In 1853, the University was in its infancy.
But the world was in full swing, and to help mark the year of the University’s founding, a series of classes about the world in 1853 is being presented on Tuesday evenings in September.
The classes are free and open to the public and are from 7-8:30 p.m. in Goldfarb Auditorium, McDonnell Hall, Room 162. They are part of a free, noncredit short course called “Remembering 1853: A Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Humanities.”
The lectures are:
• Sept. 9: “Music in 1853: New Starts for Berlioz, Wagner and Brahms,” Hugh Macdonald, Ph.D., the Avis Blewett Professor of Music in Arts & Sciences. The year 1853 was a turning point in European music. Schumann in-troduced the young Brahms to the world, and both Berlioz and Wagner resumed composing after several years of silence. The class will explore the close interactions of these and other major composers in 1853.
• Sept. 16: “China in 1853: Bandits at Home and Foreigners on the Shores,” Robert Hegel, Ph.D., professor of Chinese in Asian and Near Eastern languages and literatures in Arts & Sciences. The class will explore China’s involvement with the world through several important texts from 1853, including readings from the Qing imperial archives, documents from crime cases, reports from foreign observers, and a variety of other perceptions from within and outside China.
• Sept. 23: “Love of Zion and the Beginning of Modern Hebrew Literature,” Nancy Berg, Ph.D., associate professor of modern Hebrew in Asian and Near Eastern languages and literatures. In 1853, Avraham Mapu published Ahavat Ziyon (Love of Zion), long considered the first modern Hebrew novel. Written in neo-Biblical style, it tells an entertaining story of romance and adventure. The novel met with immediate success and has since been translated into many languages, including English. This class will discuss the novel as a literary work and as a social and cultural artifact.
• Sept. 30: “The State of Higher Education in 1853,” Mary Ann Dzuback, Ph.D., associate professor of education and of history, both in Arts & Sciences. This class will discuss this subject in both the United States and Europe. The class will then look more closely at the founding and early mission of the Washington University and discuss both continuity and change at the institution during the past 150 years.
For more information on the Sesquicentennial celebration, go online to 150.wustl.edu.