Since its inception, the Program in European Cultural Studies has maintained two central aims: to deepen students’ understanding of European civilization, and to strengthen their command of cultural interpretation through interdisciplinary investigation. Committed since its founding to encouraging our students’ engagement at an international level, ECS also endeavors to situate the study of Europe in broader global contexts.
Our focus is, broadly stated, the ways in which European societies, past and present, order reality, make sense of life, and communicate meaning across a range of disciplines and in a wide variety of media. In order to reduce these intellectual problems to manageable proportions, ECS faculty develop innovative seminars on topics in European history, literature, art, architecture, music, cinema, theater, politics, and philosophy.
Members of the ECS community share an interest in the interdisciplinary study of European cultures and societies across a range of periods. Students and faculty in ECS engage in critical investigations of the role of Europe in broader contexts of worldwide engagement, from early modern colonialism to present-day globalism. Many among us are passionate about art, architecture, literature, theater, and/or music; others study the social and political conditions of possibility for the production and dissemination of knowledge in a variety of media from the early modern period to now. We heartily enjoy our time together in seminars and lunchtime workshops, and also over dinners in New York in connection with ECS Excursions to the Metropolitan Opera, Broadway and off-Broadway theaters, and museums.