Humanities

Humanities Course Catalogue

ART HISTORY

AH 201:   History of American Art

This survey of American art covers stylistic developments in painting, sculpture, and architecture. Essays presenting specific case studies illustrate the ways in which different approaches, omitted artworks, and in-depth engagements with single works can change our understanding of the narrative of American art. In addition to the broad themes of American art, students will learn a basic art historical vocabulary and examine different art historical approaches.

AH 213:   History of Western Art

Survey of works of Western art in the years 1300-1950. Emphasis is placed on developing a vocabulary for the effective description and analysis of art. Other themes considered include patterns of patronage; the interrelationship of art with music, literature, technology, religion, and popular culture; and the changing dynamics of women as both subject and artist.

AH 221:   African-American Art

This course surveys African-American art, including decorative arts created by slaves, mainstream nineteenth-century artists, the Harlem Renaissance and the New Negro movement, the Black Art movement, postmodern art, and contemporary art. We will read primary sources ranging from W.E.B. Du Bois and Alain Locke to Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett. Central topics will include the conditions of artistic practice, the relationship to the overall narrative of American art, and the art historical reception of African-American art. Cross-listed as AAS 282 (College).

AH 242:   Architecture of American Houses

As an icon in American culture, the house is an object rich with social significance. Houses can tell us about the economic development of America, the structure of the American family, the relationship of work to home, and the development of the American city. We will look at the diverse housing types Americans have developed to express their social goals, such as southern plantations, urban row houses, rural villas, model homes, residential hotels, tenements, the post-war suburban home, housing projects, and New Urbanism houses.

AH 244:   Modern Architecture

This course provides an introduction to modern architecture starting with its nineteenth-century roots and continuing to the present day. We will explore the impact of technological, economic, political, and social change on architecture, as well as study major figures of modern architecture like Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

AH 250:   History of Photography

Since its introduction in 1839, photography has been an important visual medium. This course will examine changing technical processes and their aesthetic implications; debates about the nature of photography; photography’s relationship to other artistic media; and different contexts in which photography has been used, like art, science, social sciences, colonialism, social advocacy, print media, and postmodernism.

AH 281, 282:   Topics in Art History

Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated under different course titles for credit.


ENGLISH

ENG 115:   English Diction

The sounds and phonation of English. Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet. Particular attention to the problems of singing intelligibly in English.

ENG 151:   Creative Writing

Introduction to the creative writing process, with emphasis on poetry or short stories. Includes reading and discussion of student work. Specific focus may vary from semester to semester. May be taken (with permission) more than once if on a different topic.

ENG 205:   The Elizabethan Shakespeare

An intensive study of plays and poetry from the first half of Shakespeare’s career. Besides getting to know Shakespeare’s characters intimately, we will study the place of his plays within one of the most vibrant cultures in all of history, Elizabethan England. As tools to help us understand the plays, we will discuss the importance of pageantry and spectacle in Elizabethan politics; the place of the stage in social struggles; the subordination (and insubordination) of women; the nature of the family; Elizabethan holidays; ghosts, fairies, and other popular superstitions; anti-semitism in Shakespeare’s London; religious conflict during the Tudor period; attacks on the theatres by middle-class Puritans; and significant events in Queen Elizabeth’s long and fruitful reign that are reflected in Shakespeare’s plays. When a good film version is available (or two or more contrasting versions), we will watch excerpts from the plays on film. Throughout the semester, we will approach the plays as entertainments to be performed as well as texts to be read. We will examine the structure of Elizabethan theatres and consider problems and advantages of staging plays in those theatres. Our goal will be this: by the end of the semester, you will enjoy an easy familiarity with Shakespeare, so that you may revisit him often during your lives as a favorite author rather than an intimidating genius, and return to his plays as engaging and imaginative entertainments rather than calcified masterpieces.

ENG 206:   The Jacobean Shakespeare

A continuation of English 205: an intensive study of plays from the second half of Shakespeare’s career, concentrating on the tragedies and romances.

ENG 208:   Shakespeare’s History Plays

England’s threat of invasion by the Spanish Armada in 1587, followed by the Armada’s defeat in 1588 in a tempest that the English interpreted as miraculous and providential, produced a period of intense national crisis followed by one of great national pride and rejoicing. In the decade that followed the Armada’s destruction, plays about English history became very popular on London’s public stages. In his own lifetime, Shakespeare’s history plays were the most popular of all his plays. Our time has witnessed a steadily growing interest in these plays on the part of actors, scholars, and teachers of Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s history plays do not merely celebrate English nationhood in the wake of England’s great victory at sea; they also examine the meaning of recent English history for their time—and for subsequent times as well. They can be read profitably by any generation for their complex analysis of the varieties of leadership and heroism. Above all, they are wonderful examples of how a nation’s present helps to mold, and is in turn molded by, its sense of its own past. In this course we will study five plays by William Shakespeare and one by his contemporary, rival playwright Christopher Marlowe.

ENG 242:   Lyric Poetry

A study of the major forms of lyric poetry, exploring poems from several historical periods (Renaissance, neo-classical, romantic, modern, and postmodern) and paying particular attention to modern and contemporary reinterpretations of traditional forms like the haiku, renga, ode, elegy, sonnet, ballad, sestina, pantoum, and villanelle. From time to time, we will remind ourselves of lyric poetry’s historical associations with music, and I will encourage students to explore musical settings of the poetry we read.

ENG 244:   Modern American Poetry

We will devote the first weeks of the semester to late nineteenth-century poets Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, the founding parents of modern American poetry. Most of the semester will be devoted to the twentieth century, when an astounding variety and number of original poetic voices proliferated in America. We will study selected works of a wide range of poets, including Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Edna St. Vincent Millay, e.e.cummings, Langston Hughes, and William Carlos Williams, among many others.

ENG 248:   Contemporary American Poetry

In this course we will explore and map the rich and varied landscape of contemporary American poetry from the Second World War to the present. I have designed it to be a continuation of the course on “Modern American Poetry” offered last semester, though that course is not a prerequisite for the current one. This semester we will study intensively selected works of a wide range of poets, including A. R. Ammons, John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Creeley, Rita Dove, Robert Lowell, James Merrill, W. S. Merwin, Frank O’Hara, Robert Pinsky, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, and Anne Sexton, among others. Our method will be the close study of selected poets and their work, not a broad survey of the field. Without losing sight—or sound—of our poets’ distinctive voices, we will identify major trends in American poetry over the past four decades.

ENG 254:   Contemporary American Theater

A survey of American theater and performance of the last few decades. Emphasis is placed on how different identities within American society (gendered, racial, and sexual identity) are represented on the stage.

ENG 259:   Performance Art

Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Cage’s 4’33”, Happenings, “Body Art,” Performance Art: over the last 100 years a new kind of performance has emerged. Provocative, sometimes absurd, and often radical, a broader definition of performance overflows traditional “Aristotelian” theater to question the boundaries between representation and reality, audience and stage, sense and non-sense, music and sound, and body and self. In this class we will depart from traditional theater to study significant performances of the last 100 years, and what their creators and critics said about them. Cross-listed as HUM 259.

ENG 263:   The Short Story

According to an old rabbinical saying, “God made people because he loves stories.” The richness and diversity of the world’s storytelling traditions reflects the variety of people—and peoples—in the world. “We are the stories we tell,” according to the title of a recent collection of stories by and about women. The craft of storytelling is nothing less than the primary way in which peoples and cultures shape and define themselves. This course offers a small but rich sampling of those stories: the literary short story as it developed over the past two centuries, with an emphasis on modern innovators such as Anton Chekhov, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, and William Faulkner. Contemporary innovations and experiments in the short story form the coda of the course. Along the way, we will discuss the special features and capabilities of the short story: how it differs from other literary forms and what it can accomplish that its larger, obese cousin, the novel, cannot.

ENG 266:   Contemporary Fiction

Introduction to late twentieth- and twenty-first century literature, concentrating on British, European, American, women’s literature, black writers, science fiction, or Third World literature.

ENG 268:   Reading the Absurd: Explorations in Modern and Postmodern Literature

How should we read the following: a human being trapped in the body of a bug, dangling from the ceiling of a claustrophobic room, a person riding a chainless bicycle, another one speaking monologues while buried to his neck in sand, a critic sitting on the same bench in an Art museum for 23 years contemplating the same painting, a writer wanting to re-write Cervantes’ Don Quixote? These and other absurd scenarios will be examined in this course in an attempt to understand the absurd as an expression of existential crisis, a reflection on the role of art itself but also as political criticism. Writers’ studied will include Kafka, Borges, Calvino, Ionesco, Beckett, Bernhard and Jelinek. All readings will be available in English, students wishing to read in the original languages may do so. Cross-listed as HUM 268.

ENG 274: Topics in the Novel

Topics will vary. May be repeated under different course titles for credit.

ENG 275:   Faulkner

One might have expected modernism in American literature to originate in the great cities of the north. Instead it was to be a Southerner from a small town who did more than any other author to bring the modernist spirit of innovation and experimentation to American fiction. We will immerse ourselves in the work of the most original and powerful American fiction writer of the twentieth century, exploring the construction of racial and gender differences in America; issues of regional and national identity; competing constructions of American’s past, particularly the Civil War and its aftermath; and the use and abuse of individual and collective memory. We will read several novels and short stories by our author. We will also briefly explore his career as a scriptwriter in Hollywood.

ENG 276:   Kafka

Born in Prague of German-Jewish descent, Franz Kafka was one of the most daring and experimental storytellers of the modern period. A Jewish mystic to some commentators, the first existentialist writer to others, Kafka had the dubious distinction of having his writings suppressed under both Nazi and Communist regimes. In this course we will read one of his novels—The Trial—as well as shorter works such as his parables and paradoxes, short stories, and excerpts from his letters and diaries. Although all of his novels remained unfinished and unpublished at the time of his death, he would become one of the most influential figures in all of twentieth-century literature. A 1984 exhibit on Central European culture at the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris christened the twentieth century as “Le Siècle de Kafka” (The Century of Kafka). His writings would continue to shape those of later authors such as Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Thomas Bernhard, and Paul Auster, whose works we will read in the second half of this semester. All readings and discussions will be in English, although students who wish to read some or all of the works in German will be encouraged to do so. Cross-listed as GER 276.

ENG 278:   Virginia Woolf and Her World

A study of major fiction and selected nonfiction by one of the world’s great modern writers and social thinkers, this course focuses on understanding Virginia Woolf’s writings in relation both to her life and to the social, cultural, political, and economic developments of her time, especially the impact of the two World Wars, the spread of modernism across the arts, the increasing popularity of psychoanalysis, and the rise of the modern women’s movement. Cross-listed as HIS 278 and WST 278.

ENG 279:   James Joyce

An intensive study of two of Joyce’s major works of narrative fiction – A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man and Ulysses – as well as some of his poetry, critical writings, and letters. We also seek to situate the works in various historical contexts that shed light on Joyce’s fiction, including the rise of modernism, Irish nationalism, Anglo-Irish relations, Joyce’s musical background and its relation to his fiction, and Joyce’s life.

ENG 281, 282:   Topics in Literature

Topics vary from year to year. Recent topics focus on authors, periods, genre or themes such as drama, Romantic literature, or musicians in literature. May be repeated under different course titles for credit.


ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES (EAP)

EAP 101:  English for Academic Purposes I

This course provides international students at Eastman with substantive practice in academic English at the university level.  Students are expected to read, understand and discuss authentic texts from a range of academic disciplines, with special attention to subjects related to music and musicians.  Coursework will focus on thorough comprehension of texts and lectures; reading and discussion strategies; vocabulary acquisition; and developing fluency in reading and writing.  Instructor permission required.

EAP 102:   English for Academic Purposes II

A continuation of EAP 103, this course concentrates on greater mastery of the skills necessary for academic work at Eastman.  Students are expected to read with increasingly critical ability, give individual and group presentations, produce longer written assignments, and develop further language sophistication and accuracy.  Coursework will focus on oral and written demonstrations of critical and creative thinking; the use of evidence and appropriate citation of sources; and the organization, style, and development of academic essays.

EAP 201/HUM 281:  The Versatile Musician I:  Professional Writing and Public Speaking

Musicians in the 21st century must be familiar with a wide variety of rhetorical skills, whether they are performers, scholars, composers, teachers, or ambassadors to the broader community.  This course explores the culture of professionalism in the United States, and how different contexts influence professional and academic discussions of music, with emphasis on the resources offered in and around Eastman.  Speaking and writing assignments will rhetorical skills involved in academic work, collaboration, concerts, lectures, and other events in the community.  The course is useful for advanced non-native speakers of English.  Students developing professional skills in an intercultural environment will also find this course useful.

EAP 202/ENG 282/HUM 282:   The Versatile Musician II: Professional Writing and Public Speaking

Building on the previous semester, this course is designed to refine and practice the skills necessary for presenting oneself professionally.  Students will explore an aspect of their professional musicianship in depth, and deliver a range of speeches in a public setting.  Emphasis will be placed on the practical skills necessary for public speaking, as well as the ways in which academic research enhances our ability to articulate a professional identity.  This course is useful for advanced non-native speakers of English.  Students interested in developing professional skills in an intercultural environment are also welcome.


FILM STUDIES

FS 210:   European Art Cinema

An examination of the wide array of styles and movements in Western European cinema that had a profound influence on American filmmakers after the Second World War. We will study individual films and directors—for example, Ingmar Bergman, Vittorio de Sica, Federico Fellini, and Luis Bunuel—in the contexts of broader artistic movements and the historical events that influenced them. No previous study of film is required.

FS 221:   Advanced French: le cinéma français

Taught in French. In this advanced French course, designed for students in their 5th or 6th semester of college-level study, students will watch, discuss, and write about important films in the history of French cinema. Beginning with the first screening of a film in Paris in 1895, we will study films of Georges Méliès, Jean Renoir, the French “new wave,” and contemporary cinema. A review of French grammar accompanies the study of film. Prerequisite: French 112 or permission of instructor. Cross-listed as FR 221.

 FS 225:   Introduction to German Film

This course provides an overview of cinematic production in Germany from the 1920s to the present. We will study the golden age of expressionist cinema during the Weimar inter-war years, Nazi cinema, East and West German films as well as examples of post unification cinema. The course will study the films as artifacts as well as historical sources that reflect the rapid political and social changes of German society during the 20th century. We will view films by Robert Wiene Fritz Lang, Veit Harlan, Ernst Lubitsch, Leni Riefenstahl, Wolfgang Staudte, Frank Beyer, Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog, Rainer Maria Fassbinder, Helma Sanders Brahms, Doris Dörrie and Angelina Maccarone among others. Films are in German with English subtitles, all readings and discussion will be in English. No previous knowledge of German or German culture necessary. Cross-listed as GER 225.

FS 226:   German Film After 1945

This course offers an overview of German film after WWII, i.e. the formation of two German national cinemas. In the East, the state run studio DEFA dominated all film production while the West established a complex system of state and privately sponsored film funding. Students will compare East and West German films, and learn about their respective historical and cultural context. Students will also study how German unification was reflected in East and West German films, and how unified Germany reorganized its film production system. Cross-listed as GER 226.

FS 231:   Introduction to Italian Cinema I (in English)

Course designed to provide an overview of Italian cinema from the ear (1914) by Giovanni Pastrone, to the present. The course will explore early Italian cinema from the 1910s -1930s, Fascist cinema, Neorealism, and Italian auteurs from the 1960s to the beginning of the twenty-first century to examine the role played by cinema in building Italian history and culture. We will examine, among others, films by Giovanni Pastrone, Carmine Gallone, Roberto de Sica, Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ettore Scola, Ermanno Olmi, Marco Bellocchio, Gianni Amelio, Marco Tullio Giordana. Films will be in Italian with English subtitles. All readings and class discussions will be in English. No previous knowledge of Italian language/culture is necessary. Cross-listed as IT 231.

FS 232:   Italian Neorealism: Cinema and Culture (in English)

How did films like Rome Open CityPaisà, or Bicycle Thieves move the world with iconic images of 1945 Italy’s liberation? How was the attempt to portray ordinary people’s lives in Rome so successful to change the history of Cinema? How were Neorealist directors able to invent a new artistic language to capture reality? In this course we analyze the evolution of the Italian Neorealist movement in cinema and culture though its major directors (Rossellini, De Sica, Fellini, Visconti) and the writers that defined its spirit (Calvino, Vittorini, Silone, Zavattini). Cross-listed as IT 232.

FS 234:   Theories of Adaptation: Literature, Cinema, and Opera (in English)

In this course we will be studying how Italian legendary cinema and opera directors such as Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Franco Zefirelli, Liliana Cavani, and Ermanno Olmi have adapted into film, theater production, and ballet literary masterpieces that span from Petronius’s Satyricon and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, to Boito’s Senso, and to Verga’s Cavalleria Rusticana. We will also analyze how they have adapted into cinema historical events such as the 16th wars between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines and witch hunting in Europe, paying particular attention to how they have used opera music, particularly Verdi’s music. Cross-listed as IT 234.

FS 243:   Avant-garde Film: History & Practice

This course is as experimental as its topic: avant-garde film. We will divide our time equally between studying the history of experimental film from its beginnings in the 1920s to the present and learn how to produce our own films in response. No previous knowledge or skills are required but students should be curious about art film, and interested in learning how to express themselves visually.

FS 250:   Studies in Film Genres

An exploration of one or more major film genres. Topics will vary, and may include the study of the Hollywood studio system, the “classical” Hollywood style, and recent developments in genre theory. May be repeated if on a different topic.

FS 251:   Hollywood Film

This introductory course on Hollywood film from the silent era to the present will emphasize formal analysis and the cultural history of American film and the film industry. Students will learn basic terms of film criticism as well as how to write essays about films. We will also explore questions of how social, economic, and political factors have driven the development of film as a popular art form. Pursuing the history of movies in America will take us through the early history of movie culture; the development and collapse of the studio system; the causes, effects, and eventual demise of the production code; the advent of color and sound; the red scare and HUAC; Hollywood’s responses to the Second World War; the effects of competition with television on the movie industry; the collapse of the studio system; and the rise of independent cinema. We will also focus on major genres (including screwball comedy, film noir, and the western) and directors, including Chaplin, von Sternberg, Welles, Hitchcock, Wilder, Polanski, Altman, and Lee.

FS 252:   The Hollywood Western

Between the beginnings of cinema and the collapse of the studio system in the 1960s, Hollywood produced vast numbers of westerns: the history of the western is, to some extent, that of Hollywood itself. The western is also for many scholars and spectators the quintessential film genre, yet at the same time its variety and evolution challenge attempts to establish a single formula, structure, or ideology that would characterize the genre. In this course we will study how the portrayal of landscape, gender, nationalism, and race (the “Indian question”) are shaped by the history of Hollywood itself from the origins of cinema to contemporary films.

FS 254:   Documentary Film

This course explores the many facets of documentary filmmaking from its early beginnings as “actualities” in the 1910s through the romanticized ethnographic views of “Nanook of the North”(1922), propaganda films of the 1940s, cinéma vérité of the 1960s to current popular films such as “An Inconvenient Truth.” Directors studied include Flaherty, Vertov, Riefenstahl, Morris, Herzog, Moore, Gore and Melitopolous.

FS 260:   Cinema Auteurs

Directors who manage to put their unique stamp on films are often called “auteurs.” The study of a major director (or directors) in film history, and how they were able to find an individual voice in a medium that is generally collaborative. Topics might include an investigation of “auteur theory”. May be repeated if on a different topic.

FS 262:   Films of Alfred Hitchcock

The films of Alfred Hitchcock are among those that can hold our fascination after many viewings. Dan Auiler, author of a book on the making of Vertigo, has written, “As I’ve experienced with Shakespeare, Hitchcock’s work reflects something of the viewer so that the film appears to change when watched from a different age.” Whether you’ve seen virtually all of Hitchcock films before or whether you’ve only heard of the famous director, I hope the films we watch and discuss this semester will hold your interest for a lifetime and prompt a sustained interest in film history. We will view and study fourteen of Hitchcock’s films in the context of the life and times of their director. We will consider his early work in Germany and England before moving on to his long career in Hollywood and his attempts to interpret his newly adopted country cinematically. The changing cultural contexts of his films—for example, American isolationism, the Second World War, postwar America, the Cold War, changing images of American domesticity, and the culture of psychoanalysis—will form more than a painted Hollywood set or colorful backdrop for our investigations: they will provide many of the clues for interpreting and understanding the deeper mysteries of Hitchcock’s films. This course does not presuppose any previous study of film analysis or film history.

FS 270:   Silent Cinema

A survey of film before 1929, from the first films ever made to the Jazz Singer. In addition to studying the diverse purposes of early film (attraction, narrative, documentary) we will also explore how these films were programmed and exhibited, including the live musical accompaniments (for silent film was never truly silent).

FS 281, 282:   Topics in Film Studies

Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated under different course titles for credit.


FRENCH

FR 101:   Elementary French I

Introduction to French language, emphasizing proficiency in all four linguistic skills: speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing. Focus will be on building a basic vocabulary, present tense verbs, and basic grammar structures. Designed for students with no or little previous experience with the language.

FR 101G:   Graduate Elementary French Review I

Same course as FR 101, with a separate “G” designation for graduate students who may take it for one credit.

FR 102:   Elementary French II

A continuation of FR 101, with a broadening of vocabulary resources, and a continued emphasis on speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing. Commonly used verb forms (past, future, conditional, subjunctive) are introduced, as well as writing skills.

FR 102G:   Graduate Elementary French Review II

Same course as FR 102, with a separate “G” designation for graduate students who may take it for one credit.

FR 111:   Intermediate French I

Review and refinement of grammatical structure. Emphasis on both written and spoken communication. Students read and discuss short literary texts. Prerequisite: 102 or equivalent.

FR 111G:   Graduate Review Intermediate French I

Same course as FR 111, with a separate “G” designation for graduate students who may take it for one credit.

FR 112:   Intermediate French II

A continuation of FR 111. An advanced review of grammar. Emphasis on broadening vocabulary and increasing fluency. Students also read short literary texts and write short papers in French. Prerequisite: FR 111 or equivalent.

FR 112G:   Graduate Review Intermediate French I

Same course as FR 112, with a separate “G” designation for graduate students who may take it for one credit.

FR 201:   Advanced French

Intensive work on written and spoken French, with additional emphasis on written expression. Students will analyze and discuss a wide range of French cultural production, including cinema, theater, visual arts, and literary texts. Topic may vary from year to year. Prerequisites: FR 112 or equivalent and permission of instructor.

FR 211/212:   Survey of French Literature

Reading and discussion of French literary texts of a selected period, movement, or genre. Additional emphasis on developing a broad critical vocabulary in discussion and on perfecting written expression in short papers. All coursework done in French. Prerequisite: FR 201 or equivalent or permission of the instructor. May be repeated under different survey subjects for credit.

FR 221: Advanced French: le cinéma français

Taught in French. In this advanced French course, designed for students in their 5th or 6th semester of college-level study, students will watch, discuss, and write about important films in the history of French cinema. We will study films of Georges Méliès, Jean Renoir, the French “new wave,” and contemporary cinema. A review of French grammar accompanies the study of film. Prerequisite: French 112 or permission of instructor. Cross-listed as FS 221.

FR 231:   French Theater of the Repertoire (in translation)

A survey of French theater works that has inspired operatic adaptations. Emphasis on the historical and literary movements that produced these texts. Taught in English

FR 272:   Existentialism: Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus (in translation)

Existentialism is a school of philosophy that stresses individual choice even in the face of overwhelming world circumstances. This course will focus on three particularly important French figures, all writers who tried to put academic philosophy into action by their decisions in personal life and political behavior: Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), and Albert Camus (1913-1960). In addition to studying their philosophical work, we will also look at their participation in the Resistance to German occupation during World War II, their responses to the Cold War, their criticisms of the Algerian War and the Vietnam War, and their contributions to twentieth-century socialist and feminist movements. Readings include plays, novels, philosophical essays, and political criticism. Taught in English. Cross-listed as HIS 272, PHL 272, WST 272.

FR 281/ 282:   Topics in French Literature

Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated under different course titles for credit.


GERMAN

GER 101/102:   Elementary German

This two-semester sequence offers an introduction to German language acquisition for students without prior knowledge in the language with emphasis on all four skills: reading, speaking, writing and listening comprehension. Students with prior study of German must contact the instructor for a placement test.

GER 111/112:   Intermediate German

This two-semester sequence continues the study of the German language on a more complex level. Elementary grammatical structures will be briefly reviewed but the goal of this course is to move students from drills and textbook study to free expression in German. Students finish the course by reading a drama or novel in German.

GER 115/116:   German Lyric Diction

This course focuses on skills for pronouncing German with the ultimate goal of expressive, communicative singing.

GER 221:   Advanced German: Exploring Berlin

This course is designed to improve language skills of students with at least four semesters of college German. By focusing on the history and culture of Germany’s capital Berlin, students will read a variety of sources about Berlin’s architecture, history, literature, and the arts. Students will learn to analyze literary and non-literary sources, as well as films in German and are required to compose significant papers in German. The focus will be on 20th century topics.

GER 222:   Advanced German: German Romantic Poetry 

This advanced German class introduces students to major works of German literature from the period between 1780 and 1830. In addition to reading poetry by Goethe, Schiller, Brentano, Eichendorff, Tieck, Hölderlin, Heine, Novalis, and Mörike, we will study prose and dramatic works by Kleist, Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, and Hoffmann as well as philosophical writings by Schlegel, and Kant. Students should have completed four semesters of college German. Course language is German.

GER 223: German Through Film

This course is an advanced German course that is designed to increase students’ ability to speak and write in German, as well as improve reading and listening comprehension. Grammar will be reviewed only as it applies to students’ writing or reading. The course will offer an overview of German film history – or it may focus on a particular period and/ or genre. Course language is German.

GER 225:   Introduction to German Film

This course provides an overview of cinematic production in Germany from the 1920s to the present. We will study the golden age of expressionist cinema during the Weimar inter-war years, Nazi cinema, East and West German films as well as examples of post unification cinema. We will study the films as artifacts as well as historical sources that reflect the rapid political and social changes of German society during the 20th century. We will view films by Robert Wiene Fritz Lang, Veit Harlan, Ernst Lubitsch, Leni Riefenstahl, Wolfgang Staudte, Frank Beyer, Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog, Rainer Maria Fassbinder, Helma Sanders Brahms, Doris Dörrie, and Angelina Maccarone among others. Films are in German with English subtitles, all readings and discussion will be in English. No previous knowledge of German or German culture necessary. Cross-listed with FS 225.

GER 226:   German Film After 1945

This course offers an overview of German film after WWII, i.e. the formation of two German national cinemas. In the East, the state run studio DEFA dominated all film production while the West established a complex system of state and privately sponsored film funding. Students will compare East and West German films, and learn about their respective historical and cultural context. Students will also study how German unification was reflected in East and West German films, and how unified Germany reorganized its film production system. Cross-listed as FS 226.

GER 271:   Brecht

This course will introduce students to the works of Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956). As an influential playwright, prolific poet, philosopher and political thinker, Brecht has had a lasting impact on generations of writers. His work was directly affected by and responded to the political events of his time: World Wars 1 & 2, exile, and the building of socialist East Germany. We will consider his ideas on socialism, art and politics, art and pedagogy, high and low culture among others. The course will conclude with a few examples of more recent artists, who applied Brechtian concepts in their own works.

GER 276:   Kafka

Born in Prague of German-Jewish descent, Franz Kafka was one of the most daring and experimental storytellers of the modern period. Many regard him as the first existentialist writer. In this course we will read one of his novels—The Trial—as well as shorter works such as his parables and paradoxes, short stories, and excerpts from his letters and diaries. Although all of his novels remained unfinished and unpublished at the time of his death, he would become one of the most influential figures in all of twentieth-century literature. His works would continue to shape those of later authors such as Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Thomas Bernhard, and Paul Auster, whose works we will read this semester. All readings and discussions will be in English, although students who wish to read some or all of the works in German will be encouraged to do so. Cross-listed as ENG 276.

GER 281/ 282:   Topics in German Studies

Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated under different course titles for credit.


HISTORY

HIS 202:   Twentieth-Century Europe

A survey of the major political, diplomatic, and socio-economic developments in Europe from about 1890 to the present.

HIS 203, 204:   European Intellectual History

The principal intellectual currents that have characterized Western Europe from antiquity to the present.

HIS 206:   European Cultural History

Novels, plays, dance, music, poetry, painting … How can we use individual artistic creations as a way of learning about the politics, economics, social structures, and psychological attitudes of the past? This course will answer that question by focusing on a series of modern European examples from the French Revolution through the Second World War.

HIS 224:   Americans in Paris

This course focuses on the wide variety of political, cultural, and economic exchanges between the United States and France. Topics include the revolutionary diplomacy of the eighteenth century, the high society tourism of figures such as Edith Wharton and Henry James in the nineteenth century, the avant-garde art circles of figures such as Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway in the early twentieth century, and the economic expansion of companies such as Coca Cola, McDonalds, and Disneyland today.

HIS 226:   History of American Education

This survey of the history of American education examines key issues that have engaged school reformers since the colonial period, including pedagogy; curriculum; race, gender, and class; beliefs about childhood and development; religious, moral, and character education; and economic, political, and social goals.

HIS 228:   Antebellum American Culture

What was it like to live in America between 1800 and 1860? This course will focus on American culture in northern cities. Topics will include the market revolution, reform movements like women’s rights and abolitionism, religious revivalism, popular culture, the physical environment, and the expression and transmission of social values.

HIS 232:   International Human Rights

What does it mean to be human? What different kinds of rights might be part of different people’s working definitions? How should we act on any or all of those different definitions today? This course will look at both (a) the historical development of conflicting theories of human rights and (b) more contemporary debates about their ideal extent, their practical exercise, and the preferred means of their necessary enforcement. Cross-listed as WST 232.

HIS 272:   Existentialism: Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus

Existentialism is a school of philosophy that stresses individual choice even in the face of overwhelming world circumstances. This course will focus on three particularly important French figures, all writers who tried to put academic philosophy into action by their decisions in personal life and political behavior: Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), and Albert Camus (1913-1960). In addition to studying their philosophical work, we will also look at their participation in the Resistance to German occupation during World War II, their responses to the Cold War, their criticisms of the Algerian War and the Vietnam War, and their contributions to twentieth-century socialist and feminist movements. Readings include plays, novels, philosophical essays, and political criticism. Cross-listed as FR 272, WST 272 and PHL 272.

HIS 278:   Virginia Woolf and Her World

A study of major fiction and selected nonfiction by one of the world’s great modern writers and social thinkers, this course focuses on understanding Virginia Woolf’s writings in relation both to her life and to the social, cultural, political, and economic developments of her time, especially the impact of the two World Wars, the spread of modernism across the arts, the increasing popularity of psychoanalysis, and the rise of the modern women’s movement. Cross-listed as ENG 278, WST 278.

HIS 274:   Hannah Arendt

This course studies the life, world, and work of Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century, with a special focus on her interpretations of the American, French, and Russian Revolutions, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the international political, social, and cultural events of 1968. Cross-listed as PSC 274.

HIS 281, 282:   Topics in History

Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated under different course titles for credit.


HUMANITIES

HUM 259:   Performance Art

Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Cage’s 4’33”, Happenings, “Body Art,” Performance Art: over the last 100 years a new kind of performance has emerged. Provocative, sometimes absurd, and often radical, a broader definition of performance overflows traditional “Aristotelian” theater to question the boundaries between representation and reality, audience and stage, sense and non-sense, music and sound, and body and self. In this class we will depart from traditional theater to study significant performances of the last 100 years, and what their creators and critics said about them. Cross-listed as ENG 259.

HUM 268:   Reading the Absurd: Explorations in Modern and Postmodern Literature

How should we read the following: a human being trapped in the body of a bug, dangling from the ceiling of a claustrophobic room, a person riding a chainless bicycle, another one speaking monologues while buried to his neck in sand, a critic sitting on the same bench in an Art museum for 23 years contemplating the same painting, a writer wanting to re-write Cervantes’ Don Quixote? These and other absurd scenarios will be examined in this course in an attempt to understand the absurd as an expression of existential crisis, a reflection on the role of art itself but also as political criticism. Writers’ studied will include Kafka, Borges, Calvino, Ionesco, Beckett, Bernhard and Jelinek. All readings will be available in English, students wishing to read in the original languages may do so.

HUM 281/282:   Topics in Humanities

Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated under different course titles for credit.

HUM 283:   Creative Convergences: The Arts in Conversation

This course provides students the opportunity to engage in independent research on a topic of their choice. Topics will generally relate music to other art forms (theater, performance art, dance, film, digital media, etc.) or other disciplines (history, philosophy, anthropology, literature, language, art history, etc.). Readings and discussion will focus on the convergence of music with other fields. Coursework includes a research dossier and a formal oral presentation. Required for MUA majors. Open to all other students with permission of instructor.


ITALIAN

ITALIAN- LANGUAGE COURSES:

IT 101 & IT 102:   Elementary Italian I & II

This two-semester sequence is an introduction to Italian language with an emphasis on all four skills—speaking, reading, writing, listening comprehension—for students with no previous knowledge of the language. The course will focus on building a basic vocabulary, grammar structures and syntax. Students with prior study of Italian must contact the instructor for a placement test.

IT 101G & IT 102G:   Elementary Italian I & II Review

Same two-semester sequence as IT 101 and IT 102 with a separate “G” designation for graduate students who may take it for one credit.

IT 115:  Italian Lyric Diction This first diction course provides students with theoretical and applied knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet—an indispensable tool for their future careers and their future diction courses.  Students learn how to apply IPA to the study of Italian Diction through a progressive method based on Italian reading and scioglilingua.  They learn how to master proper Italian vowels, consonant clusters, and intonation in prose and poetry through written and oral assignments.  This course is not a vocal performing course, but a comprehensive course focused on Italian Diction.

IT 201 & IT 202:   Intermediate Italian I & II

This is a two-semester sequence that reinforces and systematizes Italian grammar and syntax. The courses aim at an intensive review of elementary grammatical structures and the study of grammar exceptions, at lexical enrichment through special uses of language, and at the improvement of speaking and writing ability. Students will be exposed to a variety of genres (literature, poetry, comics, films, newsreels, documentaries, music blogs) to better grasp language through cultural material. Prerequisite: IT102 or equivalent.

IT 201G & IT 202G:   Intermediate Italian I & II Review

Same two-semester sequence as IT 201 and IT 202 with a separate “G” designation for graduate students who may take it for one credit.

IT 221:   Italian Conversation and Composition

Advanced Italian course designed to improve students speaking and writing skills. The course aims at an intense review of Italian grammar, syntax, and vocabulary through a full immersion journey in contemporary Italian culture in Italy and in the US. Students will develop their language and writing skills while reading blogs, newspapers articles, novels, watching Italian TV shows and documentaries, travelling through the Italian peninsula and the US with journalist Beppe Severgnini’s video journal and online material. Students should have completed two or more semesters of college level Italian courses.

IT 223:   Italian through Theater

Advanced Italian course designed to improve and consolidate students’ ability to speak and write in Italian, as well as increase listening and reading comprehension through the Italian theater and its characters, from la commedia dell’arte up to contemporary theater. Grammar and vocabulary will be reviewed in relation to the topics of the plays analyzed in class. The course offers an overview of commedia dell’arte, 19th and 20th century Italian theater up to contemporary teatro di narrazione. The course will include the final staging of a short play. The course will be taught in Italian.

IT 224:   Italian through Cinema

Advanced Italian course designed to improve and consolidate students’ ability to speak and write in Italian, as well as increase listening and reading comprehension. Grammar and vocabulary will be reviewed in relation to the topic of the movies analyzed in class. The course offers an overview of contemporary Italian cinema or it may focus on a particular period and / or genre. The course will be taught in Italian and will include video assignments.


ITALIAN- CONTENT COURSES:

IT 231/FS 231:   Introduction to Italian Cinema I  (in English)

Course designed to provide an overview of Italian cinema from the ear (1914) by Giovanni Pastrone, to the present. The course will explore early Italian cinema from the 1910s -1930s, Fascist cinema, Neorealism, and Italian auteurs from the 1960s to the beginning of the twenty-first century to examine the role played by cinema in building Italian history and culture. We will examine, among others, films by Giovanni Pastrone, Carmine Gallone, Roberto de Sica, Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ettore Scola, Ermanno Olmi, Marco Bellocchio, Gianni Amelio, Marco Tullio Giordana. Films will be in Italian with English subtitles. All readings and class discussions will be in English. No previous knowledge of Italian language/culture is necessary.

IT 232/FS 232:   Italian Neorealism: Cinema and Culture (in English)

How did films like Rome Open CityPaisà, or Bicycle Thieves move the world with iconic images of 1945 Italy’s liberation? How was the attempt to portray ordinary people’s lives in Rome so successful to change the history of Cinema? How were Neorealist directors able to invent a new artistic language to capture reality? In this course we analyze the evolution of the Italian Neorealist movement in cinema and culture though its major directors (Rossellini, De Sica, Fellini, Visconti) and the writers that defined its spirit (Calvino, Vittorini, Silone, Zavattini).

IT 233 :   History of Italian Theater (in Italian)

English description:

The course explores the history of Italian Theater from the 1500s to the present. It starts from the analysis of the most successful authors of contemporary “teatro di narrazione” and focuses on the practice of theater as socio-cultural commentary on Italian history. From there, it moves Dario Fo’s Mistero Buffo, tracing down its origins in Carlo Goldoni and the commedia dell’arte tradition, to Luigi Pirandello’s theater and the Neapolitan tradition with Eduardo De Filippo and Eduardo Scarpetta. It examines 19th century theater (Giovanni Verga and Versim) up to 16th century theater (Niccolò Machiavelli and Pietro Aretino).

Italian description: 

In questo corso analizzeremo la storia del teatro italiano dal Rinascimento al primo decennio degli anni 200 con particolare attenzione al modo in cui l’importante tradizione teatrale italiana—che vanta ben due Premi Nobel nel solo XX secolo (Luigi Pirandello e Dario Fo)—si è spesso manifestata come riflessione sulla società italiana e come critica sociale. Il corso partirà dall’analisi dell’interessante corrente del cosiddetto “teatro di narrazione” contemporaneo come strumento per esplorare la cultura e la storia italiana del XX e del XXI secolo. Da qui faremo un percorso a ritroso per ritrovare le origini della funzione del teatro come strumento di riflessione e critica nei secoli precedenti, dal Rinascimento con Niccolò Machiavelli, al Sei e Settecento con, tra gli altri Carlo Goldoni e la commedia dell’arte e l’Ottocento con Giovanni Verga e il verismo.

IT 234/FS 234:   Theories of Adaptation: Literature, Cinema, and Opera (in English)

In this course we will be studying how Italian legendary cinema and opera directors such as Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Franco Zefirelli, Liliana Cavani, and Ermanno Olmi have adapted into film, theater production, and ballet literary masterpieces that span from Petronius’s Satyricon and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, to Boito’s Senso, and to Verga’s Cavalleria Rusticana. We will also analyze how they have adapted into cinema historical events such as the 16th wars between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines and witch hunting in Europe, paying particular attention to how they have used opera music, particularly Verdi’s music.

IT 235:   Viva V.E.R.D.I! The Birth of Italy through Literature, Opera, and Popular Culture (in English)

The course explores how music and literature fostered the creation of the Italian myth starting from the 1815-1820 Italian insurrections that led to Risorgimento, the unification process through which Italy became a modern united country in 1861. We will examine how opera, operetta, popular songs, and literature had such a key role in this process that Giuseppe Verdi’s last name epitomized through the popular revolutionary motto Viva VERDI! the acronym standing for Viva Vittorio Emanuele Re D’Italia (Long Live Victor Emmanuel King of Italy!).

IT 282/FS 282:  Topics in Italian

Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated under different course titles for credit.


PHILOSOPHY

PHL 205:   The Ancient Greeks: Tragedy, Philosophy, and Politics

An examination of the major ideas in Ancient Greek political thought, from the early tragedians to Aristotle. Topics may include the theory and practice of democracy, justice, civil disobedience, conservatism, and the ideas of human inequality. Cross-listed as PSC 205.

PHL 209:   Power, Violence, and Virtue: Themes in early modern political thought

This course examines some of the core themes and concepts in early modern political thought, from Machiavelli to Kant. Topics include the nature and origin of the state, the proper role of state violence, pluralism, the relationship between virtue and politics, and how one should evaluate the legitimacy of a political order. Cross-listed as PSC 209.

PHL 272:   Existentialism: Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus

Existentialism is a school of philosophy that stresses individual choice even in the face of overwhelming world circumstances. This course will focus on three particularly important French figures, all writers who tried to put academic philosophy into action by their decisions in personal life and political behavior: Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), and Albert Camus (1913-1960). In addition to studying their philosophical work, we will also look at their participation in the Resistance to German occupation during World War II, their responses to the Cold War, their criticisms of the Algerian War and the Vietnam War, and their contributions to twentieth-century socialist and feminist movements. Readings include plays, novels, philosophical essays, and political criticism. Cross-listed as FR 272 and HIS 272.

PHL 281/282:   Topics in Philosophy

Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated under different course titles for credit.


POLITICAL SCIENCE

PSC 205:   The Ancient Greeks

Tragedy, Philosophy, and Politics: An examination of the major ideas in Ancient Greek political thought, from the early tragedians to Aristotle. Topics may include the theory and practice of democracy, justice, civil disobedience, conservatism, and the ideas of human inequality. Cross-listed as PHL 205

PSC 209:   Power, Violence, and Virtue: Themes in early modern political thought

This course examines some of the core themes and concepts in early modern political thought, from Machiavelli to Kant. Topics include the nature and origin of the state, the proper role of state violence, pluralism, the relationship between virtue and politics, and how one should evaluate the legitimacy of a political order. Cross-listed as PHL 209.

PSC 210:   Marx, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, and Freud

This course investigates some of the core thinkers in 19th century political thought. Topics may include the idea of historical progress, the role of reason and the “loss of the sacred” in modern life, and the relationship between universal principles (human rights, democracy) and the problematic aspects of modern life (capitalist exploitation, slavery, and colonialism, for instance).

PSC 220:   The Concept of Power

This course introduces some of the main figures in social theory by way of an investigation of how they conceptualize political power. Readings may include Karl Marx, Max Weber, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault.

PSC 230:   The Politics of Poverty

This course explores the political conflicts that emerge over the phenomenon of poverty in American politics. Topics include the ways in which the figure of the poor is depicted and contested in political life, the theory and practice of the welfare state, and the various controversies over how to solve the problem of poverty.

PSC 240:   Democratic Theory

This course investigates some of the key questions democratic practice: what is democracy and why is democracy such a valuable form of social organization? In exploring these questions, we will examine the meaning and value of the concepts of majority rule, the common good, individual rights, the need for homogeneity or diversity, and popular sovereignty. Readings may include Rousseau, Burke, Tocqueville, J.S. Mill, Carl Schmitt, and other more contemporary political thinkers.

PSC 274/HIS 274:   Hannah Arendt

This course studies the life, world, and work of Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century, with a special focus on her interpretations of the American, French, and Russian Revolutions, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the international political, social, and cultural events of 1968. Cross-listed as HIS 274.


PSYCHOLOGY

PSY 111:   General Psychology

An introduction to the methods, aims, and achievements of psychology as an academic discipline. Clinical and experimental approaches, as well as the range of psychological sub disciplines, from cognition and perception to abnormal psychology and personality theory are considered.  Open to Music Teaching & Learning majors only.

PSY 112:   Educational Psychology

This course will focus on theories of child development, learning, and motivation, building on concepts introduced in the general psychology course. Students will explore a variety of theories and apply them to educations situations to achieve a deeper understanding of how children develop as learners. The course will center on a range of concepts, both cognitive and social, and on ways students might use these to become more insightful, sensitive, and skilled as educators. Open to Music Teaching & Learning majors only. Prerequisite: PSY 111 or permission of instructor.


WOMEN’S STUDIES

WST 232:   International Human Rights

What does it mean to be human? What different kinds of rights might be part of different people’s working definitions? How should we act on any or all of those different definitions today? This course will look at both (a) the historical development of conflicting theories of human rights and (b) more contemporary debates about their ideal extent, their practical exercise, and the preferred means of their necessary enforcement. Cross-listed as HIS 232.

WST 272:   Existentialism: Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus (in translation)

Existentialism is a school of philosophy that stresses individual choice even in the face of overwhelming world circumstances. This course will focus on three particularly important French figures, all writers who tried to put academic philosophy into action by their decisions in personal life and political behavior: Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), and Albert Camus (1913-1960). In addition to studying their philosophical work, we will also look at their participation in the Resistance to German occupation during World War II, their responses to the Cold War, their criticisms of the Algerian War and the Vietnam War, and their contributions to twentieth-century socialist and feminist movements. Readings include plays, novels, philosophical essays, and political criticism. Taught in English. Cross-listed as FR 272, HIS 272, PHL 272.

WST 278:   Virginia Woolf and Her World

A study of major fiction and selected nonfiction by one of the world’s great modern writers and social thinkers, this course focuses on understanding Virginia Woolf’s writings in relation both to her life and to the social, cultural, political, and economic developments of her time, especially the impact of the two World Wars, the spread of modernism across the arts, the increasing popularity of psychoanalysis, and the rise of the modern women’s movement. Cross-listed as ENG 278, HIS 278.