Courses Offered

Engaging Humanities courses are unique and the offerings change each year. The following courses will be offered during the academic year 2020-2021. Summer and Fall courses (INT 36 and INT 136) are all Learning Community courses, while the Spring INT 137 course will be a Discovery course. 

Summer Session B:

For first-year students:
Writing About, For, and With Bodies (INT 36BH, Tues and Thur 2-4:50pm) 
Kara Mae Brown and Deborah Harris

According to writer and feminist Simone de Beauvoir, “to be present in the world implies strictly that there exists a body which is at once a material thing in the world and a point of view towards the world.” Writers, therefore, are always writing with and from a particular body, and bodies are also frequently the topic of writing. In this class, we explore how we write about, for, and with bodies. We begin by looking at how bodies are written about, including how the meanings and standards of bodies are created by cultures (including various institutions and popular culture). Then, we think about how we write for bodies, particularly differently abled bodies, through advocacy and legislation. Finally, we explore how we write with our bodies, by thinking about writing as an embodied practice – that is, we write from particular identities, spaces, and situations--and how we write about our own bodies. 

For transfer students:
The Self before Selfies: The Birth of Individualism (INT 136BI, Mon-Thur 9:30-10:50am) 

Patrick McHugh and Brad Bouley

In an era of social media profiles and carefully posed images, personal brands and algorithms for consumer preferences, when we all have to find out who we are and what our life path might be, contemporary life overwhelmingly emphasizes becoming an individual who is different from, yet admired by, others. How did this all begin? This course seeks to examine the history of individualism, what the limits of individualism are, and why it matters. Readings will begin in the Renaissance, but also cover periods after and before that. Along the way, we will also ask the question: To what extent can we know the past and even the present through looking at the life of one individual?



For first-year students:
Disability Aesthetics and Politics in Chinese Literature and Western Music (INT 36KX, Tues and Thur 12:30-1:45pm)

Derek Katz and Hangping Xu

This course uses the lens of disability to re-examine musical and literary histories and challenge some fundamental assumptions regarding aesthetics, ableism, care, and embodiment. We construe disability beyond the medical model as an identity and experience in order to understand its social-political origins; to that end, we adopt a comparative and cross-cultural approach and use Western music and Chinese literature as two case studies. What underlines the premise of music as sonic? Can musical engagement and expression take on visual, tactile, and kinesthetic forms? How do different body-minds perform or receive music? How did Beethoven’s deafness influence his musical identity, for example? Literature as a more representational art invites similar questions: What are the stock narratives of disability? To what extent is the non-normative body-mind exploited as an aesthetic device? What are the material consequences for people with disabilities? We hope that this course will generate historical, critical, and cross-cultural insights that help us imagine disability otherwise and create a more inclusive world in which we all thrive. 

For first-year students:
How Games Tell Stories (And What We Learn From Them) (INT 36GS, Mon and Wed 9:30-10:45am)

Jeremy Douglass and Christian Thomas

How are game narratives designed, how they are experienced, and what do they do? In this course we consider a wide variety of games from a wide variety of game forms and genres: text-based and visual novels, learning games and casual games, indie and triple-A. You will write about games and you will create your own simple prototypes and “playable essays.” Throughout the process of playing, studying, writing about, and creating games, we will work together to discover what we learn from games, and how they change us. The course will involve writing workshops and exercises in which you learn to use basic code on interactive writing platforms and tools such as Twine, Inky, Inklewriter, or Inform. This course requires no coding experience.

For transfer students:
Globalization and Culture (INT 136SB, Tues and Thur 5-6:15pm)

Bob Samuels

This seminar examines how globalization affects art and politics. In looking at the positive and negative aspects of a globalizing world, we will examine how this new economic and social order affects different cultures in different ways. One question we will analyze is whether we are moving towards a universal homogeneous standardized culture. We will also discuss the issue of the political effects of contemporary art.



Early Modern Media and the Invention of Facts (INT 137MK, Tues and Thur 11am-12:15pm) 
Rachael King, Mark Meadow, Taylor Van Doorne, and Jessica Zisa

At a moment when facts can be “alternative” and news can be “fake,” this course explores how our very notions of “truth,” “facts,” and “fiction” came into being. We tend to think of “facts” as things that simply exist in the world but another way of understanding this is to recognize that things in the world only become facts when we are using them to make an argument. Between 1450-1750, the visual arts and literature became deeply concerned with the question of truthfulness in representation of the world, leading to experimentation and innovation that have shaped perceptions of the world up to today. This course will explore the history of truth while helping students to understand the complexities of its status today.