City University Of New York, The Graduate Center

The Graduate Center

Approaches to Modernity


365 Fifth Avenue

New York City, NY 10016

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Approaches to Modernity is offered as a track within the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program (MALS).

Format: Campus

Program Description:

MALS Track in Approaches to/Transformations of Modernity When was it that people first had the sense of living in new and different times— Modern Times? Charlie Chaplin’s famous 1936 film of that name suggests one answer, but scholars have different view of the beginning of modernity. Some recall the journalism and novels of the early eighteenth century, while others go back much further, and refer to what we used to call “the Renaissance” as the “Early Modern” period. Cultural historians invoke Wordsworth on the French Revolution: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive”; art historians date the dawn to Paris in the 1860s, when Manet and his followers took to painting modern life. Was it modernity or modernism that dramatically emerged at a certain moment on or about December 1910, when according to Virginia Woolf human nature changed? Or did the shift occur deliberately, when his fellow poets followed W.C. Wiliams’s injunction to “Make it new”? Students in the MALS Track in Modernity consider the differences and similarities between modernity and modernism–and post-modernism as well—as they pursue a rich variety of graduate courses in literature, history, art history, film studies, sociology and other disciplines. Core Courses MALS 70700 The Shaping of Modernity, 1789-1914, 3 credits MALS 70800 Transformations of Modernity, 1914-present, 3 credits


All of CUNY’s campuses are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. All of CUNY’s degree programs are registered with the New York State Department of Education.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: No

International Financial Aid: No

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 6,000-9,999

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