COURTING, MARRYING AND POLITICS                                                    

FALL 2003

CLASS MEETS: TH 6:00-8:40                      

ROOM: CL 110                                                                     




OFFICE HOURS: 11:00-11:50 MTWTH AND BY APPOINTMENT. Please call 3-1091 or              



                                                    POLITICAL SCIENCE 353       

                                    COURTING, MARRYING AND POLITICS


Required Texts

Francis Fukuyama, The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order (New York: The Free Press, 1999)

Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass eds., Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2000)



8/28     Introduction. How this class fits into the ongoing nature of this seminar? Liberal education. What does courting and marrying have to do with politics? Why courting and marrying is appropriately within the purview of political science. Relation of the political and the personal. Doubts about the professors competence to teach this class (expressed by his wife). His defense. Read the Robert Frost poem Kass, p. 630.


           Fukuyama, Ch. 1 Playing by the Rules. Ch. 2 Crime, Family, Trust: What Happened





9/4                   Fukuyama, Ch. 3. Causes: The Conventional Wisdom. Ch. 4. Causes: Demographic, Economic, and Cultural


9/11                 Fukuyama Ch. 5. The Special Role of Women. Ch. 7. Was the Great Disruption Inevitable?




9/11     Kass, Introduction


9/18     First 900-1000 word paper topic (on Fukuyama) handed out. Due 10/2.


9/18-    Kass, Ch. A “Where Are We Now” Assessing Our Situation,  pp. 23-80

             Bailey, From Front Porch to Back Seat

             Stone, "Passionate Attachments in the West in Historical Perspective"

             Bloom, "Relationships"

                        Blankenhorn, "I Do"


9/25    Kass Ch. B Why Marry? Defenses of Matrimony, pp 81-124

            Darwin, "This is the Question"

            Aquinas, "Of the Marriage Goods"

            Erasmus, "A Praise pf Marriage"

            Bacon, "Of Marriage and Single Life"

            Austen, Pride and Prejudice: For Love or Money?

            Kierkegaard, "Some Reflections on Marriage"


10/2     First 900-1000 word paper due.


10/2     Kass Ch. B (cont.) pp. 125-54

            Tucker, "Monogamy and Its Discontents"

            Meilaender, Men and Women–Can We Be Friends"

            Borowitz, "Speaking Personally"

            Muir, "The Annunciation"


10/9     Kass Ch. C. “What About Sex? Man, Woman, and Sexuality” pp 155-202

            Homer, The Coupling of Ares and Aphrodite

            Genesis 2:4-4:2: The Anthropology of Sex

            Rousseau, Emile: Sexual Complementarity

            Herodotus, The Story of Candaules and Gyges

            Kant, On Shame and Love

            Riezler, "Comment on the Social Psychology of Shame"

            May, "Four Mischievous Theories of Sex"


10/24       Second 900-1000 word paper topic handed out. Due 11/6.


10/16  Ch. D. “Is This Love? Eros and Its Aims” pp. 203-302.

  -30     Divakaruni, "The Word Love"

            Plato, Symposium: Aristophanes' Speech on Eros. Socrates' Speech on Eros.

            The Song of Songs 

            De Rougemont, The Tristan Myth

            Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

            Rousseau, Emile: Educating for Love

            Rilke, Letters on Love

            Lewis, "Eros"


11/6                 Second 900-1000 word paper due.


11/6-   Ch. E. “How Can I Find and Win the Right One? Courtship” pp. 303-453

   -13   Miss Manners, "Advice on Courtship" 

            Genesis, Finding a Wife for Isaac

            Abraham, "The Engagement: A Story"

            Pitt-Rivers, The People of the Sierra

            Erasmus, "Courtship" A Colloquy

            Shakespeare, As You Like It

            Franklin, "Reflections on Courtship and Marriage"

            Rousseau, Emile: The Courtship of Emile and Sophie


11/20   pp. 454-544

            Tolstoy, War and Peace: The Courtship of Pierre and Helene

            Austen, Pride and Prejudice: The Courtship of Darcy and Elizabeth

Ch. F. “Why a Wedding? The Promises of Marriage”

            May, " The Covenant of Marriage"

            Marriage Vows and Blessings (from various traditions)

            De Rougemont, "Active Love or keeping Faith"

            Kass and Kass, The Marriage Name


11/26  Thanksgiving Break


12/4    Ch. G. “What Can Married Life Be Like? The Blessings of Married Life” pp.545-630.


            Homer, The Reunion of Penelope and Odysseus

            Aristotle, The Friendship of Husband and Wife

            Jewish Midrash, Childless Love

            Kipling, "The Married Man: Reservist of the Line"

            Ballou, Letter to Sarah

            Tocqueville, Democracy in America:: Marriage and Mores

            Rousseau, Emile: Married Lovers

            Tolstoy, War and Peace, First Epilogue: Parents and Children

            Frost, "The Master Speed"


12/11   Thursday Final Exam 6-7:50 pm