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Fall 2021 Class Schedule

fall 2021 class Schedule

Course Title Instructor Day/Time
HUM 205-0-20 The World of Homer Ann Gunter TTh 9:30-10:50AM
HUM 225-0-20 Media Theory: An Introduction James Hodge MW 11:00AM-12:20PM
HUM 370-3-20 Medical Heroes and Villains Noelle Sullivan TTh 11:00AM-12:20PM
HUM 370-4-20 Red Power: Indigenous Resistance in the U.S. and Canada, 1887-Present Doug Kiel TTh 11:00AM-12:20PM
HUM 370-6-21 Under Representation: Is There a Mirror for Me? Alejandra Uslenghi MW 11:00AM-12:20PM
HUM 370-6-23 National Cinema/World Cinema Christopher Bush MW 12:30-1:50PM
HUM 370-6-24 Voice vs. Narrative–Contemporary Opera Hans Thomalla TTh 2:00-3:20PM


fall 2021 course descriptions

HUM 205-0-20: The World of Homer

Co-listed with CLASSICS 210
Fulfills Distro IV, Historical Studies, or Distro V, Ethics and Values

What do we know of the world inhabited by the heroes of Homer’s epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey? Do the poems describe a largely imaginary realm, or do they reflect a particular period of ancient Greek history—and if so, which one? How did the circulation of the poems help contribute to a collective sense of Greek identity over a wide area of the eastern Mediterranean? This course explores the society, economy, and culture of Iron Age Greece with special attention to the Geometric and early Archaic periods, emphasizing what scholars have learned through archaeological discoveries along with study of the poems themselves. Topics include the excavations at Troy and other sites; contacts with Egypt and the Near East and colonization in the Mediterranean world; trade, exchange, and the technology of travel; literacy and oral tradition; political communities and warfare; gender and family relationships; religion, burial practices, and the art of ritual and commemoration. We will also examine some of the ways scholars and artists today are re-exploring  the poems and their enduring themes.

HUM 225-0-20: Media Theory: An Introduction

Co-listed with ART HISTORY 375
Fulfills Distro VI, Literature and Fine Arts

How do media impact our sense of such fundamental concepts as personhood, social life, and time and space? How do new technologies transform sensory experience at different moments in history? This course provides an introduction to the field of theoretical writings within the humanities addressing the nature of media and the role of technology in 20th- and 21st century culture. We will pay close attention to the work of key media theorists, including (but not limited to) Walter Benjamin, Marshall McLuhan, and Donna Haraway. We will also analyze works of art, sound, film, and literature in order to catalyze, test, and expand our sense of how media matter.

HUM 370-3-20: Medical Heroes and Villains

Co-listed with GLOBAL HEALTH STUDIES 390
Fulfills Distro III, Social and Behavioral Sciences

House. Grey’s Anatomy. The Constant Gardener. Frankenstein’s Monster. Paul Farmer. Josef Mengele. The Tuskeegee Trials. Healthcare workers, and physicians and nurses in particular, have long held sway in the popular imagination as both hero and villain. From biographies of real-life medical heroes and villains to fictional accounts in movies, novels, TV series, podcasts, and other media, medicine has long held sway in our popular imagination. What can we learn about the societal values we place on medicine (and medical personnel) by exploring the ways that medical heroes and villains are depicted to wide public audiences? What do these fictional and non-fictional accounts have to tell us about societal anxieties and ambiguities relating to medicine? How might we contemplate the ways societal norms relating to race, gender, place of origin, ability, and other identifiers become mapped onto the stories the public consumes relating to medicine? What can these stories tell us about anxieties regarding life and death, technology, science, and culture? Who is portrayed as hero, who as villain, who as victim and who as backdrop to the narrative? In this course, we will consume a wide array of popular media about medical heroes and villains, both fictional and non-fictional, in order to interrogate how medicine as a lens tells us about a wide array of societal ambiguities, potentialities, inequalities and silences.

HUM 370-4-20: Red Power: Indigenous Resistance in the U.S. and Canada, 1887-Present

Fulfills Distro IV, Historical Studies

In 2016, thousands of Indigenous water protectors and their non-Native allies camped at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in an effort to block the construction of the DakotaAccess Pipeline. That movement is part of a long history of Native activism. In this course, we will examine the individual and collective ways in which Indigenous people have resisted colonial domination in the U.S. and Canada since 1887. In addition to focusing on North America, we will also turn our attention to Hawai‘i and the U.S. territories. This course will emphasize environmental justice, and will highlight religious movements, inter-tribal organizations, key intellectual figures, student movements, armed standoffs, non-violent protest, and a variety of visions for Indigenous community self-determination.

HUM 370-6-21: Under Representation: Is There a Mirror for Me?

Co-listed with SPANISH 397
Fulfills Distro VI, Literature and Fine Arts

This course proposes to explore both the philosophical idea of representation in modern Aesthetics as well as the visual culture practices that have contested its racial and gendered regime—resisting being reabsorbed on the condition that difference be reduced to minor inflections of equivalence. If Aesthetics has historically been the realm of thought where universalizing claims of political and self-determining subjecthood demarcated the threshold of the human subject in and of their representation: how have unfreedom, subjection, and social injustice been defined in relation to representation? Taking the Block Museum exhibition Who Says, Who Shows, What Counts: Thinking About History with The Block’s Collection as a survey of the compelling stories that can be told through works of art, we examine not only who and what gets represented and/or erased but also what constitutes visibility in visual culture, historically and down to the present. We interrogate the racial and gender power dynamics that have regulated access to recognition by fundamentally de-naturalizing the ways in which these regimes have taught us to see. Closely exploring particular works of art and literature, we ask what the experience of seeing yourself “represented” in or by art involves and means, how it dramatizes the lived experience of being included or barred from social recognition, institutional legitimacy, political agency.

HUM 370-6-23: National Cinema/World Cinema

Co-listed with FRENCH 379
Fulfills Distro VI, Literature and Fine Arts

What makes a film “French” or “Korean” or “Mexican”? Is it where the film is made or where it takes place? The languages spoken or the actors who play the roles? Do national cinemas have distinct visual styles—and if so, how does that sit with the idea that cinema is somehow a “universal” language? We will explore debates about the national and/or global dimensions of cinema, from some of the classic texts of early film theory to such recent films as Parasite. Following readings on the concepts of cinema and the nation, we will study the global circulation of ideas about the films of the great director Yasujiro Ozu, routinely said to be the “most Japanese” of all filmmakers, but also an influence on directors throughout the world. We will also explore the idea of “new wave” cinemas: Originally used to describe innovative French films of the late 50s and 60s, “new wave” became both a critical and a marketing concept to group films from Japan, Poland, Iran, and many other countries around the world, to the present day. We will watch, read about, and discuss a wide range of films from around the world, with an emphasis on Western Europe and East Asia. Beyond Ozu, directors may include Sergei Eisenstein, Claire Denis, Wim Wenders, Edward Yang, Abbas Kiraostami, Abderrahmane Sissako, Bong Joon-ho, and Lee Isaac Chung.

HUM 370-6-24: Voice vs. Narrative–Contemporary Opera

Co-listed with MUSIC STUDIES 337/437
Fulfills Distro VI, Literature and Fine Arts

The class will undertake a survey of 20th and 21st century operas with a special focus on works with innovative positions towards the relation of music (voice) and narrative. After a brief analysis of the point of departure (Wagner’s “Tristan,” Berg’s “Wozzeck”) we will discuss works that have radically challenged the traditional understanding of opera: Phillip Glass' "Einstein On the Beach", Morton Feldman’s
 "Neither", Chaya Czernowin’s “Pnima”, Helmut Lachenmann's "Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern" as well as works by Salvatore
 Sciarrino, Liza Lim, and David T. Little. Furthermore, we will look at tendencies in contemporary theater and dance, (Wilson, Wooster Group, Forsythe, Bausch) and discuss aesthetic concepts that influence contemporary opera composition. An important part of the class will be a creative workshop: the students will work on drafting an opera project.

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