The Journeys course is global in its perspective and interdisciplinary in its approach. For example, we begin in China, examining “the ways” for human flourishing pioneered by Confucius. Through an exploration of some of the dialogues of Plato we next probe the teachings of Socrates. In Islam, we can trace adherents’ spiritual journeys toward a relationship with the divine. We explore journeys of a more contemporary nature by looking at Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and by reading texts pivotal to the rise of modern democracy, including selections from John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government. We also probe journeys of self-discovery, such as the ones revealed in W.E.B. Du Bois’ Souls of Black Folk and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions.
The exact works and kinds of journeys we examine will no doubt evolve as the course changes over the coming years. But our goal will remain constant. We aim to challenge our students to examine a variety of human journeys, with the hope that they will come to understand different conceptions of human fulfillment and that they will reflect deliberately on the paths their own lives might take.