This course offers an introduction to advanced study in the Humanities across a range of fields, including poetry, philosophy, fiction, and film. We will have three main goals. The first is to develop analytical skills common to the Humanities as well as those specific to each of our four fields, as we explore lyric poetry’s density of meaning, the subtle conceptual distinctions on which philosophy depends, narrative form and point of view in short fiction, and the roles of the camera and editing in film. Our second goal will be to move from the exercise of those skills in the give and take of conversation to their deployment in writing. Rather than one long term paper, the course requires three short papers, each of which will focus on a different field and its modes of analysis. To add focus to this wide disciplinary range, each of our texts will examine questions of ethics and identity. Our third goal will be to expand our ways of thinking about those central humanistic topics, as they take shape in relation to the different demands and opportunities of our four fields.
This course fulfills the Humanities requirement
Mark Miller is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Chicago. He is in the early stages of a book project called The Drive of Psychoanalytic Theory: A Reintroduction to Freud and Lacan. He also teaches and writes about medieval literature and culture, especially Chaucer and other 14th century English writers. In 2004 he received the Mark B. Ashin Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.