The Modern and the Postmodern (Part 1)
list 7 sequences
assignment Level : Introductive
label History
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
language Subtitles : Spanish
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Key information

credit_card Free access
verified_user Fee-based Certificate
timer 21 hours in total

About the content

This course examines how the idea of "the modern" develops at the end of the 18th century in European philosophy and literature, and how being modern (or progressive, or hip) became one of the crucial criteria for understanding and evaluating cultural change. Are we still in modernity, or have we moved beyond the modern to the postmodern?

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Syllabus

  • Week 1 - Course Pages
    “The Modern and the Postmodern Part I” covers the first half of a full semester course on European history, literature and philosophy. We begin with Immanuel Kant and Jean Jacques Rousseau and conclude with Friedrich Nietzsche and Charles Baudelaire and a ver...
  • Week 1 - Philosophy, Modernity, and Intellectual History
    Why is philosophy relevant to modernity? Through reading Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant, we examine philosophy as a reflection on modernity and progress.
  • Week 2 - What is Enlightenment?
    Using Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, we study how the pursuit of knowledge is related to the politics of inequality.
  • Week 3 - From Enlightenment to Revolution
    Karl Marx is our focus here as we move from a consideration of ideas to a confrontation with alienation, class struggle and revolution.
  • Week 4 - Modernism and Art for Art's Sake
    We read Flaubert’s Madame Bovary as a reflection on convention, stupidity and art in the wake of the failures of mid-19th century revolution.
  • Week 5 - Re-imagining the World
    We situate Charles Darwin’s great achievement in the context of the English Enlightenment traditions and reimaging the world without a goal for change.
  • Week 6 - From Struggle to Intensity
    Through an examination of Charles Baudelaire and Friedrich Nietzsche, we focus on an aesthetic embrace of intensity instead of search for the “really real.”
  • Week 7 - Paintings
    A Quick Survey of how advanced painting moved toward a consideration of the surface of the canvas and away from a quest for the most realistic representation of the world.
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Instructors

Michael S. Roth

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Wesleyan University
At Wesleyan, distinguished scholar-teachers work closely with students, taking advantage of fluidity among disciplines to explore the world with a variety of tools. The university seeks to build a diverse, energetic community of students, faculty, and staff who think critically and creatively and who value independence of mind and generosity of spirit.
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Coursera

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Coursera works with top universities and organizations to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in many subjects, including: physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science, and other subjects.

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