Course Number: INQS-125
2017 Jan Term:
INQS 125 01 The American Experiment - The United States is an experiment that has lasted over 240 years. As the citizens and innovators of this experiment, Americans have attempted to rethink and reshape every aspect of human experience. In this course, we will read some of the most influential texts produced by our relatively young nation, in its ongoing effort to define itself and its role in the larger world. We will ask questions about our understandings of nationality, citizenship, labor, leisure, nature, and the self, and we will examine some of the key concepts and ideals that have thus far defined American national identity. 4 credits.
<2017 Spring Semester:
INQS 125 01 Multicultural America - Students will develop a deeper understanding of both the concept of pluralism and multi- culturalism and the impact these ideas have on our lives. Define the term multiculturalism, and negotiate its meaning within the context of our own geographical, sociological, economic, and political frameworks. 4 credits.
INQS 125 02 In Search of the Good Life - What is the "good life"? This is perhaps the deepest human question. It is not only a question recipients of a liberal arts education should ask, but also a question that permeates film and literature. Looking at thinkers as ancient as Aristotle and films as contemporary as "Food, Inc.", this class will discuss and evaluate different conceptions of a good life and provide a place for students to engage in their own inquiry. 4 credits.
INQS 125 03 Sex, Sanctity, and Power: Writing Medieval Women - Women in the Middle Ages are often imagined as powerless and voiceless, either as idealized objects of desire or as absent from the literary and political landscape. But does medieval literature reflect this stereotype? How are women represented in medieval literature; and when they write, how do women represent themselves? In this course we will read texts written by medieval women on a wide range of topics from political activism, philosophy, and social satire, to the spiritual life and sexuality. We will also read texts written about women, including selections from the blockbuster romances and satires of the late Middle Ages. Through discussions, short writings, class presentations, and formal papers we will discover how medieval women were "written" from others' perspectives and how they close to "write" themselves. 4 credits.
INQS 125 04 The American Experiment - The United States is an experiment that has lasted over 235 years. As the citizens and innovators of this experiment, Americans have attempted to rethink and reshape every aspect of human experience. In this course, we will read some of the most influential texts produced by our relatively young nation, in its ongoing effort to define itself and its role in the larger world. We will ask questions about our understandings of nationality, citizenship, labor, leisure, nature, and the self and we will examine some of the key concepts and ideals that have thus far defined American national identity. 4 credits.
INQS 125 05 Superheroes and Archvillains in American Films - In its relatively short history, American culture has produced an astonishing array of superheroes and archvillains, and each American generation produces its own vision of the heroic and villainous. In this course, we will analyze the representation of the superhero and the archvillain in American film over the last few decades. Our investigation will take us from Hannibal Lecter to the Joker, from Lieutenant Ripley to Iron Man. We will ask what these figures tell us about our culture's ideals, anxieties, and contradictions. We will also inquire how these films renegotiate gender, race, class, and national identity. 4 credits.
INQS 125 06 The Haunting of Modernity - The "ghost story" is one of the oldest and most beloved literary genres. American culture, like so many other cultures, has produced an astonishing array of literary texts and films which use the paranormal (ghosts, vampires, zombies, etc.) to explore its deepest fears and anxieties. In this course, we will analyze some of the greatest "haunted" works of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries in an effort to better understand American culture itself. 4 credits.
INQS 125 07 Cinema and the Classics: Romans (and Greeks!) Are Us! - Of all of our epochs in human history, none (with the exception of 19th-20th century American history) has captured the imagination of cinema and television as much as the Roman world between 100 BC and AD 200. Yet the popularity and influence of the classical world in cinema is far more than the popularity of spectacle and costume, of gods and Roman armies on the march. The ancient world - in particular Rome and occasionally Greece - is, more often than not, used either to explore issues of contemporary political concern in American society (such as the civil rights movement), to reflect of cultural trends (such as the sexual revolution), or even used to construct our own identity (as is the case with Homer's influence on the classic western gunslinger movies). This course will give students a chance to examine how contemporary concerns in western, especially US society, are often closely related to interest in the Classical, particularly the Roman world, and how Classical history, myth, and epic, in turn have shaped and influenced cinema. 4 credits.
INQS 125 08 Identity and America Literature - Where is the authorial line between creative license and cultural appropriation? This course will examine Native American perspectives on the history of cultural appropriation in American literature. We will examine the arguments for and against writing from the perspective of other races, as well as examples of contemporary literature in which it has been done. 4 credits.