HUM256H: Critical Eras in Latin American/Caribbean History:
Gender & Sexuality in the Twentieth Century [M. Yarfitz] Syllabus
This seminar will explore recent work on gender and sexuality in South and Central America and the Caribbean from the fin-de-siècle through the 1980s. Moving beyond the history of women and women’s movements, the class will focus on the contributions of gender and LGBT studies to the history of race, revolution, labor, dictatorship, and resistance. We will engage with creative new scholarship on the Mexican, Cuban, and Nicaraguan Revolutions, the Dominican and Argentine dictatorships, the Chilean copper mines and Costa Rican banana plantations. Both male and female students will be challenged as we examine masculinity beyond the stereotypical macho. Analysis of primary sources, including film and images, will inspire original historical research projects.
HUM275CS: Monsters & Monstrosities [J. VanMeter] Syllabus
In this course, we will investigate and interpret the stories that we construct – about ourselves and about “the Other” – by particularly exploring cultural productions from east, west, and in-between which revolve around figures of dread: the vampire, the specter, the witch. In the process, we will discuss who or what these figures represent; how constructions and representations of the frightening reflect cultural, social and political/colonial and postcolonial realities; and how images of, and myths involving, these figures have changed or have remained the same over the centuries.
HUM298C: Graduate Writing Review [TBA]
Whether you are just beginning the program or are beginning your capstone, if you need some review of basic writing or want some pointers on organizing research, this is a good course for you. No college credit is offered for this course.
HUM229CW: Writing Children's Literature [J. Johnson] Syllabus
We will examine the current state of the art and see how we can fit our own talents to the task of writing for children today without adding to the cultural stereotypes, “misfit” social roles or creating misshapen identities for the future. Yes, literature has this kind of power, making such a course of study a careful one. You may choose to write for any traditional genre, or you may mix them up for something completely different. You will find some freedom to experiment. There are several areas where you may explore your talents: fairy tales, folk tales, puppet shows, picture books, fantasy, poetry, animal tales, fables, historical fiction, young adult novels, video game scripts, and graphic novels. We will look at how to get work into the mainstream where it can be read or performed, and maybe even win a Caldecott medal. On the afternoon of the second class meeting we will be visiting a unique children’s bookstore and meet with the distinguished owner who will show us the ways in which one can make a career out of writing for children with examples and inside information about those who are doing just that today.
HUM234E: Science & the Victorians [M. Kidd] Syllabus
This course studies selected texts from the science and literature of the Victorian Period, examining how literature responded to contemporary scientific discoveries and theories, and how it borrowed from and gave emotional substance to scientific concepts. At the same time, we’ll be looking at how Victorian scientists expressed their theories in language, metaphors, and analogies usually reserved for literature. In exploring the works of writers like Matthew Arnold, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Charles Dickens and scientists like Darwin, Koch, Pasteur, and Doyle, students will discover how these two seemingly antithetical disciplines are actually closely interrelated cultural practices that reflect the social, political, and economic hopes and fears of Victorian England, and , that they express enthusiasm for, and criticism of the British empire.
HUM257H: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire [J. Crawford] Syllabus
Decline and fall of the Roman Empire Historians have long debated the contributory factors to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. Plagues? Lead in the pipes? Christianity? Lack of leadership? The Germanic tribes on the border? In this class we will explore the complex network of reasons why the mighty Empire disintegrated in the 5th century. What does a civilization experience as if declines? We will read famous historians like Gibbon, theologians like Augustine and a variety of literary and original sources? Are there lessons to be learned from history? You decide!
HUM298A: Introduction to Humanities [J. Smith] Syllabus
Introduction to Humanities is both a seminar and a workshop designed to offer new graduate students a solid foundation for their studies while at the Mount. On a practical level, it provides an introduction to graduate level research methods and academic writing. On a theoretical level, it explores the concept of the Humanities tradition from Classical Antiquity to the Modern Era. Students will learn how to plan for and write a seminar length research paper (15 pages), evaluate primary and secondary sources, navigate online research databases, and apply MLA and Chicago Style formatting to their papers. Students will also learn to conceptualize each of the research concentrations offered at the Mount (Cultural Studies, English, and History) within an interdisciplinary framework.
HUM298B: Advanced Research Methods for Humanities [J. Smith] Syllabus
This seminar/workshop is suggested for students working on their capstone projects. It will emphasize skills that are relevant to handling large scale research projects. Students will learn how to manage a diverse body of resources from digital and print sources, manage time effectively for research and writing, revise for submission or publication, and present in a formal environment.
HUM225_W1: Apocalyptic Literature September 15-16 [D. VanDyke] Syllabus
This course will focus on the two great apocalyptic works of scripture: the Books of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. We will discuss the socio-political forces that gave rise to such literature, the characteristics that define apocalyptic, the difference between apocalyptic works and prophecy and how a failure to understand such difference leads to a distortion of the biblical messages. In addition, we will discuss how these books have been interpreted in the past and is interpreted today by looking at modern concepts such as the rapture, Dispensationalism, and the popular “Left Behind” series of fictional representations of apocalypticism. Finally, we will look at alternative means to interpret Daniel and Revelation other than as prophecy.
HUM225_W2: Wonderful Wall Street October 6-7 [L. Dauber] Syllabus
If a nation can be thought of as having a collective soul, few movies celebrate the American soul better than Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life (1947). In this perennial Christmas favorite, compassionate, self-sacrificing George Bailey is dedicated to the common good of the people of Bedford Falls. When faced with financial ruin he experiences a severe personal crisis, profoundly doubting the value of his life. He is moved to the brink of suicide when his nemesis, predatory banker Old Man Potter, scornfully tells him that he is “worth more dead than alive.” An angel intervenes, however, and takes him on a tour of an alternate reality; that is, George is shown what life would have been like had he had never existed. Potter would have triumphed. The people of his town would be living a meaner life, cruel and corrupt; Bedford Falls would have been doomed to a hellish existence. With his faith restored, George joyously returns to his family and his challenging yet wonderful life.
HUM249E: Reading Moby Dick by the Sea September 15-16 [J. Johnson] Syllabus
If the idea of actually reading this huge book has been daunting, or if you were forced to plow through it without a worthy guide, this is your chance to discover what makes this book famous, and its author so revered. Led by a writer who is a member of the Melville Society, and a descendent of the New England mariners who plowed the sea for its treasured oil, you are guaranteed a whale of a time in one weekend at the Los Angeles waterfront as we gain an appreciation for a book we may have put off tackling until the conditions were right. NOW
HUM289CS_W2: Identity Construction in African American Films of the Early 1900s October 27-28 [A. Thorne]
The purpose of this course is to examine and analyze racial representations in D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Oscar Micheaux’s Within Our Gates (1919). We will view the films and read a series of articles that discuss Micheaux and Griffith, and the aesthetics and public reception of the works. Through discussion, we will understand the ways in which the films as text use racial representations to determine identity characteristics.
HUM296A: Capstone Project Proposal Workshop September 15 & October 27 [M. Kidd] Syllabus