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Larry D. Carver, Director CLA 2.104, Mailcode G6210, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3458

Course Descriptions

HMN 350 • In Search Of Meaning

39175 • Adams, Michael W
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CBA 4.340
(also listed as LAH 350)
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PREREQUISITES:

Upper-division standing and a grade point average of at least 3.50.

RESTRICTIONS:

Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts.

DESCRIPTION:

This is a course that asks a lot of questions.  And it questions all of the answers.  If you are uncomfortable being asked questions (about your beliefs, your personal meaning) and reluctant to ask the tough questions of others, this may not be the course for you.

We will begin by establishing (as best history tells us) how what we recognize as western reality came into existence, how the foundation was laid and when. The concepts will include: monotheism; the nature and personality of this god; the soul; chosen people; linear time; history as divine classroom; original sin; heaven; hell; salvation, etc.  After we establish how and when these and a host of other foundational features came into existence and created what we call Judeo-Christian reality, we will contrast the reality created therein with other realities--Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam.

Then we turn back to the West and explore writers and philosophers who reject the institutionally handed down Judeo-Christian reality, and try to put something in its place (Humanism, Deism, Transcendentalism, Existentialism, Nihilism, Eurekans, crystal worshippers, etc.) or find a kind of consolation in atheism or, and often most ignored, a noble kind of Aesthetic Humanism. This journey will lead us to what Pars Lagerkvist called the central question of the modern mind—How do we find meaning in a meaningless world?  We will spend some special time exploring your answers to this question. And, to be fair, at the end of the semester I’ll give you my answer (which is the right answer, of course—hint:  to err is human, to forgive, canine). AND I’ll let you interrogate me, as I will have interrogated you during the semester.

The Old Testament (selections); Plato, Crito, Phaedo; India's "Vedic Hymns," "The Kena-Upanishad," and "The Mahabharata" or theBhagavad Gita; Cicero, "The Offices"; Lucretius, "The Nature of Things"; the Gnostic texts (selections), The New Testament (selections), the "Nicaean Creed"; St. Augustine's City of God (selections); the Koran (selections);  Erasmus, "The Praise of Folly"; Pico della Mirandola "Of the Dignity of Man"; Nicolaus Copernicus, "The Revolutions of Heavenly Bodies;" Bruno,  "Of the Infinite Universe and Innumerable Worlds"; Sir Francis Bacon, "Novum Organum"; Martin Luther, "Table Talk";   Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason"; selections from Locke, d’Holbach, Planck, Bultman,Whitehead, Diderot and others; selected poems of Whitman, Paul Valery, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Anne Sexton, Edna St. Vincent Millay;  Herman  Hesse, Siddhartha; Flannery O’Connor, selected stories; Dostoevsky's "Grand Inquisitor"; Pars Lagervist, Barabbas; Camus, The Stranger; Sartre, No Exit; Nathaniel West, Miss Lonelyhearts; Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son;Raymond Carver, selected stories; Don Delillo, White Noise.

 

HMN 358Q • Supervised Research

39180
Meets
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Supervised Research. Individual instruction. Prerequisite: A
University grade point average of at least 3.50 and consent of the
liberal arts honors program adviser. Only one HMN 358Q may be applied towards college honors. Course may be repeated.

HMN 370 • Senior Tutorial Course

39185
Meets
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A tutorial program of supervised reading and writing, including an individual paper or papers in which the student draws together the central directions and discoveries of his or her studies in the humanities. Humanities 370 and 679HB may not both be counted.

Prerequisite: Consent of the humanities adviser.

HMN 379 • Conference Course

39190
Meets
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Individual instruction in a topic approved by the instructor and the humanities adviser.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and consent of the humanities adviser.

Hour(s) to be arranged. May be repeated for credit.

HMN 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

39195
Meets
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Directed reading and research, followed by the writing of a report or the creation of a project. Humanities 370 and 679HB may not both be counted.

Prerequisite: For 679HA, admission to the Humanities Honors Program and consent of the humanities adviser; for 679HB, Humanities 679HA.

Class meets Thursdays 3-4p in PAR 214.

HMN 679HB • Honors Tutorial Course

39200
Meets
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Directed reading and research, followed by the writing of a report or the creation of a project. Humanities 370 and 679HB may not both be counted.

Prerequisite: For 679HA, admission to the Humanities Honors Program and consent of the humanities adviser; for 679HB, Humanities 679HA.

Class meets Thursdays 3-4p in PAR 214.

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