Fall 21 HUMS 025 Michael Faciejew
The west side of the us capitol. Above a blue sky, below a green lawn, between, the white building with it's large dome and columns filling the middle distance.
US Capitol West Side, Martin Falbisoner source


Through the lens of “worldmaking,” this course provides students with an intensive introduction to studying the humanities at Yale. The course is anchored by six trans-historical spatial models for thinking about the history of ideas: the Capitol, the Library, the Ship, the Factory, the Museum, and the House.

Covering a range of historical epochs and geographies—from Greek antiquity to contemporary Dakar—as well as genres and media—including philosophical treatises, the romance novel, films, and exhibition catalogues—these six building “types” provide a foundation for questions about how societies and individuals organize value systems. They also provide concrete, material frameworks for confronting theoretical proposals with the diversity of human experiences.

Key texts include Homer’s The Odyssey, Song Yingxing’s Tiangong Kaiwu, and Hannah Arendt’s Human Condition. Canonical texts from the traditional repertoire of the “Great Books” are constellated with nonwestern and contemporary perspectives that rethink the political and ethical imperatives of the humanities today. Friday sessions alternate between writing workshops and field trips to Yale collections.



Tuesday, Thursday
11:35 am — 12:50 pm


12:30 pm — 3:30 pm


Michael Faciejew

Michael Faciejew is a historian of the built environment. His research examines the intersecting histories of architecture, information, media, and governance from the 18th century to the present.


Title Date Link
Syllabus Sep 1, 2021 File
Listing Sep 1, 2021 Visit