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HUMN 1001 Forms of Narrative: An Introduction to Humanities
Introduces students to forms of narrative from different historical, geographical, and cultural contexts in different media in order to explore how narrative, as cognitive tool and form of representation, functions as a means of understanding human experience. Students learn to analyze and interpret narratives and improve critical thinking, the practice of close reading, and written and verbal communication. Serves to introduce students to the types of questions and methods of interpretation encountered in Humanities.
HUMN 1003 Conflicts in History: Civilization and Culture: An Introduction to Humanities
Introduces students to concepts of culture, history, and civilization as sites of conflict across different historical times and geographical locations. Course materials address political and artistic questions that intersect across different ages through their different histories and guiding concepts. Students will learn to read and understand critical, historical, political, and artistic works. Emphasis will be placed on developing critical thinking, close reading, and the ability to articulate and develop issues in writing and verbally.
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.
HUMN 1220 Introduction to Humanities II Art and Music
Giulia Bernardini, D. Ferris
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 3093 Topics: Avatars
This course seeks to introduce students to the analysis of posthuman thought via the concept of the avatar within our digital cultures. Through an interdisciplinary approach to theory, art, and culture, students will become familiar with the discourse of both humanism and posthumanism as it relates to games, virtual spaces, and digital embodiments. Students will read selected theories on defining avatars and posthumanism and engage with these texts in a critical fashion in order to develop skills in close-reading, critical thinking, and analytical writing. Our primary creative texts will span different modes and genres of media from video games to poetry from around the world. The final grade will be assessed based on tests, papers, quizzes, and participation. It is my desire that students gain a foundational knowledge of human complexity. These skills will be integral to the further study of cultural texts that shape society within any given class or within your everyday reality where the borders of the human self are measured or tested.
HUMN 3093 Topics: Making Meaning: Language, Myths, and Dreams
How is meaning produced? How does it circulate? How is it consumed and interiorized? “Making meaning: Language, Myths, and Dreams” will consider how meaning works, how it configures our experience of the world, and our understanding of the self. As students are introduced to various theories concerned with signification, communication, and meaning, they will discover by what processes our chaotic world remains intelligible, and inhabitable.
The course will focus on the legacy of Ferdinand de Saussure’s study of the sign, known as semiology or semiotics. We will examine how Saussure’s insights have been put to work in a variety of intellectual contexts from literary analysis, to cultural anthropology, and psychoanalysis. Key readings will include Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics, Barthes’ Mythologies, Levi-Strauss’ Myth and Meaning, and Freud’s On Dreams. With each theoretical introduction, we will analyze and interpret texts, myths, and images from fine arts to popular culture.
HUMN 3093 Topics: Bold Experimenters
Description to come.
HUMN 3500 Literatures of Consciousness
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 3800 Paris, Modernity, and the Avant-Garde
Investigates the development of the concept of the 'avant-garde' in late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century Paris against a backdrop of political and social revolution. Analyzes the innovative nature of certain works of art, theater, photography, music and literature as well as the influence of the city. Probes and problematizes the concept of the artist as social outsider and cultural critic.
HUMN 3801 Muslims, Christians, Jews, and the Mediterranean Origins of the West
Description to come.
HUMN 4000 Question of Romanticism
Interdisciplinary study of literature, art, and music from 1780 to 1830 in France, England, and Germany.
HUMN 4170 Fiction and Reality
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. Approved for arts and science core curriculum: literature and the arts.