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Annual Themes

The humanities program centers courses and programming each year under a broad theme. While individual units and content vary, the theme for the years 2017-18 through 2019-20 is revolution.

2017 Humanities Courses

"The poet or the revolutionary is there to articulate the necessity, but until the people themselves apprehend it, nothing can happen ... Perhaps it can't be done without the poet, but it certainly can't be done without the people. The poet and the people get on generally very badly, and yet they need each other. The poet knows it sooner than the people do. The people usually know it after the poet is dead; but that's all right. The point is to get your work done, and your work is to change the world."
—James Baldwin


The course this year will be framed by the awareness of the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution and the 500th anniversary of years to Luther's 95 theses as definitional moments. We will examine key artifacts such as MLK's Letter from Birmingham Jail, the phenomenology of the Berlin Wall, the arrival of Rumi in the 60s as bearer and vessel of a radical new spirituality. What defines different kinds of revolutions and how do we understand their effects? How do we tell their stories and the stories of human experience in revolutionary moments?