What is the place of awe in contemporary experience? In our fractious and turbo-charged world, what are the objects and experiences that still have the power to bring us up short, leaving us slack-jawed and spellbound? This seminar will engage these questions in preparation for a cross-disciplinary exhibit at the Middlebury College Museum of Art in 2024. Grounding our conversation in early literary and artistic explorations of the sublime, we will also consider awe through the lenses of religion, scientific discovery, creativity, and the natural world. Definitions of awe almost invariably include references to fear, dread, even terror, so readings and class discussions will move well beyond the celebratory and reverential. There are no prerequisites for this course, and students from a wide range of majors and fields of interest are encouraged to enroll. Projects and written assignments will allow students to make direct contributions to the exhibition. 3 hrs. sem.
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HARC 0356

All Sections in Fall 2023

Fall 2023

HARC0356A-F23 Seminar (Smith Abbott)