Marcel Proust

HRS 166 -- The Modern Temper

California State University, Sacramento
Department of Humanities and Religious Studies 
College of Arts and Letters

Spring 2002




Virginia Woolf


Catalog Description: The Modern Temper: An investigation of those crises in art and society underlying the development of anti-humanism in the 20th century. 3 units. (Course listed in GE Area C4).

The course has no formal prerequisites, although a background in modern western humanities (HRS 11) is helpful.

HRS 166 is intended primarily for HRS majors, for students from other majors interested in the evolution of western culture in the early 20th century, and for students wishing to take a course earning credit in GE Area C4.

The course focuses on the arts and humanities in Europe from about the 1880's until about the origin of World War II (1940).  It works on the assumption that the arts and humanities reflect the history of the West in this period: urbanization, industrialization, anti-rationalism, world wars and other crises engender a sense of uncertainty, multinamity, experimentation and a rejection of the canons of the arts and humanities in the West.

The course focuses on literature, painting, music and a little architecture.  It includes most of the major national traditions in the west, and examines the ways in which the different manifestations of the humanities share common assumptions derived from the cultures of which they are a part.

Students will write three thought essays of about 1250-1500 words analyzing some of the major themes covered in class discussions.  There will also be two examinations focusing on identifications and short essays.


Richard Strauss


Einstein's Relativity

Instructor: George S. Craft

 More information is available on Dr. Craft's homepage. You may contact the instructor via e-mail at

Essay #1
Topics Sp2002

Thomas Mann


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