Introduction: Humanities as a kind of knowledge; access to the documents
of culture; subject matter; disciplines of the humanities; humanistic
work as a necessary human activity.
Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart (1958)
A. J. Liebling: Back Where I Came From (1938) (selections) (handout)
Topics: the concept of self; identity and tradition; the will of nature,
the will of society, and the will of the individual; self-knowledge
and the concept of "story;" the modern concept of self; Michel
The Wilton Diptych [Portrait of Richard II] (after 1377)
Hans Holbein, Portraits of Henry VIII
and Sir Richard
Diego Velásquez, Portraits of Philip IV
and Juan de Pareja (1650s)
Art Institute List
Música Cataluña: four folk melodies, Narciso Yepes (guitar)
from his own arrangements
François Couperin: pièces de clavecin (1717)
Topics: Elements of music: rhythm, melody, harmony; characteristics
of sound: pitch, intensity, duration, color tone; the scales.
William Shakespeare: Macbeth (c. 1606)
Goals and objectives:
This course has four official goals. They are listed below in no particular
order. The course also has the tacit goals of getting you (1) to read
a novel that presents a sympathetic picture of a culture very different
from ours, (2) to read two articles that exemplify the art of persuasion
by presentation, (3) to study in some detail a small selection
of portraits (4) to make the process of knowing a piece
of music conscious; and (5) to read a seventeenth-century play that
presents contingent philosophic ideas about authority and legitimacy
and fundamental ideas about good and evil and their role in human decisions.
Here are the four official goals:
1. To gain confidence in reading literary and philosophic texts for
concepts, not just for information.
2. To distinguish the concept of portrait from the concept of representation.
To be able to articulate the implicit concept of portrait
in three distinct kinds of portraits drawn from three historical periods.
3. To articulate the figures or structural parts we recognize
in hearing a musical composition. To consider what it might mean to
say we understand a musical compoisition. To connect these
musical concepts with meaning in speech.
4. To improve written and oral expression, with special concentration
1. Giving accurate factual accounts (getting facts straight)
(Did Umuofia know what they were going to with the hostage from the
2. Identifying and citing evidence for a claim
3. Interpreting a passage
(What does the author expect you to know after youve read chapter
two? What questions does the author expect you to have after Okonkwo
participates in killing the hostage? What connection does the author
expect you to see between the initial threat of war in chapter one and
the refusal to fight in part three?)