New Course Descriptions
GREAT TEXTS COURSES-SPRING 2014
Early Modern Age (GTX 3321) Dr. Alan Jacobs, MW 1:00-2:15 p.m. This course explores the first centuries of modernity, with an emphasis not only on those who created it but also on those who resisted it and offered powerful alternatives. These are the books that, in so many ways, made the world that we live in. Texts will include Baldesar Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier (selections); Niccol Machiavelli, The Prince; Desiderius Erasmus, In Praise of Folly; Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises; John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (selections); Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus; William Shakespeare, Sonnets; George Herbert, The Temple (selections); René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy; Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (selections); Blaise Pascal, Pensées; John Milton, Paradise Lost; John Locke, On Toleration.
Great Texts by Women (GTX 3330)
Dr. Lynne Hinojosa, TR 11:00-12:15 p.m.
Might Penelope be a greater "hero" than Odysseus in Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey? In The Aeneid, was Dido's descent into passion and vice enabled in part by her being female, or was it simply a destiny forced upon her by two goddesses? Why does Dante make Beatrice his ideal? These female characters were all created by men. But how did women writers represent women (and men)? What did women writers have to say about the great questions of virtue, heroism, happiness, God, and humanity? How did women writers enter into the quest for Truth, Beauty, and Goodness? This course considers some of the philosophical, literary, and theological contributions made by women to a variety of intellectual traditions.
Life and Love in the Ruins: Great Texts in the Twentieth Century (GTX 4321)
Dr. Barry Harvey, TR 12:30-1:45 p.m.
The twentieth century was the most violent and hate-filled in human history to date. The unabashed optimism that accompanied its beginnings was quickly shattered by two world wars and innumerable regional conflicts, fascist and communist tyrannies, genocides on a previously unimaginable scale, economic depressions, segregation, apartheid, social fragmentation, and ecological devastation, just to mention a few of the lowlights. In spite of the bloodshed and destruction, however, there were some still able to discern signs of life in the midst of the animosity and destruction. Read such noted authors as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Toni Morrison, Elie Wiesel, Walker Percy, Dorothy Day, Ariel Dorffman and P.D. James as they nurture the spark of hope left dampened by the events of the time.
Great Texts in Modern Science (GTX 4341)
Dr. Eric Martin, MW 4:00-5:15 p.m.
Interested in evolution? Study the Origin of Species for yourself. Find out what it says-and what it doesn't. Learn about Einstein's famous thought experiments in physics, the Freudian and behaviorist traditions in psychology, and divergent interpretations of the strange world of quantum mechanics. We will survey these important episodes from the history of science and ask fundamental questions about what they mean for our overall picture of nature and for how much we really know about it. Get a deeper understanding of science: how it works, how it changes, and why it matters.
Capstone: Great Texts in Story (GTX 4343)
Dr. Sarah-Jane Murray, TR 2:00-3:15 p.m.
Apply your background in reading and critical thinking to engage great texts across time and genre, and study the role of story in our society while gaining a first-hand experience of the creative process. Explore the rhetoric of story with Aristotle and Shakespeare, examine the creative process with Stephen King and C.S. Lewis, and consider how story rhetoric transitions to film with great movies from Casablanca to PIXAR and the Dark Knight. Students will both hone their academic writing skills by completing a scholarly paper on a topic of their choosing, and engage in the drafting of a creative work. Registration limited to Great Texts majors. Would you like to take this course in the future? Become a GTX major.
Confessions and Autobiography (GTX 4351)
Dr. Alan Jacobs, MW 2:30-3:45 p.m.
This course explores the many and various ways that people write the story of the self. Who am I? What is my story? Do I even have a story? If so, in what way can I tell it? To whom do I address it? Texts will include: Augustine, Confessions; John Bunyan, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners; Rousseau, Confessions; Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), Out of Africa; C. S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy; Richard Rodriguez, Hunger of Memory; Mary Karr, Lit; Alison Bechdel, Fun Home.