Fall 2017 Arts & Letters Courses

Fall 2017 HC 221H: Ancient Comedy: Athens, Rome, China, Japan

Professor: Corinne Bayerl

4 credits

•  CRN 12773: Tuesday & Thursday, 08:30 – 09:50 @ MAC 103
•  CRN 12775: Tuesday & Thursday, 12:00 – 13:20 @ MAC 106

This seminar will consider what comedy tells us about the sense of humor of a given society and its deep-rooted hopes, fears, and convictions. We will explore why writers choose to create comedies to deal with ‘deadly serious’ problems in their societies, and how their comedies relate to the ethical values, cultural practices, and political ideas of their time. Read More

Fall 2017 HC 221H: Creating Wisdom

Professor: Louise Bishop

4 credits

•  CRN 12766: Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 11:00 – 11:50 @ MAC 103

What does it mean to be knowledgeable? To be wise?  How distinct are these concepts? This course will concentrate on human culture’s most powerful vehicle with which to explore, understand, create and contest both knowledge and wisdom:  telling stories. Stories – narratives – carry knowledge and create wisdom in their many pre-modern forms. Read More

Fall 2017 HC 221H: Debating Women

Professor: Rebecca Lindner

4 credits

•  CRN 12767: Tuesday & Thursday, 12:00 – 13:20 @ MAC 107

Medieval literature is popularly characterized as stories about heroic knights and damsels in distress, about courtly love and male chivalry. This course explores a different side of this period by focusing on the many ways in which medieval writers – both male and female – challenged such stereotypes and advocated for the rights, power and status of women in education, politics, religion and domestic life.  Read More

Fall 2017 HC 221H: Epic and Leadership

Professor: Barbara Mossberg

4 credits

•  CRN 12765: Monday & Wednesday, 08:30 – 09:50 @ MAC 110

As individuals and in teams, our class will read and recreate – and argue translations of – a handful of famous pre-modern classic epics featuring Homer’s The Odyssey, including Dante’s Divine Comedy, Gilgamesh, Beowulf, Virgil’s The Aeneid, Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, and Cervantes’ Don Quixote. We will look at the stories' relevance to leadership—decision making, strategic thinking, problem-solving, resilience, crisis management, effective communication, and what sustains the courage and commitment of service to one’s community.  Read More

Fall 2017 HC 221H: Gender Matters

Professor: Katy Brundan

4 credits

•  CRN 16832: Monday & Wednesday, 14:00 – 15:20 @ MAC 110

This course presents us with literary texts in which gender plays a significant role, raising questions about gender, sexuality and issues of power. We will read influential texts from the classical period to the eighteenth century featuring feisty heroines, transgressive gender roles, and an utopia of intersex inhabitants. Our reading will uncover historical and philosophical debates relating to gendered identities.  Read More

Fall 2017 HC 221H: The Arts of Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages

Professor: Johanna Seasonwein

4 credits

•  CRN 12770: Monday & Wednesday, 10:00 – 11:20 @ MAC 111
•  CRN 12771: Monday & Wednesday, 12:00 – 13:20 @ MAC 111

An expensive journey, an encounter with the marvelous, the purchase of a souvenir to take home: this could describe a medieval pilgrim’s journey to a sacred site…or the modern rite of passage that is the American family vacation to Walt Disney World. In this course, we explore the medieval model of pilgrimage and some of its modern descendants.  Read More

Fall 2017 HC 221H: Tragic Mode of Knowledge

Professor: Casey Shoop

4 credits

•  CRN 12768: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00 – 11:20 @ MAC 106
•  CRN 12774: Tuesday & Thursday, 14:00 – 15:20 @ MAC 111

How can it be that seeing the pain of others constitutes a form of knowledge? What does it mean, in the words of Gloucester in King Lear, to “see it feelingly”?  From Aristotle to the present, tragedy is an aesthetic form that seeks to pose, interrogate and answer this question of what we learn from the dramatization of human suffering.  Read More

Fall 2017 HC 221H: Where I'm From. Who I am: Stories of Migration in World Literature

Professor: Susanna Lim

4 credits

•  CRN 12772: Monday & Wednesday, 08:30 – 09:50 @ MAC 103
•  CRN 12764: Tuesday & Thursday, 08:30 – 09:50 @ MAC 111
•  CRN 12769: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00 – 11:20 @ MAC 111

This course examines the significance of migration, immigration, exile, and displacement in the stories we tell about our lives and identities. Although the historical and political context of migration will be a part of our discussions, please note that this is not a contemporary political or historical course on U.S. immigration. Rather, we will look at migration as a universal human experience through the narrative mediums of literature and film, in American and world literature and culture. Read More

Fall 2017 HC 221H: Ethical Beginnings: On the Origins of Ethical Philosophy around the World

Professor: Caroline Lundquist

4 credits

• CRN 17221: Wednesday & Friday, 12:00 – 13:20 @ MAC 110

Because beliefs about ethics are often merely inherited from our surrounding cultures, we may fail to consider why we (both as individuals and collectively) have come to accept them, and why we feel so strongly about them. But ideas about ethics, like all ideas, have origins, and to really understand an idea, we must understand where it came from. Read More

Fall 2017 HC 221H: Ethos & Mythos: Ethics & Stories in the Cradle of Civilization

Professor: Kimberley Parzuchowski

4 credits

CRN 17222: Monday & Wednesday, 14:00 – 15:20 @ MAC 107CRN 17234: Tuesday & Thursday, 08:30 - 09:50 @ MAC 107

We will explore ethics as conceived in Western antiquity in a variety of texts including biblical literature, Stoic literature, Plato & Aristotle, and through the narratives of ancient Mesopotamia, Israel, & Greece. We will consider themes of heroism, vulnerability, moral luck, gender, family, community, and how moral values impact people in various positions in the societies of this early period. Read More