of the positions of the major philosophers from Aquinas through Kant.
 
PHIL UN2301: History of Philosophy III - Kant to Nietzsche 4 pts.
Exposition and analysis of texts by Kant and major 19th-century European Philosophers.
 
PHIL UN3251: Kant 3 pts.
Explores the connections between theoretical and practical reason in Kant's thinking with special attention to the Critique of Pure Reason and the project of "transcendental" philosophy.
 
PHIL UN3264: 19th-Century Philosophy - Hegel 3 pts.
Prerequisite: At least one of PHIL UN2201, 2301, or 3251.
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.
 
PHIL UN3352: 20th-Century European Philosophy 3 pts.
Reading and discussion of Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Foucault. Topics include the crisis in metaphysics, the question of being, the structure of human existence, subjectivity, motivated irrationality, perception, the body, sociality, art, science, technology, and the disciplinary organization of modern society.
 
PHIL UN3353: European Social Philosophy 3 pts.
Prerequisites: One philosophy course or permission of the instructor.
Historical survey of European social philosophy from the 18th to the 20th century, with special attention to theories of capitalism and the normative concepts (freedom, alienation, human flourishing) that inform them. A further topic will be the relation between society and the state. Readings from Smith, Hegel, Marx, and Weber.
 
POLS UN3401: Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe 3 pts.
S. Berman
Prerequisites: A course in European history or comparative politics preferred but not necessary. Enrollment is limited to 70, including 20 incoming Barnard first-year students.
Examines the development of democracies and dictatorships in Europe from the French Revolution to the present day. Analyzes the nature and dynamics of European political history and uses 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.
 
POLS GU4428: European Political Development 4 pts.
S. Berman
Prerequisites: Course in European history or political science or relevant comparative politics courses.
This is an upper-level course in European political development. It is designed for undergraduates who already have some exposure to European history and politics and graduate students. The course will analyze important theoretical works, and debates about, the evolution of European political systems and institutions since the early modern period and place the European experience in comparative perspective
 
POLS GU4150: Crisis and Critique - The Frankfurt School 3 pts.
A. Gundogdu
The Institute of Social Research, founded in 1923 for the purposes of revitalizing Marxist studies in Germany and attached to the University of Frankfurt, became the source of what is now known as "the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory." This course centers on the writings of the key figures associated with the "first generation" of the Frankfurt School: Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Franz Neumann, Otto Kirchheimer, Friedrich Pollock, and Herbert Marcuse. In addition, it includes various background readings from thinkers whose works were key references for the critical theorists of the Frankfurt School: Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Max Weber, and György Lukács. The course takes the Holocaust as a turning point for the members of this group, as this event brought their conception of critical theory into a crisis, urged them to rethink their assumptions about the relationship between theory and practice, dampened their hopes for revolutionary social change, and compelled them to undertake a much more radical critique of the Enlightenment. We will study the changing and divergent trajectories of critical theory by covering a wide range of material, including different perspectives on reason and rationality, the relationship between theory and practice, intertwinement of freedom and domination in modernity, and pathologies of mass society.