Humanities 411

Fall 2017 Syllabus

Each section of the course will comprise about 15 students and 2-3 faculty members from various disciplines. Sections meet from 7-9pm once per week, and participants will take turns hosting the class. In the first week, we will have a brief organizational meeting in the Vollum Lecture Hall to give everyone a chance to get acquainted.

Books are available in the bookstore. A few copies of each text will be on reserve in the library.


The requirements of the course are attendance and active participation. You are expected to be present and prepared at every session, although illness or family emergencies will be taken into consideration. You are expected to attend another section with prior coordination with all section leaders. At the end of the semester, you will be given a questionnaire about the readings. Completion of this form is a requirement for course credit.


Tuesday, August 29, 5:30pm, Vollum Lecture Hall

Organizational meeting for all students and faculty

Due to the Labor Day holiday, Monday sections will meet for the first time on September 11.

Week of September 4

Ayelet Tsabari, Best Place on Earth

Week of September 11

Svetlana Alexievich, Voices from Chernobyl

Week of September 18

Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

Week of September 25

Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

Week of October 2

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow

Week of October 9

Ben Steinbauer, Winnebego Man (film)

Week of October 16

fall break

Week of October 23

Melissa Mohr, Holy Sh*t

Week of October 30

Claudia Rankin, Citizen

Week of November 6

Maggie Nelson, Bluets

Week of November 13

Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers in their Own Land

Week of November 20

Only Monday sections meet.

Week of November 27

Rutu Modan, The Property