History 280B/285B: Society and Politics in Early Modern England

Instructor: Professor Ethan Shagan

This course is an introduction for graduate students to society and politics in England, focused on the seventeenth century but more broadly covering the years 1500-1800. We will read recent secondary scholarship, almost entirely published since the year 2000 and much of it published in the last few years, in order to introduce students to current trends and debates in the field. My interest is particularly to problematize the traditional distinction between social history and political history, emphasizing that these fields have converged around issues of power, hierarchy, and the public maintenance of order.

Italian Studies 204: From Gramsci to Agamben: Philosophy, Politics and Italian Theory

Instructor: Professor Diego Pirillo

Is there an Italian Theory? What are its origins and the reasons for its popularity outside of Italy? Why do most of its protagonists, regardless of their philosophical positions, share a tense and troubled relationship with political (and religious) power? The seminar will address these and other questions and introduce students to the most important figures of modern and contemporary Italian thought. Readings will include not only Antonio Gramsci and Giorgio Agamben but a wide selection of classic authors, such as Benedetto Croce, Giovanni Gentile, Norberto Bobbio, Ernesto de Martino, Adriana Cavarero and Antonio Negri. Particular attention will be given to the Italian debate on the ‘political’ (borrowing the concept from Carl Schmitt) and to the relationship between theory and politics that marked Italian philosophy from Fascism to the cold war era until today.

French 201: History of the French Language

Instructor: Professor Mairi McLaughlin

This course covers the history of the French language from its Latin roots through to contemporary usage. Both internal and external history will be considered so that students acquire a firm grounding in the linguistic evolution of the language, coupled with an understanding of its development in relation to a range of social and cultural phenomena. The course will be structured around our analysis of the wide range of texts from different genres presented by Ayres-Bennett (1996) and which date from 842 CE to the present day. We will use the relatively new historical sociolinguistic approach to try to capture what Anthony Lodge (2009) has called “une image multidimensionnelle de la langue du passé”.

French 230: Romances and Novels

Instructor: Professor Paige

Romance vs. novel. It's one of the most basic distinctions in literary history, and it goes back a good 350 years: the old, obsolete form is replaced by the modern. But is the narrative sound? We'll be reading a selection of classic and recent criticism on the topic and five celebrated works that may or may not document the transition from romance to novel: d'Urfé's L'Astrée, Sorel’s Francion, Scarron's Le Roman comique, and two works by Lafayette, Zayde and La Princesse de Clèves. All primary and most secondary works will be available in English for those who need the option.