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2017-2018 Academic Catalog: Course Descriptions - Humanities

HUMN 1051 INTRODUCTION TO ART AND ARCHITECTURE
Art and Architecture reflect culture and technology, and represent significant career possibilities. Through readings, guest lectures, and field trips, students will explore outstanding examples in Boston, make critical reports, and develop skills for success in Architectural Technology at Wentworth. (3 credits)
Prerequisites: ENGL1050

HUMN 1071 ART OF THE NATURAL GARDEN
A garden is a mix of culture and cultivation, a place of pleasure and reflection, society and solitude. This course will examine the elements and components of the natural garden in all its expressions as both fine art and a refining involvement with the natural environment. Historical references and contemporary practice will be used to give an integrated view of context and theory. (3 credits)
Prerequisites: ENGL1050 and ENGL2050

HUMN 2990 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN HUMANITIES
This course investigates a topic of special interest to faculty and students that is outside existing course offerings. (1 – 4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 3800 SPECIAL TOPICS IN HUMANITIES
Special topics in humanities to be determined by the faculty assigned. These courses present topics that are not covered by existing courses and are likely to change from semester to semester. Refer to the semester schedule for the courses offered that semester.  Contact the faculty assigned for more information about the course topic. (1 – 4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4011 AMERICAN CINEMA AND CULTURE (CPCE)
This course deals with the historical development of American film and the film industry. Particular attention is given to the relationship between films and American culture. (3 credits)
Prerequisite: ENGL1050 and ENGL2050

HUMN 4200 ROMAN CULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY
An introduction to how the Romans developed technological, institutional, and cultural solutions to meet the social and political demands of their empire, and to how Roman architectural, informational, engineering, and social accomplishments continue to be manipulated and reinterpreted because of their foundational influence on American culture.  (4 credits)
Prerequisites: ENGL 1100, ENGL 2200

HUMN 4221 AMERICAN CINEMA AND AMERICAN CULTURE
This course will examine selected critical American films as reflections of and products of American culture. The impact of certain particularly American themes on these films will be explored, both in an historical and artistic context. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4225 TELEVISION STUDIES
This course examines television from a cultural, historical, technological, commercial, and critical perspective, especially as the medium has developed from broadcasting to narrowcasting. The primary outcome of this course is for students to progress from a consumer to a critical interaction with television. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4231 FILM & LITERATURE: ART OF ADAPTATION
This course focuses on the subjects of film and literature in general and the concept of adaptation in particular. Students will explore a variety of literary genres (short story, novel, creative non-fiction) as well as various modes of literary/film criticism. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4233 DECONSTRUCTING THE 20TH CENT
In the second half of the 20th century, something shifted in the American culture. This shift marked the post-WWII progression from modernity to postmodernity, which was widely reflected by changes in society, culture, and art. This course offers an accessible survey of the cultural, critical, technological, economic, and aesthetic foundations of postmodernism. We will particularly examine the postmodern challenge to traditional ideas of progress, authority, authenticity, knowledge, power, and language with its playful mixing of forms and high and low culture. We will progress through the course with a central question that asks if a positive pragmatic potential can be detected within the postmodern sensibility. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4235 TECHNICAL THEATER
The course explores the relationship between the written text and design. Design, decoration, light, sound, and color are elements that affect performance. Several plays and their technical challenges are studied. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4241 GRAPHIC NOVEL TO FILM
The graphic novel has blossomed as an art form. In addition, it has proven to be a fruitful source for cinema. This course will examine the graphic novel as an art form and as inspiration for film. What is the graphic novel? How does one "read" a graphic novel "critically?" When does it successfully translate to film and why? What does this teach us about film and about the graphic novel's visual content? These questions will guide us as we study several significant graphic novels and their film versions. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4243 CONTEMPORARY ART & THEORY
This course examines some of the major theoretical positions and developments informing contemporary (post-WWII) art. The aim of the course is to develop an understanding of contemporary visual culture in relation to social history and human experience, and a basic understanding of aesthetic theory, philosophy and criticism and its importance to contemporary art practices. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4245 TRANSCENDENTAL VISIONS
This course examines American Transcendentalism, the literary movement that emerged over the nineteenth-century in protest to the intellectual, cultural, and national status quo. We will examine the canonical authors of the period, including Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Hawthorne, Melville, and Poe, to establish the period’s continuities. Additionally, we will examine writers like Blackhawk, Margaret Fuller, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Wilson, and Rebecca Harding Davis to tease out its contradictions. Along the way, we will interact with modern day culture to consider how this early American narrative tradition holds contextual meaning as well as contemporary resonance. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4255 EXPLORATIONS WESTERN THOUGHT
This course examines major trends in the Western critical tradition, including humanism, rationalism, modernism, and postmodernism while also progressing the student from a consumer to a critical consumption of cultural narratives. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4263 ART & SOCIETY IN INDUSTRIAL AGE
This course will primarily explore 19th century art in Europe with a look at the United States, from the perspective of their evolving modernity. The significance of the Industrial Revolution and the ensuing political upheavals of both continents will be closely studied through the visual imagery of artistic production. Further, the impact of emerging art theory will be analyzed by reading primary sources in the way of the artists' personal manifestoes alongside contemporary critiques of the day. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4265 THE AMERICAN DREAM
An examination of that which is unique in the American experience as expressed in literature. This course will provide the student with a profile of the American character as portrayed in the national literature. The focus will be upon political, religious, and economic roots which illuminate the past and make the present more comprehensible. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4275 MYTH AMERICA: COLONY CULTURE WAR
This course is a survey of American art from the pre-colonial period to the present. American art production will be evaluated for both its aesthetic value and as a historical document. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4343 RENAISSANCE TO ROMANTICISM
An examination of the impact of globalization on a broad range of art communities in an effort to understand how expanded international connections have yielded re-definitions of cultural and national identity. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4345 HISTORY OF AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC
This course covers the history of American folk music from the work songs and spirituals of the 17th and 18th centuries to the folk revival of the 1960s. Numerous musical genres and traditions will be covered including gospel, minstrelsy, blues, ragtime, country, and bluegrass within various social, cultural, and political contexts. Matters of race, class, and gender will be given particular emphasis. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4355 BOSTON VOYAGES BY BOOK & FOOT
This course will explore the history and culture of Boston through its literature, its citizens, its environment, and its civic and political events. It will examine the sites associated with the readings and sites featured in the texts along with the texts themselves. There will be visits to places of interest including but not limited to the Back Bay, the North and West Ends, and some of the city's smaller museums and green spaces. The investigation of these local sites will aid in making connections between Boston and the larger human community. (4 credits) fall, spring, summer
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4373 SHAKESPEARE ON FILM
This course will examine several of Shakespeare's plays as literature and then how these plays have been brought to film, both in their historic and artistic contexts. In the course of this examination, the nature of film, the nature of artistic interpretation, the significance of audience response and the significance of authorial intent will be considered. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence

HUMN 4501 9/11 LITERATURE AND FILM
An exploration of how fiction and non-documentary film have addressed September 11, with particular emphasis on how works in these genres have portrayed the events of the day, the impact of the day on the United States and the world, and the mindset of the terrorists. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: completion of an ENGL sequence