SoSe 15: Literature and Economics in the Two Gilded Ages
James Dorson, Julia Püschel
This course offers an interdisciplinary analysis of the similarities of the first and the second Gilded Ages in the United States. In the last third of the 19th century and today, intense debates ... Lesen Sie weiter
This course offers an interdisciplinary analysis of the similarities of the first and the second Gilded Ages in the United States. In the last third of the 19th century and today, intense debates evolve around economic and political inequalities, Wall Street recklessness, trade-offs between individualism and the common good, and between free market capitalism and regulation. The main objective of this course is to combine insights from the disciplines of economics and literature to examine and overcome discrete attitudes that separate areas of knowledge. Drawing upon and integrating the methodologies of economic theory and literary studies, we will shed further light on these major issues, develop a shared vocabulary, and provide a more holistic picture.
We will read primary literary texts alongside economic theory from both periods; and secondary sources that help situate both disciplines in their historical context.
Beyond this more integrative approach to topics, this course inquires into the relationship between the disciplines of literature and economics. Students will learn about how practitioners in each field have critiqued and/or embraced each other and will gain insights that will be useful in looking at the intersection of other humanities and social science fields. A particular focus will lie on the paradigm shifts in the economics discipline, which roughly coincide with the two Gilded Ages, providing students with the respective history of economic thought. Throughout the course, students' capability to critically reflect on the boundaries of disciplinary methods and outcomes will be strengthened by examining the contributions and limitations of each discipline.