The Devil's Pact (Goethe's Faust, Part I) with Brent Peterson, PhD

fall 23

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Course Title: The Devil's Pact (Goethe's Faust, Part I)

Instructor: Brent Peterson (KSAS '71)

Brought to you by Odyssey  

October 30, 2023 - December 04, 2023 (6 Sessions)  

Monday, 5 PM ET 

Virtual via Zoom


COURSE DESCRIPTION: What does it mean when we read or hear of a “Faustian bargain”? Is it when a business owner or entrepreneur cuts corners, hoping to make billions and not get caught? Or when a football player refuses to retire, knowing that he might suffer traumatic brain injuries that will alter his quality of life in middle age, after his knees have already given out for good? What about the politician who hooks his wagon to a dubious president, only to be indicted for something he wishes he hadn’t done? Of course, it’s all these instances and more, but the classic treatment of the “bargain” is Goethe’s Faust, one of the great and lasting works of literature that far too few people know and read today. This course sets out to remedy that deficit by guiding you through Part One of Goethe’s weird, funny, fabulous, and still timely play.


Johns Hopkins Tuition Remission Policies  

Johns Hopkins alumni, staff, faculty and their spouse or domestic partners are eligible for tuition remission for Odyssey lifelong learning courses. Select the correct ticket pricing during registration. If we cannot confirm your eligibility, you will be requested to pay the full registration price for the course.  Eligibility details can be found here

Withdrawals & Refunds: 

If a course is canceled or closed, the registrant is notified immediately, and a full refund is processed automatically unless another course is requested. Registrants who wish to withdraw from an active course must complete the online Odyssey Refund Request Form. Attach any documentation to support your request (e.g., medical documentation, family crisis documentation, etc.). 

100% refund- Prior to the start of the course. 

50% refund- During the first week of the course. 

No refunds will be given after the first week of each course unless in exceptional cases. 

Please note, refunds apply only to the tuition portion of an Odyssey participant’s charges and are not applicable to any fees or gifts made to the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association. Registrants will be notified by email if a refund is approved within (5) business days. 

ABOUT Brent Peterson

Brent Peterson, Emeritus Professor of German, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI; author of Literature and Community in Die Abendschule: Popular Narratives and Ethnic Identity (1991), History, Fiction, and Germany: Writing the Nineteenth-Century Nation (2005), Beyond the Myth of 1955: Rethinking Migration and German Culture (manuscript under review), and numerous articles on topics on German history, literature, and culture, 1700 to the present. Co-Director of NEH Summer Seminar for Teachers in Berlin, Germany, 2010, 2012, 2014. Hopkins, BA in History, 1971.

 Event Date
Monday, October 30, 2023
5:00pm EDT

Monday, December 4, 2023
6:30pm EDT

1-800-JHU-JHU1 (548-5481)

Status message

Thank you for your interest in Odyssey. This course is now closed. For questions, please contact