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Lorraine and Tom Pangle, Co-Directors BAT 2.116, C4100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-6648

Course Descriptions

CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thought

34110 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm PAR 303
(also listed as GOV 314)
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CTI 302: Classics of Social and Political Thought - Honors


This class provides an introduction to the history of social and political thought, with special emphasis on economic issues. Through the careful study of great works of social and political thought, we will look at the developments in political philosophy that led to the emergence of the modern economy, and to some of the most significant reactions to it.   We will look at these texts, not only as historical artifacts, but as contenders in a continuing debate about the best way to order our lives, as individuals and as members of a community.


Although we will study a few economists, this is not primarily an economics course, but one that explores the political principles that shape different approaches to economic questions.  Our goal is not only to get a better sense of where the reigning answers to such questions came from, but also to try to think them through for ourselves as best we can.  As such, this class requires serious engagement, a willingness to think critically about one’s own beliefs, and regular, active participation.


The honors version of this class incorporates a unit on Jean-Jacques Rousseau as well as a second required paper.


This class satisfies the UT Social Science requirement.



Aristotle, Politics and Nicomachean Ethics (excerpts)

Aquinas, Summa Theologiae

Locke, Second Treatise

Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

Rousseau, Second Discourse

Marx, Communist Manifesto and Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1848

Excerpts from Keynes, Hayek, and Schumpeter


Grading Policy:

50%: Two medium length papers on topics to be assigned in class

25%: Final Exam

15%: Reading quizzes and short writing assignments

10%: Class participation

CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thought

34113 • Fallis, Lewis
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CAL 419
(also listed as GOV 314)
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Explores the origins of social scientific thought in the history of political philosophy and traces the development of one or more of the social sciences in modern times. Focuses on fundamental ideas about human nature, civil society, and politics, explored through reading such authors as Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Freud.




We will use the plus / minus grading system for this class.  Quizzes, tests, and attendance will be graded numerically.  Papers and participation in discussion sections will be given letter grades.  In order to calculate your final grade, these will be translated into number grades as follows:


A: 96; A-: 91; B+: 88; B: 84.5; B-: 81; C+: 78; C: 74.5; C-: 71; D: 65; F: 30


Final grades are calculated numerically, then translated into a letter grade using the following scale. Please note: Grades will not be rounded up! You need a 93 average to get an A.


A: 93-100; A-: 90-93; B+: 87-90; B: 83-87; B-: 80-83; C+: 77-80; C: 73-77; C-: 70-73; D: 60-70; F: below 60.




The following texts and editions are required for this class. No other translations or editions may be used.  They are available in the Co-Op bookstore. You should always bring the book we are discussing that day to class.


Aristotle.  Politics. Trans. Peter Simpson. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0807823279.

Thomas Aquinas. On Law, Morality, and Politics, Hackett Publishing. ISBN 9780872206632.

John Locke. Second Treatise of Government. Hackett. ISBN 0915144867.

Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volumes 1 and 2.

Liberty Fund. ISBN 0865970068 and 0865970076.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Major Political Writings. Trans. John Scott. The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226921860.

Karl Marx. Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. Prometheus Books. ISBN 087975446X.

Friedrich Hayek. The Road to Serfdom. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226320553.



There is also a Course Reader which will be available at the Co-Op Bookstore, which you are all required to purchase.

CTI 304 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

34115 • Landau, Brent
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CLA 1.108
(also listed as R S 315)
show description

Brent Landau

Bible and Its Interpreters Course Description

Fall 2014


Description: 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 several class sessions to a close reading of Genesis in its entirety—just us and the text (mostly). We will then proceed to examine significant interpretations of Genesis chronologically. We will actually begin this survey of interpretations “before” Genesis, with the creation and flood myths of ancient Israel’s neighbors and predecessors, and then proceed to: ancient Jewish rewritings of Genesis from the Dead Sea Scrolls and other apocryphal texts; Philo of Alexandria’s re-reading of Genesis in light of Greek philosophy; writings from the New Testament indebted to Genesis, particularly the Gospel of John and Paul’s Letter to the Romans; the “reversal” of Genesis’s creation story found in the Gnostic Christian writing Apocryphon of John; the allegorical and typological appropriation of Genesis by the brilliant early Christian exegete Origen of Alexandria; the understandings of Genesis in ancient rabbinic Judaism; the writings of Augustine, arguably the greatest Christian theologian of all time, on Genesis; the interpretation of Genesis in the Qur’an and other early Islamic writings; Genesis in medieval Christian thought; the beginnings of the historical-critical approach to Genesis in the seventeenth century with Baruch Spinoza; the role that interpretation of Genesis has played in American political debates from the colonial era until the present; the challenge posed to literal readings of Genesis by Darwin’s Origin of Species; recent readings of Genesis informed by feminism, liberation theology, and environmentalism; creative retellings of Genesis in contemporary literature, art, music, and film.

Required texts: 1) New Oxford Annotated Bible or HarperCollins Study Bible; 2) Robert Alter, Genesis: Translation and Commentary (Norton, 1996); 3) Ronald Hendel, The Book of Genesis: A Biography (Princeton, 2012); 4) course pack

Grading: attendance, participating, and posting of questions on Canvas discussion forum (20%); three papers of approximately 1500 words each (60%); a final exam (20%).


CTI 310 • History Of Religions Of Asia

34120 • Brereton, Joel
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as ANS 301R, R S 302)
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This course surveys the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of Asia. It will focus particularly on the basic texts or narratives of these traditions, on their essential histories, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are distinctive of each. In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe religiously but also what they do religiously.


Text:W. Oxtoby, R. Amore, (A. Hussain) World Religions: Religions of the East, 3rd ed/4th ed. The Ramayana by R.K. Narayan, The Life of the Buddha (Buddhacarita) translated by Patrick Olivelle, Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson, Basho's Narrow Road translated by H. Satol


Grading:Each of three essays on the assigned reading 15%, Midterm exam 15%, Final exam 30%, Attendance 10%

download syllabus

CTI 310 • Intro To Philos Of Religion

34125-34145 • Phillips, Stephen
Meets MW 300pm-400pm WAG 101
(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.


List of Proposed Texts /Readings:

On-line texts drawn from Philosophy of Religion: A Global Approach, ed. S Phillips (Harcourt Brace 1996).


Proposed Grading Policy:

Five two-page homework assignments (50%)

A mid-term exam (15%)

A final exam (30%)

Attendance (5%)

CTI 310 • Intro To The New Testament

34155 • Landau, Brent
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ 1.306
(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 willbegin 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 ofChristianity. We will then address what can be known about the historical individualknown 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).



Class attendance and participation: 15%Quizzes: 15% total, 2.5% eachShort-response papers: 25% total, 8.33% eachExams: 45% total, 15% each



Jewish Annotated New Testament (abbreviated JANT).**Even if you have a Bible, you are required to purchase this one, do the assigned readings from it, and bring it to every class meeting!iClicker.Optional:Dale Martin, New Testament History and Literature (cheap) and/or Raymond Brown,Introduction to the New Testament (not so cheap). You are not required to buy orread either of these! Y

CTI 310 • Introduction To Ancient Greece

34160 • Rabinowitz, Adam T
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am FAC 21
(also listed as C C 301)
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Say "Ancient Greece", and the words conjure up timeless images of shining white temples among olive trees, bronze-armored heroes, and bearded philosophers discussing the nature of the universe. Our popular vision of the ancient Greeks makes them seem both familiar and irrelevant to the modern world. In fact, however, Greek culture is deeply alien to our own, and at the same time surprisingly relevant. On the one hand, ancient Greek society is just as confusing, shocking, and easy to misinterpret as any other culture is for an outside observer -- even more so, because we are separated from it not only by space but by time. On the other hand, we have the Greeks to thank for much of the way we think today about politics, art, science, and the meaning of life.

This course is meant to introduce students to this complex and intriguing culture and to its legacy in our own society. We will look at ancient Greece on its own terms through the examination of primary sources of all types -- literary, artistic, archaeological -- in an attempt to develop a more detailed and nuanced understanding of Ancient Greek society and culture between the Bronze Age and the Hellenistic period. We will also place the discussion of these sources in the context of the shifting meaning of Ancient Greece in the modern world, from the Homeric romanticism of Heinrich Schliemann to the meaning of democracy in the 21st century. Within a roughly chronological framework, lectures will examine Greek literature to discover what the Greeks said about themselves; Greek art and archaeology to understand how people lived and to hear the voices of those -- women, children, slaves, foreigners and outsiders -- who left no written testimony; and modern controversies to see what the Greeks say about us.

This course carries a Global Cultures flag.

download syllabus

CTI 320 • Classical Quest For Justice

34170 • Stauffer, Dana
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 1.102
(also listed as GOV 351C)
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Course Description:


This course introduces students to the political thought of classical Greek antiquity.

Ancient Greek thinkers presented their reflections on politics in a variety of ways. Some wrote treatises, but others expressed themselves through plays, histories, and, of course, dialogues. While the authors we will read in this course present their work in different formats, they all address themselves to the simplest and deepest questions raised by political life, and offer profound insight into the answers to those questions. Two main themes lie at the heart of their common inquiry: Justice—what it is, and how human beings can attain it—and the human good. Examples of the questions that we will take up are: What is the best form of political community? Why philosophize? What is human virtue? Do human beings necessarily follow their self-interest? Is devotion possible? Do we have free will? What is courage? What is friendship? What is a good life? We will not approach the texts as historical curiosities, but rather, as potential sources of wisdom about the greatest questions we face in our own lives.


Required Texts:

• Aristotle’s Politics. Translated by Ernest Barker. (Oxford)

• Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. (Penguin Classics)

Four Comedies. By Aristophanes. (Ann Arbor Paperbacks)

Sophocles I: Three Tragedies. By Sophocles. (Chicago)

• “Protagoras” and “Meno” By Plato. Translated by Robert C. Bartlett. (Agora)

• Plato’s Republic. Translated by Allan Bloom. (Basic Books)

It is particularly important to obtain the recommended translations of Plato.


Course Requirements and Grading:

First Exam: 30%

Second Exam: 30%

Paper: 30%

Class Participation (including pop quizzes): 10%


Exams: Exams will be in-class blue book exams, comprised mostly if not entirely of

essays. I will hand out a list of themes in advance from which the essay question(s) will be drawn. The second exam will be cumulative, but it will be weighted considerably more toward the readings of the second half of the semester.


Papers: You will be required to write one 5-7 page paper over the course of the term. I will hand out possible paper topics three times during the term, each with their own respective due dates. The task of the paper will be to explain and evaluate the arguments of one or two of the thinkers we have read. You must choose to write one of the two papers. Late work will be marked down one-third of a letter grade for each day of lateness (from a B+ to a B, for example), and papers will NOT be accepted by email.


Class Participation, Quizzes, and Attendance: The works we will read this semester were written with extraordinary care, and they are difficult. It is essential that you read every assignment carefully, preferably twice, and you should come to class with thoughtful comments and questions. Credit will be given in the area of class participation not only for serious and intelligent contributions to class, but also for listening attentively both to the lecture and to the contributions of your fellow classmates.


Laptops are not allowed in class; if you have a special need for a laptop,

please explain that need to me. To encourage students to keep up with the readings, I will give an unspecified number ofpop quizzes. These quizzes will consist of basic questions that should not be difficult forthose who have done the reading. If you are absent on the day of a quiz, you will receivea zero for that quiz. Makeup quizzes will not be given. If your absence is excused, I willnot count that quiz toward your overall quiz grade. I will also drop your lowest quizgrade.


Attendance: I will take attendance frequently, either by passing around an attendance sheet or by taking roll, either at the beginning or at the end of class. On the days on which there is a quiz, attendance will be registered by handing in the quiz. Absences will be excused with a doctor’s note only. Students with 4 or more unexcused absences will be docked a letter grade for the course. Example: the grade of a student with a B+ average who has four or more unexcused absences will be a C+.


You will be expected to bring the relevant volume(s) to every class.



Ethics and Leadership

Global Cultures

CTI 321 • Theor Foundtns Modern Politics

34175 • Stauffer, Devin
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as GOV 351D)
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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.




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.)




Sophomore standing



Ethics and Leadership

Global Cultures

CTI 323 • Might And Right Among Nations

34180 • Pangle, Thomas
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as GOV 351J)
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Course description:

A study of major alternative approaches, elaborated by the greatest political theorists, to the question of the moral character of international relations.

                  The basic aim of the course is twofold: 1) to gain a better understanding of what kind of justice and law exists among nations; and 2) to gain a better understanding of what justice itself means, in human relations, as its nature is revealed under the stress of the intensely competitive international arena, always overshadowed by the threat of war.

                  We will examine the original, foundational philosophic arguments for: the classical republican struggle for and against empire (Thucydides); Christian Just War theory (Aquinas and Vitoria); Islamic Jihad Theory (The Koran and Hadith; Shaybani, Alfarabi, Avicenna, Ibn Khaldun); the moral supremacy of independent national sovereignty (Hobbes); globalizing moral community achieved through commercialization (Montesquieu); and world legal order achieved through international legal organization (Kant).

                  We will try to uncover the hidden philosophic foundations of our contemporary ways of thinking, and confront our assumptions with challenges from earlier, alien ways of conceiving the world.

                  While we will not forget contemporary issues, we will try to transcend our passionate biases, and view our own immediate situation from a liberating distance, by taking as our chief empirical focus the philosophic historian Thucydides’ dramatic presentation of The Peloponnesian War—a moral as well as military struggle pitting the imperialism of one of history’s greatest democracies (Athens) against the anti-imperialism of one of the most conservative and pious aristocracies in history (Sparta).


Course Requirements and Basis of Grading: THERE ARE TWO OPTIONS, ONE OF WHICH YOU MUST CHOOSE BY Fri., Aug. 29.


option one—Mid-term exam option

40%—Final Exam, held in the final exam period; format will be questions selected at random from study questions handed out at the end of term covering material from the entire term.

30%—Mid-term closed book exam on Thucydides, administered in class, on questions chosen at random from study questions handed out two weeks before.

20%—Attendance (required) at all lectures; each absence after the second, not excused by a doctor’s note, will subtract 2% from the overall final grade. Attendance at lecture will be recorded by noting empty seats; each student must choose a permanent seat to occupy.

10%—Answers to closed book quizzes on the readings (clues for which will be in the weekly study questions) administered at the start of the class hour on the Fridays when there will be no lecture.



35%—Final Exam, held in the final exam period; format will be questions selected at random from study questions handed out at the end of term covering material from the entire term.

30%—Two short analytical/interpretative essays (each about three pages, or 1200 words) on topics to be assigned. Late papers penalized 3% per calendar day.

15%—Attendance (required) at all lectures and discussion sections; each absence after the second, not excused by a doctor’s note, will subtract 2% from the overall final grade. Attendance at lecture will be recorded by noting empty seats; each student must choose a permanent seat to occupy.

10%—Answers to closed book quizzes on the readings (clues for which will be in the weekly study questions) administered at the start of each discussion section.

10%—Participation, in discussion sections.


We will use the plus / minus grading system for this class.


Required Texts (be sure to get the correct editions and translations!)

—Excerpts from Thucydides, and from Thomas Aquinas, Spinoza, Rousseau, and The Federalist as well as readings on the theory of jihad in photocopied booklet available for purchase at Co-op.

The Landmark Thucydides, Simon & Schuster, ISBN# 0684827905 The translation is not always accurate, and key passages will be found accurately translated in the booklet of readings.

—Francisco de Vitoria, Political Writings, Cambridge, ISBN# 052136714x

—Thomas Hobbes, On the Citizen, Cambridge, ISBN# 0521437806 Tuck and Silverthorne, eds.

—Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, Cambridge, ISBN# 0521369746 Anne Cohler et al., eds. and trans.

—Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Harper, ISBN# 0061311596  trans. H. J. Paton; and Political Writings, Cambridge, ISBN# 0521398371, H. Reiss, ed.


Flags: Ethics and Leadership

CTI 325 • Morality And Politics

Meets MWF 200pm-300pm WEL 3.402
(also listed as GOV 351L)
show description


GOV 351L, Unique 38865; CTI 325, Unique 34185

Morality and Politics

Daniel Burns

Fall 2014



This course is an introduction to some of the moral questions faced by any active citizen, and above all by those who take on roles of political leadership. These questions include: What is the relationship between justice and the good of one’s political community? Is it possible to be both a good person and a good leader? Is it possible to be a good person but a bad citizen? Are some actions justified in wartime that would be unjustifiable in peacetime? Is it a political leader’s job to be concerned with the moral character of his or her fellow citizens? Is it ever his or her job to ignore moral considerations altogether? What happens when religious teachings seem to conflict with the requirements of politics? 


We will examine these questions by studying several classic authors from the history of political philosophy. We will read Socrates’ first conversation with the most ambitious young politician in Athens; we will read Cicero’s major treatise on morality, which discusses all of human moral life within the context of our political obligations; we will look at Augustine’s effort to show the compatibility of Christian morality with political responsibility; and we will read Machiavelli, who argued for a new understanding of politics and morality in opposition to all three of these earlier thinkers. Finally, we will read the autobiography of Xenophon, one of Socrates’ best students, who rose to enormous political power in wartime and immediately faced many of the dilemmas that we will have seen our other authors discuss. We will conclude the course by trying to figure out how these authors would have judged Xenophon’s actions, and what his story teaches us about the possibilities for putting political theory into practice.  


Course Requirements:

2 short papers

midterm exam

final exam




Plato, Alcibiades I

Cicero, De Officiis

Augustine (several short selections)

Machiavelli, Prince

Xenophon, Anabasis

CTI 335 • Marx And Western Marxism

34195 • Matysik, Tracie M.
Meets MW 600pm-730pm GAR 3.116
(also listed as EUS 346, HIS 362G, PHL 334K)
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This course introduces students to the writings of Karl Marx as well as to those of his westernintellectual successors in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It will treat the nineteenthcenturycontext of industrialization and democratization in Europe in which Marx formulated hissocial, political, and philosophical critique, as well as the theoretical and philosophical legacythat followed through the twentieth century. The course will not focus on Soviet Marxism, butwill examine how western Marxism’s critique of capital evolved in complex relationship to theexistence of Soviet Marxism. We will spend roughly eight weeks reading Marx’s writings, andthen seven weeks reading his western intellectual successors (including writings from RosaLuxemburg, Georg Lukács, Walther Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Antonio Gramsci, Jean-PaulSartre, Louis Althusser, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, and Slavoj Žižek). Students shouldexpect to read significant amounts of philosophy and social theory.


Robert C. Tucker, ed., The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nd edition (New York: Norton, 1978).Vincent Barnett, Marx (New York: Routledge, 2009).


First paper: 25%

Second paper: 25%

Option II or III: 10- to 12-page paper: 50%

Final Journal: 30%!Class Presentation: 10%

Participation (including attendance and also sustained constructive contribution to classdiscussion): 10%

CTI 335 • Origins Of Liberalism

34200 • Martinich, Al P.
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WAG 308
(also listed as PHL 354)
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Description (one to three paragraph description of course content):

Liberal democracy is the theory that individual persons have certain rights that must be respected by governments and cannot be violated merely to improve the condition of the state. Key concepts to be discussed include liberty, democracy, the social contract, and the nature of authority and obligation.

The theory behind liberalism developed from or competed with several traditions such as democracy, republicanism and absolute sovereignty, which were influenced by various religious, economic and political beliefs over a long period of time. Perhaps the most crucial period in this development was seventeenth-century England.

This course is interdisciplinary. It will cover such political and religious events as The Gunpowder Plot, Charles I’s Personal Rule, the Long Parliament, the English Civil War and the execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth, the Restoration of the Monarchy, the Exclusion Crisis, and the Glorious Revolution. Some crucial works in political philosophy by some great political philosophers, such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke will be discussed along with lesser but still significant theorists such as John Milton. The political relevance of some literary works, such as John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel will also be discussed.

A large part of this course will consist of working on a research paper, either alone or in partnership with one or two other students, as dictated by the topic and student interest.


List of Proposed Texts /Readings:

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan revised edition (edited by Martinich and Battiste) (Broadview)

John Locke, Two Treatises of Government

Robert Buchholz and Newton Key, Early Modern England, 1485-1714

A. P. Martinich, Philosophical Writing 3rd ed. (Wiley-Blackwell)


Proposed Grading Policy:

Class Participation and Assignments: 20%

In term tests: 30%

First Essay: 1,000-2,500 words: 10%

Research Essay: 4,000-7,000 words: 40%

CTI 335 • Sacred/Sec In Mod Euro Thought

34204 • Matysik, Tracie M.
Meets MW 400pm-530pm GAR 3.116
(also listed as HIS 362G, R S 357)
show description

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 345 • The Bible As Literature

34205 • Kaulbach, Ernest
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 105
(also listed as E 358J, R S 355)
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Instructor:  Kaulbach, E

Unique #:  35860

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  CTI 345, R S 355

Flags:  Writing

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: C L 315, E 603B, 316L (or 316K), 316M (or 316K), 316N (or 316K), or 316P (or 316K), or T C 603B.

Description: Become familiar with the principal texts, interpretations, and images of the Old and New Testaments, so as to be able to recognize the use of the Bible in any form of literature, e.g., sciences, history, medicine, law, music, art, etc. Since the West depends upon the interpretation of “Alexandria,” that's the interpretation we will study, although we will find that the West incorporates Jewish, Muslim, and pagan interpretations (as indicated by the required second text).

A list of readings will be distributed on the first class day. Students will be expected to read them all, even though I spend half of the semester only on Genesis.

Texts: Any RSV (Revised Standard Version) Bible; The Bible As It Was, James L. Kugel.

Requirements & Grading: Papers (50%), attendance (25%), final (25%); have to attain “A” in all three areas or “B” in all three areas to receive the respective “A” or “B.”

CTI 345 • Dante

34207 • Raffa, Guy P
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.118
(also listed as E 322, EUS 347, ITC 349)
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Dante: Fall 2014

ITC 349 (37360) and E 322 (35700), cross-listed with EUS 347 and CTI 345

TTH 11-12:15 in MEZ 1.118

Professor Guy Raffa, Dept. of French and Italian

Office Hours: TTH 1:30-2:30 and by appointment in HRH 3.104A; phone: 232-5492

E-mail:; Home Page:

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 carries the writing flag and the global cultures flag.

Danteworlds ( 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 material in discussion postings (a low-stakes writing assignment) and two in-class exams. An essay, which you will revise and expand based on feedback, will assess your ability to engage scholarly research and support an interpretation of a specific aspect of Dante's poem with detailed textual analysis. A peer-editing activity will help you to revise and edit your own work. You are expected to have read the assigned cantos and reviewed the corresponding material in Danteworlds (including the study questions) before class meetings.

Required Texts: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso (Trans. Allen Mandelbaum); Vita Nuova (Trans. Barbara Reynolds). Please note: you must use these translations.

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

Assignments and Computation of Grade:

5%: Five times during the semester you will post an entry to a discussion forum on Canvas. Entries may include answers to study questions, but other responses to Dante's poem are welcome as well. Each submitted entry must contain at least 200 of your own words. Entries, worth 1 point each, will receive full credit for successful, on-time completion.

15%: 1000-word essay on the Inferno

25%: Significant revision and expansion of this essay (based on teacher feedback) that incorporates material from Purgatorio and / or Paradiso and scholarly research. 1500-2000 words. 

5% Peer-editing (full credit for successful, on-time completion)

30%: Two short-answer examinations (15% each)

20%: Classwork and participation. You are expected to read the assigned material before class meetings and to participate—through attentive listening and informed contributions—in class activities and discussion.

Attendance Policy: Your attendance, which obviously influences your classwork and participation grade, is required at all class meetings. You are expected to arrive on time and to stay for the entire lesson. Repeated late arrivals to—or early departures from—will count as absences. For every class that you miss (for whatever reason) after the fourth absence, your final course grade (on a 100-point scale) will be reduced by 3 points up to a maximum of 15 points.

Late Work: There are no make-up exams—and other graded assignments will lose a full letter grade for each day they are late—except in the case of documented emergencies (e.g., illness, death in the family), religious holidays, or university-sponsored events (with prior notification).

Canvas: We will use the CANVAS learning management system to organize and provide course content on-line. When you log in to Canvas ( and select the course, you will have access to the syllabus, assignments, lecture presentations, grades, and a discussion forum. You will be required to submit most assignments on-line using Canvas. For help with Canvas, consult the student tutorials ( or contact support staff (

Writing Flag: Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline—in this case, literary criticism and humanities research. You will write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will have the opportunity to revise and expand an essay, and you will read and discuss your peers’ work. A substantial portion of your grade will therefore come from your written work. Writing Flag classes meet the Core Communications objectives of Critical Thinking, Communication, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility, established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Global Cultures Flag: Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present—in this case Europe (Italy in particular) in the late Middle Ages as represented in Dante's Divine Comedy.

Grading: All assignments will be graded on a 100 point scale and converted to letter grades consistent with university policy:

A (94-100) = 4.0, A- (90-93) = 3.67, B+ (88-89) = 3.3, B (84-87) = 3.0, B- (80-83) = 2.67, C+ (78-79) = 2.3, C (74-77) = 2.0, C- (70-73) = 1.67, D+ (68-69) = 1.3, D (64-67) = 1.0, D- (60-63) = 0.67, F (below 60) = 0.0

Plagiarism, intentional or not, will result in an automatic F on the assignment as well as possible disciplinary action. For the definition of plagiarism and the University's policy on it, see:

Dante Web Sites

Danteworlds (the course Web site):

Dante Today (Dante in contemporary culture):

Dartmouth Dante Project (commentaries on the Commedia):

World of Dante:

Princeton Dante Project:

Digital Dante:


CTI 345 • Writing/Authority: Early China

34210 • Sena, David M
Meets M 300pm-600pm MEZ 1.206
(also listed as ANS 379, HIS 364G)
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Course description

This course examines the critical role of writing in one of the world's oldest literate civilizations. Beginning with the origin of Chinese characters in the Bronze Age, we examine the crucial role of writing in staking claims of political, social, and religious authority in ancient and early Imperial China (ca. 1200 BCE-200 CE). Aiming to situate writing within the cultural practices in which it was generated, we explore a diverse array of textual artifacts, including inscriptions on bone, bronze, and stone and manuscripts on bamboo and silk, in addition to texts in the received literary tradition. Topics include the magico-religious dimensions of writing, the sociology of writing and textual production, and the role of cannon and commentary in articulating and challenging imperial claims of legitimacy.

Course readings
Selections from the following texts, available electronically:

  • Primary sources:
    Book of Documents
    Book of Poetry
    Analects of Confucius
    Records of the Historian
    Songs of Chu
  • Secondary scholarship:
    Mark Edward Lewis, Writing and Authority in Early China (1999).
    Edward L. Shaughnessy, Rewriting Early Chinese Texts (2006).

class participation: 20%
informal writing: 15%
short paper: 20%
midterm exam: 20%
final paper: 25%

CTI 350 • Masterworks Of World Drama

34215 • Lang, Elon
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WEL 3.266
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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, informal acting, written analysis, and the option to develop your own lesson plans.


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, Measure for Measure, 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.

Four essays of various lengths will be assigned totaling 15-20 pages, the second and fourth of these will be revised, expanded, and resubmitted after receiving feedback from both peers and 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.


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.





Ethics and Leadership

CTI 375 • Hist Of Rome: The Republic

34245 • Haimson Lushkov, Ayelet
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 101
(also listed as AHC 325, HIS 321M)
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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.

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