Montaigne and the Making of the Modern Self: the summer programme at the European College of Liberal Arts, Berlin; 6 July – 14 August 2009

Deadline for applications: 14 April 2009.

The theme for the 2009 International Summer University at ECLA, Berlin is “Montaigne and the Making of the Modern Self”. During the six week programme (6 July – 14 August 2009) students and faculty will explore the impact of Montaigne’s moral, religious, cultural and political ideals on our understanding of the modern self. Each week, readings and discussion will be organized around a general topic related to Montaigne’s Essays, including the birth of the modern self in Renaissance Europe, the discovery of the New World and its consequences for the self-understanding of European cultures, Montaigne’s criticism of human presumption and pride as root causes of the Wars of Religion in 16th century France, the relation between morality and politics in modern statecraft, and the place of pleasure, friendship and sexuality, and death in the care of the self. Along with Montaigne’s Essays, students will study a variety of philosophical, literary, and historical texts, including Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Machiavelli’s The Prince, Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals, Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, Camus’ The Fall, and Plato’s Apology. Films and museum visits will complement the readings.
A comprehensive programme fee of 4500 Euros covers tuition, campus accommodation, meals, books on loan, reading materials, class excursions, emergency medical insurance, and public transportation within Berlin. Need-based financial aid is available. ECLA is committed to helping all qualified applicants to enrol, regardless of their financial means. Students receive six credits in Interdisciplinary Studies.
The application deadline is April 14th 2009. Please check our website for further details or contact the Admissions Office at

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