HUMN STUDENTS: If you run into ANY problems enrolling for classes please contact stating your full name, the class in which you are trying to enroll and the error message you are receiving. If you are enrolling in a lecture class that also has a recitation, please include the applicable recitation section number. 

If you get a message that a class is full even though there appears to be spaces in the recitation you want, this is a known systems issue. Please go ahead, waitlist yourself for the class and email We are actively monitoring this and will move you into the lecture/recitation if there is space.

Download Full Course List Here

HUMN 1110 Introduction to Humanities 1 Literature

Humanities 1110 is a 3 credit hour course that meets three times a wee . The course provides an analytical and comparative study of works in literature from Antiquity to the 17th century. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum.

Literature: This section includes works such as Homer’s Odyssey, Greek tragedy, Plato’s Symposium, Dante’s Inferno, Boccaccio’s Decameron, selections from Montaigne’s Essays, and Shakespeare’s King Lear. These sections meet three times a week, MWF.

HUMN 1210: Introduction to Humanities 1 Art and Music Giulia Bernardini/Alexandra Eddy

Humanities 1210 is a 3 credit hour course that meets three times a week . The course provides an analytical and comparative study of works in music, and visual arts from Antiquity to the 17th century. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum.

Music: A chronological study of Western classical music from Classical Antiquity through the Renaissance, with primary focus upon developments in the art of Western musical composition in its natural context: the intellectual tradition of Western civilization. We will study significant individual Western classical compositions both as artistic structures and as expressions of human thought and experience, and will note similarities between early Western music and the music of other cultures, times, and places. No prior knowledge of music is necessary.

Art: The art lectures will begin by investigating examples of the art and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome and will then move onto Early Medieval, Romanesque, and Gothic architecture and architectural sculpture. The semester ends with a survey of major Renaissance, High Renaissance, and Reformation works in painting, sculpture, and architecture. Throughout all periods of study, we will consider the question – and problem – of context; attempting to better understand the political, religious, social, and philosophical trends underpinning each era we encounter. No prior experience with art or art history is necessary.

HUMN 2000: Methods and Approaches to Humanities Paul Gordon/David Ferris/Annje Wiese

Humanities 2000 will be team-taught by various members of the Humanities faculty who will each offer a separate “mini-course” on one of the essential issues or methodological concerns which students can expect to encounter in their future coursework for the Humanities major. Although the subject of each mini-course may be expected to vary from year to year, topics proposed by faculty in the past include: word/image studies; rhetoric; translation; the canon; gender studies; cultural studies; literature and the other arts; literary theory; philosophy and literature; etc. Prerequisite HUMN 1010 or 1020. Restricted to Humanities majors and minors.


HUMN 3093 001 Topics in Humanities: Arabic Novel Haytham Bahoora

Explores the cultural politics of representations of the Arab and Islamic worlds with an emphasis on novels and travel narratives from both the Arab world and the West. Examines historical, anthropological, and visual texts to consider how Islam has been narrated in colonial European imaginings about the Islamic world as well as contemporary representations of Islam. Authors include Shakespeare, Al-Tayyib Salih, Edward Said, Amitav Ghosh, and Leila Ahmed. Taught in English. 

HUMN 3104: Film Criticism & Theory Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz

This course surveys and engages with the major film theories. It also examines the role and function of film criticism. Students will screen at least one film each week, read pertinent theoretical and critical writings, participate insightfully in discussions, and write analytically and creatively about topics discussed and gestured toward in class. Same as FILM 3104.

HUMN 3210: Narrative Annje Wiese

This course will examine narrative as a central form of representation in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by analyzing the effects of form on how we understand and represent our world. Two questions will guide this examination: “what kind of relation (if any) is there between narratives and reality (or ‘life’)?” (posed by Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan); and, “what kind of notion of reality authorizes construction of a narrative account of reality?” (posed by Hayden White). With the aid of different theories of narrative, we will attempt to answer these questions by closely analyzing how narrative form represents and informs perception and experience as well as how this has changed throughout the past century.

Over the course of the semester we will analyze works of fiction to see how narrative functions and we will look at narrative as a way of organizing thought that applies to interdisciplinary contexts including pop culture, art, identity studies, medicine, and law. Authors to be studied will likely include Woolf, Faulkner, Nabokov, Auster, Morrison, and Small. We will also consult works from such theorists as Abbott, Brooks, Bruner, Herman, Kahneman, Lodge, and White. Prerequisites HUMN 2000 or junior/senior standing.

HUMN 4093: Advanced Topics:Harlem Renassance R. Rebaka

Harlem Renassance with R. Rebaka

HUMN 4004 Topics in Film Theory

By far the most successful brand name in film history, the “James Bond 007” movies created by Harry Saltzman & Albert R. Broccoli can be considered an essential example of the reliability of formula and the adaptability of generic forms. The series offers a case study in the cultural politics of Western cinemas in general, and genre in particular, and the cinema’s relation to history and society. We will concentrate on the films’ treatment and re-invention of issues such as the Cold War, the sexual revolution, gender politics, feminism, racism, and technological developments. Amidst changing historical and cultural frameworks, the improbable hero invented by Ian Fleming in 1953 remains adaptable and an example of the capability of “classic” genre forms to evolve and address shifting social anxieties and historical contexts. Readings will include scholarly works on the history and cultural politics of the “James Bond” movies, writings on genre theory and film history, contemporary reviews, memoirs, Fleming novels and short stories, and other materials. The purpose of this course is to explore a popular cinema phenomenon from a theoretical and political perspective and to deconstruct its conventions, significance, and re-thinking of culture, history, narrative, ideology, and genre itself. Same as FILM-4004.

HUMN 4110: Greek and Roman Epic

Students read in English translation the major epics of Greco-Roman antiquity such as the Iliad, Odyssey, Argonautica, Aeneid, andMetamorphoses. Topics discussed may include the nature of classical epic, its relation to the novel, and its legacy. No Greek or Latin required. Same as CLAS 4110. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.

HUMN 4120 Greek and Roman Tragedy John Gibert

We will be reading a selection of the surviving works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides (all works written at Athens in the 5th c. BCE) and Seneca (whose 1st c. CE tragedies represent the sole examples of the genre at Rome surviving in non-fragmentary form). There will also be substantial secondary or background reading to guide the development of an understanding of the religious and moral dimensions of tragic drama in context. In this course, the aim will be to develop skills and habits of close observation, analysis and argument, as well as respect for ideas, nuances and differences. As we read, we will attend to the importance of the texts in the literary historical tradition and their role in shaping cultural norms, habits of thought and the imaginative landscape of western civilization. We will also consider what they tell us of what it is to be human in a complex and ever-changing world. There is no formal prerequisite, but experience writing and talking about literature will be helpful. Same as CLAS 4120. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.

HUMN 4140 The Age of Dante S. Magnanini

Focuses on close reading of Dante’s poetry with emphasis on the intellectual, religious, political, and scientific background of the medieval world. Taught in English. Prereq., junior standing or instructor consent. Same as ITAL 4140. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.

HUMN 4155: Philosophy, Art and the Sublime Paul Gordon

“Perhaps the most sublime utterance is that inscribed on the temple of Isis: “I am all that is, that was, and that will ever be; no mortal has lifted my veil.” (Kant) In this course we will examine theories of the sublime and apply those same theories to various works of art. Beginning with Longinus, we will then move to the beginning of modern discussions of the sublime in Burke and Kant before proceeding to the “golden age” of sublimity, 18-19th century German and English romanticism. After a study of sublimity in Goethe’s Faust we will then turn our attention to the writings of the English romantic poets (Shelley, Wordsworth, Coleridge), as well to the early 19th-century novel, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. After an examination of the sublime paintings of Turner (and his predecessors) we will move, in the final section of the course, to an examination of the survival of the sublime in the 20th century paintings and films of Barnett Newman, Georgia O’Keefe, Werner Herzog, and John Carpenter. Prerequisite HUMN 2000 or junior /senior standing. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: ideals and values.

HUMN 4504 Goethe’s Faust E. Maier-Heym

We emphasize Goethe’s Faust parts I and II, but the course begins with Marlowe’s reworking of the original Faust material, includes Byron’s Manfred and selections from Dostoevsky and Nietzsche, before concluding with Thomas Mann’s novel Doctor Faustus. The Faust theme has intrigued students of literature and thought for many centuries, and it serves as a metaphor for the modern condition. How does one assign a value to the human soul, if Christianity is not accepted as the supreme authority? What happens to notions of the good life in the age of Enlightenment? How are human beings disposed to conceive of their essence “after the death of God?” How does evil manifest itself in the twentieth century? How does the dualism of the here and now versus the here-after influence humanity’s habitation of the Earth? Same as GRMN 4504/COML 5504. Approved for the arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.

HUMN 4555  Interpreting Art Paul Gordon

“I would rather understand a poem than write a poem” (Paul Valery). This class on “The Arts of Interpretation” introduces students to the wonderful world of interpretation though various well-known methods (New Criticism; Reader Response; structuralism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, art history, etc.) with which to examine how one determines the meaning of the work of art. These methodologies are studied in close conjunction with particular poems, paintings, stories and films: parables of Jesus and Kafka, Henry James’ The Figure in the Carpet, Balzac’s Sarrasine, and the story of Judith (the Bible, Caravaggio, and Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct).
Prerequisites: HUMN 2000 or junior/senior standing.

HUMN 4811 19th Century Russian Literature V. Grove

The 19th century was a turbulent time in Russian society, and nowhere are the heated debates over the future and welfare of the country more acutely revealed than in the literature produced in that period. Such issues as “the women question,” the liberation of the serfs, radicalism, and nihilism all find expression through the various writers who dominated the literary scene – Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Turgenev, and Dostoevsky, among others. This course is intended to introduce students to not only the social movements, but the cultural movements as well. Aside from the topics listed above, we will explore the sentimentalism and romanticism that reflected the Western influence on the Russian novel in the first half of the 19th century, and move on to the novels of realism exemplified by the literary giants of the second half of the century. Grades for the course will be determined by quizzes, short papers, and a final, as well as participation in class discussions. No prior experience with Russian language or literature is required. Same as RUSS 4811. Approved for the arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.

HUMN 4835: Literature and Social Violence Cathy Comstock

This honors seminar focuses on both literary and non-fictional texts about social violence, so that we can compare the understanding and effects made possible through different media, including film in some cases. We’ll study gang culture, homophobia and AIDS, the effects of racism and poverty on gutted-out neighborhoods and school systems, and the politics of hunger. We’ll also look at sources of great hope and positive action, such as Mountains Beyond Mountains, The Freedom Writers’ Diary, Angels in America and other ways in which both art and social action can make a transformative difference. All this is combined with the option to get extra credit by doing volunteer work in community agencies, since the personal experience with the effects of social violence helps us to understand the class materials—and our culture overall—more deeply.

As a means of approaching works from across the disciplines and beyond, we will be learning how to do discourse analysis of the language of both the texts and our society. In this way the class will focus especially on our methods of making meaning and how those meanings act to maintain or transform our cultural structures.

The class texts include Do or Die, Angels in America, The Bluest Eye, Freedom Writers’ Diary, Savage Inequalities, Gandhi the Man andTortilla Curtain. Restricted to sophomores/juniors/seniors. This course is approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: contemporary societies.