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Languages of the Tragic from the Greeks to the Present
Living an Intentional Life
Looking Backward: America in the 20th Century

Languages of the Tragic from the Greeks to the Present

cancelled



Winter and Spring quarters

Major areas of study include:
comparative literature, drama, dramatic theory, intellectual/cultural history.
Class Standing:
This all-level program offers appropriate support for freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.
Prerequisites:
Literature study: college or advanced placement.

Dramatic language, like ritual performance, draws on all potential modes of expression and aims at a total language, a communication that is physical, spatial and undeniable “through the skin,” as Artaud wrote. Among the themes that interest us are communalities among myth, ritual and drama: all are representations of a process of change, all reconcile antagonistic forces. Tragic drama, like ritual, is communal: the heroine or hero is encircled by a community of power and belief in whose name she or he dies, and is reborn. Theater, like magic, is a phenomenon of consensus. Tragic drama is active. It moves the people to action, acts as a “miraculous weapon.” In drama, the political, the spiritual and the psychological collaborate. In the tragic drama, one becomes other. Through the mask, we, as spectators or as players, leave ourselves and become other; we are transformed. Tragic drama, finally, is the music of the abyss. It speaks the unspeakable, lays bare the human condition.

This program in tragic drama will interest students of the humanities and the arts. We will consider dramatic texts as literary, philosophical and cultural representations, as well as performances and ritual spectacles both in the Western tradition and in performance traditions of Japan, West Africa and Haiti. We will read and analyze dramatic texts and key theoretical studies, view plays and participate in dramatic readings of scenes. Students will learn literary history and consider the functions, the languages and the concepts of tragic drama. Students will have the opportunity to develop a major personal project over the last weeks of winter quarter. This program is open to students at all levels; however, students must expect and relish a high level of discussion, high expectations of writing and analytic skill, and a demanding workload.

We will move through the history of tragic drama from the Greek classical era to medieval mystery plays, to Renaissance and to neoclassical drama, 19th-century realist and symbolist drama and 20th-century expressionist, surrealist, “grotesco” and absurdist drama, as well as contemporary engaged, or political drama.

Among the dramatists we will study are Aeschylus, Euripides, Shakespeare, Calderon, Racine , Gothe, Buchner, Jarry, Brecht, Lorca, Sartre, Soyinka, Ionesco, Beckett, Cesaire, Gambaro and others. Among the theorists we will study are Aristotle, Nietzsche, Artaud, Brecht, Brook, Bataille, among others.

Total:
12 or 16 credits each quarter.
Enrollment:
48
Special Expenses:
Approximately $150 for tickets to performances.
Program is preparatory for:
careers and future studies in the humanities and the arts.
This program is also listed under:
Programs for Freshmen; Culture, Text and Language; and Expressive Arts.

Program Updates

10.04.2005:
This program offering has changed quarters: From: Fall and Winter quarters TO: Winter and Spring quarters.
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Living an Intentional Life

cancelled



Fall and Winter quarters

Major areas of study include:
philosophy, health, movement, leadership and writing.
Class Standing:
Juniors or seniors; transfer students welcome.
Total:
16 credits each quarter.

Do you have the discipline to live an intentional life?

Many people do. Spend two quarters with us critically analyzing the wisdom of scholars who have examined our inner systems and who have developed myriad paths to clearing the way towards a strong, focused center which can allow us to lead our lives in meaningful and powerful ways. For some students, this may mean becoming active in the community; for others, leading a quiet, peaceful life. For still others, it may mean starting a revolution. Whatever the path, we are often called on to tap into our true self, or essence. This idea of self is formed from a variety of perspectives, depending on the culture and the lens. We consider the self to be a melding of body, mind and spirit without the masks and defenses that we automatically and normally use to protect ourselves from perceived harm. Self is a place of clarity, of curiosity and of compassion. There are a number of paths toward finding one’s true self and in the words of Joel Barker, “problems that are impossible to solve with one paradigm, may easily be solved with a different one.”

In fall quarter, in order to become familiar with a variety of paradigms, we will research and explore many of these perspectives and paths, helping us make choices about the path each of us will take to our own self. Some of these paths include Buddhist, Hindu and the Western psychological perspectives. We will also examine the body’s anatomy, physiology and current research on the mind/body connection. Exploration will be through seminar texts and practical workshops and will include library research, formal papers and presentations, overnight retreats, discipline practices such as meditation or qi gong and movement. Each of us will adopt our own discipline practice which can open or prepare us for hearing our true intentions, our self’s desires without all the noise and distractions created by our culture and surroundings. Our discipline will involve a practice that commits us to engage regularly in some activity with a mental and physical commitment to concentrate or focus on it. A discipline produces focus in both the mind and the body, which produces a connection most Westerners have never experienced. It is our assertion that we don’t find our genuine self without such discipline.

In the winter, we will begin to personalize the learning from fall quarter, discussing and applying the components that support and are part of an intentional life. This life begins with the dreams and visions we hold for the life that is still ahead of us. Students will create a vision statement of their intentional life—a goal to work towards. It will be reflective of their own sense of self and their sense of calling, purpose, vocation or meaning of life. This vision statement of essence and purpose in life can be a culmination of all the wisdom of scholars who have come before you, the discipline each of us will have adhered to for the past two quarters, and each person’s own application of learning and desires. Throughout winter quarter, we will encourage students to consciously reflect on who they are and where they are going.

This is a rigorous, full-time program. Students will be expected to work 50 hours each week (including class time), attend all program activities, to be on time, and to be fully prepared to participate in seminar discussions. Students will work in small groups, complete papers, take exams and give presenations to the class. They should be prepared to explore challenging and unfamiliar ideas in an academic atmosphere.

Enrollment:
50
Special Expenses:
$200 per quarter for program retreats and movement fees.
Program is preparatory for:
careers and future studies in ethics, health, leadership studies, philosophy, religious and spiritual studies, the humanities, arts and social sciences.
This program is also listed under:
Scientific Inquiry and Society, Politics, Behavior and Change

Program Updates

11.16.2005:
This program has been cancelled.
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Looking Backward: America in the 20th Century

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Major areas of study include:
writing, U.S. political and economic history, U.S. social and intellectual history, American economics and global connections, American literature and scientific thought.
Class Standing:
This all-level program offers appropriate support for freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.

The United States began the 20th century as a second-rate military and naval power and a debtor country. The nation ended the century as the last superpower with an economy and military that sparked responses across the globe. In between, we invented flying, created atomic weapons, sent men to the moon and began to explore the physical underpinnings of our place in the universe. Many observers have characterized the 20th century as “America’s Century” because, in addition to developing as the mightiest military machine on the face of the earth, the United States also spawned the central phenomenon of “the mass.” Mass culture, mass media, mass action, massive destruction, massive fortunes—all are significant elements of life in the United States.

Looking Backward will be a retrospective, close study of the origins, development, expansion and elaboration of “the mass” phenomena and will place those aspects of national life against our heritage to determine if the political, social, economic and scientific growth of the nation in the last century was a new thing or the logical continuation of long-standing, familiar impulses and forces in American life. While exploring these issues, we will use history, economics, sociology, literature, physics, popular culture and the tools of statistics to help us understand the nation and its place in the century. At the same time, students will be challenged to understand their place in the scope of national affairs, to read closely, to write with effective insight and to develop appropriate research projects to refine their skills and contribute to the collective enrichment of the program. There will be workshops on economic thought, physical laws and program-wide symposia. Each end-of-quarter symposium will provide a means of rounding out the term’s work and provide students with valuable experience in public speaking and presentation.

Total:
16 credits each quarter.
Enrollment:
72
Schedule:
Class Schedule
Program is preparatory for:
careers and future studies in the humanities and social science, law, journalism, history, economics, sociology, literature, popular culture, cultural anthropology, education and the physical sciences.
This program is also listed under:
Programs for Freshmen; Culture, Text and Language; and Society, Politics, Behavior and Change.
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Last Updated: March 19, 2008


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