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HUMN 1120 Introduction to Humanities II Literature

Introduces students to works from the major Western literary periods (Baroque, Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, Post-Modernism) from the 17th- through the 21st-centuries outside their national literary boundaries. Theorizes interdisciplnarity, genre studies, periodization, comparativism, thematology, hermeneutics, criticism, etc.

Credit not granted for this course and HUMN 1020. Approved for Literature and the Arts

HUMN 1220 Introduction to Humanities II Art and Music
Giulia Bernardini/Alexandra Eddy
The lectures for the Introduction to the Humanities 1220 course present students with an inter-disciplinary survey of the production of art and music from the Baroque period to the present. As a result of situating major works in their economic, historical, and cultural contexts, students develop the ability to consider visual and musical works not only in terms of their formal or stylistic qualities but most importantly to ponder how these characteristics emphasize the political, religious, and philosophical trends of the periods of production being analyzed. Selected primary and secondary texts from the fields of art history, musicology, art theory, music theory, philosophy, history, science, cultural studies and sociology help to reinforce students’ understanding of the trends under investigation and the methodologies that have been used in the scholarly and ‘mainstream’ discourses around them. The ultimate goal of the course is to familiarize students with the Western humanistic legacy in order to become articulate and analytical cultural critics of the world they inhabit.

Humn 3092 Studies in Humanities: Interpretation of Lyric
David Ferris
The title of this course should be understood in a double sense: it addresses how lyric writing has been interpreted critically as well as the ways in which the lyric poem also performs acts of interpretation that question what it means to write lyrically. Topics to be examined include: pure poetry, language and the critique of generic definitions, the relation of lyric to narrative and history as well as violence and atrocity, and the extent to which modern lyric emerges as a tension that both sustains and denies the traditions it is said to represent.  Lyrical writing will be understood to include both poetry and fictional prose. Authors to be studied include: Shakespeare, Donne, Wordsworth, Baudelaire, Mallarme, Dickinson, Rilke, Yeats, Woolf, Plath, Bachmann, Sexton, Hill. The course will also study interpretations of lyric by critics such as Adorno, Benjamin, Staiger, de Man, Abrams, Wimsatt, Culler, Friedrich, Cameron, as well as more recent critical work.

HUMN 3093 Topics in Humanities: Literatures of Consciousness
Annje Wiese
This course is an interdisciplinary study of human consciousness and its representation. We will analyze a variety of works, including literature, film, cognitive theory, philosophy, and scientific studies in order to see what we can learn by synthesizing the different perspectives each has to offer. More specifically, we will analyze the representation of thought in fiction (both literature and film) alongside the information more theoretical and scientific approaches bring to bear on the following key questions: What is consciousness? How do we think and perceive? What does it mean to be “neurotypical” or, by contrast, to be cognitively impaired? And what does all of this have to do with who we are? Our goal is to see how such an interdisciplinary approach can facilitate a complex and productive understanding of consciousness and its implications.

HUMN 3104 Film Criticism
Jennifer Peterson
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 3240 Tragedy
Paul Gordon
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 Sophs/Jrs/Srs

HUMN 3850 Mediterranean: Religion Before Modernity
Brian Catlos
This course offers an innovative approach to the multi-faceted history of Christian-Muslim-Jewish interaction over the long duree, in the context of the Mediterranean. Therefore it eschews established paradigms (e.g. Europe, Islamic world) that have distorted our understanding of these and pushes students to reconsider the paradigms of Western history that have become canonical and are consequently accepted uncritically. Students will be led to reappraise assumptions regarding the nature of ethnic, religious, national and cultural identity, and the role of these in human history. Mediterranean Studies is a cutting edge, emerging field, with an interdisciplinary orientation. Students will use an array of material and methodologies not only to understand the region, but to interrogate our notions of what constitutes culture. Finally, the course compliments, but does not duplicate courses offered in History and Religious Studies, and dovetails with the Mediterranean Studies initiative currently being launched on campus.

HUMN 4000 Question of Romanticism
Stephanie Rowe

This course focuses on the Romantic ideal of art as both a spiritual and social force.  Through close attention to the painting, poetry, drama, prose fiction, and aesthetic theory of the period we will examine some of Romanticism’s central aesthetic issues, including its tropes of inspiration and alienation; the idea of nature as a source of art and its object; and the roles of exoticism, the supernatural, and the imagination. Course requirements: informal writing assignments on the readings; two exams; and a final paper. Prerequisite HUMN 2000 or Jr/Sr standing. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: critical thinking.

Prerequisite HUMN 2000 or Jr/Sr standing.  Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: critical thinking.

HUMN 4004 Topics in Film Theory: National and Transnational Cinema
Reece Auguiste
This course will explore through lectures, film screenings, and seminars the diverse film making 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 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 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 4135. Prerequisite, HUMN 2000 or junior/senior standing. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.

Humn 4150 Decameron: Age of Realism
Valerio Ferme
Analyzes the rise of realism in 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. Prerequisite, junior standing or instructor consent. Same as ITAL 4150. Approved for arts and science core curriculum: literature and the arts, or cultural and gender diversity.

HUMN 4170 Fiction and Reality
Annjeanette Wiese
Reality television, fiction, meta-fiction, 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.