Skip to General Education: Studies in Arts & Humanities site navigationSkip to main content

General Education: Studies in Arts & Humanities

Additional Resources

An essential part of the General Education Program, the 200-level AIID 201 Studies in Arts & Humanities course addresses the objectives of the General Education Program by providing an opportunity for students to engage with enduring questions and issues in an interdisciplinary fashion by studying texts and other sources drawn from a range of different times and cultures.

Course Description

The Studies in Arts & Humanities is an interdisciplinary liberal arts course.  It provides students with an introduction to key texts, concepts, and artifacts from different fields in the humanities including, for instance, history, literature, philosophy, music, and art history. Each section of the course covers a variety of different cultures and at least four different periods in human history, which can range from the ancient world to contemporary works. The course is designated Writing Intensive and will require students to complete at least two different types of writing assignments. This is a core General Education course, required of all students

Class Schedule

AIID 201 - STUDIES IN THE ARTS & HUMANITIES
Ramapo

SIAH Section Descriptions, Spring 2023

Note:  We will do our best to maintain this list of instructors, times, and topics.  However, unexpected schedule changes may happen due to enrollment and other issues.

Ramapo

Section 01: Professor Paula Carabell

Tuesday / Friday, 9:55-11:35
“Mimesis, Memory, and Identity”

This section will focus on the ideas of imitation, reality, illusion and the relationship of memory to identity. If we lose our memories, are we still the same person as before? Why do certain eras embrace a concept while others reject it? In order to explore these ideas, we will be reading texts from antiquity to the present that address such ideas as the distinction between reality and illusion, truth and falsehood, memory, identity and seeing how these ideas are expressed in contemporary film. Some of the authors that we will be considering on the notion of self-hood and memory are Locke, Descartes, Freud, Winnicott and Lacan. We will also be examining writers from antiquity to the Renaissance who were interested in exploring the role of art within the context of the social and theological ideas of their times. Some of the films that address these ideas in contemporary life  include MementoThe Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindThree Women and Being John Malkovich.

Ramapo

Section 02: Professor Tae Kwak

Tuesday and Friday, 1:45-3:25
Title TBA

This course is an introduction to the Liberal Arts and Humanities from its classical origins to its modern revival and globalization.  Through historical and literary sources, we will explore how reason, empiricism, and ethics apply to the contemporary world.

Ramapo

Section 03: Professor Lee Caplan

Tuesday/ Friday, 8:00-9:40
Introduction to Interdisciplinary Thought and Critical Theory

The logic of disciplinary boundaries has stifled our historical imagination, reproduced/reified rigid distinctions between groups of people and thought, and made certain forms of knowledge almost impossible even to conceive. In this course section, we explore various disciplines and subdisciplines in tandem with one another to reclaim these epistemological shortcomings. This class surveys a variety of fields and subjects that question the very possibility of academic boundaries, such as post-colonialism, critical theory, historiography, the Black radical tradition, new musicology, Black feminism, discursive formation, knowledge creation, Eurocentrism, and aesthetics and politics. In addition to understanding the power dynamics undergirding scholarly boundaries and what led to their formation, this class also serves as an introduction to 20th and 21st-century theoretical thought, its personalities, and the social conditions that led to the rise of theory.

Ramapo

Section 04: Professor Ira Spar

Tuesday / Friday, 3:40 – 5:20

“Questioning Authority”

From the Garden of Eden story in the Bible to the thoughts of early Greek philosophers and from a story of love and murder set in 16th century Istanbul to the writings of a 19th century Hasidic master.

Ramapo
Ramapo

Section 07: Professor TBA

Monday, 6:05-9:35

Title TBA

 

Ramapo

Section 08: Professor Fabien Rivière

Tuesday, 3:40 – 5:20; all other material delivered asynchronously

“Self, Identity, Culture”

Our section of the course will particularly focus on self, identity, and culture. This course offers an opportunity for students (1) to chronologically explore the rich legacies of culture in relation to themselves, their own identity, and heritage as they navigate their college career, and (2) to expand their view of themselves, and the times they live in. By studying, experiencing, and reflecting upon these cultural legacies, this course will help understand our place in today’s world.

Ramapo

 

Section 10: Professor Diane Tomko

Monday/ Thursday, 2:15-3:55
“Love and Imagination”

How are love and imagination part of what makes us human?”   In this course, we will read some of the great works from the Ancient Greek World to the Twentieth century – some plays, tales, poetry, videos, novels and short stories, including Oedipus Rex, Tristan and Iseult, Pride and Prejudice, Hard Times and Dubliners. Students will also flex their writing muscles in a variety of modes, looking to explore their own imaginations as well as improve their individual style at the level of the sentence as well as the level of the essay.

Ramapo
Ramapo

Section 12: Professor Ziva Piltch

Wednesday, 1:00 – 4:30
“The Hero’s Journey”

Our theme for this section will be the hero and hero’s journey and the ways in which the hero reflects the values of her/his culture in literature and in art. The term “hero” is both male and female and includes antiheroes as well.  Readings that emphasize this include The Epic of Gilgamesh, Oedipus or Medea, Othello, Candide, The Doll’s House, and The Metamorphosis. Through writing and discussion we will examine our own values as well.

Ramapo

 Section 13: Professor Brendan Flanagan

Thursday 6:05-9:35

“Over the Edge: Liminal Spaces”

As long as human societies have existed, there have always been places “beyond” the edges of those societies. These liminal spaces have evolved with mankind: from the ancients’ concern with the boundary between wilderness and civilization, and between life and death, to modern “in between” spaces of outer space, the inner workings of the human mind, and, most recently, our ever-growing digital realm. This course will explore literature, film, and other art forms that depict these liminal spaces and how those depictions reflect changes in cultures and societies over time. Some readings include The Epic of Gilgamesh, Dracula, Ender’s Game, and Ready Player One.

Section 15: Professor Vassiliki Flenga

Monday/Thursday 4:10-5:50

Title/ Topic TBA

Ramapo

Section 16: Professor Riki Traum Avidan

Monday/ Wednesday/ Thursday 9:55 – 11:05
“Kinship, Intimacy, and Power”

This course will explore kinship, intimacy, and power and the ways these categories structure our social worlds and personal experience. We pay special attention to the concept of family: family that often provides security and stability, is also the primary seat of power. We examine family through its relation to ambivalent feelings and categories like power, authority, and violence. We also think about the ways political systems affect, shape, and form intimacy and love, and in this context also gender and race.

Assuming that race, gender, and intimacy are not ‘natural’ categories we will look at the work that goes into making them appear so, and consider the ways in which their meanings and efficacy change over time. The course will examine closely works by Anton Chekhov, Virginia Woolf, Emma Goldman, Tillie Olsen, Franz Fanon, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, and more. We will discuss Antigone by Sophocles and examine refugee narratives and identity in Ru by the Vietnamese born Canadian writer, Kim Thúy. Through these works we will explore the relationships that constitute categories such as family, violence, gender, and slavery.

Ramapo

Section 17: Professor Riki Traum Avidan

Monday/Thursday, 8:00-9:40

“Kinship, Intimacy, and Power”

This course will explore kinship, intimacy, and power and the ways these categories structure our social worlds and personal experience. We pay special attention to the concept of family: family that often provides security and stability, is also the primary seat of power. We examine family through its relation to ambivalent feelings and categories like power, authority, and violence. We also think about the ways political systems affect, shape, and form intimacy and love, and in this context also gender and race.

Assuming that race, gender, and intimacy are not ‘natural’ categories we will look at the work that goes into making them appear so, and consider the ways in which their meanings and efficacy change over time. The course will examine closely works by Anton Chekhov, Virginia Woolf, Emma Goldman, Tillie Olsen, Franz Fanon, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, and more. We will discuss Antigone by Sophocles and examine refugee narratives and identity in Ru by the Vietnamese born Canadian writer, Kim Thúy. Through these works we will explore the relationships that constitute categories such as family, violence, gender, and slavery.

Description TBA

Ramapo

Section 19: Professor TBA

Monday/Thursday 6:05-7:45

 

Section 20: Professor Louis Samuel Nicolosi

Tuesday 6:05-9:35

“The Role of the Supernatural in Human Experience”

Horror, macabre, the gothic—these are all words we use now to describe the way fear works within the space of the known and the unknown, the natural and the supernatural. For our section of the course, we will look at the supernatural, the uncanny, the fantastical, and the role of fear or the unknown, in constructing our sense of the world. These terms will be juxtaposed with notions of the natural, the normal or normative, the mundane and the known, in terms of the world we occupy. In other words, how does the interplay of the familiar and the strange work together to shape the whole of our lives? How does the fantastical offset our experience of the normative? How does the known work to create safety and structure, whereas the unknown fires our imagination and creates a sense of adventure into the unknown? How does fear or fantasy play a role in navigating these two sides of our lives? How did otherness, the inexplicable, and the unnatural or preternatural work to became the terms we use for the inexplicable?

Ramapo

 

Section 21: Professor TBA

Monday/ Thursday, 8:00-9:40
Title TBA

Description TBA

Ramapo

Section 22: Professor John Gronbeck-Tedesco

Wednesday, 9:00 – 12:30
Title TBA

This seminar explores the worldly contours of humanism through the lens of American immigration.  Utilizing interdisciplinary methods, we will delve into cultural texts ranging from literature and music to photography and film in order to discuss the problems and desires underlying physical and psychological displacement that have marked the American condition. What is it to reinvent one’s homeland under worldly pressures of uprootedness, memory, nostalgia, and adaptation that forces one to make meaning in a new place? Underlying our discussions will be social factors such as law, religion, labor, and culture as they relate to questions of citizenship and nationalism. Critical attention to ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, and wealth disparity will facilitate our understanding of a range of identities that largely defines the human experience.

Some readings:

E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime (novel)

Tennessee Williams, The Rose Tattoo (2010 edition with Intro by John Patrick Shanley)

Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

Ramapo

Section 23: Professor Maria Molinari

Wednesday, 6:05 – 9:35
“How to Be Human”

Problems, stress, competition: the daily grind can rob us of our enjoyment of life. So, how do we find meaning and purpose? This class spotlights the uniquely human experiences of love, hate, anger, joy, revenge, passion, fear, and transcendence as they are depicted in key works of global literature spanning from the ancient world to the present day. How do we define humanity today in our technologically drenched society? How have people in the past understood their place in the world? What human qualities really matter to our survival and happiness? We look to fiction, nonfiction, drama, and mythology to better understand ourselves as richly complex individuals.

Ramapo

Section 24: Professor Tae Kwak

Tuesday/ Friday 11:50-1:30
Title TBA

This course is an introduction to the Liberal Arts and Humanities from its classical origins to its modern revival and globalization.  Through historical and literary sources, we will explore how reason, empiricism, and ethics apply to the contemporary world.

Ramapo