HISTART 342 - Reason and Passion in the 18th Century Europe
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: History of Art (HISTART)
Department: LSA History of Art
Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course examines and compares significant works of visual art, literature and philosophy produced in Europe during the eighteenth century. In the midst of radical changes in political institutions and social life, works of creative imagination such as paintings, novels and speculative essays helped to define and re-define the nature of “human nature.” Although sometimes called an age of reason, this was equally an age of feeling and belief, and rational approaches to the improvement of human life went hand in hand with confidence in the truth of the emotions. An experimental attitude charges much of the religious, political and philosophical writing of the period, and “thought experiments” of various kinds were carried out in the subject matter and technical innovations of engravings, paintings and architectural designs. As we shall see, the idea that individual liberty should not be constrained by established doctrine is a major feature of intellectual and artistic discourse in this period, and one that was closely associated with the idea that human beings are fundamentally creatures of nature, subject to the laws of physics and driven by passions and appetites. Readings include philosophical tracts, novels, poetry, and art criticism by Winckelmann, Diderot and others. We will study paintings by Boucher, Fragonard, Greuze, Chardin, Joseph Wright, Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun and Angelica Kauffman, among others.

4. Modern and Contemporary

  • Descartes, René, Discourse on Method and Related Writings, trans. Desmond M. Clark, Penguin Books, 1999.
  • Defoe, Daniel, Robinson Crusoe, ed. John Richetti, Penguin Books, 2001.
  • Pope, Alexander, Essay on Man and Other Poems, Dover Publications, 1994.
  • Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, A Discourse on Inequality, trans. Maurice Cranston, Penguin Books, 1984.
  • Voltaire, Candide and Other Stories, trans. Roger Pearson, Oxford University Press, 1998..
  • Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, The Sorrows of Young Werther, trans. Michael Hulse, Penguin Books, 1989.
  • Wollstonecraft, Mary, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, revised ed., Penguin Books, 2004.
  • Shelley, Mary, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, Penguin Books, 1992.
  • Outram, Dorinda, The Enlightenment, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Course Requirements:

2 short papers; 2 slide-essay exams; 1 term paper (10 to 15 pages)

Intended Audience:

upper-level undergraduates

Class Format:

seminar, meets 1 ½ hours twice per week

HISTART 342 - Reason and Passion in the 18th Century Europe
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

There will be no coursepack to purchase for this course
ISBN: 0141441259
A vindication of the rights of woman, Author: Mary Wollstonecraft ; ed. with an introd. and notes by Miriam Brody., Publisher: Penguin books Rev. ed. 2004
ISBN: 0141439823
Robinson Crusoe, Author: Daniel Defoe ; edited with an introduction and notes by John Richetti., Publisher: Penguin books Ed. 2001, 2001
ISBN: 0486280535
Essay on man and other poems, Author: Alexander Pope., Publisher: Dover Publications 1994
ISBN: 0140444394
A discourse on inequality, Author: Jean-Jacques Rousseau ; translated with an introduction and notes by Maurice Cranston., Publisher: Penguin Books Repr., new 1984
ISBN: 9780192834263
Candide and other stories, Author: Voltaire ; translated, with an introduction and notes, by Roger Pearson., Publisher: Oxford University Press 1998
ISBN: 014044503X
The stories of young Werther, Author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ; translated with an introduction and notes by Michael Hulse., Publisher: Penguin 1989
ISBN: 9780141439471
Frankenstein : or the modern Prometheus, Author: Mary Shelley. Ed ; with an introduction and notes by Maurice Hindle., Publisher: Penguin Books Rev. ed. 2003
ISBN: 9781107636576
Enlightenment., Author: Dorinda Outram., Publisher: Cambridge University Press Third edit 2013
ISBN: 0140446990
Discourse on method, and related writings, Author: Rene Descartes ; translated with an introduction by Desmond M. Clarke., Publisher: Penguin Books Reprinted. 1999
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