About HUM 216-219

Humanistic Studies 216-219 is an intensive year-long introduction to the landmark achievements of the Western intellectual tradition. It is a team-taught double-credit supercourse that examines Western history, philosophy, literature, religion, and art from antiquity to the 20th century. Lectures and discussions investigate a wide range of issues and stimulate plural perspectives. They are enhanced by trips to museums, plays, concerts and art galleries. The faculty represents a wide variety of humanities departments, ranging across literature, history, religion, philosophy, and the arts.

This intellectually stimulating and highly demanding sequence fulfils four distribution requirements (two courses in literature and the arts; one in historical analysis; one in epistemology and cognition). Admission is limited to a select number of students chosen on the basis of letters describing why they wish to enroll in the course. In the fall, students enroll in both 216 and 217, which cover classical antiquity to the middle ages. In the spring, students may continue on to 218 and 219, which cover the Renaissance through the modern period. The course comprises three 50-minute lectures and two 80-minute seminars a week.

Some Current and Recent Core Faculty

Lucia Allais, Architecture
Sarah Anderson, English
Leonard Barkan, Comparative Literature
Scott Burnham, Music
Margot Canaday, History
Daniel Cloud, Philosophy
Jeff Dolven, English
Denis Feeney, Classics
Andrew Feldherr, Classics
Andrew Ford, Classics
Anthony Grafton, History
Daniel Heller-Roazen, Comparative Literature
Graham Jones, Anthropology
Christina Lee, History
Esther da Costa Meyer, Art and Archaeology
Alexander Nehamas, Philosophy
Francois Rigolot, French and Italian
Gideon Rosen, Philosophy
Lawrence Rosen, Anthropology
Hester Schadee, History
P. Adams Sitney, Visual Arts
Susan Stewart, English

Sample Guest Lecturers

John Fleming, English
Daniel Garber, Philosophy
Brooke Holmes, Classics
Claudia Johnson, English
William Jordan, History
Sarah Kay, French and Italian
Nino Luraghi, Classics
Elaine Pagels, Religion
Philip Pettit, Philosophy
Anson Rabinbach, History
Esther Schor, English
Nigel Smith, English
D. Vance Smith, English
Nino Zchomelidse, Art History

Sample Readings HUM 216-217
(Note: not all texts covered every semester)

Aeschylus, The Oresteia
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Apuleius, The Golden Ass
Aristophanes, The Frogs
Augustine, Confessions
The Bible
Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy
Christine de Pisan, The Book of the City of Ladies
Dante, Divine Comedy
Einhard, Life of Charlemagne
Euripides, The Bacchae
Herodotus, Histories
Homer, The Iliad
Homer, The Odyssey
Livy, Early History of Rome
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Ovid, Metamorphoses
Plato, Republic
Plato, Symposium
Sappho, poems
Song of Roland
Sophocles, Three Tragedies
Tacitus, Annals of Imperial Rome
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Thucydides, Peloponnesian War
Virgil, The Aeneid
Xenophanes, fragments

Sample Readings HUM 218-219
(Note: not all texts covered every semester)

Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Baudelaire, Flowers of Evil
Castiglione, The Courtier
Cervantes, Don Quixote
Descartes, Meditations
Diderot, Rameau's Nephew
Erasmus, In Praise of Folly
Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Goethe, Faust I & II
Hegel, Introduction to the Philosophy of History
Hobbes, Leviathan
Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals
de Lafayette, Princesse de Cleves
Locke, Second Treatise of Government
Luther, selected writings
Machiavelli, The Prince
Marco Polo, Travels
Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Marx, Later Political Writings
Milton, Paradise Lost
Moliere, The Misanthrope
Mozart, Don Giovanni
Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
Petrarch, poems
Rousseau, Basic Political Writings
Shakespeare, The Tempest
Shelley, Frankenstein
Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Women