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RESC 098 04 CRN: 16402
The Posthuman Humanities
Prof. John Hunter, Comparative Humanities

Fulfills the following requirements:
Engineering Humanities, Writing Level 1

What happens when digital information technology, genetics, neuroscience, and a culture of cosmetic enhancement all get mixed together in the 21st century Western world? Among other things, you get an extensive debate about what it means to be human and what the "humanities" as a branch of learning can and should do. This course will look at some vital questions (how do we define the "self"? What are its limits? What is the relation of individuals to the social groups in which they live?) in the context of these new scientific and cultural developments. Our ultimate goal will be to investigate the possible roles of the humanities in the contemporary world.



RESC 098 17 CRN: 16960
Through the Looking Glass
Prof. Virginia Zimmerman, English

Fulfills the following requirements:
Engineering Humanities, Writing Level 1

Philip Pullman describes the lasting value of good literature: "Thou Shalt Not is soon forgotten, but Once Upon a Time lasts forever." We hold on to stories, make them our own, know ourselves through them, and build our world out of them. Great literature lives beyond the bounds of the page, and great stories are reread and retold. In this writing-intensive seminar, we will explore classic children's fiction and contemporary works that revisit and revise their literary predecessors. The motif of the mirror, or looking glass, guides our understanding of this intertextuality as a reflection that is often also a distortion. Because this seminar is part of the Humanities Residential College, students will also consider how children's literature contributes to the humanities more broadly.

 

RESC 098 25 CRN: 17218
6 Ideas that Changed the World
Prof. Roger Rothman, Art & Art History

Fulfills the following requirements:
Engineering Humanities, Writing Level 1

Ideas are immaterial: they have no mass, no surface, no density. And yet they are tremendously powerful. Some ideas are as tough as steel, others as destructive as dynamite. And just as it is crucial that we understand how to manufacture iron and deploy dynamite, it is crucial that we understand how to manufacture and deploy ideas. In this foundation seminar we will spend the semester examining six ideas that changed the world. Some will be old, some new. Some will come from Europe and the U.S., some from Asia and Africa. With the aid of colleagues in other departments, we will explore six world-changing ideas (for example, the concept of reason and the idea of the unconscious) that have shaped centuries of philosophy, religion, history, literature, art, and music.

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