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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/Brian Casey

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 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 3660: Postmodern David Ferris

This course will examine the event of the Postmodern and its effect within literature, film, architecture, culture, and critical theory. Beginning with works that signal and examine the onset of modernity, the consequences of postmodernity for our understanding of the modern as a sign of our intellectual, cultural, and social progress will be presented. Once defined in relation to the modern, our attention will turn to the problems and issues posed by the postmodern with respect to history, perception, and the concept of an era that is also our present. We will also examine various recent attempts to think beyond the postmodern. The course will include a broad selection of works from architectural theory to performance art.

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.