Modern European Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Modern European Studies Minor - UMass

Modern European Studies Minor - UMass | Modern European Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst | Scoop.it

The aim of the Modern European Studies Program is to promote knowledge of the unique languages, cultures, and histories of contemporary European societies. We sponsor lectures and events relating to European studies and offer an interdisciplinary 15 credit minor open to all formally enrolled undergraduates, regardless of their major.

 

What is a Modern European Studies minor?

This is a self designed minor. You have the freedom to combine courses from more than one department to design a minor in contemporary Europe that suits your special interests. Use this minor to study two or more European countries from various perspectives: art, history, business, politics, or language. Combine courses in any way you like to develop your own focus.


 

An MES minor will show prospective employers that you have some of the skills it takes to work in an increasingly globalized world. It can be a valuable addition to your major when it comes time to apply to professional or graduate schools, or when seeking employment in international service or business.


If you have gone to Europe on study abroad, this minor may be perfect for you.    Many credits earned in study abroad count towards the MES minor. You can also fulfill the minor easily with courses offered at UMass and the Five Colleges.  See the “Credits and Requirements” for more details. 

 

Interested? Please contact the Director about application

Professor Jacqueline Urla
Department of Anthropology
Machmer 208
413.545.2869
jurla@anthro.umass.edu

 

More information on requirements: http://www.umass.edu/mes/

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Portuguese 315 Portuguese Civilization.    Mapping the Portuguese-speaking Cultures: Portugal and Africa

This course is an introduction to the cultures of Portugal and Lusophone Africa, focusing on works by a diverse group of artists who engage with important issues of our time, ranging from racial and economic injustice to changing gender roles, to the unhealed wounds of war, dictatorship, colonialism, and decolonization. The class is conducted in Portuguese and is designed for advanced students of the language. No specific prior knowledge of the history or culture of Portugal or Lusophone Africa is presumed. PREREQUISITE: Portuguese 240 or consent of instructor.

 In PORTUG 315 , students will learn to read, analyze, and discuss literary works, visual arts, performance, music and cinema in Portuguese, and gain a general knowledge of the recent history of Portugal and Lusophone Africa. This course does not provide direct instruction in grammar, but offers extensive opportunities for students to make increasingly sophisticated use of the fundamental linguistic skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.Empty description

Professor Patricia Martinho Ferreira
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HIstory 349H Sex & Society in Modern Europe

This course examines the social organization and cultural construction of gender and sexuality. We will look at how women and men experienced the dramatic changes that have affected Europe since 1789 and consider how much these developments were themselves influenced by ideas about masculinity and femininity. We will explore topics such as revolutionary definitions of citizenship; changing patterns of work and family life; fin-de-siècle links between crime, madness, and sexual perversion; the fascist cult of the body; battle grounds and home fronts during the world wars; gendered aspects of nationalism and European colonialism, and the sexual revolution of the post-war era. As an honors course, the class will include a lot of reading independent research, and oral presentations.
Professor J. Heuer MW 4:00-5:15
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HIstory 141. European History 1815-present

MW 10:10-11:00 (plus discussion) The course covers industrialism, liberalism, socialism, the unifications of Italy and Germany, political and social change, imperialism, the Russian Revolution, the two world wars, and postwar trends. Professor Jon Olsen.
This course fulfills the HS Gen Ed requirement. 4 credits.

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German 363  Witches: Myth and Reality.  (Gen Ed DG)

Prof. Kerstin Mueller Dembling
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German 323  Modern German History (Gen Ed DG, HS)

Professor Andrew Donson
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Film Studies 320  Jewish Humor. (Gen. Ed. AT, DG)  

What part does humor play in Jewish culture? This course examines Jewish humor in literature, folklore, film, TV, and stand-up comedy. Topics include: the origins of modern Jewish humor, Yiddish satire and comedy, Jewish role in popular culture in the US, Europe, and Israel, and the relationship of Jewish humor to antisemitism
Prof. Olga Gershonson
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French 350: French Film (GenEd: AT). 4 credits

Food matters in many French movies, when it comes to meals or simply cooking culture. Indeed, food speaks about French identity. We will focus on how food and meals reflect economic realities, national obsessions, behavioral conventions, and societal transformations. At the end of this course, which will introduce a variety of French food films of different genres dating from the 1930s to the present, you will be able to analyze films and their different genres as cultural products, identify the values transmitted within these works of art, and critically discuss films with the technical vocabulary of film analysis. NOTES: Course taught in English. Offered every fall semester.
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Check out Yiddish, Polish, Catalan & Swedish Language Courses!

UMass Amherst offers a wealth of opportunities to learn these languages.  

Elementary Yiddish courses are regularly offered at the Yiddish Book Center

 
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Advertise the MES Minor!!

If you are teaching a course on Europe or advising undergrads, take a moment to please let them know about our unique interdisciplinary minor. Put in on your syllabi or Moodle site. Tell them in office hours.

 

Help us spread the word!

 

Jackie Urla

Director, MES

 

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History: Western Thought Since 1600

History: Western Thought Since 1600 | Modern European Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst | Scoop.it
HISTORY 101 Western Thought Since 1600
Prof; Jennifer Heuer 4 credits, Gen Ed: HS 
Fall 2020  Taught Remotely. 

    What in the world is “Western Thought?” What does thought matter? In this class, we explore how and when ideas have power. We look at social, political, cultural, and intellectual forces that have shaped much of European history and areas affected by Europe. We explore how new ideas emerged, how they came to seem legitimate, and how they have been challenged. We also consider how the “West” can be defined and what those definitions mean for us. Our topics include absolutism and power of kings in the 17th century; the Scientific Revolution; the Enlightenment and the French Revolution; slavery and its legacies;; the social upheavals of the industrial revolution; changing ideas about gender; nationalism, imperialism; and the rise of mass politics; the First and Second World Wars; interwar ideologies and popular culture, and immigration and identity in postwar Europe.
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Portuguese 321. Introduction to Portuguese Literature. Short stories of the Lusophone world

Course Description This course will present an overview of representative Portuguese-language writers and the appropriate critical and theoretical vocabulary to address the specificity of the short story genre. It is organized according to chronological eras that are marked by distinct cultural and literary themes and movements. Some of the areas covered are Romanticism and Realism, Modernism(s), Neo-Realism, Feminism(s), Post-Colonialism, and new developments in the contemporary period. Conducted in Portuguese. PREREQUISITE: Portuguese 240 or consent of instructor. Aims & 

PORTUG 321 is designed to strengthen your reading skills in Portuguese, to introduce you to the wealth of creative writing in the Portuguese-speaking world (Portugal, Brazil, Lusophone Africa and Asia), and to give you the vocabulary to address the specificities of the short story genre. This course will offer extensive opportunities for you to make increasingly sophisticated use of your linguistic and analytical skills.
Professor Martinho-Ferreira
 

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History 316.  History of the U.S.S.R.

 This is the history of the USSR as a multi-national state. This course examines communist ideology, economic development, political terror, and the non-Russian nationalities. We will read primary sources, literature and interpretations of the Soviet experience. Grades are based on participation, in-class essays and one additional writing assignment on a book or set of articlesEmpty description
Professor Alstadt. TuTh 8:30-9:45

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Want to Learn German and be a scientist?

Take STEM German!  There are several one credit German language courses at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels offered. They meet once a week and focus on vocabulary and language tools specific to science and technology.  Great for preparing for  study abroad as well .  https://www.umass.edu/german/undergraduate-courses-german
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French 397N: Medicine in France: From Intrigues to Ethics and Universal Healthcare

Did you know that Louis XIV was responsible for surgery being recognized as a branch of medicine in France, and Napoleon was one of the first to encourage vaccination? That Marie Curie discovered radium, still used today to treat some forms of cancer, and philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau played a crucial role in the creation of pediatrics? In this course, you will discover all the medical oddities and feats that shaped today’s France. We will discuss the ethical questions that arose from such a rich history and how it led to a public healthcare system funded by the government (and taxes), covering all residents, regardless of their economic situation. The course will also prepare you to use French medical vocabulary in both everyday and professional situations. Through readings, field videos, debates and role-playing, you will acquire an extensive knowledge of the medical sphere in French. At the end of the semester, students who wish to do so will have the possibility to take the Diplôme de français professionnel Médical offered by the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Paris – a certification recognized in the United States. NOTES: Course taught in French. Pre-req: French 240 or the equivalent
Prof. Julie Roy.
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German 319.  Representing the Holocaust.

Taught in English.  Jonathan Skolnik
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French 384: Themes in French Intellectual and Literary History

Major contributions of French writers over the centuries to an exploration of the human condition. Focus on various aspects of the relations between such intellectual inquiry and the evolution of literary forms and genres. NOTES: Course taught in French. Offered every fall semester. PREREQUISITES: French 371, preferably 473, or permission of instructor. Prof. Eva Valenta
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French 280: Love & Sex in French Literature (Gen Ed AL. 4 credits)

Is love a French invention? How do we explore, through literature, the substance behind the stereotypical association of love, romance, and sexual pleasure with French culture? Do sex, passion and love always unite in the pursuit of emotional fulfillment in human relations, according to this literature? What affiliations does this literature interweave between such relations of love, requited or unrequited, and pleasure, enjoyment, freedom, self-empowerment, on the one hand, and on the other hand, suffering, jealousy, crime, violence, negativity, notions of perversion, morbidity, and even death? How are problems of gender roles and human sexuality—i.e. hetero-, bi-, homo- and other forms of sexuality—approached in this literature? What connections or conflicts are revealed in this literature between human love relationships and the social norms and conventions within which they occur, as well as the forms of political governance that have been practiced in France over the centuries? Those are some of the issues that are investigated in this course, which offers a broad historical overview of selective ways in which love, passion, desire and erotic behavior in French culture have been represented and understood in literature and, more recently, in film, from the middle ages to the twentieth century. Readings from major French authors drawn from various centuries such as Marie de France, Béroul, Molière, de Sade, Flaubert, Gide, and Duras will be supplemented with screenings of optional films that are based on those texts or are pertinent to them in important ways.
Course taught in English
 
Professor Patrick Mensah.    Fall 2020.  
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Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies UMass Amherst

Check out the virtual lectures being offered at the Institute this Fall!


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