The interesting stuff >> About teaching on Renaissance intellectual history >> Berlin: summer course on Montaigne

Message started by hck on 07.04.2009 at 08:31:20

Title: Berlin: summer course on Montaigne
Post by hck on 07.04.2009 at 08:31:20

I received the following text via H-IDEAS:

(Please circulate widely & apologies for cross-postings)

Some of your undergraduate students may be interested in the following
Summer School opportunity:

European College of Liberal Arts Berlin


International Summer University

The 2009 Theme: Montaigne and the Making of the Modern Self


The International Summer University, ECLA's first programme, has existed
since 2000. Each year it has been developed with a new or revised
curriculum. The theme for the 2009 ISU is “Montaigne and the Making of the
Modern Self”. Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) was one of the most noted and
influential writers of the French Renaissance. In his famous work, Essays,
Montaigne invents the essay as a modern form of individual self-reflection.
During the six week programme, students and faculty will explore how a new image
of the modern self emerges from Montaigne’s Essays and investigate the impact
of Montaigne's moral, religious, cultural and political ideals on our
understanding of the modern self. Each week, readings and discussion will be
organized around a general topic related to Montaigne's Essays, including the
birth of the modern self in Renaissance Europe, the discovery of the New World
and its consequences for the self-understanding of European cultures,
Montaigne’s criticism of human presumption and pride as root causes of the
Wars of Religion in 16th century France, the relation between morality and
politics in modern statecraft, and the place of pleasure, friendship and
sexuality as well as death in the care of the self. Along with Montaigne’s
Essays, students will study a variety of philosophical, literary, and historical
texts, including Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Machiavelli’s The Prince,
Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals, and Dostoevsky’s Notes from
Underground. Films and museum visits will complement the readings.

The six-week long Summer University begins on July 6th 2008 and ends on
August 14th 2009.

Deadline for applications: April 15th 2008 (date of arrival at ECLA)

Info on how to apply:


Info on financial aid:


Here is the 2009 Curriculum:

Week #1 – Care of the Self
Montaigne, That to Philosophize is to Learn How to Die/ Of Experience
Seneca, Brevity of Life
Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Films: Bergman, The Seventh Seal; Kurosawa, Ikiru

Week #2 –Presumption, Pride and the Skeptic Self
Montaigne, Apology of Raymond Sebond (excerpt)
Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Locke, Letter Concerning Toleration
Films: Dreyer, The Passion of Joan of Arc; Kieslowski, Decalogue I

Week #3– Politics and the Self
Montaigne, On the Useful and the Honorable
Machiavelli, The Prince
Shakespeare, Hamlet
Films: Kurosawa, Throne of Blood; Paolo Sorrentino, Il Divo

Week # 4 – Cruelty of the Self
Montaigne, Of Cruelty
Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals (Part II)
Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground
Films: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund, City of God; Herzog, Woyzeck

Week #5 – The Self and the Other
Montaigne, Of the Cannibals
Clastres, Society against the State
Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Films: Coppola, Apocalypse Now; Haneke, Cache; Paul Leduc, Ethnocide

Week #6 – Pleasures of the Self – Love, Friendship and Sexuality
Montaigne, Of Friendship
Mann, Death in Venice
Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle
Films: Fellini, La Strada; Satyajit Ray, Song of the Little Road

IMO: It's a rather, well, ahem, to say the least, ahem, unusual programme for a course on Montaigne ... .

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