In the first semester, we explore the themes of love and justice, purity and power, fidelity to the family and loyalty to the state. Through reading selections from the Hebrew Bible, Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Vergil, Dante and others, we investigate these themes as they find expression in the Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman traditions and in their enduring European legacies.
In the second semester, we focus on the themes of law and disorder, harmony and entropy, and modernity and its critics. Beginning with Machiavelli, Shakespeare and Hobbes, we investigate the desire to construct a unified vision through reason; then we examine the disruption or refinement of that vision in the works of such authors as Nietzsche, Darwin and Marx. Throughout the year, we explore the connections between the visual arts, literature and philosophy. In tutorial sessions, students concentrate on developing the craft of writing. IPHS 113Y-114Y will fulfill diversification in the Humanities Division.
Artificial Intelligence is poised to surpass humans in intellectual abilities that we often associate with being human. What are the implications for how we think about digital humanities? Can we program humanity by employing AI to generate music, analyze vast quantities of literary text, or produce great visual works of art? Or will humans be programmed through predictive policing, manipulations of social media, and domestic surveillance? Can the non-profit Open AI build an AI to benefit humanity, or will the prophecies of Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk (who all claim AI as the greatest existential threat to humanity) come true? This course will bridge the gap between humanities and technology in both a theoretical and practical manner. Each week we will present a fundamental technology like data visualization, social media hacking or machine learning through both lecture and hands-on labs. In parallel, we will contextualize our understanding of new technologies with discussions of the larger social impact and ethical dilemmas through case studies like computational literary analysis, digital profiling for predictive policing or issues stemming from potential broad structural economic unemployment. The broader goal of the course is to understand technologies driving seismic social change in order to be able to speak with an informed voice. This is an introductory survey course with no prerequisites. It is designed for both humanities students seeking to understand technology and technology-oriented students seeking to understand the larger social and ethical issues surrounding technology. No prerequisite.
Continuing the inquiries begun in IPHS 113Y- 114Y this seminar addresses the rise of modernism, which represented a massive fissure in Western consciousness. A fault line visible since Romanticism suddenly fractured and one consequence was that something utterly unique, highly unsettling and profoundly revolutionary occurred: the role of art and the artist leapt into extraordinary prominence. Why in modernism do the issues of "self," "society" and "authority" figure so prominently in the aesthetic domain? What does the signal role of art suggest about the character of modernism itself? How successful has art been as the focal point of questions regarding authority? Is art's centrality itself a paradoxical response to the issues of complexity, specialization, fragmentation and relativity that inform the modern world? In view of modernism's paradoxes and chief concerns, we will address contending views of art and authority in various disciplines and media, including the visual arts, architecture, philosophy, literature, music, dance and film. Readings will include Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Woolf, Kafka, Breton and Sartre. Films will include "Triumph of the Will," "Rashomon" and "Mulholland Drive." This can be used as 0.5 units of history toward fulfilling the social sciences diversification. Prerequisite: IPHS 113Y-114Y or two semesters of English or philosophy. Offered every other year.
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?
Instructor: B. Schumacher
Credit: 0.5 QR
Does our intelligence and creativity define us as humans? If so, what does it mean when advances in Artificial Intelligence enable machines to think and create in ways that seem increasingly like us? As AI research expands beyond familiar computational intelligence into areas of emotion, theory of mind and consciousness, how will new discoveries redefine our sense of identity, purpose and human value? Can AI that builds upon synthetic and biologically-inspired models serve as a mirror to our own cognitive processes, biases and limits to self-knowledge?
This course blends the conceptual with a hands-on laboratory approach to AI. We explore computational analysis of text, image and sound by contrasting and synthesizing traditional methods with recent innovations in Machine Learning. Our laboratories will focus on popular tools and real-world problems that explore the gamut of machine intelligence from simple symbolic logic and statistical machine learning to deep neural nets and genetic algorithms. In parallel, we will consider a wide range of ethical and social implications and explore generative art. How will rapidly evolving computational intelligence change our ideas about ethics and politics? How will it change our ideas about our interpretation and appreciation of art, music, and literature? Offered every year.
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. Prerequisite: IPHS 215. Offered every other year.
In this course, we will study the whole of Dante's "Divine Comedy" in John Sinclair's Oxford translation. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
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." 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." 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. 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 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.
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). Individual study projects will earn .5 unit of credit. 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.
ARHS 220: Greek Art
ARHS 221: Roman Art
ARHS 222: Northern Renaissance Art
ARHS 223: Early Renaissance Art in Italy
ARHS 224: High Renaissance Art
ARHS 225: Baroque Art
ARHS 232: Early Medieval Art
ARHS 234: Romanesque and Gothic Art
ARHS 237: Late Gothic Art in Europe
CLAS 111: Greek History
CLAS 112: Roman History
CLAS 130: Classical Mythology
CLAS 210: Greek and Roman Drama
CLAS 225: The Ends of the Earth in the Ancient Imagination
HIST 230: History of the Renaissance and the Reformation: 1300–1648
HIST 238: The Scientific Revolution and the European Enlightenment, 1600–1800
HIST 258: Ottoman Empire
HIST 328: The Crusades: Religion, Violence and Growth in Medieval Europe
HIST 330: Crusaders, Pilgrims, Merchants and Conquistadors: Medieval Travelers and Their Tales
HIST 336: Theory and Action in the Politics of Locke, Burke and Mill
HIST 338: Revolt, Rebellion and Revolution in European Thought
PHIL 200: Ancient Philosophy
PHIL 210: Modern Philosophy
PHIL 214: German Idealism
PHIL 225: Existentialism
PHIL 245: Philosophy of Natural Science
PHIL 255: Philosophy of Language
PSCI 220: Classical Quest for Justice
PSCI 221: Modern Quest for Justice
PSCI 320: Historicism
PSCI 323: Politics and Literature
PSCI 420: Plato's Symposium
PSCI 421: Socrates Seminar
PSCI 422: Thucydides: War and Philosophy
PSCI 423D: Aristophanes: Politics and Comedy
PSCI 428: The Political Thought of Nietzsche
PSCI 431: Ambition and Politics
PSCI 432: The Idea of Community
RLST 210: The Judaic Tradition
RLST 215: The Bible and its Interpreters: Context and Reception of the Tanakh/Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
RLST 220: Faith of Christians
RLST 225: New Testament: Formation, Reception and Debates
RLST 320: Medieval Christianity