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Past Courses

Fall 2016

HUM/UWS 1A — Tragedy: Love and Death in the Creative Imagination

How do you turn catastrophe into art - and why? This first-year seminar in the humanities addresses such elemental questions, especially those centering on love and death. How does literature catch hold of catastrophic experiences and make them intelligible or even beautiful? Should misery even be beautiful? By exploring the tragic tradition in literature across many eras, cultures, genres, and languages, this course looks for basic patterns. Usually offered every year. Mr. Burt and Mr. Dowden

Spring 2016

COML/HOI 103A — Crime and Punishment: Justice and Criminality from Plato to Serial

Examines concepts of criminality, justice, and punishment in Western humanist traditions. We will trace conversations about jurisprudence in literature, philosophy, political theory, and legal studies. Topics include democracy and the origins of justice, narrating criminality, and the aesthetic force mobilized by criminal trials. This course also involves observing local courtroom proceedings and doing research in historical archives about significant criminal prosecutions. Special one-time offering, spring 2016. Mr. Sheppard and Mr. Sherman

Fall 2015

HIST/SOC 216A — Migration, Dislocation and Dispossession in North American History

Prerequisite for undergraduates: A course on immigration.

Explores migration, displacement of Native Americans and Civil War refugees within North America. It examines contests over land, movements of people, patterns of settlement, senses of home, the meanings of dispossession, and debates over empire and citizenship. Special one-time offering, fall 2015. Ms. Cooper and Ms. Hansen

Spring 2014

COML/THA 139B — Enclosures: Contemporary Fictions & Imagined Spaces

Considers literary and metaphorical enclosures and the way they can be interpreted and translated into different kinds of visual spaces. Working with contemporary fiction from different places and cultures, we will consider the role and meaning of enclosures and then discuss how we might interpret various forms of enclosures in visual terms. Students will have the opportunity to write critically and to create verbally and visually. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Anderson and Mr. Mandrell

Fall 2013

Special offering from our Charlotte Zysman Fellow:Framing the Image: Debates in the History of Photography

Photography was constituted in relation to scientific, literary, and artistic discourses. This class will examine the ideas that shaped photography in the public imagination and in practice over the course of the twentieth century. Special one-time offering, fall 2013. Ms. Cole

Spring 2013

CLAS/THA 185A — Athenian Tragic Theatre in Modern Performance

Studies Athenian State Theatre tragedies in their own performance context with a critical eye on actual reperformance in our time. How can we recontextualize the messages and performance traditions of these works into those available to us now? Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Hill and Mr. Muellner

ENG/HIST 118B— London from Restoration to Regency: People, Culture, City

Explores the history and culture of London from the Great Plague of 1665 to the onset of the industrial age. Topics include the natural and built environments, the city's changing population, and its literary, visual, and musical cultures. Usually offered every thirth year. Ms.Kamensky and Ms.Lanser

Special offering from our Charlotte Zysman Fellow:From Broadsheets to Blogs: Reading Magazines Across the Twentieth Century.

This course examines the magazine as a collaborative space for artists and writers internationally, beginning with the rise of print culture in the early 20th century and concluding with the status of the magazine in the digital age. Ms. Cole.

Fall 2012

ANTH/ENG 150A—Cases and Clues: Reading Novels and Ethnographies as Cultural Explorations

Compares novels and anthropological ethnographies: both are attempts to narrate human cultures, but the ways they do so are radically different. We compare the inside/outside role of the novelist and the anthropologist, and examine the different methodologies and assumptions of anthropological and literary studies. Authors include Austen, Dickens, Conrad, Johannes Fabian and Sidney Mintz. Usually offered every fourth year.
Ms. Ferry and Mr. Plotz

Spring 2012

ANTH 180B — Playing Human: Persons, Objects, Imagination, (Spring 2012)

Examines how people interact with material artifacts that are decidedly not human and yet which, paradoxically, deepen and extend experiences of being human. Theories of fetishism; masking and ritual objects across cultures; play and childhood experience; and objects of imagination, memory and trauma. Special one-time offering, Spring 2012. Mr. Roosevelt (ED) and Ms. Schattschneider (ANTH)

Fall 2011

ENG 183B - Gods and Humans in the Renaissance, (Fall 2011)

Examines the relationship between gods and humans in literature and art from the Renaissance, exploring how classical gods and goddesses, as well as biblical figures of the divine, are represented by major European artists and authors. Special one-time offering, fall 2011. Dr. Targoff (ENG) and Dr. Unglaub (FINE ARTS)

Spring 2011

NEJS/Soc 171b. Religions in Greater Boston, (Spring 2011)

Analysis of religious diversity in greater Boston (Jewish, Christian, Unitarian-Universalist, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Spiritual, and Native American); comparative study of religious symbols and space (with site visits); examination of the role of religion in schools, hospitals, and prisons. Usually offered every second year. Ms. Brooten and Ms. Cadge

Fall 2010

Eng/Hist 118. London from Restoration to Regency (Fall 2010)

Explores the history and culture of London from the Great Plague of 1665 to the onset of the industrial age. Topics include the natural and built environments, the city's changing population, and its literary, visual, and musical cultures. Usually offered every third year. Ms. Kamensky and Ms. Lanser