RCHUMS 218 - The Hero as Outsider, Outcast or Outlaw
Section: 001
Term: FA 2018
Subject: RC Humanities (RCHUMS)
Department: LSA Residential College
Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In this class we will examine historical and fictional characters who acted or failed to act heroically, who were able to live up to their ideal image of themselves and what they should do—and accept the consequences of their choices and actions, or who were unable to. We will focus on the reasons behind their decisions and the forces that made their decision so difficult—or impossible.

Two famous historical figures we will study are Socrates and Galileo, the former a man driven by pride and principle and who was treated by many as an outsider and threat, the latter a man responsible for temporarily impeding science. One of the fictional characters we will encounter is H. W. Campbell, Jr., who, during WWII, was employed as a Nazi propagandist and whose radio broadcasts contributed to the deaths of millions of Jews. What makes him fascinating was that at the same time he was a spy for the Allies. Another fictional character is amongst the most famous in modern literature, Kurtz, a man whose lack of heart-felt values led him to abandon his idealism to become a mass murderer.

Some heroes and failed heroes we will meet in great films: the court drama Twelve Angry Men, the Academy Award winning The Bridge on the River Kwai, and the fact based story of a woman, Karen Silkwood, who took on the corporation she worked for for hiding that their product could potentially kill or sicken millions: Silkwood.

Students will write two papers and take a Mid-semester and Final Exam.

Intended Audience:

This class is open to all LSA students.

RCHUMS 218 - The Hero as Outsider, Outcast or Outlaw
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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