Spring 2014 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Schulte, Rainer
Discipline and Number
HUMA 6300 Section 501
R Time 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Course Title
Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Arts and Humanities

Description of Course:

This seminar should be taken by graduate students early in their academic career. Students will be introduced to the basic interdisciplinary structure of the School of Arts & Humanities, its innovative mission, and its charting a new orientation for the study of the arts and humanities in a digital age. A guiding principle for the development might be van Gogh’s outlook: Where are we coming from? Where are we? And where are we going? The traditional way of learning has to be modified in terms of how information can be transformed into internalized knowledge. A central concern of all discussions will be how we interpret texts in the various media, from verbal to digital, and what research tools we have to acquire to respond to the needs of the texts under consideration. A major shift in how to approach the interpretation of texts can be articulated through the two following questions: “How does a text come to mean?” should replace “What does a text mean?” The instructor will balance the seminar discussions between the reconstruction of thought processes and the application of techniques that facilitate the interpretation of works. Students will be introduced to the model of translation, since all acts of communication and interpretation are acts of translation. The instructor hopes to develop associative thinking in students based on the methodologies of translation thinking that will drastically improve their writing skills and interpretive insights. Students are asked to broaden their own intellectual and creative abilities in the context of a program that fosters the convergence of disciplines and thought associations. The seminar should be considered a forum where students begin to formulate their own ideas about the function of the humanities in a rapidly changing world. Students will also be made familiar with the practical aspects of moving toward an M.A. and Ph.D. degree. Students will be introduced to the major scholarly journals, the available digital research tools, the integration of databases into their research, and the changing scene of scholarly publications.

Required Texts:


Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

The seminar should be considered like an orchestra. Every student has to participate in the seminar discussions.

Students will be asked to reconstruct the major thought processes of the various assigned articles and monographs.

Students will produce either a final creative or scholarly/critical project during the course of the semester. Group projects are encouraged.

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