HM 381A  Sudden Exposure   Fall 2011

Instructor(s)                        Dick Smyth, Jody Stoddard

Meeting Time(s)                TBA

Office and Hours                Dick Smyth:  Kane 2 South.  

Hours TBA

Jody Stoddard:  Kane 2 North

Hours TBA

Email/Phone                Dick Smyth:  ext 108

                                Jody Stoddard: ext 166

[Prerequisite(s)]                Juniors have first priority

Required Texts        


[Supplementary Readings]        TBA


Description        Sudden Exposure is designed to introduce students to a range of topics across the humanities, spanning humankind’s prehistory, history, and histrionics.  Seminar format, consisting of investigation, synthesis, presentation, and discussion, will be complemented by excursions to various businesses and individuals in the surrounding community.  Topics include visual and performing arts, scientific inquiries, business endeavors, and encounters with practicing humanists.


Format        The students will have assignments of varying complexity and length, culminating in presentations to the class.  Students will pull from a hat the topic of their assignments, which might include the following:  (1) Milankovitch and Hadley cycles (not a bike shop); (2) Renaissance and earlier music; (3) Cave paintings of Lascaux,  and Altimira, and Neanderthal crane-bone flutes; (4) Sharpies and Skipjacks—a case of convergent evolution; (5) Beringea, the significance of; (6) Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore, and Alexander Calder; (7) Hildegard von Bingen; (8) Angkor Wat; (9)  All the Felidae; (10) L’Anse aux Meadows; (11) Emerging Science Channel 33, 3/25, 7 – 7:30:  A Look at Pulsars

There will be frequent field trips of exploration or guest speakers from various fields related to the humanities.

Students may have the opportunity to present on at least two subjects of their choice, not listed above.

Course Objectives        To give students opportunity to research, discuss, and present on topics across many disciplines; to offer them a broader vision of their own potential as individuals; to explore subjects that move and inspire them.


Evaluation        Evaluation based on participation in all classes and satisfactory completion of assignments (rubrics provided).

Course Calendar/Outline        Possible field trips and speakers include but are not limited to, and in no particular order:  (1) a visit with Don Avery at his exquisite “Cady’s Falls Nursery,” a perennial nursery business; (2) a visit to the Victorian-flavored Fairbanks Museum; (3) a visit to Chris Curtis, a stone sculptor, and his gallery; (4) a visit with David Budbill, poet and playwright; (5) weather permitting, a trip to Stowe Soaring to learn about the physics of flight with  a glider ride; (7) a visit to the Orleans County Historical Society; (8) a visit with an investigative journalist/activist; (9) others…

Disability Statement                Students bring a variety of learning styles to class.  We do our best to support different learning modes by mixing lecture, discussion, hands-on work, and visual information.  Please feel free to let us know what mode works best for you—we will do our best to accommodate your learning style.   If you have a learning challenge or documented disability, please check in with Leland Peterson, Learning Support Coordinator. Leland can help you determine accommodations that can be helpful in this course.