Previous Core Seminars

HUMS 206: We read the Arabian Nights, discuss its dominant themes, and explore the ways its themes and tales have been adapted and appropriated by later authors. HU

Fall 2019
MW 9:00-10:15am

HUMS 290: Brazilian and Japanese novels from the late nineteenth century to the present. Texts from major authors are read in pairs to explore commonalities and divergences.  HU  Tr

Fall 2019
M 1:30-3:20

HUMS 415: An exploration of Chartres Cathedral as a meeting point of various artistic, technological, ritual, literary, intellectual, and social trends in the High Middle Ages.  We study how the cathedral fit into and changed the world around it, HU

Fall 2019
MW 1:00-2:15pm

HUMS 352: Survey of major ideas, writings, and cultural movements that have shaped American life and thought from 1880 to 1990. Assignments encompass works of fiction, philosophy, social and political thought, and film.  Part II of a year-long sequence. HURP

Spring 2020
TTH 11:30am-12:50pm

HUMS 288: What makes one thing better than another? How can we make judgments of value? What does it mean to “get it right” in the humanities as opposed to the sciences? This course will expose students to the theory and practice of valuing.

Spring 2020
W 3:30-5:20

British historical narratives in the 19th century, the crucible of modern historical consciousness. How a period of industrialization and democratization grounded itself in imagined pasts— recent, distant, domestic, foreign—in historical novels and works by historians.

Fall 2018
MW 11.35-12.50

A close reading (in English) of Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, with emphasis upon major themes: time and memory, desire and jealousy, social life and artistic experience, sexual identity and personal authenticity, class and nation.

Fall 2018
TTh 11.35-12.50

Close reading of the eighteenth-century Chinese novel The Dream of the Red Chamber in translation, with some attention to secondary and theoretical materials. The novel is used to examine humanistic questions, including what it means to read across cultures.

Spring 2016
MW 11.35-12.50

A study of Shakespeare’s Tempest in relation to its ancient and contemporary sources and its extensive influence on literature, the arts, and cultural theory from the seventeenth century to the present.  Examples from Europe, The Americas, Africa, and Asia.

Fall 2016

Exploration of the Parthenon in history, including its religious, political, and cultural functions, as well as the history of encountering and interpreting the Parthenon across all media (archeology, architecture, art, film, literature, photography) from antiquity to hypermodernity.  

Spring 2018

A close examination of Mann’s most ambitious novel which seeks to elucidate the German mind. Broad exploration of the context of Doctor Faustus through readings in history, literature, literary history, music history and music theory, history of religion and theology. 

Spring 2018
W 1.30-3.20

A close reading of the Essays by Michel de Montaigne.  An important theme to be examined will be politics. Some brief selections from contemporary writers who have tried to bring Montaigne into conversation with our present moment.  

Spring 2019
MW 1:00-2:15

An extended inquiry into the political implications of theorizing emotions and sensibilities in different ways. Broad engagement with key thinkers from a number of different traditions, including European philosophy, British literary criticism, and contemporary poetry.

Fall 2017
T 1.30-3.20

Political writing of the mid-20th century with emphasis on ideologies, including communism, fascism and democracy. Emphasis on British, French, and American authors such as Orwell, Camus, Sartre, Greene, Duras, and Arendt. 

Spring 2018
T 9.25-11.15