LARTS 325 – Shakespeare: The Tragedies
William Shakespeare’s tragedies feature astonishing figurative language, intriguing plots, complex, multi-faceted characters, and themes that speak to the core of human experience. This course will set the tragedies Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear in the social-political context of Elizabethan England and will examine the plays’ major themes and patterns: the tragic characters’ increasing isolation from identity and society, the complete divestiture of self and the inversion of order, the conspicuous waste of talent and feeling, and the glimpses of transformative understanding among the ruins. We will also examine the effect of the tragic ‘process’ upon audiences past and present and explore ways to make Shakespeare’s language come alive for today’s audiences. Students will also have the opportunity to act scenes in class and to set passages to music. (2 credits, GE) Keppel

 

LARTS 326 – Women and Literature
This course examines the writing of British and American women within a social and cultural context, paying particular attention to issues of race, ethnicity, class, and gender. (2 credits, GE) Gatlin

 

LARTS 345 – Transcendence and Entrapment: 19th Century American Literature
In pioneer narratives, American Indian stories, tales and poems from New England and the Southwest, Transcendentalist essays, and African- American slave narratives, writers of 19th century America explore the tension of transcendence and entrapment. This survey course focuses on how writers imagine transcendence – of literary conventions, of cultural norms and codes, of racial or gender-based identities, of geographical constraints, or of culture itself in a realm of nature or spirit – even while they detail the entrapments of culture, nature, place, identity, and the human mind. Authors will include Black Hawk, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allen Poe, Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. (2 credits, GE) Gatlin

LARTS 347 – British Literature since Romantic Era
Studies the works of individual poets and novelists within a national tradition, exploring the questions of artists’ individual identity, their contribution to that tradition, and their own larger artistic ambitions. Students will read, discuss, and analyze works by major poets (including Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Byron; Tennyson, Arnold, and Barrett Browning; Hopkins, Yeats, Eliot; Auden, Plath, Hughes, and Heaney), novelists (Dickens, Joyce, Lessing), and essayists (Carlyle, Ruskin, Woolf, and Orwell). (2 credits, GE) Klein

 

»LARTS 349 – Contemporary American Poetry
This course will examine various styles, methods of writing, and groups of poets that have made contemporary poetry ‘contemporary,’ emphasizing the ways in which contemporary poetry records the workings of the mind and the ways it breaks down the hierarchies of language. Reading and listening to the work of some of the most innovative poets of our time, we will think about their choices in syntax, placement of words, speaker, imagery and figurative language, levels of diction, point of view, and word choice, and listen for tone, sounds, line breaks, and rhythmic effects. (2 credits, GE) Lepson

 

LARTS 353 – The Short Story
The short story is a shared experience – an epiphany, a moment in time that changes one’s understanding of self and world, both for the characters in the story and their readers. This course will examine the historical development of the genre, its traditional and innovative narrative techniques, its various ways of constructing point of view, and its range of styles. We will also be interested in reflecting on how the stories speak to us as individuals, whose experiences are the stuff of stories. Readings will be drawn from masters of the genre such as Chekhov, Tolstoy, Poe, Melville, Kafka, and Joyce, as well as from many contemporary authors. (2 credits, GE) Keppel

LARTS 379 – Topics in Science: Our Cosmic Origins
This course will examine the rich history of the Universe, from a single event in the depths of space to the creation of atoms and molecules, from the formation of stars and planets to the emergence of life on Earth. We will chronicle how the first light atoms formed stars and how heavier atoms were cooked in stars and scattered in space, creating dust grains and organic molecules. We will explore how Earth was assembled from the remnants of stars and gain an understanding of Earth in its broadest context, as well as a greater appreciation of its rare ability to sustain life over geologic time. The recent discoveries of dark energy and dark matter, hydrothermal vents at ocean ridges, and the importance of climate change will be examined by interweaving physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, and biology. This course will appeal to any student who has ever looked at the sky and wondered how we got here. (2 credits, GE) Cole

 

LARTS 381 – Modern Drama: 1900-1960
This course examines themes, theories and techniques relevant to contemporary drama from 1900 to 1960. Students attend at least one of the assigned plays in performance and have the opportunity to engage the texts by rehearsing scenes during class time. (2 credits, GE) Keppel

 

LARTS 389 – Greek Drama
This course examines the origins and development of Classical Greek drama. Students will study the major themes and cultural and political contexts of the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides and the comedies of Aristophanes. The course will pay particular attention to the key elements and social centrality of the Athenian theatrical experience. (2 credits, GE)Keppel

 

LARTS 427 – Cultural Capital, Vienna, 1848-1919
Cultural Capital, Vienna, 1848-1919 studies the musical, cultural, social and political life of 19th century Europe’s most diverse capital city. In contrast to the steady continuity of the London regime, or the abrupt changes of 19th century Paris, Vienna presents us with a world of dichotomies: conservative monarchy and revolutionary thinkers; staid bourgeois life and the most radical psychological theories; monumental art and the challenge of Klimt’s non-representation designs; the leisure music of the waltz and the radical explorations of Mahler and Schoenberg. In Cultural Capitals: Vienna, we will examine those polarities as they shaped the ideas, and the daily lives, of the great Middle European capital, discussing the musicians, artists, writers, and philosophers who created much of our modern culture; in doing so, we will also examine the place – and the ambition – of the court aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, and workers who sustained a great empire, while exploring the changing social ideas about the women’s roles, nation and ethnicity, and the city itself in a world marked by a growing sense of darkness and pessimism. (2 credits, GE) Klein

 

LARTS 446 – Reading, Writing, and Race: Contemporary American Ethnic Literature
This course explores the cultural and literary politics of reading, writing, and race, with a focus on recent Native American, Mexican American, Asian American, and African American literature. We will examine what readers (including ourselves) expect of “ethnic” writers, what writers expect of their readers, and what writers expect of other authors. We will also ask how race impacts reading, how authors address cultural “insiders” and “outsiders,” and why “ethnic literature” is given a distinct category in American literature. (2 credits, GE) Gatlin

 

LARTS 448 – Ethics and the Environment in American Literature
This course examines how social categories of race, class, and gender shape encounters with the environment. Reading American literature from industrialism to the present, students will consider the unique ways that poets and fiction writers protest urban and workplace pollution, or express feelings of vulnerability in nature, while they also raise questions about national belonging. Although we will discuss difficult problems, including worker oppression, lynching, and pesticide poisoning, we will also look at writing as a powerful tool of hope and resistance. (2 credits, GE) Gatlin

 

LARTS 451 – Sustainable Societies
This course introduces students to the science and mathematics behind a wide variety of sustainability topics, such as geographical layout, water, food, transportation, infrastructure, energy, politics and law, society, economy, trade, and technology. Guest speakers and field trips will introduce students to several current local sustainable initiatives. Through group projects, students will explore the rational and practical treatment of sustainable development issues, using quantitative analyses to puzzle through the human burden on Earth. (2 credits, GE) Cole

 

LARTS 463 – Beyond Reality: Postmodernist American Fiction
This course examines problems of authenticity and inauthenticity raised in postmodernist American fiction and criticism written from 1965 to the present. Students will explore what it means when postmodernists declare that nothing is “authentic” – true, valuable, or real. They will consider the role of literature in a world where texts may supersede reality; ponder what it means to think of the world and our identities as representations or cultural myths; and reflect on ways to find–or make–meaning when all foundations of knowledge are challenged. (2 credits, GE) Gatlin

LARTS 477 – Kafka
This course examines the shorter works of Franz Kafka, whose intriguing body of work helped define the complex anxieties of life in modernity. After a discussion of the cultural and personal tensions that shaped Kafka the man and artist, the course will explore the characteristics of his unique literature of dream and parable – meticulously exact descriptions of nightmare and obsessions, the quiet desperation of sensitive human beingslost in a suddenly threatening world of conventions and routines. (1 credit, GE) Keppel

 

LARTS 478 – The Tempest
This course is a critical and creative study of The Tempest, William Shakespeare’s most lyrical and musical of plays. Not only does The Tempest represent Shakespeare’s poignant farewell to his remarkable dramatic career, it is also highly original, one of the very few plays he wrote that is not an adaptation of a previous work or history. Students will explore the cultural and theatrical contexts and thematic ideas central to The Tempest and will have an opportunity to engage in creative responses to the play, performing scenes and/or setting scenes or songs to music. (1 credit, GE) Keppel

 

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IF YOU HAVE TO ASK WHAT JAZZ IS, YOU'LL NEVER KNOW. LOUIS ARMSTRONG