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Department
English
Course
ENGC44H3
Professor
Sarah
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 1. Examining Key Questions in the Humanities What are humanities? It is the study of human culture in all its aspects. It uses analytic, critical, interpretive, and evaluative senses. Lyn Maxwell White says that it offers ambiguity and paradox, voice to feeling and artistic shape to experience, morality and value, differing interpretations and experiences. It explores how we use language, how our ideas and thoughts on the human experience are expressed and interpreted, how we determine value and meaning, how we define ideas such as “truth”, “beauty”, and “art”. We consider the meaning of life, reasons for our thoughts and actions, and values and principles that inform our laws and customs, those both written and unwritten. It examines how we construct our aesthetic, intellectual, religious, social, and political worlds that compare the difference in construction of time, place, and people. Rockefeller, Commission on Humanities says, “What does it mean to be human?” There is no precise answer and we use moral, spiritual, intellectual sense of a world. Main question in humanities: What does it mean to be human? Steps to Humanities: Engage with the work of others. We pursue a line of inquiry or research where individual scholars draw their own emotional, aesthetic, intellectual response to contextualize their responses by situating them within the broader conversations. Humanities examine text, image, and sound; critically make use of work of other scholar. We extend the conversation on a given subject in order to enrich human understanding. Articulate in a position. It is to move beyond what has said before and make new knowledge by providing new interpretations and evidence that advance clear and interesting points. Situate writing within specific contexts. The writer develops awareness of audience with articulating the reasoning behind the approach and acknowledges potential objections to analysis/argument. Readers value complexity and nuance where they ideas cannot be reduced to a simple position. An ethos is developing to show thoughtful and fair critic. Lecture 2. The University, knowledge, Epistemology. What makes up the university? Teachers, scholars, students. They form and inform the others in mutual relationship. Teaching and scholarship are bound to one another and the ideal point is that the classroom is used as a community. University is a place for storage (libraries, textbooks, websites, professor’s heads), creating (Essays and journal publications, research), and re-examining (Conversation, response, critique, peer review) knowledge. University is a place for construction and deconstruction. What is knowledge? Epistemology: the theory of knowledge where distinction of belief and opinion is made. Knowledge does not mean information. An example by Maria Popova is expressed. Knowledge is information processed by a thinking human mind. It is expertise, and skills acquired through experience or education, known information in a particular field, and awareness gained by experience or fact. Humans created knowledge and sharing are required. Epistemology focuses on developing a claim of a ‘known’ idea. Examples asked in epistemology include: What is knowledge? How do we know what we know? What is the difference between knowledge and opinion or belief? If you know something does that mean that you are certain about it? Is knowledge really possible? How reliable is the mind? In “When photographs create false memories,” Loftus and Pickerel fooled people in a child hood photograph of subjects who were lost in a mall. 33% subjects falsely remembered their memory of being lost in a mall from the photograph when it did not happen before. Another example was bye Wade where he made a photograph of a hot air balloon ride instead of a mall. Knowledge is made through empirical (experience in trial) and speculative (to look at) analytic critical. Human knowledge is separated into: empirical science (natural science and social science) and humanities (philosophy, literature, visual and performing arts, study of religion). Lecture 3. Representation, Ideology, Hegemony. Ideology is set of idea, which is used, in a partial and selective method. It shows the relationship where power is distributed socially, not socially produced. Within any culture, numerous ideologies coexist with hegemonic (dominant) and cultural norm (normal pattern). Ideology affects power relationship consciously or unconsciously, govern perception judgments, prejudice. It causes revolutions, discrimination, marginalization and exploitation. Ideology becomes hegemonic (dominant) when a dominant class in a given society adopts them. It shapes the way things are looked and what reality is. Cultural hegemony is dominant culture. It uses persuasive and coercive means such as the use of institutions, bureaucracy to make power seem abstract, use of education, advertising, TV, web. Examples of ideology include: Capitalism, socialism, communism, libertarianism, liberalism, and conservatism-any formative construct that defines citizens. It is an over-simplification of individuals. Capitalism has the motivation of money. Socialism does not have the motivation of money or profit seems unrealistic. Capitalism vs. Socialism. This is a problem because conformity has replaced consciousness where goods are used to manipulate mass society. We are as much of a commodity (material) as the product itself. What do you do? The question is answered with occupation and what we have. Evgeny Morozov ask if internet activism will displace other forms of activism and whether people think they are campaigning for something important when they join online groups that are not relevant to political world. The government thinks it is all right for such online group as long as the activism does not spill into the streets. Representation is defined to take or fill in place. It symbolizes something abstract. It is alw
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