In cooperation with a dozen academic departments on campus, the Grappone Humanities Institute intends to offer a Minor Humanities beginning in the spring semester of 2019.

Students are encouraged to build upon their first year Conversatio experience and complement their major area of study by engaging in the interdisciplinary, mostly team-taught seminar courses listed below. To earn the Minor in Humanities, students need to complete any three of the courses listed below, as well as two courses in a Humanities discipline outside of their own major (Humanities disciplines include: Classics, English, Fine Arts, History, Modern Languages, Philosophy, and Theology).

The following courses are either approved Humanities Courses or are anticipated to be approved by December of 2018:

The Art of Science

CH 112 (HU 112) - Science of Art and Artifacts
Instructors: Professors Kate Bentz and Mary Kate Donais

The Science of Art and Artifacts is a one-semester course with a strong interdisciplinary emphasis. It is designed for students interested in the interconnections between science and art. The primary goal of the course is to present chemical principles and facts at a level sufficiently rigorous that a student successfully completing the course will understand how the properties of materials influence artistic production and conservation. Interspersed among studies of the fundamental concepts of chemistry are discussions of ethical issues, modern physical methods of examination, safety, and methods in conservation and restoration.

Gender in Literature and Music

Ann Holbrook (English) and Sean Parr (Fine Arts)

Students in this course will explore gender representations in four distinct genres of music: opera, rock, country, and hip-hop. They will read literature that corresponds to the music’s time period, subject matter, and performative aspects. The course is intended (1) to introduce students to some current ways of thinking and writing about issues of music, literature, and gender; (2) to facilitate students’ development of an informed, self-aware position in relation to recent scholarship; and (3) to challenge assumptions about the way we read and hear gender.

Leo Tolstoy, Art, and Modern Russia

Meg Cronin (English) and Phil Pajakowski (History)

This course focuses on the study of Leo Tolstoy’s literary work in the context of the cultural, social, and political history of nineteenth-century Russia.  Among the most unique, gifted, and insightful authors in the European tradition, Tolstoy possessed a profound moral sensibility that reacted sharply to social and political issues of Russia and Europe of his time. Of enormous artistic merit, his work is also fruitful as a source of inquiry into moral and ethical concerns. Literary and historical analyses of his writings will yield insights into methods pursued by those disciplines. The course will include reading, writing, and individual reflection for exploration in seminar discussion, as well as film viewing and use of digital resources. It will teach students how to read and write about primary sources in the disciplines of history and literature, but also how the humanities fields enrich each other and can lead us beyond academic study to a broader understanding of human experience.

Projecting Criminality: Crime Films in American Society

Jonathan Lupo (Communication) and Chris Bruell (Criminal Justice)

Films about crime and criminals have been popular since the birth of movies. In order to explore this enduring appeal, this course focuses on the role that film can play in influencing people’s views not only on why crimes take place in our society, but also on how their causes and our responses to them are represented through film. Drawing from the social science orientation of Criminal Justice-related research that explores the causes of and societal responses to criminal behavior and the Humanities-focused approaches of visual and cultural criticism that reads films as dynamic texts, the class considers the reciprocal intersections between representation and policy in U.S.-based crime films.

England’s Early Modern Catholic Underground

Gary Bouchard (English) and Kelley Spoerl (Theology)

Roman Catholics who refused to conform to the doctrine and practice of the Church of England established by Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy in 1534 faced penalties and persecutions for over a century. Catholics who nonetheless persisted  in their loyalty to their faith, contributed not only to the mission of the Roman Catholic Church in England, but to the English Renaissance, fashioning exceptional works of poetry, drama, music, and rhetoric. This course examines the lives and artistic contributions of these men and women, inviting students to engage with the lives, culture, and politics of this active underground culture and its impact upon the Elizabethan and Jacobean worlds.

Hispanic American History

Jaime Orrego (Spanish, Modern Languages) and Beth Salerno (History)

This team taught course will enable students to see US history and culture in a new way. Hispanic Americans have been central to the founding, expansion, growth, and culture of the US from before the Pilgrims to the present day. The Western US was once owed by Mexico and many of its residents became US citizens before the Irish or Italians arrived.  Students will read history in English and literature and primary sources in Spanish. Lecture and discussion will be in Spanish. The goal is to understand the central role of Latinos/as in the past as grounding for understanding the present.

Shakespeare and Political Power

Gary Bouchard (English) and Peter Josephson (Political Science)

The plays, poems, and sonnets of William Shakespeare, it should go without saying, include some of the most artful, profound, entertaining, and influential works in all of modern literature. The study of Shakespeare also has a long and established place in the field of political science. This course joins literary and political considerations in order to introduce students to the political sources that influenced Shakespeare’s understanding, (2) read Shakespeare’s texts with seriousness and delight; and (3) consider them with the assistance of examples of recent scholarship from the field of political science.

The Qu’ran, Cultures, Conflicts: Introduction to Islam

Bindu Malieckal (English)

This course introduces students to topics related to Islam, from the life of the Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions, the Qu’ran, Hadith, Islamic history and jurisprudence, and the various sects of Islam, to selected cultural practices such as art, architecture, film, music, dance, poetry, and the role of women in the Islamic worlds. Also, the course will tackle a few of the conflicts associated with the Islamic worlds, such as terrorism, war, and the refugee crisis.  Readings cover a variety of genres, including primary documents and histories, autobiographies, biographies, travel narratives, novels, visual and sound recordings, and online materials.

Additional Courses Include:

  • The Benedictines
  • Catholic Education
  • Confucian Thinkers
  • Mid-Victorian History and Literature
  • Paris – New York in the 1920’s and 1930’s
  • Using Homer to Heal Wounded Warriors