Introduction to Graduate Study in HumanitiesLimited Enrollment Course
Dirk M Killen
This proseminar provides an introduction to graduate study in the humanities through looking at problems posed by individual scholars and humanists. Such problems include: definitions of self and society; the relation of the past to the present; roles of religion, science, art, and politics in the formation of culture; issues of gender, race, ethnic or national identity; and many others. The subject for this proseminar will be Henry Adams, a great American scholar and historian whose life spanned the period 1838-1918, and whose career spanned a wide range of humanistic studies. In addition to history, Adams wrote biographies, novels, poems, travel books, one of the finest collections of letters in the English language, journalism, essays, and two masterworks: The Education of Henry Adams and Mont-St-Michel and Chartres, which defy easy categorization. This multifaceted writer who turned his hand to nearly every mode of humanistic endeavor will be the figure around whom the course is organized, but some attempt also will be made to place Adams in a historical, political, social, and intellectual context.
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