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Arts and Humanities Course Listing



HUM4616 From the French Revolution to the Sexual Revolution 4 credit advanced liberal arts Patriots of the French Revolution demanded equality of rights and opportunity before the law, that is, they dreamt of political democracy. The first half of our course will focus on the French Revolution and will give you the opportunity to work in teams and role-play major historical players in the first phases of the French Revolutions attempt to establish equality. (Students are unanimous in their enthusiasm for the role-playing component of this course.) Another kind of dream, the dream for democracy in intimate relations, also took shape at this time through a process much less visible. Whereas the first revolution was largely a male project, in the second women played the primary role. In the second half of the course we will study the history of the sexual revolution by reading biographical and historical essays, as well as a play that boldly dramatizes the struggle, Strindbergs Miss Julie. Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 intermediate liberal arts (HSS LVA CVA)

4.00 credits



HUM4620 Constructing and Performing the Self 4 credits (advanced liberal arts) In Constructing and Performing the Self students will examine and attempt to answer the most fundamental of questions: Who am I? A question this significant cannot be adequately answered by any one approach, thus the course brings together two very different approaches to guide the investigation. Psychological studies of identity marshal the tools and methods of science to develop and test theories that describe and explain the self. Theater studies bring interpretative and aesthetic perspectives to represent and reveal identity. In this course, these two approaches will be purposely inter-mingled: the questions asked and the answers derived will be informed equally by psychology and theater. Students will see, on a daily basis, how each field informs, supports, and speaks to the other. While there are some class sessions and assignments explicitly grounded in only one field to build students fluency, the major activities of the semester will require both. Given how personally applicable both psychology and theater are, students own sense of identity will be the central text in this course. Like Tom in The Glass Menagerie, students are both the main character in their own life stories and also the narrator of them. This course aims for true interdisciplinary integration, and students will be called upon to use and apply the theoretical work as they build and create an original solo performance about a key moment in their lives. Our hope is that by semesters end students will have taken a concrete step forward in understanding and articulating their sense of self and feel comfortable and confident in their ability to perform for a live, public audience. Students are asked to alternate between four roles in this course: scholar, writer, actor, and critic. Scholars consume information in analytical ways and produce new knowledge that is deeply grounded in their foundational knowledge. Writers produce new works, both analytical and creative, that take a novel position and support it. Actors give life to both old and new characters, conveying their shifting objectives over time to impact an audience. Critics evaluate texts (in our case, performances) with a constructive, thoughtful, and respectful approach that brings new insights. Some days students will only adopt one role, others students will be asked to oscillate between the them. Prerequisites: RHT & Any combination of 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts (LVA/CVA/HSS)

4.00 credits



HUM4625 Advanced Queer Theory 4 credit advanced liberal arts The course examines the difference between LBGTQ studies and LBGTQ theory. Put simplyand perhaps too simplyLBGTQ studies could be thought of as the study of LBGTQ people. The problem with this definition, though, is that it assumes we know who and what we are talking about, not only on the individual level of each of the letters in the acronym (we know what the lesbian is, etc), but also on the group level of the acronym itself (we know what defines the LBGTQ community as a whole). Conversely, LBGTQ theory puts this know-ability under the microscope. It investigates the assumptions about how sexual acts come to define the people participating in them.

4.00 credits



HUM4630 Extremism: The Fanatic, The Militant, The Sectarian 4 credit advanced Liberal Arts This course is committed to exploring extremism through the formation of dangerous sects: i.e. underground movements, secret societies, forbidden associations, cult gatherings, urban gangs, martial arts orders, outlawed artistic circles, rebel cadres, and terrorist units. We will use contemporary literary works from around the world to examine the way in which these dangerous, hidden alliances experiment with ideas of concealment, seduction, power, strangeness, and sacrifice in order to create antagonistic counter-currents to everyday society. We will therefore also study the many forms that such outsider factions can take as they banish themselves and plan their hostile-ecstatic return to the surface: revolutionary, criminal, religious, mystical, magical, and avant-garde. Ultimately, this topic will allow us to penetrate one of the darker quarters of the human imagination in the modern age, following the extremist mind into its most subterranean possibilities, where a certain intense passion/hatred toward the world allows one to generate an alternative reality of the most excessive nature. Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts (HSS, LVA, CVA)

4.00 credits



JPN2200 Elementary Japanese Language and Culture I (Free elective) An introduction to a practical and functional knowledge of Japanese as it is used in contemporary society. Students will learn the fundamental use of the Japanese language by exercising all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Two basic writing systems, hiragana and katakana and some kanji, are taught to promote literacy in Japanese environments. An introduction to Japanese culture, which is inseparable from learning the language, is provided through demonstrations, videos, and films. Students are required to do at least two projects which introduce some aspect of Japanese culture. Prerequisite: None

4.00 credits



JPN4610 Elementary Japanese Language and Culture II (Advanced Liberal Arts) A continuation of the fall semester, this course develops more advanced language skills as well as explores social and culture aspect of Japanese society. The course includes visits to local places, such as Japan Society of Boston, where students try their language skills in real-world settings. Students will engage in hands-on participation in Japanese cultural activities. They will also explore some Japanese business protocol. In addition, they will learn approximately 150 Kanji writing symbols and use hiragana and katakana extensively in the classroom and with computer word processing.

4.00 credits



LIT4600 Modern Drama (Advanced Liberal Arts) This is a survey of Western drama from the late nineteenth century to the present day. We'll study representative works of major dramatists of this period such as Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw, Brecht, O'Neill, Pirandello, Beckett, O'Casey, Soyinka, Churchill, Wilson, Stoppard, Mamet, Kushner, and Parks. You'll research and report on theatre movements such as symbolism, expressionism, realism, naturalism, epic theatre, and theatre of the absurd. We'll consider the play as both text and performance, making use of theatre reviews, director's notes, interviews, photographs, videos, and, when possible, live performances. Grades will be determined by two papers, a midterm and a final exam, a group performance project, and a thoroughly researched oral presentation. Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS) This course may be offered Spring semester.

4.00 credits



LIT4606: Documentary Poetry: Engaging Reality 4 advanced liberal arts credit How do contemporary poets engage their work with whats real in the world? How can poetry describe, define, explain, and/or challenge the information, the facts, the multitude of voices that surround and at times overwhelm us? Documentary poetry, an increasingly popular poetic form, engages as its subject matter real events from history, and may apply data from a range of realms: science, economics, literature, politics, psychology, current events, personal life. While documentary poets use this form as a way to think, research, explore, and satisfy curiosity, they are also potentially engaged in modes of inquiry, even skepticism. Thus documentary poems may result in the discovery of alternative approaches to meaning, new ways of understanding and telling stories, even sites of social change and activism. In addition, documentary poets tend to go beyond the traditionally poetic by applying to their poems mixed genres and media, including direct quotations, letters, diaries, court transcripts, medical records, images, testimonials, even embedded graphics. In this course, we will examine the origins of this form and study pivotal poems and poets in its development using work from a recent anthology of documentary poems as well as from several single-author poetry collections by poets Patricia Smith, Claudia Rankine, Tarfia Faizullah, Maggie Nelson, C.D. Wright, and Martha Collins. Students will write short analytical responses and an essay, but they will also craft and share their own original documentary poems as a way of understanding the form and its potential in their own lives for inquiry and discovery. Prerequisites: Any combination 3 intermediate liberal arts courses (HSS/LVA/CVA)

4.00 credits



LIT4605: Contemporary World Literature: The Writing of the Unreal 4 advanced liberal arts credit **Students who took this course as LVA2036 cannot take this version of the course** This course examines contemporary world literature through the specific prism of "the unreal." Writers from Latin America, the Caribbean, East Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East will be examined in their rich experiments with surrealism, anti-realism, and hyper-realism. Moreover, this course will explore the enigmatic conceptual territories of the dream, the nightmare, the fantasy, the illusion, the hallucination, the mirage, the vision, and the simulation as breakaway zones of the global literary imagination. To achieve this task, we will evaluate authors as diverse as Franz Kafka, Ghada Samman, Haruki Murakami, Clarice Lispector, Jose Saramago, Naguib Mahfouz, Kobo Abe, Juan Rulfo, Vi Khi Nao, and Reinaldo Arenas, interrogating their different approaches to the creation of phantasmatic, strange, and unknown spaces. Prerequisite: 3 intermediate liberal arts (any combination HSS, CVA, LVA)

4.00 credits



LIT4607 Sports and Literature 2 credit advanced liberal arts Blended learning format It is from there that the song of praise, plaited of many voices/ Is woven into a crown by the subtle thoughts of poets. The Ancient Greek lyric poet Pindar wrote victory odes for winners in the Olympic Games, whose prizes [were] won in trials of strength. In doing so he forged a powerful connection between writing and sporting achievement. Long after Pindar many writers have been drawn to sport, and certain sports (for example, bullfighting and boxing) have a rich and extensive literature surrounding them. This course examines the many and varied representations that fiction writers, poets, memoirists and essayists have made of individual and team sports and their players. It also studies theoretical examinations of sport and its place in culture; for example, Roland Barthess critical question What is Sport? and Theodor Adornos assertion that sport is the imageless counterpart to practical life. We work within such topic areas as sport and nationalism, class, race, gender and violence. This course is distinguished by an experiential learning component, whereby students respond in literary writing to a sporting event its surrounding culture. This course is delivered in a blended learning format, combining face-to-face seminars (classroom), online class seminars (WebEx), and asynchronous class meetings (Blackboard) Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 intermediate liberal arts (CVA, LVA, HSS)

2.00 credits



LIT4608: American Romanticism, Realism, and Naturalism 4 credits advanced liberal arts This course is a deep dive into literary works representing three major movements in American literature: Romanticism, Realism, and Naturalism. Romanticism is thematically concerned with nature and the common man, the frontier and immigration. Our study may include Thoreau, Whitman, and Morrison, as well as the genres of the gothic story and the slave narrative. Realism and Naturalism are often understood as reactions to Romanticism and are thematically concerned with man-made reality, objectivity and Darwinian ideas. Our study may include Wharton, Dreiser, and contemporary U.S. fiction. Prerequisites: Any combination 3 intermediate liberal arts courses (HSS/LVA/CVA)

4.00 credits



LIT4610: Performing Social Class 4 Credit Advanced Liberal Arts This 4-credit course employs gamified pedagogy to explore the multifarious ways that social class functions. Students will read texts that explore the issues of class consciousness, class performance, classism, and cross-class communication; act in in-class simulations of events that reveal the ways that social class operates; and write character biographies, scripts and analytical reflections. Simulations will include school events, job interviews, holiday celebrations, and more. Readings will be drawn from both nonfiction (from fields such as sociology, economics and cultural studies) and fiction (primarily short stories and excerpts from novels and plays). The overarching objective will be for students to become aware of the often invisible ways that social class operates in daily life. In a global society that is marked by increasing socioeconomic disparity, it is especially important for students to become critical thinkers about social class. Prerequisite: Any combination of 3 intermediate liberal arts (CVA, LVA, HSS)

4.00 credits



LIT4611 East and West: Writings of Trespass 4 credit advanced liberal arts This course explores the captivating and dangerous ways in which writers construct foreign worlds of East and Westi.e. how they trespass, distort, and dream the border between themselves and other civilizations. From the Argentinian Borges depictions of Arabian labyrinths to the Syrian Adonis depictions of New York City alleyways, from the French Baudelaires meditations on Oriental opium-dens to the Persian Hedayats meditations on the madmen of Paris, from Camus staging of the apocalypse in Algeria to Darwishs staging of the apocalypse in the migration of Palestinian refugees to European capitals, we will see how such authors represent unknown and outsider cultures. Ultimately, then, the course will interrogate the experience of radical otherness and its use as a complex force of creativity, consciousness, and imagination. Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 intermediate liberal arts (HSS, LVA, CVA)

4.00 credits



LIT4616: Shakespeare's Sex 4 advanced liberal arts credits Shakespeares works have long held a privileged position in the histories of sex, gender, and eroticism. In this course, we will consider how Shakespeare helps us think sex in its various bodily, psychological, political, textual, and historical dimensions. What counts as sex in Shakespeares world(s)? What desires, relations, and practices are rendered perceptibleand/or imaginablethrough his poetry and plays? Which categories, identities, and emotions mattered when Shakespeare and his contemporaries imagined sex and its meanings, and how do these align with, and diverge from, those which inform our present lives and erotic relations? To explore these and related questions, we will read four major plays and two works of poetry: Romeo & Juliet, Othello, As You Like It, Cymbeline, The Rape of Lucrece, and selections from The Sonnets. Drawn from across the Shakespearean canon, such works will allow us to consider how differences of genre and literary form shape erotic possibilities, as well as how issues of race, gender, status, religion, reputation, and ethnicity intersect with sexual meanings, both in that era and our own. To enhance our appreciation of these works and their erotic possibilities, we will routinely consider modern, cinematic adaptions of the plays we read, as well as select screen biographies (Shakespeare in Love, All Is True). Finally, we will attend to the curious case of Shakespeares sex: not only what we knowand dont knowabout the playwrights (sexual) biography, but why his erotic relations continue to arouse interest and speculation, some four hundred years after his death. Prerequisites: Any combinations of 3 intermediate liberal arts (HSS, LVA, CVA)

4.00 credits



LIT4620 Literature and Philosophy of Madness 4 credit advanced liberal arts This course engages the question of madness from a variety of angles. On the one hand, it considers the major theorists of insanity (Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze); and on the other, it considers the equally crucial works of supposedly insane writers themselves (Antonin Artaud, Unica Zurn, Vaslav Nijinsky). In doing so, we will trouble the many definitions and assumptions surrounding the category of madness and its problematic history of oppression. Ultimately, through this remarkable exchange across literary-philosophical frontiers, we will explore an immense world of visions and symptoms, including those of mania, schizophrenia, delusion, paranoia, melancholia, and obsession. Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 intermediate liberal arts (HSS LVA CVA)

4.00 credits