Course Offerings | Humanities

Division of Humanities

Helen Emmitt (chair), Genny Ballard, Eva Cadavid, Cristina Carbone, Allison Connolly, Steve Froehlich, Lee Jefferson, John Kinkade, Daniel Kirchner, William Levin, Mark Lucas, Dan Manheim, Heather Morton, Mark Rasmussen, Milton Reigelman, Philip White, Lisa Williams



No major or minor is offered in this program, but elective courses in humanities are offered from time to time on a variety of topics. HUM 110 or 111 and 120 or 121 are required for graduation and are normally taken in the first year.



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 from the medieval period onward, with special attention given to ethical and aesthetic values. Emphasis is placed on writing, analysis, and discussion. Prerequisite: HUM 110 or 111.

HUM 121 Expository Writing and Humanities-II
(four credit hours)
A variant of HUM 120 designed to provide additional instruction and practice in all forms of expository writing. A passing grade in this course satisfies the basic skills requirement in expository writing. Prerequisite: HUM 110 or 111.


Special Topics Offered 2008-2009

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 263 Women and Spirituality
Although we will spend some time studying passages in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, for the most part our work will involve theoretical, imaginative, and practical writings by contemporary women. These women writers (who, not coincidentally, represent both the white middle class and different races and ethnic groups), have critically examined traditional religious texts and practices, and in some cases, have formulated spiritual alternatives celebrating women and their traditional activities/functions. Students should finish the course with a solid overview of various feminist perspectives on religion.

HUM 280 20th-Century Continental European Lit
This course surveys literary developments over the course of the 20 th century in continental Europe. It emphasizes the short story and novels, though drama and poetry are also included. The course focuses on central themes of twentieth-century life, including war and the disrupted nature of the modern psyche, but also on specific twentieth-century approaches to issues with which literature always grapples, including gender relations, love, ethical modes of living, and politics. All texts will be read in English translation. Conducted in Strasbourg.

HUM 281 European Cultures of Memory
This course builds on the broad themes developed in the first-year Humanities sequence to unite students' own stories, individual reading, classroom experiences, planned group excursions in Europe, and students' independent weekend travel experiences while studying in Strasbourg. The course deals with theories of collective history, museums, and memorials but also with the practice of such institutions, whether they be in the form of an art museum, a war memorial, a place of worship, a novel, or the story of an individual's immigrant experience. An additional point of emphasis is understanding the importance of the form each expression of memory takes (for example, how an elegiac poem differs from a statue from a history museum, etc.). Conducted in Strasbourg.

HUM 282 Laughter in Literature and Philosophy
An investigation of how philosophical and literary texts deal with laughter and its strange relationship to language and conceptual thought. In the first half of the seminar, we will ask ourselves what makes philosophers laugh. (Apparently it is something that can only be described as a most serious philosophical failure: namely, a clash between concepts and objects.) In the second half, we will attune our ears to the echoes of laughter in a number of romantic, modern, and postmodern works. How does the speechlessness of laughter translate into literary language? All readings and discussions will be in English.

HUM 283 Film, Culture and Change
A documentary filmmaking course focusing on exploring the unique relationship with the land that exists in Kentucky. The course explores this relationship and how it influences the work of Kentucky artists such as Wendell Berry, Barbara Kingsolver, musicians and farmers ( organic gardening, the Save the Family Farm). The course involves considerable work in the field but no previous film experience.

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