Fall 23 HUMS 021 Kathryn Slanki
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Focusing on the figure of the hero through different eras, cultures, and media, this course provides first-year students with a reading-and writing-intensive introduction to studying the humanities at Yale. The course is anchored around six transcultural models of the hero that similarly transcend boundaries of time and place: the warrior, the sage, the political leader, the proponent of justice, the poet/singer, and the unsung. Our sources range widely across genres, media, periods, and geographies: from the ancient Near Eastern, Epic of Gilgamesh (1500 BCE) to the Southeast Asian Ramayana, to the Icelandic-Ukrainian climate activism film, Woman at War (2018).

We will explore Yale’s special collections and art galleries to broaden our perspectives on hierarchies of value and to sharpen our skills of observation and working with evidence. Additional required Friday sessions are reserved for writing labs and visits to Yale collections, as well as one-on-one and small-group meetings with the writing instruction staff.



Tuesday, Thursday
9:00 am — 10:15 am


1:00 pm — 4:00 pm


Kathryn Slanki

Kathryn Slanski holds a joint appointment in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and in Humanities and studies ancient Mesopotamia at the intersections of sources and approaches.