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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 1002 Visualizing Culture: An Introduction to Humanities

How do we see, what do we consider worth looking at, how does this shape culture? What do visual media do to/for us and how do we endow them with meaning? This class probes such questions using a range of visual media including visual art, film, music videos, and social media. With the help of theoretical, scholarly, and popular sources, students analyze examples of visual culture and articulate their responses to the issues raised.

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 3093 Topics: Bold Experimenters
Kieran Murphy

Description to come.

HUMN 3310 Bible as Literature
K. Little

No single book has been as influential to the English-speaking world as the Bible. We’ll read the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament for stories, poetry, and wisdom traditions. We’ll approach the Bible as literature by analyzing its plots, characters, and meanings. Students study its textual history, how there came to be a “Bible,” and the many writers, conflicts, and cultures from which it emerged. We’ll consider the Bible’s powerful influence on ethics and philosophy. Same as ENGL 3310.

HUMN 3500 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 3505 The Enlightenment

Examines Enlightenment notions of reason, humanity and social progress. Topics include 18th century views on government, science, education, religion, slavery and gender roles. Same as GRMN 3505.

HUMN 3600 Avatars
Andy Gilbert

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 3800 Paris, Modernity, and the Avant-Garde
Giulia Bernardini

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
Brian Catlos

Provides a historical foundation for the study of western Modernity, including the Anglo-European and Islamic worlds. It focuses on the Mediterranean region in the long Middle Ages (650-1650), emphasizing the role of Christian, Muslim and Jewish peoples and cultures, in Europe, Africa and West Asia. The approach is interdisciplinary incorporating social, economic, cultural, literary and art history, combining lectures with discussions based around readings of contemporary documents and the analysis of contemporary artifacts. Same as RLST 3801.

HUMN 4000 Question of Romanticism
Jeff Cox

Interdisciplinary study of literature, art, and music from 1780 to 1830 in France, England, and Germany.

HUMN 4070 Making Meaning: Language, Myths, and Dreams
Audrey Burba

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 4170 Fiction and Reality
Annje Wiese

Fake news, reality television, meta-fiction, virtual reality, fantasy, documentary, propaganda, autobiography, testimonial, digital manipulation of images, robotics—all are popular today for their ability to question and explore 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 (maybe obsessed with?) the relationship between the two concepts. In this course we will explore the consequences of the assumption that a recognizable distinction between reality and fiction exists. We will also consider the increasing sense that there is no tangible way to distinguish the two. Over the course of the semester, we will analyze a diverse selection of sources in order to see how they define reality and fiction and what the consequences of these definitions are.