PERSPECTIVES ON MODERNITY II: MODELS OF CULTURAL HISTORY

After a brief analysis of Cultural, Material and Intellectual History, this course of lectures considers the various perspectives from which any body of cultural specificity can be seen as at the same time a oneness and a set of smaller, yet not lateral, cultural components. I focus on the well-documented discussion of ultramundane spaces which feature in various cultures and certainly constitute foundational pieces of Western identity: Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. To these general considerations are appended illustrations (textual and visual) of the spaces of the mind in which we have legitimated ourselves collectively or just individually in time.

Course instructor: Prof. Mihaela Irimia

SCHEDULE

Week 1: WHAT IS CULTURAL HISTORY?

Reading: Burke, Peter, What Is Cultural History?, 2004, 1-30

Week 2: TOWARDS A NEW DISCIPLINE

Reading: Kelley, Donald, ‘The Old cultural History’, History of the Human Sciences, 1996, Vol. 9, No. 3, 101-126

Week 3: CULTURAL HISTORY

Reading: Elias, Norbert, ‘On the Sociogenesis of the Concepts of “Civilization” and “Culture”, in Elias, N., The Civilizing Process, 2000, 3-40

Week 4: CULTURAL HISTORY IN ANTHROPO-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE

Reading: Burke, Peter, ‘The Moment of Historical Anthropology’, in Burke, P., What Is Cultural History, 2004, 30-48

Week 5: MATERIAL CULTURE: IMAGES

Reading: Burke, Peter, Eyewitnessing: The Uses of Images as Historical evidence, London, 2001, 81-102

Weeks 6-7: MENTALITIES: HELL

Reading: Minois, Georges, Istoria infernurilor, Bucuresti, 1998, 11-32, 54-70, 71-87

Weeks 8-9: MENTALITIES: PURGATORY

Reading: Le Goff, Jacques, Nasterea Purgatoriului, Bucuresti, Vol. 2, 191-157

Weeks 10-11: MENTALITIES: PARADISE

Reading: Delumeau, Jean, Gradina desfatarilor – O istorie a Paradisului, Bucuresti, 1997 24-36, 86-102

Week 12: THE NEW PARADIG OF MATERIAL CULTURE

Reading: Elias, Norbert, The Civilizing Process, 2000, 365-380

Weeks 13-14: Revision and discussion of essay topics

REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION

  • A minimum of 50% attendance
  • Participation in class discussions, counting for 25% of the final mark
  • An end-of-term written essay or written test, counting for 75% of the final mark