Winter 2015 Quarter:

English 273: Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, and the Frankfurt School

Professor Susan Zieger

English 265: Global Voyages and Visions in the Long 19th Century

Professor Adriana Craciun

This interdisciplinary seminar explores “the global nineteenth century” as imagined through British and European writings, artworks, museums, collections, and exhibitions, in relation to encounters with indigenous people and their cultural productions. We will consider how key institutions and cultural forms produced distinct forms of “the global” in the long nineteenth century: long-distance scientific voyages of exploration, public museums, world exhibitions, travel literature and the novel, planetary sciences, and the slave trade. We will work on a metropolitan scale– considering the British Museum and Great Exhibition as contested global spaces and contact zones within London as world city (cosmopolis)– and on oceanic scales, looking at long-distance scientific voyages and long distance indigenous Oceanic voyagers and how their entanglements shaped the 19th century’s visions of the global. Alongside texts by well known writers like Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, Alexander von Humboldt, and Robert Louis Stevenson, we will consider cultural forms created by indigenous voyagers. Details at

Spring 2015 quarter:

HIST 240F : Documentary Source Study

Professor Randolph Head

This course provides an introduction to the scholarly handling of texts and other sources from early modern Europe, including books, inscriptions, manuscripts, archival documents, and images. We will discuss and practice the methodologies, tools, sources and the editing and use of texts in history. In addition, we will carry out analysis of archival structure and organization and of questions of document authorship, provenance, paleography, language and syntax, internal structure, and variant texts in historical research. This course is suitable for graduate students in History, English, Art History, Political Science, and Religious Studies whose research will involve material from early modern Europe; advanced undergraduates intending to pursue graduate studies on early modern Europe may also take the course with the instructor’s permission.


Eng 262 Seminar in Renaissance Literature: Edmund Spenser’s 1590 Faerie Queene

Prof. Heidi Brayman Hackel

Edmund Spenser’s 1590 Faerie Queene will occupy our attention for the term. We will read this great unfinished national epic romance in its earliest printed short, “closed” version, which consists of Books I, II, and III (Holinesse, Temperance, Chastity), in order to move slowly through the poem and explore it within a constellation of literary and historical texts, which may include Aristotle’s Et­hics, Virgil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Inferno, Arthurian romance, Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, and sixteenth-century pamphlets. We likely won’t be able to keep ourselves from thinking about Milton’s Paradise Lost and perhaps even Joyce’s Uly­sses along the way as well. This seminar is essential for early modernists and will engage students interested in religion, gender, sexuality, trauma, allusion, allegory, poetics, fantasy, and romance. Material and visual culture will frame our discussions, as will histories of the body and the book.