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. "The Blues: A Cultural History of the Blues" (2 units)
CRN 47795 | Julia Simon | MW 3:10-4:00P | 176 Everson Hall

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

Course Description: The blues is a uniquely American musical genre. The history of the blues echoes the African-American experience, from the Delta to the industrialized north, from Mississippi to Chicago, Memphis, and beyond.  This course will combine cultural history with music appreciation to explore the history of the blues, looking at such figures as Son House, Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King.  We will learn about the historical context that gave birth to the blues as well as learn about the musical structure of the blues, touching on chord progressions, bass lines and rhythms.  Finally, we will examine the impact of the blues on other genres, such as rock, R&B, jazz and rap.

Work for the course will consist of readings focused on the history of the blues and listening to music.  Students will write four reaction papers, complete an analytical assignment on lyrics and take quizzes, mid-term and final exams.

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities. (Also Writing Experience if concurrently enrolled in HUM 001D)
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities. (Also Writing Experience if concurrently enrolled in HUM 001D)

Format: Lecture - 2 hours.

Textbooks (at the Book Store):

  • None

About the Instructor: Julia Simon is a Professor of French.

Humanities 001D. "The Blues" - Discussion (2 units)

Students enrolled in HUM 001 have the option of enrolling in a once-a-week discussion section for two additional units.

Humanities 001D Discussion Leader Day/Time Room CRN
001 Lauren Fink M 4:10-6:00P  1130 Bainer Hall 62902
002 Melanie Barbier T 2:10-4:00P  25 Wellman Hall 62903
003 Lauren Fink F 10:00-11:50A  1130 Bainer Hall 62904
004 Melanie Barbier R 2:10-4:00P  101 Olson Hall 62905

Course Description: Small group discussions and preparation of short papers for Humanities 001.

Prerequisite: Must be concurrently enrolled in Humanities 001 (CRN 47795).

GE credit (Old): Writing Experience. (Also Arts & Humanities from concurrent enrollment in HUM 001)
GE credit (New): Writing Experience. (Also Arts & Humanities from concurrent enrollment in HUM 001)

Format: Discussion - 2 hours.

Textbooks (at the Book Store):

  • None

Humanities 004. Animals and Human Culture (2 units)
CRN 62906 | Michael Ziser | TR 4:40-6:00P | 2 Wellman Hall

Course Description: In the modern adult world it is a very easy matter to get through an entire day without encountering even a faint reminder of the existence of the nonhuman world.  But take a step inside the average child’s bedroom and you will find an incredible array of creatures—goldfish and teddy bears, cartoon chipmunks and puppy slippers, elephant noises and monkey business—spilling from every corner.  It is almost as if one comes of age precisely by stepping through a filter that strips one of any animal fellow travelers.  How did this happen, and what does it mean?

This course will explore how ideas about animals come to be mixed up with ideas about childhood in the modern West, as well as how adulthood comes to be something from which the animal is necessarily absent.  We will look carefully at tales of feral children, chimpanzees raised by humans, Teddy Bears®, Bambi’s life on the streets of fin de siècle Vienna, Tarzan, “wire mothers”, neotenic cartoon animals, and Nature Deficit Disorder, among other wild and wonderful things.  By the end, we will have a much deeper understanding of what our civilization has told us it means to be animal and human, child and adult.

No prerequisites: all students with an interest in animals, the environment, child development and psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and/or cultural studies are encouraged to enroll and explore.

This course offers a deep investigation of the historical roles that animals have played in human culture from the particular perspective of the discourse of childhood and child development.

Course Format - Lecture, film screenings, and limited in-class discussion.  

Means of Evaluation - weekly short writing (50%), occasional short assignments (25%), and final exam (25%).

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (Old): None.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities.

Format: Lecture - 2 hours.


  • Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: A Novel  (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2014)
  • Anna Sewell, Black Beauty, edited by Kristen Guest  (Broadview Press, 2015)

About the Instructor: Michael Ziser is an Associate Professor of English.

Humanities 009. Don Quixote and the Modern World (2 units)
CRN 62907 | John Slater | MW 1:10-2:00P | 106 Olson Hall

Course Description: Is Don Quixote the greatest novel of all time?  Many people say yes.  It’s also one of the funniest. Don Quixote tells the story of a man who reads so many ridiculous books that he goes crazy.  Essentially, he lets media take over his life.  (If you’ve ever binge-watched a show, you understand.) But Don Quixote is about more than just our obsession with entertainment.  It’s about compassion, imagination, love, and madness.  You owe it to yourself to read it!

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (Old): None.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities and World Cultures.

Format: Lecture - 2 hours.


  • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote [Abridged Edition], translated by Walter Starkie  (Signet Classics, 2013)

About the Instructor: John Slater is an Associate Professor of Spanish.