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Fall 2020 Class Schedule

fall 2020 class Schedule

Course Title Instructor Day/Time
HUM 325-6-21 The Cinema of Always-On Computing James Hodge TTh 11:20AM-12:40PM
HUM 370-4-22 Monsters, Art, and Civilization Ann Gunter TTh 11:20AM-12:40PM
HUM 370-4-23 Migrations in the Mediterranean Lauren Stokes TTh 4:20-5:40PM
HUM 370-6-20 Russian Fairy Tale Opera Inna Naroditskaya TTh 9:40-11AM
HUM 370-6-22 Rhythm in Art and Philosophy  Domietta Torlasco TTh 11:20AM-12:40PM
HUM 395-0-20 Introduction to Digital Humanities John R. Ladd Th 2-4:50PM


fall 2020 course descriptions

HUM 325-6-21: The Cinema of Always-On Computing

Co-listed with ENGLISH 385
Fulfills Distro VI, Literature and Fine Arts

In the 21st century, visual culture moved from the big screen to the small screen. The rise of smartphones, social media, and ubiquitous wireless networks ushered in a new way of life lived on the basis of constant connectivity. This apparent transformation in the media landscape has not only witnessed the emergence of new devices (the iPhone) and aesthetics (#oddlysatisfying), it has also shifted the role of older visual forms. This course considers the place of cinema in the age of always-on computing, and cinema’s role in documenting, representing, and expressing the technological tumult of the historical present. It analyzes the ways new technologies have affected the thematic preoccupations of filmmakers and also formal innovations and experimentations reflective of the experience of always-on computing. The course will proceed by pairing one or two movies per week with readings drawn from critical theory and cinema and digital media studies. These combinations will aim to open up discussion of the films themselves as well as broader topics such as networked personalization, Big Data, fake news, self-care, gamification, gender, and much else. Movies to be studied may include The Matrix, The Social Network, Her, Personal Shopper, Unfriended: Dark Web, Citizenfour, Eighth Grade, Summer Wars, Spider-Man: Far From Home, My Best Thing, and supercuts by Jennifer Proctor.

HUM 370-4-22: Monsters, Art, and Civilization

Co-listed with ART HISTORY 319
Fulfills Distro IV, Historical Studies

Griffins, sphinxes, demons, and other fabulous creatures appear frequently in the art of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Eastern Mediterranean world. They stand at the intersection of the normal and abnormal, the natural and unnatural. Why did these images become so widespread, and what cultural functions did they serve? Can we connect their invention and dissemination with key moments in human history and cross-cultural interaction? What was the role of material representations of the supernatural in preventing and healing disease and other human misfortune?

This course explores the supernatural subject in ancient art with new perspectives drawn from art history, history, anthropology, and archaeology. We will examine a wide range of objects and representations (including sculptures, figurines, seals, amulets, and other media) along with ancient texts that help us understand their meaning and function.

HUM 370-4-23: Migrations in the Mediterranean

Co-listed with HISTORY 393
Fulfills Distro IV, Historical Studies

This course will examine the contemporary European “migration crisis” in the Mediterranean through multiple lenses. We will contextualize current developments with reference to historical Mediterranean migrations as well as critically analyzing novels, films, and other media that engage with migration in the Mediterranean today. What is the appropriate response to mass death in the Mediterranean? How have migrants narrated their experiences? How does migration across the Mediterranean, and the political responses to it, help to define Europe, Africa, and the Middle East today?

HUM 370-6-20: Russian Fairy Tale Opera

Co-listed with MUSICOLOGY 330
Fulfills Distro VI, Literature and Fine Arts

In this class we immerse in the world of Russian fairy tales, learning folk and literary tales and their musical counterparts. The core of the course is an operatic repertoire including operas Prince Fevey by Catherine the Great, Ruslan and Ludmila by Glinka; Sadko and Golden Cockerel by Rimsky-Korsakov; and Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky, as well as works by other composers. The primary sources will include Russian operas and ballets as well as Russian folk narrative and literary fairy tales and their formulaic construction. Students will also read theoretical and analytical sources. In addition, the course will involve current critical theory, including concepts related to the portrayal of women, the interplay of nationalism and gender, and the dichotomy of East/West in the construction of Russian whether Western, Euroasian, or Asian self-imagery.

HUM 370-6-22: Rhythm in Art and Philosophy

Co-listed with ITALIAN 360
Fulfills Distro VI, Literature and Fine Arts

Whether you are breathing, dancing, or thinking, your activity is marked by a certain rhythm. Rhythm stands at the cusp between body and mind, movement and memory, experience of the self and interaction with others. This course will attend to diverse and at times contradictory notions of rhythm as they have emerged in modern and contemporary Western art and philosophy. After a brief and yet crucial return to ancient Greek philosophy (Plato and the Pre-Socratics), we will focus on Soviet avant-garde cinema (Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov), Italian Neorealism (Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini), Jean-Luc Godard’s recent films, and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s philosophy. We will devote particular attention to the role that rhythm has played in shaping our understanding of the relation between aesthetic experience and political life: What is the relation between rhythm and power? How do different ideas of rhythm in artistic practice relate to different ideas of society and order? In addition to the aforementioned bodies of work, we will consider contributions from the fields of psychoanalysis, critical race theory, and feminist/queer theory.

HUM 395-0-20: Introduction to Digital Humanities

Co-listed with ENGLISH 481

This graduate seminar will introduce the digital humanities (DH) as a community of practice, a growing interdisciplinary field, and a set of approaches to research and teaching. Students in this course will explore a wide range of arguments and techniques, spanning such topics as critical code studies, technology in the classroom, digital editions, text and network analysis, machine learning, and data visualization. We will mix seminar discussion with hands-on activities designed to invite students to participate in DH's expanding community and to interrogate the methods, aims, and boundaries of digital scholarship in the twenty-first century.

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