University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience 2014-2015

Fall Semester Courses


ENGS 027A ~ Literature of the Western Tradition
CRN: 94112

Instructor: Tom Simone Professor of English More . . .

This course is a multidisciplinary survey of central texts of Homer, the Greek tragedians, Sappho, Greek Philosophy on art, Virgil, and Dante. It is presented in conjunction with IHP courses in Religion and History. The primary emphasis is on the traditions of reading and reimagining of the central range of texts from the Ancient and Medieval worlds. The purpose of the course is to give you a solid grounding in the texts and values of a liberal education, and to underscore the pervasiveness of Classical (and reinterpreted Classical) works and ideas as they persist into the modern world.

Requirements Satisfied: one Literature course
Meets: TR 1:00pm-2:15pm


HST 013A ~ Ideas in the Western Tradition: Antiquity
CRN: 91405

Instructor: Patrick Hutton Professor Emeritus of History More . . .

This course surveys masterworks of literature, philosophy, and religion in the historical context of the ancient Greco/Roman world. We shall study the role of epic in oral tradition; the values espoused in Greek tragedy; the rise and fall of democracy in the Greek city-states; the appeal of Hellenistic religions with particular attention to Judaism and Christianity; ancient conceptions of time, tradition, and history; the civic ideals of the Roman Republic; and the Christian culture of the late Roman Empire. Readings include the epic of Gilgamesh, Greek tragedies by Sophocles and by Euripides, Aristotle's poetics, the Socratic dialogues of Plato, the history by Thucydides, the literary rendering of folklore by Apuleius, and essays by Seneca and by Augustine of Hippo. We shall also read selections from some modern interpretative studies: Nicholas Wade on human origins, Walter Ong on oral tradition, Elaine Pagels on Gnostic Christianity, Norman Cantor on ancient Judaism, the work of the Jesus seminar on the historical Jesus, and Paul Veyne and Peter Brown on the popular culture of the Roman Empire.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course
Meets: MWF 1:55pm-2:45pm


REL 027A ~ Introduction to the Study of Religion: Roots of Self-Knowledge in the Greek and Hebraic Worlds
CRN: 94049

Instructor: Richard Sugarman Professor of Religion and Director of Integrated Humanities Program More . . .

This course is an introduction to the study of religious and philosophical thought in Western culture from the formative perspective of the Greek and Hebraic worlds. As such, it focuses on their continuing implications in dealing with ultimate questions about the meaning of human existence. We will emphasize the search for human happiness and responses to human suffering, justice, love, law, and holiness, in dialogue with some of the great thinkers and texts of the humanities. Our purpose is to bring some of the most important thinkers and texts to bear upon our experience of the contemporary world. This class is a combination of lecture and discussion.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course
Meets: TR 10:00am-11:15am

Spring Semester Courses


ENGS 028 ~ Adventures of Perception in Twentieth-Century Philosophy and Literature
CRN: TBD

Instructor: Annika Ljung-Baruth Senior Lecturer in English More . . .

This course introduces you to the relationship of phenomenology to a body of modern and postmodern literature. Introducing new ways of thinking about human experience and perception, the phenomenological movement accomplished a breakthrough in Western philosophy. By radically changing our understanding of perception, it shaped the most prominent thinkers, philosophers, and scholars of our society today. As a historical movement, phenomenology is inseparable from the schools of modernism and postmodernism. We will study ways in which texts from the fields of late nineteenth and twentieth century literature and philosophy are connected by their zeal to explore new aspects of human perception. In doing so, we will become familiar with writers and philosophers such as Oscar Wilde, Kate Chopin, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Luce Irigaray.

Requirements Satisfied: one Literature course
Meets: TBD


HST 014 ~ Ideas in Western Tradition
CRN: TBD

Instructor: Ian Grimmer Lecturer in History More . . .

Working from a close reading of several key texts, this course will explore some of the main currents of European intellectual history from the eighteenth century to the present. We will examine themes such as social criticism in the Enlightenment period; reactions to the Industrial Revolution, from romanticism to utopian socialism; the rise of Marxism and classical sociological theory; the late-nineteenth-century "revolt against positivism"; and intellectual responses to the two catastrophic wars of the twentieth century. Particular attention will be devoted to the writings of Voltaire, Rousseau, Shelley, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Weber, Freud, and Foucault.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course
Meets: TBD


POLS 096 ~ Modern Political Ideas in the Western Tradition
CRN: TBD

Instructor: Patrick Neal Professor in Political Science More . . .

John Locke gives the classical expression of political society understood as a contractual relation between consenting free and equal adults concerned to protect their natural rights to freedom and property. What can be said in defense of such a vision? What are the primary alternatives to it? Is this vision relevant to our contemporary global political situation? This course confronts these questions through an examination of a number of the canonical political writers in the western intellectual tradition: Locke, Rousseau, Burke, Marx, Nietzsche and others. Reading from these authors serves not only as a means to allow students to address the questions above, but to also engage directly with certain minds and texts of human genius.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course
Meets: TBD

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