BA in European Cultural Studies Program By Brandeis University | Top Universities

BA in European Cultural Studies

BA in European Cultural Studies

  • QS World University Rankings
  • Degree BA
  • Study Level Bachelors
  • Scholarships No
The European Cultural Studies Program (ECS) offers students the opportunity to study English and continental literature in translation in conjunction with one or more related disciplines: fine arts, history, music, philosophy, politics, sociology, and theater arts. ECS is for those students who feel intellectually adventurous, who want to explore the interrelationships of literature with various other disciplines in order to gain a broader perspective of what constitutes "culture." With the advent of an ever-changing Europe, students in ECS will be better prepared, in all areas, to keep abreast with current and future events. Many of our students spend some time abroad to get a feel for the cultures in which they are most interested. ECS majors have gone on to graduate school (in history, politics, English, and other fields), law school, business school, and advanced programs in international studies. Learning Goals The guiding premise of European Cultural Studies (ECS) is this: art and literature are not luxury commodities. Rather they are a crucial way of knowing and understanding the world. ECS explores European literature, art, music, architecture, dance, and philosophy beyond and across the boundaries of single nations, languages, and historical periods, always in concert with the historical, political, and social realities that underpin and illuminate any art form. This interdepartmental major offers a way of thinking about literature rather than any specific body of information. The overarching aim of the major is to discover how European cultures have ordered reality in the past and present, how they have made sense of the world morally and aesthetically, and how literature and the arts express, preserve, and embody these understandings. Because ECS embraces the whole of European culture, especially literature, and a great diversity of critical methods for understanding it, no one faculty member could possibly encompass the field of study. Consequently, the interdisciplinary, interdepartmental approach is a highly dynamic and collaborative endeavor that reflects the diverse interests of our students and faculty in the liberal arts. ECS brings together professors and undergraduates from a number of departments in the Humanities and the Social Sciences in a spirit of common inquiry. The ECS major’s core course, ECS100a, introduces students to the wide range of interdisciplinary approaches possible in the study of liberal arts, and it serves as the point of embarkation for students’ individualized exploration of literature and the other arts from across Europe and from a wide variety of hermeneutic perspectives. The concept of interpretation is central: we all live by the act of interpretation, whether in ordinary daily life or in a seminar setting. ECS100a also focuses on developing the research skills, writing and speaking habits, and the basics of critical interpretation specific to the interdisciplinary study of literature and the arts. The ECS major also encourages the study of literature and culture in languages other than English. Courses are taught by distinguished faculty from across the university at Brandeis but especially in the humanities.

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