Fall 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Saar-Hambazaza, Terje
Discipline and Number
HUMA 1301 Section 502
MW Time 5:30 PM - 6:45 PM
Course Title
Exploration of the Humanities

Description of Course:

Subtitled “Heroes, Villains, and Antiheroes,” this section of HUMA 1301 introduces students to the central concepts of the humanities and utilizes interdisciplinary approaches to draw connections between various fields of study, such as literature, music, architecture, theater, visual arts, media, and popular culture. The course investigates the origins of heroism and villainy in the Western tradition as well as the transformations that these concepts have gone through. Students will explore the essence of humanism and its interpretation of heroes and villains as a cultural tradition through the study of selected works from Homer’s The Odyssey and Shakespeare’s Hamlet to Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Collins’s The Hunger Games. We will explore how the characteristics of heroes and villains have transformed throughout centuries and investigate the relevance of these concepts in contemporary society by viewing selections of theatrical performances and films. What do heroism and villainy mean historically? What do they mean nowadays? How do heroes become antiheroes? How are these concepts expressed in art, music, popular culture, and media? Students are encouraged to draw connections between various fields of studies in the humanities, to investigate various forms of cultural expressions, and to develop skills necessary to interpret complex artistic works in their historical and intellectual contexts. This course is a general education core course.

Required Texts:

Dennis J. Sporre, Perceiving the Arts: An Introduction to the Humanities, 11th ed. (Pearson), ISBN: 9780205995110
Homer, The Odyssey, trans. Fagles (Penguin Classics), ISBN: 978-0143039952
William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Simon & Schuster), ISBN: 978-1451669411
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Penguin), ISBN: 978-0141439471
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (Scribner), ISBN: 978-0743273565
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, Book 1 (Scholastic), ISBN: 9788184771695

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Response papers (6) – 30%
Midterm exam – 30%
Final exam – 30%
Attendance and participation – 10%

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