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

Please click here to view the schedule as a PDF

Humanities 001. How to be a Critic: Fashion (2 units)
Claire Goldstein

T 1:10-3:00P
1010 Pitzer Hall

CRN 62830

Note: Humanities 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 which will also make them eligible for additional GE credit. Students must be enrolled in the HUM 001 lecture to be eligible to take HUM 001D discussion. There are four discussion sections on offer.

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities. (students enrolled in both HUM 001 and HUM 001D will earn Arts & Humanities and  Writing Experience)

Format: Lecture - 2 hours.


  • All materials will be available online.

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

Humanities 001D. How to be a Critic: Fashion - Discussion (2 units)

 Humanities 001D  Discussion Leader  Day/Time  Room  CRN
  001 N. Cole   M 2:10-4:00P   27 Wellman  62831
  002   J. Apate   W 4:10-6:00P   2102 Gallagher Hall  62832
  003   J. Apate   R 4:10-6:00P   1038 Wickson Hall  62833
  004   N. Cole   F 10:00-10:50A   115 Wellman Hall  62834

Prerequisite: Students must be enrolled in HUM 001 to be eligible to enroll in HUM 001D.

GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities and Writing Experience. (with concurrent enrollment in HUM 001)

Format: Discussion - 2 hours.

Humanities 015. Language and Identity (4 units)
Eric Russell

MWF 12:10-1:00P
234 Wellman Hall

CRN 62835

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 (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.

Humanities 144. Marx, Nietzsche, Freud (4 units)       [Cross-listed with GER 144]
Sven Erik Rose

TR 10:30-11:50A
168 Hoagland Hall
CRN 62860

Course Description: The esteemed French philosopher Paul Ricoeur famously characterized the triumvirate of modern master-thinkers Karl Marx (1818-1883), Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), and Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) in terms of a “hermeneutics of suspicion.” By this Ricoeur meant that Marx, Nietzsche and Freud, each in his own way, are all detectives of sorts: they look at what is happening on the surface of things as so many dissembling fictions that individuals and societies perpetuate in order to evade various kinds of unsettling "deep" truths that actually structure our desires and morals, our culture and politics, our identities and consciousness, our very sense of who we are. In this course we will explore how Marx, Nietzsche and Freud developed modes of analysis to unveil the deeper, latent meanings and forces that they understood to reside behind or beneath our consciousness (or false consciousness).

According to Marx, the social structure in capitalist societies appears to be "natural," and thus ineluctable, but is in fact an effect of historically contingent production forces and the specific--and changeable--relations between people under the capitalist system. One of the chief obstacles that Marx identifies as standing in the way of revealing the true secrets of the capitalist world is how what he calls "commodity fetishism" creates a seductive optical illusion that makes it difficult for us to understand how the world we live in actually works. One of Marx's goals is to try to break this spell.

In his genealogy of modern moral conscience, Nietzsche diagnoses Judeo-Christian values as merely the deformed and "unhealthy" response of the weak to the experience of being dominated by the strong. While the strong do not need to resort to specious moral values, the weak do, for morality allows them to "triumph" in their goodness even as they are defeated in real contests of strength and power. In this way, Nietzsche purports to discover the "will to power" as the true force driving human culture, and he diagnosed his own Christian European culture as "decadent" for resorting to convoluted psychic strategies that dissembled this fundamental truth. For Nietzsche, the very way we understand ourselves to be moral beings keeps us from seeing the truths that moral values work to keep hidden!

Freud’s “detective work” is legendary: his case studies read like detective novels, as do his later mythic genealogies of modern civilization. Without question, Freud's claims to diagnostic mastery are at their most hubristic in The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901), in which he interprets the seemingly slightest and most banal gestures and slips of the tongue as windows onto the workings of the unconscious and its teeming and unruly desires. Freud invented psychoanalysis to try, like Marx and Nietzsche, to develop techniques for negotiating the thorny problem that the things our very consciousness tells us are true about ourselves are in fact distortions of radically different realities. Psychoanalysis refuses to take consciousness at face value and instead searches for ways to glimpse and analyze the workings of the unconscious.

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities and World Cultures.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Term Paper.


  • TBA

About the Instructor: Sven-Erik Rose is an Associate Professor of German and the Chair of the Department of German and Russian.