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*Courses that are asterisked are restricted for enrollment to Humanities majors until November 14.

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HUMN 1020   Introduction to Humanities II

Giulia Bernardini/Alexandra Eddy

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 2601 Kafka and the  Kafkaesque
Tove Holmes

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 3092  Studies in Humanities: Fiction and Reality: Literature, Science, and Culture
Annjeanette Wiese

Reality television, fiction, metafiction, virtual reality, magical realism, documentary, propaganda, autobiography, testimonial, digital manipulation of images, robotics–all are popular today for their ability to explore and question the line between fiction and reality. This issue is not a new phenomenon; throughout history humans have tried to understand the distinction between fiction and reality. But our contemporary culture seems particularly interested in both the differences and similarities between the two concepts. In this course we will explore the ramifications of the assumption that a recognizable distinction between reality and fiction exists or that there is no objective way to distinguish the two. With the aid of diverse theoretical sources, we will analyze a selection of literary, scientific, and cultural works in order to see how they define reality and fiction. At the same time, we will think deeply about the nuances involved in and the consequences of these definitions. The goal of this approach is twofold: 1) to arrive at an idea of what these often ambiguous concepts mean in our culture and 2) to be able to critically apply this idea to the problems posed by the questionable status of the separation between reality and fiction.

HUMN 3093  Topics: Modernisms
Anthony Abiragi

This course will offer an introduction to Modernism in various media, emphasizing in particular the historical development of the visual arts from German Expressionism and Cubism to Neo-Dada and Pop Art. Readings in literature will include Proust, Artaud, Beckett, and Blanchot.  We will also make room for two classics of modernist criticism : Jean Paulhan’s The Flowers of Tarbes (on literature) and Theodor Adorno’s Philosophy of New Music.

After a review of late 19th century painting, we will begin at the end, so to speak, with Fredric Jameson’s seminal article on postmodernism, “The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” from which we’ll draw the central theme of our course: the fading of modernism’s critical relation to history and temporality, and the rise of a new form of aesthetic production – typified in the work of Warhol – itself inseparable from the emergence of  “late capitalism.”

Following the authors of our art text, Art Since 1900 (Thames and Hudson, 2011), we will also familiarize ourselves with four theoretical methods of interpretation: psychoanalysis; social history; formalism and structuralism; and deconstruction.

HUMN 3104 Film Criticism
Bruce Kawin

Surveys the range and function of film criticism, introduces major positions and concepts of film theory, and focuses on students’ abilities to write about film.  Prerequisite FILM 1502.  Same as FILM 3104.

HUMN 4004 Topics in Film Theory: National and Transnational Cinema
Reece Auguiste

This course will explore through lectures, film screenings, and seminars the diverse filmmaking practices grouped under the category of national and transnational cinema. Because notions of national cinema and transnational cinema are inextricably linked the course will examine the multiple contexts of film production, distribution, exhibition, film festival circuits, Art cinema and film reception practices. In doing so, students will be introduced to a broad range of debates pertaining to national cinema in Russia, China, Africa, Iran, Europe and their symbiotic relationships to the global circulation of cinematic images and film cultures.

HUMN 4030 The Art of Travel
Shirley Carnahan

This course is an interdisciplinary one intended to examine the art of travel: not where to go and what to do, but rather philosophical concepts about why people travel.  Likely areas of discussion will include Exploration, Discovery, Escape, Pilgrimage, the Grand Tour, Expatriotism, Exile, Nomadism, Armchair Travel, and the Sense of Home.  Materials will include books by travel writers, novels, films, essays, short stories, art, music, and historical documents. Prerequisite: HUMN 2000 or junior/senior standing.

HONR 4055 Deconstructing Our Culture, Reconstructing Our Lives
(Official Course Title: Discourse Analysis and Cultural Criticism)
Cathy Comstock

How do we “read” the world and the discourses around us, and how does that reading shape our considerations and our actions?  Deconstruction explores the vested interests or hidden contradictions in an ideological system by looking at that which has been marginalized in the service of its preservation.  In Western culture, for example, we have placed so much emphasis on high achievement and physical perfection that perhaps the great majority of us walk around feeling “disabled” in some way:  not buff enough, not smart enough, not good-looking enough, not thin or rich enough . . .  When our hierarchies are applied to other races and other species, to the very environment we rely on for life, the effects can be even more damaging.  Hence, we may want to question our traditional power hierarchies and consider new kinds of relationship to the world, to other species and to the environment.    This class also gives you the opportunity to earn from one-to-three hours of credit for doing outreach to communities in need, where we often can intimately experience what life is like on the margins.

READINGS INCLUDE: On Deconstruction; “Freaks As-At the Limit”; Discipline And Punish; Gandhi; Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It; Compassionate Communication; PLAN B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization; and others.

Fulfills: Honors Senior Seminar *and* Social Sciences or Humanities Honors credit, in addition to Peace and Conflict Studies certificate hours, Humanities Upper Division. Also offers up to 3 *extra* hours of upper division credit for service, through the optional co-practicum, HONR 4056.

HUMN 4093 Advanced Topics: Modern Poetry
David Ferris

The seminar will explore the literary and critical significance of lyric poetry in the modern age.  We will begin with Romanticism, in particular, Friedrich Hölderlin and Percy Bysshe Shelley, then work through the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, Emily Dickinson, W. B. Yeats, Paul Celan, Ingeborg Bachmann, Adrienne Rich, Anne Sexton, Seamus Heaney, and Geoffrey Hill.

HUMN 4120   Greek and Roman Tragedy
Jackie Elliott

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 4131   Greek and Roman Novel
Carole Newlands

This course will study the ancient novel of the Greeks and Romans.  The course is reading intensive:  during the semester we will read three Greek novels and two Roman novels.  We will place the novels within their historical context and will study them not only for their literary qualities but also for the ways in which they reflect social issues and social change. Same as CLAS4140.

HUMN 4135 Art and Psychoanalysis
Paul Gordon

Explores psychoanalytic theory as it relates to our understanding of literature, film, and other arts.  After becoming familiar with some essential Freudian notions (repression, narcissism, ego/libido, dream work, etc.), students apply these ideas to works by several artists (e.g., Flaubert, James, Kafka, Hoffmann, and Hitchcock). Same as FILM 4010. Prerequisite, HUMN 2000 or junior/senior standing.  Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.

HUMN 4502   Nietzsche:Literature and Values
Henry Pickford

A study of Nietzsche’s major philosophical writings, with attention to his views on metaphysics, aesthetics and his critique of morality.  Restricted to sophomores/juniors/seniors.  Same as GRMN 4502. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: ideals and values.

HUMN 4555 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.  Prerequisites, HUMN 2000 or junior/senior standing.  Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: critical thinking.

HUMN 4821   20th Century Russian Literature and Art
Rimgaila Salys

Focuses on major works of 20th century Russian fiction and selective affinities with Russian art, from the syncretism of Russian Modernism to the formal parallels between postmodern literature and art. 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. Same as RUSS 4821.  Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.