Course Descriptions

  • Capstone

    450.082 - MLA Portfolio

    The MLA Portfolio is a zero-credit Capstone option. Students who select the Portfolio option will take 10 courses in the program (one core course and 9 electives), and register for the zero-credit portfolio in their final semester. The portfolio will be completed within the same semester as the 10th course. The portfolio consists of a sampling of the best papers and projects written over the course of the student's graduate career, and it is designed to highlight the intellectual points of convergence in each student's course of study, presenting the student's reflections on knowledge gained and lessons learned.

    450.830 - MLA Graduate Thesis

    The graduate thesis a second option inis part of the MLA Capstone. Students who choose this option take one IC course, 8 electives, and register for the graduate thesis as their tenth elective. Most students enrolled in the Master of Liberal Arts program with a focus who have on a particular pursued a particular concentration or subject area conclude their degree requirements by writing an independent graduate thesis under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Before registering for the graduate thesis, a student must submit a proposal and receive approval from the faculty sponsor and the MLA program director.

    450.850 - Internship

    A third option in the MLA Capstone is the Internship; students who choose this option take one IC course, 8 electives, and register for a particular internship, which will culminate in a detailed research report, as the their tenth course. Please contact the program director for more information on internship options.

  • Elective Courses

    450.600 - Intro Grad Research Methods

    This course will explore automated/electronic methods of note taking, capturing and managing source material from many sources including the web, and effectively communicating the results in a web-based environment. The course will focus on one day in the life of the City of Baltimore (a day in February 1861) and its importance, asking how much we can know, where we can find it, and how we can organize what we find into a convincing, coherent, possibly even inspiring, historical narrative. The question we will attempt to answer as we learn to seek out and cope with the surviving evidence is: Was there a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln in Baltimore in February 1861.

    450.601 - Forbidden Knowledge: the "Metaphysical Rebel" in Myth and Literature

    But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat" (Gen. 2:17). This interdisciplinary course explores the theme of forbidden knowledge in the various forms it takes in the Bible, the Epic of Gilgamesh, Greek tragedy, folklore and folktale, and in western literary classics ranging from Milton's Paradise Lost through the versions of the Faust story in Marlowe, Goethe, and Thomas Mann, to short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. What do we make of the parallels between the Greek hero Prometheus and the Biblical Satan? How are we to understand the figure of Dr. Frankenstein as "the Modern Prometheus"? Does Faust's pursuit of conventionally forbidden areas of knowledge anticipate 20th and 21st century quests to unveil the secrets of nuclear power, or of artificial intelligence, or of genetic engineering of the human genome? In addition to our literary readings, we will discuss a variety of operas and other relevant musical works; films from Bride of Frankenstein and Dr. Strangelove, to Hannibal; and transgressive visual imagery from Paleolithic cave art to the work of contemporary performance artists ? in a collective quest to find and define the boundaries of "the forbidden."

    450.602 - Markup Languages for Humanities Research

    This course aims to train students to mark up (historical) documents by making use of a set of markup languages such as XML and (X)HTML. In addition to learning the basics of these languages, students will be introduced to and work with existing standards such as TEI and will learn to develop their own schema's. Ample time will be devoted to broader questions regarding the conceptualization of primary sources in digital environments, the ways in which these sources can be conceived of as data, the relationship between our scholarly questions and the data sets that we create, and the methods used to make this data available online. Ultimately, this course will provide students with a set of tools and skills necessary for the development of their own DH research projects based on the ability to handle various markup languages as well as a thorough understanding of the ways in which these languages can be used to translate physical documents into digital formats. (Available online)

    450.603 - Baltimore and the Environment

    From its earliest development, Baltimore as a corporate entity has struggled to improve the health of the city and the surrounding country side by improving the quantity and quality of the water supply, fighting and preventing fires, and disposing of human and industrial waste. This course will trace the history of these efforts in the context of their impact on the environment and the communities involved, examining such issues as the impact of ground rents on urban expansion and growth, the use of eminent domain (the taking of property by a public agency for public purposes) to return the Gunpowder River from an industrial sewage conduit to its natural beauty and fresh water supply for the city, the disaster of a devastating fire (1904) that led to a state of the art[ public sewer system, and the balancing of industrial pollution (Sparrow's Point) with waste treatment run off (Back River Treatment Plant) that was intended to neutralize any pollution of the Chesapeake Bay by both. Students will learn of the pioneering efforts of the City to face the problems of public health from its earliest days, and examine some of the consequences of industrial decline, both intended and unintended, on those efforts. As their paper/project assignments, students will be expected to research and write a concise biographical study of a lawyer who either worked for the city , or against the city in its efforts to implement such public policy decisions as segregating and containing neighborhoods, the obliteration of the village of Warren in the city's quest for pure water, the creation of the Back River Sewage disposal plant (which had the intended or unintended effect of driving out a red light district in Baltimore County), and the revitalization of the harbor area following the Great Fire.

    450.604 - Heaven on Earth: History, Art, and the Material Culture of St. Peter's and the Vatican

    This course will explore the spectacular historical, cultural, and artistic spaces that comprise the Vatican in Rome, in particular St. Peter's Piazza and Basilica, the Papal Palace, and the Vatican Library and Museum. Our central concern will be to examine the material culture of the Vatican; meaning its physical and visual manifestation through architecture, sculpture, painting, decorative arts, books, manuscripts; and to explore this unique effort to manifest the most heavenly and spiritual spaces on earth. While greatest emphasis will be placed on the Renaissance and Baroque periods, ca. 1475-1650, this course will also include an overview of the history of the Christianity (and, by extension, the history of the papacy) from its early Christian origins in ancient Rome, through the Protestant Reformation, and onwards to the foundation of the Vatican Museum during the Enlightenment. This is also very much a hands-on course as well, and will therefore involve regular interaction with medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Enlightenment-era rare books and manuscripts directly related to the Vatican in the collections of the Sheridan Libraries (in the newly built Brody Learning Commons on the Homewood Campus), in addition to a special visit to the Walters Art Museum.

    450.605 - Religion and 20th Century Drama

    A study of selected twentieth-century European and American plays representing a broad range of religious and philosophical points of view, oriented toward gaining critical perspective on the spiritual world of that time. Students will read and discuss several plays, some explicitly religious, some anti-religious, and some touching issues and themes of religious/spiritual importance. Plays to be be studies will include: Robert Bolt, A Man for all Seasons; T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral; Jean Anouilh, Becket; Jean-Paul Sartre, The Flies; Arthur Miller, The Crucible; Eugene Ionesco,Rhinoceros; Berthold Brecht, Galileo; John Millington Synge, Riders to the Sea; Federico Garcia Lorca, Blood Wedding; Edward Albee, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf; and Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, among others.

    450.606 - Ethics for a Multicultural World

    This course will address the ethical dilemmas and privacy issues that challenge intelligence and government decision makers in an increasingly complex operational and technological environment. We will examine basic moral, ethical and privacy considerations from all sides at several key points in intelligence operations from collection to covert action. The course will analyze the evolving nature of privacy concerns worldwide, with an emphasis on the balance between individual rights and national security needs as executed by intelligence agencies. Students will examine the policy implications inherent in seeking to address these issues. The readings will include diverse and opposing viewpoints as well as practicums and simulations to allow debate of the key positions in "real world" situations. (Available online)

    450.607 - Through a Glass, Darkly: American Film Noir

    The term film noir, French for "black film," was first applied to Hollywood films by French critic Nino Frank in 1946. Unrecognized by the American film industry as a distinct formula during the classic period of Hollywood (1930-1960), Cinema historians and critics defined the category retrospectively to describe the distinctive style look and feel of many American films made during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. The course examines the cultural origins, unique elements, underlying values, and major auteurs of both American noir and international noir filmmakers. Film noir was defined through the general themes of alienation, existentialism, loneliness, cynicism, pessimism, despair, paranoia and entrapment, coupled with a gritty and distinctive visual style and mood. We will screen and discuss select noir films and develop skills of viewing and analyzing them closely. Topics include the emerging field of film theory and criticism in the early 1960s, literary origins and style; male and female roles; film and society in the years after WWII; German expressionism and Nazism in Germany as major influences on early Noir; early gangster films; and the role of the "auteur" in the definition of the form. Among the films considered are Fritz Lang's M (Germany-1931), John Huston's The Maltese Falcon (U.S. - 1941), Orson Welle's Citizen Kane (U.S.- 1941) and Touch of Evil (U.S. - 1958), Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly (U.S.- 1955), and Francois Truffaut?s Shoot the Piano Player (France - 1960). The course will conclude with analysis of neo-noir films like Sam Fuller's Underworld U.S.A. (U.S.- 1961) and John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate (U.S. - 1962) among many others.

    450.608 - Judaism,Christianity,Islam

    Despite over 1,000 years of conflict both external and internal, Judaism, Christianity and Islam share doctrines and practices. Students will examine the essential teachings of the three great Abrahamic religions concerning revelation, scripture, sacred geography, worship, prophecy, holy war, divine justice and judgment, blasphemy (including sacrilegious humor), and the afterlife. Readings will include selections from the Bible, Qur’an, St. Augustine’s The City of God, Moses Maimonides’ The Guide for the Perplexed, The Alchemy of Happiness by Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazzali, as well as the contemporary classics What Do Jews Believe? by Rabbi David Ariel, Introduction to Christianity by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), and The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity by Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Visits to a synagogue, church, and mosque for a service of worship will be required.

    450.609 - Amer Art/Lit 19th Cent

    Ever since the Mayflower docked at Plymouth, Americans have measured themselves against the yardstick of European civilization; whether rejecting it altogether, clarifying their distinctness from it, or striving to become part of it. Students follow the evolution of American cultural identity in discussions of Hawthorne's The Marble Faun, Twain's Innocents Abroad, and James' The American, as well as paintings by the Peales, Cole, Homer, Eakins, Whistler, and Sargent. In doing so they note how the optimistic, independent, and self-confident Yankee gave way to the introspective, critical, certainly sadder, and perhaps wiser Cosmopolitan.

    450.610 - Twice-Told Tales: Classic Texts and their Contemporary Retellings

    This course offers a comparative study of classic texts and their modern or contemporary retellings—in literature and on stage and screen—with a focus on how these ancient stories, which have endured through the ages and helped define our sense of what it means to be human, have been refashioned to reflect modern realities. Examining “second stories” provides the pleasure of seeing the familiar from a fresh and surprising perspective (e.g., the wanderings of Odysseus seen through the eyes of his stay-at-home wife, Penelope) and also allows us to study the cultural content of the tales through a bifocal lens. How does the political protest of Sophocles’ Antigone change its thrust when it is retold by a 20th-century French existentialist writing during the Nazi occupation of France? Our twice-told pairings are Homer’s Odyssey and Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad; Sophocles’ Antigone and Anouilh’s Antigone; Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Frederick Buechner’s The Storm; and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours. Note: This course satisfies the interdisciplinary core requirement.

    450.611 - Social History of Medicine

    This course will explore the demographics of audiences, the reasons for attending the theatre, who presented theatre, where theatres were located, what theatre space looked like and why they looked that way in order to track the dynamics of western political and social history. Major works of dramatic literature will serve as the entry point into various periods and as reflections of the historical forces at work. The major periods to be studied are: Classical Greek and Rome, Medieval, Renaissance (Italy, England and Spain), 18th and early 19th centuries, the modern era and the postmodern present. (Available online)

    450.612 - Great Ethical Philosophers

    Are there absolute moral laws that dictate how one ought to behave, or is correct behavior relative to ever-varying circumstances? Is there a type of life that is best for all human beings? Ought one to promote solely one's own self-interest, or does one have a duty to sacrifice for others? Students discuss how these and other ethical questions have been addressed by Plato in the fourth century B.C., Kant in the 18th century, and Nietzsche in the 19th century.

    450.613 - British Victorian Women

    This course embraces the broad sweep of primarily British Victorian women's experiences. It analyzes the emergence of the Victorian stereotype of middle and upper class women and compares that stereotype to the reality of individual case studies. It also explores the variety of expectations and demands on working class women - focusing on geographical, industrial and rural factors and the resulting lives of women working and living across the British Isles. In addition, there is an emphasis on Victorian women as agents of change in the fields of literature, medicine, teaching and social work both at home and abroad, as well as in local and national politics.

    450.614 - Museum Controversies: Ethical Issues in Museums

    Museum directors, curators, and other staffers have faced an array of political and ethical dilemmas in an increasingly contentious environment. This course explores the historical, political, and cultural backgrounds to controversies surrounding exhibitions such as the Smithsonian’s display of the Enola Gay, the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s “Sensation,” the British Museum’s Elgin Marbles, and the showing of illegally acquired antiquities at various art museums. Nationalism, religious beliefs, obscenity, and “edutainment” are among the issues discussed.

    450.615 - Ann Tyler's Baltimore

    Anne Tyler moved to Baltimore in 1967. Over the past 40 years, she has published 15 novels set mostly in and around Baltimore City. Her characters may be "traditional," perhaps "provincial," or simply "odd." In an interview shortly after her latest novel was published, Tyler said "nothing in my books comes from real life." Yet she writes about the decaying area of east Baltimore and the affluence of Roland Park in the west. Her protagonists may shop at Lexington Market or at Eddie's. Anne Tyler's novels are but one resource that shall be studied to develop a portrait and appreciation of Baltimore. The visions of Barry Levinson and John Waters will also be considered, along with those of local publications like Baltimore and Urbanite and articles from The Baltimore Sun and The Afro-American. Our discussions may include business and railroads, immigration and race, education and medicine, politics and religion, weather, sports, and food. Anne Tyler is clearly part of the culture she portrays in her work, but we must ask whether her Baltimoreans are stereotypes, archetypes, or merely "novel?"

    450.616 - Beneath the Veneer: Film Culture of the 1950s

    Pleasantville (1998) provides a look back at the cultural memory we have regarding the 1950s. We will then examine three films which focus on different aspects of the blacklist: High Noon (Screenplay written by the blacklisted Carl Foreman), On the Waterfront (Directed by informer Elia Kazan), and Salt of the Earth (Written, directed and produced by members of the original "Hollywood Ten,"). A study of two musicals, By the Light of the Silver Moon and Gentlemen Prefer Blonds will examine the competing cultural icons of Doris Day and Marilyn Monroe represented within the context of the fifties musical. Other themes explored include the rise of youth culture and concerns over juvenile delinquency (Rebel Without a Cause, The Wild Ones, Blackboard Jungle); war, both cold and hot, with a comparison of The Bridges of Toko Ri (Korean War) to Forbidden Planet's use of science fiction to comment on the cold war; a focus on film auteur Alfred Hitchcock (Strangers on a Train, Vertigo, and North by Northwest); and a closer look at changes in the western genre (a revisit of High Noon, Johnny Guitar and The Searchers). The course will conclude with an analysis of the New York City film scene of the late 1950s with a focus on John Cassavette's Shadows (1959).The 1950s currently occupy a mythical realm steeped in nostalgia and an ennobling of the past. For Hugh Pearson, a 63-year-old retired builder from California, "I grew up in the '50s. That was a wonderful time. But it was 'Ozzie and Harriet' days, 'Leave It to Beaver'-type stuff." Conservative Newt Gingrich agrees and looks to the fifties for a type of foundational national identity and a clear sense of American identity represented in “the Norman Rockwell paintings of the 1940s and 1950s.” From the perspective of the left these very same images symbolize bland conformity, homogeneity, exclusivity, and conservatism. Both perspectives provide a veneer covering a far more complex cultural landscape. This cour

    450.617 - The Constitution and the Criminal Justice System

    Examines how the Supreme Court establishes and enforces the constitutional rules that govern law enforcement in the United States, including the 4th Amendment's provisions on searches and arrests, the 5th and 6th Amendment protections for individuals charged with a crime, and the 8th Amendment's requirement for bail and its ban on cruel and unusual punishments. We will also examine what it means to have a fair trial, the process of plea bargaining which resolves most criminal cases, and the continuing controversy over criminal sentencing. And we will continually be exploring the meaning and the reality of "justice."

    450.618 - American Literature on Display

    This course investigates links between American literature and technologies of display and circulation from the 1820s through the 1920s. We’ll look at works by canonical and non-canonical prose writers and poets—figures such as Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Theodore Dreiser, Henry James, and H. L. Mencken, but also Gertrude Atherton, Ida Tarbell, Ida B. Wells, and Dashiell Hammett—both as literary representations and as vehicles for larger socio-cultural shifts towards visibility and mass production, expressed through phenomena like book illustration, photography, advertising, fashion, and cinema. Discussion-centered classes will focus on the analysis of our texts and the hands-on examination of rare books and archival materials.

    450.619 - Revolutions of the Book: The Transformation of Knowledge in Europe from

    This course will explore how intersection of transformations in the technologies and arts of communication with transformations in ideas—a topic of particular relevance today, much as it was long ago. The entire course will be taught directly from original rare book and manuscript materials in the collections of Johns Hopkins University. We will begin with the history of writing, from the cuneiform tablets and papyri in the ancient world, to illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, on to scribal traditions of the Renaissance. We will also explore myths of writing as well, in particular ancient pagan and early Christian mythologies which sought to explain how letters, words, and languages were “invented” and “discovered” through the medium of the newly restored fresco cycle in the Vatican Library’s Salone Sistino. We will then proceed to the Printing Revolution of the 15th and 16th centuries, exploring the earliest invention of printing by movable type in the age of Gutenberg and the “incunabula” period, one of the most energetic and experimental periods in the history of book making. We will then turn to the advent of the first great libraries of Europe, and to the rapid proliferation of “print culture” during the tumults, conflagrations, and revolutions of the 17th century, and the essential role of the book in promoting both the culture of the Ancient Regime and the Enlightenment. We will explore popular and canonical literary works, and their illustration, imitation, censorship and propagandization during the rise of vernacular (vs. Latinate) print culture, focusing on the publication of plays, poetry, novels and novellas, as well as the most popular verse genre of the period: emblem books.

    450.620 - Art:Burgundy 1364-1477

    The court established by the Valois Dukes of Burgundy (1364-1477) was one of the wealthiest and most politically ambitious courts in the history of Europe. This seminar explores the opulence and diversity of art works commissioned by and for the Valois dukes, and by members of their court circle. Topics include: painting, sculpture, manuscripts, and architecture; daily life and devotional practice; portraiture; and the emergence of a distinctive Burgundian style. With a format combining illustrated lectures, student-led discussions, and gallery visits, this course will be taught at the Walters Art Museum, and will draw from the collections of the Walters and of other museums. A general background in Medieval art and/or history is recommended. Reading knowledge of French will be beneficial.

    450.621 - The Self in Question: Readings in Lit & Psychol

    What is the nature of the self? For Plato, the self is a sleeping giant; for Buddha, it is an illusion; for Freud, it is instinctual hunger; for Schopenhauer, irrational will; for B.F. Skinner, it is a machine; for R. Buckminster Fuller, it is a verb; for Sartre, it is a useless passion. Thinkers throughout the ages have probed the riddle of our human identity, and today, the dimensions of this age-old quest have been expanded to include the formative roles of gender, class, race, and culture. From selves in the making to selves under siege, from the lonely, existential self to the transpersonal, communal self, in this class, we explore questions of selfhood from the perspectives of literature and psychology—two key disciplines devoted to understanding the perplexities of human nature. This course satisfies the interdisciplinary core requirement. (Available online)

    450.622 - Defining Jazz

    Over the past century, there have been many interpretations of the definition of jazz. These interpretations are often framed as a debate between purists and progressives. In this course, we will examine and discuss the artistic and societal motivations for these opposing points of view throughout the 20th and 21st century. Students will learn to make aesthetic judgments, identify various jazz styles and discuss their relevance to their time and to the present. Classes are planned to include guest artists from the Baltimore jazz scene, examples in various media, and live performances by the instructor.

    450.623 - The Theater of Revolt: Makers of Modern Drama

    In this course, we study the playwrights whose intellectual brilliance and moral passions created a revolution in traditional theater, unleashing energies that continue to drive theater a century later. We will read major plays of Ibsen, Chekhov, Pirandello, Shaw, Brecht, and O’Neill in the context of their social/historical settings to understand how shifting philosophical, cultural, and scientific views required new ways of staging human stories, prompting innovations in both subject matter and technical form. Because drama is primarily a performance art, we will spend time comparing versions of the play on the page with the play on the stage. Our alternate-weekly, extended-class format will afford us the opportunity to analyze scenes from distinguished theater performances that have been captured on film.

    450.624 - Follow the North Star: Hist,Stories of Slaves Escaping MD

    The course examines the many ways in which slaves sought or were able to escape from slavery by running away, or by assistance from nature. Included will be an examination of the ads for runaway slaves that appeared in newspapers, the stories of the ship Pearl and the brig Enterprise, the fate of slaves who fled to the British during the War of 1812, and the path to freedom followed by slaves who enlisted in the Union Army prior to Maryland’s abolition of slavery in 1864. The course is designed to broaden one’s understanding of the choices and paths enslaved Maryland residents were able to follow to freedom, from the Declaration of Independence to the case of Elizabeth Turner decided by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase after the Civil War.

    450.625 - Bioethics

    This course draws upon key concepts in philosophical analysis, particularly ethical theory, to address the myriad of complex moral issues that arise in the biomedical field. Assigned reading includes relevant works in philosophy by Aristotle, Kant, and Mill, as well as those by contemporary bioethicists. In this context students discuss such issues as death and dying, in vitro fertilization, human cloning, physician-assisted suicide, and experimentation with humans and animals.

    450.626 - Physics of the Universe

    What was happening before the Big Bang? Does the universe have a bound, and if so, what lies beyond? Objects are made of atoms, which in turn are made of elementary particles, but what exactly is an elementary particle? That is, what is it made of? In this course, which has no textbook, we answer the above questions. For us to arrive at answers that mean anything requires the use of some mathematics—luckily, only high school algebra and geometry. (Don't worry if you only half-remember your high school math; the needed facts will be explained clearly in class.) We will follow the progress of human understanding from Copernicus through Einstein's theory of relativity to the most important human intellectual discovery ever, quantum mechanics. Remarkably, we will discover that some ancient Greek philosophers understood the nature of reality better than many professional scientists do today.

    450.627 - Cooper,Twain:Frontier

    James Fenimore Cooper wrote the five Leather-Stocking Tales between 1823 and 1841 (The Last of the Mohicans is the best known of the novels). Cooper created Natty Bumppo (Hawkeye), friendly and unfriendly Indians, and settlers, including women (Cooper liked to call them "females"), to tell his version of the country's expansion west. Cooper's portrayal of Indians and women has been challenged, but this first American novelist was widely read and has left an enduring (though not necessarily accurate) image of life on the frontier. Mark Twain published The Gilded Age in 1873 when the frontier was disappearing and a less rural America began to emerge. Arguably the greatest of all American humorists, not withstanding the huge achievement of Huck Finn (1885), Twain wrote novels, short stories, and nonfiction and was given to such sentiments as "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society" and "Familiarity breeds contempt—and children." And Twain's critique of Cooper was a masterpiece.

    450.628 - The Harlem Renaissance

    The Harlem Renaissance; the first major intellectual movement of African-Americans; flourished in Harlem and the mid-Atlantic region between 1900 and 1930. It originated from the now-famous debate about whether the African-American's best hope for success was a liberal arts education as W.E.B. DuBois argued, or manual training as Booker T. Washington urged. Though the main focus of the Harlem Renaissance was on literature (e.g.,Toomer's Cane, Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, and poetry by Hughes, McKay, and Cullen), students also examine parallel developments in music and art.

    450.629 - Halls of Wonder: Art, Science, & Material Culture, 1400-1750

    This course will address the cultural fascination in Europe with sources and objects of wonder and popular imagination. At its core, this exploration will focus on material culture across the academic disciplines (disciplines that were not recognized as separate areas of knowledge at the time) from art, science and technology, literature, religion, and beyond. Through our focus, in particular, on collecting material objects, we will also be exploring in great detail the origin of museums, first as private Renaissance and Baroque wunderkammern (German, “halls of wonder”), and then ultimately as the first national museums of the Enlightenment period. Major themes will include socio-economic change and the emergence of new commercial and professional classes; the rise and consolidation of centralized states; the invention of printing by moveable type; literacy and evidence of historical reading practices; patronage of the arts; collectors and the collecting of books and objets d’art; revolutions in the graphic arts; arts and press censorship; the advent and progress of Renaissance humanist interest in the ancient Greco-Roman world; the Protestant and Catholic Reformations; the Scientific Revolution; the production and circulation of literary texts; and popular culture (riot, ritual, and rebellion) in the Renaissance.

    450.630 - "Orientalism" vs. "Occidentalism": A Brief History of Two Illusions

    This course examines the evolution of regional attitudes that shape national discourses that create global discourse that influence the ways peoples and therefore nations at both ends of the Eurasian continent perceive and deal or do not deal with each other. Primary focus will be upon the sectarian religious, ethnic, social-economic conflicts that frame popular images, upon competitive power groups, international and domestic, that manage and model leadership polities, and upon the domestic and international press that play a significant role in shaping public perceptions. Students will view documentaries and films, read, weigh, consider and discuss a wide range of literary and media sources, including a film based upon Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King and other films, essays by world leaders, from the 19th-century father of modern India, Raja Rammohan Ray and Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, to the 20th- and 21st-century writers, such as Kishore Mahbubani (Can Asians Think), Steward Gordon (When Asia Was the World), Edward Said (Orientalism), and Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit (Occidentalism, The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies). (Available online)

    450.631 - Western Theatre History: The Dynamic Interplay of Social, Economic and Cultural Forces

    Theatre offers unique insight into the development of western civilization by depicting people in their relationships to themselves, to each other, and to society. Theatre history provides a distinctive lens through which to explore the social, economic, cultural, geographical and other forces shaping those relationships over the past 2500 years. Beginning with the inception of theatre in religious ritual up to the present postmodern era, Western Theatre History: The Dynamic Interplay of Social, Economic and Cultural Forces will explore the demographics of audiences, the reasons for attending the theatre, who presented theatre, where theatres were located, what theatre space looked like and why they looked that way in order to track the dynamics of western political and social history. Major works of dramatic literature will serve as the entry point into various periods and as reflections of the historical forces at work. The major periods to be studied are: Classical Greek and Rome, Medieval, Renaissance (Italy, England and Spain), 18th and early 19th centuries, the modern era and the postmodern present.

    450.632 - Landscape Paintng, the 19th Century

    Before the 19th century western artists viewed nature as little more than a setting for human events, but after 1800 painters of nearly all western countries turned their attention to the intrinsic qualities of the land. They sought, in the infinite variety of its forms, an understanding of their world and themselves. Students will study works by both European and American artists in order to appreciate the extraordinary range of subject matter and style used by 19th century artists and to discover the meanings contained in each artist's distinctive view of nature.

    450.634 - Italian Renaissance Art and Thought

    In what sorts of intellectual contexts was Italian Renaissance art produced and received? What, in other words, were the connections among Renaissance art, philosophy, theology, mathematics, rhetoric, and history? This seminar will investigate a number of answers to such questions through a consideration of primary evidence and recent scholarship. Among other things, we will consider Aristotle’s theory of magnificence as it was applied to Renaissance architecture, the development of perspectival systems, the notion of a Renaissance or golden age, and Vasari’s efforts to conceptualize art of the Renaissance in metaphorical terms. Several substantial writing assignments will allow students to develop critical positions of their own, and throughout the term there will be an emphasis upon close reading of both texts and artworks. (Available online)

    450.635 - Modern English Literature

    This course investigates a wide range of twentieth-century English works in all genres of imaginative literature. In regard to poetry, students discuss selections from Thomas Hardy, W.H. Auden, and Stevie Smith to Carol Ann Duffy, England's first woman Poet Laureate, appointed last spring. Then they analyze three novels: E.M. Forster's Howard's End, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, and Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange. The syllabus concludes with the plays The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter, Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, and Top Girls by Caryl Churchill.

    450.636 - Cultural Eras:1950s

    This course examines the idea of being "American" within the context of the fifties when "un-American" activities and associations clearly placed individuals and groups on the outside of the mainstream. American national identity is considered through the dynamic that emerges between national security and civil rights and liberties; between conformity and conflict.; between inside and outside. Through the significant and enduring cultural shifts that took place in American life between 1945 and 1960 basic images and ideas closely associated with the '50s are challenged as the course considers a variety of topics from Ike to Elvis to McCarthy, the Beats, the Korean War, the Montgomery bus boycott and the Nation of Islam, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, advertising, the Kinsey Report, the promise of technology and the concern over its effects on the culture, the Cold War, the changing role of scientists, and the rise of the suburbs.

    450.637 - Modern American Poetry: From Robert Frost to Natasha Trethewey

    The clichéd era of effete poetry by dead white males read by little old ladies in sewing circles has long passed. The current U.S. poet laureate is Natasha Trethewey, an African-American woman from Mississippi. Barack Obama's 2013 presidential Inauguration featured a poem by Richard Blanco, the son of Cuban exiles and an openly gay, former engineer. Four years earlier, President Obama asked Elizabeth Alexander, an African-American professor from Yale University, to read her "Praise Song for the Day". Bill Clinton's presidential inaugural poets were Maya Angelou (1993) and Miller Williams (1997). As diverse as these poets are, they nevertheless follow artistic forms established by one of the early founders of modern American poetry, Robert Frost, selected in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy as the first U.S. Inaugural poet. This course will explore American 20th- and 21st-century poetry from early modernist luminaries like William Carlos Williams and Elizabeth Bishop through U.S. poet laureates still writing today, such as Rita Dove and Philip Levine.

    450.638 - What is History?

    What is history? What makes history, as a field of scholarship and a way of knowing, different from any other discipline? This course will introduce students to a vibrant and evolving field of study, and to the tensions, diversity, debates and controversies that shape it. Themes explored will include an examination of the parameters of the field (such as the relationship between popular and academic history; the tension between description and interpretation; the evaluation of sources; the role of the historian as a public intellectual; the craft of historical writing; and digital history as a new field of study) as well as an analysis of the topics and approaches undertaken by contemporary historians (such as the reframing of dominant narratives; the emergence of dominated voices and of new thematic fields such as sexuality, globalism and popular culture; and ongoing critiques of previously established narratives and theoretical frameworks). Students will read historical scholarship in a wide variety of fields, as well as critical theory, popular literature and documentaries.

    450.639 - The American Southwest:Crossroads of Cultures

    The course begins at the time when the Southwest was the homeland of the ancient Pueblo people (the “Anasazi”). Our survey moves from the major archaeological sites such as Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde to the historical communities of the Hopi and Zuni and other Pueblo peoples of New Mexico and Arizona, along with the Navajo and Apache. We then move on to focus on the period of Spanish incursion, when the region became first part of colonial New Spain and then part of independent Mexico. We look at the narratives of the earliest Spanish arrival, and at the long tradition of Spanish colonial art and architecture, culture and religion in the region. We then move on to the incorporation of the region into the U.S. after the Mexican-American war, and with its impact on the Native American and Hispanic populations. The 19th century saw the arrival of the railroads and of an Anglo population of Easterners, and the genesis of the Southwest as a fine art center, sometimes called the Santa Fe-ization of the Southwest. More recently, the area has witnessed the “re-arrival” of a Mexican-American, or Chicano, population along with the retrieval and revival of Mexican cultural traditions such as the Day of the Dead and the cult of Guadalupe. Today the region, for all its cultural conflicts, is the site of an ongoing evolution of a modern ulticultural Southwest. The course includes reading and discussion of literary works by such authors as Willa Cather, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ed Abbey and Tony Hillerman, and an extensive look at the arts of the Pueblo and Navajo peoples, the paintings of the Taos School and the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, and the contemporary revival of Southwest folk art.

    450.640 - Inventing Modern Amer

    From the end of Reconstruction (1877) to the beginning of the Great Depression (1929), American society was characterized by major paradoxes like the emergence of a powerful national identity beset by searing conflicts of race, gender, and class. This course explores the development of such cornerstones of modern political culture as industrial corporations, state and Federal bureaucracies, overseas imperialism, widespread migration and immigration, the labor movement, women's suffrage, and civil rights movements. Students review several films (e.g., Birth of a Nation and Hester Street) and discuss both secondary and primary documents, including works by Theodore Roosevelt, Chief Joseph, Booker T. Washington, Julia Ward Howe, John Dewey, and George Santayana.

    450.641 - Food and Politics

    Food is central to our daily lives, yet few of us consider the political implications of what we eat. In fact, numerous political struggles take place over the production and consumption of food. These range from global conflicts over agricultural subsidies or genetically modified foods to more local concerns about food safety or the rising incidence of obesity among children and adults. Over the course of the semester, we will address these debates with two goals in mind. On the one hand, we will consider what is special or unique about food and agriculture as a distinct area of policy. On the other hand, we will attempt to draw larger lessons from the politics of food about the character and operation of political institutions and the public policy process.

    450.642 - Yesterday's Tomorrows: Utopian and Dystopian Futures in Science Fiction Literature

    Beginning with Thomas More’s seminal work Utopia (1516), this course will engage in an interdisciplinary discussion of the construction of utopian/dystopian-cacotopian worlds in science fiction, or more broadly speculative fiction, and the accompanying philosophical issues and concerns raised in these stories. We’ll draw on novels, history, philosophy, graphic novels, and film to grapple with the meaning and importance of utopian and dystopian thinking and writing across the 20th century. The authors react to and against major historical paradigm shifts caused by, for example, the Industrial Revolution, Modernity, War, the Cyber Revolution, and millennialism, along with the overarching “End of Days” stories. Some of the authors under consideration are H.G. Wells, Edward Bellamy, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Aldous Huxley, Ursula Le Guin, Philip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, Octavia Butler, Marge Piercy, and Neil Stephenson. Through these stories the authors project both possible futures and offer incisive commentary on contemporary realities.

    450.643 - Leadership and the Classics

    This course explores constants and changes in leadership over time through a selection of readings that ranges from ancient philosophy to 20th-century fiction, including works by Confucius, Plato, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Hannah Arendt, Martin Luther King, Jr., Anne Tyler, and others. Through directed reading and discussion, students gain valuable insights into how leaders can foster creative initiatives and responses to change. A historical perspective enables students to understand and appreciate the challenge of leadership in the 21st-century multicultural world. They can then develop a framework for interpreting and evaluating responses to that challenge. (Available online)

    450.644 - U.S. Environmental History

    Environmentalism is a multifaceted phenomenon infused with many different schools of thought about the nature of environmental problems as well as the most appropriate solutions for those problems. This course will examine the major historical influences on the varied approaches to environmentalism and environmental practice. Students will explore the influence of environmental ideas and actions in the US from the 19th century to the present. The goal is to deepen our understanding of contemporary environmental practice – by others and ourselves – by tracing the influence of these historical trends in current debates and actions. Topics include conservationism, preservationism, transcendentalism and green romanticism, toxic construct, the wilderness construct, and sustainability.

    450.645 - Documentary Photography

    Documentary photographs inform, entertain, and enlighten us on subjects as diverse as Civil War battlefields, Alabama sharecroppers, and outer space. We will explore different genres of documentary photography, including the fine art document, photojournalism, social documentary photography, the photo essay, and photography of propaganda. We will look at the relationship of image and text in the works of Walker Evans and James Agee. “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” and “Minimata: Words and Photographs” by Alieen and Eugene Smith. Students will work on a semester-long photo documentary project on a subject of their choice.

    450.646 - Religion of Politics, Politics of Religion: Conflict and Convergence in Sacred Authority and Temporal Hierarchies

    This course examines patterns of authority in religion and politics by exploring the connection between the sacred and the secular. The class will address questions concerning political power and religious influence in order to better understand the complex relationship between the two. Students will consider societies where religion and politics seem inextricable, societies that attempt to separate the two, and societies that attempt to eliminate religion from the equation. The class will recognize the ways in which nations develop their own civil religions. A variety of religious experiences and political ideologies will be considered. Special attention will be given to the role of religion and politics in social change.

    450.647 - The Impressionist Era

    In 1874 a group of young painters defied the official Salon in Paris and organized an exhibition of their own. Reacting against the rigid standards of the French Academy and the emotionalism of Romanticism, the Impressionists (as they came to be called) displayed a realistic attitude to subject matter and an innovative approach to the representation of color and light. This course traces the aesthetic and historical roots of Impressionism and studies the works of its principal artists including Manet, Monet, Renior, Pissaro, Sisley, Degas, Caillebotte, Cassatt and Morisot.

    450.648 - Popular Culture

    The study of popular cuture in the United States from a historical perspective.

    450.649 - Languages of the World

    This course begins with an investigation into the origins and growth of language. It then proceeds to systematically look at the fifteen major ethno-linguistic families of the world such as the Indo-European, Sino-Tibetan, Hamito-Semitic, Ural-Altaic, Niger-Congo and others in terms of their origins and as to how the various languages of the world are classified under them. It will then make a comprehensive survey of at least one language in each family. It also looks into the distinction between language and dialect. The linguistic theories of certain important scholars will also be enunciated. The course will then proceed to look at the Indo-European family in particular to which belong languages like English, Spanish, German, Greek, Russian and Sanskrit among others. It will explore the origins of the English language and look into the structure of its vocabulary from Greek, Latin, Norman French, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic. It will then look at the various types of English spoken around the world created by the British Empire. The course will comparatively look at some interesting grammatical facts in several Indo-European languages. Students will attempt to learn the scripts of several languages, both ancient and modern, and then try to read and write elementary words and passages in these languages. It will also look at certain esoteric meanings of the alphabets in certain languages.

    450.650 - Cultural Eras:The 1960s

    The Sixties. A collage of events, people, sights, sounds, and ideas immediately come to mind. These powerful visual representations in many ways define the history of the '60s. In this course we will consider the images, memories, history, and legacy of the '60s through an interdisciplinary exploration using literature, art, history, politics, music, and film. Cultural identity located within defining events provide the focus. Black, white, Vietnamese, astronaut, protestor, gay, journalist, soldier, woman, man, young, old. How do people see themselves within the context of larger cultural events and changes that many have labeled revolutionary? We will examine the major themes through a focus on some of the major social dramas of the period and the cultural rhetoric employed to articulate meaning including: landing on the moon, the assassination of Malcolm X, the Tet Offensive and My Lai, Woodstock, and the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

    450.651 - Western Political Philosophy

    This is intended as a broad survey of Western political thought, particularly as it developed in the European historical context from the classical era to the 20th century. The thinkers we will discuss can be thought of as engaged in what Robert Hutchins called a "great conversation" across the centuries on the central questions of political philosophy. These questions include: What are the purposes of government? What is the best form of government? How are justice and liberty best realized in a political system? What are rights - and where do they come from? What is sovereignty and in whom does it reside? What principles make political authority legitimate? Is disobedience to political authority ever justified? In many ways these questions are perennial ones, as relevant in our own time as in the distant past. Moreover the divergent systems of thought developed to answer these questions continue to shape much of contemporary political life - e.g. democracy, constitutionalism, liberalism, socialism, and conservatism. Among the political philosophers who will be examined are Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, John Locke, Edmund Burke, Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, Hannah Arendt, and Leo Strauss. (Available online) 450.656 “An American” in Literature (3 credits) What does it mean to be an American? Some scholars have found a national character; others have argued that national character does not exist; perhaps, given our diversity, we have multiple characters. In this course, we will use American fiction (novels) to find (if we can) the answer, an answer, perhaps many answers to this question. Likely, we will raise some questions of our own. Our Americans will be male and female, black and white, young and old, good and evil, rich and poor, and, well, Americans.

    450.652 - Understanding Modern Art

    Paintings, prints, and sculptures represent the world as their makers see it. Some artists depict a world that is harmonious and beautiful; some depict a chaotic world; and some show a world that seems unrecognizable. No matter how the world is shown, every artist is attempting to convey complex messages. For millennia, artists communicated using the artistic vocabulary of realism. Then, a little over a hundred years ago, realism was replaced by a plethora of new artistic vocabularies and Modern Art was born. Understanding Modern Art is not a simple process. In the first place, the word "modern" doesn't mean contemporary. In fact, Modern Art ended in the last decades of the 20th century, when the art world entered the Post-Modern period. In addition, not all artists working in the Modern period created Modern Art (which by definition must be characterized by innovation and social comment). Some artists moved in and out of modernist phases in their work. For example, the paradigmatic 20th century artist, Pablo Picasso, worked in five distinctly different styles, only some of which are modernist. A final complication is that Modern Art encompasses a series of distinct art movements which seem to have little in common with one another. This course surveys the phenomenon of Modern Art, beginning with its immediate 19th century precursors and ending with a quick look at what followed the Modern period. Among the movements to be studied are Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism, Dada and Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Super-realism, and Post-modernism.

    450.653 - Revolution in Modern World Drama

    The masterpieces of modern theatre are the "canon" of works in which all students of theatre should be immersed to be able to make a contribution to the art form. In scarcely more than one century theatre has undergone several esthetic revolutions. We will look at the contending ideas of Stanislavski, Bertolt Brecht and Antonin Artaud during the 20th century, in light of works for the stage by Ibsen, Chekhov Strindberg (his late preexpressionist works), irandello, Brecht, Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Jean Genet, Samuel Beckett (Endgame and later plays), Sam Shepard, Wole Soyinka, and Caryl Churchill and Brian Friel. The course concludes with group presentations, and "model books" for proposed productions.

    450.654 - "When the lamps went out: WWI as history, memory and commemoration

    The centenary of the conclusion of World War One is a fitting moment to re-examine the cataclysmic impact that war had on world affairs at both a micro and macro level. The war ended the “long nineteenth century” and ushered in an era of questioning and doubt for many who survived. It was the first manifestation of total war, made both necessary and possible because of industrialization and advances in transportation and weaponry. The resulting catastrophic loss of life among the military and civilians led to the assumption of new roles. This course looks at the different theaters of war; the social impact of the war on gender and class; the effect the war had on colonies in Africa and Asia; and the overall global political and economic ramifications of the war. There will be scope for students to pursue research on a specialized topic within this framework and within the following themes: World War One and literature, art, gender, medicine, propaganda, music, independence movements.

    450.655 - Amer Experience:Europe

    Beginning in 1759 when Benjamin West left Philadelphia in frustration at the paucity of artistic opportunity in his native land, art was what brought the colonists back to Europe. And it was art that continued to lure American artists, writers and tourists in ever increasing numbers throughout the 19th and into the 20th century. Using DC museums as classroom and the real and fictional experiences of American writers Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Henry James and Edith Wharton as guide, this course explores the American experience of Europe -- the "Grand Tour", the European academies and museums, the communities of expatriate artists and writers, the acquisition of European masterworks by wealthy Americans -- and studies its profound impact on American culture.

    450.656 - American in Literature

    What does it mean to be an American? Some scholars have found a “national character;” others have argued that “national character” does not exist; perhaps, given our diversity, we have multiple “characters.” In this course we will use American fiction (novels) to find (if we can) the answer, an answer, perhaps many answers to this question. Likely, we will raise some questions of our own. Our Americans will be male and female, black and white, young and old, good and evil, rich and poor, and, well, Americans.

    450.657 - Music & Literature: Opera in the 20th Century

    The vast and varied repertoire of 20th-century opera offers a rewarding context for the study of the always rich and complex relationship between music and text. In this course, we will study a select group of 20th-century operas and the source texts (plays, short stories, and poems) upon which they are based. We will consider the changes that occur in translating the texts from one genre to the other along with ways in which each opera influences our understanding of the source, and vice versa. As part of this focused study, we will also gain a broader familiarity with the styles of some of the most important composers of the last century. Works to be studied include Pelleas et Melisande (Maeterlinck & Debussy), Wozzeck (Buchner & Berg), Salome (Wilde & Strauss), Peter Grimes (Crabbe & Britten), Death in Venice (Mann & Britten), and The Tempest (Shakespeare & Ades).

    450.658 - Great Polit Philosophers

    450.659 - Religion/Polit,So Asia

    450.660 - Reading Judith Shakespeare: Women Writers in Tudor-Stuart England

    In 1928 Virginia Woolf famously asked, “If Shakespeare had a sister who followed her brother to London to be a writer, what would she write?” Nearly a century has passed since that question was asked, and scholars are still working to identify the many varieties of writing produced by women in sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England. In addition to readings about contemporary culture, this course will include writings by women in several genres: drama (Elizabeth Cary and Lady Mary Wroth); poetry (Isabella Whitney; Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke; and Aemelia Lanyer); prose fiction (Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle and Aphra Behn); and selections of religious writings by women on both sides of England’s confessional conflict. A final project will combine historical research and creative fiction, as each student creates a historically accurate context in which Woolf’s “Judith Shakespeare” could have succeeded in her goal of becoming a writer.

    450.661 - History of Russia

    This course will first address the issue of Geography, which more than history dominated the thinking of the Eurasian Steppe, a centrifugal plain which caused the people to adopt centripetal institutions; it will include study of the region of Siberia--the land of the Shaman east of the sun; the constant stream of foreign invasions throughout Russian history and their indelible marks on the character and culture of the people; the periodization of important leaders (Peter the Great, Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great, etc) of Russian History;the enormous contribution of its 19th century literature (Pushkin, Dosteovsky, Tolstoy, Chekov, etc); the spiritual influence of the Russian Orthodox Church; the causes and effects of the Russian Revolution in 1917--and arguably the most important world event in the 20th Century; Stalin, Khrushchev and the age of the Cold War; and the Post-Communist search for identity (Gorbachev, Yeltsen, Putin, and Dimitry Medvedev).

    450.662 - Eastern Religions/Ethics

    Is there a universal code of human conduct? How do the Easter religions differetiate right from wrong? What connections do they posit between individual and social moarlity? This course examines these and other issues in the ethical teachings of classical and modern Hinduism and and Buddhism to suggest alternatives to--and add perspectives on--current Judaic, Christian, Islamic, and secular ethical views.

    450.663 - Putting Md On The Map

    The objective of this course is to examine the history of the mapping of Maryland from the first explorations of a tidal estuary that became known as the Chesapeake Bay (meaning the Great Shell Fish Bay in Algonquin) to the finalization of the borders of what today is called Maryland.

    450.664 - Ideas of Justice

    This would deal with conflicting ideas about justice, as they have come down to us in political philosophy, often as influenced by religious thought. We will focus on ideas of what philosophers call distributive justice, that is, ideas as to what ways of distributing wealth and other advantages in society are just (e.g., can it be just for society to allow there to be sizable inequalities among its members?). Connected with this are ideas as to property rights, and as to the nature of rights in general. In discussing these matters it would be important to notice the differing ways in which thinkers have tried to argue for the views they advocate, and to ask whether there is a correct way of arguing about such views. Readings could be from Plato, Aquinas, Hobbes, Locke, Mandeville, Rousseau, Smith, Mill, Rawls, Nozick, and others.

    450.665 - Reading Photographs

    "A photograph can tell many stories: one the photographer tries to communicate, one through the lens of culture and politics and one through the eyes of the viewer as influenced by his/her own personal history. In this course students will learn to analyze and write critically about photographs. Concurrently they will learn to use their digital cameras and the basics of Photoshop to create a series of images inspired by the photographs they study during the semester."

    450.666 - World War II in Visual and Literary Art

    This course will focus on American and Japanese perspectives on the war but will also include other national perspectives, such as German, Chinese, French, and British. Students will view or read clips and excerpts from both fictional and documentary texts and films. Students may be asked to do independent projects on better-known works such as From Here to Eternity, The Caine Mutiny, The Diary of Anne Frank, Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, Schlindler’s List, or Flags of Our Fathers. (Available online)

    450.667 - The Bildungsroman as Literary Form-Chronicling Personal Growth in Countries and Cultures

    The bildungsroman, often referred to as the Novel of Adolescence or Coming of Age novel, is one of the world’s most fascinating literary forms because of its manifestations in the literatures of many cultures and countries. The development of the form closely parallels the development of nations, the emergence of philosophical, social, and literary movements which have defined the world from the Eighteenth Century onward. Many major writers of the Romantic, Modern, and Post-modern periods have experimented with the form in compelling works such as Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man, Mrs. Dalloway, Madame Bovary, Great Expectations, Native Son, Catcher in the Rye, and The Famished Road. The illusiveness of the form derives in part from its ubiquitous nature. The classical German bildungsroman differs significantly from its English, French, American, African American, Asian, and African counterparts. This course examines the bildungsroman in several of its manifestations: the rise of the form in Eighteenth Century Germany, its adoption among French and English writers, its adaptation in Joyce’s Ireland, its popularity among American and African American writers, and its unique presentation in Asian and African literatures. Students will read several major bildungsromans and discuss the constructs of the form as well as the ways it differs among countries and cultures, races and ethnicities, and between genders. Some attention will be paid to the social and societal contexts associated with the form, as well as the ways in which it has been shaped by prevailing philosophies. Students will be encouraged to participate in The Bildungsroman Project, a Digital Humanities project designed to catalog and explore the form (http://bildungsromanproject.com/). (Available online)

    450.668 - Afghanistan and Pakistan: Struggling Societies-Foundling Democracies

    Afghanistan and Pakistan are at crossroad today—two contemporary societies struggling to define basic human values, two polities uncertain about their constitutional roots. The stakes are not only high for the peoples of these nation states but also for the global community, which has, true to convention, intervened. While the Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights is reflected in broad principle in the current constitutions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, violations of the most basic human rights are endemic. This tragedy is at the root of the problem of governance in both states. Students will examine the continuing social, cultural, and consequent constitutional crises in these two Silk Road hub-Great Game battleground territories through study of the historical religious, literary-artistic, geographic, environmental, natural resources, ethnographic, economic, social institutional, regional-international relational, and current constitutional contexts. Special attention will be given to the 2008 Pakistan and 2009 Afghanistan national and regional assembly election outcomes.

    450.669 - Family in Cross-Cultural Perspective

    This course examines the family from various cross-cultural perspectives. Throughout the semester we will examine the family as a social institution through the lenses of race, gender, age, social class, and sexual orientation. First we will explore how the notion of family has changed over time in the United States. Next we will explore the social processes that take place within the context of the family such as dating, courtship, marriage, and parenting. We will also look at other issues that affect families such as immigration policy, work inside and outside the home, poverty, and domestic violence. (Available online)

    450.670 - Broadway and Beyond: Contemporary Theatre in New York

    This course will combine online work with a one-week “residency” in New York. The online classes prepare the students to negotiate the intricacies of the city’s theatre scene as well as to more fully appreciate the theatre they will see. There will be 6 online classes before the New York trip and 2 after the students return. Topics to be covered include: The histories of and differences among Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-off-Broadway or Indie theatre; The geography of New York theatre. Where theatres in the above categories are primarily located and why; History and impacts of the recent Disneyfication of Broadway; The business models for and differences between for-profit and nonprofit theatre; Exploring primary sources of up-to-the-minute theatre information, including schedules, ticket deals and reviews; Researching the mission, history and 2016-17 seasons of selected cutting-edge companies currently creating work in New York; Comparing the work of companies that produce new work or pre-existing texts and those that create using an ensemble or devised process; Reading four to five texts (if they have been printed) of plays we will see. After viewing the plays “the page to stage process” entailed in bringing those scripts to life will discussed.

    450.671 - Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

    Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics takes us back to the rough ground upon which we live our lives. His Ethics is an inquiry into human happiness or eudaimonia, and as such it opens up a whole host of considerations about human life, human nature, the human good, justice, the relation between virtue and politics, and finally, the status of philosophy itself. This course will consist of a close reading of one of the most influential books on the subject of human happiness and human excellence, with an eye toward understanding how Aristotle's teaching in the Ethics can inform our own thought about moral and political issues today.

    450.672 - Down to the Sea in Ships: Intro to Underwater Archeology

    This course provides an introduction to underwater archaeology at the graduate level. Students will learn the history of the sub-discipline and a basic understanding of the steps involved in researching, locating, recording, interpreting and conserving artifacts, and protecting submerged cultural remains. No diving is required for this class. There will be a field trip to the USS Constellation in Baltimore's Inner Harbor to learn more about ship.

    450.673 - Monstrosity & Metamorphosis: Imagining Animals in Early Art & Literature

    From man's earliest artistic expressions on the walls of caves, animals have figured centrally in the human imagination. One can argue, in fact, that much of early art and literature does not differentiate fully between the human and the animal, that human self-awareness evolved, in part, through interactions with animals, and through the imaginative fusion of human and animal forms. This seminar will study the representation of animals, and human/animal hybrids, in cave painting, in Sumerian art, in Egyptian mythology, in classical mythology (Crete and the Minotaur, tales from The Odyssey, tales from Ovid's Metamorphoses), in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, in a selection from Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and in the monstrous creatures that decorate the margins of medieval manuscripts in the Christian West. The seminar will use a blog for the posting of texts and images, and will require a research paper. This course satisfies the interdisciplinary Core course requirement. (Available online)

    450.674 - Mod Amer Fict:Identity

    By the late 20th century, American fiction had liberated itself from English and European models in both subject and form. Rather than writing about just white, middleclass men, American novelists began to create working-class and marginalized characters. Students explore how our search for identity in a changing world is reflected in such original novels as Doctorow's Ragtime, Dos Passos' The Big Money, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and Morrison's Song of Solomon, and considers their impact on current social and cultural issues.

    450.675 - Literary Analysis of the Hebrew Bible

    This course focuses on narrative criticism of the Hebrew Bible, comparing it to similar methodologies (poetics, rhetorical criticism, etc.) and contrasting it with other forms of exegesis (historical criticism, deconstruction, etc.). Students will study key literary terms and discuss the elements that work together to form a story. The class will consider the narrator's voice in relation to the text and the reader, examining narrative omniscience, key type scenes, and themes in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern (ANE) literature. This course attempts to discern narrative criticism’s place in the history of Biblical interpretation. Long overshadowed by historical criticism and increasingly seeking to find its place in the midst of a number of reader oriented approaches, narrative criticism can be a valuable partner to both. This class examines narrative criticism’s value as a tool for exegesis by studying its roots and the methodologies incorporated by narrative critics of the Hebrew Bible. (Available online)

    450.676 - Contemp South Asian Lit

    This course focuses upon one of the most highly acclaimed and productive genres of contemporary world literature: fiction from South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. Students will examine representative works of Bankimchandra Chatterji, Attia Hosain, R.K. Narayan, Mulk Raj Anand, Gita Mehta, Ahmed Ali, Khushwant Singh, Bapsi Sidhwa, Salman Rushdie, Manil Suri and Jhumpa Lahiri for continuities and discontinuities in literary style, use of language and theme. Class discussion will be organized around five major themes--English as a language of South Asia, the legacy of colonialism, the impact of English upon indigenous language writing, English in comparison with indigenous languages as a vehicle for social and political protest, migration as exile and homecoming. (my tentative list: Death of Vishnu, Manil Suri, River Sutra, Gita Mehta, Ananda Math, Bankim Chandra Chatterji, Phoenix Fled, Atia Hosain, Twilight in Delhi, Ahmed Ali, Train to Pakistan, Khushwant Singh, Swami and Friends, R. K. Narayan, Shame, Salman Rushdie, Untouchable, Mulk Raj Anand, Cracking India, Bapsi Sidhwa, Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, ed. An Illustrated History of Indian Literature in English)

    450.677 - Place & Vision in Contemporary World Literature

    We all have places we call home, places we love, places we fear. In this course, we explore the human experience of "place" in contemporary world literature. Drawing on contemporary theories of place relations, we look at the ingredients that give a place its identity -the intersections of geography and culture, the ties of memory and desire, the deep-rooted claims of community. We examine the ways writers inscribe 'place' as a shaping force of character, situation, and personal vision. Finally, we examine the psychic landscape of "placelessness" in narratives of dislocation and war. Writers include Barbara Kingsolver, Jean Rhys, Bobbie Ann Mason, James Agee, Wole Soyinka, Manil Suri, Carlos Fuentes, Louise Erdrich, Tim O'Brien, Cormac McCarthy.

    450.678 - Religions of the Emerging World

    The emerging world of the 21st century is globally interconnected: Al peoples are now neighbors. In this world, competing religious claims to unique truth pose a serious threat. Yet abandoning such claims can reduce religions to quaint cultural relics. How can religious believers maintain the vitality of their spiritual heritage while fully appreciating the faith/wisdom traditions of others? This course explores the insights of one man who has sought that balance of religious consciousness—philosopher Huston Smith—as he reflects on Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Rather than competing, he found, the world’s religious traditions can greatly enrich one another. (Available online)

    450.679 - Character in Shakespeare

    This course will consider Shakespeare as a playwright in his own time with particular attention to his remarkable innovations in creating psychological dimensions for his dramatic characters. In lectures, readings, and discussion we will examine early modern concepts of psychology, as well as works by Plutarch and Montaigne that influenced Shakespeare's approach to personality. Several plays well be analyzed closely, including Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, and Hamlet.

    450.680 - From the Holy Land to Graceland

    A familiar but puzzling phenomenon of American popular culture is the secular canonization of Elvis Presley. This seminar will explore the belief, ritual, and art associated with all those people, places, and things that have been revered as holy, from the earliest centuries of Christianity. And from this historical probing will be extracted a religious/anthropological model by which to deconstruct Elvis and Elvis-like examples of secular ’sanctification in contemporary life. Students will come to understand the significance of pilgrimage, relics, votives, sacred souvenirs, miraculous healing, and supernatural apparitions, as well as devotional images (icons), sacred time, and the literary genre of the saint’s life. After drawing this all together in the lives and sacred places of the early saints of the Church, and then seeing many of its essential elements replicated in Elvis and at Graceland, students will be challenged to extend their newfound understanding and analytical skills to other “holy” people and places of our times, from Princess Diana to Ground Zero.

    450.681 - Religions of India, China, and Japan

    This course will commence by looking at the religious atmosphere in India prior to the advent of Buddhism in the 6th century BCE. It will particularly look at Vedic Hinduism which has Indo-European connections, and then look at Jainism, a non-theistic religious tradition deeply committed to the ethics of nonviolence closely akin to Buddhism. After this, the course will study the advent and the evolution of Buddhism in India, its spread into Southeast Asia, and then its further dissemination into the nations of Northeast Asia. Then, it will look at the metaphysical traditions of post-Buddhistic Classical Hinduism in terms of their doctrines of knowledge, reality, God, Universe, Man and Salvation. The next segment of the course will focus on Taoism and Confucianism, the native religions of China. It will look at both the religious as well as the philosophical side of these traditions. On the religious side, the course will layout the structure of the Taoist cosmos, the types of Taoism, the rituals and sects within the tradition etc. It will also look at certain aspects and concepts of the philosophies of Lao-Tzu and Chuang-Tzu. The course will then proceed to investigate Confucianism first in its religious aspect and then move on to look at the three main stages of development of Confucian philosophy, i.e. vintage, classical and Neo-Confucianism. The last segment of the course will look at Shinto, the native religion of Japan both in its pre-Buddhist and post-Buddhist phases. The course will look at important aspects of Shinto mythology, Shinto scriptures, structure of the Shinto clergy, and conclude with the survey of the various types of Shintoism such as State Shinto, Shrine Shinto, Sectarian Shinto etc.

    450.682 - The American Presidency

    This course is an introduction to the study of the presidency. Part one of the course examines how the office of the presidency became the central focus of the American political system and how the presidency developed various resources beyond the formal constitutional powers of the office such as party leadership, control of the executive, and relations with the public. Part two explores how presidents engage the broader political system and its relations with Congress, the press, the broader public, and the bureaucracy. Part three questions the sources of successful presidential leadership and examines whether presidential leadership hinges on personal skill, particular electoral or political circumstances, or an incumbent’s position within a larger partisan context of American politics. The class concludes with a consideration of presidential greatness and asks whether such a goal is attainable (or desirable) given the complex environment of contemporary American politics.

    450.683 - The History of the Book from the Ancient World to the Digital Humanities

    "What is the future of the book?" This course will tackle that question in two distinct ways. First, we will delve into the distant historical past together and explore the circumstances governing the transmission of knowledge itself, from its origins in Bronze Age cuneiform, hieroglyphic and Semitic-language manuscripts, up to the Greco-Roman period, in the form of inscribed tablets, papyrus rolls, and epigraphic fragments. The next portion of the course will address the medieval “manuscript revolution,” marking the epochal technological transition to the codex book-form still in use today. Here we will address the progress of paleography—the forensic development of Western handwriting over time—and the proliferation of book illustration and illumination alongside the parallel development of traditional sacred and novel secular textual genres, partly made possible through these same innovations in book production. In the interest of presenting an especially focused study over the final half of the course, we will then move from the late Middle Ages to the “Printing Revolution,” from the middle of the 15th c. up to the close of the 17th c. We will hone in on the first era of “information overload” (before our present-day digital revolution) and its broader cultural impact on the cultures of book history and the reception of knowledge over time. (Available Online)

    450.684 - Introduction to Buddhism

    Buddhism has been and continues to be one of the major global philosophical-religious-cultural systems because it provides a complete alternative world-view to other major global world systems. Beginning with instructional videos by Alan Watts and other prominent Buddhists, a brief survey of the literature and history of Buddhism will introduce the fundamental presuppositions and doctrines that guide the seeker on how to live fully, enunciated in a popular Buddhist devotional text, the Dhammapada, “the Path of the Teaching of the Buddha” which will be analyzed in class. An anthology of Buddhist texts representing the Theravada and Mahayana schools, the two major sects within historic Buddhism, will introduce the rich discourse within global Buddhism on the meaning of the Dhammapada. Peter Harvey’s An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics will be a resource to supplement lectures. Students will be expected to respond to readings, videos and lectures in two short (3-4 pages) essays on topics of their choice, and a research project (12-15 pages) from a short list of topics. The last class will be reserved for brief (10 minute) presentations of the student research papers.

    450.685 - Arts of the Islamic World: Politics, Display, & the Museum

    This class engages the student with Islamic art by focusing on collecting patterns and display in American and European museums from the nineteenth century to today. Collections and installations of Islamic art at such museums as the Walters Art Museum, the Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Textile Museum, and London's Victoria and Albert Museum will be addressed against the background of past and contemporary engagements with Asia. Special emphasis will be placed on re-installation and traveling exhibitions in Europe and America in the post 9/11 context. At the end of term, the student will be asked to design galleries that address the need for greater understanding of Muslim societies. [Background in Islamic art not needed for this class.

    450.686 - Modern Sculpture

    Paintings, prints and sculptures represent the world as their makers see it. Some artists depict a world that is harmonious and beautiful; some depict a chaotic world; and some show a world that seems unrecognizable. But no matter how the world is shown, every artist is attempting to convey complex messages. For millennia, artists communicated using the artistic vocabulary of realism. Then, a little over a hundred years ago, realism was replaced by a plethora of new artistic vocabularies and Modern Art was born. When we consider the art of the hundred years, we tend to concentrate on painting. Painters were the first modernists, after all, and led most of the innovations in subsequent art styles. But sculpture slowly became equally as important, and over the past 20 years it has surpassed painting as the most innovative medium.In this course, we'll trace the development of sculpture over the past century, from the last years of the 19th century the beginning of the 21st. We'll look at works from the Expressionist, Cubist, Dadaist and Surrealist, Abstract Expressionist, Pop Art, Super-realist, Conceptualist, and Public Art movements. So that you learn to recognize the various movements visually, we'll look at lots of sculptures, but we'll concentrate most of our time in class on a few important examples of each movement. Although it is not a prerequisite, the course will elaborate on ideas discussed in Introduction to Modern Art.

    450.687 - The American Revolution

    This course will explore the roots of the American Revolution, comparing the perspectives of England with the colonies on the causes, comparing the positions of Loyalists and Patriots within the colonies, exploring the role of diplomacy during the revolutionary years, reviewing the war years, studying the legacy of the revolutionary experience on the social, religious, economic, and political fabric of the new nation and the resulting Constitution for the United States.

    450.688 - Violence to End Violence:Slavery, Anti-Slavery and the Coming of the Civil War

    The period between 1828 and 1865 was one of the most tumultuous eras in American history. At the center of this turmoil were slavery, a new, more militant antislavery movement, and an extraordinary amount of violence that each generated. This course looks at that violence-and at alternatives to it—in order to examine a number of questions of contemporary, as well as historical, significance. Some of them are: When and why do men and women resort to violence to achieve group goals? What are the consequences, intended and unintended, of using violent means to achieve a group’s ends? What alternative to violence were there at particular historical moments? Who condemned or supported violence, and for what reasons?

    450.689 - Introduction to Digital Humanities in the Liberal Arts

    This introductory course in the MLA program’s digital humanities concentration is designed to familiarize students with digital encoding tools, web platforms, assorted search engines and other methodologies directly relevant to a wide range of research agendas in the liberal arts. In the course of the semester, students will receive a comprehensive introduction to selected tools and methodologies, such as the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) and text mining software (e.g. Voyant and Collatex). Assigned text encoding projects will guide students in identifying appropriate textual markup strategies, resolving issues generated through digital research, and finally in selecting appropriate tools for edition making. The semester will conclude with group critiques of these assigned projects from the standpoint of both content and user experience. (Available online)

    450.690 - Literature of Existentialism: An Interdisciplinary Exploration

    An important current of thought in mid-20th-century European and American culture focused not on abstract ideas but on actual living in the world with others. Human existence was the proper subject of thought—in all its messiness and in all its beauty. The proper method of thought required the personal engagement, in contrast with the “objectivity” of rationalism. Unfettered by conventional philosophic structures, Existentialism expressed itself in novel and drama as well as philosophic essay. Free from system or orthodoxy, Existentialism ranged from religious to atheistic and reached insights as deep as any in the history of philosophy. This course is not a survey. Rather it encounters selected 20th-century Existentialist writings, inviting participants not only to gain knowledge but also to experience a powerful mode of thought. Writers studied include Karl Jaspers, Martin Buber, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, Eugene Ionesco, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, and others.

    450.691 - Introduction to Northern Renaissance Art

    This seminar explores the development of art and architecture in Northern Europe ca.1400-1600 and addresses the concept of the “Renaissance” in the North against a backdrop of changing social, political, and cultural history. Topics include: artistic media and techniques, devotional practice, the emergence of realism, and portraiture. Special emphasis will be given to the 15th-century founders of Early Netherlandish Painting. With a format combining lectures, discussions, and gallery visits, this course will be taught at the Walters Art Museum, and will draw from the collection of the Walters and other museums.

    450.692 - Religions of the East

    This course explores the history, doctrines and practices of the Religions of the East. The eight religions of the East that will be studied are: Hinduism (Vedic and Classical), Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Daoism, Confucianism and Shinto. Primarily through narrated power-point slides and secondarily through directed reading and online discussion, students gain valuable insights into how these eight religions emerged, evolved and endured over the millennia to be the principal sources of creed and conduct for the peoples of South Asia and East Asia.

    450.693 - A Comparative Look at the Manuscript Book

    Drawing upon the world famous collection of illustrated manuscripts at The Walters Art Museum, Curators Amy Landau and William Noel will discuss the manuscript book from Paris to Persia. For one thousand years the manuscript was the principle vehicle for the dissemination of ideas and artistic tastes throughout Europe and Asia. In this class, accessing original works of art, students will discover how books were made, used, and valued in their respective cultures. Topics to be addressed include: the materials and methods of book production; the significance and development of the book in religious and non-religious contexts; styles of scripts and illustration; as well as later responses to the manuscript, including the re-visitation of codices, circulation of books as commodities and diplomatic gifts, and the manuscript book's preservation and adoration in public and private collections. Discussing such topics, we shall explore both similarities and differences in approaches to the manuscript book in the western and Islamic traditions. This class offers students the unique opportunity to study manuscripts first hand.

    450.694 - Philosophy of Beauty

    Since Plato, "Beauty" has proven to be a crucial topic in Western Philosophy. Philosophers have seen fit to address numerous questions surrounding the topic: what is beauty, what distinguishes and constitutes it, who can create it, who can discern and appreciate it? Is it subjective or objective? We will consider a variety of other critical questions via the prominent thinkers we will read in this class, such as: what is the point in creating art? Who or what is it for? What is its desired or intended impact on the audience? What are the germs of creativity, or what is the critical environment for its emergence? Is creativity and artistic inspiration an individual privilege, or can it be shared broadly in society, or in a community? What is the political role or place of the artist and his/her work? Philosophers read in this class may include Plato, of course, but also Aristotle, Augustin, Aquinas, Hume, Burke, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, among others. If time permits, we will also look at more recent philosophers writing on the topic--and why beauty might no longer be a concern for art and artists.

    450.695 - American Political Theory and Practice

    Our purpose in this course is not to provide an account of the mechanics of American government, but to examine the principles that underlie those mechanics, and the way in which those principles change over time. In other words, we are going to examine the political philosophy that serves as a basis for the American regime (or regimes, if one is so inclined). This means that in addition to questions of justice and right we will examine how the thinkers of the Founding era understood the human being, and the sort of governmental structures that are built on this understanding. We will also consider the revolution in American politics that occurs in the 20th century. The progressive movement of the 20th century builds on a different view of human nature and metaphysics (originating in, but ultimately transcending, Hegelian Idealism), and therefore finds itself in tension with the principles of the Founding. This tension is one of the animating forces of American political partisanship today, so an understanding of the development of American political theory will help us to better understand political disagreements in our own day. (Available online)

    450.696 - What Comes Next

    This course aims for a critical appreciation the role of death in life and a critical evaluation of claims regarding what may come after death. Recent discussions of “near-death experiences” have opened new perspectives on these issues. Scenarios from the world’s religious and cultural traditions describe cycles of reincarnation, or by contrast a single life ending in some kind of judgment and an eternal destiny. Ultimately, we cannot fully know “what comes next,” but we examine very interesting possibilities and so deepen our understanding of death and thereby of life. Our goal in this course is to develop a critical appreciation the role of death in life and a critical evaluation of claims regarding what may come after death.

    450.697 - The Rise and Fall of Empires: From Rome to Brexit

    This course will examine what correlation can be traced between the rise and fall of empires, ranging from the ancient Roman to the modern British, and their relative effects upon other societies. It aims to acquaint students with the events, traditions, ideas, and values that have shaped the modern world. Students will gain a perspective on the position of these empires among the nations of the world, and on the controversies and agreements concerning the desired attributes of government, culture, and ideals. It will focus on central themes and issues in the development of political, economic, and religious institutions, and will raise questions about human values, economic growth, institutional change, cultural development, and political democracy. (Available online)

    450.698 - African American Poetry and Poetics

    This course will explore the category, history, and development of African American poetry from Phillis Wheatley to the present. We will focus on poetry and poetics specifically but will consider the general movement of literature produced by African American writers over the course of three centuries. We will read works by the key contributors to this particular American literary tradition with the goal of understanding the aesthetic, cultural, and critical legacy of African American poetry to the American literary and musical sensibility of the twenty-first century. From eighteenth-century odes to the blues, hip hop, and rap tradition, we will examine the role that race, cultural identity, legal status, and the impersonal structures (or shackles) of poetic forms have played in shaping and reshaping African American verse. We will use several Digital Humanities tools (e.g. Voyant Tools and NGram Viewer) to map the evolution of African American poetry from the 18th century to the present. (Available online)

    450.699 - Great Books in Great Contexts

    This course brings together works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers and locates them in the context of some of Johns Hopkins’ most beautiful academic venues, interspersed throughout the semester with lectures by a number of invited speakers. Together we will explore Homer’s Odyssey, Plato’s Phaedo, Dante’s Inferno, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Shelley’s Frankenstein, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. After writing a series of close readings in the first half of the semester, students will choose from an array of themes to construct a final comparative essay.

    450.700 - "The Souls of Black Folk": Evolving Conceptions of Leadership in African American Literature and Culture

    Equal parts historical study, sociological investigation, and cultural analysis, W. E. B. Du Bois' classic work, The Souls of Black Folk, exemplifies the type of interdisciplinary and multidimensional approach employed by political and social theorists in their efforts to make sense of the fundamental conditions, contours, and characteristics of political life in modern societies. Paying particular attention to Du Bois’ account of race, the role political leadership, and the relationship between leaders and the masses, we will put Du Bois’ seminal work in conversation with a number of other prominent Afro-American voices, including Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ralph Ellison, Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, Cornel West, Barack Obama, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. By attending to Du Bois’ political engagements as well as literary representations of political leadership that have been influenced by him in one way or another, students will have the opportunity to explore the premises and implications of racial politics as well as some of the creative ways in which African Americans have sought to overcome racial domination. What are the appropriate roles and responsibilities of political leaders? What is the nature of their relationship to the community? What are the foundations of legitimate leadership and authority? What form should black politics take in order to overcome white supremacy? How should we understand the relationship between class, gender, race, and sexuality? (Available online)

    450.701 - Theories of Ethics

    Are there correct answers to ethical questions about what behavior is right and what is wrong? Or is no one's opinion about ethics any more correct than anyone else's? In other words, are ethical judgments capable of being true, or are we being deceived by an illusion if we suppose so? Here is a basic and vexed problem, which has concerned many thinkers. Philosophers, ancient and moderns, such as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Kant, and Nietzsche have put forward treatments of this problem, and theologians, psychologists, anthropologists, and political theorists also have written about it. A variety of these viewpoints will be considered and appraised, in search of a resolution to the problem.

    450.702 - Hist,Book In The West

    This course explores the development of the book from its inception in the Late Roman Empire (the fourth and fifth centuries) to the dawn of printing with Gutenberg's invention of movable type at Mainz in 1450. Students consider the book as a product of "new" technologies (e.g., the invention of movable type), changing economic and social conditions (e.g., the rise of vernacular texts for a literate nobility), and religious and secular practices (e.g., books for monasteries, universities, and private houses).Through this course, students gain an appreciation of objects that are both key historical documents and very often, consummate works of art. Note: Since this course draws upon the resources of the Department of Manuscripts at The Walters Art Museum, some class sessions are held at the museum.

    450.703 - Philosophy, Faith and Fiction in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky

    This course offers an intensive study of two authors acknowledged to be among the world's greatest novelists. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are not only literary giants, but also existential thinkers and spiritual seekers who wrestled in their private lives and in their fictions with the mystery of what it means to be fully human. We will combine a close reading of selected texts with a cultural exploration of the powerful cross-currents of 19th century Russian thought, and we will also pay attention to the dramatic life stories that helped to shape these authors' passionate but unconventional religious beliefs. Readings by Dostoevsky are: The Brothers Karamazov and two short classics "The Double", and "Notes from Underground". Readings by Tolstoy are Anna Karenina and two short classics "The Death of Ivan Ilych" and "Master and Man".

    450.704 - Poetry and the Visual Arts (IC)

    This seminar will explore relationships between the languages of poems and those of the visual arts, including painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. We will begin by discussing theoretical essays contrasting verbal and visual artistic expression, and go on to consider, for example, poems based on paintings (Auden's "des Beaux Arts" and Breughel's "Fall of Icarus"); poetic images that make use of a pictorial tradition (Chinese ink painting in Li-Young Lee's "Persimmons"); reciprocal tensions in the poetry and visual art of a single artist (Derek Wolcott); the use of similar techniques, such as the symbolic coding of color, in poems (Wallace Stevens) and in painting (Marc Chagall); and the individual responses of several poets to the same work. The class will use a blog for the posting of visual images and other class-related materials. Requirements will include short papers/commentaries, and one long paper.

    450.705 - Art Collectors and Collections

    Using the museums of the Washington/Baltimore area as classroom, this course traces a dual path through the history of art (particularly Renaissance to Modern painting) and the history of art collecting in the United States. The National Gallery will provide an overview of art history and the Corcoran, Clarke, Phillips, Freer, Hirshhorn, Walters and Cone collections will provide case studies. Issues of taste, who and what influence it, and the impact of private collections and the art museums that became their legacy on the development of American culture will be addressed. Particular attention will be paid to the choices made by individual collectors exploring the meaning and relevance of the works of art they selected to their own lives and also to the larger picture of American history during their lifetimes.

    450.706 - The Bildungsroman as Literary Form: Chronicling Personal Growth in Countries and Cultures

    The bildungsroman, often referred to as the Novel of Adolescence or Coming of Age novel, is one of the world’s most fascinating literary forms because of its manifestations in the literatures of many cultures and countries. The development of the form closely parallels the development of nations, the emergence of philosophical, social, and literary movements which have defined the world from the Eighteenth Century onward. Many major writers of the Romantic , Modern, and Post-modern periods have experimented with the form in compelling works such as Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man, Mrs. Dalloway, Madame Bovary, Great Expectations, Native Son, Catcher in the Rye, and The Famished Road. The illusiveness of the form derives in part from its ubiquitous nature. The classical German bildungsroman differs significantly from its English, French, American, African American, Asian, and African counterparts. This course examines the bildungsroman in several of its manifestations. Students will explore the rise of the form in Eighteenth Century Germany, its adoption among French and English writers, its adaptation in Joyce’s Ireland, its popularity among American and African American writers, and its unique presentation in Asian and African literatures. Students will read several major bildungsromans and discuss the constructs of the form as well as the ways it differs among countries and cultures, races and ethnicities, and between genders. Some attention will be paid to the social and societal contexts associated with the form, as well as the ways in which it has been shaped by prevailing philosophies. Students will be encouraged to participate in The Bildungsroman Project, a Digital Humanities project designed to catalog and explore the form (http://bildungsromanproject.com/).

    450.707 - Therapy of the Soul: Philosophy of Ancient Rome

    This course will cover some of the most important philosophical texts in the Roman Empire, texts at the nexus of Ancient Greek culture and early Christianity. We will consider Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things, one of the earliest atheist writings, an evocative poem outlining the philosophy of Epicurean hedonism—the path to maximizing pleasure, and diminishing fear and anxiety. We will next read from the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca, a significant political actor in Rome, and advisor to the emperors. The most popular philosophy in the Roman Empire, Stoicism, as exemplified by Seneca’s artful writing, lays out a ‘therapy of the soul’ that is an impressive precursor and fascinating comparison to Freudian psychoanalysis. An even more impressive political actor, Cicero, is also on the reading list; we will look at his work on moral duties and political corruption, and consider how or why his prescriptions failed in Rome, but endured for later political philosophers. In the latter part of the course, we will consider the emergence of Christianity in later Rome through the writings of St. Augustine. His work provides powerful insight into how ancient Greece and Rome prepared the way for Christianity—and also indicates what was radically new in the Christian narrative and worldview. (Available online)

    450.708 - Islamic Philosophy

    This course is a historical introduction to Islamic philosophy (falsafeh) and presupposes no prior training in either philosophy or Islamic studies. The purpose of the course is to track the career of philosophy in the Islamic cultures and to examine its confrontation with two other intellectual traditions: Islamic theology (kalam), and mysticism or sufism (tasawuf). The focus is on three interrelated issues, which have received extensive and original treatment by Muslim philosophers in their efforts to distinguish themselves from their intellectual rivals. These issues concern the purpose of philosophy, the nature of the good life, and the limits of human reason. The course also considers comparisons of Islamic philosophical insights with those in European and Anglo-American traditions.

    450.709 - World of Dante

    As distant as late 20th-century America may seem from 14th-century Europe, the work of Italy's greatest poet reveals universal insights into an individual's political and moral obligations with respect to both the human city and the “City of God." These and other issues are explored within the historical context of early Renaissance Italy, as well as the classical and religious traditions (e.g.,Virgil and Augustine) upon which Dante drew. Student discussion focuses on the social and cultural dimensions of Dante's major works: The Divine Comedy (sections from Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise), The New Life (Dante's account of his love for Beatrice), and On Monarchy (Dante's political philosophy).

    450.710 - The Mind of Leonardo Da Vinci

    Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was one of the most fascinating individuals in history. He is the creator of what are arguably the world’s two most famous paintings: the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. He was also a brilliant scientist and engineer; he made dozens of original anatomical discoveries (for example, he injected hot wax into an ox brain to demonstrate the shape of the ventricles), and he invented hundreds of devices (from ball bearings to a steam cannon). He was well-known as a musician, court entertainer, and even as a practical joker. Who was Leonardo? What do we know of his personal life, including his thoughts on religion, sexuality, or politics? What personal traits shaped his genius? This course explores his thousands of pages of manuscripts; his paintings and other artistic projects; his scientific projects (including anatomy, physiology, botany, and geology); and his civil and military engineering projects. (Available online)

    450.711 - Shakespeare: Script, Stage and Cinema

    When William Shakespeare died his colleague Ben Jonson wrote, “He was not for an age. He was for all time.” Each generation finds something new to ponder, like, or adapt in these plays and poems. This class examines the resurgence of interest in Shakespeare as a cinematic resource during the middle and final decades of the twentieth century, as well as the first decades of the current one. The class operates from a compound historical and critical focus: we look historically at the conventions and conditions of Shakespeare’s London Theater, using as our basis recent discoveries and the restoration of the Globe Theater in London. And we discuss the printed text of each play in relation to the historical and theatrical conventions of Elizabethan and Jacobean England and the staging challenges and opportunities they present for the contemporary stage. We also study films of each play, from the middle of the past century, from its end, and from the first decade and a half of this current one. Finally, we reflect on both the cultural and artistic implications of the return to Shakespeare as a source for commercial cinema. Plays we’ll study include histories, comedies, and tragedies, to suggest the scope of this resurgence of interest, among them Richard III and Henry V; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, and Twelfth Night; Hamlet and Macbeth. We’ll also think about some recent adaptations of these plays, such as Ethan Hawke’s Hamlet, She’s the Man, and Scotland, PA as variations on the Shakespeare resurgence.

    450.712 - Cosmos & Consciousness:Perspectives from Modern Physics & Religion

    What does the culture of mass energy, space-time, the Big Bang, and black holes have to say to the culture of myth, ritual, contemplation, and prayer? And vice versa? In this course, students are introduced to the profoundly strange realities unveiled by modern physics, and they explore the impact of quantum theory and relativity on our understanding of questions which have traditionally been the province of the world’s great spiritual traditions: What is the origin of the cosmos, and where, if anywhere, is it headed? Does the universe have meaning? What is the relation between time and eternity, between mind and matter? Who are we and how did we get here? In exploring these questions, students examine the problems and possibilities of finding common ground where modern science and the world’s time-honored spiritual traditions can meet. This course is team-taught by a physicist and a religious studies scholar.

    450.713 - Shakespeare & The Film

    This seminar will examine Indian, Chinese, and Japanese film adaptations of four tragedies by Shakespeare. The plays and their directors are as follows: Macbeth (Maqbool by Vishal Bharadwaj, and Throne of Blood by Akira Kurosawa); Othello (Omkara by Vishal Bharadwaj); Hamlet (The Banquet by Feng Xiaogang); and King Lear (Ran by Akira Kurosawa). Students will discuss each play prior to viewing its film adaptation(s); the seminar will also make use of a blog for weekly postings of related materials. Seminar requirements include a paper and oral report concerning the influence of an Asian native tradition on one of the films under study, such as that of Noh theater on Kurosawa's Throne of Blood, or Peking opera on Feng Xiogang's The Banquet.

    450.714 - Progress & Amer Envr

    Free-flowing rivers, bountiful wildlife, and sublime vistas of distant mountains? Or unlimited energy, tidy neighborhoods, and economic prosperity? Unrestricted in what we can do with our own land or inhibited by regulations designed to protect the common good? This course examines American cultural attitudes toward wilderness and nature as they have evolved through history and are expressed today in social and political decision making.

    450.715 - The New American Theatre: from The Mountaintop to Hamilton

    This course emphasizes powerful new trends within the American theatre, which bring together an important circle of playwrights, directors and theorists, who are shaping the future of the American stage: artists and thinkers who have long been confined to “off-Broadway,” but are increasingly becoming Obie winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, and are the new American theatre artists most in demand internationally. Increasingly the narratives of African American, Latino and LGBT playwrights a shifted the landscape of American Theatre. The emergence of new forms and styles in the theatre performance require new approaches to directing and acting, and are usually linked up with new theories of art. We will touch on the new approaches to directing the new works for the stage, and the theory and practice of the “new trend.” We will study these plays as “presecriptions” for widely differing sorts of performances, looking into them for both the new forms and the new content of current drama. To this end, we will view footage from various productions, including: Suzan Lori Parks: Topdog/Underdog; Sam Shepard: A Lie of the Mind; Sarah Ruhl: The Clean House; Jose Rivera: Marisol; Maria Irene Fornes: The Danube; Charles L. Mee: Big Love; John Patrick Shanley: Doubt; Tony Kushner: Homebody Kabul; Katori Hall, The Mountaintop; August Wilson, The Piano Lesson. We will conclude with a look an examination of the importance of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton.

    450.716 - The Photo Essay, Phyllis Berger

    In this photography course, students combine images and text to create a narrative. On fieldtrips to places such as Baltimore’s old Chinatown and the ghostly shopping district of Howard Street they will learn the art of the interview, elements of composition and camera operation. In the classroom, students will become adept at the art of post-processing images and will gain insight into the art of the photo essay by examining the great practitioners of that art such as Margaret Bourke-White, James Agee and Walker Evans and Cornell Capa.This course has a limit of 10 students. It will be held in the Center for Digital Arts lab., Mattin 204.

    450.717 - School and Society: Education Reimagined, Possibilities Disclosed

    This course will engage in a discussion of the current realities and challenges present within the United States’ PK-12 education system. We will examine a range of perspectives on what does (and doesn’t) work in our educational policies and practices. While this endeavor will entail a critical examination of the status quo, it also will invite students to recognize what is possible and inspiring in the work many courageous educators accomplish in the midst of challenging times. The course will address the following questions:

    • What are the aims and purposes of education?
    • What should be the content of the curriculum?
    • What are the implications of structural inequality in schools?
    • What are the roles and responsibilities of teachers and students?
    • What are the issues that impact 21st century schools?

    Instead of seeking tidy answers to these course questions, you should approach this class as an invitation to enter into an ongoing discussion of:

    • The factors that characterize the relationship that exists between school and society;
    • The principles that underlie the decisions made by those who have the power or capacity to alter that relationship; and
    • The challenges faced by those who strive (and usually struggle) to resolve competing demands upon this relationship.

    Please note: this course does not require a background in the field of education. Although practicing teachers are welcome to join this course, it has been developed for a wider audience.

    450.718 - Faulkner's Fiction: Beyond the Southern Mystique

    William Faulkner is justly praised as the foremost chronicler of the American South, particularly with regard to his portrayal of the racial, sexual, socio-economic, and familial conflicts underlying the stereotypic facade of gracious hospitality. The legacy of this 1949 winner of the Nobel prize for literature extends, however, beyond the South, for Faulkner has been cited as the most important American writer of the twentieth century and ranked with Conrad, Joyce, even Shakespeare. This course explores the development of Faulkner's psychological themes and innovative techniques in representative short stories, The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Sanctuary, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, The Hamlet, and Go Down, Moses. During Spring Break, students will have the option of visiting Oxford and other areas of Mississippi that served as sources for many of Faulkner's fictional settings.

    450.719 - American Short Story

    The distinguished tradition of the American short story has continued into the twenty-first century with recent collections by two alumni of Johns Hopkins University; John Barth (also professor emeritus from its School of Arts and Sciences) and Louise Erdrich (a descendent of the Chippewa Indians about whom she often writes). After discussing representative fiction by founders of the genre—Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe; students explore stories by a diverse group of writers including Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston, Joyce Carol Oates, and John Updike (whose sixty-year writing career ended with his death in 2009).

    450.720 - Amer & British Poets

    This course will examine the development of modernism in Anglo-American poetry while focusing on close readings of individual poems. Students will discuss Romantic concepts of transcendence in Wordsworth and Keats, Victorian skepticism in Arnold and Browning, and 20th-century ideas of alienation in selected works from the following group: Yeats, Eliot, Stevens, Millay, Plath, Atwood, Rich, Dove, Soyinka, Ondaatje, Li-Young Lee, and Heaney. The class will include both small- and large-group discussions.

    450.721 - Metamorph of Violence

    This seminar will examine changing concepts of violence in medieval and Renaissance Christianity as manifested in Western traditions of visual and dramatic art. We will first examine Catholic paintings and plays, considering differences between northern European and Mediterranean countries in their depictions of the crucifixion of Christ, the martyrdom and mutilation of the saints, the suffering dead in purgatory, hell, and the Last Judgment, as well as in their approaches to epidemic disease, the corpse, and burial rites. We will then consider the radical changes in these traditions, especially in northern European, in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. Such plays as Titus Andronicus, for example, Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy, can be viewed as a newly secular mode for transforming the representation of religious violence in drama. The course will make use of late medieval/early Renaissance visual art from public and private venues (churches, prayer books, illuminated manuscripts, funerary sculpture, anatomical treatises, etc.); of texts from medieval mystery play cycles; of post-Reformation painting and plays.

    450.722 - Southern Women Writers

    Is it true that there still is—or ever was—a distinctive literature by Southerners? Even more pertinent to this course: How—if at all—do Southern women poets, playwrights, and fiction writers differ from their male counterparts in terms of themes and techniques of setting, characterization, style, and point of view? Such issues will be explored with regard to all three literary genres, beginning with representative poems by two black women, Margaret Walker of Alabama and Nikki Giovanni of Tennessee, and two white women with Baltimore roots, Josephine Jacobsen and Adrienne Rich. Students then examine Lillian Hellman's play Another Part of the Forest, set in 1880s Alabama, Carson McCullers' own dramatic adaptation of her novel The Member of the Wedding about a mid-20th-century family in Georgia, and Beth Henley's Crimes of the Heart, a contemporary play about three Mississippi sisters, which was revived on Broadway in 2008. Finally, we discuss stories by women born in Georgia, Texas, and Mississippi, respectively, Flannery O'Connor, Katherine Anne Porter, and Eudora Welty.

    450.723 - WWII in Visual and Literary Art

    The length and massive scope of World War II make it singular in the history of warfare: never before had the entire globe been involved in such a protracted and technologically sophisticated war. Since the end of World War I, the weapons and machinery of war had become increasingly lethal, culminating in the advent of advanced, long-range aircraft and the successful manufacture of the atomic bomb. Fighting took place on land, at sea, and in the air, and casualties were huge: over 60 million people were killed, including c. 50 million civilians. Predictably, the war generated new forms of literature and art and made particular use of photography, which for the first time enabled a detailed and often horrific visual record of events. In this seminar, students will focus on important novels and films that appeared in response to WWII, as well as on the photographic record of the war. An emphasis will be placed on using these sources to understand the major historical and military events of World War II as well as the efforts made by soldiers and civilians to survive it.

    450.724 - Science Fiction Film in the 20th Century

    This course provides a survey of Science Fiction Film from the early part of the 20th century and the very beginnings of film, through 2002. We will look at influential filmmakers including George Melies, Fritz Lang, Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg and will analyze the basic components of the genre through science fiction origins (A Trip to the Moon, Metropolis), “classics” (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Invasion of the Body Snatchers), cult/fan favorites (Blade Runner) and will conclude with a section focused on the 1990s and the dystopic imagination (The Matrix, Minority Report, 12 Monkeys, Gattaca, Handmaid's Tale, and Dark City among others. The goal is to develop critical analytical skills in understanding the role of science fiction within culture. How is science fiction defined? What is the role of science fiction literature in the creation and development of the formula? What is the “science” that drives the science fiction? What does it mean to be human? What is the view of the future, of technology? How are cultural and social concerns expressed through formula? The films and filmmakers are placed within a larger historical, cultural, and social context as we explore film as an industry, as a technology, as a form of communication, and as an artifact of culture.

    450.725 - Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln, whose bicentennial arrives in 2009, rivets our attention as the most important, successful, and wonderfully human president in our history. This course examines his life and times as America expanded, changed, nearly disintegrated in the nation's bloodiest war, and finally emerged reunited under Lincoln's singular leadership.

    450.726 - The Supreme Court and the Constitution

    Does the Constitution still work? Should it be amended or rewritten? Can a sitting president be charged with a crime? How can a president be impeached? What are the limits of executive power? Answering these, and many other similar and very current, questions, form the backdrop for this course on the American Constitution–its origins, growth and development, and its role in the governance of our nation. We will examine the main doctrines of constitutional law and the Bill of Rights–some settled, others still (and perhaps always) contested. And we will examine how the Supreme Court is constituted, how it decides cases, and the impact of its decisions.

    450.727 - Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation and the Constitution

    This course will explore the evolution of three major transformations in American law and culture: racial equality, gender equality, and sexual orientation equality. From the perspective of the U.S. Constitution, we will examine the path from discrimination to legal and constitutional acceptance, and how the U.S. Supreme Court and the Congress ultimately, if only partially, has fulfilled the promise of “equal protection” set forth in the 14th Amendment after the Civil War. We will also explore, more generally, how, and how much, the Supreme Court can promote social and legal change.

    450.728 - On the Shoulders of Giants

    Since the year 1865 and the passage of the 13th Amendment, America has struggled with its ability to assure the right of all Americans to achieve full participation in our democracy. There have been short periods of advancement, but they have typically been followed by devastating rollbacks of hard fought gains. The new Jim Crow has a chameleon-like character, disguising its true intent and malevolent designs with code words and strategic policies that erode the rights of all citizens, but are detrimental to African Americans and communities of color more than to others.

    This course will focus on a number of social justice giants and critical movements or organizations from the 1940s through the present. Key topics will include an examination of certain critical flashpoints in U.S. history that are strikingly similar to the years immediately leading up to, encompassing and following the Obama presidency, with an eye to identifying the social, economic and cultural forces that are at once the precipitants and undoing of these unique movements in time. We will attempt to understand how these forces shaped and were in turn shaped by powerful women like Anna Julia Cooper, Nancy Cunard, and Audre Lord whose life work inspired and provided the intellectual framework for the activism of later generations, led by Angela Davis, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Kimberle Crenshaw. The poet, novelist, playwright, and columnist Langston Hughes, who, along with WEB Dubois, was one of the most committed artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance, provides a bridge from that period to a new vanguard of voices like James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, August Wilson and many others. This period of cultural literacy was also responsible for rediscovery of influential writers like Zora Neal Hurston, who shared the stage with Langston Hughes during the Renaissance. Hugh

    450.729 - Maya Worlds: Ancient and Modern

    This course will survey the Pre-Columbian Maya cultures of Mexico and Central America, in light of ongoing archaeological excavation work and the current project of glyph decipherment that has now established that the Maya of the Classic era (third to ninth centuries, CE) were a fully literate Native American civilization. Slide lectures on such important sites as Copán, Tikal, Palenque, Uxmal, and Chichen Itzá will explore basic urban layout, the design of ceremonial centers, and the symbolism and iconography of Maya art and architecture, and what these can tell us about the social, political and religious life of the ancient Maya. The course moves on to study the period of European contact, of prolonged struggle, and of colonial and national hegemony, along with continued Maya strategies of cultural survival through accommodation and resistance. Topics will include the crises of the Caste Wars in the Yucatan; the neo-liberal "reforms" of the late nineteenth century that appropriated indigenous communal lands; and the genocidal repression of the 1980's in Guatemala. Special attention will be devoted to the subject of religious "syncretism," the blending of Maya traditionalism with distinctively Maya forms of Catholicism, and other religious practices.

    450.730 - Civil War and Reconstruction

    The American Civil War and Reconstruction will include an analysis of the origins, interpretations and causes of the conflict, a study of the institution of slavery and its legacy, a review of the ante-bellum culture of the Old South, a comparison of the political leadership in the Confederacy and the Union, a study of the war years, a comparison of military leaders and their strategies, an examination of the outcomes of the war, an introduction to the rise of the new south and a review of the legacy of Reconstruction

    450.731 - History of the Papacy: Pope Francis in Context

    This course will cover the history of the papacy from Late Antiquity until the present day. It will pay particular attention to the growth of the papacy as an institution, its ideological expression, and the historical roots of today’s Pope. The acclaimed historian, Thomas F.X. Noble, has noted that the papacy is the “world’s oldest continuously functioning institution.” Its longevity alone has prompted curiosity and interest, inspired scholarly works and attracted popular attention; to many, it has been the model of tradition for two millennia. But upon closer inspection, another story, one of transformation, also emerges. The approach of most papal histories, beginning with the Liber Pontificalis in the sixth century up to and including many twentieth-century accounts, is to weave a seamless narrative. These histories attempt to reinforce the notion that the papacy was (and still is) moving inexorably toward some preordained end. Most historians today disagree with this approach, and prefer to acknowledge far more contingency: the papacy as an institution has witnessed periods of monumental transformation over its 2000-year history. This course will highlight these developments, place them within their proper historical context, and demonstrate that perhaps no institution has witnessed more change and continuity than the papacy. This course satisfies the interdisciplinary core requirement. (available online)

    450.732 - Literature of Oppression

    This seminar will examine the novels of Erdrich and Morrison in terms of their depictions of the experiences of Native Americans and of black Americans, respectively. In each novel, we will consider oppression, first, from a social and historical perspective; and second, in terms of the tensions among individual characters. Novels will include Erdrich's Love Medicine and Tracks, and Morrison's Beloved, Mercy, and Tar Baby. The seminar will feature weekly discussions on a class blog; several short in-class writings on assigned research topics; and a research paper, accompanied by a short oral presentation. If possible, there will be a class excursion to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

    450.733 - Why Tonality Works: Symphonic Music and its Practitioners in Western culture

    Early in the 20th century, composers of the “Second Viennese School,” believed that tonality and Romanticism in Western music had gone far enough; as an alternative, they developed forms of atonal music written to avoid any formal relation to a central key. In this course, students will learn why this alternative theory of composition largely failed, and why tonality, in effect, “won out.” Through in-class demonstrations and discussion, as well as through listening experiences both in and out of class, students will explore some of the reasons why we, as human beings, naturally seek harmonic structure. Important to our discussions throughout the semester will be the harmonic series and the tempered scale. Assigned readings will supplement our continuing discussions of composers who succeeded, others who failed, and why. Assignments will include required viewings of Leonard Bernstein’s six-part Norton Lecture Series, “The Unanswered Question,” recorded in 1973 at Harvard University. The goal of this course is not only to make students more aware of the components of music as an art form, and better at listening to forms of music that have persisted for over two centuries, but also to give students a greater appreciation for the persistence and influence of “tonality” in Western culture.

    450.734 - Rebirth of a Nation:The Harlem Renaissance

    This course will examine twentieth century American history through the lens of the Harlem Renaissance, probing the music, literature, theatre, film, and other visual arts of that era for the key themes and messages that would profoundly influence the twentieth century civil rights movement and radically transform the cultural, social, and political landscape of post-slavery America. This course intends to "humanize" American history by exposing students to a uniquely powerful artistic movement through which ordinary people gave expression to their personal experience of key historical events as witnesses, participants, and agents of change. It is anticipated that the integration of cultural material into the analysis of historical facts will awaken students to dimensions of America's racial past not previously explored and provide a platform from which they may engage in critical and constructive analysis of the sociopolitical landscape of twenty-first America.

    450.735 - Text & Image:Material Culture of Renaissance Europe 1400-1650

    This course will address the history of cultural objects and artifacts in early modern Europe—from the close of the Middle Ages to the height of the Renaissance in Italy, northern Europe, and the British Isles—and their transformative, even revolutionary, impact on European culture and the history of ideas. We will interrogate and assess, in an inherently interdisciplinary way, each of the major technological and artistic innovations, socio-economic transformations, and cultural revolutions that fundamentally distinguished the Renaissance from former eras.Major themes will include: the invention of printing by moveable type; the advent and progress of Renaissance humanism; the emergence of the new commercial and professional classes; the Protestant and Catholic Reformations; the Scientific Revolution; the production and circulation of literary texts; patronage of the arts; revolutions in the graphic arts; collectors and collecting books and objets d'art; literacy and evidence of historical reading practices; popular culture; riot, ritual, and rebellion in the Renaissance; the rise and consolidation of centralized states; underground printing, book smuggling, and the culture of dissidents and minorities; and arts and press censorship.

    450.736 - Medieval England: From Beowulf to the Battle of Bosworth

    This course traces this history of England from the Anglo-Saxon invasions of the fifth and sixth centuries to the political unrest and economic crises of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. This course will focus on the trends and developments that help explain the distinctive liberalism and individualism of English culture, e.g. the breakdown of feudalism, life in the medieval town and on the manor, the origins and evolution of the common law, and the rise of Parliament. (Available online)

    450.737 - Indian Philosophy

    This course deals with Indian Philosophy in its three major phases, i.e. the Vedic Period [3000-500 BCE], the Heterodox Period [500 BCE to 500 CE] and the Orthodox Period [100-1400 CE]. In the Vedic Period phase, the course looks at the origins of philosophy in the Indian context and its peculiarities in that cultural setting. It will delve in great detail into the doctrines of Karma, Reincarnation [punarjanma] and Salvation [moksha].In the Heterodox Period phase, the course delves into the two great religio-philosophical traditions of Jainism and Buddhism. In the case of Buddhism, the course traces the origins of the tradition from the life of the Buddha [563-483 BCE], to expounding the core teachings of Buddhism such as the three signata of existence, the twelve-fold wheel of causality, the four noble truths and the nobleeightfold path to its historical spread in India and eventually to all of the lands of both Southeast Asia [Sri-Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam] as well as Northeast Asia [China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Tibet, Bhutan and Mongolia]. The course will also rigorously look into the various schools of philosophical Buddhism.In the Orthodox Period phase, the course looks into the Classical Hindu philosophical systems of the Nyaya-Vaiseshika, the Sankhya-Yoga, the Mimamsa and the three major schools of Vedanta of the philosophers Sankara [788-820 CE], Ramanuja [1017-1137 CE] and Madhva [1238-1317 CE] in a systematic way through the six-fold method of metaphysical analysis of epistemology [doctrine of Knowledge], ontology [doctrine of Reality], theology [doctrine of God], cosmology [doctrine of the Universe], psychology [doctrine of the soul] and soteriology [doctrine of Salvation].

    450.738 - Why Read the Classics?

    There are three questions that rest at the heart of this course: What is meant by the term “classic” when we refer to works of literature and poetry? Why is it worthwhile to read the classics? and What would you include in your personal library of the classics? We will turn to authors, poets, and philosophers for their wisdom and guidance on the topic, and we will read a number of works to help refine our understanding of what the classics mean to us. In doing so, we will engage in close readings of each text, find ways to bring them into dialogue with one another, contemplate the insights they give into the human experience, and explore their relevance in our everyday lives. Students will be asked to write analytical, creative, and reflective responses to these works and to consider the classics that are meaningful to them.

    450.739 - Race and Jazz

    The music known as jazz has been celebrated and performed by peoples throughout the world. This course will examine the music itself as well as the role that race has played in the creation of jazz, the perception of its history, and the perceived authenticity of present-day jazz. We will examine the music from a historical perspective through the study of the music and lives of its creators and practitioners beginning with precursors in ragtime and minstrelsy and continuing into the modern era. Students will learn to make aesthetic judgments, identify various jazz styles, and discuss their relevance to their time and to the present. Classes are planned to include guest artists from the Baltimore jazz scene, examples in various media, and live performances by the instructor. (Available online)

    450.740 - Film and Public Memory (IC)

    Robert Rosenstone has noted that “The reality of the past — national, familial, personal — does not lie in an assemblage of data but in a field of stories — a place where fact, truth, fiction, invention, forgetting and myth are so entangled that they cannot be separated.” Public Memory then emerges as the beliefs and ideas about the past told through “stories” and shared by a public or culture. This course examines the film as a form of public history; a constructed, mediated version of the events, people, and ideas of history often seamless in presentation and powerful in address. Using the organizing principle of “collective memory,” we will employ an interdisciplinary perspective to examine how histories are constructed through the filmmaking process. The film, whether feature film or documentary, has tremendous power in shaping public perceptions of key aspects of history and culture. How do filmmakers balance the demands of an accurate historical representation with film as a form of entertainment? How is the history in films judged by academics and audiences? This course fulfills Interdisciplinary Core requirements for the MLA Program.

    450.741 - Apocalyptic in the Bible, Religion, and Popular Culture

    This course explores primary sources of apocalyptic literature in the Bible, the ancient Near Eastern world, and various religions and cultures. In seeking to define the term “apocalypse,” the class will study the political, social, and economic forces that contribute to the formation of this rich genre of literature. Utilizing this knowledge, students will analyze manifestations of apocalyptic in movies, television shows, comic books, and other media.

    450.742 - The Archaeology of Reading: Cultural Communication and the Project of Digital Humanities in the 21st Century

    What is a “Renaissance Man” and, equally important, a “Renaissance Woman”? This course addresses this question head-on through an exploration of precisely when and how this universal concept was first defined and popularized during the Renaissance of Johannes Gutenberg, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Queen Elizabeth I. All of these remain household names today. Each embodied elements of the history and culture of the Renaissance in different ways and, thereby, permanently encompassed aspects of the ideal of the “Renaissance Woman” and “Renaissance Man” even in our contemporary popular imaginations.

    “Reading the Renaissance” works from the premise that in order to understand how these figures came to embody universal elements of ingenious human invention and intellectual achievement, we need to read what they read, absorb the knowledge that they had access to when the personae of the “Renaissance Man” and “Renaissance Woman” we first fully formed. We also need to explore their many manifestations: as learned scholars unearthing and preserving newly discovered works of ancient Greece and Rome worlds; as editors, typesetters, proofreaders of Printing Revolution; as firebrand preachers of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations; as pioneers of the telescope and empirical observation of the Scientific Revolution; and enterprising ship-builders, navigators, and explorers of the New World Discovery.

    We will excavate the essential reading matter of the Renaissance Woman and the Renaissance Man within a technological vein as well, utilizing resources of our own digital age that help us ask and answer the essential questions of this course through interactive maps, and dynamic visualizations of intellectual networks, crowd-sourced manuscript transcription tools for the era of Shakespeare, on to Hopkins’s very own “Archeaology of Reading” digital project, unlocking within the digital realm the marginal reading notes of two

    450.743 - Idea of Freedom

    Since the time of the Greeks, Western thinkers have been deeply concerned with the issue of whether human beings are merely cogs in an impersonal cosmic machine over which they have no influence, or whether they can control their individual destinies in some way. Students consider this perennial conflict between determinism and free will by examining philosophical, theological, literary, and psychological writings by such thinkers as Sophocles, Aristotle, Augustine, Luther, Descartes, Spinoza, Hegel, Gide, and Skinner.

    450.744 - Murder and Espionage in Maryland

    The course will look in depth at one significant spy case (Alger Hiss vs. Whittaker Chambers) and three famous Maryland Murder cases, Van Swearingen, Wharton, and Grammer (1820s, 1870s, 1950s. The earliest murder case is about the death of a Sheriff's wife by the hand of the Sheriff, the second about the murder of a civil war officer by the widow of one of his soldiers, and the third is about the murder of the wife of a WWII special forces enlisted man by her husband, in whose defense a letter of commendation was introduced, signed by General Dwight David Eisenhower. Only the woman got off. The men were executed. Except for the first murder case, there will site visits to the scene of the spying and the crimes. Students will become modern day jurors for each case. Papers will be written about the people associated with the trials, placing them in the historical context of their time and place.

    450.745 - Aristotle and Hobbes: Physics, Psychology, Ethics and Politics

    This will be a course focused on two goals: clarifying the importance of foundational principles (in this case, the different teachings on physics we find in Aristotle and Hobbes), and clarifying the distinctions between the ancients and the moderns. We will be concerned with questions about nature, matter, motion, the soul, ethics, politics, philosophy, and human life – both as such, and in their complex interrelationships.

    To address these questions, we will read the works of two extremely important thinkers – the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, and the 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes. Aristotle, writing at the dawn of what becomes the Western tradition of philosophy and science, investigates everything under the sun, writing foundational works in fields as diverse as rhetoric, psychology, biology, logic, physics, and metaphysics. If one understands Aristotle, one can understand much of what comes after. Thomas Hobbes writes after the modern “revolution” – a revolution accomplished in the thought of diverse thinkers, especially Machiavelli, Bacon, and Descartes. One crucial element of this revolution is the rejection of both Aristotle and Scholasticism (Christian Aristotelianism). In this course, we will engage in close readings of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, as well as parts of his Physics and his On the Soul, and Hobbes’s Leviathan. Reading these two thinkers in dialogue with one another will allow us to see how their fundamental disagreements about physics and causality give rise to subsequent differences in how they conceive humanity, psychology, ethics, and politics. In attending to these differences, we can more clearly identify the debts that we owe to both Aristotle and Hobbes for our understanding of ourselves and our civilization.

    450.746 - Deep Ecology: Environmental Ethic

    Today, the concerns of Deep Ecology’s movement that started in the so-called Ecological Revolution of the 1960s continue to be debated and addressed as “climate change” with a sense of immediate urgency. Deep Ecology asks deep questions and aims to bring about long-range goals in moving away from anthropocentrism to ecocentrism, calling for a major paradigm shift in perception, values, and lifestyles. Planetary and human survival is at stake due to climate change — this is humanity’s global ultimate concern. Scientists, environmental activists, and representatives of humanities agree that we need a new paradigm shift, that it is unsustainable to treat the living earth organism as an infinite resource of “energy.” Western environmental practices have been based on anthropocentric view of nature where humans occupy the top of the hierarchy in the chain of life. There is an urgent need for a new environmental ethic that will fundamentally reorient humans in their thinking and relating to the natural environment. The course examines cross-cultural perspectives of environmental ethics that are rooted in Western/scientific, Eastern, and Indigenous worldviews and religions. This semester’s readings include current debates concerning climate change, selections from Deep Ecology movement and indigenous perspectives.

    450.747 - Asian Theatre and Western Drama

    The course employs lectures and readings in South Asian and East Asian theatre, both the performance styles and the dramatic literature of India, China, Japan – and other countries. We will read a play from each theatre tradition we examine. Thereafter we will look at the influence these Asian theatre forms have had on Western Theatre in its period of renewal in the 20th and 21st centuries. In some cases, we will view video to examine the performance styles used in these different theatre traditions.

    We will begin with an exploration of the Sanskrit drama that flourished for a thousand years in India: including the classic The Dream of Vasavadatta, and short excerpts from the Natyashastra, an ancient text of theory and practice in theatre; the Yuan drama of China with reference to the Beijing Opera that sprang from these literary dramatic forms; the Noh Theatre of Japan; Bunraku puppet performance and the flamboyant Kabuki theatre. In the second part of the term, we will examine the impact these classical forms had on Bertolt Brecht (The Good Woman of Sezchuan and He Who Says Yes), WB Yeats (Purgatory), the work of Theatre Yugen in San Francisco and that of director Arianne Mnouchkine in Paris. The course will conclude with a close examination of world famous director Peter Brook’s landmark production of the Hindu epic The Mahabharata. After reading Part I of Jean-Claude Carrière's three-part script for that production, we will view a 3-hour TV version of the 10-hour production that toured the world for years with a multinational cast, changing modern theatre. (Live performance footage will be used where possible).

    450.748 - The Black Politics of Michael Jackson

    Michael Jackson was a global superstar who reached crossover appeal in the late 20th century. More than a mainstream pop performer, Michael Jackson was musician, singer, dancer and visual artist who transformed his artistic heritage, deeply grounded in the African American tradition, to reach a broad audience, in the United States and globally. This course aims at reframing Michael Jackson’s cultural and social origins to reveal his anchor in the African American musical, philosophical and political traditions. This course will explore the African American historical context of the 1960s, Black vernacular practices, the Chitlin Circuit, the Great Migration, Black Minstrelsy, the intersection of Blackness, Sexuality and Gender in pop culture, Black Globalism, and 1980s Black Hyper-visibility. In this course, students will closely examine Michael Jackson’s music, videos, writing and performances, Jackson’s meta-narratives, in addition to theoretical texts on critical race theory, American History, gender studies, performance studies and African American Studies.

    450.749 - Exploring the Liberal Arts

    What do we mean by the "liberal arts" and why are they more important today than ever before? How do the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and arts compare and contrast in terms of their methods of acquiring, analyzing, and conveying knowledge? Are the "ways of knowing" for each discipline incremental or sudden and why or when? The course is taught using a thematic approach. Previous versions of the class have included a focus on "The DaVinci Code," "Time," "The American landscape and the American Imagination," "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Fifties," "Seeing." "Memory," and "Nature and the American Imagination."

    450.750 - The Artificial Human

    Plato defined man as a "featherless biped" and thought the matter resolved, until Diogenes threw a plucked chicken over the wall of the Academy in Athens. With the help of modern writers (Anne Rice) and filmmakers (Ridley Scott), as well as a few scientists (James Watson) and philosophers (John Searle), we will enter the fray. We shall not, however, try to define "human," but rather gain an understanding of what it means to be human, from the perspectives of popular literature (fiction and non-fiction) and film. In the process, we shall look at everything from animated characters (cartoons) and vampires, to aliens, androids, and computers. We shall see that many of these "life forms" have something "human" about them, whether they are evolved or engineered, organic or inorganic, real or imagined. Metaphorical chickens may be plucked.

    450.751 - Research Methods in Digital Humanities

    450.752 - Spies, Code-Breaking in WW II

    Even though it is common knowledge that the Allied generals and admirals won the Second World War on the battlefields and the high seas, it remains almost unknown and opaque to the general public as to how much information the espionage agents, the deciphering of the Axis codes, the resistance fighters, etc. were able to provide in contributing to the ultimate Allied victory over Nazi Germany and Militarist Japan. Texts for the course include: Spyglass: An Autobiography of a French Female Spy, Cast No Shadow: The Story of an American Female Spy, Agent Zigzag: The True Story of Nazi Espionage, Escape from Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring p\Prison Break of the Pacific War, and Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park, among others.

    450.753 - Idea of the South in American Literature

    The American South continues to cast a powerful mystique, though its meaning can vary considerably. Whose version of the South is recorded? How do we even define "the South"? What racial, sexual, and cultural tensions lie behind the fabled magnolia trees, white-pillared mansions, and mint juleps? Since literature has always captured the complex realities beneath deceptive appearances, this seminar explores such questions in works by Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Lillian Hellman, Katherine Anne Porter, Robert Penn Warren, Toni Morrison, and others.

    450.754 - Alienation & Deviance

    Sometimes we see more deeply into our culture when we view it from the outside in, as through the eyes of those defined as deviant by American society or those profoundly alienated from it. Drawing upon history and literature, this course looks at such outsiders as "lunatics" in nineteenth-century America, Richard Wright growing up in segregated Mississippi, gay men in New York before World War II, an over-privileged prep school flunk out, and a schizophrenic young woman from a wildly dysfunctional family. To paraphrase the insight of one of our authors, the broken parts say a great deal about the machine itself.

    450.755 - Evil:Greek Trag To Gothc

    Writers of all genres and periods have been fascinated by the motives and manifestations of evil, as well as individual strategies for combating it and artistic implications of expressing it. In reading representative works from Greek tragedies to Gothic tales, we will consider the definition, nature, and operation of evil; the causes or enabling factors of evil (personal and historical); the consequences of evil (e.g., suffering, revenge, personal growth); the strategies for characters—and readers—to handle evil and the implications of writing about evil for literary form (e.g., positive and negative effects on characterization, structure, and rone). Works for discussion include Euripides' Medea, Shakespeare's Macbeth, Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and short fiction by Poe, Hawthorne, and James.

    450.756 - Navigating the Underworld: Homer's Odyssey, Dante's Inferno, and Milton's Paradise Lost

    Long before Socrates and Plato mapped the course of underground rivers as pictured in the Phaedo, poets and philosophers had been fascinated by the metaphorical implications the earth’s mysterious subterranean landscapes. Flowing through this netherworld under various names were rivers that remain familiar today--Acheron, Cocytus, Plegethon, Lethe, and Styx. Our goal in this course will be to follow in detail the course of these rivers through the vastly different landscapes created by three epic poets: the grey world of Shades in the watery depths of Homer’s Odyssey; the elaborately structured geography of punishment in Dante’s Inferno; and, finally, the strangely contiguous landscapes of Hell and Eden in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Along the way, we will touch briefly on descriptions of the underworld in other Western classics; as a class, we will also investigate parallel stories of subterranean rivers in the literature and mythology of world cultures. This course satisfies the interdisciplinary core requirement. (Available online)

    450.757 - Music & Literature:Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus

    One of the most celebrated and complex works of twentieth-century fiction, Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus might be described most concisely as a novel about music-its expressive power, its role in shaping culture, its aesthetic values, and its potential dangers. In narrating the life of the fictional composer, Adrian Leverk, Mann invokes a vast network of musical references that enrich our understanding of Leverkühn's creative personality and his place in music history. In the shadow of World War II, Leverk creative struggles run parallel to the disastrous moral collapse of the German nation in the 1930s and 40s. The touchstone work of German exile culture in America, Doctor Faustus provides unique insights into German cultural history while also commenting upon the condition of artists and intellectuals in times of crisis. In this course, we will supplement our study of Mann's novel through a detailed examination of the many works of music mentioned in the text. In studying pieces of Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Wagner, Schoenberg, and others, we will sketch out an historical and aesthetic context essential to an understanding of the book. The ability to read music, while certainly helpful, is not required. All course readings and discussion will be conducted in English.

    450.759 - Art of the Middle Ages

    The Middle Ages—from the death of the last Roman Emperor in 476 to the dawn of the Italian Renaissance in the early fourteenth century-was characterized by Byzantine icons, Carolingian manuscrip0ts and Romanesque sculpture. How did a distinctively Christian art grow from pagan roots? How did Medieval art develop and diverge over time in both the East and the West? What transcendent values unite medieval art whenever and however it appeared? Students discuss these and related questions in order to explore how a revolutionary new belief shaped a millennium of material culture.

    450.762 - America's Cultural Diversity: the history of race and ethnicity in the United States

    This course examines the historical, cultural, and structural dimensions of race and ethnicity in the United States. We will examine key theories about the ways race and ethnicity are constructed and influence intergroup dynamics; engage in debates regarding definitions of race and ethnicity and forms of prejudice and discrimination; and review and analyze empirical evidence related to racial and ethnic disparities in economic status, educational attainment, health, employment, and the criminal justice system. The course will examine the racial and ethnic experiences of a range of individuals and communities, including intersections with gender and immigration status. We will begin by reviewing a series of key readings in racial and ethnic studies that establish central concepts, theories, and historical contexts. Using a variety of sources, this course will examine the racial diversity of America and the enduring implications of racial and ethnic pluralism. Throughout the course, students will work to expand their critical thinking and reflection skills, make meaningful connections between ideas and everyday experiences, and better understand how the personal experience of race and ethnicity interacts with larger social and historical forces. We will also discuss the ways people work to mitigate and overcome racial and ethnic disparities. (Available online)

    450.763 - Myths:Development and Significance

    Myths provide profound insight into the human condition because they contain the collective wisdom of many generations. Although most modern studies concur that myths are important, there is little agreement about the best way to explain their origin and sources of power. This course explores the many modern methods employed in the study of myths and applies these methods to stories selected from African, Biblical, Greek, Japanese, Mesopotamian, Native-American, Southeast-Asian, and other mythologies.

    450.765 - Politics/Cult Holocaust

    This course examines genocide through a study of the Holocaust, both as a paradigm of state-supported mass destruction and as a unique catastrophe that continues to generate prodigious amounts of literature in such fields as sociology, philosophy, psychology, fiction, and theology. To understand better a writer’s dilemma in trying to communicate horrors that defy imagination and reason, students discuss Wiesel’s Night, Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz, Fink’s A Scrap of Time, Kosinski’s The Painted Bird, and other works. The class also analyzes films such as Imsdorf's Indelible Shadows and the video of the Wannsee Conference.

    450.767 - American Civil War and Reconstruction

    The American Civil War and Reconstruction will include an analysis of the origins, interpretations and causes of the conflict, a study of the institution of slavery and its legacy, a review of the ante-bellum culture of the Old South, a comparison of the political leadership in the Confederacy and the Union, a study of the war years, a comparison of military leaders and their strategies, an examination of the outcomes of the war, an introduction to the rise of the new south and a review of the legacy of Reconstruction.

    450.768 - Managing Digital Information

    450.769 - Dead Sea Scrolls

    The recovery of a massive ancient library from caves near Khirbet Qumran in the Judaean Desert has been described as one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in modern times. Seminar participants read the scrolls themselves in English translation to learn more about the Jewish apocalyptic in the Greco Roman period. Jewish apocalyptic is important not only as a lost chapter in the history of Judaism but also as the spiritual and intellectual context out of which Christianity emerged. Topics include the circumstances of the scrolls' discovery, theories of their origins, their historical context, and the ongoing controversy over publication rights.

    450.770 - The New South

    Born in defeat, despair, defiance and devastation, the post-Civil War South accomplished remarkable feats of physical and psychological rehabilitation. At once a distillation of America and yet also a thing apart, the "New South" embodied some of the best and worst of this nation, and spun off a vibrant cultural heritage. As we ask whether "the South" still really exists today, we will trace the regional past from Appomattox Court House to something called the Sun Belt. Readings, discussion, and a research paper.

    450.773 - Lives of Scientists

    450.776 - American West:Image & Reality

    The American West has always exerted a profound influence on American life and thought. This course examines the importance of the frontier in 19th-century history, as well as Americans' changing perceptions of how the West was settled. Topics include the conflict between whites and native Americans, the role of women on the frontier, the development of "civilizing" institutions like churches and schools, law-and-order justice, and the timeless distinctiveness of the West. Readings include Frederick Jackson Turner's essay about the importance of the frontier, Julie Jeffrey's Frontier Women, Owen Wister's The Virginian, and Walter Van Tilburg Clark's Ox-Bow Incident.

    450.777 - Angels in America (The Play)

    In the 1990s a work by rising American playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner (Munich, Lincoln, Homebody/Kabul, Caroline or Change) captured a period of landmark social change in America, and a shift in consciousness during the latter decades of the 20th Century, with some prophesies about the 21st century. After years of development work the first part of “Andels in America,” Millennium Approaches, premiered in New York at the Public Theatre in New York. It was followed by another epic work called “Perestroika.” The two-part masterpiece became an influential Broadway and International hit. The 2006 HBO television version starring Al Pacino has kept the legacy alive for new generations – and the play is currently being revived around the country. The published play, which the renowned critic Harold Bloom has included in his modern list of “Great Books,” depicts the emergence of LGBT rights, the Mormon Church, the AIDS epidemic, the Reagan-era transformation of both government and business, and finally, the looming figure of Roy Cohn—a man whose influence in American politics ranged from the Rosenberg trial and his work as Counsel for the McCarthy Committee in the 1950s to his legacy as it affects the present day, having been a primary political mentor of the current President.

    450.778 - Tonality in the Symphonies of Gustav Mahler

    Early in the 20th century, composers of the “Second Viennese School,” led by Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern, believed that tonality and Romanticism in western music had gone far enough, and their answer was “atonality,” music written to avoid any formal relation to a central key. In this course, students will learn why atonality largely failed, and why the symphonies of Mahler, “rediscovered” some 50 years after his death in 1911, aided and abetted that failure. Through in-class demonstration and listening, students will discover what tonality means and why it is likely an unavoidable force of nature, and that we, as human beings, naturally seek harmonic structure. The class will study each symphony in numerical order, and the course will end with a field trip to New York City in May 2018 to hear a performance of Mahler’s 10th symphony by the London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle conducting.

    450.779 - Euripides:Tragic Playwright

    Why did Aristotle's Poetics praise Euripides (485-406 B.C.) as the best interpreter of the tragic genre in Greece? How did his tragedies differ from those of Aeschylus and Sophocles? Why are they, despite their cynical and often brutal subjects, among the most often performed plays today? Students address these and related questions by examining how Euripides constructed his plots and characters around myth and politics, psychology and sexuality, and reason and religion. Plays under discussion include the Bacchae, Helena, Iphigenia in Aulis, The Trojan Women, Hippolytus, and Medea.

    450.786 - Reading Appalachia: Narratives of Americas Eastern Valleys and Mountains

    This course is being crosslisted with the Writing Program and is open for up to 6 MLA students. Based in world-renowned Shenandoah National Park, this special, one-week reading course focuses on Fiction and Nonfiction inspired by or set in the famous, beautiful mountain chain that binds the historical and cultural narrative of the Eastern United States. The June 7-13 course, part of the 2015 Hopkins Conference on Craft, features discussion and analysis of essays, short stories, books, and other works relating to Appalachia. All major reading should be completed in advance, with the week spent exploring the craft behind it. While this course is not a writing workshop, participants will have ample opportunities to write and, optionally, share their work in a conference reading. The course includes six full days and some evenings that include indoor/outdoor class discussion, writing exercises, hikes, film screenings, fireside storytelling, author visits, and nature lectures.

    450.787 - Angst, Alienation

    No single intellectual or cultural movement has had more of an impact on the 20th century than existentialism, with its emphasis on angst, alienation, and absolute freedom. After exploring its philosophical basis in the works of Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir, and Heidegger, students discuss the following literature: Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground, Kafka's The Trial, Hesse's Steppenwolf, Camus' The Stranger, Sartre's No Exit, and Ellison's The Invisible Man.

    450.789 - Reading the Sea:Narratives of Oceans, Rivers, and Other Waters

    Our planet’s waters have long inspired and engaged writers, with a fascination that stretches from rivers and bays to lakes and the deepest oceans. This fiction/nonfiction reading course, to be first offered in 2016 in Annapolis, Maryland, and around the Chesapeake Bay, features essays, short stories, novels, or factual books that, as Norman Mclean wrote, are haunted by waters. Students read, discuss and learn as they also enjoy writing exercises, field trips, and other activities focused on the Chesapeake and its surrounding lands. This intensive one-week course, which requires advance reading of most material, provides a full elective credit for degree students.

    450.790 - Six Degrees of Miles Davis

    Miles Davis is one of the most important and influential figures in modern music. His innovations as a bandleader, composer, and musician have made an enormous impact on our concept of jazz music as well as our perception of a jazz musician. Following his personal life leads to Picasso, Norman Mailer, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Cecily Tyson, and many more. This course will examine his contributions to jazz in particular and his impact on society in general through his autobiography, biographies, and documentaries with special emphasis on his recorded works. We will also use the popular ‘six degrees of separation’ theory as a starting point in discussing the nature of innovation. (Available online)

    450.791 - A Cultural History of New York City II: World's Fair to World Trade Center

    This interdisciplinary course begins with a look at what architect Rem Koolhaas has called “Delirious New York”: the competitive mania of the skyscraper wars, and the rambunctious and over-the-top worlds of Coney Island, Times Square, and Broadway theater in the early 20th century. We then turn to the decisive turning point of the 1930s when, in the face of the Great Depression, New York City witnessed some of its greatest building projects: the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and the monumental projects overseen by NYC’s controversial “master builder”, Robert Moses. The New York World’s Fair of 1939 serves as a fitting symbol for what the Fair itself proclaimed as “The World of Tomorrow”, the world of middle class consumerism, the automobile, the highway and the suburb. A major focus of our study is the unfolding and increasingly controversial career of Robert Moses in attempting to implement this ‘World of Tomorrow’, and the gathering forces of opposition galvanized by the book The Death and Life of Great American Cities written by the Greenwich Village activist Jane Jacobs.

    450.792 - Inventing the Tudors: Renaissance Art, Power, and Material Culture

    This course will explore the simultaneous processes of invention, imitation, and appropriation that defined England’s rise in the 16th and early 17th centuries, from the advent of the Tudor dynasty to the age of William Shakespeare, as a culture of the “Renaissance.” This will be conducted through an exploration of works of art in Baltimore and beyond, rare books and manuscripts in the Hopkins Collections, as well as through other forms of material cultural evidence of the period: architecture (from palaces to prisons), music (sacred and secular), fashion (male and female), and so forth.

    450.795 - Reading Paris

    The years between the Revolution of 1848, which installed a short-lived republic, and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, which toppled the empire of Napoleon III, witnessed great changes - socially, economically, and culturally - in Paris. The city we visit today was in large part created by the urban renewal projects of Baron Haussmann in the 1850s and 60s, while the innovations in fiction, poetry, and painting that instituted Modernism date from this period. We shall be studying these developments in the novels of Gustave Flaubert and Emile Zola, in the poetry of Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, and in the painting of Gustave Courbet and Edouard Manet. We shall also read accounts of the 1848 Revolution by Alexis de Tocqueville, Victor Hugo, and Karl Marx, and of the Commune of 1871 by various participants, observers and more recent historians. The class will meet on the Homewood campus for the month of September and part of October, and then during the second week of October, we will reconvene in Paris, where a series of lectures, museum tours and urban walks will serve to supplement and illustrate our readings and discussions.

    450.796 - Civility & Civilization

    Is civility necessary to civilization? What do philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists say about both? This course examines the refinement of manners in selected societies - ancient and modern - and the ideological debates underlying that process. Students focus on the relationship between democracy and civility in the United States from its post-revolutionary years to the present. Readings include Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents, Elias' The Civilizing Process, and Kasson's Rudeness and Civility: Manners in Nineteenth Century Urban America.

    450.797 - Happiness, Virtue--and Vice: Philosophy in Ancient Rome

    In this course, we will study philosophers of the Roman Empire, who were profoundly influenced by their ancient Greek forbears, and reacting to the imperialism, political and cultural crises--surrounding them in Rome. We will work towards texts of the very late Roman Empire, which already usher in the dawn of Christianity, and its particular adoption and adaptation of Greek and Roman thought. The authors we will read include Seneca, Epictetus, Lucretius, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, Augustine and Boethius. Through these eminent thinkers, we will consider, debate, discuss major philosophical questions from Antiquity, and from all time: what is the good life? What constitutes human happiness? Is happiness even possible? Is there a God, and what might his/her intentions or plan be?

    450.799 - A Cultural History of New York City I

    In this interdisciplinary course, we will explore the transformations marking the cultural history of New York City from its beginnings through the Roaring 20s. Starting out as Mannahatta, a bountiful Native American hunting, fishing, and camping ground, the island at the mouth of the Hudson River has gone from the small commercial venture of Dutch New Amsterdam to the rough and tumble politics of British colonial New York, and its brief role as federal capital of the United States, to its more enduring role as capital of The Empire State and the capital of capitalism. We’ll look closely at Five Points and the gangs of New York; the draft riots; the era of Ellis Island and immigration; the culture of Irish New York, Yiddish New York, and Italian New York; at Greenwich Village when it really was bohemian; Black Harlem when it really was in vogue. We’ll focus on the artists, writers, musicians, and architects who have given shape and expression to the city, spending time with such figures as Edith Wharton, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, and E. L. Doctorow. Two overnight field trips to New York City will be programmed into the course. The actual weekends will be posted soon for the overnight field trips. This course satisfies the interdisciplinary Core course requirement.

    450.800 - MLA Independent Project

    450.801 - MLA Independent Study

    450.888 - Continuation of Enrollment