RCHUMS 291 - The Experience of Arts and Ideas in the Nineteenth Century
Fall 2022, Section 001 - The Arts and Social Change during the Century of Revolution
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: RC Humanities (RCHUMS)
Department: LSA Residential College
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


The nineteenth century was marked not only by revolutionary changes in society but also by artistic
revolution. By the beginning of the twentieth century the conventions of style and subject matter of
virtually every major art form – painting, music, dance, and literature – had been radically altered, and the
role of the artist in society had been radically redefined. This interdisciplinary course, open to all students,
will examine some of these changes and the interaction of art and social change by offering an
introduction to major movements in European art and cultural history of the nineteenth century –
Romanticism and Realism – by analyzing and comparing representative works of literature, painting,
music, and dance. Among works studied will be paintings by Delacroix, Courbet, Monet, Degas, and Van
Gogh, and The Wanderers, the writings by E.T.A. Hoffman, Emily Brontë, and Edith Wharton,
music of Beethoven, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, and Debussy, and ballets of Perrot and Bournonville. We’ll be
asking some of the following kinds of questions: What is the revolution of style and subject matter
brought about by Romantic art? How does it reflect changes in the society that produced it? How do the
fairytales of E. T. A. Hoffman, the ballet Giselle, and the Symphonie Fantastique of Berlioz reflect these
changes and the new attitude of the artist towards himself and his art? Can we compare the
revolution in the structure and subject matter of painting brought about by the Impressionist painters to
the revolution in form brought to music by Debussy? How do they reflect the growing
secularization of society brought about by scientific and political revolution? What can we learn about the
evolving view of women’s place in society by comparing the portrayal of women in paintings by Berthe Morisot and
Edouard Manet and the portrayals of women in the novels of Edith Wharton? This course is open to all
students. (LSA and otherwise) No previous experience necessary.

Intended Audience:

This course is open to all students. (LSA and otherwise) No previous experience necessary.


RCHUMS 291 - The Experience of Arts and Ideas in the Nineteenth Century
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM

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