HUMA 401: Slavery and Freedom in Literature and Philosophy

Instructor: Lesley CurtisLesley Curtis

The New Hampshire state motto is “Live Free or Die.” But what does it mean to be free? What forces prevent us from being free? Do we really have control over these forces? During which moments in history has the freedom of the individual been most violated? How does that history influence us today?

In this course, we will study philosophical texts, films, and literature about freedom and work to answer these questions. This course is designed for students who are new to the humanities and who will benefit from the emphasis on critical analysis that only the study of the humanities can provide.

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Questions for Lesley Curtis

  1. How does teaching this class online change your approach?
    This class involves a lot of reading and online discussion. It will be very similar to a regular semester course, but the student will have to focus on it more intensely because time is short!
  2. What most interested you about this subject matter?
    I study the history of slavery in the French colonies of the Caribbean. It has led me to be quite interested in the study of what it means to be free.
  3. Do you have a philosophy about learning? Has it changed as technology has changed?
    My philosophy about learning is that it should involve the student. It's not about a teacher just giving information. It's about discovery and initiative. Technology can aid us in these goals by adding to our ability to interact more effectively.