Oct 27, 2020  
2015-2016 Academic Catalog 
2015-2016 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

HUM 195-02 - Introductory Special Topic: Tolerance and Intolerance: What is Enlightenment Today?

4 credits (Spring)
Contemporary Europe seems to be facing a new wave of intolerance: religious extremism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and outbreaks of violence against people of different beliefs and cultures. Some have compared the violence to the Religious Wars of the sixteenth century. Others have called for a renewed commitment to the Enlightenment values of the eighteenth century. In this first-year seminar, we will look at the history of intolerance in Europe, with a particular focus on Germany and France, beginning with the Reformation and continuing to the present. We will consider the arguments articulated in favor of tolerance by writers like Montaigne, Locke, Voltaire, Kant and  Mendelsohn. We will look at how concepts of nation, race, ethnicity, secularism, and language continue to shape today’s debates, such as those about immigration, the headscarf, and Charlie Hebdo. We will also consider the differences and similarities between Western Europe and the United States. Our goal is to try to understand the opportunities, as well as the dilemmas, that face societies that have a hetergeneous population. At the end of the semester, the students will travel with instructors to sites in France, Germany, and Austria to gain more in-depth knowledge of these issues.

Prerequisite: First-year standing.
Instructor: Reynolds, Harrison