Course Objectives

As a result of this course, students will be able to:

  • Recognize how the humanities cultivate aesthetic appreciation, imagination, and empathic understanding of others.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ideologies, periods, and aesthetics of various examples literature considered to be existential.
  • Demonstrate thematic, contextual, and philosophical control in reading and understanding literary, philosophical, or religious works both in their original historical context and as they inform debate and dialogue today.
  • Analyze and write about literary, philosophical, or religious works.
  • Begin to recognize how society influences humanistic thought and how the humanities transform society.
  • Become practiced in the interpretation and generation of ideas.
  • Demonstrate a reasonable level of mastery of major theoretical strands in literary criticism related to various examples of existential literature.
  • Evaluate and discuss the literary significance of certain representative writers of existential literature, as well as certain influential texts in terms of historical periods, literary merit, theoretical frameworks, and major existing criticism in the field.
  • Understand complexities of existential literature in terms of biographical, historical, artistic, and intellectual contexts.
  • Develop a researched, complex approach to a work of existential literature in order to lead a class seminar/discussion of that work.
  • Articulate an independent, in-depth, critically complex written argument that requires close analytical reading of one or more works of existential literature while also situating said argument within the body of existing criticism on the work and topic.
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