This course, the first of a year-long sequence, is a reading course in ancient and classical civilization. We will be reading a number of texts that are considered essential in the study of civilization and its later development. The course will range over a broad selection of topics, perhaps beginning with the idea of civilization itself. What is civilization, what values do we place upon it and how can we study it? Since Humanities 111 deals with the ancient world per se, we will then move on to texts produced in the ancient civilizations of the Near East and the Mediterranean. We will study literary texts that ancient societies produced in order to give shape to their thoughts on the nature of human existence, ranging from the important genre of heroic epic, to drama and philosophy.
This course is an overview of modern thought. We will read a few decisive texts in the Western tradition – texts that opened up new ways of thought and helped shape the modern world. Along the way we will trace the emergence and transformation of some of the basic terms in which we think. The immediate aim of the course is double: to deepen our understanding of the traditions that we inherited, but also to rethink or refine that heritage. The ultimate aim of the course is to prepare ourselves to confront basic questions (ethical, political, social, economic, religious, scientific, technological) that face us today. For the sake of coherence we will focus broadly on the themes of modernity and tradition.
This course is designed to allow students to explore and focus on various topics in the Humanities and Social Sciences in depth and detail, and from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course has the objective of furthering the critical reading, writing, and analytic skills fostered in other CCI courses. It will engage in the study of themes, issues, or concepts from fields such as Comparative Literature, Philosophy, History, Art History, Film Studies, Political Thought, and many other disciplines. Typically, two sections of CCI Selected Topics courses will be offered every Spring semester. Courses will be taught in seminar format, and are open to all Bilkent students as a general elective.