This course highlights significant aspects of music, theatre, dance, and art. Specific musical compositions, art works, and theatre pieces will be explored as expressions of historical events and changing values. Off-campus activities, such as a play, a concert, and museum exhibit, extend the classroom experience.
This course introduces students to basic knowledge, ideas, and processes in philosophy. It presents an overview of Eastern and Western philosophical systems with attention to significant differences in approaches to making sense of the world that characterize each system. Major thinkers and important philosophical problems from each system are overviewed followed by deeper study of selected representative figures and issues.
The focus of this course is on major world religions – their history, teachings, role today, and the interrelationships of religion and culture in the modern world. The course takes an approach that emphasizes “personal explorations” of the religious ideas and beliefs of other peoples around the globe. Rather than concentrating upon the memorization of other religious creeds and dogmas from books, the course encourages students to try to understand how and why other peoples find meaning, comfort, and fulfillment on a deeper level of existence through their religious beliefs. The course will combine study of the sacred works of other religions with multimedia presentations/videos and guest speakers who provide the human and historical contexts in which major world religions have developed.
This course is an examination of those artistic and technical innovations which have shaped the world-wide history of film as an art. Through the study of cinematic effects and technologies, students will learn to view films critically, seeing them as collaborative works of art that both reflect and influence society. Classes combine lecture, screenings and discussion.
Students participate in a lively in-depth comparison of historical and contemporary styles as they pertain to the organization of today's interiors and lifestyles. This course provides a context for the social, architectural, cultural, fashion and interior design influences from around the world and particular emphasis on the styles of the Western world from the Classical Age through into the 21st Century. Illustrated lectures, discussions and design exercises enrich the classroom experience.
Philosophy is a disciplined search for knowledge. It investigates what is real and true. Ethics is a branch of philosophy which asks “What ought we do?” It rigorously challenges us to think critically, assess knowledge, and form criteria for making personal decisions as well as decisions which shape community and national standards of action. Ethics is the applied branch of philosophy. It’s not just theory. It affects real decisions, real people, in the real world. In this course we will investigate the field of ethics from a multicultural and international perspective. We’ll start with basic ethical theories and proceed to use these theories to learn about and evaluate some of the major ethical issues in the world on topics such as poverty, justice, war, rights, discrimination, etc.
This course provides a basic introduction to the application of digital and computational technology to the study of the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Students will engage with theories and practices of the digital and computational humanities and the process of using computing skills towards the study of humanities-based issues and topics. This course will integrate foundational liberal arts skills of critical thinking, analysis, and written communication with key understandings of digital technology concepts such as data representation and visualization, digital archives, mapping, and text-mining. Students will be introduced to the process of digital engagement with cultural materials and reflect on the practical application of digital techniques to sociocultural inquiry.
This course explores the Puerto Rican Migration to the communities of the Connecticut River Valley. The class has been designed to be flexible in structure to introduce multimedia resources including review of literature, films, poetry, dance, cooking, site visits and interactions with community members to provide a historical and cultural framework. Students will develop leadership skills through presentations, and their engagement in a service learning project at a local community based organization.
The topic of women in Islam is one of the most debated and discussed issues in current events. It is also one of the most deeply misunderstood issues about Islam and the Middle East in general. In order to understand the contemporary role of women in Islam and the Islamic world, one must first understand the historical role of women in that region. This course will cover the history of women in the pre-Islamic era (in general and more specifically in the Middle East), the rise of Islam and the change this brought concerning a woman's role in Middle Eastern and Islamic society, the rights of women according to Islamic law; and we will address the current stigmatization and prevalent misconceptions of Muslim women in the western world. Finally we will complete the course by evaluating contributions of important Muslim women throughout history.
This course examines trajectories of scientific thought from a humanistic and ethical perspective. Students will question the “myth of objectivity” in science and analyze how scientific developments have centered privileged perspectives as the human default. Additionally, students will focus on the ways in which scientific movements are impacted by the historical moments in which they are embedded, hold a mutually constitutive relationship with sociopolitical and cultural issues, have been used as tools to legitimize systems of oppression, and are built from frameworks that extrapolate privileged experience and modes of inquiry as the “objective norm” of scientific validity. Topics on the exclusionary and biased design of scientific developments will be explored, along with ethical issues of bias in contemporary scientific fields.
This course introduces students to the applications of digital and computational technology and design thinking to humanistic research. Students will learn to use digital research methods to develop and explore strong humanistic research questions, will develop skills in using digital tools to conduct original research, and will analyze the efficacy of a variety of digital research methodologies by critiquing examples of humanities-based research projects that utilize these tools. Students will also learn how to organize and present stories with data, develop charts, analyze and use spatial and network visualizations, and use basic text analysis tools to explore qualitative data.
This course is intended for students to produce critical and creative projects that apply digital technologies to a field of inquiry in the humanities and/or social sciences. Students will continue to develop their skills in analyzing humanities research questions through digital, computational, and design technologies. Students will develop a research question, develop a research agenda and project plan, and produce a proof of concept for a new digital humanities project. This course will culminate in producing a digital project and a written rationale with theoretical grounding, as well as explanation of practical decisions and applications.