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Enlightenment's Ghosts
CHUM 340
Spring 2011
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: ENGL 340

The 18th century was long understood to be the Age of Reason, a time when the printing press and new sciences combined to roll back the clouds of superstition and religion. In recent years, however, the "myth" of the Enlightenment has come under attack, perhaps in recognition of the continuing importance of various forms of belief and "irrationality" in our own times. In this course we will ask a series of related questions: How might we explain the proliferation in the Enlightenment of various new forms of demonstrably nonrational cultural phenomena--magic shows, fashion, ghost stories, even the concept of "fiction" itself? On the other hand, why did experimental science--so rational to us--look so much like madness to 18th-century writers? More broadly, what forms of enchantment may be said to belong to modernity rather than the past?

Essential Capabilities: Interpretation, Writing
Students will be writing regular short response papers and a longer research paper in which they will be asked to interpret the literary and theoretical texts we read in class.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA CHUM
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUL-20-2024
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