PROF. J. JUDD OWEN
Director, Franklin Fellows Program
& Program in Democracy & Citizenship

Department of Political Science

jjowen@emory.edu

VOLUNTARY CORE CURRICULUM
Prof. Patrick Allitt, Director
FALL 2019
 
Always be sure to check out current courses in the Voluntary Core Curriculum!
 
Below are some additional suggested courses being offered next semester at Emory.

 

 

Ancient Mediterranean Studies

 

Classical Political Thought              ANCMED 202R-1                 5080                Judd Owen     

Crosslisted: POLS 202-1

This course will introduce students to some of most foundational writings for the study of politics. This semester we will read Aristotle's famous book entitled, simply, Politics. In it, Aristotle argues that we are political animals by nature, suggesting that happiness in found in political engagement, not in private isolation. Aristotle explores the notion of the good society and obstacles to realizing the good society. We will also read an analysis of political ambition by Socrates' student Xenophon. Xenophon tells the story of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian empire in a book that is both dramatic and philosophically incisive. Evaluation will be based on class participation, papers, and exams.

 

 

Art History

 

Great Buildings         ARTHIST 104-2        3889                Bonna Wescoat and Sarah McPhee

Much of our life experience is shaped by buildings. The greatest of them stand as icons of their respective cultures, embodying religious, social, and political ideals; economic and technological realities; and aesthetic aspirations. In this course we explore great buildings from ancient Egypt to the twenty-first century. With a single building, or group of buildings, as the focal point of each lecture, we will move through time considering issues such as: materials, massing, and monumentality; the Vitruvian triad of firmitas, utilitas et venustas (strength, utility, and delight); the Gothic embodiment of spirit in structure; domes and their reinvention; the aesthetics of technological innovation; the myriad directions of contemporary design. The subject is vast. Rather than trace a linear history we have selected major monuments that drive the development of architecture. These are the buildings you know by sight but will come to understand in depth.

 

Ancient Egyptian Art 1550–30 BC               ARTHIST 214-1         3335                Rune Nyord

This course explores art from ancient Egypt in the period from the beginning of the New Kingdom to the conquest of Egypt by Rome (1550–30 BCE). Structured roughly chronologically, the course explores the uses and development of ancient Egyptian works of art and architecture within their social, religious and political contexts as indicated by contemporary sources and traces of practice attested archaeologically. The course includes visits to the collection of the Michael C. Carlos Museum to study concrete works from the period. For Art History Majors & Minors, this course satisfies Division I or IV.

 

Italian Renaissance Art/Architecture         ARTHIST 242-1        2675    C. Jean Campbell

This course will survey the art and architecture of Italy, from the age of Giotto, through that of Michelangelo and Titian.We will consider the emergence, in Renaissance Italy, of the notion that both artists and art had histories worth telling, and follow through by examining those traditions of intellectual and social history that have shaped the modern field of study.The course will proceed by examining the interactions of painters, sculptors and architects with important sites of cultural production, including: the Arena of Padua, the domestic and urban spaces of Florence, the Ducal Palaces of Urbino and Mantua, the Vatican, and the confraternal houses of Venice. For Art History Majors & Minors this course satisfies Division II.

 

Ancient Greek Sanctuaries               ARTHIST 329-1        3406                Boanna Wescoat

The finest places in the ancient Greek world were set aside for the gods, where they could be worshiped and honored through sacred festivals, sacrifices and fine offerings.  This course focuses on these splendid sacred spaces, from the panhellenic cult centers of Zeus at Olympia and Apollo at Delphi, to the polis sanctuary of Athena on the Akropolis in Athens. The Asiatic sanctuaries at Ephesos, Samos, and Didyma, take us across the Aegean and the mystery cults of Demeter at Eleusis and the Great Gods on Samothrace lead into a world of secret initiations. While we will explore the emergence of cult sites and the diverse ritual practices and sacred festivals associated with different divinities, we will center our investigation on the splendid material world that built up around honoring the gods, from the smallest offerings of gratitude to magnificent sacred buildings and monumental sculptures that are hallmarks of the classical world.

 

 

Classics

 

Masterworks of Classical Literature                        CL 150-1         1352                 Jonathan Master

In this reading intensive course we will take on the classical “canon,” the traditional set of texts that were for much of the modern era considered necessary for any educated person to have read. Achilles’ wrath in the Iliad, the proper punishment for Orestes’ matricide in the Oresteia, and Aeneas’ divinely ordained responsibility to get to Italy in the Aeneid will all come under our scrutiny. Rather than accept the assertion that these are simply “great books” we will carefully examine each text on its own merits, consider the genre and structure, draw out the major themes, and make our own determination about their relevance to our contemporary world.

 

The Greeks                CL 201-1                     1332                             TBA

A general survey of ancient Greek literature and culture. Study of the major texts of ancient Greece in their social, historical and archaeological context.

 

Ancient Novel & Its Influence                     CL 218-1                     1333                 Niall Slater

Long before it was reinvented in the eighteenth century, the novel or romance emerged in the ancient Graeco-Roman world. Usually centered on young lovers separated by malevolent forces, these stories mix both fantastic and realistic elements. This course will allow you to read most of the surviving Greek and Latin novels. We will consider both the conditions under which the novel emerged as a literary form and the potential readerly response to these narratives. These works raise intriguing questions about the universality of erotic experience and the role of literature as entertainment or instruction.

 

Sages and Saints                    CL 329W-1                  4712                             Kevin Corrigan          

Crosslisted: CPLT 389W-1, MESAS 370W-1, REL 370W-1

Starting from an age of new global awakening with Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Siddharta Gautama, Zoroaster, Confucius and Lao Tzu (roughly 6th-5th Centuries BCE), this class will trace the emergence of a wisdom/saint tradition in the figures of Socrates and Plato (4th-3rd centuries BCE), through Marcus Aurelius (an emperor) and Epictetus (a freed slave) (1st-2nd centuries CE), to Plotinus (3rd century CE in Egypt and Rome), Porphyry (Syria), Iamblichus (Syria) and such later saintly figures as Macrina and Gregory of Nyssa (4th century Cappadocia, in what would today be Turkey), Syncletica (Egypt), Evagrius (died 399 CE, Pontus, Egypt), Hypatia (c. 370-March 415 CE, Egypt), and the towering figures of Augustine in North Africa (354–430) and Boethius (born and executed in Rome—c. 480–524) in Late Antiquity. We do not want to omit Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus—Mohammed is later, but we shall simply assume that these, and other, monumental figures are central to our enterprise.

 

 

 

Comparative Literature

 

Fictions of State, Society & the Individual     CPLT 201W-4       3462          Deborah White   

Works from classical through post-modern literatures that address the often contradictory nexus of individual, society, and state. The texts to be read explore how much an individual’s sense of self and agency arise in relation to others, and not just in relation to other “individuals,” but to forms of being that are not “individual” at all. How does an “I” emerge from, and situate itself in relation to, the state, law, social custom, warfare, gender norms, and economic forces.  More particularly we will explore how literature across multiple linguistic traditions provides a privileged way of thinking about the self or “individual” in its complex relation to forces that both constitute it and yet often seem to conflict with individual desires and drives. Texts to be drawn from Socrates, Plato, Shakespeare, Molière, Rousseau, Kleist, Prince, Dostoevsky, Freud, Woolf, and Wittig.

 

Sages and Saints                    CPLT 389W-1                        4711                 Kevin Corrigan          

Crosslisted: CL 329RW-1, MESAS 370W-1, REL 370W-1

Starting from an age of new global awakening with Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Siddharta Gautama, Zoroaster, Confucius and Lao Tzu (roughly 6th-5th Centuries BCE), this class will trace the emergence of a wisdom/saint tradition in the figures of Socrates and Plato (4th-3rd centuries BCE), through Marcus Aurelius (an emperor) and Epictetus (a freed slave) (1st-2nd centuries CE), to Plotinus (3rd century CE in Egypt and Rome), Porphyry (Syria), Iamblichus (Syria) and such later saintly figures as Macrina and Gregory of Nyssa (4th century Cappadocia, in what would today be Turkey), Syncletica (Egypt), Evagrius (died 399 CE, Pontus, Egypt), Hypatia (c. 370-March 415 CE, Egypt), and the towering figures of Augustine in North Africa (354–430) and Boethius (born and executed in Rome—c. 480–524) in Late Antiquity. We do not want to omit Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus—Mohammed is later, but we shall simply assume that these, and other, monumental figures are central to our enterprise.

 

 

English

 

Poetry and Politics                ENG 205-4                 3351                 Emily Banks

William Carlos Williams wrote, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” While poetry is rarely credited with enacting political change, it is a form we frequently turn to in times of political distress. This course will explore poetry that engages with politics through both direct commentary and more subtle implication. Exploring a wide range of poems from the nineteenth century through the present day, will think about what poetry can teach us about the politics of its time, and what kinds of political work poetry is capable of. We will look at poems that discuss a range of political topics including war, national identity, gender, sexuality, and race, and consider how poets use both personal and observed experience to convey crucial messages. Underlying our study will be the questions: Why write political poetry? and What can poetry do? Students will learn and practice using the proper terminology to discuss poetic forms and techniques, and will complete a series of writing assignments including close readings, analysis papers, and an imitative poem. Texts will be provided through Course Reserves, and will include poems by Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Seamus Heaney, Czeslaw Milosz, Ilya Kaminsky, Jericho Brown, Tiana Clark, and Terrance Hayes, among others.

 

Medieval and Victorian Chivalric Literature   ENG 210W-1      3388      Christopher Adamson

When thinking about King Arthur, what do you picture? A very English-looking knight, confidently receiving a sword from the most reliable of kingmakers: strange women living in lakes. Or maybe he’s followed by his trusty coconut-wielding squire as he debates the ability of load-bearing sparrows with a French knight. But what about the Celtic Arthur who fought the Saxons, or the courtly tradition developed by medieval French and English poets? When thinking of something as medieval, why do we imagine stories and pictures composed after the Middle Ages? Throughout this course, we will consider the reception of the Middle Ages that we’ve inherited from the Romantics and Victorians. Our guiding question will be: What cultural work does the reception of past stories and forms (whether revivals or rejections) accomplish? Looking at Arthurian legend, courtly poetry, and even anti-medieval novels, we will collaboratively develop an understanding of medievalism. In this class you will add your own voice to the conversation around this growing discipline through keeping a commonplace journal, writing and revising papers for general and academic audiences, and composing a digital storytelling video that engages how medievalism affects us today. Potential texts include: Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, Trollope’s The Warden, Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, and selections provided in Course Reserves from Chaucer, Malory, Novalis, Thomas Carlyle, Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Morris, and Christina Rossetti.

 

 

American Literature: Beginnings to 1865       ENG 250W-1           3314           Benjamin Reiss

This course is a survey of American writing from its colonial origins through the Civil War. We will track how early writers in what would become the territorial U.S. developed hybrid or “creole” identities forged out of the clash of European, Native, and African cultures in a bewildering new environment, and how these developments related to later ideas about American national identity (and its outcasts) in the years between the American Revolution and the Civil War. In literary terms, we will track how an early focus on New World subjects (the strange landscape, the contacts and conflicts between settlers and original inhabitants, and life under an economic system propelled by slavery) related to ideas about the role of literature in American society.  Texts will mostly be drawn from the Norton Anthology of American Literature, but we will supplement these with one or two longer works to examine in more detail.  Assignments will include two papers, one of which is to be revised, and two exams mixing identification questions and brief interpretive essays.

 

British Literature Before 1660                      ENG 255W-1              3304                James Morey

Content:  Because literature happens in history, this course covers British literature and its cultural contexts from the earliest poetry in English to John Milton.  Readings will include "The Dream of the Rood," Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, selections from William Langland’s Piers Plowman, Margery Kempe’s Book and Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, The Second Shepherds' Play, the end of Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur, Book I of Sir Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Elizabethan sonnets, Metaphysical poetry, Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, William Shakespeare's Othello, and selections from Paradise Lost.  Classes are divided between lectures and Friday discussion sections. Text: The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors, vol. 1. 10th ed., gen. ed. Stephen Greenblatt. Particulars: Two examinations in class, weekly papers, final examination, attendance policy.

 

Survey of African-American Literature Before 1900     ENG 261-1      5131     Michelle Gordon

An overview of African-American literature prior to 1900. Students will read and examine writings by major contributors to each period in the genres of fiction (short story and novel) essay, poetry, and narratives of enslavement. Students will write four five-page critical essays.

 

Medieval & Renaissance Drama: Women on Stage     ENG 310W-1     3249       Patricia Cahill

This course is designed to introduce you to eight plays featuring female characters by some of the great writers who were working in England during Shakespeare’s lifetime (1564-1616) and shortly thereafter, a period widely recognized as a “golden age” of drama. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate the dazzling language and complicated performance dynamics of a wide variety of comedies and tragedies written for London’s first public theaters. We will attend to their historical contexts of these female-centric works, especially the fact that they were staged in playhouses that deliberately excluded women from acting. And we will also explore the drama’s contemporary resonances—for example the way they pluralize gender; imagine women’s solidarity; rage against toxic masculinity; narrate sexual assault and domestic violence; and center female pleasure, desire, and fantasy. The plays to be studied likely will include the anonymous Arden of Faversham; Heywood’s A Woman Killed with Kindness;Fletcher’s The Tamer Tamed, Middleton’s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside; Middleton and Dekker’s The Roaring Girl; Rowley, Dekker, and Ford’s The Witch of Edmonton,; Webster’s , The Duchess of Malfi, and Middleton and Rowley’s The Changeling. Our class work will emphasize close reading of these dramas within a variety of historical and cultural contexts and from a range of theoretical perspectives. This will be a student-centered class in which students are expected to be active class participants and to complete research-based and multimodal writing assignments.

 

Shakespeare: Text and Performance           ENG 311RW-1            3250    Sheila Cavanaugh

Content: In this course, we will approach Shakespeare's plays as texts written to be performed. As we will discover, decisions made by actors, directors, and others involved in theatrical enterprises can help illuminate the richness, complexity, and ambiguity of Shakespeare's language. Although our emphasis will remain upon close textual analysis, we will use performance as a way to facilitate our examination of Shakespearean drama. The course is designed to help students become more knowledgeable readers and viewers of Shakespeare's plays. At times during the term, we will be linking electronically with students and performers from different parts of the US and internationally. Texts: specific texts to be announced. Students are welcome to use library copies of Shakespeare. Particulars: There will be regular writing assignments. Active class participation is required.

 

 

Later 18thCentury Literature: 1740–1798      ENG 321W-1              3231     Martine Brownley

Content: The towering figure of Samuel Johnson—poet, essayist, dramatist, dictionary maker, novelist, critic, biographer, and unparalleled conversationalist—dominates English literature of the middle and later eighteenth century. This course surveys the major genres of the period though a focus on the writings of Johnson, as well as his life as it is portrayed by James Boswell, the first and greatest of literary biographers, and also in Hester Lynch Piozzi’s Anecdotes. The development of English biography, literary criticism, and classical prose will be recurring concerns. Because Johnson, Boswell, and Piozzi refused to separate literature from everyday life and practical concerns and were deeply involved in the great events and issues of their times, this course provides a general overview of social and cultural life in England during the period from 1740 to 1798, including its politics, mores, art, and history. Texts: TBA. Please do not purchase texts until after the first meeting of the class. Particulars: Class attendance and informed participation in discussions are required; written work will include a combination of essays and exams. No personal electronic devices should be used during class.

 

Modern English Literature              ENG 340W-1              3321                 Erwin Rosinberg

This survey of twentieth-century British literature immerses us in a period of constant literary innovation, as authors seek both to reflect and to inspire the changing world around them. We will focus especially on modernist writing from the turn of the century through World War II, charting a course that moves from reactions to Victorian realism through major experiments in fiction, poetry, and drama. We will also trace modernism’s legacy by examining selected works in each of these genres in the postwar, postmodern era. In addition to paying close attention to literary form, our discussions will cover topics including representations of consciousness and the passage of time; changing conceptions of gender and class; the impact of war and the writing of memory; the legacy of colonialism and depictions of a multicultural Britain; the figures of the artist, the adventurer, and the rebel; and the relationships among city, country, and the world at large. Requirements will include three medium-length essays, an exam, and regular attendance and participation in class discussions. Texts may include: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; E. M. Forster, Howards End; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as Young Man; Muriel Spark, The Girls of Slender Means; stories by D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, Angela Carter, and Hanif Kureishi; plays by Oscar Wilde, G. B. Shaw, Samuel Beckett, and Caryl Churchill; and poetry by Thomas Hardy, W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Stevie Smith, W. H. Auden, Carol Ann Duffy, and Derek Walcott.

 

 

History

 

Great Books: History                        HIST 150-1                 2720                Joseph Crespino        

Part of Emory's Voluntary Core Curriculum. Certain great books have been influential across the centuries, and continue to influence the way we think, act, and understand ourselves today. Major themes of the course are the history of religion, politics, economics, biology, and psychology.

 

Foundations of American Society to 1877        HIST 231-1            2664           Maria Montalvo

In this course we will examine central themes and problems in studying American history through 1877. In addition to exploring significant social, political, cultural, and economic developments during this period, we will also devote significant time to examining primary sources, identifying historical arguments and methods in secondary works, and considering the possibilities and limits of constructing historical knowledge about subjects such as colonization, slavery, the American Revolution, the American Civil War, and Reconstruction. Students in this course will thus not only gain a better understanding of American history through 1877 but also develop a working knowledge of how history is constructed while sharpening their writing and critical thinking skills. Instead of attempting to cover every aspect of American History to 1877, we will uncover what historians do when working to recover the past. Our focus is thus not solely “what happened” in North America to 1877 but also, and more importantly, how we can learn about what happened during that time? Such an analysis will require weekly reading and writing assignments as well as frequent in class exercises where we work closely with primary sources and practice identifying and critiquing historical arguments and methods. In short, we will spend the majority of our time developing effective reading and analytical habits.

 

Emperors, Barbarians, & Monks         HIST 304-1            2676                Judith Evans-Grubbs

The centuries between 200 and 900 saw tremendous change in Europe and the whole Mediterranean, as the western Roman Empire devolved into multiple smaller kingdoms and went from a polytheistic, urbanized society with a centralized government and Mediterranean-wide trade to a monotheistic, more rural and less cosmopolitan culture. This course looks at how and why this transition occurred. The main focus is on western Europe, but we will also look at the rise of Islam and at social and religious changes in the Byzantine Empire, where the "new Rome" in Constantinople continued for centuries after the old Rome's fall.

 

The Italian Renaissance                   HIST 306-1                 2679                Sharon Strocchia

History 201 recommended as background. Examines developments in politics, society, and the economy that created a new cultural style in Italy between 1350 and 1530. Students have the option of some readings in Italian.

 

Age of Religious Wars                      HIST 324-1                 2683                James Melton

Course examines the interplay of religion, war, and politics in early modern Europe. Major topics include Ottoman expansion, the expulsion of the Jews and Moriscos in Spain, the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, the French Wars of Religion, the Thirty Years War, and the rise of toleration.

The First Amendment                      HIST 385-3                2687                Daniel LaChance

In our current climate of political polarization, conflicts over the First Amendment abound. What is the history of this bundle of rights? How did the founders imagine its scope and substance? How have Courts balanced the liberties it protects with other democratic values, like privacy, security, and equality? When, why, and how have people and groups from across the political spectrum embraced—or rejected—judges’ and lawmakers’ understanding of what the First Amendment does and does not protect? We’ll survey famous and not-so-famous moments in First Amendment history, from Mormons in territorial Utah fighting for their right to polygamous marriage in the 1870s to long-haired teenage boys asserting their right to wear their hair long in the 1960s to bakers arguing that they shouldn’t have to create cakes for gay couples in 2018. These stories—plus others—will help us to understand how the First Amendment has shaped—and been shaped by—American history.

 

 

Jewish Studies

 

Classic Religious Texts: Talmud                 JS 210R-1        4758                Michael Berger          

Crosslisted: REL 210R-1

This course will explore classic religious texts in depth, developing skills to interpret sacred, philosophical and ethical works. Social, cultural, and/or philosophical contexts at work will provide interpretive frameworks.

 

 

Middle Eastern & South Asian Studies

 

Islamic West 600–1600                      MESAS 381-1            3167                 Vincent Cornell         

Crosslisted: REL 381-1, SPAN 381-1

Historical and cultural survey of Muslim Spain (al-Andalus) and North Africa through the 16th century. The course focuses on the concept of Convivencia (co-existence) as theorized by modern Spanish and North African historians.

 

The Qur’an                                        MESAS 315W-1                      3168                 Devin Stewart

Crosslisted: REL 315W-1

The Qur'an in translation, from historical and literary perspectives, looking at its use in Islam, its language, stylistics, modes of narrative, and its relationship to Jewish, Christian, and Arabian traditions.

 

Sages and Saints                    MESAS 370W-1                      1396                 Kevin Corrigan          

Crosslisted: CL 329RW-1, CPLT 389W-1, REL 370W-1

Starting from an age of new global awakening with Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Siddharta Gautama, Zoroaster, Confucius and Lao Tzu (roughly 6th-5th Centuries BCE), this class will trace the emergence of a wisdom/saint tradition in the figures of Socrates and Plato (4th-3rd centuries BCE), through Marcus Aurelius (an emperor) and Epictetus (a freed slave) (1st-2nd centuries CE), to Plotinus (3rd century CE in Egypt and Rome), Porphyry (Syria), Iamblichus (Syria) and such later saintly figures as Macrina and Gregory of Nyssa (4th century Cappadocia, in what would today be Turkey), Syncletica (Egypt), Evagrius (died 399 CE, Pontus, Egypt), Hypatia (c. 370-March 415 CE, Egypt), and the towering figures of Augustine in North Africa (354–430) and Boethius (born and executed in Rome—c. 480–524) in Late Antiquity. We do not want to omit Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus—Mohammed is later, but we shall simply assume that these, and other, monumental figures are central to our enterprise.

 

 

Philosophy

 

Introduction to Ethics                                  PHIL 115-1                 2363             Donald Verene

How am I best to live my life? Is human happiness possible? Is human society better today than in the past? Is the unexamined life not worth living? These questions are central to moral philosophy and the idea of the good life as they appear in the great writings of the ancients and the moderns. The texts for the course are all short classics.

 

Ancient Greek & Medieval Philosophy       PHIL 200W-1             1432                 Jeremy Bell

A survey of the major thinkers and movements of both Ancient Greek and Medieval Philosophy. We will read works from the Presocratics, Plato, and Aristotle, to Ibn Sina, Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham. Major themes of the course will include the relationship between epistemology and first philosophy (or what the later tradition will call metaphysics) and the mind in-/dependence of universals. 

 

Ancient Greek & Medieval Philosophy       PHIL 200W-2            1433                 Jeremy Bell

A survey of the major thinkers and movements of both Ancient Greek and Medieval Philosophy. We will read works from the Presocratics, Plato, and Aristotle, to Ibn Sina, Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham. Major themes of the course will include the relationship between epistemology and first philosophy (or what the later tradition will call metaphysics) and the mind in-/dependence of universals. 

 

Renaissance & Modern Philosophy            PHIL 202W-1             1437             Jessica Wahman

This course will introduce the principal figures and topics in Renaissance and modern philosophy.

 

Renaissance & Modern Philosophy            PHIL 202W-2            2387                Jason Walsh

This course will introduce the principal figures and topics in Renaissance and modern philosophy.

 

19th& 20thCentury Philosophy                     PHIL 204W-1             1438                             TBA

This course will introduce the principal figures and topics in 19th and 20th century philosophy.

 

19th& 20thCentury Philosophy                     PHIL 204W-2            2388              Thomas Flynn

This course will introduce the principal figures and topics in 19th and 20th century philosophy.

 

History of Political Philosophy                    PHIL 220W-1             2389              Noelle McAfee

This survey course in the history of western political philosophy will begin with ancient Greek debates between democrats and philosophers and then follow developments from theocracies to new social movements and contemporary democratic theories. The course will be divided into five units, each including historical primary texts and contemporary analyses. Historical readings will include texts by Pericles, Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Arendt. Contemporary voices will include Benjamin Barber, Charles Mills, Susan Okin, John Rawls, Martha Nussbaum, Jürgen Habermas, and Iris Young. 

 

Asian Philosophy                              PHIL 413-1                 2408                          Donald Verene

A study of the I Ching, the oldest known book in the history of humanity, with attention to how to throw the yarrow sticks in divination as well as the principles of wisdom it embodies. Reading and discussion of several classics of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism (see list of texts). This course is appropriate for first-year as well as advanced students.

 

 

Political Science

 

Classical Political Thought              POLS 202-1                2155                             Judd Owen

This course will introduce students to some of most foundational writings for the study of politics. This semester we will read Aristotle's famous book entitled, simply, Politics. In it, Aristotle argues that we are political animals by nature, suggesting that happiness in found in political engagement, not in private isolation. Aristotle explores the notion of the good society and obstacles to realizing the good society. We will also read an analysis of political ambition by Socrates' student Xenophon. Xenophon tells the story of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian empire in a book that is both dramatic and philosophically incisive. Evaluation will be based on class participation, papers, and exams.

 

Modern Political Thought                POLS 202-2                2156                          Ahmed Siddiqi

This course examines the philosophic origins of modern politics and culture by looking at the works of several authors whose writings played decisive roles in the rise and development of modern political philosophy. In our study of Machiavelli’s Prince, Hobbes’s Leviathan, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, Rousseau’s First and Second Discourse, Mill’s On Liberty, and Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, we will consider the ways in which modern political thought broke with the past and offered a new set of political visions. We will discuss the differing views of these philosophers on issues such as the aims and limits of politics, the role of morality in the harsh world of political necessity, the proper place of religion and reason in political life, and the nature and basis of justice. Throughout the course, we will reflect on the influence that the revolutionary doctrines of modern political philosophy have had on the political world in which we live.

 

 

Religion

 

Classic Religious Texts: Talmud                 REL 210R-1                3807              Michael Berger

Crosslisted: JS 210R-1

This course will explore classic religious texts in depth, developing skills to interpret sacred, philosophical and ethical works. Social, cultural, and/or philosophical contexts at work will provide interpretive frameworks.

 

Early & Medieval Christianity              REL 311-1              3832          Devaka Premawardhana

Christianity from the apostolic period through the Middle Ages, with emphasis on the contribution of major theologians.

 

The Qur’an                                        REL 315W-1                           4708                Devin Stewart

Crosslisted: MESAS 315W-1

The Qur'an in translation, from historical and literary perspectives, looking at its use in Islam, its language, stylistics, modes of narrative, and its relationship to Jewish, Christian, and Arabian traditions.

 

Special Topics in Religion: Kiekegaard and Job        REL 370-1        3867            Jill Robbins

No description available.

 

Sages and Saints                    REL 370W-1                           4713                        Kevin Corrigan   

Crosslisted: CL 329RW-1, CPLT 389W-1, MESAS 370W-1

Starting from an age of new global awakening with Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Siddharta Gautama, Zoroaster, Confucius and Lao Tzu (roughly 6th-5th Centuries BCE), this class will trace the emergence of a wisdom/saint tradition in the figures of Socrates and Plato (4th-3rd centuries BCE), through Marcus Aurelius (an emperor) and Epictetus (a freed slave) (1st-2nd centuries CE), to Plotinus (3rd century CE in Egypt and Rome), Porphyry (Syria), Iamblichus (Syria) and such later saintly figures as Macrina and Gregory of Nyssa (4th century Cappadocia, in what would today be Turkey), Syncletica (Egypt), Evagrius (died 399 CE, Pontus, Egypt), Hypatia (c. 370-March 415 CE, Egypt), and the towering figures of Augustine in North Africa (354–430) and Boethius (born and executed in Rome—c. 480–524) in Late Antiquity. We do not want to omit Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus—Mohammed is later, but we shall simply assume that these, and other, monumental figures are central to our enterprise.

 

Confucian Classics                            REL 374W-1               4203                            Maria Sibau

Confucian Classics shaped Chinese literati culture from late antiquity to the early 20th century. The goal of this course is to illustrate the diversity of literary and cultural practices that evolved around Confucius' unique body of writings (551 - 479 BC). Knowledge of Chinese is not necessary.

 

Islamic West 600–1600                      REL 381-1                   4715                        Vincent Cornell

Crosslisted: MESAS 381-1, SPAN 381-1

Historical and cultural survey of Muslim Spain (al-Andalus) and North Africa through the 16th century. The course focuses on the concept of Convivencia (co-existence) as theorized by modern Spanish and North African historians.

 

 

Spanish

 

Islamic West 600–1600                      SPAN 381-1                5499                         Vincent Cornell

Crosslisted: MESAS 381-1, REL 381-1

Historical and cultural survey of Muslim Spain (al-Andalus) and North Africa through the 16th century. The course focuses on the concept of Convivencia (co-existence) as theorized by modern Spanish and North African historians.

Upcoming:

•MOVIE NIGHT: Crimes & Misdemeanors, (1989) Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Angelica Huston, Alan Alda, Sam Waterston. Wednesday, April 17. Time and location TBD.

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