STUDENTS: If you run into ANY problems enrolling for classes please contact Humanities@Colorado.edu 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 Humanities@Colorado.edu. We are actively monitoring this and will move you into the lecture/recitation if there is space.
*Courses that are asterisked are restricted for enrollment to Humanities majors until November 16.
HUMN 1010: Introduction to Humanities
Giulia Bernardini/Alexandra Eddy
Humanities 1010 is a 6 credit hour course that meets six times a week (three literature discussion classes and three lecture-demonstrations in art and music). The course provides an analytical and comparative study of works in literature, music, and visual arts from Antiquity to the 17th century. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum.HUMN 1010: Introduction to Humanities
Giulia Bernardini/Alexandra Eddy
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.
Literature: The literature 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. When registering for Humanities 1010, students should sign up for a literature section. These sections meet three times a week, MWF.
HUMN 1701: Nature and Environment in German Literature and Thought
Critically examines titles in German literature and thought. Nature and environment are used to explore alienation, artistic inspiration, nihilism, exploitation, sexuality, rural versus urban, meaning of the earth, cultural renewal, identity and gender. This “Green” survey of German classics spans Romanticism’s conception of nature as unconscious spirit to the politics and values of contemporary Germany’s Green Party. Taught in English. Same as HUMN 1701. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: ideals and values.
HUMN 2000: Methods and Approaches to Humanities
Paul Gordon/Anthony Abiragi/Carla Jones
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.
HUMN 2601: Kafka and the Kafkaesque
One proof of a writer’s acknowledged status as a classic is undoubtedly the currency of his or her name in ordinary parlance. Not only has “Kafka” become a household name, but even the adjective derived from his 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 have never read a word of Kafka’s writing. The term is therefore often misused and misunderstood, in spite of being by now recorded and defined in every dictionary of the language. 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 the Kafkaesque? We will then expand upon Jorge Luis Borges’ suggestion, in a seminal essay he devoted to “Kafka and His Precursors,” that extraordinary writers change our understanding and appreciation of the past, as much as they modify the future of literature, and upon Gilles Deleuze’s contention, in his fundamental study of film aesthetics, The Movement-Image, that Orson Welles’ cinematographic style is the visual equivalent of Kafka’s literary style. We will do so by looking for traces of the Kafkaesque in the verbal as well as the visual arts, beyond the empirical existence of the writer called “Kafka”. Same as GRMN 2601. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.
HUMN 3093: Topics in Humanities: Modern Media and the Parisian Avant-Garde, 1848-1914
From 1848 to 1914, France experienced intense socio-political tension and transformation. Against a backdrop of imperial and republican struggles for power, its cities grew into sprawling urban centers populated by a working class inspired by the ideals of socialism, and by a growing bourgeoisie with expendable income and leisure time. At the frontline of society was the avant-garde: the painters, musicians, and authors whose self-imposed task it was to translate this new state of modernity into their chosen media. This class will study the Parisian avant-garde – its artistic personalities and movements – to investigate the notion of the artist as cultural commentator and to inquire how it built the foundations for twentieth century modernism. Though we will focus primarily on the visual arts, works of literature and music will also be used to enrich our understanding of this era. Restricted to sophomores/juniors/seniors.
HUMN 3093: Topics in Humanities: The Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance generally refers to an important cultural and artistic movement that was essentially the aesthetic offshoot of the early twentieth century civil rights movement known as the New Negro Movement. Composed of a wide-range of African American and Caribbean intellectuals, writers, actors, musicians, artists and dancers, between 1919 and 1945 the Harlem Renaissance captured and conveyed the artistic and cultural expressions of the New Negro Movement and Black Women’s Club Movement. Both interdisciplinary and intersectional in nature, this course will explore classic texts, music, and works of art by W.E.B. Du Bois, Duke Ellington, Romare Bearden, Claude McKay, Bessie Smith, Aaron Douglas, Nella Larsen, Louis Armstrong, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Toomer, Jessie Fauset, and Augusta Savage within the wider contexts of the New Negro Movement, Black Women’s Club Movement, Lost Generation, Jazz Age, and World War II. Utilizing a combination of history, sociology, political science, musicology, literary theory, critical race theory, feminist theory and queer theory, this seminar will provide students with a history of the Harlem Renaissance and the myriad ways it influenced subsequent artistic movements, such as the Negritude Movement, Black Arts Movement, Feminist Art Movement, and Hip Hop Movement.
HUMN 3104: Film Criticism & Theory
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
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, McEwan, and Foer. 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 3240: Tragedy
In this course we will examine theories of tragedy (Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche) and apply those theories, in order to examine their potential efficacy, to various works of art. After a careful examination of Greek tragedy, beginning with Aeschylus and Sophocles and concluding with Euripides’ last play on The Bacchae, the only extant tragedy which deals with Dionysus and the “birth of tragedy,” we will examine the survival of tragedy in 19-th and 20th century works of art—specifically, the works of the William Butler Yeats, Ibsen (Hedda Gabler), Chekhov (The Cherry Orchard), and Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire). Restricted to sophomores/juniors/seniors.
HUMN 3660: Postmodern
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 4004: Topics in Film Theory
Course description to follow.
HUMN 4050: Representations of People with Disabilities
Examines the representation of people with disabilities in canonical and contemporary literature and drama, and introduces students to disability theory and the history of people with disabilities.
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 4155: Philosophy, Art and the Sublime
“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: critical thinking; ideals and value.
HUMN 4835: Literature and Social Violence
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.