024: Freshman Seminar
Instructor(s) Daniel MeliaFall 2012
Instructor(s) Daniel Melia
The world is full of BAD BOOKS; not just uninteresting or ill-informed, or morally repugnant books, but books that set out to present or defend positions which are unsupportable in logic. I speak here not of books of political polemic, such as Hitler’s Mein Kampf, but of books such as von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods, which presents “proof” of visits to earth by extra-terrestrials, or of Barry Fell’s America B.C., which “proves” that ancient Celts reached North America before the time of Christ. Often these BAD BOOKS become quite popular. This seminar will examine the proposition that there is a recognizable rhetoric common to many such BAD BOOKS and investigate possible reasons for the fact that they often gain a wider audience than GOOD BOOKS on the same subject. If you ever wondered why The DaVinci Code was so bad, this course will provide the answer.
M. Baigaint, et al., Holy Blood, Holy Grail (Random House paperback, ISBN-13: 9780440136484)
L. Shlain, The Alphabet versus The Goddess, (Penguin paperback ISBN: 0140196013)
Erich von Daniken, Chariots of the Gods [Paperback] (Berkley Trade, 1999, ISBN-10: 0425166805)