Skip over navigation

Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Spring 2018-2019
* CHV 401 / COM 437 / ENG 443 / HUM 402 (EM)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Hope: A History

Adam S. Potkay

This interdisciplinary course combines literary, philosophical and theological analysis to investigate hope and how its formulations in the West have evolved over time, from Greco-Roman antiquity to the present. When is hope a virtue or positive aspect of agency, and when is it an illusion or vice? What are the relations of personal to national, political, and religious hopes? Readings will cover poetry and prose fiction, philosophical essays and drama, drawn from the Bible and authors including Hesiod, Lucretius, Cicero, Dante, William Wordsworth, the Shelleys, Emily Dickinson, Kafka, Camus, Holocaust witnesses, and M. L. King.

Sample reading list:
Wordsworth, William, Poetry and Prose
Shelley, Percy, Poetry and Prose
Kafka, Franz, The Castle, trans.Anthea Bell
Camus, Albert, The Myth of Sisyphus, trans. Justin O'Brien

Reading/Writing assignments:
Weekly/bi-weekly two-page response papers throughout the semester and a longer paper (6-8 pp) due at mid-term; optional second longer paper due two weeks before end of semester and a three hour final exam consisting of passage identifications and an essay in response to pre-assigned prompt.

Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 20%
Final Exam - 30%
Papers - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%

Reserved Seats:
VPL Certificate Students Only 5

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
42319 L01 10:00:00 am - 10:50:00 am M W F        Enrolled:20 Limit:60