Fall 2013 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Ingrao, Peter
Discipline and Number
HUMA 1301 Section 005
MWF Time 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM
Course Title
Exploration of the Humanities

Description of Course:

From Friar Bacon's talking brass head to "Jules," a robotic head that can realistically mimic human facial expressions, we have a centuries old fascination with technology created in our own image. But from where does this fascination derive, and why do we find ourselves pilgrims again and again in the "uncanny valley"? Intended to introduce students to the connections between various fields of studies in the humanities, this section of HUMA 1301 will apply an interdisciplinary approach to viewpoints concerning the creation and implications of mimetic human technology: robots and androids. During this semester this theme will be discussed by examining the dialogue between myth, drama, fiction, film, and pop culture.

Required Texts:

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Karel Capek, R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)
Isaac Asimov, I, Robot
Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Handouts will be available through e-reserve and eLearning, and students are encouraged to submit video, articles, short stories, or other works related to the course theme for inclusion on eLearning. Films, such as Frankenstein, A. I., Iron Man 2, Doomsday Book, and Wall-E, and such television shows as Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Simpsons will also be incorporated.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Three exams
Short essay
Class discussion

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