HUMS 297, Modernities: Modern Liberty

Meeting Time: 
Th 9:25am-11:15am

Course Description:

Debates about the meaning of freedom from the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Authors to be studied include Smith, Montesquieu, Constant, Tocqueville, Mill, Marx and Schmitt. Major themes include the promise and pitfalls of commercial society, the relation between religion and freedom, the understanding of ourselves as historical beings, the question of progress, political representation, constitutionalism, democracy and individuality.

Prerequisite: One course in political theory, intellectual history or philosophy.

This course will fulfill the “modernities” requirement of the Humanities major. 

Led by:

Bryan Garsten's picture

Professor Bryan Garsten

Professor Bryan Garsten is a Professor of Political Science and the Humanities, and Chair of the Humanities Program. He is the author of Saving Persuasion: A Defense of Rhetoric and Judgment as well as articles on political rhetoric and deliberation, the meaning of representative government, the relationship of politics and religion, and the place of emotions in political life.

Garsten is now finishing a book called The Heart of a Heartless World that examines the ethical, political and religious core of early nineteenth century liberalism in the United States and France. He has also edited Rousseau, the Enlightenment, and Their Legacies, a collection of essays by the Rousseau scholar Robert Wokler