POLS 13181-1: Ten Images of Hell in the 21st Century

Instructor: A. James McAdams

Social Science University Seminar

My twentieth-century was a time of sheer hell: wars, genocide, totalitarianism, and terrorism. Will your century be a time of hell as well? In this seminar, we will examine ten images of the human experience that have me equally concerned about the contemporary world, including more war, terrorism, racism and ethnic hatred, populism and authoritarianism, and ecological disaster. My goal is not only to provide you with a glimpse into a new century. I also want to acquaint you with themes relating to the human condition that matter for your own lives. We will explore these themes from diverse perspectives, drawing upon insights from political science, theology, philosophy, history, technology, and the arts. We will read a number of novels, non-fiction works, and articles. We will also utilize other media, including film, the fine arts, and music. I have designed this seminar to be accessible to all Notre Dame students, regardless of their anticipated majors. This is a seminar for students who like to read, reflect, write, and debate.

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