Jul 24, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

US 251 The Hero Culture: A Quest for Truth

The main purpose of this course is to provide each student with an opportunity to develop their own answers to the question, “What makes a person extraordinary?” Students will begin the course by examining established “heroes”, both real and imaginary, and compiling a list of the traits they possess and actions that they perform that the students deem worthy of the word “heroic.” Students will then be presented with lesser-known real-life individuals and fictional characters, those they normally might not connect with the word “hero”, and asked to examine them as potential repositories of excellence. They will be called on to ask themselves: What elements of this person or character are constructive or even potentially destructive to our ideas of self and the society we live in? What can I learn from their behavior? What of them do I see in myself, and what qualities do I value more than others? What does the word “heroic” really mean – to others and to me? Should I reexamine, change or expand my personal definition of heroism? How can I become more heroic in my daily life? By pursuing their individual responses, students will move away from traditionally accepted views of the “heroic” to formulate a more personalized vision of greatness. By making inter-connections with fundamental sociological issues, students will be encouraged to integrate their heroic visions into their own philosophies of human existence.