Interdisciplinary Humanities (HMN) Minor Courses

The following courses are offered for this minor. Not all courses are offered every semester, therefore plan in advance.


160. Contemporary Venetian Experience. (1.5h) Social, artistic and environmental aspects of life in contemporary Venice. Includes site visits, guest lectures, and interviews with Venetians. Taught only in Venice. Pass/Fail.

170. Introduction to Japanese Culture. (3h) Examines the social, religious, and aesthetic perspectives and values of traditional and modern Japan and how they are expressed through art, ceremony, drama, music, animation, television, and other forms. Credit not given for both HMN 170 and 175. (CD)

175. Japanese Culture: Insight and Outreach. (3h) Develops an understanding of Japanese culture through reading, class discussion, and individual research, with subsequent outreach to area high schools through presentations. Credit not given for both HMN 170 and 175. (CD)

180. Contemporary London Experience. (1.5h) Social, political, cultural, and environmental factors of life in London today. Taught only in London. Pass/Fail.

190. Contemporary Viennese Experience. (1.5h) Social, cultural, and environmental factors of life in contemporary Vienna. Includes site visits, guest lectures, and interviews with Viennese. Taught only in Vienna. Pass/Fail

183. Contemporary Argentine Experience. (1.5h) Social, political, cultural, and environmental factors of life in Argentina today. Taught in Argentina only. Pass/Fail.

186. Contemporary Chilean Experience. (1.5h) Social, political, cultural, and environmental factors of life in Chile today. Taught in Chile only. Pass/Fail.

Humanities courses 213-223 are designed to introduce students to works of literature not included in the normal course of study. Each course includes a reading in translation of ten to twelve representative authors.

213. Studies in European Literature. (3h) Texts studied are by such authors as Dante, Montaigne, Cervantes, Goethe, Dostoevsky, and Camus. (D)

214. Contemporary Fiction. (3h) Texts studied are by such authors as Mann, Sartre, Unamuno, Fuentes, Moravia, and Voinovich. (D)

215. Germanic and Slavic Literature. (3h) Texts studied are by such authors as Von Eschenbach, Hoffmann, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Ibsen, and Kafka. (D)

216. Romance Literature. (3h) Texts studied are by such authors as Boccaccio, Calderón, Flaubert, Machado de Assis, Gide, and Lampedusa. (D)

217. European Drama. (3h) Texts studied are by such authors as Molière, Garcia Lorca, Pirandello, Schiller, Brecht, Ibsen, and Beckett. (CD, D)

218. Eastern European Literature. (3h) Texts studied are by such authors as Moricz, Hasek, Bulgakov, Andric, Gombrowicz, Kundera, Ugresic, and Erofeev. (CD, D)

219. Introduction to Japanese Literature. (3h) Major works of poetry, drama, and fiction from the classical and modern periods. Also listed as EAL 219. (CD, D)

221. Introduction to Chinese Literature. (3h) Readings and discussions in fiction, drama, and poetry from the traditional and/or modern periods. Also listed as EAL 221. (CD, D)

222. African and Caribbean Literature. (3h) Examination of narrative strategies, themes, and socio-political concepts found in a selection of literary works by writers from Africa and the Caribbean to investigate the intersection of history and personal history, and the role of race, class, and gender in the construction of cultural identity in the colonial and the post-colonial context. (LAC component available in French.) (CD, D)

223. Traditional Chinese Fictional Narrative. (3h) Surveys the history of the traditional Chinese fictional narrative across a variety of genres and forms such as the classical anecdote, folktale, vernacular story, drama, and novel. Also listed as EAL 222 (CD, D)

224. Cross-cultural Encounters in Morocco. (3h) Interdisciplinary study of Moroccan culture, both past and present, and an introduction to a country whose history and geo-political situation are unique within the Arab region. Group excursions to sites of cultural and historic significance. Offered in Fez, Morocco, during the summer session.

 225. Literature, Travel, and Discovery. (3h) Explores various works, primarily in translation, from Homer to the present that focus on the relationship between travel and discovery, especially as travel establishes the ongoing connection between the sacred and the profane for both guest and host.

228. Viennese Culture from 1860 to 1914. (3h) Study of late 19th and early 20th century Vi­enna as reflected in the matrix of the city’s civic and artistic life. Offered in Vienna.

230. Women Writers in Contemporary Italy. (3h) Readings and discussions of texts by women writers in post-fascist Italy that reflect the feminine perspective on issues in contemporary Italian society and society at large. Authors include Naraini, Morante, Fallaci, Ginzburg, deCespedes, and Ortese. (Qualifies, with modifications, for the minor in Italian.)

231. Italian Women and the City. (3h) Survey of literary writings and visual texts (illuminations, paintings, sculptures, films) about women and the cities in Italy. Focuses on representation of cities such as Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice, Torino and Palermo and the spaces lived in and experienced by women from the legend of Pope Jeanne to Artemisia Gentileschi’s “Judith and Olopherne,” from Fellini’s Rome in “La dolce vita” to the Venice of Soldini’s “Bread and Tulips.”

232. Italy in Literature. (3h) Readings and discussions in fiction, drama, and poetry that highlight trends and genres in Italian literature from the Middle Ages through contemporary times, and/or literature that features Italy as seen through the eyes of foreigners. Taught only in Venice.

245. Interdisciplinary Seminar in Critical Thinking. (1.5h) Investigates cross-disciplinary issues. Designed to encourage experimental, interdisciplinary thinking and writing.

251. The Asian-American Experience: Literature and Personal Narratives. (3h) Introduces writings and narratives of Asian Americans, examining the process of assimilation, the effects of immigration and cultural conflict on literary forms of expression, and the formation of new cultural identities. (CD)

252. Introduction to Chinese Film. (3h) Introduces film from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan from its inception at the turn of the 20th century to the present. Explores Chinese film as an art form, an instrument of political propaganda, and a medium of popular entertainment. Also listed as EAL 252. (CD)

253. Introduction to Japanese Film. (3h) Examines cinematic responses to the political, social, and cultural landscape of 20th-century Japan. Directors often include Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Ozu, Naruse, Suzuki, Kore-eda, Miyazaki, and others. Also listed as EAL 253. (CD)

256. Beijing: A Study of Chinese Religion and Politics. (3h) Study of the religion and politics in the recent history of China, beginning with the founding of present Beijing in the early Ming Dynasty.

262. Racism, Heterosexism, and Religious Intolerance. (3h) Through fiction and nonfiction sources, a comparative cultural examination of the initiation, maintenance, and treatment of preju­dice, with emphasis on American society from the Jim Crow era to the present. Myths and facts, such as those related to Middle East unrest, will also be discussed.

265. Gender, Spirituality, and Art. (3h) Introduces the current discussion of the nature of art and spiritual experience, with special attention to definitions of femininity and masculinity in the construction of symbols and religious meaning.

268. Ancestors, Indians, Immigrants: A Southwest Cultural Tapestry. (3h) Explores factors that shaped the lives of people in the Southwest with attention to Native American and Hispanicexperience. From kivas to casinos, coyotes to cartels, it links archaeological and pre-Hispanic history to contemporary lifeways in the canyons, deserts, and cities of the U.S./North Mexico. Also listed as ANT 377. (CD)

270. Contemporary Japanese Culture. (3h) Selected topics in Japanese literature, pop culture, film, animation, and other forms. May be repeated for credit when topic differs. P—POI. Also listed as EAL 270. (CD)

271. Mass Culture in Modern China. (3h) Begins with an inquiry into the critical concept of mass and popular culture by looking at newspapers, posters, literature, film, and music, and tracing their sociopolitical, aesthetic, and affective impact on modern China. Also listed as EAL 271 (CD)

272. Literature and Ethics. (3h) Consideration of historical and contemporary ethical issues expressed through various epochs and nationalities of literature. Participants explore ethics through prose fiction as well as through poetry, drama, prose nonfiction, and other writing. Representative authors, intentionally drawn from different cultures (sources in English or by translation) include: Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Austen, Browning, Dostoevski, Silone, Nabokov, Miller, and Ishiguro.

273. Literature and Film from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Beyond. (3h) Explores the specific cultural, political, historical, and aesthetic contexts that contributed to the development of Chinese-language writings and film outside the mainland. Also listed as EAL 272 (CD)

280. Reason and Revelation. (3h) Investigates the intellectual roots of Western civilization as they are found in the emergence of philosophical universalism and Biblical monotheism. These distinctive approaches are considered through the reading of such authors as Plato, Hesiod, Aristophanes, and Saint Thomas Aquinas, and of selections from the Bible.

282. Public Life and the Liberal Arts. (3h) Devoted to topics of abiding public significance. Fun­damental dilemmas and resolutions associated with each topic are examined through a consideration of their treatment in the liberal arts tradition. “Politics and the Arts” and “Theory and Practice in Public Life” are representative topics. Also listed as EDU 281.

283. Foundations of Revolution in Modernity. (3h) Subject viewed through representative writers such as Machiavelli, Spinoza, Pascal, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Flaubert, Eckermann, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Conrad, each of whom, in a different way, participated in the rejection of the teach­ings of both the Socratic tradition and the Christian church.

285. Culture and Religion in Contemporary Native America. (3h) Interdisciplinary survey of American-Indian cultures, including the arts and literature, religions, and historical changes. Emphasizes the impact of the Conquista, encounters with Northern Atlantic societies, and contem­porary developments. Also listed as REL 265. (CD)

290. Innovation and Inclusivity. (3h) Introduces cultural innovation in the 20th century. Written texts, visual arts, and performance art are analyzed through the perspectives of (1) paradigms such as psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, and liberation theology, (2) debates about political correctness and multiculturalism, and (3) strategies used by minority and non-Western voices. (CD)

295. Social Entrepreneurship and the Humanities: Innovation, Public Engagement, and Social Change. (3h) Introduction to the role played by the humanities in social entrepreneurship, exploring the premise that norms can be developed for the application of the humanities, and that the knowledge derived in this process can empower and be a tool in community-based engagement and social change. Course includes a social entrepreneurial project in the local community. Also listed as ESE 321.

320. Perspectives on the Middle Ages. (3h) Team-taught interdisciplinary course using a variety of literary, historical, and theoretical materials to examine one of the following: (a) Medieval Women; (b) Medieval Constructs of Gender, Race, and Class; (c) Love and War in the Middle Ages; (d) The Medieval Environment: Landscape and Culture. May be repeated for credit with different sub topics.

332. Humanities Perspectives on Contemporary Indigenous Cultures. (3h) Interdisciplin­ary seminar on the emerging global presence of indigenous cultures. Topics include world views and interreligious dialogue, contemporary social, political, and environmental developments, and indigenous cultural representation in contemporary arts, including film, literature, and theatre. (CD)

335. German Film. (3h) Survey of German cinema from the silent era to the present. Also listed as GES 335.

337. World Poetry in Dramatic Performance. (1.5h) Study, in translation, of ancient and contem­porary poetry ranging from Japanese to Irish, African American, Spanish, German, Scottish, and oth­ers. Students are required, after eight class meetings, to perform in a public presentation. Pass/Fail only.

340. German Masterworks in Translation. (3h) Examines selected works of German, Austrian, and Swiss fiction in English translation by such writers as Goethe, Schiller, Kafka, Mann, and Schnit­zler. Literary periods, genres, and authors vary according to instructor. Also listed as GES 340. Fall. (D)

341. Russian Masterworks in Translation. (3h) Reading and discussion of selected works from Russian literature in English translation by such writers as Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Bulgakov, and Solzhenitsyn. Also listed as RUS 341 (D)

342. Japan in Perspective. (3h) Readings in accounts of Japan by Western visitors from the 19th century to the present, e.g., Hearn, Bird, Booth, Reid, and writing of reflective essays on student responses to their experiences with Japan and Japanese culture. Taught only in Japan.

347. Japanese Women Writers. (3h) Critical analysis of classical, modern, and contemporary writings by Japanese women, with an exploration of the cultural setting in which they occurred. (CD)

353. African and Caribbean Women Writers. (3h) Critical analysis of fiction by female authors whose works concern women in Africa and its Caribbean diaspora.

359. Fathers and Daughters. (3h) An interdisciplinary course that explores father-daughter relationships in contemporary American society through film, literature, music, theater, media, and social science research.

361. Dante I. (1.5h) Study of the Vita Nuova as apprenticeship to the Divina Commédia, and of the first half of the Divina Commédia as epic, prophecy, autobiography, and poetry, relating it to antiquity, Christianity, Dante’s European present (the birth of modern languages and new intellectual and poetic forms), and Dante’s own afterlife in the West.

362. Dante II. (1.5h) Study of the second half of the Divina Commédia as epic, prophecy, autobiography, and poetry, relating it to antiquity, Christianity, Dante’s European present (the birth of modern languages and new intellectual and poetic forms), and Dante’s own afterlife in the West. P—HMN 361 or POI.

365. Humanity and Nature. (3h) Multidisciplinary exploration of relations of human beings to nature, and of scientific, economic, and political factors in current environmental concerns. Selected religious, classical, and philosophical texts; works of visual art; selected discussions of ecology and human responsibility. Also listed as HON 265.

 370. Medicine and the Humanities. (3h) Scholars from the Reynolda and Bowman Gray cam­puses lead a seminar on ideas and questions at the intersection of medical science and the humani­ties. Topics include medical history; the expression of disease in literature and art; the ethics of genetics research; the interplay of religion and medicine; and the economics of health care.

380. Literature, Film, and Society. (3h) Study of major selected works of literature, mainly American; of the films which have been based upon them; and of the social and political context in which they were read and seen. Texts include novels, stories, and plays by such writers as Dreiser, Lewis, Warren, Steinbeck, Hellman, Harper Lee, Wright, and Walker. P—Junior standing.

381. Independent Research in Asian Studies. (1h, 2h, 3h) Supervised independent research project on a topic related to Asia. Requires the approval of both the instructor and the coordinator of East Asian studies. May be repeated for credit, but no more than 3 hours may count toward East Asian studies.

382. Italian Cinema and Society. (3h) Survey of some of Italy’s greatest postwar films, with spe­cial attention to issues and problems in Italian society as treated by major directors such as Fellini, DeSica, Rossellini, Antonioni, and Olmi.

383. Italian Fascism in Novels and Films. (3h) Explores theories of fascism, with emphasis on Italy between 1919 and 1944 as understood through novels and films.

384. Hispanic Cinema. (3h) Examines major films from the Hispanic world as cinematographic art and as expressions of political, social, and cultural issues. (CD)

385. Legends of Troy. (3h) Interdisciplinary investigation of translations and transformations of the Trojan legend from the Greeks through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the present. Texts, studied in English translation, are by such authors as Homer, Virgil, Ovid, Chaucer, Racine, and Giraudoux.

390. Interdisciplinary Seminar on Aging. (1.5h or 3h) Study of aging in an interdisciplinary context, including the biological, psychological, neurobiological, cognitive, health status, and social, structural and demographic aspects of aging. P—POI.

391. German Women Writers. (3h) Examines selected works by women authors. Literary peri­ods, genres, and authors vary according to instructor. Also listed as GES 390. (D)

394. German Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales. (3h) Study of German myths, legends, and fairy tales since the Middle Ages and their role in the formation of German national identity. Also listed as GES 394.(D)

395. The German Novel. (3h) Introduces novels by German, Swiss, and Austrian authors. Also listed as GES 396. (D)

396. Individual Study. (1h, 2h, 3h) Individual projects in the humanities which continue study begun in regular courses. P—POI.

398. Intellectual History of Weimar. (3h) Examines the philosophical, political, and literary works that gave rise to the mythical status of Weimar as the intellectual heart of Germany. Students read selected works by Luther, Goethe, Schiller, Fichte, and the Jena Romantics. Includes an optional week-long excursion to Weimar, Germany. Also listed as GES 397. (D)