The Twentieth Century, Part II:
1945 to 1999.
In some ways, this course continues last semester’s Humanities 513, which examined selected topics in the first half of the twentieth century in the arts, philosophy, literature, and science. In this course, we follow the same structure of lectures and small-group discussions. We are studying the second half of the century in which we live, trying to get a sense of its meaning as we approach its close. The semester is divided into three blocks of lectures, and each of the four disciplines is discussed in each block. The blocks are: World War II and the Holocaust, The Culture of the Cold-War Era, and Postmodernism and the Contemporary World.
Lectures: T R 9.40-11.00 (Paul Creative Arts
Discussions sections: R 2.10-3.00
Professor Emison (515A) (PCAC A202),
Professor Ferber (515B) (Hamilton Smith 141),
Professor Golinski (515C) (Hamilton Smith 218),
Professor Witt (515D) (Murkland 305).
Required texts (available from the UNH Bookstore and Durham Book
Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem.
Samuel Beckett, Endgame.
James D. Watson, The Double Helix.
John Casti, The Cambridge Quintet.
Bruno Latour, Science in Action.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Edward Lucie-Smith, Movements in Art Since 1945.
There is also a Course Reader containing required readings for the course.
Participation in section discussion is expected and assessed at the discretion of the instructor. All students complete two papers, assigned by section instructor, and three in-class tests.
I: World War II and the Holocaust.
19 Jan: Introduction to WWII and the Holocaust (Golinski)
21, 26, 28 Jan: Arendt and the Holocaust, Sartre and Beauvoir (Witt).
2, 4 Feb: Celan and Beckett (Ferber).
9 Feb: Development of the atomic bomb (Golinski)
11, 16, 18 Feb: Postwar art movements (Emison)
23 Feb: Test #1
II: Culture of the Cold-War Era.
25 Feb, 2, 4 Mar: Sciences of information and life: Turing, DNA, and the genome (Golinski)
9, 11 Mar: Heidegger and criticism of technology (Witt).
23, 25, 30 Mar: Structural linguistics and literature: Saussure, Chomsky, Barthes (Ferber)
1, 6 Apr: The Americanization of Art (Emison)
8 Apr: Test #2
III: Postmodernism and the Contemporary World.
13, 15 Apr: Postmodernism and its Critics (Witt)
20, 22 Apr: Postmodernism and Science: Foucault, Latour (Golinski)
27, 29 Apr: The “marvelous real”: Marquez (Ferber)
4, 6 May: Postmodernism and Controversies in Contemporary Art (Emison)
Final exam slot: Test #3.