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History and English: Gods and Monsters

European History and Literature from the Renaissance to the Holocaust

  • London, Paris

Course Details

Preferred Majors for this Course: English, History, Humanities, Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, Art, Psychology, Mass Communications Scroll through any news source today and "proof" will abound that your deeply-held beliefs on life, self, love and faith are essentially monstrous to other people. (Ouch!) Rather than avoiding or cancelling these polemics, our course uses them as a jumping-off point to a deep exploration on how poetry, art and culture have asserted competing claims about truth and trauma for centuries. Gods and Monsters invites you on the intellectual ride of a lifetime. Using a team-taught format that bridges together the disciplines of English and History, our class explores the heart of both London and Paris to understand how the competing poetics and politics of "truth" have battled mightily with each other from the Anglo-Saxon past to our own era. Our mobile class sessions will include sites of deep literary, historic and spiritual meaning. We'll move through time and space from Westminster Abbey, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to the British Museum. And then in France from the Louvre to the Catacombs of Paris and onto trauma sites from both World War One and Two. Our course materials will use literature, architecture and visual art to explore the most basically human of all questions: how do we build, sustain and modify what we take as sacred truths? And as a critical counterpoint: how and where do we reach agreement at key historic junctures on what we can call brutish, profane, low or wrong? 3 credit hours in either History or English. This course is team taught. (All Catalyst courses meet for 54 hours of contact, so if your university runs its courses on a 4 hour format instead of a three hour one this course may be able to count for 4 hours. You should consult with your advisor.)

Contact Details


416 Laurel Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55102

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