Course Offerings - Catalog 2013-14


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Humanities

Division of Humanities


Humanities 110/111 and 120, the only courses currently required of every student at Centre College, represents an integral part of the Centre experience and of a full and rich education in the liberal arts. Our instructors are drawn from all the Humanistic disciplines, and because the curriculum ranges so widely, no instructor can be an expert on every work included. Instead, the instructors share an enduring engagement with the arts and a driving curiosity for new discoveries and connections. More than any other courses at the College, first-year humanities classes bring all the participants together as students, either beginning or continuing to cultivate an appreciation for the aesthetic dimensions of human experience.

The material for the courses centers in the Classical tradition in art, literature, and philosophy, as it emerged in ancient Greece and has been modeled, adapted, revised, and challenged for 2500 years. Students are asked to develop their understanding and enrich their engagement with these materials through group discussion, formal presentation of ideas, creative engagement of artistic processes, and written analysis of specific works.

Writing instruction comes in many courses at Centre College, but it receives special emphasis in first-year humanities course sequence. Some students take 4-hour writing intensive section of humanities in the fall (HUM 111); all students can expect to be invited to treat the first-year humanities sequence as an opportunity for development of their ability to write effective analytical prose.

Elective courses are also offered from time to time and are listed under special topics below.

Humanities Courses

HUM 110 Introduction to Humanities-I
A study of literature, philosophy, and the fine arts in classical Greek and Roman civilization with special attention given to ethical and aesthetic values. Emphasis is placed on writing, analysis, and discussion.

HUM 111 Expository Writing and Humanities-I (four credit hours)
A variant of HUM 110 designed to provide additional instruction and practice in all forms of expository writing.

HUM 120 Introduction to Humanities-II
A selected study of literature, music, and the fine arts during the Renaissance, Baroque, and Neo-classical periods with special attention given to ethical and aesthetic values. Emphasis is placed on writing, analysis, and discussion.

Special Topics Courses Offered recently.

HUM 220 Queer Culture: Public Perceptions
An investigation of how queer sexual identities intersect with gender, race, class and ethnicity. We will examine the "making" of masculinity, femininity and sexuality within fiction, theater, journalism, film and television. We will critically analyze how these narratives play out in public discourse and the social and political pressures that emerge from such formations.

HUM 258 Life in Merida
Experiential learning through community projects and language and culture immersion, as encountered in Merida, Mexico, as well as trips outside Merida. In-class lecture, discussion, film viewings, and readings on such diverse topics as the Conquest, the Mexican Corrido, New World realities as reflected in the Latin American short story, and the history of the Yucatan Peninsula.

HUM 261 Rainmaking: Study of and Preparation for Leadership

This course will acquaint the student with the literature associated with leadership studies. Students are exposed to a variety of authors, and have the opportunity to study and report on a 20th-century leader of his or her choice. The class will feature guest speakers (leaders in practice) from several fields, and will include at least one field trip to explore the work of a leader in his or her workplace.

HUM 286 Popular Culture and the War: The Blitz Spirit
An investigation into the development of the “British Spirit” during WWII through the popular culture of the period. This spirit is regularly evoked, even today, in the face of terrorist threats, bombings or the failure of national sports teams. The Battle of Britain, The Blitz, The Home Front, Dunkirk, etc., are iconic moments in the English cultural landscape. Popular culture (radio, film, theatre and literature) was not only used as propaganda and morale booster, but also reflected the spirit of the English. Offered in London.

HUM 290 Questions of Travel

A consideration of travel from sociological, religious, historical, and literary perspectives. The class concerns itself with why people travel, what they do when they travel, and what they think they have gained from their experiences. Offered in Strasbourg.

HUM 291 Painters, Soldiers, Saints, & Spies: A Cultural and Historical Exploration of Normandy
In 1956, for administrative reasons (reasons that remain controversial, to this day), the French government divided Normandy into two regions: Upper Normandy and Lower Normandy.  Today, however, regardless of their administrative designation, most inhabitants of these areas would simply identify themselves as “Normans,” with little or no regard for the qualifiers of “upper” or “lower.”  This is because modern Normans – whether they come from Rouen or Caen, from the sea ports or the dairy farms – tend to be keenly aware of the fact that they have, for centuries, shared with their neighbors a common history, culture, and traditions.  In this traveling course, students will have an opportunity to learn more about the people, the practices, and the events that have helped to shape this vibrant area whose inhabitants’ lives have forever been linked to their land, weather, and tides.Who were/are the Normans, then?  What binds them?  Which unique cultural contributions have they made to France and to the world?