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Center for the Core Curriculum announces 2015-2016 Literature Humanities syllabus

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Center for the Core Curriculum has announced a new Literature Humanities syllabus for the 2015-2016 academic year. The works added to the syllabus are Milton’s Paradise Lost; Sappho’s Lyrics; Euripides’ The Bacchae; Bocaccio’s The Decameron; and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. Morrison has the distinction of being the first living author to be added to the standard Literature Humanities syllabus. The addition of Morrison’s book also changes the final text on the syllabus to a required, single text, rather than a text of the instructor’s choosing.

Literature Humanities is a staple of the Core Curriculum studied by all Columbia College undergraduates. Originally called Humanities A, Lit Hum, as it is affectionately known, has been part of the Core since 1937. While some titles have never left the required reading list – Homer’s The Iliad, Aeschylus’ Oresteia and Dante’s The Inferno – others have rotated on and off. The syllabus is reviewed every few years by a committee of faculty, who take into consideration recommendations from all faculty members who teach the course before proposing a revised syllabus. The entire course’s faculty then vote on whether or not to adopt the changes.

Song of Solomon is incontestably a work of major literary significance. It, along with Milton’s Paradise Lost; Sappho’s Lyrics; Euripides’ The Bacchae; and Bocaccio’s The Decameron will join the other texts read in Literature Humanities, and in the Core Curriculum overall, to challenge our students with some of the most difficult questions about human experience,” said Roosevelt Montás CC’95, GSAS’05, associate dean and director of the Center for the Core Curriculum.

To learn more about Literature Humanities, or to see the complete 2015-2016 Literature Humanities syllabus, visit college.columbia.edu/core/lithum.

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