Spring 2012 Sophomore Inquiry Topics for Interpreting the Past

5 Mar

In case you’re trying decide still which section of Sophomore Inquiry to take, here’s a little more information about the different SINQs being offered this spring (April-June 2012).

Prof Armantrout’s Class:
Our main theme will be to examine the ideas of Justice and Law in ancient Greece from the time of Homer down to the time of Plato (ca. 750-380 BCE). To this end we will be reading and discussing a variety of ancient texts. We will also consider the role of the divine and the role of the state in these matters. Since context is important, we will also be looking at other issues such as status and gender. A central concern will be, how do perceptions of these matters change through time?

Prof Locker’s Class:
This SINQ serves an interdisciplinary introduction historical method, focusing on the seventeenth century–an era of war, intolerance and social upheaval, but also of great literary, artistic and cultural ferment. Using the structure of Rosario Villari’s Baroque Personae, this course will examine the rise of new cultural archetypes in the seventeenth century such as the scientist, the witch, the nun, the bourgeois, and the artist through a variety of primary and secondary sources.

Prof Pavic’s Class:
This fully online SINQ will examine art, culture, and history of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Venice. The Republic of Venice, or “la Serenissima,” was celebrated throughout Europe as a model society worthy of emulation. Using a variety of primary sources and art works, we will examine and evaluate why Venice had this reputation, how the city maintained this status, and the extent to which the claim of Venice as the “perfect society” holds up under historical scrutiny.

Prof Perala’s Class:
This fully online course explores selected works of Victorian literature and introduces students to historical themes, genres, history, and culture of the Victorian Fin de Siècle. We will examine our complex and interwoven histories using the tools of the humanities and sciences to investigate the diversity of our shared human past, giving students a necessary context for understanding the present. In particular, we will focus on the period’s new theories and new styles of writing, ranging from aestheticism to decadence, from psychoanalysis to degeneration, from imperialism to the New Women movement. The Victorians’ longstanding anxiety about the pace of modernity was exacerbated by the strong presumption that an era was ending. Tragic generation or renaissance? Dusk of the nations or modernist birth? The Fin de Siècle meant all these stories.


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