Students planning to complete the Humanities Gateway Program in two semesters take four Humanities Gateway courses during the first year.

The required first-year sequence is as follows:

THEME FOR 2021-2022 — “Gender and Identity”

FALL 2021

Topic Heading: Women in Philosophy and the Trojan War

HMTS 116
The thoughts of women have of course been present since the beginning of the Western philosophical tradition; however, for various reasons, their contributions to the discipline have often been discounted, marginalized, or simply ignored. This course will focus on texts from the Western philosophical tradition that showcase the work of women, or address the theme of femininity. Authors and ideas will include Sappho (on love), Hannah Arendt (on evil), Simone de Beauvoir (on ethics, femininity, and human action), Simone Weil (on God and war), Rebecca Solnit (on time, memory, and death), Judith Butler (on political agency), and more. What will be seen is that the intellectual contributions of women have been instrumental to the development of Western philosophy. Shane Ewegen

HMTS 117
In ancient Greek and Roman narratives about the Trojan War, female characters have many roles, from goddesses to war captives. We’ll read and discuss these depictions, asking ourselves what these texts tell us about the positions of women in these societies, as well as re-interpretations in subsequent centuries. We’ll compare and contrast the versions of characters like Helen, Briseis, Penelope, Circe, Camilla, and Penthesilea in texts such as Homer’s epic poems the ILIAD and the ODYSSEY, Gorgias’ rhetorical showpiece ENCOMIUM OF HELEN, Euripides’ play HELEN, Dio Chrysostom’s dialogue ORATION 61, Virgil’s epic poem AENEID, Quintus’ epic poem POSTHOMERICA, Pat Barker’s and Madeline Miller’s novels THE SILENCE OF THE GIRLS and CIRCE, and the television series TROY: FALL OF A CITY. Vincent Tomasso



Topic Heading: Religion, Reason and Conceptions of Identity

HMTS 215
This course examines the ways the Qur’an shapes ideas and identities across numerous groups of Muslims. We will explore how the application of the Qur’an shapes the religious practice and moral landscape of Muslims universally as well as how it is utilized to speak to individual identities, including various sectarian groups across time, and contemporary voices, including feminist and queer identities and African American viewpoints. Mareike Koertner

HMTS 216
This course will examine the various legacies of the European Enlightenment regarding conceptions of identity, with a particular emphasis on the role of women and of race. A key aspect of the course will be to interrogate the tension between Enlightenment constructions of gender and racial identity and the concomitant valorization of universal ideals regarding rational, human subjectivity. Readings will include the works of Kant, Rousseau, Herder, Hume, Wollstonecraft, Foucault, Adorno as well as the work of contemporary scholars on the ways in which the European Enlightenment gave rise to modern ideas of race and gender. Julia Goesser Assaiante