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Frequently Asked Questions about HUMA 1600

How is the course organized?

Students enrolled in the course will be placed in a sub-section of Writing Workshop and a sub-section of First-Year Seminar. The fifteen students in each section will thus be in class together four days per week, generally Monday and Thursday in writing workshop and Wednesday and Friday in seminar. On Tuesdays, all students enrolled in the course will meet for a lecture by a specialist in the material assigned for that week. These lectures are designed to help foster discussion in the seminars, and time is set aside at the end of each lecture for student questions and comments.

What happens in the writing workshop?

The writing workshop component of the course will focus on critical reading, writing, and thinking skills, emphasizing writing as a persuasive analytical activity. The group of twelve to fifteen students will concentrate on close reading, carefully developed argument, critical analysis, and editing techniques in an attempt to foster the kinds of writing they will be asked to do throughout their academic and professional career. 

What happens in the seminar?

The seminar focuses on discussion of the assigned reading and the the development of topics for essays. This group of twelve to fifteen students will learn how to formulate compelling interpretations, choose a good thesis for their written assignments, and write in clear and persuasive prose. Students  also take responsibility for the discussions and take turns doing short oral presentations. The weekly lecture provides a starting point for discussion, taking into account students' particular interests.

What happens in the lecture?

All the sections of HUMA 1600 (about 130 students and faculty) gather once weekly to hear a lecture given by a specialist on that week's reading.  Lecturers come from both the Trinity faculty and other universities. In the past, we have had guest lecturers from Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and the University of Texas at Austin. There is always a time set aside for questions at the end of each lecture for  students to interact with the lecturers.

What is the peer tutor?

Each section of HUMA 1600 has a peer tutor for the writing workshop and a peer tutor for the seminar. They attend their respective classes, as well as the weekly lectures. They are involved in class discussions and are available to talk with students outside of class. The peer tutors for both the writing workshop and seminar sections can be particularly helpful as students develop their ideas for papers or as they prepare to lead class discussion. Peer tutors read and comment on, but do not grade, student work. The professors alone make the final decision concerning all grades.

What texts do we read?

Humanities 1600 is built around analysis and discussion of literature—in English translation—from the Greek, Roman, and Judeo-Christian cultural traditions. The reading list may change slightly from year to year, but it usually includes selections from Homer's Iliad, Aeschylus'Oresteia, Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, Aristophanes' Lysistrata, Plato's Symposium, Virgil's Aeneid, Apuleius' Golden Ass, and Augustine's Confessions. Visual arts and material artifacts from the periods under discussion will be presented in the course lectures. See the HUMA 1600 tab for this year's reading list.

What requirements does the course fulfill?

HUMA 1600 satisfies the requirements of both First-Year Seminar and Writing Workshop during the fall semester.

Do I have to live in the HUMA Hall to take HUMA 1600?

No. Living in the HUMA Hall is optional.

Some students enjoy the intellectual community and companionship of living with other HUMA students and the ability to discuss the readings further (and to support each other as paper deadlines approach!).

Other students prefer to live in a regular residence hall with a mix of students.

Frequently Asked Questions about HUMA 2301

How is the course organized?

HUMA 2301 is a continuation of HUMA 1600, in which we resume the study of foundational Western texts that were begun in the first semester at Trinity. Drawing on our knowledge of ancient literatures, we now turn to texts dating from the fourteenth century through the twentieth century as we continue to explore persistently contested ideas in the history of Western cultures. We acknowledge the enduring influence of the ancient world but describe the ways in which ancient ideas have evolved over the course of the past six centuries. In particular, we focus on the process of creation/the creative process; human alienation from the natural world and self-alienation; and the tensions between scientific rationalism (reason) and belief (emotion).

What texts do we read?

The reading list varies slightly from year to year but usually includes Dante's Inferno, Milton's Paradise Lost, Goethe's The Sorrows of the Young Werther, Shelley's Frankenstein, Austen's Persuasion, Darwin'sOn the Origin of Species, Marx's Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground, Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents, and Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. See the HUMA 2301 tab for this year's reading list.

Who can take HUMA 2301?

Any interested student can take HUMA 2301, and the course may be taken at any stage of your Trinity career.

What requirements does the course fulfill?

HUMA 2301 is part of Pathways' "Great Books, Modern Ideas, Western Perspectives" cluster. (HUMA 2301 also fulfills the requirement for a course in the Cultural Heritage section of the Common Curriculum.)