About this Course
This course examines how the idea of "the modern" develops at the end of the 18th century in European philosophy and literature, and how being modern (or progressive, or hip) became one of the crucial criteria for understanding and evaluating cultural change. Are we still in modernity, or have we moved beyond the modern to the postmodern?
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100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Clock

Approx. 17 hours to complete

Suggested: 3-5 hours/week
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English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Clock

Approx. 17 hours to complete

Suggested: 3-5 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
20 minutes to complete

Course Pages

“The Modern and the Postmodern Part I” covers the first half of a full semester course on European history, literature and philosophy. We begin with Immanuel Kant and Jean Jacques Rousseau and conclude with Friedrich Nietzsche and Charles Baudelaire and a very quick look at painting at the time they wrote. Although in the final week themes of postmodernism begin to emerge, a discussion of how modernism becomes postmodernism is at the heart of Part II of this course....
Reading
2 readings
Reading2 readings
Syllabus10m
Course Logistics10m
Clock
1 hour to complete

Philosophy, Modernity, and Intellectual History

Why is philosophy relevant to modernity? Through reading Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant, we examine philosophy as a reflection on modernity and progress....
Reading
2 videos (Total 24 min), 1 reading
Video2 videos
Philosophy, Modernity, and Intellectual History II9m
Reading1 readings
Philosophy and Modernity -- Kant10m

2

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

What is Enlightenment?

Using Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, we study how the pursuit of knowledge is related to the politics of inequality....
Reading
4 videos (Total 61 min), 1 reading
Video4 videos
What is Enlightenment? II15m
What is Enlightenment? III14m
What is Enlightenment? IV16m
Reading1 readings
What is Enlightenment?--Rousseau10m

3

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

From Enlightenment to Revolution

Karl Marx is our focus here as we move from a consideration of ideas to a confrontation with alienation, class struggle and revolution....
Reading
5 videos (Total 60 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
From Enlightenment to Revolution II12m
From Enlightenment to Revolution III9m
From Enlightenment to Revolution IV12m
From Enlightenment to Revolution V13m
Reading1 readings
From Enlightenment to Revolution--Marx10m

4

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Modernism and Art for Art's Sake

We read Flaubert’s Madame Bovary as a reflection on convention, stupidity and art in the wake of the failures of mid-19th century revolution....
Reading
4 videos (Total 59 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Modernism and Art for Art's Sake II14m
Modernism and Art for Art's Sake III14m
Modernism and Art for Art's Sake IV17m
Reading1 readings
Modernism and Art for Art's Sake--Flaubert10m

5

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Re-imagining the World

We situate Charles Darwin’s great achievement in the context of the English Enlightenment traditions and reimaging the world without a goal for change....
Reading
4 videos (Total 65 min), 1 reading
Video4 videos
Re-imagining the World II15m
Re-imagining the World III18m
Re-imagining the World IV17m
Reading1 readings
Re-imagining the World--Darwin10m

6

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

From Struggle to Intensity

Through an examination of Charles Baudelaire and Friedrich Nietzsche, we focus on an aesthetic embrace of intensity instead of search for the “really real.”...
Reading
6 videos (Total 87 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
From Struggle to Intensity II14m
From Struggle to Intensity III15m
From Struggle to Intensity IV11m
From Struggle to Intensity V13m
From Struggle to Intensity VI17m
Reading1 readings
From Struggle to Intensity--Baudelaire and Nietzsche10m

7

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Paintings

A Quick Survey of how advanced painting moved toward a consideration of the surface of the canvas and away from a quest for the most realistic representation of the world....
Reading
2 videos (Total 36 min)
Video2 videos
Paintings II20m
4.8

Top Reviews

By NMJan 8th 2016

One of the best professors i've ever come across! If the teacher is so passionate about the subject material as well as conveying the ideas, the course will be excellent. This is one of those courses.

By ARDec 25th 2017

I Like How Professor Roth remains objective throughout the course without letting his personal opinions hindering his teaching in any way.Enjoyed the course Very much!Highly recommend.

Instructor

About Wesleyan University

At Wesleyan, distinguished scholar-teachers work closely with students, taking advantage of fluidity among disciplines to explore the world with a variety of tools. The university seeks to build a diverse, energetic community of students, faculty, and staff who think critically and creatively and who value independence of mind and generosity of spirit. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

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