Director of undergraduate studies: Norma Thompson, Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St., 432-1313,; chair: Bryan Garsten, 53 Wall St., 432-0670,;


Professors Jeffrey Alexander (Sociology), R. Howard Bloch (French), Harold Bloom (Humanities), Leslie Brisman (English), David Bromwich (English), Rüdiger Campe (German), Francesco Casetti (Humanities), Stephen Davis (Religious Studies, History), Wai Chee Dimock (English), Carlos Eire (History, Religious Studies), Benjamin Foster (Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations), Paul Freedman (History), Kirk Freudenburg (Classics), Paul Fry (English), Bryan Garsten (Political Science), Marie-Helen Girard (French, Visiting Professor), Jacqueline Goldsby (English, African American Studies), Phyllis Granoff (Religious Studies), Emily Greenwood (Classics), Frank Griffel (Religious Studies), Karsten Harries (Philosophy), Christine Hayes (Religious Studies, Judaic Studies), Carol Jacobs (German), Edward Kamens (East Asian Languages & Literatures), Alice Kaplan (French), Anthony Kronman (School of Law), Tina Lu (East Asian Languages & Literatures), Lawrence Manley (English), Ivan Marcus (History and Religious Studies), Stefanie Markovits (English), Paul North (German), Brigitte Peucker (German), Steven Pincus (History), Leon Plantinga (Emeritus) (Music), Joseph Roach (English, Theater Studies), Maurice Samuels (French), Willliam Sledge (Psychiatry), Steven Smith (Political Science, Philosophy), William Summers (History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health), Henry Sussman (German) (Visiting), Gary Tomlinson (Music, Humanities), Shawkat Toorawa (Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations), Francesca Trivellato (History), Katie Trumpener (Comparative Literature), Jing Tsu (East Asian Languages & Literatures), Miroslav Volf (Divinity School), Anders Winroth (History), Ruth Yeazell (English)

Associate Professors Paola Bertucci (History, History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health), Toni Dorfman (Adjunct) (Theater Studies), Moira Frandinger (Comparative Literature), Milette Gaifman (History of Art and Classics), Martin Hägglund (Comparative Literature, Humanities), Jacqueline Jung (History of Art), Pauline LeVen (Classics), Karuna Mantena (Political Science), Laurie Santos (Psychology), Marci Shore (History), Kirk Wetters (German)

Assistant Professors Rebekah Ahrendt (Music), Lucas Bender (East Asian Languages and Literatures, Humanities), Marijeta Bozovic (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Molly Brunson (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Thomas C. Connolly (French), Henry Cowles (History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health, History), Emily Erikson (Sociology), Marta Figlerowicz (Comparative Literature, English), Bella Grigoryan (Slavic Languages & Literatures), Seth Jacobowitz (East Asian Languages and Literatures), Isaac Nakhimovsky (History), Christiana Purdy Moudarres (Italian), Ayesha Ramachandran (Comparative Literature), Dixa Ramirez (American Studies), Christopher Semk (French)

Senior Lecturers Peter Cole (Judaic Studies), Charles Hill (Humanities), Stuart Semmel (History, Humanities), Kathryn Slanski (Humanities, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations), Norma Thompson (Humanities)

Lecturers Jeffrey Brenzel (Yale College), Karla Britton (Divinity School), Matthew Croasmun (Religious Studies), Andrew Forsyth (Religious Studies), Karen Foster (Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations), Virginia Jewiss (Humanities), Edward King (English Language and Literature), Camille Lizarribar (Humanities), Daniel Luban (Humanities), Judith Malafronte (Music), Ryan McAnnally (Divinity School), Thomas Miller (Humanities), Lukas Moe (English Language and Literature), Giulia Oskian (Humanities), Terence Renaud (Humanities), Karin Roffman (Humanities, English), George Syrimis (Hellenic Studies)

The undergraduate program in Humanities provides students the opportunity to integrate courses from across the humanistic disciplines into intellectually coherent and personally meaningful courses of study. Works of literature, music, history, philosophy, and the visual arts are brought into conversation with one another and with the history of ideas. Students in all classes can find options in the varied course offerings, from special seminars for first-year students to the Franke and Shulman Seminars for seniors. Many courses are open to nonmajors.

The major in Humanities asks students to begin with broad surveys of foundational works in at least two different cultural traditions, including at least one course on classical Western European texts. All majors in the Class of 2018 and subsequent classes take two specially-commissioned core seminars, each co-taught by two faculty members from different but complementary fields of study. After taking these core seminars, students in the major share a broad grounding in several cultural traditions, the experience of having grappled with the question of what "modernity" is, and the experience of having spent a term interpreting a single work (or small corpus of works) in great depth. Students then craft an area of concentration according to their interests and with the help of appropriate faculty members. The major offers breadth and interdisciplinary scope even as it encourages depth and intellectual coherence.

Requirements of the major for the Class of 2017 Students in the Class of 2017 may fulfill the requirements of the Humanities major that were in place when they entered the major, as described in previous editions of this bulletin.

Requirements of the major for the Class of 2018 and subsequent classes Fourteen term courses are required for the major, including three “foundational works” surveys, two core seminars, one course in each of four areas of study in the humanities (which may include the Franke and Shulman Seminars), four additional electives selected to complement the student's area of concentration (with approval of the director of undergraduate studies), and a one- or two-term senior essay. Majors in Humanities are strongly encouraged to enroll in at least one term course in literature in a foreign language. Students are expected to declare their intent to major in Humanities in a meeting with the director of undergraduate studies before their junior year.

Foundations Three broad surveys of foundational works in any cultural tradition are required, such as HIST 280, The Catholic Intellectual Tradition, EALL 200, The Chinese Tradition, or RLST 189, Introduction to Indian Philosophy. One or two foundations courses must be in the classical tradition of Western Europe, such as Directed Studies, or ENGL 129, Tragedy in the European Literary Tradition, or CLCV 256, Ancient Athenian Civilization.

Core seminars The major requires two core seminars, one in "Modernities" and one in "Interpretations.” Each core seminar is taught by a pair of faculty members from complementary disciplines. The two broad themes of the seminars remain consistent from year to year, but the material studied and the faculty members teaching change, allowing each class of students to explore the themes in different ways.

Areas of study in the humanities One course is required in each of four areas: literature; visual, musical, or dramatic arts; science in the humanities; and intellectual history and historical analysis. Courses may be drawn from any department or program in Yale College, with the approval of the director of undergraduate studies.

The Franke Seminar and the Shulman Seminar Sponsored by the Whitney Humanities Center and designed to speak across disciplinary lines to broad public and intellectual issues, the Franke Seminar and the Shulman Seminar each include a series of coordinated public lectures. The seminars are for enrolled students; the lecture series are open to the Yale and local communities. Humanities majors may enroll in a Franke or a Shulman Seminar with permission of the director of undergraduate studies and the instructor.

Summer program in Rome Humanities majors who take the spring-term course HUMS 444, The City of Rome, (or its equivalent, with instructor approval) and develop individual research topics to be pursued in Rome may apply for enrollment in a two-credit summer course offered by Yale Summer Session. Museums, archaeological sites, churches, piazzas, libraries, and the city itself are part of the classroom for the summer course. Further information is available on the Humanities program Web site and the Yale Summer Session Web site.


Prerequisites None

Number of courses 14 term courses (incl senior essay)

Distribution of courses 3 foundations courses; 2 core sems; 1 course in each of 4 disciplinary areas; 4 electives in concentration

Senior requirement Senior essay (HUMS 491)

Seminars for Freshmen

* HUMS 065a, Education and the Life Worth Living Matthew Croasmun and Ryan McAnnally-Linz

Consideration of education and what it has to do with real life—not just any life, but a life worth living. Engagement with three visions of different traditions of imagining the good life and of imagining education: Confucianism, Christianity, and Modernism. Students will be asked to challenge the fundamental question of the good life and to put that question at the heart of their college education. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU

* HUMS 060a / FREN 005a, Tragedy Christopher Semk

Exploration of representative works of tragedy from ancient Greece to the twenty-first century. The relationship between tragedy as a literary form and the tragic as a philosophical concept. Tragedy as a way to give meaning to catastrophe, trauma, and loss. The ethical and political implications of tragedy and the question of tragedy's relevance today. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU

* HUMS 071a, Intellectual Circles Charles Hill

Study of the creative interactions produced by informal associations of innovative minds in literature, philosophy, politics, science, psychology, the arts, war, and law. Courtiers, advisors, disciples, and disputers around Confucius, Socrates, Lincoln, Freud, Wittgenstein, and Niebuhr are among the circles considered. Groups include American Founders, quantum physicists, computer scientists, Gertrude Stein’s “Lost Generation” of Americans in Paris, “The Georgetown Set” of Cold War friends and rivals, and the Supreme Court.  HU

* HUMS 073b / LITR 087b, Uncertainty in Medicine Viewed through the Humanities William Sledge and Moira Fradinger

A survey that explores the rich conversation of science and humanistic study in experiences of uncertainty in medical practice. Professional relationships between doctor and patient examined through history, sociology, anthropology, literature, music and visual arts, and medical reflections.   Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU

* HUMS 074b / FREN 013b / LITR 011b, The Major Works of Albert Camus Alice Kaplan

An exploration of the major works—fiction, theater, political essays—of French writer Albert Camus (1913–1960). Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  WR, HU

* HUMS 076a / HSHM 007a, Epidemics in Global Perspective William Summers

Interaction of epidemic diseases and society. The response of government, medicine, and the public to the threat or actual presence of widespread contagious diseases. The notion of major epidemics as one of the key contingencies of history, critically examined through contemporary medical, political, and literary accounts. The changing responses of societies and governments to epidemics as well as the reasons for those responses. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU, SO

* HUMS 077a / NELC 003a, Medieval Travel and Exploration Shawkat Toorawa

Introduction to the motivations for travel and exploration in the Middle Ages. For adventure, for commerce, on pilgrimage, and for conquest, travelers include Christian, Jewish, and Muslim merchants, ambassadors, scholars, geographers, explorers, sailors, and soldiers. All material in English translation. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU

* HUMS 078a, Shakespeare and Music Judith Malafronte

The use of music in Shakespeare's plays, from the original stagings and seventeenth-century adaptations to modern productions. Consideration of operatic versions of the plays from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. Includes a field trip to New York City. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU

* HUMS 080b, Transforming Literature into Opera Judith Malafronte

Examination of ten operatic masterpieces and their literary source material, with consideration of the roles of the composer and the librettist in fashioning poems, short stories, and plays into operatic works. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU

* HUMS 090a / HIST 089a, Thinking about History Staff

An introduction to the discipline of history. Exploration of influential historical narratives; the philosophy of history; the emergence of historical subdisciplines including history from below, microhistory, the new cultural history, and Big History; and interdisciplinary engagement with anthropology, literary criticism, art history, and psychology. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  WR, HU

* HUMS 092b / RLST 012b, Divine Law in Historical Perspective Staff

Exploration of the divergent notions of divine law in Greco-Roman antiquity and biblical Israel; the cognitive dissonance their historical encounter engendered and attempts by Jewish, Christian, and contemporary secular thinkers to negotiate competing claims. Topics include: debates over the attributes and nature of divine law versus human law; the grounds of divine law’s authority; law as a religious expression versus law as debasement of the divine-human relationship; the impact of divine law debates on secular legal theory. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU

Core Seminars

* HUMS 402b / ENGL 230b / LITR 319b, Selfhood, Race, Class, and Gender Ayesha Ramachandran and Marta Figlerowicz

Examination of the fundamental notion of "the self" through categories of race, class, and gender as dimensions for understanding personhood. Introduction to major philosophical frameworks for thinking about "the self" from antiquity to the present; case studies from across the world and in different media, placing contemporary debates about these issues in historical perspective.  HU

* HUMS 403a / ENGL 205a / LITR 434a, Interpretations: Versions of Shakespeare's Tempest Lawrence Manley and Emily Greenwood

A study of Shakespeare's Tempest in relation to its ancient and contemporary sources and its extensive influence on literature (poems, drama, fiction, essays), the arts (film, opera, visual arts), and cultural theory from the seventeenth century to the present.  Examples from Europe, The Americas, Africa, and Asia.  HU

Humanities Electives

* HUMS 139b, Old Norse Mythology Johanna Fridriksdottir

The Norse mythological world from creation to its terrifying end in Ragnarök. This course explores the myths, religious beliefs, and social values of the Vikings and other people in pre-Christian Scandinavia, as well as the image and reception of this mythology in later times. The properties and functions of Odin, Thor, Loki, Freyja, and other deities studied through written and visual sources.   HU

* HUMS 140b / NELC 121b, The Hero in the Ancient Near East Kathryn Slanski

Exploration of the interaction of religion, history, and literature in the ancient Near East through study of its heroes, including comparison with heroes, heroic narratives, and hero cults in the Bible and from classical Greece.  WR, HU

* HUMS 142b / ENGL 214b / LITR 184b / WGSS 146b, Women and the Supernatural in Medieval Literature Johanna Fridriksdottir

Study of medieval texts from a wide geographic and chronological range, all of which prominently feature female characters that exhibit supernatural features or practice magic. Narratives about fairies, witches, hags, and monstrous women analyzed in order to explore intersections of gender and sexuality, Otherness, ethics, violence, fantasy, and related themes in medieval culture.  HU

* HUMS 145b / CLCV 212b, Ancient Greek and Roman Novels in Context Pauline LeVen

A thorough examination of ancient novels as ancestors to the modern novel. Focus on seven surviving Greek and Roman novels, with particular emphasis on questions of interpretation, literary criticism, and literary theory, as well as cultural issues raised by the novels, including questions of gender and sexuality, ethnicity, cultural identity, religion, and intellectual culture of the first centuries A.D.  WR, HU

* HUMS 150a, Shakespeare and the Canon: Histories, Comedies, and Poems Harold Bloom

A reading of Shakespeare's histories, comedies, and poems, with an emphasis on their originality in regard to tradition and their influence on Western representation since the seventeenth century. Secondary readings included.  HU

* HUMS 151b, Shakespeare and the Canon: Tragedies and Romances Harold Bloom

A reading of Shakespeare's tragedies and romances, with an emphasis on their originality in regard to tradition and their influence on Western representation since the seventeenth century. Secondary readings included.  HU

* HUMS 152a, Poetic Influence from Shakespeare to Keats Harold Bloom

The complexities of poetic influence in the traditions of the English language, from Shakespeare to Keats.  HU

* HUMS 153b, Poetic Influence from Tennyson and Whitman to the Present Harold Bloom

The complexities of poetic influence in the tradition of the English language, from Tennyson and Whitman to the present.  HU

* HUMS 154a / ENGL 254a, Defenses of Poetry Paul Fry

Defenses of poetry's "ancient quarrel" with philosophy, science, and history. Readings in Plato, Aristotle, Sidney, Rousseau, Kant, Wordsworth, Peacock and Shelley, Arnold, Benjamin and Adorno, Heidegger, Cleanth Brooks, Jakobson, Kristeva, De Man; defenses in verse by Donne, Keats, Stevens, Moore and Bishop.  WR, HU

* HUMS 161b / ENGL 203b / FREN 300b, Medieval Shorts Ardis Butterfield and R. Howard Bloch

Study of the medieval verse tales that are at the root core of humorous, realistic, and idealist literature in English, French, Italian, and Spanish. Readings include a wide range of short works such as French fabliaux, fables and lais, novella from Boccaccio’s Decameron, English short tales and lyrics. English translations will be available for all texts, which will also be studied alongside their original languages.  WR, HU

* HUMS 162a / FREN 388a, Feminine Voices in French Literature R. Howard Bloch

An exploration of women's voices in French literature from the Middle Ages to the mid-twentieth century. The specificity of the feminine voice, the plurality of feminine voices, love and sexuality, and social and professional identity. Authors include Marie de France, Marguerite de Navarre, George Sand, Maryse Condé, and Marguerite Duras.   Readings and discussion in English.  WR, HU

* HUMS 163a / AMST 291a, The House and the Writer's Life Staff

The study of seven American writers' houses from the mid-nineteenth century to today. Authors include Stowe, Twain, James, Wharton, Stein, Merrill, and Ashbery. Focus is on the creation of the house, including issues of location, architecture, and design and on the literary works that emerged during each writer's process of setting up the house. Trips to local houses and museums.

* HUMS 178a / THST 388a, Revenge Tragedy and Moral Ambiguity Toni Dorfman

A study of plays and films variously construed as revenge tragedy that raise aesthetic and ethical issues, including genre, retribution, "just wars," public vs. private justice, and the possibility of resolution. How questions of crime, punishment, and justice have been posed in drama, from classical Greece through the twentieth century.   HU

* HUMS 179a / ENGL 217a, Shakespeare's Political Plays David Bromwich

Reading and interpretation of selected histories and tragedies from Richard II to Coriolanus with emphasis on the tension between individual freedom and political obligation.  WR, HU

HUMS 180a / ITAL 310a / LITR 183a, Dante in Translation Christiana Purdy Moudarres

A critical reading of Dante's Divine Comedy and selections from the minor works, with an attempt to place Dante's work in the intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages by relating literature to philosophical, theological, and political concerns. One discussion section conducted in Italian.  HU

* HUMS 192b / HIST 299Jb, Intellectuals and Power in Europe Terence Renaud

The role of intellectuals in politics, with a focus on social, cultural, and political upheavals in Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Whether intellectuals betray a higher spiritual calling when they enter politics or merely strive to put their own theories into practice. Modern answers to the question of why ideas and intellectuals matter.  HU

HUMS 201b / FREN 240b / LITR 214b, The Modern French Novel Alice Kaplan and Maurice Samuels

A survey of major French novels, considering style and story, literary and intellectual movements, and historical contexts. Writers include Balzac, Flaubert, Proust, Camus, and Sartre. Readings in translation. One section conducted in French.  HUTr

* HUMS 205a, Boundaries of the Body in Law and Literature Camille Lizarríbar

The representation of the human body in law and literature. Bodies as physical structures that inhabit multiple realms, including material, cultural, historical, and symbolic. Ways in which humans think about and give meaning to their bodies in relationship to themselves and to others. Additional sources include film, television, and journalism.  WR, HU

* HUMS 220b / HIST 176J / HSAR 399b / HSHM 407b, Collecting Nature and Art in the Preindustrial World Paola Bertucci

A history of museums before the emergence of the modern museum. Focus on: cabinets of curiosities and Wunderkammern, anatomical theaters and apothecaries' shops, alchemical workshops and theaters of machines, collections of monsters, rarities, and exotic specimens.     WR, HUTr

HUMS 226a / ARCG 241a / CLCV 241a / HSAR 241a, The Greek Nude and Ideals in Art Milette Gaifman

Survey of ancient Greek art, in particular, representation of the nude body from the seventh century B.C. through modernity. Masterpieces such as Discus Thrower and Venus de Milo, and Michelangelo’s David or Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, present fundamental distinctions between naturalism, realism, and idealism and the lasting impact of the Greek nude beyond antiquity. Focus on heroic nudity, the relationship between athleticism and visual arts, how male and female bodies are treated differently, and what constitutes ideal beauty. Use of collections in the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art.  HU

* HUMS 231b / MUSI 435b, Music in European Thought: Three Moments in the Modern Era Staff

An inquiry into the role of music and thought about music at three critical junctures in the intellectual and cultural history of modern Europe: the birth of modernity and opera; the Enlightenment and the classical style; and German romanticism and Beethoven.  HU

* HUMS 235b / FREN 335b, Orientalism in French Literature and Art Marie-Hélène Girard and Maryam Sanjabi

Examination of Oriental influences in French prose, theater, poetry, travel literature, and art from the seventeenth century to the twentieth. Topics include the problems of Orientalism; encounters with peoples, monuments, and cultures of the Muslim Middle East; social and political critique; and the popular lure of Oriental exoticism. Readings in English.  HU

* HUMS 236a / GMAN 248a / LITR 240a, Goethe's Faust Kirk Wetters

Goethe's Faust, with special attention to Faust II and to the genesis of Faust in its various versions throughout Goethe's lifetime. Emphasis on the work in context of Goethe's time and in the later reception and criticism. Reading knowledge of German beneficial but not required.  HUTr

* HUMS 239a / GMAN 375a / LITR 436a, Reading Late Capitalism Henry Sussman

The fate of Marxian literature in view of sociocultural history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Exploration of the parameters and dimensions of Marx's core texts, and pursuit of the fate of such major constructs as the commodity, alienation, class-conflict, and assembly-line manufacture, in the literature, cinema, and theoretical oversight of both centuries. Authors include Flaubert, Zola, Kafka, Lukács, Benjamin, Derrida, Jameson, and Piketty. Previous coursework analyzing elaborate arguments and recognizing different methodological frameworks.  WR, HUTr

* HUMS 240a / GMAN 337a / LITR 341a, Literature of Travel and Tourism Kirk Wetters

A critical, historical introduction to the functions of travel narratives from the late eighteenth century to the present. Topics include travel and autobiography, fiction versus non-fiction, cosmopolitanism, travel as a means of individual experience and education, anthropology, and the contemporary culture of tourism. Focus will be on four works: Ransmayr's Atlas of an Anxious Man (2012), Sebald's ​The Rings of Saturn (1995), Goethe's Italian Journey (1813–1817) and Georg Forster's account of the Cook voyage (1772–1775). Readings and discussions in English.  WR, HU

* HUMS 242b / GMAN 376b / LITR 246b, Twentieth-Century German Fiction Henry Sussman

Introduction to twentieth-century German fiction. Selected readings range from experimental (Walser, Kafka, Roth, Wolf) to classical (Mann, Musil) and from Austrians (Musil), Germans (Mann, Döblin, Wolf), Swiss (Walser), and Austro-Hungarians (Roth). Topics include: modernist improvisation and the turn to language; undercurrents of mystification and superstition in German thought; and radical political instability and cultural exploration under the Weimar Republic  WR, HU

* HUMS 243b / GMAN 315b / LITR 431b / PHIL 482b, Systems and Their Theory Henry Sussman

Conceptual systems that have, since the outset of modernity, furnished a format and platform for rigorous thinking at the same time that they have imposed on language the attributes of self-reflexivity, consistency, repetition, purity, and dependability. Texts by Kant, Hegel, Bergson, Kafka, Proust, and Borges.  HU

* HUMS 247a / SOCY 352a, Material Culture and Iconic Consciousness Jeffrey Alexander

How and why contemporary societies continue to symbolize sacred and profane meanings, investing these meanings with materiality and shaping them aesthetically. Exploration of "iconic consciousness" in theoretical terms (philosophy, sociology, semiotics) and further exploration of compelling empirical studies about food and bodies, nature, fashion, celebrities, popular culture, art, architecture, branding, and politics.  HU, SO

* HUMS 256b / PLSC 335b, Political Emotions Giulia Oskian

An in-depth study of political emotions including anger, fear, compassion, indignation, hope, and pride. Consideration of the role emotions play in politics; the way they influence political judgment and behavior; the relation between reason and emotions; and the dynamics of opinion formation and group identification.   HU

* HUMS 257a / LITR 315a, The Concept of Independence Edward King and Lukas Moe

Beginning with The Declaration of Independence, this course moves through the history of independence in both American and postcolonial contexts. It will situate the political meanings of the term alongside its history in art and aesthetics, asking how the concept of independence became central to definitions of art, politics, and identity. Authors include Virginia Woolf, Frantz Fanon, Emily Dickinson, Immanuel Kant, and Nina Simone.  WR, HU

* HUMS 260a / HIST 276Ja / RSEE 267a / RSEE 276, Modernism and Postmodernism in Eastern Europe Marci Shore

Intellectual history of twentieth-and twenty-first century literature and philosophy in Eastern Europe, exploring modernism, postmodernism, and the significance of the break between them. Some background in East European history, or intellectual history, literary theory, or continental philosophy expected.  WR, HU

* HUMS 269b / EALL 230b, Poetry and Ethics Amidst Imperial Collapse Lucas Bender

Du Fu has for the last millennium been considered China’s greatest poet. Close study of nearly one-sixth of his complete works, contextualized by selections from the tradition that defined the art in his age. Exploration of the roles literature plays in interpreting human lives and the ways different traditional forms shape different ethical orientation. Poetry as a vehicle for moral reflection. All readings are in English.  WR, HU

HUMS 270a / EALL 200a, The Chinese Tradition Tina Lu and Lucas Bender

An introduction to the literature, culture, and thought of premodern China, from the beginnings of the written record to the turn of the twentieth century. Close study of textual and visual primary sources, with attention to their historical and cultural backdrops. No knowledge of Chinese required.  HUTr

* HUMS 275b / PLSC 298b / SAST 328b, Gandhi and His Critics Karuna Mantena

A survey of Gandhi’s social and political thought and the writings of his key critics and interlocutors such as Tagore, Savarkar, Nehru, Ambedkar. Through these exchanges, students explore the main currents of political thought in modern India. Topics include: modernity, the state, and violence; individual and collective swaraj; nationalism, diversity, and community; social reform and the critique of caste; religion, secularism, and toleration; democratic politics and the challenge of equality.  HU

* HUMS 290b / EALL 286b / LITR 285b / PORT 360b, The Modern Novel in Brazil and Japan Seth Jacobowitz

Brazilian and Japanese novels from the late nineteenth century to the present. Representative texts from major authors are read in pairs to explore their commonalities and divergences. Topics include nineteenth-century realism and naturalism, the rise of mass culture and the avant-garde, and existentialism and postmodernism. No knowledge of Portuguese or Japanese required.  HUTr

* HUMS 300b, Oratory in Statecraft Charles Hill

A seminar and practicum in oratory, the first tool of leadership. A study of oratory as it provides direction, builds support, and drives action on a strategic agenda. Analysis of speeches in antiquity, the early modern era, and the unique American voice: Edwards to Lincoln to King.  HU

* HUMS 307b / EP&E 263b / PLSC 329b, Émigré Social Theory Daniel Luban

Major works of social thought written in the wake of World War II by Central European émigrés and refugees. Theories of capitalism and socialism, interpretations of modern politics and history, critiques and defenses of Western intellectual traditions. Central texts include works by Arendt, Hayek, Horkheimer and Adorno, Polanyi, and Schumpeter.  HU

* HUMS 311a / PHIL 321a / PLSC 285a, Political Theology Steven Smith

Discussion of political theology as the foundation of political authority. The question of whether authority derives from reason or revelation, or from secular or religious sources. Examination of the dialectic of secularization and religious belief in some of the writings of Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Maistre, Schmitt, and Strauss. a course in political philosophy or intellectual history.  HU, SO

* HUMS 314a, Philosophy as a Way of Life Thomas Miller

Examination of the idea that philosophy in the ancient Greek and Roman world was not just an academic discipline, but an entire of way of life. Close study of texts by Plato, Xenophon, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Porphyry, Confucius, Zhuangzi, Montaigne, and others.  HU

* HUMS 316b, World Order in Liberal Arts Charles Hill

International peace and security as humanity's primary philosophical problem, reflected in works beyond policy methodologies. Confucius to the Elizabethan "world picture," to Kant, Grass, Calasso, Wittgenstein, and Samuel Beckett. Early writings of Kissinger and his diplomatic papers now at the Yale University Library provide modern case studies.  HU

* HUMS 325b / EP&E 401b / RLST 370b, Law, Morality, and Religion Andrew Forsyth

The relationship—if any—between law, morality, and religion. Topics include the twentieth-century jurisprudential debate on law and morality; debates on law’s relationship to reason and will, flourishing and restraint, in the “Western” tradition from antiquity to early modernity; and the U.S. Constitution and debates over free exercise and establishment of religion.  HU

* HUMS 336b / HSHM 453b, Culture and Human Evolution Gary Tomlinson

Examination of the origins of human modernity in the light of evolutionary and archaeological evidence. Understanding, through a merger of evolutionary reasoning with humanistic theory, the impact of human culture on natural selection across the last 250,000 years.  HU, SC

* HUMS 353b, The World of Augustine's Confessions Thomas Miller

A close study of the Confessions of Augustine. Additional readings by Vergil, Cicero, Paul, Plotinus, Tertullian, and Apuleius place Augustine’s work in the intellectual context of the waning of the Roman empire and the rise of Christianity.  HUTr

* HUMS 370b / GMAN 415b / LITR 233b, Büchner: Between Romantic Comedy and Modern Science Rüdiger Campe

Close reading of works by Georg Büchner, romantic poet and founder of the anticlassical tradition in German literature. The range of Büchner?s writings in terms of discourse and performative style, including comedy, tragedy, psychological case study, political pamphlet, philosophical lecture, and scientific paper. Attention to the interrelation between literary and nonliterary semantics. Readings in English and German. Discussion in English.HU

* HUMS 411b, Life Worth Living Staff

Comparative exploration of the shape of the life advocated by several of the world's normative traditions, both religious and nonreligious. Concrete instantiations of these traditions explored through contemporary exemplars drawn from outside the professional religious or philosophical spheres. Readings from the founding texts of Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Marxism, and utilitarianism.  HU

* HUMS 427b / ENGL 456b / JDST 316b / LITR 348b, The Practice of Literary Translation Peter Cole

Intensive readings in the history and theory of translation paired with practice in translating. Case studies from ancient languages (the Bible, Greek and Latin classics), medieval languages (classical Arabic literature), and modern languages (poetic texts).  HU

HUMS 438b / NELC 101b / NELC 123, Origins of Western Civilization: The Near East from Alexander to Muhammad Benjamin Foster

Cultural and historical survey of Hellenistic, eastern Roman, Parthian, Byzantine, and Sassanian empires in the Near East. Emphasis on mutual influences of Near Eastern and classical worlds, the rise of Christianity and Islam in Near Eastern contexts, and the division of East and West between conflicting ideas of unity.  HU

* HUMS 443a / HIST 232Ja / JDST 270a / MMES 342a / RLST 201a, Medieval Jews, Christians, and Muslims In Conversation Ivan Marcus

How members of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities thought of and interacted with members of the other two cultures during the Middle Ages. Cultural grids and expectations each imposed on the other; the rhetoric of otherness—humans or devils, purity or impurity, and animal imagery; and models of religious community and power in dealing with the other when confronted with cultural differences. Counts toward either European or Middle Eastern distributional credit within the History major, upon application to the director of undergraduate studies.  WR, HURP

* HUMS 444b, The City of Rome Virginia Jewiss

An interdisciplinary study of Rome from its legendary origins through its evolving presence at the crossroads of Europe and the world. Exploration of the city's rich interweaving of history, theology, literature, philosophy, and the arts in significant moments of Roman and world history.  HU

* HUMS 472a / FILM 443a / GMAN 272a, Fear Paul North and Francesco Casetti

Examination of fear, as the pivotal passion in late modernity, through literature, philosophy, and film. Special emphasis on the twentieth century and the way cinema represents, causes, and reflects on fear. None.  HU

* HUMS 473b, Uncertainty Staff

Humanities as the body of knowledge uniquely capable of comprehending the realm of uncertainty where humanity's greatest questions are found. Consideration of how history, literature, philosophy, and art vitally inform the professions of medicine, law, diplomacy, commerce, and science itself.  HU

The Franke Seminar

* HUMS 456a / AFAM 386a / AMST 321a / ENGL 285a, James Baldwin's American Scene Jacqueline Goldsby

In-depth examination of James Baldwin's canon, tracking his work as an American artist, citizen, and witness to United States society, politics, and culture during the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements.  Prerequisite: Background or course work in twentieth century African American history, African American literature, and/or American literature helpful but not required.  WR, HU

The Shulman Seminar

* HUMS 457b / HIST 178Jb / HSHM 457b / PSYC 455b, Other Minds Henry Cowles and Laurie Santos

A historical and scientific perspective on what this course will refer to as "other minds." Students have the opportunity to study key scientific papers and interact with international experts on such topics as the cognitive capacities that allow humans to think of animal species as deserving of compassion and respect; why certain human groups are considered "less than" human; and what makes the human mind special. Prerequisites: one course in psychology and one course in historical perspectives, or with permission of the instructor.  SO

Individual Research and Senior Essay Courses

* HUMS 470a and HUMS 471b, Special Studies in the Humanities Norma Thompson

For students who wish to pursue a topic in Humanities not otherwise covered. May be used for research or for directed reading under the guidance of one or more faculty advisers. In either case a term paper or its equivalent is required, as are regular meetings with the adviser or advisers. To apply, a student should present a prospectus and a bibliography signed by the adviser or advisers to the director of undergraduate studies. Enrollment limited to juniors and seniors majoring in Humanities.

* HUMS 491a or b, The Senior Essay Norma Thompson

Independent library-based research under faculty supervision. To register, students must consult the director of undergraduate studies no later than the end of registration period in the previous term. A written plan of study approved by a faculty adviser must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies by November 18, 2016, if the essay is to be submitted during the spring term, by May 2, 2016, for yearlong or fall-term essays. A rough draft of the essay is due at noon on March 27, 2017 for spring-term essays or on October 28, 2016 for fall-term essays. The final essay is due at noon on April 11, 2017 for spring-term essays or on December 5, 2016 for fall-term essays; late essays will be penalized by a lower grade.  RP