Spring 2013 - Graduate Course Description
Towner, Theresa
Discipline and Number
HUMA 6300 Section: 001
W Time: 10:00 AM - 12:45 PM
Course Title:
Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Arts and Humanities


Intended to introduce students to the intellectual and professional requirements of advanced study in literature, history, and the arts, this course serves as the core course in the graduate program in the School of Arts and Humanities at UTD. This function means that students should take it earlier rather than later in their graduate careers, and I will assume that students in the course have not mastered the skills it seeks to develop. Among these skills are the ability to read, understand, explain, and criticize the details of primary documents in the three major areas of study in our graduate program: literary studies, historical studies (including philosophy), and aesthetic studies (including creative writing and translation). Close reading of texts and careful examination of all arts will inform each class discussion.

The centerpiece of our interdisciplinary inquiry this semester will be the World's Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893 and known popularly as the Chicago World's Fair. Course requirements include submission of weekly discussion questions and three formal written and oral assignments.


Texts: Available at the UTD Book Store, Off-Campus Books, and commercially, the following editions are REQUIRED:

Hamlin Garland, Main-Travelled Roads (Bison)
Stephen Crane, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (Bantam)
Erik Larson, Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America (Vintage)
Richard Peck, Fair Weather (Puffin)
G.L. Dybwad, ed., White City Recollections (The Book Stops Here)
Frederick Douglass and Ida B. Wells, The Reason Why the Colored American is Not in the World's Columbian Exposition (University of Illinois)
Stanley Applebaum, ed., The Chicago World's Fair of 1893: A Photographic Record (Dover)
L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Dover)
Robert W. Rydell, All the World's a Fair (University of Chicago)
Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day (Penguin)


Course requirements include active participation in discussion, which will be stimulated by your submission each week of two discussion questions, typed and brought with you to class and turned in to me at its beginning. The quality of those questions will comprise 25% of your course grade. The remaining 75% will be earned by three major assignments: a book review, a scholarly presentation, and a proposal for a research or creative project. Each of these assignments will be no less than three and no more than five pages in length, in 10- or 12-point font, with one-inch margins and formal pagination and parenthetical scholarly citations. Students may refer to the most recent MLA Handbook or Chicago Manual of Style for guidance; either pattern is acceptable, as long as it is used accurately and consistently in the assignment.

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