COMP 314
Enlightenment and its Discontents
Last Offered Spring 2011
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed COMP 314 / GERM 306
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

“Sapere Aude,” declared Immanuel Kant in his essay “What is Enlightenment?” (1784): “Have the courage to make use of your own capacity to reason.” Kant’s exhortation sums up the mood of the high Enlightenment, a trend in Western thought that gave birth to most of the ideals that we still hold dear: the primacy and universality of reason, the autonomy of the individual, the educative and restorative powers of the nuclear family. Today we are confronted daily with the tensions and gaps hidden inside Enlightenment thinking; in fact, the fissures in the edifice of the Enlightenment were subtly present from the beginning. This course will trace the development of Enlightenment assumptions through German literature and theory. Our reading will move through several stations of the development of Enlightenment thinking, from its most fervent proponents (Kant, Lessing), through those who put it to a severe test (Kleist, Hoffmann, B├╝chner), to the outright subversion of its premises (Nietzsche, Freud, Kafka). Readings and discussion in German for those who know German, in English for those who do not.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3602
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: 5-page papers or 2-page written commentaries every other week
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: for German students, GERM 201 or the equivalent; for non-German students, one college literature course; not open to first-year students, except with permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: German and Comparative Literature students
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 314 Division I GERM 306 Division I

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