Seminars for Freshmen

The seminars in this group are designed for freshmen who are interested in the Humanities program but are not enrolled in Directed Studies. Enrollment in each seminar is limited to 18.

HUMS 060a / FREN 005a
Tragedy

Christopher Semk

Exploration of representative works of tragedy from ancient Greece to the twenty-first century. The relationship between tragedy as a literary form and the tragic as a philosophical concept. Tragedy as a way to give meaning to catastrophe, trauma, and loss. The ethical and political implications of tragedy and the question of tragedy’s relevance today. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

HUMS 065a
Education and the Life Worth Living

Matthew Croasmun and Ryan McAnnally-Linz

Consideration of education and what it has to do with real life—not just any life, but a life worth living. Engagement with three visions of different traditions of imagining the good life and of imagining education: Confucianism, Christianity, and Modernism. Students will be asked to challenge the fundamental question of the good life and to put that question at the heart of their college education. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU
MW 11:30am-12:50pm

HUMS 071a
Intellectual Circles

Charles Hill

Study of the creative interactions produced by informal associations of innovative minds in literature, philosophy, politics, science, psychology, the arts, war, and law. Courtiers, advisors, disciples, and disputers around Confucius, Socrates, Lincoln, Freud, Wittgenstein, and Niebuhr are among the circles considered. Groups include American Founders, quantum physicists, computer scientists, Gertrude Stein’s “Lost Generation” of Americans in Paris, “The Georgetown Set” of Cold War friends and rivals, and the Supreme Court.  HU
WF 9am-10:15am

HUMS 073b / LITR 087b
Uncertainty in Medicine Viewed through the Humanities

William Sledge and Moira Fradinger

A survey that explores the rich conversation of science and humanistic study in experiences of uncertainty in medical practice. Professional relationships between doctor and patient examined through history, sociology, anthropology, literature, music and visual arts, and medical reflections.   Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

HUMS 074b / FREN 013b
The Major Works of Albert Camus

Alice Kaplan

An exploration of the major works—fiction, theater, political essays—of French writer Albert Camus (1913–1960). Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  WR, HU
HTBA

HUMS 076a / HSHM 007a
Epidemics in Global Perspective

William Summers

Interaction of epidemic diseases and society. The response of government, medicine, and the public to the threat or actual presence of widespread contagious diseases. The notion of major epidemics as one of the key contingencies of history, critically examined through contemporary medical, political, and literary accounts. The changing responses of societies and governments to epidemics as well as the reasons for those responses. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU, SO
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

HUMS 077a / NELC 003a
Medieval Travel and Exploration

Shawkat Toorawa

Introduction to the motivations for travel and exploration in the Middle Ages. For adventure, for commerce, on pilgrimage, and for conquest, travelers include Christian, Jewish, and Muslim merchants, ambassadors, scholars, geographers, explorers, sailors, and soldiers. All material in English translation. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

HUMS 078a
Shakespeare and Music

Judith Malafronte

The use of music in Shakespeare’s plays, from the original stagings and seventeenth-century adaptations to modern productions. Consideration of operatic versions of the plays from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. Includes a field trip to New York City. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU
MF 2:30pm-3:45pm

HUMS 090a / HIST 089a
Thinking about History

Stuart Semmel

An introduction to the discipline of history. Exploration of influential historical narratives; the philosophy of history; the emergence of historical subdisciplines including history from below, microhistory, the new cultural history, and Big History; and interdisciplinary engagement with anthropology, literary criticism, art history, and psychology. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  WR, HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm