The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

CTI 301G • Intro To Ancient Greece

33915 • Patterson, James
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 0.120
(also listed as C C 301)
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This course is a survey of the social, intellectual, philosophical, religious, political, military, scientific, artistic, and literary history of ancient Greece, from its prehistory through classical antiquity to the rise of Christianity, the Byzantine Empire, and the emergence of a country called Greece. Our study will emphasize the so-called Golden Age of Athens (5th century BC, or more precisely 480-404). This is what we might normally think of when we hear the phrase “ancient Greece,” since it is the period of democracy and cultural flourishing we tend to consider the “foundation of Western civilization.” But this “Golden Age” is really just a blip in time and space, and to focus solely on it would be a disservice to our understanding of what the ancient Greek world was about. So we will expand our range, both chronologically and geographically, to cover an historical period from roughly 3,000 BC to 1453 AD and beyond, studying several different Greek cultures (there were dozens of them) as well as the foreign cultures with whom they interacted (including the Akkadians, Sumerians, Egyptians, Etruscans, Phoenicians, Scythians, Persians, Bactrians, Parthians, Jews, Romans, Arabs, and Turks). We will find that the ancient Greek world was far more complex and diverse than one might think. And, by examining not only the similarities but also (and in many ways more importantly) the differences between their cultures and our own, we will better understand how we definitely are and definitely are not related to them.

One of our focuses will be on what is called “the history of ideas,” or how thoughts, worldviews, and beliefs—whether good or bad—change and develop over time. In particular, we will emphasize the development of religious, philosophical, and scientific ideas and see how they influence (and are influenced by) art, literature, and politics. We will also study conceptions of ethnicity and identity. These conceptions tend to develop and be defined in contrast to adversaries, or “others.” Throughout most of antiquity, there was no sense of a Greek culture (in fact, “Greece” is a Roman concept, not a Greek one). In a Texan context, Houston, Dallas, and Austin would all be distinct “nations,” and an ancient Greek would call us all barbarians because, among other things, we wear pants and wash ourselves with soap. Insofar as we can, we will get into the minds of the Greeks themselves and study their world as they saw it. We will do the same with the various ways the modern world has interpreted this ancient history, for history is created by those who look back on it as much as it is by those who live it. Thus, this course offers a unique opportunity to understand not only who the ancient Greeks were but also who we think we are now in light of them. 


CTI 301G • Intro To Ancient Greece

33920 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM WAG 308
(also listed as C C 301)
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This course introduces students to the history, the culture, the religion, and above all the thought of the ancient Greeks. In studying the Greeks, we will have a twofold goal. First, we will try to develop a better understanding of a society which is in some ways very different from our own, but which is very much like it in others, and will exercises an influence over us that is still easy to see. Second, we will engage the Greeks as fellow students of enduring questions that still matter to us today—questions about justice, love, the divine, and the nature of the world. In that way, we will try to learn from them about ourselves.

The material for this course will consist almost entirely of primary sources. We will begin with a unit on Greek history in which we will try to see what was unique about the Greeks, and what they saw as unique about themselves. For that, we will look at selections from Herodotus and Thucydides. We will then study closely some of the chief literary and philosophic works of ancient Greece, including Homer’s Odyssey, Sophocles’ Antigone, and three of Plato’s dialogues: the Apology of Socrates, the Gorgias, and the Symposium.

In addition to the readings, students will be expected to learn the Greek alphabet and some very basic Greek vocabulary based on the readings we do for class.

This will be a small, discussion intensive class. Students will be expected to read carefully for every class meeting so that they can participate actively in discussions.

Texts:

  • Herodotus and Thucydides, Selections
  • Homer, Odyssey
  • Sophocles, Antigone
  • Plato, Apology of Socrates, Gorgias, and Symposium

Course Requirements:

  • Two papers (25% each)
  • Final exam (25%)
  • Short writing assignments (15%)
  • Attendance, quizzes, and class participation (10%)

This course carries a Global Cultures flag and fulfills the Visual and Performing Arts requirement.  It also fulfills the Cultural Expression, Human Experience, & Thought Course area requirement.


CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thou

33935 • Bennett, Zachary
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 1.102
(also listed as GOV 314)
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This course explores the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. We will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest human concerns—justice, freedom, self-preservation, love, and happiness—and the potential of political life to fulfill those yearnings. We will focus on the works of Plato, Augustine, Hobbes, and Rousseau, and we will compare their reflections on human nature with those of Darwin and with contemporary theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these different views of human psychology suggest different approaches to ethics and politics.


CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thou

33930 • Siddiqi, Ahmed
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM GAR 0.120
(also listed as GOV 314)
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This course explores the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. In roughly chronological order, we will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest human concerns—justice, happiness, and love—and the potential political life has to fulfill those yearnings. In the final part of the course, we will study Darwin’s evolutionary theory of human mental faculties in The Descent of Man, Freud’s theory of unconscious psychological drives, and current theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these different views of human nature suggest different approaches to politics and ethics.

We will read selections from the following works:

  • Plato The Republic, The Symposium 
  • St. Augustine: The Confessions, City of God 
  • Hobbes The Leviathan 
  • Rousseau Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
  • Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil
  • Darwin The Descent of Man 
  • Freud Civilization and its Discontents
  • And selected articles on evolutionary psychology

CTI 304 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

33945 • Kaplan, Jonathan
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CLA 0.106
(also listed as R S 315)
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Description

The figure of Moses looms large in biblical tradition, in the religions that revere him (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), and in Western thought. In this course, we will begin by examining the figure of Moses in the Bible (with a focus on Exodus and Deuteronomy) and the various roles he plays in the biblical tradition including prophet, priest, king, and legislator. We will then turn to examine the reception of Moses in Second Temple Judaism (Philo, Dead Sea Scrolls), Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism, and Islam. The later part of the course will explore the way this variegated tradition has been used to inform Western thought through reading selections from representative works such as Baruch Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise and Sigmund Freud’s Moses and Monotheism. We will conclude our study of Moses by examining how Moses has been portrayed in American history and by evaluating the descriptions of Moses in High School Social Studies textbooks.

Texts

  • The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha (Augmented Fourth Edition, 2010).
  • Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing.
  • Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.
  • Roy Peter Clarke, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer.
  • Readings from Philo, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Rabbinic Literature, Qur’anic Literature, Baruch Spinoza, and others will be posted on Canvas.

Grading

  • Attendance (10%)
  • Participation (20%)
  • Five Reading Response Papers (15%)
  • Class Presentation (15%)
  • Rough Draft of Final Term Paper (20%)
  • Revised Final Draft of Final Term Paper (20%)

CTI 304 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

33950 • Yoo, Philip
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CLA 0.118
(also listed as R S 315)
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Description:

What, according to the Bible, is required of us? What is our response to the deity? What is our place in the cosmos? With these questions in mind, this course seeks to cultivate both an understanding of the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) and the New Testament and how biblical writers and subsequent interpreters grappled with notions of divine command and human obligation. We pursue this aim through close readings of the biblical texts themselves and the reception of biblical figures, themes, and ideas among its many interpreters. We begin by examining the historical sense of the Hebrew Bible as a product of the ancient Near East. We will then examine the practice of biblical interpretation among the competing Jewish ideologies at the turn of the Common Era, out of which emerged the early Christians and the New Testament. The later part of the course will highlight some of the major Jewish and Christian interpreters of the Bible in the pre-modern and modern periods and how, through their own view of “scripturalism”, these interpreters understood and formulated responses to questions of human nature, humanity’s relationship to the supernatural, and the meaning of life.

 

Texts

  • The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version. Edited by Michael D. Coogan, Marc Z. Brettler, and Carol Newsom. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. (indicated by NOAB in the Plan of Study, below)
  • Course Pack with selections from Readings from Philo, Dead Sea Scrolls, Rabbinic Literature, Qur’anic Literature, Maimonides, Augustine, Luther, Spinoza, Mendelsohn, Kierkegaard, and others.

 

Grading

  • Attendance (10%)
  • 5 short reading reports (2% each or 10%)
  • 2 short papers (15% each or 30%)
  • rewrite of one paper (25%)
  • final exam (25%)

CTI 304 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

33940 • Landau, Brent
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 308
(also listed as R S 315)
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Among all the influential texts found in the Bible, none has had such an enormous impact on world history and culture as the Book of Genesis has. This may be somewhat surprising: given the fact that Christianity is the world’s largest religion, one might expect that one of the Gospels of the New Testament would be the most influential. Yet Genesis, with its tales of the strange world that existed before the Flood and its recounting of the exploits—sometimes morally questionable—of Israel’s patriarchs, exercised such a hold on the imagination of the earliest Christians that many New Testament writings can actually be seen as extended ruminations on the implications of the Genesis narrative…as can many other great works of literature and art from antiquity to the present. This course will explore the incredibly diverse ways that human beings have sought to make meaning out of this book. We will begin by devoting more than two months to a close reading of Genesis in its entirety—just us and the text (mostly). We will then proceed to examine several significant but poorly known ancient interpretations of Genesis. We will investigate: a retelling of the strange story of “sons of God” mating with human women (from Gen 6:1-4) as found in the Book of the Watchers (part of the larger ancient Jewish work known as 1 Enoch); the “reversal” of Genesis’s creation story found in the Gnostic Christian writing Apocryphon of John; and the use of Genesis narratives in the Quran, the foundational scripture of Islam. Significant attention will also be given to ethical issues arising from the text and interpretation of Genesis.


CTI 304 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

33960 • Batlan, Katharine
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM PAR 204
(also listed as R S 315)
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This course aims at familiarity with significant passages in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, with an emphasis on the cultural context in which these texts were created in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, as well as their noteworthy theological interpreters in European and United States history. We pursue this aim through reading the scriptures themselves, exploring the cultural context in which they were created, and a wide range of exegetes (or interpreters) of the Bible. After gaining familiarity with the cultural and historical development of the Bible, we will turn to major theological thinkers that shaped biblical interpretation. In the final section of the course, we will look at moments in American history when biblical interpretation was key – including the colonial founding, formation of the new nation, and debates over slavery. 

Grading:

•   10% Attendance and Participation

•   25% Intellectual Journals

•   30% Two Position Papers (15% each)

•   35% Final Paper (10% for draft, 5% for peer review, 20% for final paper)  

Required Texts: 

•   The Harper Collins Study Bible NRSV

•   Course packet of readings


CTI 304 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

33955 • Gunderson, Jaimie
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM MEZ 1.208
(also listed as R S 315)
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Seeks to develop a wide-ranging familiarity with the Jewish and Christian Bibles and with the dominant modes of ancient, medieval, and early modern biblical interpretation. Readings include an extensive range of primary sources, including both the Scriptures themselves and some of their most influential exegetes.     


CTI 310 • Ancient Philosophy

33961 • Hankinson, Robert
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 302
(also listed as C C 304C, PHL 301K)
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A.N.Whitehead remarked, about a hundred years ago, that “all of Western Philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato”. That is an exaggeration, but a pardonable one. Plato is the earliest European philosopher of whom complete texts survive. He was enormously influential not only in the Ancient World, but also in the early Christian tradition as well as the Renaissance. Even today his work is studied as part of a living tradition and not just as a historical document. For these (and other) reasons, it makes sense to orient a very basic introduction to Ancient Philosophy around his work, and that is what we are going to do. The primary focus of this class will be on argument, the practice of giving reasons for complex and abstract philosophical positions. We will be considering and assessing, among other things, Plato’s account of the nature of goodness and virtue; his theory of knowledge; his commitment to the existence of abstract objects (‘Forms’) in terms of which the ordinary properties of ordinary objects in the world around us can be (allegedly)  understood; his arguments for the soul’s immortality, and its general nature.

 

Readings: C.D.C.Reeve, A Plato Reader: Eight Essential Dialogues (Hackett; ISBN: 978-1-60384-811-4)

Grading: 2 in-class exams (25%); 1 term paper (50%)


CTI 310 • Early Modern Philosophy

33962 • Martinich, Aloysius
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BEN 1.122
(also listed as PHL 301L)
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Philosophy is the study of the most basic aspects of reality. We will begin to understand philosophy by studying some texts by early modern philosophers (1600 - 1800), who were also some of the greatest Western philosophers of all time. We have five major goals:

1. To learn what the major philosophers believed and what reasons or arguments they had for their beliefs

2. To learn how to understand and evaluate arguments and reasons.

3. To learn some of the ways that philosophy should be done.

4. To discover some actual philosophical truths.

5. To learn something about the early modern culture of Western Europe.

 

Texts:

Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy

Gearge Berkeley, Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous

David Hume, Enquiry into Human Understanding

Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics

A. P. Martinich, Philosophical Writing 4th edition

 

Grading:

Two in-class tests: 15% and 20%     = 35%

Attendance and Assignments            = 25%

Participation                                    = 10%

Final Examination                             = 30%


CTI 310 • Intro To Philos Of Religion

33975-33980 • Phillips, Stephen
Meets MW 2:00PM-3:00PM WAG 302
(also listed as PHL 305, R S 305)
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An examination of principal issues in contemporary philosophy of religion with special attention to religious pluralism. The views and arguments of Western theologians and philosophers will be taken up along with claims and concepts growing out of Eastern religions (Buddhism and Hinduism, in particular). Special topics include different views of the nature of a Divine Reality, arguments of rational theology, mysticism, and the theological problem of evil.


CTI 310 • Intro To The New Testament

33965 • Landau, Brent
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM ART 1.102
(also listed as C C 304C, R S 315N)
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This course introduces students to the academic study of the 27 writings that today comprise the Christian New Testament in their first-century historical context. We will begin by considering the distinctive ways in which biblical scholars read and interpret these texts, and also by exploring the political and religious background to the birth of Christianity. We will then address what can be known about the historical individual known as Jesus of Nazareth and examine how the gospels reinterpret his significance for Christians living several decades after Jesus’ death. The next segment of the course introduces students to the letters and thought of the Apostle Paul, a figure as important for the beginnings of Christianity as Jesus (if not more so). The course concludes with a look at the other writings that comprise the NT, including the Book of Revelation, and also reflects on what we know about the process by which the NT became fixed in its canonical form. The primary goal of the course is to develop the skill of reading each of the NT writings as a distinctive, individual text (which may or may not agree with other NT texts).

 


CTI 310 • Left And Right In America

33967 • Moench, B.
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM SZB 524
(also listed as AMS 311S)
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description:

Is the United States a “liberal society”—why or why not? This course will examine the philosophical origins of contemporary American political culture and retrace the country’s often contradictory relationship with liberal philosophy.

      American political culture produces ethical constructs—such as “the personal is political or “government is the problem, not the solution—which guide one’s perceptions of political events and historical causation. Together we will excavate the intellectual history behind the ethical frameworks of American politics and search for the causes of the country’s current political divide. In 2004, Barack Obama, then a candidate for the US Senate, proclaimed there was not “a Liberal America” and a “Conservative America” but “one United States of America.” What was Obama referring to? Are there underlying agreements in American political culture that reach across both the left and right? This course will address this debate by examining the political and ethical commitments behind the core texts of America’s past and present.     

possible texts:

A course pack will be assigned that includes short selections from John Locke, Adam Smith, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Bernard-Henri Levy, Malcolm X, and Ronald Reagan.

 

assignments:

Attendance: 5 percent

Participation: 5 percent

Research summary papers: 15 percent

Mid-term paper: 30 percent

Final paper: 35 percent           


CTI 321 • Theor Foundtns Modern Politics

33985 • Stauffer, Devin
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 3.134
(also listed as GOV 351D)
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GOV 351D (CTI 321)

The Theoretical Foundations of Modern Politics

Devin Stauffer

 

Course Description

This course examines the philosophic origins of modern politics and culture by looking at the works of several authors whose writings played decisive roles in the rise and development of modernity. In our study of Machiavelli’s Prince, Hobbes’ Leviathan, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, and selected political writings of Rousseau and Nietzsche, we will consider how modern political thought broke with the past and offered a new set of political visions. We will consider the differing views of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Nietzsche on issues such as the aims and limits of politics, the role of morality in the harsh world of political necessity, the proper place of religion and reason in political life, and the nature and basis of justice, freedom, and equality. Throughout the course, we will reflect of the impact that the revolutionary doctrines of modern political philosophy have had on the political world in which we live.

Texts

Machiavelli, The Prince (University of Chicago)

Hobbes, Leviathan (Hackett)

Locke, Two Treatises of Government (Yale)

Rousseau, The First and Second Discourses (St. Martin’s Press)

Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Penguin)

 

Requirements and Grading

Paper: 20%

First exam: 25%

Second exam: 25%

Attendance: 10%

Participation: 10%

Quizzes: 10%

(Note:  These percentages are approximate, and the paper may be made optional.)

 

Prerequisites

Sophomore standing 


CTI 335 • Jerusalem And Athens

33995 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GAR 1.134
(also listed as GOV 379S, LAH 350)
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In this class, we will study the age-old confrontation between Jerusalem and Athens--that is, between the teaching of the Bible and the politics and philosophy of the ancient Greeks. We will compare the way in which each tradition answers basic questions about politics and morality, including: What is virtue? What is justice? What is the best poltiical order? What do we owe our community? In what manner are we morally culpable or sinful? What is the role of philosophic thought in the political community and in an individual life? And above all, can we know, on the basis of human reason alone, how we ought to live--or are we in need of divine guidance?
 
The Greeks and the Bible offer the deepest and most deeply opposed answers to these quesitons. In this class, we will use core texts from both traditions to come to grips with this fundamental alternative.
 
Texts:
 
Parts of the Hebrew Bible, including selections from Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, 1 and 2 Samuel, and others
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Possible additional readings include Homer's Iliad and Hesiod's Work and Days and Theogony
 
Grading Policy:
 
65%: 3 papers, 4-6 pages apiece; the first two are worth 20% each, the last is worth 25% 
25%: frequent short writing assignments, including two paper reviews (assigned in class; 1-2 pages apiece)
10%  attendance, quizzes, and class participation

CTI 335 • Origins Of Liberalism

34015 • Martinich, Aloysius
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 308
(also listed as PHL 354)
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Liberal democracy is roughly the theory that individual human beings are free and equal. Freedom and equality are typically connected with the rights of individuals. Key concepts include liberty, democracy, the social contract, and the nature of authority and obligation to governments.

This course is interdisciplinary. It will cover the history, religion, and political philosophy of Stuart England (seventeenth-century England), the century of the English Civil War, the Commonwealth, The Restoration, the Exclusion Crisis, the Glorious Revolution, and the English Bill of Rights.

Thomas Hobbes's LEVIATHON and John Locke's TWO TREATISES OF GOVERNMENT will be discussed in detail along with other notable works by republican theorists, radical democrats, and divine right theorists.

 

Texts:

Thomas Hobbes, LEVIATHON

John Locke, TWO TREATISES OF GOVERNMENT

Bucholz and Keys, EARLY MODERN ENGLAND 2nd ed

A. P. Martinich, Philosophical Writing

 

Grading:

Class participation and assignments - 25%

Test (about October 15) - 20%

Final Examination (comprehensive) - 35%

Essay (due last class day of semester) - 20%


CTI 335 • Regime Persp Amer Poltc-Honors

34000 • Tulis, Jeffrey
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM MEZ 2.102
(also listed as GOV 379S, LAH 350)
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GOV 379S / LAH 350/ CTI 335  Regime Perspectives on American Politics

Fall 2017

Wednesdays 3-6pm

 

Jeffrey K. Tulis

 

This is a seminar on American politics and culture.   Two purposes govern the selection of texts for the course and guide our discussion of them.  All of our texts attempt to look at American politics as a whole.  Most books and courses on America look at only a part, such as the Presidency, or elections, or popular culture.  Here we attempt to think about how the parts of America fit together.  Even when these texts speak about a part, for example an institution such as the presidency or the Congress, they present the topic from a vantage point on the whole polity.   To see the polity as a whole also means that we will have to revisit and rethink aspects of our political life that we take for granted – that we don’t examine because those parts have become so natural or familiar to us.  Seeing the polity whole enables us to render the familiar unfamiliar, to make what we take for granted strange and new.

 

To see the polity as a whole requires that we get some distance from our subject, much as to see the planet earth as a whole requires one to look at it from outer space.  Just as it is difficult to get visual perspective on a place living within it, it is difficult to understand the promise or pathologies of a regime from within.  To get critical distance from our politics, we will closely study three sets of texts that look at American politics from a distance.   The first part of the course will recover the perspective of the founding debate between Federalists and Anti-federalists.   This fundamental debate reveals what is a stake in the basic architecture of the American regime.  The second part of the course is a close study of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.  Regarded by many as the best book ever written on democracy and the best book written on America, Tocqueville sees our polity whole because he looks at it from the vantage point of Europe, in general, and France, in particular.  In the third part of the seminar we think about American politics from the perspective of thoughtful commentators who feel only nominally included in the polity.   Half in and half out, these extraordinary black American writers reveal fissures and fault lines in the American regime.  We end the class with a discussion of America’s place in the world today – examining a speech by a writer who articulately raises challenges to our self-understanding that are inarticulately expressed today in rage and ranting from enemies of the United States.

 

Requirements:

 

Three take home analytic essays, chosen from a list of topics I provide, each weighted 25% of the course grade.  Late essays will not be accepted, except with a doctor’s excuse or a Dean’s excuse for family emergency.

 

OR as an option: you may write the two short essays (both together weighted 25%) and do a longer 15 page paper on a topic of your choice in consultation with me (weighted 50% of your course grade).   Government honors students who are thinking of doing an honors thesis next year may prefer this option to begin to develop research and writing skills for longer work.  Students who prefer this option will need to designate their preferred third short essay and have discussed with me a topic for their long paper by March 30. 

 

Texts:

The Federalist

Selected Anti-Federalist writings

Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Essays, speeches and articles by Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison and Ta-Nehisi Coates.


CTI 335 • Sacred/Sec In Mod Euro Thought

34005 • Matysik, Tracie
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM JES A209A
(also listed as EUS 346, HIS 362G, R S 357)
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Europe was long thought to have undergone a process of “secularization” in the modern era, beginning roughly with the sixteenth century and becoming largely unstoppable by the nineteenth.  According to this narrative, “God” was supposed to have slowly disappeared from the political, social, and cultural arenas; the supernatural, the divine, and the sacred were supposed to have receded from daily life; and the European world was supposed to have found itself  “disenchanted.”  More recently, however, historians and critical theorists have begun to reassess this story, finding instead mutually-evolving processes of disenchantment and re-enchantment, as new formations of the divine and the sacred appeared on the intellectual and emotive landscape.  Some theorists now talk about “varieties of secularism” at play in the modern world, while others have resuscitated a language of “political theology” to discuss the ever-complicated relationship between the state, sovereignty, power, and the sacred or divine. 

            This course will introduce students to key themes and methodologies of intellectual history and social theory by exploring the dueling approaches to secularization and sacralization in modern European thought.  In the first two weeks, we will read recent theoretical works on the sacred and the secular (essays from Peter Berger, Simon Critchley, Charles Taylor, and others).  With theoretical tools in hand, we will turn to the period between 1800 and 1945 to read classic works in philosophy and social theory that thematize the sacred and the secular.  Drawing on founding works in social and human sciences (from sociology,  psychoanalysis, philosophy and beyond), we will investigate related sub-themes of violence, sacrifice, ritual,  redemption, the sublime, and transcendence.  We will also discuss select artworks from the Romantic period through Surrealism as a means to enhance our discussion of these themes. 

            Central to our concerns will be the sacred and secular formations of modern ethics.  We will observe on the one hand how modern thinkers have sought to establish ethical systems on purely immanent and secular grounds, even as they intentionally or unintentionally retained notions of the divine and the sacred (e.g., Immanuel Kant’s Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone).  On the other hand, we will grapple with explicitly religious works that nonetheless establish ethics on what might seem like secular-humanist foundations (e.g., Søren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling).  We will read works that seek to explicate the structure of religions and their guidelines for comportment according to social categories of the sacred and profane or the taboo (Émile Durkheim’s Elementary Forms of Religion; Roger Caillois’s Man and the Sacred; Sigmund Freud’s Totem and Taboo); and we will read works that seek to rediscover and/or re-insert the sacred into the modern and profane world (e.g., George Bataille’s Theory of Religion; Walter Benjamin’s “Critique of Violence” and “Theses on the Philosophy of History”; Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption). 

            The course lends itself naturally to the requirements of the Flag in Ethics and Global Leadership.  Our readings themselves concentrate on the question of the secular and sacred foundations of ethical systems and decisions.  As a final project, worth 35% of the grade, students will be asked to identify and analyze a sacred, secular, or taboo function that governs moral presuppositions.  They may find such a function represented in a film, a novel, an artwork, a legal decision, a U.N. declaration, etc.  Their task will not be to assess whether or not the practice is “right” or “good” or “ethical,” but rather to analyze the practice in terms of its (usually unstated) sacred, secular, taboo, or ritual context.  They will be asked to ground their analysis in one or more of our core readings.

 

Immanuel Kant, Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone (excerpt)

G. W. F. Hegel, Philosophy of History (excerpt from the introduction)

Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling

Friedrich Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morality (Books I and II) (but may substitute The Gay

            Science, Book IV)

Émile Durkheim, Elementary Forms of Religion (selections)

Roger Caillois, Man and the Sacred (selections)

George Bataille, Theory of Religion (selections)

Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo (selections)

—, “The Uncanny”

Franz Rosenzweig, Star of Redemption (selections)

Simon Critchley, Faith of the Faithless (selections)

Peter Berger, Desecularization of the World (introduction)

Judith Butler, Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Cornell West, The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere

Journal                         10%

Short Essay 1                        20%

Short Essay 2                        20%

Final Essay                           35%

Class Participation                  15%


CTI 335 • Women Hist Polit Thought

34010 • Stauffer, Dana
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM UTC 3.122
(also listed as GOV 335M, WGS 345)
show description

Course Description: Women in the History of Political Thought

This course will examine the themes of women, the family, and the private sphere in the history of political theory. We will analyze and interpret works of political theory in which women have a central role, and we will seek to understand the relationship between political thinkers’ views about women and the family and their larger political theories. We will begin in classical Greece with political theory and drama. Then we will move through history, considering the critiques of paternalism launched by Hobbes and Locke and the portrait of the ideal woman advanced by Rousseau in Book V of the Emile. In the second half of the course, we will consider the development of early feminism in the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Henrik Ibsen, John Stuart Mill, and Simone de Beauvoir. Some of the questions we will pursue are the following: What does justice demand in the realm of the relations between the sexes, and what kinds of social and political arrangements are best for women? How do our answers to these questions intersect with broader questions about human nature, identity, political community, and justice?

 

Required Texts

 

A Course Reader

 

De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. (Vintage)

 

Euripides II. (Complete Greek Tragedies, Chicago)

 

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland. (Penguin Classics)

 

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House and Other Plays. (Penguin Classics)

 

Mill, John Stuart. The Subjection of Women. Edited by Susan M. Okin (Hackett)

 

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Emile, or On Education. Translated by Allan Bloom. (Basic Books)

 

Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Women. (Prometheus)

 

Course Requirements and Grading

 

First Exam: 30%

Second Exam: 30%

Paper: 30%

Class Participation (including pop quizzes): 10%


CTI 345 • Dante

34020 • Raffa, Guy
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CLA 0.122
(also listed as E 366D, EUS 347, ITC 349)
show description

Dante: Fall 2017

ITC 349, same as E 366D, crosslisted with EUS 347 and CTI 345

Professor Guy Raffa, Dept. of French and Italian

E-mail: guyr@utexas.edu; Home Page: http://guyraffa.la.utexas.edu/ 

The Divine Comedy offers a remarkable panorama of the late Middle Ages through one man's poetic vision of the afterlife. However, we continue to read and study the poem not only to learn about the thought and culture of medieval and early modern Europe but also because many of the issues confronting Dante and his age are no less important to individuals and societies today. Personal and civic responsibilities, governmental accountability, church-state relations, economics and social justice, Dante's influence on artists and other writers, benefits and limitations of interdisciplinarity—these are some of the themes that will frame our discussion of the Divine Comedy. Although you will read the poem in English, a bilingual edition will enable you to study and learn famous lines in the original Italian. The course is taught in English and contains flags for Writing and Global Cultures.

Danteworlds (http://danteworlds.laits.utexas.edu/): In addition to detailed entries, audio recordings, and study questions, this Web site contains hundreds of images from works by Sandro Botticelli, an anonymous 16th-century artist, John Flaxman, William Blake, Gustave Dorè, and Suloni Robertson.

Through close reading, class discussion, and the use of Danteworlds, you are expected to identify and explain the significance of major characters, references, and ideas in Dante's Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise) and Vita Nuova. You will be tested on this ability in responses to study questions (a low-stakes writing assignment) and two in-class exams. An essay, which you will rewrite based on my feedback, will assess your ability to support an interpretation of a specific aspect of Dante's poetry with detailed textual analysis and scholarly research. A peer-editing activity will help you to revise and edit your own work. I expect you to have read the assigned cantos and reviewed the corresponding material in Danteworlds (including the study questions) before class.

Required Texts: (you must use the editions of these texts ordered for the class)

            Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso (Trans. Allen Mandelbaum)

            Vita Nuova (Trans. Barbara Reynolds)

Recommended Text: The Complete Danteworlds: A Reader's Guide to the "Divine Comedy" (Raffa)

Canvas: We will use the CANVAS learning management system to organize and provide course content on-line. When you log in to Canvas (http://canvas.utexas.edu/) and select the course, you will have access to the syllabus, assignments, lecture presentations (pdf), grades, and a discussion forum (for posting responses to study questions). You will be required to submit most assignments on-line using Canvas.

Assignments and Computation of Grade:

10%: 1500-word essay on the Inferno (credit for successful completion)

25%: Major rewrite of this essay incorporating scholarly research (graded)

5%:   Annotated bibliography of research sources (credit for successful completion)

5%:   Peer-review (credit for successful completion)

10%: Responses to study questions in Canvas Discussion Forum (credit for successful completion)

30%: Two in-class examinations  (graded: 15% each)

15%: Classwork and participation


CTI 345 • Major Works Of Dostoevsky

34025 • Livers, Keith
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM JES A215A
(also listed as C L 323, REE 325)
show description

Description:

This course explores the dilemmas of homicide, suicide, patricide and redemption in the novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky — Russia’s greatest chronicler of human suffering and triumph. Over the course of the semester we will read a number of Dostoevsky’s greatest works, including Notes From Underground, Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. At the same time, we will look at the contemporary intellectual and social trends relevant to the development of Dostoevsky’s career as a writer and thinker.

 

Required Texts:

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground, tr. Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, tr. Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, tr. Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Great Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky

 

Most classes will consist of both lecture and discussion.  Since part of the course grade is based on informed participation, it is imperative that you do ALL of the readings by the day in which they appear in the syllabus. 

 

?OURSE REQUIREMENTS:

  • Regular attendance/participation
  • 2. Completion of required readings by date indicated in          syllabus
  • Course work/Course Credit:
  • 3 essays (5-6 pages each): 70%   
  • Participation: 20%
  • Attendance: 10%

CTI 350 • Masterworks Of World Drama

34035 • Lang, Elon
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM MEZ 1.212
show description

CTI 350 Masterworks of World Drama: In Pursuit of Justice

Dr. Elon Lang emlang@austin.utexas.edu

 

Course Description and Objectives:

In our media-saturated culture, we encounter drama everyday on the various screens we watch as we live our modern lives. Although these shows and films may seem far removed from the theatrical stage, when we watch these dramas we are participating in a phenomenon that has been a principle means by which Western culture has described and perpetuated itself for over 2,500 years.

 

In this course we will focus our investigation of drama upon a perennial subject of the dramatic arts: the nature and pursuit of justice. We will seek to examine how different playwrights from different eras of Western literature have balanced elements like mercy, vengeance, fairness, due process, authority, altruism, noble character, prejudice, public opinion, and public service in their definitions of justice. Students will consider whether the dramas in selected ancient, Renaissance, and modern plays present idealistic, realistic, or polemical portrayals of how “justice is served.” We will discuss whether these dramas critique or celebrate the courts and other means society uses to define justice, to defend it, and to enforce laws and codes of conduct. We will bookend the semester by examining the way justice is portrayed being served by the American criminal justice system in contemporary pop-culture dramas (e.g. Law and Order) and the way drama instruction is used in some American prisons to facilitate rehabilitation among inmates.

 

Since no single course can exhaustively cover the subject of “dramatic masterworks in the Western tradition,” we will emphasize two major goals: (1) to develop critical and analytical skills that can be applied to all forms of literary art, (2) to broaden an understanding of drama’s civic value that can be gained from teaching and studying the classics or using drama as a pedagogical tool. To this end, course requirements will include close reading and in-class discussion of plays, light exploration of philosophies of justice, attendance at least one assigned evening performance of a play, informal acting, written analysis, examinations, and creative writing.

 

Possible readings and video studies will include selections from:

  • Aeschylus, The Oresteia
  • Aristotle, Poetics and Nichomachean Ethics
  • Sophocles, Oedipus the King
  • Euripedes, Herakles
  • The York Mystery Plays
  • Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Merchant of Venice, The Tempest
  • Henrik Ibsen, Pillars of the Community
  • Arthur Miller, The Crucible
  • Reginald Rose, Twelve Angry Men
  • David Mamet, Oleanna
  • Law and Order
  • Shakespeare Behind Bars

 

 

Course Requirements and Evaluation:

  • Participation, Preparation, Punctuality: 10 pts. 

Regular class attendance and adherence to the policy in the syllabus, careful preparation of the readings, timely submission of all written work, and active participation in class discussions and activities.

  • Written Assignments: 50 pts.

Up to four essays of various lengths will be assigned totaling 15-20 pages, some of these will be revised, expanded, and resubmitted after receiving feedback from peers and/or the instructor.

  • Dramatic Reading: 10 pts.

In small groups, students will meet with the instructor to select a section of dialogue from a text being covered during their assigned week. Each group will practice their dialogue outside class and present it dramatically in an out-of-class meeting with the instructor.

  • Exams: 30 pts. (15 pts. midterm, 15 pts. final)

The primary focus of both exams will be to assess students’ intellectual engagement with the texts (i.e. understanding of key concepts, synthesis of ideas based upon close reading of the text, etc.). Exams will also assess thoroughness of reading, retention of reading, and engagement with lecture content and class discussions through creative products.

Your total score for the class will then be calculated as a percentage of 100 points possible, and placed on a standard letter grading scale: A=93+, A-=90-92, B+=87-89, B=83-86, B-=80-82, C+=77-79, C=73-76, C-70-72, D+=67-69, D=63-66, D-=60-62, F=59 points or fewer.

 

UGS Flags, Etc.: 

The course will carry UGS Flags for both Writing and Ethics & Leadership and fulfills certain VAPA requirements.


CTI 350 • Masterworks Of World Drama

34040 • Lang, Elon
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.212
show description

CTI 350 Masterworks of World Drama: In Pursuit of Justice

Dr. Elon Lang emlang@austin.utexas.edu

 

Course Description and Objectives:

In our media-saturated culture, we encounter drama everyday on the various screens we watch as we live our modern lives. Although these shows and films may seem far removed from the theatrical stage, when we watch these dramas we are participating in a phenomenon that has been a principle means by which Western culture has described and perpetuated itself for over 2,500 years.

 

In this course we will focus our investigation of drama upon a perennial subject of the dramatic arts: the nature and pursuit of justice. We will seek to examine how different playwrights from different eras of Western literature have balanced elements like mercy, vengeance, fairness, due process, authority, altruism, noble character, prejudice, public opinion, and public service in their definitions of justice. Students will consider whether the dramas in selected ancient, Renaissance, and modern plays present idealistic, realistic, or polemical portrayals of how “justice is served.” We will discuss whether these dramas critique or celebrate the courts and other means society uses to define justice, to defend it, and to enforce laws and codes of conduct. We will bookend the semester by examining the way justice is portrayed being served by the American criminal justice system in contemporary pop-culture dramas (e.g. Law and Order) and the way drama instruction is used in some American prisons to facilitate rehabilitation among inmates.

 

Since no single course can exhaustively cover the subject of “dramatic masterworks in the Western tradition,” we will emphasize two major goals: (1) to develop critical and analytical skills that can be applied to all forms of literary art, (2) to broaden an understanding of drama’s civic value that can be gained from teaching and studying the classics or using drama as a pedagogical tool. To this end, course requirements will include close reading and in-class discussion of plays, light exploration of philosophies of justice, attendance at least one assigned evening performance of a play, informal acting, written analysis, examinations, and creative writing.

 

Possible readings and video studies will include selections from:

  • Aeschylus, The Oresteia
  • Aristotle, Poetics and Nichomachean Ethics
  • Sophocles, Oedipus the King
  • Euripedes, Herakles
  • The York Mystery Plays
  • Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Merchant of Venice, The Tempest
  • Henrik Ibsen, Pillars of the Community
  • Arthur Miller, The Crucible
  • Reginald Rose, Twelve Angry Men
  • David Mamet, Oleanna
  • Law and Order
  • Shakespeare Behind Bars

 

 

Course Requirements and Evaluation:

  • Participation, Preparation, Punctuality: 10 pts. 

Regular class attendance and adherence to the policy in the syllabus, careful preparation of the readings, timely submission of all written work, and active participation in class discussions and activities.

  • Written Assignments: 50 pts.

Up to four essays of various lengths will be assigned totaling 15-20 pages, some of these will be revised, expanded, and resubmitted after receiving feedback from peers and/or the instructor.

  • Dramatic Reading: 10 pts.

In small groups, students will meet with the instructor to select a section of dialogue from a text being covered during their assigned week. Each group will practice their dialogue outside class and present it dramatically in an out-of-class meeting with the instructor.

  • Exams: 30 pts. (15 pts. midterm, 15 pts. final)

The primary focus of both exams will be to assess students’ intellectual engagement with the texts (i.e. understanding of key concepts, synthesis of ideas based upon close reading of the text, etc.). Exams will also assess thoroughness of reading, retention of reading, and engagement with lecture content and class discussions through creative products.

Your total score for the class will then be calculated as a percentage of 100 points possible, and placed on a standard letter grading scale: A=93+, A-=90-92, B+=87-89, B=83-86, B-=80-82, C+=77-79, C=73-76, C-70-72, D+=67-69, D=63-66, D-=60-62, F=59 points or fewer.

 

UGS Flags, Etc.: 

The course will carry UGS Flags for both Writing and Ethics & Leadership and fulfills certain VAPA requirements.


CTI 375 • Archaic/Classical Greece

34055-34060 • Carusi, Cristina
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM CBA 4.332
(also listed as AHC 325, HIS 354E)
show description

This course covers Greek history during the Archaic and Classical Periods, from the rise of Greek city-states and the first examples of Greek writing and literature (ca. 800 BCE) to the subordination of Greece under Philip II of Macedonia in 338 BCE. The course will devote roughly equal time to covering major events and personalities, exploring key developments in culture and society, and examining the various types of evidence available for the era (literary, epigraphic, and archeological sources). After looking at the geography and ‘prehistory’ of Greece (including the Bronze Age and Dark Age), we will cover major developments such as the rise of the polis and the first forms of democracy, the invention of the Greek alphabet, the introduction of hoplite warfare, and the diaspora of Greeks in the Mediterranean. Then we will focus on the two most famous city-states of Greece, Athens and Sparta, and follow their trajectories through the Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian War, and the complex period of unstable hegemonies in the first half of the 4th century until Philip II of Macedonia was able established his control over Greece.

The course will consist of two hours of lecture per week plus a required one-hour discussion section. The two lectures will combine historical outline with the exploration of specific themes and problems, such as systems of government, social structures, economy, culture, religion, and war, while the discussion sections will be focused on how to analyze and interpret ancient sources.

This course carries the Global Cultures flag.


CTI 375 • Hist Of Rome: The Republic

34065-34080 • Riggsby, Andrew
Meets MW 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 201
(also listed as AHC 325, HIS 321M)
show description

Covers the period from Rome's foundation through Caesar's murder in 44 B.C.  The emphasis placed on the last two centuries of the Republic when problems accumulated and solutions did not.  All the factors contributing to the Republic's fall will discussed:  political, military, social, economic, religious, etc..

This course carries the Global Cultures flag and fulfills the Cultural Expression, Human Experience, & Thought Course area requirement.


CTI 375 • Values/Leader In Ancient World

34083 • Galinsky, Karl
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 1.102
(also listed as C C 348)
show description

“Leadership” has become a buzzword; it also has been the subject of stimulating modern studies that have depth. We’ll expand the horizon by looking at some major texts and personalities from ancient Greece and Rome and relate and compare them to today. Another aspect of the course is the "Ethics & Leadership" flag requirement that "at least one-third of the course grade must be based on work in practical ethics, i.e., the study of what is involved in making real-life ethical choices.” We’ll connect this easily with our readings, especially the ancient authors. No shortage of material and modern applications, definitely.

Texts:

James M. Burns, Leadership (2010)
Homer, Iliad (transl. R. Fagles)
Plato, Republic (transl. B. Jowett)
Thucydides (transl. R. Warner)
Vergil, Aeneid (transl. R. Fitzgerald)
Steve Forbes and J. Prevas, Power, Ambition, Glory. The Stunning Parallels between Leaders of the Ancient World and the Lessons we can learn (2009).

Via pdf on Canvas there’ll also be selections from Cicero, Augustus, P. Woodruff, The Ajax Dilemma (2011), and Joseph Nye, Jr., Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era (2013).

Grading: 

The final grade will be composed of: 3 exams (essay): 60%; class participation, incl. short reports: 30%; paper (1,500 words) 10%.

This course carries Global Cultures and Ethics and Leadership flags