Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 : Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences

Humanistic Studies

HUM 101 Our Relation to Nature 3 SH
The central concern of this course is our relationship to nature primarily as it is understood by several scientific theories and religious conceptions. At the same time, the nature of science and the nature of religion are examined. The assumptions and limitations of these human endeavors are discussed, along with the relationships among science, religion and human values. Competency: First Year Navigation.

HUM 102 Art and Experience 3 SH
The emphasis in this course is on relating art, literature, music, dance and drama to our lives. The course aims at uncovering the central problems of the arts, the relationship of the arts to our lives, the role of the arts in our society, the kind of arts we have produced and the conditions under which we have produced them, and some of the controlling ideas which have been given expression in our arts. Competency: First Year Navigation.

HUM 105 FY for the Humanities 1 SH
In this class students will be introduced to the ideals and applications of the humanities. Representatives from all departments in the humanities will visit the class to provide an overview of their disciplines and the programs they offer. As a FY class the course will also introduce the principles and practices of university education so that students can begin their college careers empowered to succeed. This class will meet once a week for 50 minutes. Restrictions: First Year students only. Competency: First Year Navigation.

HUM 110 Moral Issues in Modern Society 3 SH
A critical introduction to some of the major moral issues facing us in modern society. Problems concerning the rights of the individual vs. the limits and obligations of government, sexual morality, and violence and war will be analyzed. Competency: Critical Thinking and Oral Communication.

HUM 114 The Greek Experience 3 SH
A course designed to provide the student with a broad survey of ancient Greek culture through an introductory examination of its mythology, art, drama and philosophy. Competency: First Year Navigation.

HUM 124 The Roman Experience 3 SH
The course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the culture of Ancient Rome in the Classical period—roughly from 200 BCE to 200 CE. Our approach will zigzag between studies of contemporary research in Roman social history and readings of classical Roman texts in history, politics, philosophy, and literature, and culminate in a complete reading of Virgil’s Aeneid.

HUM 151 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies 3 SH
Each time the course is offered it will focus on a different question, problem or theme that is especially conducive to an interdisciplinary approach. Students will study various interdisciplinary theories, strategies and case studies and then apply them to the particular topic chosen for each class. Competency: Creative Process Oral Communication.

HUM 190 Social Issues in Film 3 SH
Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course explores significant social issues (e.g., the HIV/AIDS Epidemic, race, gender, mental health, the food industry) as represented in films. Competency: Critical Thinking.

HUM 212 Technology and Humanity 3 SH
The exponential rate of technological advances in computer and biological sciences is beginning to blur the boundaries between man and machine. Innovations, like pace-makers, cochlear implants, insulin pump wristwatch, and brain-controlled prosthetic limbs, are extending and expanding our bodily capacities. In 2012, Oscar Pistorius ran in the Olympics on prosthetic legs and Dick Cheney appeared on The View carrying his heart in a suitcase. At the same time genetic engineering has created life with a DNA synthesizer, and is personalizing the treatment of many diseases with genomic based diagnosis. The cloning and genetic manipulation of mammals is proceeding unabatedly and with virtually no oversight. And from the machine side of this equation, disaggregated neural tissue has been organized into computational devices and insects and mammals are being hardwired for joystick controller and piloted like remote-controlled toys. A greater and more critical awareness of these advances and the moral and sociological issues that accompany them will better prepare students for the challenges our society faces. Competency: Information Literacy and Writing Intensive Tier 2,

HUM 213 Artificial Intelligence: Minds and Machines 3 SH
This course brings together computer science, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science to address conceptual issues surrounding artificial intelligence. The course will include topics such as: the nature of the mind, including theories of functionalism, dualism, and physicalism; proposed criteria for AI, including the Turing test; problems specific to research programs associated with AI, including the problem of intentionality and the frame problem. Competency: Information Literacy and Writing Intensive Tier 2.

HUM 222 Sustainability: Economics, Ecology, Ethics 3 SH
This interdisciplinary course will study sustainable living from the perspectives of economics (business), ecology (science), and ethics (philosophy). Particular attention will be focused on understanding how our personal decisions can impact sustainability on local and even global levels. Competency: Health & Wellness and Information Literacy.

HUM 223 Immigration: Rights and Wrongs 3 SH
This course will study some of the ethical implications of immigration both in the United States and globally. We will also consider what this means for governments around the world in regard to their level of political responsibility in both preventing immigration, such as in instances of violent conflict and war or climate change, but also to how immigration should be managed. Competency: Intercultural and Writing Intensive Tier 2.

HUM 224 Thinking about Race 3 SH
The aim of this course is to offer students a critical insight into thinking about race from the perspectives of philosophy, sociology and history. We begin with a historical context of race, and progress through the ages, in an attempt to understand the ideologies that have perpetuated certain falsehoods.

HUM 230 Madness and Civilization 3 SH
This course is an interdisciplinary study of the various phenomena that have been classified as “madness” throughout history. The course will utilize the perspectives of history, psychology, religion and philosophy to explore these diverse phenomena and the tension between madness and civilization in several different cultures. Competency: Intercultural and Writing Intensive Tier 2.

HUM 242 Gnosticism 3 SH
This class will look at various manifestations of Gnosticism in relation to society, the arts and philosophy as well as power. We will explore this topic through history, literature, art, philosophy, politics and theology.

HUM 243 Mysticism 3 SH
This class will consider mystic themes in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, stoicism, Zen, Sufism, and Kabbalah. This purpose of this class is first to come to some kind of understanding as to what mysticism is. Who counts as a mystic? What is the mystical experience like? If there is an underlying “principle of existence” to reality, what is it like and how can we access it? The second is to see the ways in which traditions far removed from each other in both time and space compare with their notions of mystic truths. Throughout we will compare certain recurring themes as they are addressed through each tradition: creation myths, self-responsibility vs. God and fate, the nature of ultimate reality, and ethics. Competency: Intercultural and Writing Intensive Tier 2.

HUM 244 Christianity: Religion, Politics, Art 3 SH
This course is an interdisciplinary study of Christianity through the perspectives of religion, politics and art. The course will focus on Christian cultures in four periods: Early Christianity, the Italian Renaissance, the Reformation, and the New England colonies.

HUM 245 Comparative Religions 3 SH
This course employs a broad humanities approach embracing historical, aesthetic, psychological, philosophical and sociological aspects of religion. Major faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confuciansim, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam will be studied and compared. Competency: Intercultural and Writing Intensive Tier 2.

HUM 246 Approaches to Well-Being in Indo-Tibetan Philosophy 3 SH

India’s Vedic, Samkhya-Yoga, Buddhist and Tantric philosophies offer insightful analyses of the mind and body and the art of living. Their approaches include introspective practices for developing clearer awareness of one’s own mind and health in a way that increases one’s awareness of other minds and lives. Elements of these philosophies and practices are being incorporated into western medicine, psychology and healing arts. This course will focus on the classical texts and their contemporary applications. Competency: Health & Wellness and Intercultural.

HUM 247 Indigenous Spirituality & Environmental Activism 3 SH
This course looks at indigenous cultures of the Americas, Central Asia, Africa and Australia. With a focus on their vital and spiritual relationship to their distinctive environments, it examines the challenges they face from the forces of colonization and globalization, their environment actions, and the views and actions opposing them. Competency: Intercultural and Information Literacy.

HUM 250 Art and Death 3 SH
This class will explore a number of philosophical questions about the nature of death and dying through the lens of art, such as: What is death? Can one outlive one’s death? Would immortality be a good thing? Through painting, film and literature we will examine how fundamental questions concerning mortality have been expressed in art through the ages. We will consider how artistic representation can help us get a grip on theoretical questions about the nature of death, and also how art can help to challenge our unexamined assumptions about mortality. Competency: Creative Process and Oral Communication.

HUM 262 The Family and the State 3 SH
This class will look at various manifestations of the family in relation to society and the state. We will explore this topic through history, literature, art, philosophy, politics and theology.

HUM 263 Love in Western Civilization 3 SH
A critical examination of major ideas and ideals of love as they have developed throughout Western history. Competency: Critical Thinking and Oral Communication.

HUM 270 Introduction to Cultural Studies 3 SH
This course is intended to introduce students to the field or discipline of Cultural Studies. Students will be introduced to the organization, ideological underpinnings, history, and future trajectory of the study of how and why human beings, in the contemporary moment or in what is often referred to as, “post-modernity” create the reality or what is called or known as “culture.” Competency: Information Literacy and Writing Intensive Tier 2.

HUM 280 Marx and Marxism 3 SH
An interdisciplinary study of the many ideas, arguments, and events that fall under the umbrella of “Marx and Marxism.” This class will use the perspectives of history, economics, cultural theory and philosophy to explore the meaning and the continuing legacy of Marx and Marxism. Competency: Critical Thinking and Writing Intensive Tier 2.

HUM 290 Science and Technology in Film 3 SH
This interdisciplinary course focuses on films that explore our complex relationship with science and technology. We will investigate how science fiction films have represented science and technology, whether these representations have accurately predicted future technology and its potential pitfalls, or whether they have merely produced unwarranted cultural angst about science and technology. Competency: Critical Thinking.

HUM 298 Faculty Developed Study 1-6 SH
HUM 299 Student Developed Study 1–6 SH

HUM 311 Incompleteness in Logic, Language and Life 3 SH
This class will explore how self-reference makes completeness impossible through an interdisciplinary study of logic, language and existential philosophy. In all three of these fields we will consider attempts to create complete, totalizing systems and how those attempts were undermined by self-referential “paradoxes” that each system could not comprehend. Prerequisite: one previous HUM or PHI course or permission of the instructor. Competency: Culminating Experience and Writing Intensive Tier 3.

HUM 312 Knowledge and Power 3 SH
Through the study of institutions, language, and theories about power and its relationship to knowledge, students will consider the ways in which what we know or call “knowledge” is intimately linked to what Foucault and other critical theorists have termed “systems of power” and “power relations.” Prerequisite: Any previous HUM, PHI or social science class or permission of the instructor. Competency: Culminating Experience and Writing Intensive Tier 3.

HUM 315 Conspiracy, Truth and Lies 3 SH
This interdisciplinary humanistic studies course sets out to define and trace the cultural history of conspiracy, truth, truth-telling, lies, and lying as cultural, philosophical, and phenomenological subjects in the West and the prominent roles they play particularly in the United States. Prerequisite: an upper level social science, natural science or humanities course or instructor permission.  Competency: Creative Process and Information Literacy.

HUM 346 /HPX 346 Tibetan Buddhist Art, Philosophy and Culture 4 SH
In the context of the class’s experiential setting in the Tibetan exile community in India, students will examine Tibetan Buddhism’s Indian roots and distinctive cultural features. Visits to local institutions and people will engage students with Tibetans’ activism and struggles for cultural survival. In coordination with morning studio arts classes, students will explore Buddhist symbolism and contemplative culture in Tibetan artistic practices. In readings, class discussions and individual reflections, students will examine Tibetan Buddhism’s practical application to perennial and personal questions of identity, moral choice and human purpose, as well as to current ethical, social and psychological issues such as environment and mental health. Students will examine psychological and neurologic studies of Tibetan meditation practices, and non-Buddhist applications of these practices.

HUM 370 Advanced Cultural Studies 3 SH
This course builds on the Introduction to Cultural Studies course through the examination of key texts and case studies that exemplify Cultural Studies research. Students will be introduced to important theoretical and methodological approaches to Cultural Studies, the vocabulary of Cultural Studies found in most Cultural Studies research, and the central themes, ideas, and areas of concern typically explored in Cultural Studies research. Where the Introduction course gives students a broad overview of the field, this course focuses primarily on how to conduct Cultural Studies research through the examination and analysis of a variety of Cultural Studies texts, artifacts, and cultural productions.  Prerequisite: HUM 270 or the permission of the instructor, and all W3 and CE General Education prerequisites. Competency: Culminating Experience and Writing Intensive Tier 3.

HUM 421 Development and Humanitarian Ethics/Study Abroad 3 SH
The aim of this course, which includes a study abroad component, is to highlight some of the challenges that arise within the practice of global development and humanitarian aid to think through some of the more important issues that contribute to these challenges, and to consider how we should address them. Prerequisite: Any one of the following courses: PHI, NUR, SW, ANT, SOC

HUM 451 Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies 3 SH
Each time the course is offered it will focus on a different question, problem or theme that is especially conducive to an interdisciplinary approach. Students will study this interdisciplinary question, problem or theme in the first half of the semester, and then in the second half of the semester students will complete and present their own interdisciplinary projects drawing from the two concentrations that make up their major. Prerequisite: HUM 151. Competency: Culminating Experience and Writing Intensive Tier 3.