European Thought and Culture in the 20th Century

Bo-Mi ChoiJuly 15 – July 264 ECTS credits


This course introduces students to three major centers of 20th-century European thought: Fin-de-Siècle Vienna, the Weimar Republic, and Left Bank Paris. Students will learn the intellectual and cultural history of major ideas that shape our thinking to this day such as Viennese Modernism, the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, and French existentialism. The course follows a chronological order from the turn of the century, World War I and the interim war period to World War II and its aftermath, focusing on the rise of National Socialism and decolonization in the context of the Algerian Revolution.

Course objectives:

  • Introduce students to the most important cultural movements and philosophical ideas from the first half of the 20th century in Europe
  • Teach students to understand these concepts within their historical and cultural contexts
  • Enable them to make conceptual links between the various cultural movements and modes of thinking
  • Familiarize them with the richness, depth and passion of European thinkers during one of the most cataclysmic historical time periods on the continent

Requirements: Regular attendance (25% of the final  grade), readings and active participation  (25%), an oral presentation (25%), and a short essay (25%).