LS 800: Reflections on Reason and Passion I
The Making of the Modern

Fall 2018  | Dr. Sasha Colby

Course Description

How did we get here? This is a question asked with various inflections, from the wondering to the incredulous in a time often accused of being fixated on the ‘perpetual present.’ There are many roads to the modern, some of which will be explored in 800 and some in 801. This semester, we will focus on the influence of the ancient Greeks, ancient eastern thought, and nineteenth century England, Europe, and North America as major influences that shaped the emergence of modernity. In turn, we will also examine how these influences have been re-interpreted in our own ‘post-modern’ moment. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to engage critically and creatively in analyzing and responding to the readings. In order to create effective comparisons across time and space, we will use the themes of ‘reason and passion’ to shape our survey.

Required readings

  • Antigone Sophocles (Trans. Braun), ISBN 019506167
  • Death in Venice Mann, ISBN 0679722068 
  • Love is a Stranger Rumi, ISBN 978-1-57062-527-5
  • Phaedrus Plato, ISBN 0140449744 
  • Poetry Sappho, ISBN 0-87220-591-6
  • The Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels, ISBN 1551113333
  • Things Fall Apart Achebe, ISBN 0385667833
  • The Autobiography of Red Carson, ISBN 0224059734
  • The Medea Euripides (Trans. Collier), ISBN 0195145666
  • The Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels, ISBN 9780199535712
  • Illuminations Benjamin, ISBN 0805202412
  • The Age of Innocence Wharton, ISBN 9780199540013
  • Dao Dei Jing Laozi (Trans. Henricks), ISBN 978-0345370990
  • The Flowers of Evil Baudelaire, ISBN 9780199535583
  • The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald, ISBN 9780199536405
  • Sexing the Cherry Winterson, ISBN 9780676973488
  • The Rez Sisters Highway, ISBN 9780920079447
  • All that is Solid Melts into Air Berman, ISBN 9780140109627

Online texts: