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Maymester Courses

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 4093  Advanced Topics: Modern Lyric
David Ferris

Term  A Courses

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. Same as FILM 3104.HUMN 3104  Film Criticism and Theory
Shira Bat-Ami Segal

HUMN 4010  Hitchcock and Freud
Paul Gordon

This class will apply Freud’s psychoanalytic method of interpreting works of art to the films of Alfred Hitchcock.  Although Hitchcock is often self-consciously Freudian in his art (eg. in VertigoSpellbound, etc.), the true “latent content” of the films is only to be revealed by an application of Freud’s theories of narcissism, the Oedipus-complex, the uncanny, etc. “against the grain” of the manifest content of Hitchcock’s works themselves.  For example, we will seek to explain Hitchcock’s recurrent and complicated use of “maternal super-egos” (as in Psycho), of male narcissism (as in Rear Window), of a violent “male protest” (Shadow of a Doubt) and of a female and trans-gendered violence of nature and the unconscious (MarnieThe Birds).  And above all, we will examine the persistence figure of “Mother” in Hitchcock’s films as it informs all of his leading female characters.

Requirements: Weekly viewing of the films will be accompanied by class presentations and discussions, culminating in a final research project involving the psychoanalytical interpretation of at least one of Hitchcock’s films.  Prerequisite: HUMN 2000 &/or junior/senior standing.

HUMN 4811  Nineteenth Century Russian Literature
Vicki Grove

The 19th century was a turbulent time in Russian society, and nowhere are the heated debates over the future and welfare of the country more acutely revealed than in the literature produced in that period.  Such issues as “the women question,” the liberation of the serfs, radicalism, and nihilism all find expression through the various writers who dominated the literary scene – Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Turgenev, and Dostoevsky, among others.  This course is intended to introduce students to not only the social movements, but the cultural movements as well.  Aside from the topics listed above, we will explore the sentimentalism and romanticism that reflected the Western influence on the Russian novel in the first half of the 19th century, and move on to the novels of realism exemplified by the literary giants of the second half of the century.  Grades for the course will be determined by quizzes, short papers, and a final, as well as participation in class discussions.  No prior experience with Russian language or literature is required.  Same as RUSS 4811.  Approved for the arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.

Term B Courses

HUMN 3702  Dada and Surrealist Literature

Instructor TBD 
 Surveys the major theoretical concepts and literary genres of the Dada and Surrealist movements.  Topics include Dada performance and cabaret, the manifesto, montage, the readymade, the Surrealist novel, colonialism and the avant-garde, and literary and philosophical precursors to the avant-garde.  Taught in English.  Same as GRMN 3702.  Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.HUMN 3702  Dada and Surrealist Literature
Instructor TBD 

HUMN 4004  Topics and Film Theory: Feminist and Queer Documentary Film & Media
Alex Juhasz

Women have made politicized documentaries since the invention of the motion picture camera. In fact, in film history, it is only in the field of documentary where we find “great” early female filmmakers like Leni Reifenstahl or Shirley Clarke (allowed into the largely male canon), more than a handful of foremothers, and an eclectic, complex, and rich history of traditions, themselves the instigators of theoretical, formal and political debates around international filmmaking. Why are women so drawn to and supported at documentary production? By looking at their films what do we learn about both feminist political and artistic history as well as documentary itself? Same as FILM 4004.

HUMN 4110 Greek and Roman Epic
Reina Callier

This course investigates the major works of Greek and Roman epic poetry and the development of the epic genre as a whole. Readings will draw from five epic poems in English translation – Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Apollonius’ Argonautica, Vergil’s Aeneid, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses – while lecture and discussion will take a broader look at other works that inform or respond to these epics.  Along the way, we will consider what formal and thematic features make a poem “epic”, how epic poetry relates to its historical and artistic/literary contexts, and how epic has been adapted in modern literature and film. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: literature and the arts.