Advising Appointment Update

In alignment with the campus directives regarding the precautions surrounding COVID-19, the Languages and Literatures academic advising offices are now physically closed.  Our Advisors remain available and will be offering academic advising appointments to students through zoom, phone call, or email.  Once you have scheduled your appointment in the online appointment system, your advisor will reach out to you via email with instructions on how to connect with them using zoom, phone call, or email. Resource FAQ for Students

Humanities 001. How to be a Critic: Fashion (2 units)
CRN 57548 | Claire Goldstein | W 4:10-6:00P | 2205 Haring Hall

Note: HUM 001 can be repeated one time for credit if topic differs.

Course Description: When Clark Kent and Peter Parker become superheroes, we can tell because they have changed their outfits.

When Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis, the first thing they did was clothe themselves. The biblical text marks the transformation from the state of nature to the dawn of civilized society with the act of putting on clothing.

When people in 18th-century France demanded a new form of government, men showed their revolt against aristocratic privilege by rejecting the knee-breeches (culottes) worn by noblemen and instead wearing long pants. The revolutionaries were known thereafter as the sans-culottes.

In this two-unit Humanities course, we will delve into the cultural significance of fashion in Europe and America, from the high heels Louis XIV donned as part of his campaign to dominate his unruly court to Dante de Blasio’s afro that helped catapult his father, Bill de Blasio, into the New York City mayor’s office. We will study fashion icons (Marie Antoinette, Jackie O, Madonna, Lady Gaga) as well as the role fashion plays in social movements and identity formation. In short readings and slide lectures we will explore a wide range of approaches to better understand the role fashion plays in our world and our everyday lives. Approaches will include anthropology; sociology; literary reading; semiotics; psychoanalysis; and economic, historical and art historical analysis. 

Students enrolled in the lecture have the option of enrolling in a once-a-week discussion section for two additional units.

Humanities 001D Discussion Leader Day/Time Room CRN
01 Nina Cole M 2:10-4:00P  27 Wellman Hall 73218
02 Nina Cole T 2:10-4:00P  290 Hickey Gym 73219
03 Brittany Royer R 2:10-4:00P  159 Olson Hall 73220
04 Brittany Royer F 10:00-11:50A  267 Olson Hall 73221

Prerequisite: None (Students must be enrolled in HUM 001 to be eligible to enroll in HUM 001D).

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities (and Writing Experience if both HUM 001 and HUM 001D are taken together).
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities (and Writing Experience if both HUM 001 and HUM 001D are taken together).

Format: Lecture - 2 hours.


  • Fashion Theory: A Reader, edited by Malcolm Barnard  (Routledge, 2007)

About the Instructor: Claire Goldstein is a Professor of French.

Humanities 002A. Adam and Eve (4 units)
CRN 57549 | Noah Guynn | TR 1:40-3:00P | 100 Hunt Hall

Note: HUM 002A can be repeated one time for credit if topic differs.

Course Description: How does Scripture shape identities and beliefs? Are identities and beliefs stable, or do they change over time? Does the meaning of Scripture change along with identities and beliefs? Does Scripture have a single, truthful meaning? Or is it open to interpretation? In what ways have interpretations of Scripture been used to dictate moral conduct, social relationships, and political behaviors? How do the ways in which people have interpreted Scripture define their relationships with God and other people? In particular, how have their interpretations of Scripture determined their understandings of gender and sexuality? This course will seek answers to these questions by examining the story of God’s creation of the world and of Adam and Eve in Jewish and Christian sacred texts and commentaries from the tenth century BC through the present day. Specifically, we will investigate the basic accounts of Creation in the Old Testament (Genesis 1–3); (2) the ways in which different authors from different historical periods have interpreted (or improvised on) those accounts; and (3) the ways in which spiritual insights derived from the interpretation of sacred texts have given shape to moral, social, and political issues.

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities, World Cultures, and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture - 3 hours; Extensive Writing.


  • Kristen E. Kvam, et al., Eve and Adam: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Readings on Genesis and Gender (Indiana University Press, 2009)

About the Instructor: Noah Guynn is an Associate Professor of French and Chairman of the Department of French and Italian.

Humanities 015. Language and Identity (4 units)
CRN 72940 | Eric Russell | TR 10:30-11:50A | 202 Wellman Hall

Course Description: This course is designed to introduce you to basic principles of social science inquiry, data analysis, and writing through the exploration of taboo language, including insults, profanity, vulgarity, and expletives. Our discussions will center on a series of questions, including:
1.    What makes “bad language” bad? What sets a “bad word” apart from a neutral word meaning the exact same thing?
2.    Why do we say some words are inappropriate, whereas others are perfectly fine? Why is it acceptable to refer to “genitals” at a doctor’s office, but not use a more colorful or colloquial term? Why can a person be vilified for using one term for a particular ethnicity, whereas other terms are considered okay?
3.    Why is speech censored? Why do we bleep out words on television and the radio and is this effective?
4.    What can we learn about our values, expectations, fears and history by looking more closely at taboo language?
5.    How does looking at racial slurs or outdated language about race help us understand ethnic relations and tensions in our society?
6.    How does investigating words considered to be pejorative about a person’s sexual orientation enrich our views of sexuality and gender norms?
7.    What do taboo words that refer to women by way of their genitalia tell us about our expectations of women?

Objectives and goals
Throughout the quarter, you will meet the following objectives:
1.    Linguistic knowledge: you will learn to describe language using appropriate terminology and effectively present linguistic data.
2.    Analytical skills: you will describe data using appropriate terms and approaches; you will develop and test hypotheses about language use and linguistic behavior.
3.    Intellectual posture: you will adopt and apply objectivity with regard to language forms, opinions about language, and the description and analysis of linguistic behavior.

Furthermore, you are expected to hone your writing skills, focusing on form, rhetoric and style appropriate for the human and social sciences. You will apply themes from class lectures and readings to a question of personal interest in a final project and paper, demonstrating an ability to form coherent ideas and express these ideas effectively and appropriately.

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities or Social Science; Diversity and Writing Experience.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities or Social Science; and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Extensive Writing.


  • A Course Reader

About the Instructor: Eric Russell is a Professor of French.