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

Spring 2010 Qualifying Courses

Lower-division Courses
C C 302 Introduction To Ancient Rome (Moore)
The aim in this course is to gain a fuller understanding of Rome—its similarities to, and its differences from, us—in order to understand better who we are, both as humans and as modern descendants of the Romans. Readings from Vergil, Petronius, Plautus, Terrence, and modern historians. Prerequisite: none.

GOV 312L Issues and Policies in American Government (Freeman)
The course seeks an understanding of the basic principles of American government in a close reading of a number of classic constitutional, theoretical, and political texts, including The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, The Constitution, The Federalist Papers by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay, and Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. Prerequisites: 24 hrs of coursework, GOV 310.

GOV 312L Issues and Policies in American Government-H (Tulis)
Introduction to major problems of constitutional design, interpretation and political practice. Texts include the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, selected Court cases, speeches and writings by Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Theodore Roosevelt, The Federalist, Anti-federalist writings, selected Supreme Court opinions, and Democracy in America. Prerequisites: 24 hrs of coursework, GOV 310, GPA of 3.5 or higher.

GOV 314/WCV 303 Competing Visions of the Good Life (Abramson)
Introduces the great rival conceptions of the moral basis and goals of political life as elaborated by revolutionary thinkers in the history of political philosophy, including but not limited to Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, and one or more late modern critics of the enlightenment. Prerequisites: none.

HIS 309L/ WCV 303 Western Civilization in Modern Times (Boettcher)
Survey of European civilization since the fifteenth century, discussing discuss such issues as political authority and political liberty, the emergence of scientific thinking and religious tolerance, the genesis of revolution, market economies, genocide, and globalization. Readings from major primary sources including Luther, Rousseau, de Tocqueville, Arendt, and others. Prerequisites: none.

HIS 315K United States, 1492-1865 (Olwell)
Survey of United States history from the colonial period through the Civil War, with extensive use of primary sources. Prerequisite: 15 hrs of coursework.

PHL 301K/ WCV 303Ancient Philosophy (Koons)
An introduction to the philosophical achievements of the ancient world, with readings from Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Cicero, and Augustine. Prerequisites: none.

PHL 301L Early Modern Philosophy (Hochberg)
An introduction to major historical figures in modern philosophy on such topics as perception, Cartesian rationalism, causation, knowledge, mind-body interaction, and ethics. Readings from Galileo, Descartes, Malebranche, Newton, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Prerequisites: none.

PHL 305 Introduction to Philosophy of Religion (Martinich)
This course investigates four different views on the relation of humans to God—an ancient view according to which God's existence is presupposed; a medieval view according to which God’s existence and attributes are subjects for proof and argument; a modern view according to which God exists but reason can teach little about him; and a contemporary view according to which God does not exist and human beings must determine whether life has any meaning. Readings from the Bible, Anselm of Canterbury, Hobbes, and Nietzsche. Prerequisites: none.

RS 313 Intro to the Hebrew Bible (Pat-el)
The goal of the course is to look at the bible as a foundation text of Western culture and investigate its meaning in its historical and cultural environment. The course examines the Hebrew Bible through a wide range of approaches, including source criticism and the historical-critical school. Special emphasis is placed on the Bible against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the Ancient Near East. Prerequisites: none.

RS 318 The Rise of Christianity (White)
An introduction to the origins and development of Christianity from the earliest days of the Jesus sect in first century Judea through the second century. The focus will be on the reconstruction of the religious beliefs, practices, and social organization of the early Christian movements and on critical examination of the New Testament documents in order to place them in their proper historical context. Prerequisites: none.

SOC 308/ WCV 303 Judaism and Christianity in Sociological Perspective (Regnerus)
This course is an introduction to both the shared and distinctive traits and texts of Judaism and Christianity and describes their historical divergence in the first century CE. The course will also highlight Jewish-Christian relations, perspectives about the modern nation of Israel, and current demographic patterns of each religion. Prerequisites: none.

UGS 302 Classics in American Autobiography (Jones)
Considers several classic American autobiographies and evaluates them as historical texts and as literature. Prerequisites: none.

Upper-division Courses
AMS 370/ WCV 320 The Literature of Black Politics (Marshall)
Examines the novels, plays, and critical essays of Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, three of the greatest American writers, as works of democratic political theorizing and political engagement. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

ARH 364/ WCV 320 Art and the City in Renaissance Italy (Johns)
Explores the development of art and architecture in major Renaissance city-states, especially Florence, Venice, and Siena, placing the works in the context of the unique culture of each city and social and political settings—whether civic, ecclesiastic, monastic, palatial, or private—in which they functioned and to which they contributed. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

ARH 374/WCV 320 Reformation and Post-Reformation Art and Culture in Northern Europe 1500-1700 (Coleman)
A study of masterpieces of major German, Flemish, and Dutch painters of the 16th and 17th centuries, with attention to the impact of the reformation on the visual arts; new approaches to portraiture, landscape painting, and genre painting; and new interpretations of Biblical themes.

E 320L Major Writers of the Restoration-18th Century (Garrison)
Surveys more than a century of English literature from the Restoration (1660) to the French Revolution (1789), tracing the literary history of the period by exploring its principal genres and major authors in chronological order. Readings from Addison and Steele, Pope, Swift, Fielding, Johnson, Boswell, and Hume. Prerequisites: nine hours of coursework in English or Rhetoric and Writing.

E 321 Shakespeare: Selected Plays (Ayres)
A study of selected comedies and romances, taking us on journeys through strange, marvelous, “topsy-turvy” worlds where fools are wise, gods are frequent visitors, and magic and visions are common. These plays will challenge assumptions and give us the opportunity to examine divergent views of love, loss, dislocation, alienation, jealousy, anxiety, suffering, redemption, forgiveness, and self-discovery. Prerequisite for students registered in CTI: six hours of coursework in English or Rhetoric and Writing.

E 358J The Bible As Literature-W (Kaulbach)
In-depth literary study of the Bible, with emphasis on the formal features of narrative, hymn, prophecy, apocalypse, gospel, and epistle; also includes readings from major works of literature that draw inspiration from or comment upon Biblical passages studied. Prerequisite: nine hours of coursework in English or Rhetoric and Writing.

E 379N Homer in Translation-W (Barnouw)
A close study of both the Iliad and Odyssey in English translation. Prerequisite: nine hours of coursework in English or Rhetoric and Writing.

FR 326K Introduction to French Literature I: Middle Ages-18C (Bizer)
Introduction to the reading and analysis of representative major literary works in the original French, with some attention to cultural and historical background. Prerequisite: French 320E.

FR Introduction to French Literature II: Revolution-Present
Introduction to the reading and analysis of representative major literary works in the original French, with some attention to cultural and historical background. Prerequisite: French 320E.

GOV 335M/ WCV 320 Might and Right among Nations (Dempsey)
Major alternative approaches to the question of the moral character of international relations, as elaborated by some of the greatest political thinkers. Typically includes readings from Thucydides, Aquinas, Vitoria, Hobbes, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Kant. Prerequisite: upper-division standing and six hours of lower-division coursework in government.

GOV 335M/ WCV 320 Morality and Politics (Dana Stauffer)
A close reading of major works by Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Hobbes, introducing students to the debate over the character of virtue and its relation to politics that has unfolded over the course of centuries. Prerequisite: upper-division standing and six hours of lower-division coursework in government.

GOV 335M/ WCV 320 Rousseau and Nietzsche (L. Pangle)
A close reading of major works of Rousseau and Nietzsche, aimed at understanding these thinkers’ radical critique of the modern rationalist project of reforming politics and society. Prerequisite: upper-division standing and six hours of lower-division coursework in government.

GOV 335M Intellectual World of the American Founders (Budziszewski)
What were the intellectual influences on the American Founders? The answers shed an unusual light on what they were trying to do when they initiated the American experiment in self-government. A selection of controversial readings about politics, history, economics, ethics, religion, and law provide an intriguing way to enter into the minds of the men who began the new nation. Prerequisite: upper-division standing and six hours of lower-division coursework in government.

GOV 351C/ WCV 320 The Classical Quest for Justice (Devin Stauffer)
What is justice? What are its demands as a virtue of individuals? What is its status as a guiding principle of domestic politics and as a restraint or standard in times of war? In this course we will consider these fundamental and enduring questions of political philosophy primarily through a careful study of two of the masterpieces of classical antiquity: Plato's Republic and Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War. Prerequisite: 30 hours of coursework.

GK 324 Herodotus (Palaima)
Close reading and analysis of Herodotus’ great history of the ancient Mediterranean world and the Persian War in the original Greek. Prerequisite: Greek 312K (or 319) with a grade of at least C, or Greek 804 and 412 with a grade of A in each; and consent of instructor or the undergraduate adviser.

HIS 345L + HMN 125 American Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877 (Forgie)
Lecture and discussion course on the Civil War and Reconstruction period. Special 1-hour additional section devoted to primary texts. Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

HIS 350L/EUS 347 Marx and Nietzsche (Matysik)
Introduces students to the writings of two of the most radical writers of the European nineteenth century, Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche. As a course in intellectual history, it will ask how these writers’ arguments relate to their historical contexts, as well as how and why their ideas transcended their time to be highly influential in the twentieth century. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

HIS 362G/EUS 347 Spinoza and Modernity-W (Matysik)
Examines the writings of this seminal seventeenth-century Dutch-Jewish thinker, especially his Theological-Political Treatise and Ethics, and his influence on the enlightenment, the modern world, and modern conceptions of God and nature. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

ITC 360/ WCV 320 Italian Civilization (Biow)
Major works of Italian literature and art from the Middle Ages through the Baroque period, with a primary focus on the Renaissance. Writers and artists discussed will include Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Bernini, Castiglione, Tasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Vasari, and Raphael. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

LAH 350 History at Play (Carver)
Dramatic re-enactments of historical controversies based on the great books and other original sources. Prerequisite: upper-division standing and 3.5 GPA.

PHL 329 History of Ancient Philosophy (Mourelatos)
Beginning with selected works of early Greek philosophy, the course will focus on the three great figures of 5th and 4th century classical Greek philosophy, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Our study of Plato will seek to articulate a conception of the philosophy of Socrates, contrast Socratic thought with the "Sophistic movement," and study Plato's early thought and mature metaphysics and epistemology. Our discussion of Aristotle will emphasize metaphysics, cosmology, natural philosophy, and theory of the soul. Prerequisite: six semester hours of coursework in philosophy.

PHL 329L Early Modern Philosophy: Descartes-Kant (Leon)
New developments in modern philosophy were part of the modern revolution in western thought in general, from science to politics and beyond. This course is a study of some of the most influential philosophical works from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Readings from Descartes, Hobbes, Berkeley, Leibniz, Home, and Kant. Prerequisite: six semester hours of coursework in philosophy.

PHL 354/ WCV 320 History of Christian Philosophy (Bonevac)
From its beginnings in the words of Jesus and the letters of Paul, Christian thought has struggled with fundamental philosophical questions concerning the nature of God, the self, the world, and the good life. We will study the early church and the philosophical thought of Tertullian, Origen, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and others. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

PHL 366K Existentialism (Higgins)
"Existentialism" was hardly a philosophical movement in the traditional sense, yet the existentialists share many characteristics, including an emphasis on how reflective thought relates to our actual lives, skepticism regarding reason, reevaluation of traditional approaches to ethics, and insistence on passionate engagement as essential for a meaningful life. Readings from Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, and Simone de Beauvoir.

R S 325 The Qur’an (Azam)
A close study of the Qur’an, including cosmology (concepts of God, human nature, Satan, and the afterlife), ethical principles, ritual prescriptions, legal injunctions, and the controversial teachings on politics, warfare, and gender. Attention will also be given to the literary features of the work, and we will draw comparisons with Biblical accounts of the major prophets shared by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, such as Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

REE 325/ WCV 320 Crime and Punishment Czech Style (Cravens)
This course examines Dostoevsky’s masterpiece and its influence upon Czech authors, including Kafka, Capek, Paral, Kundera, and Vaculik, exploring the ways the Czechs understood and responded to this Russian master of the macabre, and the differences between great and lesser novelists. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

REE 325/ WCV 320 War and Peace in Russian Literature and Culture (Pesenson)
A study of Tolstoy’s masterpiece and its influence on subsequent Russian narratives of war and revolution. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

REE 325/WCV 320 The Russian Short Story (O’Bell)
In this course we will explore the wealth of Russian nineteenth-century literature through a series of shorter works which present the classic authors in their most concentrated form. The range is enormous: stories of penetrating psychological and philosophical analysis, tales of human pathos and social satire, pastoral visions, great love stories, war reportage, annals of carnal vice and religious exaltation. Authors include Pushkin, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoi, Chekhov, and others. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

SPN 351 Don Quijote (Zimic)
Intensive analysis of Cervantes’ great novel in the original Spanish. Prerequisite: SPN 325K, 325L, 326K, or 326L.

WCV 320 / EUS 346 The Scientific Revolution via its Great Texts (Bugbee)
A survey, conducted largely by reading primary texts, of principal issues surrounding the seventeenth century’s “scientific revolution,” with attention to its often-overlooked connections with medieval and early-modern thought, as well as to its consequences outside what we now call the natural sciences, especially philosophy. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

WCV 320/EUS 347 Aesthetics: Drama and Philosophy (Moore)
How might theater and philosophizing improve or corrupt people—deliberately or otherwise? We study this question in the context of two societies: ancient Athens (Aeschylus’ Persians, Euripides’ Hippolytus, Aristophanes’ Frogs, Plato’s Hippias, Aristotle’s Poetics) and classical France (Corneilles’ Le Cid, Racine's Phèdre, Molière’s Misanthrope, Rousseau’s Letter to D'Alembert, Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary.) Prerequisite: upper-division standing.

WCV 320 / EUS 347 Literary Classics of the Western World (Zimic)
Major works from classical Greece to the present. Prerequisite: upper-division standing.