History of Art 260: Botticelli – The Making of a Renaissance Artist

Instructor: Professor Henrike C. Lange

This graduate seminar opens a wide historiographic panorama on Botticelli’s life and works from his time to the present day. Following the participants’ interests, we will focus with increasing intensity on the nineteenth-century making of Botticelli (Pater, Ruskin, the Pre-Raphaelites), on the early modern sources (from the first anonymous notes to Vasari), and their reading in the late nineteenth century (Aby Warburg’s 1893 dissertation, Sandro Botticellis “Geburt der Venus” und “Frühling”) to the late twentieth century’s theoretical approaches to Botticelli’s intensely erotic, devastatingly beautiful, and at times likewise devastatingly violent imagery (Georges Didi-Huberman’s 1999 Ouvrir Vénus).

Comp Lit 258: Enlightenment and Critique

Instructor: Professor Vicky Kahn

Enlightenment notions of reason and critique have been at the center of contemporary theoretical debate about secularization, aesthetics, and democratic politics. In this course, we will trace these debates to some of the canonical texts of the European Enlightenment, focusing on the dialectic between Enlightenment reason and its others: madness, materialism, and religious enthusiasm. In addition, we will consider the relationship between Enlightenment and cosmopolitanism, as well as Enlightenment debates about gender, colonialism, and race. Beginning with Kant’s “What is Enlightenment?,” we will then turn to readings in Kant, Schiller, Mendelssohn, Rousseau, Diderot, D’Alembert, Gouge, Wollstonecraft, and Hegel. Modern readings in Foucault, Adorno, Horkheimer, Koselleck, Arendt, Rancière, and Scarry. Reading knowledge of French and/or German is useful but not required.