In our Western Humanities I class in New York City (The Ancient World to the Renaissance) we will study the course texts in the quiet and safety of Manhattan College's Bronx/Manhattan border campus, a 40- minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan. More importantly we will make direct connections with our readings to original manuscripts and great works of art and architecture from New York City's world-class museums. New York houses the finest collections of Ancient Greek, Roman and Medieval art anywhere in North America.
- We will see (literally, standing in front of us) connections between Sparta's militarism, Greek sculpture of idealized male forms, and the politics of the Peloponnesian War.
- "Loving They Neighbor Isn't for Sissies." The dominating Etruscan and Greek influences in early "Roman" sculpture will illuminate how Romulus and other early Roman kings wrestled with the politics of diversity in the founding of Rome.
And thanks to New York's Shakespeare in the Park and the City's "Great While Way" we will study Shakespeare "as you have never seen him before":
- Shakespeare: English Bard and Broadway BadAss
- The Manhattan Hamlet Wars or " 'By Opposing:' Perchance to Keep that Sunufabish Barrymore from Going On Tonight."
The course will also feature a Build Your Own Field Trip: Students may individually select their own day or 1/2 day trips into the City and relate them to the course (we'll pay the admission fee... details available from the Course Instructor).
And much more.
New York City would seem to be a natural choice as a site for Humanities in any case, given its uniquely rich cultural, intellectual, and recreational resources. But the closer one looks, the more precise the match: the Greek and Roman treasures of the Metropolitan Museum; the Museum of Biblical Art; the Cloisters, containing the richest collection of medieval art in the Western Hemisphere; and summer Shakespeare in the Park - these all intersect with the texts and themes of Humanities I in the most precise ways. We hope to take advantage of these and other pairings and provide a unique learning experience for a course that is one of the cornerstones of a Geneseo education.