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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 Thou

Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 201
(also listed as GOV 314)
show description

In this course we will be studying some classic texts of the history of Western political thought. The guiding themes of our readings are money and economy. We begin by asking what the purpose of government is, whether it is making happy or virtuous citizens, preserving freedom and equality, or increasing peace and prosperity. We will attempt to discover whether the economy can make it easier or harder for us to be happy, virtuous, equal, free, or peaceful. If we find that the economy can help or hinder the achievement of the ends of politics, we must then ask what the government should do about the economy: does the government have a right, or duty, to control economic activity? We will be exploring these questions in the writings of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Montesquieu, Locke, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and Friedrich Hayek.


The purpose of this course is to discover the origins of, and alternatives to, our own opinions about society, politics and economics. Our primary task, therefore, is to attempt to understand the positions and arguments put forward in our texts. Students will also be encouraged to critically assess the authors' arguments, and to look for ways these texts might provide us with insight into the political and economic issues of our own day.


Grades will be based on quizzes, class participation, reading responses, a paper, a mid-term and final exam. Students are expected to come to class prepared to answer questions on the day's reading. Poorly written papers will receive worse grades than well written ones. Exams will evaluate how well students have understood and retained the positions and arguments of the course texts.

CTI 304 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 305
(also listed as R S 315)
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CTI 304 The Bible and Its Interpreters

Cecilia Miller

Spring 2015


This course will explore the biblical foundation of the works of four of the greatest

Christian and Jewish thinkers: Augustine in Late Antiquity, Maimonides and Aquinas in

the Middle Ages, and Martin Luther in the midst of the Protestant Reformation.

Although these four thinkers are often viewed as being in opposition to each other, all

four drew heavily from some of the same books of the Bible in order to support their

theologies, especially from two divergent books from the Hebrew Bible, Genesis on

cosmic creation and the Psalms on internal spiritual development. In addition, from the

many New Testament books by Paul that address doctrines ranging from salvation to the

organization of the Christian community, Romans, in particular, is utilized authoritatively

by Augustine, Aquinas, and Luther.


Reading distinct genres of classic texts, including autobiography, history, theology,

philosophy, and meditations, this course will immerse students in some of the best-known

books of the Bible, and some of the most influential texts of the Christian and Jewish

traditions. Within the Christian tradition, both Catholicism and Protestantism will be

explored. Overall, the course will emphasize the abstract and often puzzling ideas to be

found in these texts, including predestination and free will. The class will also identify

religious and intellectual traditions that developed in response to Augustine, Maimonides,

Aquinas, and Luther, namely the Catholic Church, Medieval Philosophy, Scholasticism,

and Protestantism.


Throughout the semester students will develop critical analysis skills that will raise their

appreciation of the unfolding strains of Christian and Jewish influence in the humanities

and social sciences. At all stages of the class, the major focus will be on particular core

texts, with reference to selected secondary sources, which will be read for context. As

the semester progresses, the course will also emphasize comparative analysis of texts.

Students will develop an in-depth knowledge of a small number of core texts, while also

cultivating a sense of continuity and change over time.


In practical terms, the students will learn how to read classic books, how to prepare

concise and precise reading notes, how to debate in class discussion, and how to write

papers based on an argument/counter-argument format. These papers will focus on

specific test cases from the primary readings.


This is a writing-intensive class. Assignments: 2-page reading notes, in a set format, due

once a week, on Tuesday, AND two 5-page papers, in a set format, due during the

semester. There will also be a rewrite of the first paper. No exams. Close reading of set

texts and class participation required. Class participation will count as part of the final




The Hebrew Bible: Genesis and Psalms.

The New Testament books, by Paul, specifically Romans and Galations,

and Hebrews, previously attributed to Paul.

Augustine, Confessions and City of God.

Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed.

Aquinas, Summa Theologica.

Martin Luther, Ninety-Five Theses, On Christian Liberty, and Table Talk.

Baruch Spinoza, Theologico-Political Treatise, 10, 20.

CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thou

Meets TTH 930am-1100am CBA 4.344
(also listed as GOV 314)
show description

This course is a survey of some of the most important texts in the history of Western political and economic thought. We will read works from classical Athens through the 20th century that all treat questions like the following: What is government for? What makes a good law? What are the advantages and disadvantages of democracy compared to other forms of government? What are our responsibilities to our government? How do we know if our government is meeting its responsibilities to us? What role, if any, does government have in shaping the character of its citizens? What role should the government play in shaping the economy? How can the economy make it harder or easier for us to lead happier lives?


Students will survey the range of answers that different authors have given to these questions and will be encouraged to come to their own conclusions about who is most persuasive. Although this is primarily a course in political and economic theory, we will always be looking out for the ways that the classic debates we study still inform the political issues of our own day.


Grading will be based on in-class quizzes, a midterm, a final exam, a paper, and class participation. We will be reading excerpts from texts by Aristotle, Aquinas, Montesquieu, Locke, Adam Smith, Rousseau, Marx, Keynes, and Hayek.





CTI 310 • Intro To Philos Of Religion

33293 • Martinich, Al P.
Meets MW 1100am-1200pm CLA 0.130
(also listed as PHL 305, R S 305)
show description

This course investigates four different attitudes that have been held about the relation of humans to God. First is an ancient view according to which God's existence is presupposed and all events are interpreted as expressions of God's will. Second is a medieval view according to which the existence of God and his various attributes are suitable subjects for proof and argument. Third is a modern view according to which God exists but little is known about him through reasoning. Fourth is a contemporary view according to which God is assumed not to exist, and it is asked whether anything has any value and whether human life has a meaning. Although the course is divided historically, our goal will be to identify what is true or false, rational or not rational about the views expressed in each.

CTI 304 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

33295 • Schofer, Jonathan
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 308
(also listed as R S 315)
show description

R S 315 1 and CTI 304 1



SCHOFER, JONATHAN (; Burdine 524)

Meets TTH 930am-1100am in Parlin Hall 301

Office Hours: TTH 2:30-3:30pm and by appointment in Burdine 524


Course Description:

THE BIBLE AND ITS INTERPRETERS examines the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, the New Testament, and their significance over time.  This particular course will focus on the emergence of three longstanding religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) through the interpretation of sacred and foundational writings.  We will begin by examining the transmission and development of scriptural themes within Ancient Israel, identifying within the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament variations or re-tellings of common scenes, prophetic visions, and religious practices.  We will then examine the New Testament as interpreting and transforming the Old Testament to provide foundations for Christianity, with emphasis on Paul’s letters as well as elements of the Gospels.  The later part of the course will highlight three later texts that emphasize three trajectories of interpretation and innovation: the church Father Augustine’s Confessions for Christianity, the rabbinic anthology The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan for Judaism, and the Koran for Islam.  In each case we will emphasize the expansion and transformation of biblical sources in setting the course for each religion.


May be counted toward the writing flag requirement.

May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

CTI 310 • Introduction To Ancient Greece

33300 • Hubbard, Thomas K
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WCH 1.120
(also listed as C C 301)
show description

This course will survey the world of the ancient Greeks from the dawn of the city-state to the rise of Macedon (ca. 800 - 350 B.C.), focusing on their cultural achievements (literary, artistic, intellectual) and on their religious, social, and political world. Attention will be paid to understanding both the Greek "mentality" in the world of the polis through literature like Homer, Sophocles, Thucydides and Plato, and the realities of their public and private lives. We shall explore the relationship between freedom and slavery, democracy and empire, political systems, and the individual and larger community. Special attention will be paid in this section to issues of gender and sexuality. We shall also examine the Greeks' emphasis on human knowledge and achievement (in art, literature, and politics as well as on the battlefield) within the context of a polytheistic religious world, as well as within its broader Mediterranean context.There will be two half-hour exams, one midterm examination, and one comprehensive final, as well as periodic short quizzes.

This course carries a Global Cultures flag and fulfills the Visual and Performing Arts requirement.

CTI 310 • Roots Religious Toleration

33305 • Bodian, Miriam
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WEL 2.256
(also listed as EUS 306, HIS 317N, J S 311, R S 306)
show description

Religious intolerance seems to be endemic in human societies. It takes different forms, ranging from subtle discrimination to mass violence. There are times when it is less intense than at others. As a social phenomenon, there seems little chance that it can ever be eliminated.

But historically, political and legal structures have been developed that have ensured a high degree of freedom for religious minorities. These structures have been built gradually and with great effort. They have very particular roots in early modern Europe (sixteenth to eighteenth centuries). In this course we will try to understand in historical perspective how this happened, as well as the impact of this development on contemporary thinking.

To understand the extraordinary struggles of the early modern period, we’ll first have to understand the basic position and practices of the western Church toward heretics and non-believers as they were formulated in the first few centuries CE and as they were elaborated in the medieval period. We will then turn to the events and changed perspectives of the Reformation period. Finally, we will analyze the range of theoretical ideas about religious toleration proposed by European thinkers, and consider their practical implications. We’ll conclude with some reflections on the persistent problems that have arisen and still arise in the effort to achieve religious toleration, including recent issues particular to the multiculturalism experiment.

The course, then, has a three-part structure:

Part 1: A survey of the late antique and medieval European background;

Part 2: A look at how new conditions in the Reformation period encouraged the emergence of ideas of religious toleration;

Part 3: A study of a variety of theoretical positions – then and (briefly) now.


You will take an exam after the first two segments of the course (together, 50% of the grade), and a final exam (30%). In addition, you will write a 3-5 page exercise (10%), and attendance and participation will be evaluated (10%).

CTI 310 • Street Justice:morals/The Wire

33309 • Marshall, Stephen H
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WRW 102
(also listed as AFR 317D, AMS 315, GOV 314)
show description

This lower-division large lecture course will examine the moral and philosophical dilemmas behind the concept of “justice” for Black, inner city communities in the United States, using Baltimore, MD in the popular TV program “The Wire” as a case study. Students will be expected to define the ethical subjects in real-world moral dilemmas surrounding justice, using introductions to political science, philosophy, and intellectual history as a structural guide (with special considerations of Critical Race Theory and Black Studies in their analyses).

Students will be asked to think critically about the complicated concepts of justice in inner-city communities, as exemplified in “The Wire”. Students will be invited to apply their understandings of morality and justice to not only the fictional situations in this case study, but also to ethical decisions in historical, race-related cases in Black United States history, such as Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, and modern-day Drug Wars. It is hoped that this course helps to parse out what is considered “right” and what is considered “wrong” when analyzing the concept of justice.

CTI 310 • The Rise Of Christianity

33310 • White, L. Michael
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm SAC 1.402
(also listed as C C 318, R S 318)
show description

This course is designed to acquaint students with the sources, issues, and methods in studying the development of the earliest Christian movement, primarily in  the New Testament period. It will survey the development of the Christian movement, from its beginnings as a reforming sect within first-century Judaism until it became a major cult in the Roman world, by looking at two intersecting sets of factors: the world situation during the period of its origins and the forces which gave it its peculiar social and theological shape. In particular, attention will be given to critical examination of the New Testament writings themselves, in order to "place" them in their proper historical context and to reconstruct some of the major phases and factors in the development of the movement.  

In the light of this critical reconstruction, sociological and anthropological methods will be introduced into the historical discussion; topics will include: sociological formation and development of sectarian groups; gender, status, group dynamics, and boundary maintenance in diaspora communities; and the evolution of organizational structures in cultural contexts.

For the most part the primary sources for the course will be the New Testament writings themselves. It will be necessary, therefore, for each student to have access to a good, modern version of the New Testament (and preferably the whole Bible, including the Apocrypha). For study purposes, comparison of different translations is encouraged. Other course books provide a guide to the early Christian writings and  the early history of the movement.

CTI 320 • Classical Quest For Justice

33315 • Pangle, Lorraine
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 101
(also listed as GOV 351C)
show description

In this course we will look at the problem of justice as it was explored in some of the greatest literary and philosophic works of ancient Greece. In the first part of the course, we will explore the challenges posed to political authority by three famous rebels: Achilles, a man of outstanding courage; Antigone, a woman who chose to obey the gods rather than a human king; and Socrates, a philosopher whose pursuit of the truth brought him to be condemned for impiety and corruption of the youth by the city of Athens. After reading their stories in Homer’s Iliad, Sophocles’ Antigone, Aristophanes’ comedy The Clouds, and Plato’s Apology, we will turn to Plato’s masterpiece on justice, The Republic. In this dialogue we will see how Socrates defends justice to the young, skeptical Glaucon by creating in speech a perfectly just city. This city, ruled by philosopher-kings, is an attempt to do justice to every claim to authority based on human excellence, inspiration, and wisdom, so as to win the loyalty of every reasonable person. In the course of creating the city in speech, Socrates explores the problem of justice from every angle and leads us to wonder whether a “perfect” political order may not even be desirable.


Prerequisites: thirty hours of coursework.


Required Texts:

Homer, Iliad

Sophocles, Antigone

Aristophanes, Clouds

Plato, Apology, Republic


Course Requirements:

Three short (3-5 pp.) papers, final exam.

CTI 321 • Theor Foundtns Modern Politics

33320 • Viroli, Maurizio
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 420
(also listed as GOV 351D)
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Theoretical Foundations of Modern Politics


GOV 351D/CTI 321


Professor Maurizio Viroli

Class: Tuesday-Thursday 1100-12:30.




The main goal of this course is to offer students a historical and philosophical

introduction to political philosophy. Unlike most introductory courses in political theory, GOV 351 does not attempt to cover the whole history of political philosophy from ancient Greece to our time, but focuses on a main theme, namely, the excellence of politics. It uses a few ancient and modern philosophers whose writings are particularly relevant for the topic of the course: Arendt, Aristotle, Beccaria, Cicero, Constant, Erasmus, Hobbes, Kant, Machiavelli, Marx, Rousseau, and Tocqueville and Hannah Arendt.



Reading List


Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Harcourt Brace

Aristotle, Politics, University of Chicago Press

Beccaria, Of Crimes and Punishments, Cambridge University Press

Cicero, On Duties, Cambridge University Press

Constant, “Of the Liberty of the Ancients” in Constant, Political Writings, Cambridge University Press

Erasmus, The Education of a Christian Prince, Cambridge University Press

Hobbes, Leviathan, Cambridge University Press

Locke, Second Treatise of Government, Cambridge University Press

Kant, “What is Enlightenment?,” “Perpetual Peace,” and “Idea for a Universal History,”in Kant, Political Writings, Cambridge University Press

Levi, Survival in Auschwitz

Machiavelli, The Prince, Oxford University Press

__________, Discourses on Livy, University of Chicago Press

Marx, “The Communist Manifesto” in The Marx-Engels Reader, Tucker ed., Norton

Dostoevsky, The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor, Filiquarian Publishing

Rousseau, “Discourse on Inequality” and “Discourse on Political Economy,” in Rousseau, Basic Political Writings, Hackett

Skinner, Liberty Before Liberalism, Cambridge University Press

Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Mayer ed., Harper Collins

Skinner, Renaissance Virtues (selection), Cambridge University Press  

Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars

Walzer, Exodus and Revolution, Basic Books





Schedule of Lectures


Week I

Presentation of the course

Aristotle, Politics, Bk. I, chs. 1-2


Week 2

Aristotle, Politics, Bk. II, ch. 1 and Bk. III (all)

Cicero, On Duties, Bks. I and III


Week 3

Ambrogio Lorenzetti’ Buongoverno

Quentin Skinner, Renaissance Virtues  (selection)


Week 4

Erasmus, The Education of a Christian Prince (all)

Machiavelli, The Prince


Week 5

Machiavelli, The Discourses, Bk. I, chs. 1-13, 15-18, and 40-60

Machiavelli, The Discourses, Bk. II, chs. 1-3; Bk. III, Chs. 1, 3, 7, 8, and 41


Week 6  

Hobbes, Leviathan, Hobbes’ Introduction and chs. 13-22

Hobbes, Leviathan, chs. 26-31 and “A Review and Conclusion”


Week 7

Locke, Second treatise of Government  chs.I-IX

Locke, Second treatise of Government  chs.XI-XIX


Week 8

Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality

Rousseau, On Political Economy and Of the Social Contract


Week 9

Beccaria, Of Crimes and Punishments (all)

Kant, What is Enlightenment and Idea for a Universal History


Week 10

Kant, Perpetual Peace

Constant, The Liberty of the Ancients compared to the Liberty of the Moderns.; Skinner, Liberty before Liberalism (all)


Week 11

Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. I: pp. 9-163 and 173-311

Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. II: pp. 417-497


Week 12

Dostoevsky, The legend of The Grand Inquisitor

Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Week 13

M. Walzer, Exodus and Revolution

Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, chs. 11 and 12.


Week 14

Primo Levi, Survival in Aushwitz

Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars


Assignments and Grading

Midterm 40%

Final 60%


CTI 322 • Critics Of Modern Liberalism

33325 • Stauffer, Devin
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WAG 420
(also listed as GOV 351G)
show description

Spring 2015


Devin Stauffer


GOV 351G (cross-listed as CTI 322)


Critics of Modern Liberalism




Sophomore standing


Course Description


This course examines the writings of a wide range of thinkers who have reflected deeply on the strengths and weaknesses of the most powerful political doctrine in the world today: liberal democracy.  We will begin by studying the original case for modern liberalism as it was presented by John Locke, the great architect of the modern liberal form of government and the modern liberal way of life.  After studying Locke, we will look at the Declaration of Independence and The Federalist Papers to consider the ways in which Lockean principles informed the American Founding.  After this introduction, we will look at a set of thinkers who range from friendly critics of liberal democracy who have concerns about its dangers to hostile critics of liberal democracy who argue for its destruction.  The “friendly critics” will include authors such as Mill and Tocqueville.  The “hostile critics” will span the political spectrum, from Marx on the Left to Nietzsche on the Right.  These authors raise far-reaching questions about liberalism: Do the principles of freedom and equality promote an isolating individualism that dissolves communal bonds?  Is liberalism tied to an oppressive capitalist economic system?  Has the rise of liberal democracy fostered mediocrity and complacency?  Finally, we will conclude by considering several different views of the theoretical and practical health of liberal democracy today.




Locke, Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration (Yale)

Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, The Federalist Papers (Signet)

Mill, On Liberty (Penguin)

Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Chicago)

Marx and Engels, The Marx-Engels Reader (Norton)

Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (Vintage)

Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Penguin) 

Course Supplement (available at Speedway Copying in the Dobie Mall)


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.)

CTI 325 • Morality And Politics

33330 • Stauffer, Dana
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 3.102
(also listed as GOV 351L)
show description

GOV 351L/CTI 325: Morality and Politics


The guiding question of this course concerns the relationship between morality and politics. What is the proper place of morality in political life? How much should moral and ethical considerations guide our political decision-making? Does the best political order aim at a morally decent life for individuals and communities? Or are moral aims misplaced in politics? We will examine the ways in which great thinkers both ancient and modern have grappled with these questions in political philosophy, history, and drama. The heart of the course consists of a contrast between the viewpoints of two giants of ancient and modern political philosophy respectively, Aristotle and Machiavelli. We will read selections from Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics, and we will follow that with a close reading of Machiavelli’s Prince. We will also consider how the ethical questions considered in abstract terms in political philosophy play out in the stories of particular political actors in the plays by the likes of Euripides, Ibsen, and Shakespeare. Questions of friendship, revenge, necessity, fortune and chance, love, greed, religion, selflessness and self-concern, form the principle elements of our examination.



Required Texts:


1. Sophocles II: Four Tragedies. By Sophocles. Complete Greek Tragedies Series. University of Chicago Press.


2. Euripides II.  By Euripides. Complete Greek Tragedies Series. University of Chicago Press.


3. Politics. By Aristotle. Oxford University Press.


4. The Prince. By Niccolo Machiavelli. Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield. University of Chicago Press.


5. Julius Caesar. By William Shakespeare. Bantam Classics.


6. Darkness at Noon. By Arthur Koestler. Bantam Books.


7. Ibsen: Four Major Plays, Volume II. By Henrik Ibsen. Signet Classics.


Grading and Requirements:


First Exam: 30%

Second Exam:  30%

Paper: 30%

Class Participation, Including Pop Quizzes: 10%

CTI 335 • Jerusalem And Athens

33335 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 206
(also listed as GOV 379S, LAH 350)
show description


LAH 350 / CTI 335/GOV 379S: Jerusalem and Athens


Prerequisites: Upper division standing


Course Description:

This class is a comparison of the roots of the two traditions that combined to form the modern West: Biblical revelation and classical rationalism. We’ll approach that through careful study of two texts: the early books of the Hebrew Bible and Plato’s Republic.


The intent of the course is to compare and contrast the ways in which the two traditions answered some of the most fundamental issues of human life, including the relationship between virtue and happiness, who ought to rule in the political community and on what grounds, and the character of God or the gods. My hope is that we will see this is not the case, and that facing the alternative embodied by Jerusalem and Athens is as urgent and as vital today as it was in the ancient world.


We will approach these two traditions through the careful reading of our two source texts. Each class meeting will involve discussion in which all students will be expected to participate. Papers will typically involve comparisons between the two works.

Grading Policy:

60%: 3 medium length (5-7 page) papers:

20%: Short (1 page) writing assignments – 8 over the course of the semester

20%: Attendance, participation, and pop reading quizzes


Plato’s Republic (translated by Allan Bloom)

The Five Books of Moses (Robert Alter’s translation of the Torah)



CTI 345 • Ancient Epic

33345 • Beck, Deborah
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 308
(also listed as C C 322)
show description

This course will cover the most important epic poems of Greece and Rome.  Texts will include Hesiod Theogony, Homer Iliad and Odyssey, Apollonius Jason and the Golden Fleece, Vergil Aeneid and Ovid Metamorphoses. Students will become familiar with the major characters, story lines, and genre conventions of ancient epic. We will consistently focus on the influence these poems had on each other, including some post-classical readings. Major course goals include:  acquiring knowledge of major authors, characters, story lines, and genre conventions of ancient epic; improving close reading, analytical, and communication skills.

This course carries a Global Cultures flag.

CTI 345 • Dante

33350 • Raffa, Guy P
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BEN 1.106
(also listed as E 322, EUS 347, ITC 349)
show description

Dante: Spring 2015

ITC 349, same as E 322, crosslisted with EUS 347 and CTI 345

TTH 2-3:30 in Ben 1.106

Professor Guy Raffa, Dept. of French and Italian

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 contains flags for Writing and Global Cultures.

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

Required Texts: (you must use the editions of these texts ordered for the class)

            Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso (Trans. Allen Mandelbaum)

            Vita Nuova (Trans. Barbara Reynolds)

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

Assignments and Computation of Grade:

10%: 1500-word essay on the Inferno (credit for successful completion)

25%: Major rewrite of this essay incorporating scholarly research (graded)

5%:   Annotated bibliography of research sources (credit for successful completion)

5%:   Peer-review (credit for successful completion)

10%: Responses to study questions in Canvas Discussion Forum (credit for successful completion)

30%: Two in-class examinations  (graded: 15% each)

15%: Classwork and participation

Attendance Policy: Your attendance, which obviously influences your classwork and participation grade, is expected at all class meetings. You are expected to arrive on time to class 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 fifth 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: Late work will lose a full letter grade for each day it is late except in the case of documented emergencies (e.g., serious illness, death in the family), religious holidays (see university policy below), 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 (pdf), grades, and a discussion forum (for posting responses to study questions). 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: This course carries the Writing Flag. Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to 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: This course carries the 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.        

Grading and Plagiarism: All graded assignments will be marked 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 (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—the numerical grade (0-59) depending on the extent of the plagiarism and the quality of the non-plagiarized portion of the essay—as well as possible disciplinary action. For the definition of plagiarism and the University's policy on it, see:

Writing Center: For questions and feedback on writing, you are encouraged to meet with consultants at the Undergraduate Writing Center (FAC 211; for appointments and information, see call 471-6222).

All cell phones, tablets, laptops, and similar electronic devices must be turned off (or put in airport mode) and put away during class except if the instructor grants permission to use them for specific activities. Students who use devices in class without permission will be marked absent. 

CTI 371 • Einstein In Age Of Conflict

33369 • Martínez, Alberto A.
Meets M 400pm-700pm GAR 2.112
(also listed as HIS 350L)
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While age-old scientific concepts were being overturned by the rise of modern physics, Europe was torn apart by wars of unprecedented scale. This history course analyzes these developments, examining the rise of the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics against the stage of international political upheavals. Following the life of Albert Einstein, the course focuses on conceptual developments (from the 1880s through the 1940s) and intellectual conflicts. It also studies the lives of physicists such as Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, and J. Robert Oppenheimer, in the context of changing cultural and political environments. We will read and discuss various kinds of materials: manuscripts, letters, accounts by historians, physicists, essays, and even secret transcripts of controversial conversations. The material will be understandable even to students with no significant background in physics. Among the topics involved are the following: How did relativity and the quantum clash with earlier conceptions of nature? Why did physics become so apparently difficult to understand? In Europe and America, how did scientists and politicians behave in times of international catastrophe? How were the academic and social orders affected by the development of nuclear weapons?



•           Jürgen Neffe, Einstein: A Biography, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

•           John Heilbron, The Dilemmas of an Upright Man. Max Planck and the Fortunes of German Science. Harvard University Press, 2000.



•           One reaction essay, of 600 words in length. 

•           One historical analysis paper, 1000 words. The topic of the historical analysis paper will be individually selected by each student from a few alternatives. 

•           Final Research Paper, of at least 2500 words. A draft of the introduction or outline of the Research Paper will be expected 3 weeks before the final due date; for critical feedback. The subject of the final Research Paper will be designed by each student under advisement with the Instructor. This will equal 75% of the grade for the course.


CTI 372 • Darwin & Politics Of Evolution

33370 • Prindle, David
Meets MW 430pm-600pm CLA 0.102
(also listed as GOV 353D)
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“Darwin and The Politics of Evolution”

Spring,  2015

Professor David Prindle


Purpose of the Course


            Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, generally shortened to The Origin of Species, is one of the two or three most influential science books ever published.  But unlike the case with other science books, The Origin, published in 1859, is also of profound political importance.  Part of this political importance—the implications of Darwin's theory for religious explanations of the diversity of life—is well understood by all socially-aware citizens.  But there is much less awareness of the political implications of controversies within the science of evolutionary biology founded by Darwin.

     In this class I will explicate and explore both the "outside" and "inside" political implications of the science launched by the Origin, and ask the students to evaluate them.


Assigned Reading


1)  Charles Darwin,  The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, first edition,

      (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2004) [first published 1859]

2)  Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True  (Viking, 2009)

3)  Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, second edition, (InterVarsity Press, 1993)

4)  David Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution  (Prometheus Books,


5)  A package of readings, available online.


Grading Criteria


        There are three assignments due in this class. I may make some minor adjustments in a few of the final grades to reflect excellent class participation, but in general, each of the three assignments counts one-third of the final grade.

        For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two‑thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

            At the end of the semester, an average of 92.3 or higher will earn an "A,", 90 to 92 will earn an “A-,” 88 to 89.7 will earn a “B+,” 82.3 to 87.7 will earn a "B," 80 to 82 will earn a "B-," 78 to 79.7 will earn a "C+," 62.3 to 77.7 will earn a "C," 60 to 62 will earn a "C-," and 50 to 59.7 will earn a "D."  People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, or who average below 50, will receive an “F.” 






            Student are able to enroll in this class through two channels.  First, Government majors who are eligible for upper-division standing may enroll through the usual departmental processes.  Second, students who are participating in the Thomas Jefferson Center’s “great books” program (officially, CTI in the catalogue), may enroll in the class through that program.

CTI 375 • Civil War In Rome

33377 • Haimson Lushkov, Ayelet
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 201
(also listed as AHC 325, C C 348, HIS 362G)
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This class will survey the sequence of civil conflict at Rome from the Struggle of the Orders through to the rise of Constantine the Great. Beyond discussion of the historical material, lectures will also cover such topics as: the influence of civil war on Roman identity, culture, and history (including law and economy); representation of civil war in art and text; violence as foundational experience, and the question of the uniqueness of the Roman cases (for which we’ll discuss both the English and American civil wars as comparanda).

CTI 375 • Debating The Bible In 21st Cen

33380 • Landau, Brent
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am BEN 1.122
(also listed as AMS 327, R S 346)
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This course investigates the ongoing controversy in the United States about the meaning and continued relevance of the Bible. No knowledge of the Bible is assumed, and the course will begin with a short overview of the Bible’s content. Topics to be discussed include: the variety of perspectives within mainstream academic biblical scholarship; debates within evangelical scholarship about what it means for the Bible to be “inerrant”; the creationism-evolution controversy; the use of the Bible in “hot button” social and political issues (gay rights, for example); “End-Times prophecy”; and the movement to have the Bible taught in American public schools, including in Texas.


This course meets the criteria for the Ethics and Leadership flag, because more than one third of the class is devoted to identifying the vast array of ethical issues embedded within the Bible and and to walking students through the decision-making process about the Bible’s continued relevance using insights from the field of practical ethics.

CTI 375 • Hist Of Hindu Relig Traditn

33390 • Brereton, Joel
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm SZB 330
(also listed as ANS 340, ANT 324L, HIS 364G, R S 321)
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History of Hindu Religious Traditions

This course examines the principal themes of traditional Hinduism, the dominant religion of the Indian subcontinent. It gives special attention to the historical development of the tradition and its relation to social and cultural life in India. To the extent possible, the course will examine different forms of religious expression created within India. These include written texts that have been significant in the Hindu tradition, but they also comprise rituals that have been central to religious life, patterns of social action that embody Hindu values, and images and architecture that display the form and powers of the world.  

Written Requirements:
(1)  Nine microthemes (of the twelve or more posted). These microthemes are short (approximately one page), interpretive essays on assigned topics regarding the required reading or films.
(2)  Three quizzes.
(3)  Final essays due or written at the time of the final exam.

Microthemes  ………………………………………………   45%
Three quizzes………………………………………………   30%
Final essays   ………………………………………………   20%
Attendance…………………………………………………     5%

Required Texts:
Anantha Murthy, U.R., Samskara. tr. by A. K. Ramanujan.  
Dimmitt, C. and J.A.B. van Buitenen, Classical Hindu Mythology:  A Reader in the Sanskrit Purāṇas.
Hawley, John Stratton and Vasudha Narayanan, The Life of Hinduism. PCL Library e-book.
Miller, Barbara Stoler, tr.,  The  Bhagavad-Gita.
Narayan, R.K., tr.,  The Mahābhārata

Origins: The Vedic Tradition
The Way of Insight: Religious Knowledge
The Formation of the Tradition: The Great Epics
The Way of Devotion: Worship of the Deities in Classical Hinduism
The Way of Action: Village Life and Regional Hinduism
Hinduism in Contemporary Society

download syllabus

CTI 375 • History Of Rome: The Empire

33395 • Riggsby, Andrew M
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm WAG 101
(also listed as AHC 325, HIS 321)
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This class will cover the story of the Roman empire from the death of Caesar to the fall of Rome in A.D. 476.  After working our way through the narrative of this period (about half th semester), we will examine a number of topics that cut across time.  The course will touch on politics, law, war, the economy, social classes, gender, and psychopathic emperors.

CTI 375 • Lit/Art Florence At The Renais

33399 • Eibenstein-Alvisi, Irene
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 101
(also listed as EUS 347, ITC 349)
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Florence in the 1300s lived through a tumultuous period of internal strife and wars, bankruptcies, floods, famines, and epidemics that culminated in the Black Death of 1348. And yet, this is also the century that saw the beginning of Italian literature with the creation of three masterpieces that will forever influence the Western tradition:  Dante’s Divine Comedy, Petrarch’s Canzoniere, and Boccaccio’s Decameron. This course will analyze these fundamental texts written at what is traditionally considered the point of transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and will place them in their cultural and historical context with emphasis on the visual arts, Giotto in particular; architecture; and music.

The final project for the course will be a web-based documentary jointly produced by the class that will showcase the century in all the aspects discussed in class.

The class will be held in English and texts will be read in translations.

The course carries the Writing Flag and has no final exam.

CTI 375 • Military History To 1640

33400 • Brand, Steele
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm CLA 0.128
(also listed as AHC 330, EUS 346, HIS 349R)
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This class surveys the military history of the Near Eastern and Western worlds from the beginnings of recorded history (~3100 BC) to the Reformation (~AD 1650). The course is chronologically arranged and examines the spectrum of data between material and textual. It begins by studying human conflict in the ancient Near East. It then transitions to warfare in the classical world, which culminated in Rome’s seemingly unstoppable legions. The course then traces the military ascendancy of Islam and the response of the crusades before concluding with the so-called “wars of religion.” Students will analyze the strategic, operational, and tactical objectives (or lack thereof) of the major campaigns. They will explore naval engagements, decisive land battles, siege warfare, subterfuge, and everything else on the periphery. Students will also examine the moral, religious, political, and economic factors that preceded battlefield encounters. Above all, this class follows the tragic, exciting, and unpredictable story of organized human violence.Texts:Philip de Souza, ed., The Ancient World at War: A Global History (Thames & Hudson)Maurice Keen, ed., Medieval Warfare: A History (Oxford University Press)Thomas F. Arnold, The Renaissance at War (Smithsonian Books)Grading:Examinations: 60% (2 x 30% ea.); Engagement 40% (2 x 20% ea.)

CTI 375 • Self-Cultivation Trad China

33405 • Sena, David M
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ 2.124
(also listed as ANS 372, R S 352)
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Course Description
How does one transform oneself into a better person? This question lies at the heart of so many philosophical and religious traditions throughout the world. This was especially so in pre-modern China, where concern with self cultivation is fundamental to many intellectual and religious discourses, including Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. In this course we will examine ideas and practices in Chinese culture related to self cultivation as they are represented in writings drawn from a wide selection of philosophical, religious, and occult traditions. Far from providing a uniform understanding of this issue, these texts provide diverse examples of motivations, beliefs and techniques related to self cultivation. Whether the goal was to attain moral perfection, sagehood, immortality, buddhahood, or just tranquility, these beliefs and practices of self cultivation demonstrate a concern for human refinement that is deeply embedded within the culture of traditional China.

Final grades will be calculated according to the criteria below. Grades of plus/minus will be assigned as appropriate.

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

Textbooks and Readings
Philip J. Ivanhoe, Confucian Moral Self Cultivation, 2nd ed. (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2000), ISBN: 0-87220-508-8.

Philip J. Ivanhoe and Bryan W. Van Norden, Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy, (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2006), ISBN: 0-87220-780-3.v

Additional required readings for the class will be distributed electronically.

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