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Arts and Humanities Course Listing



LIT4661 American Autobiography 4 credit Advanced Liberal Arts Autobiography, always popular, has reached new heights of acclaim in recent years - especially in the United States. Why do readers find it so attractive? Sensationalist, exhibitionist, self-serving, revelatory, probing: while it can be all of this and more, autobiography as a literary genre has its roots in a person's desire for expression and meaning. As its writers explain themselves to the world, they explain the world to themselves, imposing on it their views and causes. Autobiography can demonstrate how history is made in words, not found; how people make sense of their own lives. Reading a cross-section of such works written by authors living in what is now the United States compels us to question simplistic notions of what "America" stands for, and to rediscover its promises and its meanings in its variety and conflict. This is an upper-level liberal arts course. Readings range from Benjamin Franklin to the present. Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS)

4.00 credits



LIT4662 Literature of Witness (Advanced Liberal Arts) The film Ararat, by Atom Egoyan, contains testimony from a woman who has witnessed a massacre of young brides. She asks, "Now that I have seen this event, how shall I dig out these eyes of mine?" This woman occupies the most direct position-the eyewitness-in relation to an event; however, the question of who constitutes a witness also extends to literary and artistic production. We will study novels and other literature of witness by international writers such as Pat Barker, Nadine Gordimer, Gunter Grass, Primo Levi, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rigoberta Menchu, Toni Morrison, and Virginia Woolf in order to investigate the following questions: What kinds of events generate or require witnesses, and how does witnessing differ from simply seeing? What effects does the event have upon the witness, and vice versa? What does it mean for literature to act as a kind of witness? How can literature ethically represent or "witness" extreme events? What do we do with the energy created by our witnessing of events on global and local scales? Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS)

4.00 credits



LIT4676 Imagining Nature, Imagining Ourselves 4 credit (Advanced Liberal Arts) This upper-level liberal arts course investigates some of the ways in which the American literary imagination has dealt with "nature, both as a physical environment and as a concept, and how we are currently imagining our future in the face of urgent threats to the health of the planet. How is "nature" experienced and represented? How have humans defined themselves in relationship to the "natural" world? How are we responding to current changes in our natural environment? These and other questions will be studied through a variety of texts (fiction; poetry; reflective and theoretical essays) by American writers since the mid-19th century. A substantial portion of the course is devoted to our own time and its specific challenges. Each student will have an opportunity to develop a guided research project on a topic, writer, or text of her or his own interest, to be presented to the class. Over the semester and on a daily basis, we will also create an archive of texts, issues, and questions related to the course. Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 intermediate liberal arts (CVA, LVA, HSS)

4.00 credits



LIT4682 In the Extreme: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Human Rights (Advanced Liberal Arts) The philosophy of basic human rights originates with the earliest records of humans, and humans have struggled to define and defend these most basic tenets of ethical human conduct and rights ever since. This course will focus upon grave human rights abuses such as torture, genocide, and rape, and will consider the increasingly blurred line between peacetime and wartime violations. We will begin with philosophical, political, and legal definitions of human rights, then move quickly to specific cases related to the impacts and legacies of imperialism and the resurgence of nationalism and white supremacy. In this context, we will examine challenges to international human rights law from military and technological developments, mass migration, and climate change, paying special attention to the role of art, literature, and film in addressing these challenges. Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS) This course may be offered Fall or Spring semester

4.00 credits



LIT4689 Poetic Elegy: Shaping Cultural and Personal Loss (Advanced Liberal Arts) An elegy is a poem of mourning, a lament that can express both private and public grief. Reading elegies offers insight into cultural attitudes towards life and death while featuring the resilience of poetic form. From antiquity to the present, poets have used this shaping form to memorialize, describe, reflect, critique, and witness. In this course we will examine the origins of the form and study pivotal poems and poets in its development. We will also explore the contemporary elegy-certainly in the shadows of 9/11 and the war in Iraq-both as a private expression of feeling and as a public need for decorum and custom. Texts may include poetry by John Milton, Anne Bradstreet, Thomas Gray, Thomas Hardy, W.H. Auden, Langston Hughes, Adrienne Rich, Yusef Komonyakaa, Carolyn Forch, Mark Doty, Marie Howe, and Brian Turner, as well as lyrical prose elegies by Joan Didion and Philip Roth. Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (HSS, LVA, CVA) This course may be offered Spring semester.

4.00 credits



LIT 4693 Play, Performance, Politics: The London Stage 4 Advanced Liberal Arts credits Program fee is paid to Glavin Office program fee includes accommodations, breakfast, tube pass in London, airport transport, theatre tickets, program planned meals, and cultural excursions. Not included: tuition, international flight, visa costs, additional meals and personal expenses. The course aims to develop an appreciation for and deeper understanding of the theatre as an art form through an immersive experience of play-text study, play attendance, performance workshops, and class discussion. While we will see a variety of types of plays on a variety of subjects, our approach to these plays will particularly emphasize the social and political context and issues raised implicitly or explicitly by the plays we read and see. We will also place the issues raised in a number of the plays into a wider discussion of social and political issues occurring in the world today be they around matters of inequality at local, national and global levels, the role of government, the meaning of freedom in daily life and as a legal and political concept, and the effort of people to shape their collective futures through political action and argument. Success in this class is dependent upon students ability and willingness to participate fully in all class discussions as well as work outside of class, both individually and in teams, and to contribute their independent insights and observations to the learning community of the class. Participation is imperative. The course will involve a combination of close reading of the play-texts and contextual readings, careful and critical analysis of the performances, and engaged participation in acting workshops, tours, and class discussions. Prerequisite: 3 intermediate liberal arts courses (HSS, CVA, LVA in any combination) and acceptance into the course.

4.00 credits



LIT4694: European Theater in Theory and Practice: London, Oxford and Dublin 4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credit (Elective Abroad) In this course students will immerse themselves into the international theater scene in London, Oxford, and Dublin. Students will have the rare opportunity to view performances from a wide variety of genres and styles and be introduced (or re-introduced) to classic playwrights and up-and-coming artists. Students will see several different kinds of theaters in several different kinds of neighborhoods. Finally, through tours, workshops, and talkbacks students will gain a more intimate knowledge of the rehearsal and production process. Prerequisite: 3 intermediate liberal arts (Any combination HSS, CVA, LVA)

4.00 credits



LVA2001: Staging Immigration (4 intermediate liberal arts) Migration, immigration, assimilation: these complex, charged, and multifaceted ideas are debated in political spheres, examined in scholarly discourse, and are featured daily in various media outlets and publications. These ideas however, have also long captured the imaginations of artists and audiences alike, and the stories of those who have moved their families, their lives, and themselves to another country or continent have been central in the theatre, particularly in the United States, a nation of immigrants. In this course, we will attempt to understand both the captivating power and the political potential of performance focused on immigrants and the immigrant experience. We will study a variety of theatrical productions, from plays, to musicals, to contemporary stand-up comedy and solo performance and examine the ways theatre artists consider and understand identity, prejudice, familial ties and loyalties, and notions of the American Dream. We will connect the interests and goals of theatre artists staging immigration 100 years ago to those artists working in 2020. Finally, we will create and perform original theatre pieces, inspired by the artists we study, focused on a pressing societal problem. The scholarly and experiential elements in this course will, hopefully, shift our notions of the profound journeys and undertakings by immigrants and illuminate new and crucial understandings of the immigrant experience unfolding in our world today. Prerequisites: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS1000

4.00 credits



LVA2003 Dramatizing the American Dream (LIT) 4 credit intermediate liberal arts The American Dream is an indispensable, ubiquitous, and driving notion in this country. Its lure has brought millions of immigrants to our shores, given authors fodder for stories and novels, and allowed advertisers to sell the bigger car, the grander home, the better wardrobe. But what exactly is the American Dream? What are its tenets? Who gets to enjoy it? This course will examine how both male and female playwrights such as Susan Glaspell, Clifford Odets, Lorraine Hansberry, Sam Shepard, and Wendy Wasserstein have answered these questions in their dramatizations of the American Dream. As we study and watch various performances of the American Dream, we will take into account the voice telling the story and question the authority, privilege, and experience of that voice. We will evaluate how the plays speak to the American Dream, to each other, and to us. This course will require two papers, a mid-term and final exam. Prerequisites: RHT & AHS

4.00 credits



LVA2004 Love, Sex and the Family in Mid-Twentieth-Century American Literature 4 credit intermediate liberal arts "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage." This childhood ditty seems to inculcate the "right" order of things in the act of family-making in America. But lives played out in times of cultural transition aren't always as neat as nursery rhymes. Mid-twentieth-century America was characterized by changing gender roles and definitions, geographic and demographic shifts, war, and burgeoning technology, among other things. This course looks at fiction and drama to see how great American authors such as Tennessee Williams, Flannery O'Connor and Richard Yates portrayed and, perhaps, shaped the mid-century American understanding of love, sex, and family. We will supplement literary readings with relevant non-fiction from the time period. Students will propose, research, and develop a major essay about an author and/or a concept related to the course materials. Students will also formally present their ideas to the class. Prerequisites: RHT and AHS

4.00 credits



LVA2005 Art as a Visual Language (Intermediate Liberal Arts) This course is designed to introduce you to the realm of visual communication - how it's done, how it works and how cultural and personal experiences shape your reactions to it. Fine arts (painting, sculpture, architecture), industrial arts (graphic and product design) and everyday objects will be presented as the workings of visual communication, the role of art and artists in a variety of times and places, the nature of good and bad art and design are explored. Prerequisites: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS1000

4.00 credits



LVA2006 Russia in Modernity: History Politics and Culture 4 credit intermediate liberal arts Offered to students in the BRIC Program

4.00 credits



LVA2009 American Film History 4 credit (Intermediate Liberal Arts) American Film History offers an overview of the history and theory of Hollywood movies while exploring the basic cinematic techniques used by film directors to express their ideas and tell their stories. The course proceeds chronologically starting in the 1920s silent era. The goals of the course include introducing students to film history, theory, and terminology while simultaneously considering the relation between cultural values and popular culture forms. American Film History will equip students to view movies as points of intersection for artistic intent, cultural myth-making, individual and social identity formation, and ideology. Students will view one film per week, They will also be expected to read and learn terminology in preparation for each class. Other assignments include written work, quizzes, a midterm, and a final. American Film History is an intermediate course that fulfills the Literary and Visual Arts (LVA) requirement. Prerequisites: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS1000 This course may be offered Fall or Spring semester.

4.00 credits



LVA2010 African American Literature This course will introduce students to the African American literary tradition starting with the slave narrative and concluding with contemporary literary production. Along the way, we will consider the move from oral to written literatures, the aesthetic forms created and adapted by African American writers, and the role of African American letters in chronicling and shaping the experience of African American people. Our study will be informed by major historical moments slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Great Migration from south to north, the Civil Rights and post-Civil rights erasand we will read work by writers such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Nella Larsen, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison. Prerequisites: AHS Foundation and RHT

4.00 credits



LVA2012 Borderlines: Exploring Transnationalism in American Literature 4 Intermediate Liberal Arts In his inaugural address, Donald Trump promised that he would bring back our borders. In one sense a paradoxical notionthe idea that patrolled national borders could wander off, get lost, vanishit speaks directly towards widespread anxiety about the ways in which globalization and mobility erase borders, rendering the nation vulnerable to outside threats. In this course, we will aim to deepen our understanding of the border: how we should conceive of it, what relations or ideology it enforces or conceals, the extent to which it is a fiction, the extent to which it is necessary. We will do this by examining literature that imagines and represents ways in which borders function and fail, serve as zones of contact, are crossed or reinforced. These texts are broadly understood as transnationalthat is, thinking across (not simply within) the idea of the nation. In Unit I, we will examine works of literature that focus on bordersthe work they do, the spaces they create, and the hybrid identities they produce. In Unit II, we will zoom out to consider transnational or hemispheric networks and exchanges (of persons, commodities, cultures, etc.). In so doing, we will consider in particular how works of art represent and can help us understand the globalized world in which we live. Prerequisites: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS1000

4.00 credits