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Arts and Humanities Course Listing



LVA2062 Suburban America in Literature and Culture (Intermediate Liberal Arts) American suburbs are simultaneously reviled as physical spaces comprised of "little boxes made of ticky tacky," churning out homogeneous values and people, and revered as mythically perfect imagined spaces in television sitcoms and advertising. This class aims to examine the American suburbs as constructed through popular texts, classic literature, and contemporary art. We will consider how the tension between utopia and dystopia is imagined and re-imagined over time and across genres and texts, reading and analyzing works such as the poetry of Anne Sexton, Richard Yates' novel Revolutionary Road, and the short stories of John Cheever. We will also examine representations of the suburbs in science fiction and film. Prerequisites: RHT and Foundation A&H & H&S This course may be offered Spring semester.

4.00 credits



LVA2067 Film and the City (Intermediate Liberal Arts) The birth of cinema coincided with a period of urbanization and a new sense of life in the modern metropolis. From the beginnings of film history to the present, movies have come to grips with the complexities of the urban environment. They have shaped our sense of cities as symbolic sites signifying opportunity, progress, and the promise of social integration but also danger, alienation, and the collision of distinct cultures. Ranging from neon-lit wonderlands to post-apocalyptic wastelands, cinematic cities have mapped our cultural aspirations and anxieties. This course will explore how cities have been represented in movies from the silent era onward. Weekly film viewings will be complemented by readings in film and urban history. Prerequisites: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS1000 This course may be offered Spring or Fall semester.

4.00 credits



LVA2069 Utopia and Dystopia: Literary and Cultural Expressions 4 credit intermediate liberal This course will examine the difference between ideas of absolute societal perfection and absolute societal imperfection as expressed in literary and cultural texts. Topics of study through such texts will include the ways we govern, the ways we create order, the ways we progress, and the ways we treat others. Over the course of the semester, students will be confronted with a number of questions. What are the elements of a utopia or dystopia? If one is complete perfection and the other complete imperfection both by definition unattainable then why are the concepts even worth talking about, and why have they persisted throughout history and across cultures? And maybe most interestingly, is there much of a real difference between the two? We will read works by Jose Saramago, Cormac McCarthy, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ursula LeGuin, and Margaret Atwood. Prerequisites: AHS and RHT I & II

4.00 credits



LVA2072 Detective Fiction, Noir, and Social Criticism 4 credit intermediate liberal arts This course explores the uses and genre development of detective fiction and film noir and their functions as social commentary, applying examples from different times and places - in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. What do these works have in common, and what separates them? How do they reflect or interrogate the cultures that produced them? Why has detective fiction (in its various incarnations) remained so popular? We consider revisions of the genre in the so-called hardboiled or serial pulp fiction of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as its representation in film noir. We analyze later versions of the genre through films such as Chinatown and Blade Runner, and recent alterations in neo-noir films, evaluating them in relation to contemporary culture. Short works by canonical Latin American authors such as Borges and Garca Mrquez, among others, provide an introduction to Latin American crime fiction. Through the works of current and popular writers and filmmakers we consider the legacies of dictatorship in Spain and Latin America, and the genres use in investigating and exposing a conflictive past (or fear of what one might find). We will look at the female detective in varied works. How is she different (if she is?) from her male counterparts? And we examine how detective fiction can function to parody or subvert the possibility of an ordered solution, or the completion of justice. Prerequisites: RHT & (AHF & HSF) or AHS

4.00 credits



LVA2073 Middle Eastern Literature 4 credit intermediate liberal arts This course explores the most provocative literary movements of the contemporary Middle East, including authors from the Iranian, Arab, Turkish, Armenian, and North African areas of the region. From the experimental novels of Naguib Mahfouz and Orhan Pamuk to the prison poetry of Ahmad Shamlu, from such legendary voices of exile as Adonis and Mahmoud Darwish to the dark sensual narratives of Joyce Mansour and Forugh Farrokhzad, we will cover a range of creative experiments with romanticism, mysticism, surrealism, existentialism, and post-modernism. As such, this will also allow us to unravel the many intricate concepts (those of desire, violence, time, space, power, revolution, and catastrophe) that form the Middle Eastern cultural imagination. Prerequisites: RHT & AHS

4.00 credits



LVA 2074 Literature of Witness 4 credit intermediate 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 positionthe eyewitnessin relation to an extreme event; however, the question of witnessing also extends to all of us who encounter images and stories of atrocities in our everyday lives. We will trace the concept of witnessing in philosophical, legal, and human rights contexts before turning to 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 responsibilities do we have to serve as witnesses to extreme global events, and what do we do with the energy created by our witnessing of such events? Prerequisites: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS

4.00 credits



LVA2475 Design for Living 4 credit intermediate liberal arts Explores how profoundly our lives are shaped by the designs of graphics we see, objects we use and buildings we move through every day. Students will gain increased understanding of the role good and bad design plays in affecting them and in shaping the world in which they live. Prerequisites: RHT I & II and AHS

4.00 credits



LVA2078 Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know: Rebels and Anti-Heroes (Intermediate Liberal Arts) When Lady Caroline Lamb described her former lover, the poet Lord Byron, as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know," she vividly captured a widespread fascination with figures who reject society's norms. Simultaneously alluring and threatening, rebels and anti-heroes unsettle the outer limit of acceptable behavior through their transgressions. This course will examine how rebels and anti-heroes shape a society's identity while living at - or beyond - its margins. We will also pay particular attention to questions of gender when considering these figures' own identities. We will read novels,plays, poetry, and cultural critique in order to trace the development of rebels and anti-heroes in western literature, as well as to understand them in their specific cultural and historical contexts. Prerequisites: RHT and AHS This course may be offered Spring semester.

4.00 credits



LVA2079: Theories of Love 4 Intermediate Liberal Arts What is love? Where does it come from, what does it ask of us, and how does it alter our minds, bodies, values, and relations? Are sex, friendship, and marriage necessary for love, or do they inhibit loves fullest expression? In this course, we will examine how influential writers have conceived and contested loves meanings across a range of cultural contexts. Focusing primarily on erotic love (ers), we will consider how such meanings relate to notions of art, beauty, conjugality, legality, pleasure, sexuality, spirituality, and transgression, both in their original era and our own. Particular attention will be paid to differences of race, class, age, gender, and authority as incitements to, and/or impediments of, relations of love and eroticism. Prerequisites: RHT I000 and RHT I00I and AHS1000

4.00 credits



LVA2080: The Literature of Guilt: Im Sorry For Apologizing so Often 4 Intermediate Liberal Arts credit This course will examine guilt and how it affects us, both personally and societally. Through both literary and cultural texts, we will study guilt in a number of settings including familial guilt, generational guilt, survival guilt, and societal guilt. Students will be challenged to look at guilt in both its helpful and harmful forms, investigating why we feel the emotion and the effects it can have on us. We will read works by Dante Alighieri, Joseph Conrad, J.M. Coetzee, and Jane Smiley, among others. We will also watch Beloved and We Need To Talk About Kevin as well as the first season of Rectify. Prerequisites: RHT I and RHT II and AHS

4.00 credits



LVA2081: Native American Literature 4 intermediate liberal arts credits North American Indigenous narratives take many forms, from the traditional forms of orature in culture formation to modern day practices like novels, comic books, and even video games. Indigenous narratives and the study of indigeneity, especially of the North American varieties, is inherently a multi-ethnic process. This class is designed to help you explore the wide range of indigenous narratives that have risen out of the hundreds and hundreds of individual tribes, both inde- and interdependent of each other, through the course of history. This class will explore various cultural, historical, and theoretical ways that these narratives and their worlds are constructed, while also grappling with the larger conversation of Native narrative and its many relationships. Prerequisites: RHT1000 and RHT1001 and AHS1000

4.00 credits



LVA2090 The Short Story 4 intermediate liberal arts LVA2090 The Short Story What gives a great short story its undeniable power? Some writers strive to make their stories pack a punch, while others create more reflective works, exploring interiors; in either approach, the impacts of a great story are both immediate and lasting. In this course, you will read a range of forms, from early tales to modern experiments. You will compare the intentions and effects of short stories that create entire worlds and those that are more elliptical and fragmentary, though they hint at more. You will learn the formal elements of the short story, such as characterization and point-of-view, and also trace the development of literary theories, those critical lenses that will increase your understanding and enrich your appreciation. Reading writers from several continents from the famous, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Alice Munro, to the lesser-known, like Lucia Berlin and Edward P. Jones you will follow stories of a family murdered senselessly by the side of the road, a bishop languishing in his final illness, and many more; you will even encounter a talking cat who proves to be careless in spilling the familys secrets. Prerequisites: RHT I and II, and AHS. This course may be offered Spring or Fall semester.

4.00 credits



MUS4620 Global Pop: Mass-mediated musics in a transnational world 4 credit (Advanced Liberal Arts) What do Cline Dion, Fela Kuti, Khaled, Bob Marley, Rhoma Irama, Ayumi Hamasaki, and Shah Rukh Khan have in common? Their music became popular internationally. This course is a cultural study of global popular music, from its christening as "world beat" and "world music" in the 1980s to the present. Global pop has become the site for debates over authenticity, cultural imperialism, ownership, identity, and politics, as well as an ideological playground for fantasy and fashion. We will examine how music acquires its ideological force as it circulates around the world and acquires historical layers. We will also examine the discourse and business of global pop, paying particular attention to ethics of representation and business practices. No musical background required. Prerequisites: 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS)

4.00 credits



PHL4601 Ancient Greek Philosophy (Advanced Liberal Arts) The Greek philosophers of the fifth and fourth centuries BC produced the founding works of the Western philosophical tradition. Establishing the parameters for a genuine love of wisdom, these thinkers challenge us to seek true justice, beauty, and goodness, while cultivating intellectual rigor and personal discipline. Searching tirelessly for insight into the nature of knowledge, being, the human soul, and the good life, they seek also a relationship to the divine and, accordingly, an understanding of our proper place in the cosmos (world-order). This seminar explores ideas of the human self in this cosmic context, concentrating on several influential works by Plato and Aristotle. We will also consider the Presocratic background of their thought and their legacy in the Neoplatonism of Plotinus. The course emphasizes metaphysics (realities beyond the physical domain), epistemology (theory of knowledge), ontology (theory of being), and philosophical ethics (including themes of courage, friendship, and temperance). Since we will proceed through discussion and not lecture, expect to participate extensively, including at least one oral presentation. Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS) This course may be offered Spring or Fall semester.

4.00 credits



PHL4607 Existentialism (Advanced Liberal Arts) Existentialism is a philosophical movement loosely held together by sensitivity to the paradoxes and ambiguities of human experience. With a common emphasis on the tension between freedom and the power of circumstance, existentialists tend to view life from the standpoint of the challenges facing the construction of individual and intersubjective identity. Some existentialists are deeply religious, while others are fervently atheistic. All, however, emphasize the significance of the situated nature of freedom, which translates into a philosophy of responsibility and engagement with the world. Prerequisites: Any combination of 3 Intermediate Liberal Arts Courses (CVA, LVA, HSS) This course may be offered Fall or Spring semester.

4.00 credits