Course Offerings - Catalog 2011-12

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Division of Humanities

Humanities 110/111 and 120/121, 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, 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 Humanities. Many students take 4-hour writing intensive sections of Humanities; all students can expect to be invited to treat Humanities 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.

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.

Special Topics Courses Offered in 2010-2011.

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 273 Introduction to French Thought and Art
An introduction to French culture based on three decisive turning points in the development of its thought and art: the debate on skepticism and faith in Montaigne and Pascal; the optimism for Enlightenment autonomy in Voltaire and Rousseau; the sexual pessimism and hedonism of late 19th century painting and fiction (Impressionism and Proust). Course discussion and readings in English.

HUM 288 Epistolary Endeavors
This course will focus on the epistolary literary genre as it has developed since the 18th century in literatures of English and French expression. Students will treat various topics, including love, gender relations, racism, travel, and exile, tracing the development of the genre across the centuries and between cultures. (Conducted in Strasbourg.)

HUM 289 The Mayas Today
In this course the students learn about the past and present of the Mayan community in Central America with a focus on the role of the Mayan in contemporary México. Through weekly readings students develop an understanding of the Mayan world. Each student develops an individual project that is related to one of the following topics: international studies, history, government, sociology, education, languages, music, art or gastronomy. The projects require collaboration with a person or group within the Mayan community. (Conducted in Mexico.)