TALES FROM EUROPE CENTRAL (CL2059)

The end of the Cold War raised numerous questions concerning the boundaries of what had once been known as Mitteleuropa—a large swath of territory at the geographic heart of Europe, much of which belonged to the multi-ethnic Habsburg Empire before World War I. For writers like Milan Kundera, “Eastern Europe” was a misnomer when used to refer to nations such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland, whose cultural heritage, during previous centuries, had been intimately bound to that of their western neighbors. In this course, we explore how the shared cultural legacy of this extraordinarily diverse region—diverse in its ethnicities, religions and languages—manifests in its literature. Topics discussed include history, black humor, music, irony, sexuality, the rise of ethnic nationalism, the fate of the region’s Jews, and the legacies of both the Holocaust and Soviet control. We also consider the dissemination of modernity in "peripheral" cities such as Warsaw, Budapest or Zurich. A study trip to Vienna includes visits to legendary cafes, museums, and concert halls. This course may additionally feature guest appearances by authors and translators (in person or by Skype), as well as cinematic representations of themes explored in assigned texts.

Code: 
CL2059
Name: 
TALES FROM EUROPE CENTRAL
Discipline: 
CL (Comparative Literature)
Type: 
GE100
Level: 
Undergraduate
Credits: 
4
Can be taken twice for credit?: 
No
Pre-requisites: 
None
Co-requisites: 
None