Vandal Catholic is proud to offer a course this Fall. It will be designed as a 3-credit course and taught by our Director of Intellectual Formation, Dr. Gracjan Krasweski.
The course meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30-9:00 in the upstairs classroom at St. Augustine's Catholic Center.
All are welcome. Cost is free.
The Catholic Optic: Utopia, Dystopia, Art and Faith from the American Revolution to the Present Day
Course Description and Approach This is a multi-faceted class granting students a substantial chronological history of European and American events from 1776 to the present day. A hybrid art history, intellectual history, and literary criticism offering, the course’s guiding paradigm is the “Catholic Optic,” affording plentiful reflections on the high and low points of recent times under the umbrella of fallen humanity’s attempts at betterment in an imperfect world.
Grading Scale and Percentages Critical Essay 33% Original Fiction Piece 34% Final Exam (Comprehensive) 33%
Required Books 1. More, Utopia 2. Dostoevsky, Underground Man 3. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World 4. O’Connor, Wiseblood 5. Percy, Lost in the Cosmos 6. Weigel, Cube and the Cathedral
Week by Week Lecture Themes plus Reading Selections *TR=Tuesdays and Thursdays, w/corresponding dates and week’s theme(s); ex.R1=Thurs. the 1st
Aug TR27/29: Introduction: Dante, Aquinas, St. Francis, Christendom and the pre-1776/89 world
Sep TR3/5: Russia from Peter to Catherine; Sobieski and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; The Age of Absolutism up through the Revolutions in America (1776) and France (1789) TR10/12: Manifest Destiny in America from the La. Purchase (1803) through 1848; Napoleon and Metternich up through the Revolutions of 1848. TR17/19: Books: Discussion week of (1) More’s Utopia and (2) Dostoevsky’s Underground Man TR24/26: America: 1848-1860 into The Civil War, 1861-65
Oct TR1/3: Mid-19th century Europe through the 1880s; Reconstruction and Gilded Age America TR8/10: Fin de Siècle Europe, American Imperialism, and the end of the ‘Middle Ages’ (to 1913) TR15/17: Discussion, (3) Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World + bios of Catholic writers TR22/24: World War I (1914-18), the Versailles Settlement, the 1920s in America and Europe TR29/31: The Inter-War period from the 1930s on unto World War II (1939-1945)
Nov TR5/7: The Early Cold War (1950-1970) and the search for Meaning. Discussion (4) O’Connor TR12/14:: The 1970s and 80s in America and Europe; to the end of the Cold War (1989) with a special focus on the election of Pope John Paul II and the Polish Solidarity Movement. TR19/21: Discussion, (5), Percy, Lost in the Cosmos and the meaning (or lack of) post-modernity T26: The 1990s up to the present day: Can American go it alone in a unipolar world? *no class, Thanksgiving the 28th.
Dec TR3/5:: Discussion (6), Weigel, The Cube and the Cathedral and notes on the “New Evangelization” TR10/12:: Submissions week: Critical Essay due; Final Exam to be held; group presentations of Original fiction pieces. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------