Mosaic 952 sec 04 Fall 2010

Mosaic 952 sec 04 Fall 2010 - Mosaic 952 Dr David Racker...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Mosaic 952 Fall 2010 Dr David Racker Office: Anderson 213 D Phone: (215) 204-7893 Office Hours: MW 12-12:50: F 10:00-11:50 E-Mail: [email protected] or by appointment Mosaic Humanities Seminar 952 Overview: Mosaic 952 is the second half of a year-long interdisciplinary humanities seminar required for all Temple undergraduates. In the course we will closely read, discuss, and write about a variety of primary texts spanning the last 4000 years, texts that cross disciplinary boundaries, cultures and worldviews. My section of Mosaic 952 is roughly chronological with one major exception. The field work for your first paper (more on this in the class introduction) has to be done when flowers are still in bloom during the late summer. Thus I’m beginning the semester with the book tied to that paper, Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire. Pollan’s book ranges over several historical periods but is informed by Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution first proposed in 1859. Since I am using Edward Jenner’s first treatise in his Vaccination Against Smallpox as a rough model for this scientific paper, I’m pairing Jenner’s treatise of 1798 with Pollan. In this course Jenner and Darwin represent the Scientific Revolution that took place in the 18 th and 19 th century. After I set up the first paper, the course goes back to the Ancient World embodied in the Iliad, moves to the Middle Ages with a chapter from Witold Rybczynski’s Home , and then to the Early Modern Period beginning with Thomas More’s Utopia and continuing with the emergence of the bourgeois state (Rybczynski Chapter 3) and Thomas Jefferson’s “The Declaration of Independence.” In Utopia More chronicles his anxiety about a new phenomenon —the rise of individualism, a pessimism Karl Marx shares in his book Capital . We’ll read More and Marx in a dialectical relation with the more positive views of individualism in Rybczynski, Jefferson, and Martin Luther King both of whom turn to the individual as the locus of natural and human rights. And we will look at one example of archetypal American individualism, the frontiersman Johnny Appleseed who appears in The Botany of Desire. The Early Modern Period’s focus on humans and their works as opposed to the medieval emphasis on God and His word led to the Scientific Revolution, but the widening of individual freedom in the Early Modern Period also increased the freedom of one individual to exploit another, and in Capital Marx analyzes how capitalism fosters such exploitation in the nineteenth century. Finally Rybczynski traces the history of one idea, “Home,” from the Middle Ages to the present, Jane Jacobs analyzes the mid-twentieth century city in the Death and Life of Great American Cities , and in his chapters on marijuana and the potato, Pollan brings us to the contemporary issues of brain chemistry and genetic engineering. Course Goals
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/27/2011 for the course IH 0952 taught by Professor Zhuraw during the Spring '11 term at Temple.

Page1 / 11

Mosaic 952 sec 04 Fall 2010 - Mosaic 952 Dr David Racker...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online