2018 Course Descriptions

Credit Course Schedule

Art History 210: From the Beginning to Michelangelo

Dr. Carol Eckert


In Art History 210, participants will take a journey from the beginnings of art-making through some of the greatest civilizations' art and architecture. Students will be introduced to the artistic traditions of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas up to the year 1600. We will see spectacular sights from the vivid animals painted on prehistoric cave walls to the likes of Michelangelo's paintings on the Sistine Ceiling. Along the way will be interspersed learning activities and discussions for students to explore their own creative range in both written and visual form.


Political Science 210: American Government & Politics

Dr. Chris Baxter


UTM’s typical POSC 210 course focuses on the structure of the American political system, with an emphasis on the following topics: the development of the American Constitution; our system of federalism and how the national and state governments divide and compete for power; and the struggles between competing political parties, candidates, and interest groups for their share of power in the political system. For GSH 2018, the theme will be “A Government of Laws, or Men? – The Role of the Individual in American Constitutionalism.” We will examine the usual 210 topics with an added emphasis on the following theme: The U.S. Constitution is said to be based on a series of principles that reaffirm the equality, intellect, and worth of the common man. But are the all-too-human men and women in our American political community up to the task of providing “government of the people [and] by the people?” Are the average men and women who comprise our juries effective truth-seekers, or can they be misled by lawyers’ persuasive rhetoric and witness’ imperfect memories? Can justice truly be blind when judges in some states take millions in campaign contributions from interest groups? Do American voters truly live up to their responsibility to be informed voters, or are their votes determined by sophisticated media campaigns? We will explore the ethical problems that arise when the pursuit of democratic ideals collides with the realities of human nature.


Philosophy 120: The Adventure of Ideas

Dr. Chris Brown


This introductory course in philosophy will address fundamental questions in metaphysics, the discipline that treats—to use Aristotle’s famous phrase—being qua being, and epistemology, the discipline whose practitioners attempt to give an account of the nature of knowledge itself. We will, for example, be entertaining the following sorts of questions: How does knowledge differ from opinion? Is it rational to believe in God without having a proof for God’s existence? Is language itself a form of technology? Does a good explanation of some phenomenon have to be a scientific explanation? How should we characterize the relationship between the human mind and the human brain? Is human being qualitatively or merely quantitatively different from animal being? Why should we answer one way rather than another with respect to any of these questions?

Non-Credit Enrichment Course Descriptions

Folklore, Fairytales, and Disney Culture

Dr. Charles Bradshaw


You may think you know fairy tales from all of the Disney films you watched as a child, but most only bear a passing resemblance to the traditional tales, myths, and legends from which they were taken: Cinderella’s sisters having their eyes pecked-out by birds? The Little Mermaid turning into sea foam? Snow White forcing the wicked witch to wear red-hot metal boots to her wedding? These and other traditional stories will help us examine literature and film by looking at “folklore,” or the “lore” told by the “folk,” as the most basic element of storytelling. What we do with these elements in the literature we read and the films we view tells us a lot about ourselves today. We’ll examine “urban legends” as contemporary folklore, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God as literature influenced by folklore, and we’ll do comparative analyses of original fairy tales and their more modern Disney adaptations. Students will be involved in folklore “fieldwork,” ethnographic writing, and college-level literary discussion and analysis.


A Year in History – 1968

Dr. David Coffey


An exploration of the tumultuous watershed year of 1968, with special attention given to four major sub-topics: the Vietnam Conflict and the antiwar movement, the presidential election of 1968, Civil Rights and issues of Race and Gender, and social/cultural trends. It covers the major events, conflicts, and the personalities involved as well as the sights and sounds and styles of this incredible year.


Roots of Rhythm: The Evolution and Migration of Music through the Slave Trade

Dr. Julie Hill


Have you ever asked yourself why there are so many different styles of music in the world? Why does music in Brazil sound different from Cuban music? Why does music from the Caribbean have that infectious rhythm that makes humans want to get up and dance? Well the answer is simple. By tracing the migration of the African slave trade, we can discover how specific rhythms and music styles moved to different parts of the world. In this class, we will examine the essential elements of global music styles from around the world; we will look at the roots of these styles and examine how they have changed over the past few centuries. By examining the cultural significance of music throughout the world, we may also determine how music may be used as a means of social transformation for the future.


ATTENDANCE: You are required to attend all scheduled classes and events and complete all assignments to the best of your ability. There will be ample free time for you to enjoy the campus and your new friends.


ACADEMIC HONESTY: It is expected that all work completed will be the work of the student, unless properly cited as a reference source. Any form of cheating will not be tolerated.


All applications must be postmarked no later than December 1, 2018

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General Information

The Governor's School for the Humanities is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Education.

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