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HUMN 1020-6 Introduction to Humanities
Alexandra Eddy and Giulia Bernardini

This course provides an analytical, chronological, comparative and integrated study of works in literature, music and visual arts from the Baroque to contemporary eras.  While students are reading Racine and Moliere, for example, the art and music lectures examine the architecture of Versailles and compositions of Lully and other court composers.  In the appropriate context with the literature, such composers as Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, and Stravinsky are studied, along with such artists as Fragonard, Goya, Monet, and Picasso.Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: historical context or literature and the arts.


HUMN 2145-3 African America in the Arts
Stuart Lawler

Introduces interrelationships in the arts of Africa Americans and the African American contribution to American culture as a whole.Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum:cultural and gender diversity or United States context.

HUMN 2601-3 Kafka and the Kafkaesque
Davide Stimilli

This course is meant to promote a deeper understanding of perhaps the most influential writer of the 20th century, whom W.H. Auden defined “the Dante and Shakespeare of our age,” as well as of the very dynamic of literary influence.  Not only has “Kafka” become a household name, “Kafkaesque” is liberally applied to anything, from works of art to State bureaucracies, from types of shoes to architectural styles, by people who may never read a word of Kafka’s writing.  This course is meant to counteract such a trend and to expose the students to a wide selection of Kafka’s literary output, with the aim of reaching our own tentative answer to the question: What is Kafkaesque? Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: Literature and the Arts.

HUMN 3093-001  Topics: Dramatic Deceptions
Shirley Carnahan

This course is an interdisciplinary one, intended to explore and compare various types of dramatic deception as they manifest themselves in play texts and films.  We will begin by defining dramatic irony in its more official form and comparing it with the looser usage of irony as paradox.  The course will continue with close readings of plays by such authors as Shakespeare, Pirandello, Wilde, Shaffer, and Stoppard.  Topics of discussion will include how characters deceive others, how they deceive themselves, how the audience is deceived by the characters, how it is deceived by the author, and many more.  Usually the class is required to attend one live dramatic performance.  This course is reading and writing intensive.

HUMN 3093-3 Topics: Reading and Guessing
Davide Stimilli

This course will engage in a discussion on method, and, more specifically, on the method of the humanities as opposed to that of the natural sciences.  We will start by looking at the text that inaugurated such discussion: Descartes’ Discourse on Method, and at the emergence of a modern concept of probability in the XVII century.  We will explore the dialectics of method and probability when we discuss Joseph Conrad’s novel Chance.  Restricted to Sophs/Jrs/Srs.

HUMN 3505-3 The Enlightenment: Tolerance and Emancipation.
Anne Schmiesing

Examines the enlightenment belief in reason and the common humanity of all individuals and cultures.  Emphasizes arguments for and against freedom of religion, abolition of slavery, and emancipation of women in 18th century European and American literature and thought. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: ideals and values.

HUMN 4004-3  Film Theory
Bruce Kawin

Offers a philosophical attempt to define the nature of cinema.  An intensive seminar, the course involves a great deal of reading in classic and contemporary film theory, and requires a working knowledge of silent film history.  Prereqs., FILM 3051, and FILM or FMST major with senior standing.  Same as ARTF 5004Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: critical thinking.

HUMN 4093-3  Studies: Novel, Nation, Self
Arnab Chakladar 

In this class we will read novels by contemporary writers from six different countries.  Paying close attention to questions of language and form we will examine how these writers address the question of writing personal, social and national identities and histories.  The major concerns of the class will be to probe the relationship between the novel and the nation, and to see what insights developments in the novel form in the last 30 years might afford us into contemporary global politics and culture.  We will also in the process address the question of the possibility of a comparative study of “world literature”.

HUMN 4093-3 Studies in Humanities: Religious Poetry East and West
Paul Kroll

This course will examine various topics in “religious poetry” as presented in several languages and cultures of pre-modern times.  Auden saw religion and poetry as involving two separate, even antithetical impulses.  Others have seen similarities here, even identity.  Topics to be explored include the matter and manner of poetry-in-religion/religion-in-poetry, the play between the sacred and the sensual as well as the verbal construction of inspiration, revelation, epiphany, ecstasy.   Four historical periods of religious poetry will be compared and contrasted in this course: religious verse from ancient and medieval China, Christian themes in early English poetry, Medieval Latin hymns and songs, and 17th century metaphysical poetry.

HUMN 4093-3 Studies: Reading Theory
Oleg Gelikman

This course will examine the place of theory within 20th century critical discourse.  This course will explore the extent to which every theoretical text is constituted around a central difficulty in the concept of theory itself.  The difficulty of theory is therefore not its inability to account for why, in a practical or real world, such a thing is the way it is, but rather it is within the theoretical text that one discovers the difficulties theory is supposed to explain.

HUMN 4110-3 Greek and Roman Epic
T. Terrel

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

HUMN 4130-3 Greek and Roman Comedy
Andrew Cain

Studies Aristophanes, Plautus, and Terence in English translation. No Greek or Latin required. Same as CLAS 5130. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.

HUMN 4133-3 The Dramatic Arts
Shirley Carnahan

Interdisciplinary course that examines and compares various forms of the dramatization of narrative: written texts, audiotapes, videotapes, film, and live performance.  Compares different versions of the same narrative or theme, especially if different media are used and different time periods are involved. Prereq., HUMN 2000 or junior/senior standing.

HUMN 4150-3 The Decameron and the Age of Realism
Valerio Ferme

Analyzes the rise of realism in the 13th and 14th century Italian literature and parallel manifestations in the visual arts.  Focuses on Boccaccio’s Decameron and contemporary realistic prose and poetry with emphasis on gender issues and medieval cultural diversity.  Taught in English.  Prereq., junior standing or instructor consent. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts, or cultural and gender diversity.

HUMN 4502-3 Nietzsche: Literature and Values
Adrian Del Caro

Emphasizes Nietzsche’s major writings from 1872 to 1888 with particular attention to the critique of Western values. Includes a systematic exploration of doctrines, concepts, and ideas leading to the values of creativity. Restricted to Sophs/Jrs/Srs. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: ideals and values.

HUMN 4555-3 The Arts of Interpretation
Paul Gordon

Introduces various hermeneutical methodologies (literary/philosophical criticism, biblical exegesis, art history, etc.) with which to examine the question of interpretation.  Methodologies are studied in close conjunction with particular works of art.  Prereq., HUMN 2000 or junior/senior standing. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: critical thinking

HUMN 4821/RUSS 4821-3. 20th Century Russian Literature and Art 
Mark Leiderman
Interdisciplinary course emphasizing the influence of art in 20th century Russian literature.  Follows the changing cultural landscape from the time when Russia was in the vanguard of modern European literature to the gradual cultural relaxation that culminated in perestroika and glasnost. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.