Guided Studies Program: European Cultures

The Guided Studies Program is a special curriculum for talented, strongly motivated students in each entering class who wish to examine the evolution of Western European cultures through an integrated, interdisciplinary study of their history, literature, and thought from classical antiquity to the present. The program concentrates on the primary issues and modes of interpretation that have shaped European cultures and also introduces students to basic patterns of social, economic, and political development.

Courses in the humanities form the core of the program, but materials from other fields are also included to extend the range of the students’ understanding. The program consists of eight courses, arranged in a coherent sequence, plus a yearlong first-year student colloquium. (The colloquium is an integral part of the first-year Guided Studies courses but carries no separate academic credit.) Ordinarily, students complete Guided Studies in three semesters. Students may be granted permission, when appropriate, to distribute the courses over four or five semesters.

Guided Studies can accommodate approximately 20 students in each entering class. Admission is by invitation only. Invitations to become candidates for the program are sent to exceptionally well-qualified students accepted into the entering class at Trinity shortly after admissions notices are sent in March of each year. Applicants who do not receive an invitation but find Guided Studies appealing should make their interest known to the co-director of the program, Professor Chloe Wheatley, no later than the end of March. A small number of sophomores and juniors may also enter the program; those interested in doing so should make application to Professor Wheatley by March 15 of the academic year preceding their intended period of enrollment.

Fall Term

First Year Guided Studies Courses

121. Biblical Tradition— The Biblical world up to the beginnings of Christianity. The emergence of Israel and its life as a nation, the prophetic critique, Israel’s Exile and Reconstruction, the emergence of its scripture, and its foundation for Judaism and Christianity in the West. Only students in the Guided Studies Program are allowed to enroll in this course. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Young

211. Philosophical Themes in Western Culture— Through a careful study of some of the most important philosophers in the Western tradition, we shall examine some of the guiding questions that informed the development of this tradition. Our readings will include works by Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Simone de Beauvoir, as well as several others. Only students in the Guided Studies Program are allowed to enroll in this course. (FYR2) (Enrollment limited) –Ewegen

219. The Classical Tradition— A study of the interconnections between Greek and Roman history and culture, with a focus of reading literature and studying monuments with careful attention to their historical context and meaning for contemporaries. Only students in the Guided Studies programare allowed to enroll in this course. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Safran

Second Year Guided Studies Courses

243. Historical Patterns of European Development II— This course will examine the evolution of European society between 1700 and 1950 with particular attention to the impact of the French and Industrial Revolutions. Students will study not just the history but also the historiography of such vital questions as the origins of modern ideologies, the development of mass politics, imperialism and its causes, the impact of the Russian Revolution, and the course of the modern Thirty Years War (1914-1945). There will be extensive consideration of differences and similarities in the transition of various European states from “tradition” to “modernity.” Students will also examine the relevance of such terms as “totalitarianism” and “modernization” to historical study. Only students in the Guided Studies Program are allowed to enroll in this course. (GLB2) (Enrollment limited) –Kassow

253. Literary Patterns in European Development II— A study of the interaction of literature and history from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Topics will include literary dimensions of the Enlightenment; the historical implications of 18th-century social satire; the rise of the novel and its relationship to the development of the city and the middle classes; the effect of the French Revolution on literature; the influence of industrialism; the Romantic impulse; millennial expectations; and the alienation of the artist in modern culture. Only students in the Guided Studies Program are allowed to enroll in this course. (GLB2) (Enrollment limited) –Riggio

466. Teaching Assistant— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and his/her director are required for enrollment. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

Spring Term

First Year Guided Studies Courses

242. Historical Patterns of European Development I— A critical introduction to selected themes in the political, social and religious history of Europe during the Middle Ages. Issues to be discussed include: the nature of “feudal” society, the formation of the medieval state, with particular emphasis on the growth of law, the nature of kingship, and warfare. The course will also study conversion to Christianity, the evolution of Christian beliefs and practices, the history of the Papacy, European Christian contacts with the “Other,” including Jews, Muslims, heretics, and Byzantine Christians, the evolution of the medieval economy (rural life, trade, and towns), and the transition from a “medieval” to an “early modern” society. The course will be taught largely from primary source materials with supplementary readings in secondary scholarship. Only students in the Guided Studies Program are allowed to enroll in this course. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Elukin

252. Literary Patterns in European Development I— A study of medieval and Renaissance literature as they reflect cultural and historical developments. Topics will include the epic and romance of the feudal world, the Renaissance synthesis of the classical and Biblical, and the Copernican and scientific revolutions of the 17th century. Readings in Dante, Chaucer, Spenser, Donne, Jonson, Milton, and others. Only students in the Guided Studies Program are allowed to enroll in this course. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Fisher

Courses Originating in Other Departments

Religion 223. Major Religious Thinkers of the West: Heresy and Orthodoxy in Conflict— View course description in department listing on p. 814. This course is only open to Religion majors or Guided Studies students. –Jones Farmer