HUM 270   Can War Be Just?

Bruce Chilton /

Jacob Neusner

. T . . .

10:10 - 12:30 pm

RKC 200


Cross-listed: Human Rights; Theology  The basis of this course and its conference is the reading of a common topic from different perspectives. We aim to compare and contrast not only positions, but also methods of learning. We examine theories of the just war in diverse cultural contexts and their disciplinary settings. Time will be devoted to the study of papers prepared for this project by specialists in various disciplines, mainly but not exclusively faculty of Bard College and the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Class size: 16



HUM 272  Hannah Arendt Center Humanities Seminar:  Utopia and Dystopia: Architecture and its Others

Francesca Slovin /

Geoff Waite

. . . . F

1:30 – 3:50 pm

RKC 103


1 credit  Architecture is a language and an alphabet--understood and misunderstood--through millennia, yet it is also our immortal footprint on shifting sands. “We are digging the pit of Babel” (Kafka); “One is left to navigate in empty space, in which anything can happen but nothing is decisive (Tafuri). From the pyramids to St. Peter’s Basilica, from Paleolithic caves at Lascaux to Chartres and Mecca, from shelter protecting us from the rages of Nature to imaginary, unbuildable plans, “architecture” has retained a fundamental principle: time and space. Our course explores “architecture” in its several meanings, besides and beyond physical structures, tracing it also in philosophy, literature, and visual culture (especially fine art and cinema). Topics may include: “Utopia and Dystopia: What Is the Difference?; “Architecture as Metaphor”; “Architecture as Memory”; “Architecture as the Unconscious”; “Building Dwelling Thinking: From a Hut the Globe”; and “Virtual Architecture and Crime.” In addition to the works and writings of practicing architects, short, succinct examples are drawn from a wide range of thinkers and creators, such as T. More, J.-J. Rousseau, F. Engels, E. A. Poe, F. Nietzsche, S. Freud, A. Loos, A. Warburg, G. Bataille, E. Bloch, M. Heidegger, F. Yates, E. M. Cioran, F. Truffaut, M. Tafuri, P. Greenaway, T. Harris, D. Cronenberg, F. Jameson, K.   The course meets for the first five weeks of the Spring Semester.



What is Religion?

In spite of repeated announcements of its demise, religion remains a vibrant and powerful force in the modern world.  Whether one considers oneself religious or not, religious literacy is a basic requirement for citizens of a modern society.  This is all the more true in a global context where religion often stands in as a marker for significant cultural differences.  In these workshops, which will be offered throughout the academic year, students will encounter various living religious traditions.  While each workshop will be devoted to a different religious tradition and will be taught by its own instructor, they will all follow a parallel structure, with attention given to both the theory and the practice of the tradition and with an examination at the end of the session. Each one-credit module will meet for four weeks. Students may choose to enroll in just one module, or they may take several modules.  A student who successfully completes four modules will satisfy the Rethinking Difference requirement.



HUM 135 TVP  What is Zen Buddhism?

Tatjana Myoko

von Prittwitz

M . W.  .

1:30 – 2:50 pm

Center for James


1 credit  The word “Zen” (meaning “meditation”) has become a fashionable label for an attitude of concentration, reduction and awareness. We will look at the true origins of Zen-Buddhism and read central texts by both ancient and contemporary Zen masters from East and West. Special attention will be paid to the Zen arts as a poignant expression of the Zen path: poetry (haiku), calligraphy (shodo), painting (sumie), tea ceremony (chado), flower arrangement (ikebana), crafts etc. Bring the openness to not only learn about Zen-Buddhism in an abstract way but also as an experience. This class will meet January 30 -  February 23rd.



HUM 135 DN   What is Judaism?

David Nelson

M . . Th .

5:00 – 6:20 pm

OLIN 201


1 credit  This short course will examine the fundamentals of Jewish history, belief, thought, and life. Our readings will be from primary sources spanning 2500 years of Jewish literature. Students with or without prior knowledge will gain a historically contextualized understanding of Jewish approaches to Torah, the cycle of the year, the development and functioning of the synagogue, the purposes of daily Jewish religious practice, the importance of story-telling and argument, and the beliefs that unite – and divide – the Jewish people.  This class will meet February 27 – March 22nd.