Print Settings

MLA 101B: Foundations II: the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Required of and limited to first-year MLA students. Second of three quarter foundation course. Introduction to the main political, philosophical, literary, and artistic trends that inform the liberal arts vision of the world and that underlie the MLA curriculum.
Terms: Win | Units: 4
Instructors: ; Mann, P. (PI)

MLA 295: The American Enlightenment

Eighteenth-century America was like a laboratory for exciting new political, religious, scientific, and artistic theories that we collectively call "the Enlightenment." But to what extent were the major ideas and questions of the Enlightenment shaped by the specific conditions of North America? Was the new world of America fundamentally different or the same as Europe, and did animals, plants, and peoples improve or worsen there? Could a perfect new society and government, uncorrupted by European problems, be created in America? To what extent did the American Enlightenment lay the groundwork for modern American society and its ideal of continual improvement and progress? We will attempt to answer these questions in this class through short lectures, readings in original documents from the era, and in discussions together.
Terms: Win | Units: 4
Instructors: ; Winterer, C. (PI)

MLA 370: Henry David Thoreau: Seeing Into the Light of Things

When you go to Walden Pond these days, you inevitably find yourself walking the trails with hundreds of pilgrims from around the world: Brazil, France, Korea, China, Turkey . . . Thoreau has long been one of our country's secular saints, and not just for one reason. He was way ahead of his time, and publicly outspoken, on issues like abolition (his mother and sister were conductors on the Underground Railroad), education for children, women's rights, Indian rights, what we today call 'ecology' and environmental protection. He was one of the first to translate Buddhist and Hindu texts for American readers, and was an early experimenter in a range of spiritual exercises: voluntary simplicity, self-relinquishment, contemplative solitude, and what is called 'extrospection' (seeing through others' eyes, including other species and what are often assumed to be inanimate objects like rocks and trees). He was also a startlingly accomplished naturalist, one of Alexander von Humboldt's most astute students, and one of the first readers to understand the earthquake-impact of Darwin. William Blake once wrote, "When the doors of perception are open, we will see things as they are, infinite." Every afternoon, Thoreau walked out, with his doors wide open, a receptive and non-judgmental seer, and the next morning he wrote it all down in his Journal, the astonishingly gorgeous life-long record of his being in the world (of which we'll read two edited versions). In the seminar, we will immerse ourselves in Thoreau, but will also recruit a small band of philosophers and artists to help with our explorations (Constable, Ruskin, Heidegger, Merleau Ponty, Van Gogh, Frederic Edwin Church, James Turrell, John Cage, Annie Dillard, William James, Aldous Huxley, and of course, Thoreau's lifelong companion, Ralph Waldo Emerson).
Terms: Win | Units: 4
Instructors: ; Junkerman, C. (PI)

MLA 371: Narratives of Enslavement

Widely dispersed narratives by and about enslaved persons are the focus of this course. We'll seek different ways to understand the concept of `slave narrative' by comparing enslaved pasts via texts from the ancient Mediterranean, the Cape of Good Hope, and the United States. We'll juxtapose famous autobiographies with less familiar material such as the micronarratives that can be reconstructed from court cases. Guiding questions include: What are the affordances, what are the limits of narrative as a source of insight into enslaved pasts? What notions of enslaved experience emerge? How different do such experiences seem when compared across time and space?
Terms: Win | Units: 4
Instructors: ; Parker, G. (PI)

MLA 398: MLA Thesis in Progress

Group meetings provide peer critiques, motivations, and advice under the direction of the Associate Dean.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 0 | Repeatable 8 times (up to 0 units total)
Instructors: ; Paulson, L. (PI)

MLA 399: MLA Thesis Final Quarter

Students write a 75-100 page thesis that evolves out of work they pursued during their MLA studies.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 6
© Stanford University | Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints