To know where to go, one needs to know where one has been. Join us on our intellectual odyssey as we trace the history of ideas, political revolutions, and technological changes that have shaped our shared human culture. We begin with the earliest efforts to understand ourselves and the world around us. Through a highly diverse and inclusive conversation among philosophers and poets, historians and artists, scientists and humanists, we explore the vast system of interconnected ideas that makes us who we are. Focusing on texts, political movements, cultural changes, religious beliefs, and scientific discoveries that have transformed the world, Odyssey challenges students to ask some of life’s most fundamental questions: What is a truly happy life? Is there an ideal human community? Why do we tell stories? When confronted with other ways of living, how do we evaluate our own life? We also consider the relative value of human reason and emotion: Which should guide our lives and the organization of our political communities? In a secular world, does art replace religion as a way to make sense of and give value to life? And does the radical violence of revolutions and world wars challenge our very premise of human excellence and exceptionalism? Near the end of our odyssey, we touch on the origins of computer science in ideas borrowed from math, philosophy, and linguistics. Do the sometimes centuries-old answers to life's fundamental questions still hold? With guest lectures by professors from a wide range of Kenyon departments and weekly seminars during which smaller groups of students debate the material with each other and their seminar leader, our unique course provides one of the best introductions to liberal education.

Students enrolled in this course will be automatically added for the spring semester. IPHS 111-112Y will fulfill diversification in the Humanities Division.

To know where to go, one needs to know where one has been. Join us on our intellectual odyssey as we trace the history of ideas, political revolutions, and technological changes that have shaped our shared human culture. We begin with the earliest efforts to understand ourselves and the world around us. Through a highly diverse and inclusive conversation among philosophers and poets, historians and artists, scientists and humanists, we explore the vast system of interconnected ideas that makes us who we are. Focusing on texts, political movements, cultural changes, religious beliefs, and scientific discoveries that have transformed the world, Odyssey challenges students to ask some of life’s most fundamental questions: What is a truly happy life? Is there an ideal human community? Why do we tell stories? When confronted with other ways of living, how do we evaluate our own life? We also consider the relative value of human reason and emotion: Which should guide our lives and the organization of our political communities? In a secular world, does art replace religion as a way to make sense of and give value to life? And does the radical violence of revolutions and world wars challenge our very premise of human excellence and exceptionalism? Near the end of our odyssey, we touch on the origins of computer science in ideas borrowed from math, philosophy, and linguistics. Do the sometimes centuries-old answers to life's fundamental questions still hold? With guest lectures by professors from a wide range of Kenyon departments and weekly seminars during which smaller groups of students debate the material with each other and their seminar leader, our unique course provides one of the best introductions to liberal education. IPHS 111-112Y will fulfill diversification in the Humanities Division.

Centered around the big questions emerging from the rise of big data and AI, this course offers an interdisciplinary, humanities-centered introduction to programming and data analysis. As part of the new Data Humanities movement, our focus is on telling the stories we find in data, exploring how to count what counts, and critically quantifying issues of bias and representation. With hands-on projects like analyzing Netflix data and exploring the Twitterverse, we will also build the foundation for topics covered more fully in intermediate courses: natural language processing, social network models, and Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Seats are reserved for students in each class year. No prerequisite.

In the early 17th century, Galileo's writings on physics and astronomy helped establish modern scientific thought. Three centuries later, Einstein's work on relativity and quantum theory helped transform it. The ideas of both men proved influential and ignited controversy far beyond the bounds of their scientific disciplines. In this class, we will read essential works by Galileo and Einstein (among others) and explore not only their discoveries, but also their wider views of nature and the human striving to understand her. What principles guide the scientific quest? Are there limits to scientific knowledge? What are the relationships between observation and imagination, between genius and ethics, between science and religion? This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Offered every other year.

Cultural analytics is the study of culture using diverse sources and data-driven methods. We will analyze language from texts to tweets and social networks from film to the Twitterverse. Project-based in nature, students will code ways to explore phenomena like the social networks in Game of Thrones and the classification of tweets as Trump or Trudeau. You will apply what you have learned for a final project of your choice. Students new to coding should contact the instructor for information on how to complete a self-paced mini coding course before the start of the semester. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.

This course is an interdisciplinary, humanities-centered coding course that explores the philosophical and ethical questions raised by AI. Ethical questions include issues of bias, fairness and transparency, as well as AI-Human value alignment. We will explore AI as a mirror to both our best and worst natures: how it can surveille, disemploy and police, but also play games, write text, create images and compose music. Students new to coding should contact the instructor for information on how to complete a self-paced mini coding course before the start of the semester. No prerequisite.

This course investigates the phenomenon of postmodernism and considers its relation to the modernist era. We will study key definitions and ask: Can postmodernism be defined as a postindustrial capitalistic phenomenon, as an increasing emphasis on language games, as a refusal of grand narratives, or as a shift from epistemological to ontological concerns? We will look at the advent of structuralism and its response to existentialism, as well as poststructuralist critiques. What does postmodern politics look like, and what are the implications of its critique of humanism? Postcolonialism, feminism, gender studies, and critical race theory also will be considered for their critique of the Western tradition. We will then examine the reinvigoration of religious discourse. Through our study of postmodern architecture, literature, the visual arts and film, we will explore the nature of dual-coding, the critique of "instrumental" rationality, new representations of the past, identity, time and space, and a new role for the reader/viewer. Finally, we will consider key critics' defense of humanism before asking whether our "information age" demonstrates a clear departure from the tenets of postmodernism. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: IPHS 215. Offered every other year.

In this course we will study the development of the epic in Middle Eastern and Graeco-Roman antiquity. Readings will include "The Epic of Gilgamesh," selections from the Hebrew Bible, "The Iliad," "The Odyssey," Hesiod's "Theogony" and " Works and Days," Vergil's "The Aeneid" and Ovid's "The Metamorphoses." This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

In this course we will examine some of the works and cultures of the premodern European North, both in their interaction with the Mediterranean cultures of antiquity and later times and in their own right. Readings will include: "Beowulf," "The Prose Edda," "Selections from the Poetic Edda," "The Saga of the Volsungs," "Njál's Saga," "Early Irish Myths and Sagas," "The Mabinogion," "The Lais of Marie de France," "Sir Orfeo" and "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

In this course we will take a close look at the rise of historiography and at the political, military and social history of fifth-century B.C. Greece, based on a thorough reading of the most prominent existing ancient sources: Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, Xenophon and a few modern sources as well. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

Today, political comedians are a mainstay of our culture, some of the most famous being Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah and John Oliver. But while their insights are often astute, they are rarely profound and never add up to a comprehensive political teaching. To see the heights and depths that are possible in comedy, we will study four plays by Aristophanes, the unrivaled master of combining comic vulgarity with a wisdom equal to that of the philosophers. Through a close examination of these plays we will find and consider Aristophanes’ insights on such obviously political, and some not so obviously political, topics as the founding of cities, father-beating, the tension between the private good and the public good, the Muses and the other gods, the respective power of nature and convention, the danger of philosophy, war and peace, property and the political role of women. Throughout, we will also consider Aristophanes’ view of the political purpose of comedy. Prior coursework in political science is not required. This counts as an upper-level seminar for the political science major. This course is the same as PSCI 423D and must be taken as PSCI 423D to count toward the social science diversification requirement. This counts toward the IPHS concentration. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

This course, designed as a research and/or studio workshop, allows students to pursue their own interdisciplinary projects. Students are encouraged to take thoughtful, creative risks in developing their ideas and themes. Those engaged in major long-term projects may continue with them during the second semester. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: junior standing.

Individual study in the Integrated Program in Humane Studies is reserved for juniors and seniors who have completed at least one course in the program. Individual study projects are designed to offer the opportunity for directed reading and research in areas not generally covered by the regular offerings of the program, or by the regular offerings of other programs or departments. Alternatively, such projects may offer the opportunity for more advanced research in areas already addressed in program offerings. Or, in some instances, they may offer the possibility of studying languages not otherwise available, or not available at an advanced level, in the college curriculum (e.g., Old Icelandic, Old English). Students undertaking an individual study project will be expected to meet with their advisors on a regular basis, ordinarily at least once a week. Individual study projects are expected to embody a substantial commitment of time and effort which, at the discretion of the project advisor, may result in a major essay or research report. Students wishing to undertake such a project should first gain, if possible a semester in advance, the permission of a potential advisor or mentor and then submit a written prospectus of the project for the approval of both the prospective advisor and the program director. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the registrar's deadline. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement.

Concentration

Courses that meet the requirement for this concentration:

ARHS 220Greek Art
ARHS 221Roman Art
ARHS 222Northern Renaissance Art
ARHS 223Early Renaissance Art in Italy
ARHS 224High Renaissance Art
ARHS 225Baroque Art
ARHS 232Early Medieval Art
ARHS 234Romanesque and Gothic Art
ARHS 237Late Gothic Art in Europe
CLAS 111Greek History
CLAS 112Roman History
CLAS 130Classical Mythology
CLAS 210Greek and Roman Drama
CLAS 225The Ends of the Earth in the Ancient Imagination
HIST 230History of the Renaissance and the Reformation: 1300–1648
HIST 238The Scientific Revolution and the European Enlightenment, 1600–1800
HIST 258Ottoman Empire
HIST 328The Crusades: Religion, Violence and Growth in Medieval Europe
HIST 330Crusaders, Pilgrims, Merchants and Conquistadors: Medieval Travelers and Their Tales
HIST 336Theory and Action in the Politics of Locke, Burke and Mill
HIST 338Revolt, Rebellion, and Revolution in European History
PHIL 200Ancient Philosophy
PHIL 210Modern Philosophy
PHIL 214German Idealism
PHIL 225Existentialism
PHIL 245Philosophy of Natural Science
PHIL 255Philosophy of Language
PSCI 220Classical Quest for Justice
PSCI 221Modern Quest for Justice
PSCI 320Historicism
PSCI 323Politics and Literature
PSCI 420Plato's Symposium
PSCI 421Socrates Seminar
PSCI 422Thucydides: War and Philosophy
PSCI 423DAristophanes: Politics and Comedy
PSCI 428The Political Thought of Nietzsche
PSCI 431Ambition and Politics
PSCI 432The Idea of Community
RLST 110Creating Judaism
RLST 115The Bible and Its Interpreters: Context and Reception of the Tanakh/Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
RLST 120Faith of Christians
RLST 125New Testament: Formation, Reception and Debates
RLST 213Medieval Christianity