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CHINA 23N: Heroes and Heroism

The seminar examines concepts and models of heroism in three paradigmatic ancient traditions: China, Greece, and Rome. Our inquiry is guided by the following questions: What qualities and experiences define someone as a hero? If heroism is not all about excellence, brilliance and glory, what makes heroes exceptional and inspiring figures? How does courage relate to other virtues such as integrity, loyalty, fortitude, and self-sacrifice? Is heroism compatible with fear, shame, and humiliation? How do heroes become what they are, what role do education and imitation play? Is courage a gendered virtue? Does the ethical importance of heroism rest on the fact that heroes are typically confronted with extraordinary choices about life and death, honor and ignominy, freedom and suffering, and survival and immortality? Finally, how do different cultures shape and enrich our answers to the above questions?
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
Instructors: Zhou, Y. (PI)
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