Monday, September 1, 2008

World Lit I: Cultural Studies & the Humanities

World Literature I examines the essential question:

How do science & technology, religion & philosophy and the arts (music, poetry and the fine arts) impact culture and explain what it means to be human?

The texts in the course are organized by the following units:

Cultures Under a Microscope: Science & Technology

Guiding Question: How do science, technology and economics impact culture?
Full-length Text: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Selections: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, W.H. Auden, Shu Ting and Stanislaw Lem

Cultures Influencing Other Cultures

Guiding Questions: How do people use the fine arts to express ideas about their culture? What happens when a culture comes in contact with new ideas and a new culture? How does music bring meaning to life and unite all cultures through common influences?

Full-length Texts: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Surviving Picasso (film)

Selections: Thomas Mann's short story "The Infant Prodigy." Hip Hop songs. Excerpts of Francoise Gilot's memoir, My Life with Picasso, which is the basis of the film Surviving Picasso.

Religion & Philosophy Impact Culture

Guiding Question: How does spirituality (either an organized religion or a life philosophy) become an essential element of a culture?

Selections: World Masterpieces philosophy pieces from Plato, Blaise Pascal, Dante, Rumi, and Albert Camus. Literary analysis of sacred texts found in World Masterpieces will include selections from Genesis, Pslams, Upanishads, Rig Veda, Bhagavad-Gita, and the Koran.

Student Choice Literature Circles

Guiding Question: What does your choice novel say about culture and being human in terms of science, religion, philosophy, art, music and poetry?

Select one of the following full-length texts:

Last Summer of Reason by Tahar Dajout
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Snow by Orhan Pamuk

Capstone Cultural Study
Guiding Question: How do you synthesize cultural influences on your personal journey to find yourself?
Full-length Text: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

NOTE: In addition to the short selections listed above, World Literature I integrates an ongoing study of poetry, including examining standard poetic forms such as Chinese Shih, Japanese Tanka and Haiku, and sonnets.

No comments: