Course Offerings - Catalog 2012-13

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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 in 2011-2012.

HUM 240  Contemporary Chinese Culture                             

This course takes the capital of Beijing as its focal site of study, where students are exposed to a variety of dynamic aspects of contemporary Chinese culture. Students explore the city’s chief historical sites, park culture, mainstream and underground sporting and music venues, artist residences and exhibitions, recreational club activities, fairs and markets, places of worship, etc., as they observe and analyze the content and behaviors associated with evolving cultural practices in Beijing. 

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 276 Aspects of Travel
An examination of many different approaches to the study of travel, especially in Europe and Great Britain. Specifically, the course describes the effects of culture, including literature, history, religion, and scientific development, on an individual's travel experience, especially when becoming acclimated in a foreign country. Offered in London.

HUM 278 Introduction to the Cultural History of Central Europe
This course leads students to direct encounters with the cultural history of Central Europe through travel to some of the countries that comprise this region now and have comprised it in the past. Though centered in Germany, visits may also include Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia. Emphasis is on extended classroom knowledge through on-site discovery of the geography, urban organization, transportation networks, commerce, and daily life of the area, as well as on discovering ways the past is preserved there, including architecture, museums, palaces and castles, monuments and memorials, and concentration camps.

HUM 284  The Source: Drama and Math in Ancient Greece
An examination of the dramamtic arts and mathematics from the perspectives of the ancient Greeks. The peoples of ancient Greece utilized both disciplines as ways to process and understand their changing world.  Ulitmately they transformed both drama and mathematics, and created many fundamental elements and practices that continue to influence the modern age. We study the story of ancient Greek developments in drama and math, focusing on the history, the culture, and the detailed questions and techniques that arose in Athens, Epidavros, Delphi, Samos, and Delos and we look at specific innovations and events that gave rise to practices that remain relevant in the exercise of both disciplines today.