Monthly Archives: February 2011

Thursday (HUM303)

I looked over the writing assignments completed in class today. Here’s a couple of things:

1. Virtually without exception people were satisfied with the group work. We’ll make it a permanent component of class, though of course we won’t be doing it every day. For instance on Tuesday, we’ll be getting into the historical context of Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship. If, as I suggested, you screened the short documentary Life During the Early Years of Napoleon’s Reign then you’re already ahead of the game. That suggestion was made in order to compensate for the cancellation of class on Tuesday.

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Cancellation (HUM303)

I have to cancel class this Tuesday, Feb. 15. My apologies. So that we don’t lose the thread altogether, go to the library page– — and click on the link Films on Demand. If you’re off campus you’ll need to sign in. Do a title search for Life During the Early Years of Napoleon’s Reign. This short documentary will give you a sense of the social and historical context of the period when Goethe wrote Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship. Unless I take a turn for the worse, we’ll have class as planned on Thursday. And I’ll leave you with this, a quote from the first volume of Eric Hobsbawm’s history of the Long 19th Century (another periodization!) which treats the years 1789-1848 in Europe:

“If a single misleading sentence is to sum up the relations of artist and society in this era, we might say that the French Revolution inspired him by its example, the Industrial Revolution by its horror, and the bourgeois society, which emerged from both, transformed his very existence and modes of creation” (The Age of Revolution 255).

The Period and the Subject (HUM303)

I looked over the surveys and the quizzes, though I’ve yet to grade the latter. I realize I could have been more explicit about my expectations for the identification section and so I’ll probably be grading more generously than usual for this first pop quiz. I think of “identification” in its obvious meaning– what text did this come from/ who said it/ etc.– but also as an opportunity to synthesize information. Making the connections is crucial.

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