Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2012
Coordinator(s)Dr Natalie Doyle


Previously coded EUR2090


This subject reflects on European cultural and intellectual life from the 1880s to the start of the Second World War and its relationship to European experiences of violence. It starts by examining the crisis of liberalism (1880-1914) and its cultural expressions in philosophy and art. It discusses the advent of nationalism, imperialism, total war as well as the intellectual roots and cultural manifestations of left and right totalitarianisms (Fascism, Nazism, Stalinism). It introduces Nietzsche, Freud and the notions of will, power, subconscious, art for art's sake, modernist art, revolutionary art, revolutionary vanguard, race, masses. Students read texts representative of the period (philosophical, literary, sociological, political), as well as later analyses (Arendt, Primo Levi, Solzhenitsyn).


On completion of this subject students should:

  1. Have a familiarity with, and an understanding of, significant features of Europe's cultural and intellectual development in the twentieth century.
  2. Have an understanding of, and an ability to apply, key terms and concepts relevant to the culture and intellectual life of the period.
  3. Be familiar with, and able to discuss, representative texts of the period, both expository and aesthetic.
  4. Be able to demonstrate competence in the following skills:
    1. obtaining access to source materials and secondary writings through the library and other resources;
    2. writing (including planning, arguing on the basis of evidence, and documenting);
    3. analysis and interpretation of cultural texts, including the application of appropriate terms and concepts for the discussion of content, form, and cultural and historical context;
    4. oral presentation of information and argument based on guided and independent reading;
    5. discussion of texts and oral presentations;
    6. assimilation of information and opinion from various sources for purposes of forming independent judgments;
    7. team work. In addition, students taking the subject at third-year level should have some knowledge of different schools of thought concerning the ideas and cultural phenomena treated in the subject.


Minor Essay(1000 words): 15%
End of semester essay(2000 words): 40%
Class presentation(500 words): 5%
1 x 2 Hour examination(1000 words): 40%

Contact hours

One 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

International studies
European and European Union studies