Fall 2019 Arts & Letters Courses

Fall 2019 HC 221H: The Song, the Book, and the Bandersnatch: Interactive Stories from Homer to Netflix

Professor: David Chamberlain

4.00 credits

• CRN 12747: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00 - 11:20 @ CHA 301
• CRN 17249: Tuesday & Thursday, 12:00 - 13:20 @ VIL 201

This seminar will explore ideas of reader interaction and the reader as creator or controller of the story in western narrative from ancient Greece to the present day. The oldest Greek narratives were crafted as oral performances, which drew from a vast repertoire of pre-coded choices, according to the desires of both poet and audience. Read more


Fall 2019 HC 221H: Feminist Epic

Professor: Anna Carroll

4.00 credits

• CRN 12743: Wednesday & Friday, 12:00 - 13:20 @ FEN 119

This class will survey women’s literary renderings of Homer. Selections from recent women-penned translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey, prize-winning novels, contemporary poetry, and an indie folk album are the rich tapestry against which we'll think about how feminism has to work to reshape some of the most violent and foundational stories in all of literature. Read more


Fall 2019 HC 221H: Explore—Encounter—Exploit: Mediating Ancient and Modern Contact Zones

Professor: Marcel Brousseau

4.00 credits

•  CRN 12746: Tuesday & Thursday, 12:00 - 13:20 @ CON 203

Orbis novus (new world) and terra nova (new land) were among the Latin terms used to name the places European explorers encountered in the early modern era. These terms revealed more about the antiquated cultural expectations surrounding oceanic exploration than they did about the lands they described. Read more


Fall 2019 HC 221H: Drama in Ancient Greece and Medieval Japan

Professor: Corinne Bayerl

4.00 credits

• CRN 12744: Tuesday & Thursday, 8:30 - 9:50 @ CHA 202
• CRN 12758: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00 - 11:20 @ CHA 201
• CRN 12754: Tuesday & Thursday, 12:00 - 13:20 @ CHA 201

This seminar will explore the relationship between drama in comic and tragic modes in two different cultures: 5th- and 4th-century B.C. Athens and 14th-century Japan. Our main goal is to understand why the separation of drama into a serious and a lighthearted genre occurred in the first place, why playwrights in both cultures settled on one or the other, and why they did not mix both genres to create a hybrid form, such as tragicomedy, which is of later historical origin. Read more


Fall 2019 HC 221H: Ethical Beginnings: On the Origins of Ethical Philosophy around the World

Professor: Caroline Lundquist

4.00 credits

• CRN 12745: Monday & Wednesday, 10:00 - 11:20 @ GSH 103
• CRN 12755: Monday & Wednesday, 12:00 - 13:20 @ CON 301

As philosophers have often pointed out, sometimes the things that are most obvious to us are also the hardest to explain. This is true of some of our most important beliefs about ethics, including beliefs about personal responsibility, judgment, and even what it means to be human. Read more


Fall 2019 HC 221H: The Tragic Mode of Knowledge

Professor: Casey Shoop

4.00 credits

• CRN 12748: Tuesday & Thursday, 16:00 - 17:20 @ CHA 201
• CRN 12753: Tuesday & Thursday, 14:00 - 15:20 @ CHA 201

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 2019 HC 221H: Thinking Like the Sun: Travel in Ancient and Emergent Minds

Professor: Barbara Mossberg

4.00 credits

• CRN 12749: Monday & Wednesday, 10:00 - 11:50 @ CHA 201

“I cannot rest from travel/I will drink life to the lees”—Tennyson, “Ulysses”
Ahoy, armchair travelers! People did not always have access to planes to jet across the world, or satellite imagery in which to gaze at our earth whole. For most of human history earth was traversed laboriously on foot, or by donkey or camel, or by dug-out canoe, or home-made raft: travel was arduous, and people did not go far. Read more


Fall 2019 HC 221H: Epic and Leadership

Professor: Barbara Mossberg

4.00 credits

• CRN 12751: Monday & Wednesday, 14:00 - 15:50 @ CHA 201

Into the woods, on the wine dark seas, following the yellow brick road-- witches and monsters and tempters are at every bend and even in the mirror as we make our way forward: our course explores the power of story to illuminate our lives as a momentous learning journey critical for the role you will play in our world. Read more


Fall 2019 HC 221H: Mythos & Ethos I: Stories & Ethics from the Cradle of Civilization

Professor: Kimberley Parzuchowski

4.00 credits

• CRN 12750: Monday & Wednesday, 12:00 - 13:20 @ CON 104
• CRN 12757: Monday & Wednesday, 14:00 - 15:20 @ CHA 301
• CRN 12752: Tuesday & Thursday, 16:00 - 17:20 @ PLC 248

Human life is fraught with confusion and the anguish that we must chose to act and then live with the consequences of those actions. “How shall I live?” is an ancient question. Read more


Fall 2019 HC 221H: Cinematic Representations of the Ancient and Pre-Modern World

Professor: Stephen Rust

4.00 credits

• CRN 12756: Monday & Wednesday, 10:00 - 11:50 @ CON 301
• CRN 17242: Monday & Wednesday, 14:00 - 15:50 @ GSH 130

Motion pictures are a decidedly modern invention; however, as with all forms of art many filmmakers have used this modern technology to imagine and re-imagine the lives of ancient peoples. Read more


Fall 2019 HC 221H: Apocalyptic Visions

Professor: Brendan O'Kelly

4.00 credits

• CRN 17289: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00 - 11:20 @ DEA 303
• CRN 17290: Tuesday & Thursday, 14:00 - 15:20 @ DEA 209

Why and how have humans attempted to think the “end of days”? What does the human fixation on the apocalypse, tracing its Greek root, “uncover” or “disclose” about the world and our engagement with it? Read more