LEWISTON – A course that examines biological evolution and its impact on culture and imaginative literature will be offered this summer at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College. The first class will meet July 6.

Over the last century, Darwin’s theory profoundly influenced the shaping of modern thought in a number of areas – scientific, philosophical, religious and political. Advances in biology have brought about a major transformation in understanding the origin and development of life. As a mirror of the times, literature has reflected the struggle to incorporate the knowledge.

The main goal of the course will be to help students understand how science influences literature and, conversely, how literature translates science into human dimensions.

Readings on Darwin’s theory of evolution in its original and modern forms will be followed by a study of literature that depicts attempts to understand, cope with and transcend the biological nature of humankind.

A more general goal of the course is to give students experience in interdisciplinary study: in seeking, articulating and defending opinions on issues that cross the boundaries of traditional academic fields.

The class (HUM 223H) will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from July 6 to 23.

Registration is open until the course begins. No college biology background is required. The instructor will be Robert Schaible, Ph.D., professor of arts and humanities and former holder of USM’s Walter E. Russell Chair in Philosophy and Education.

Call 753-6500 for advising or registration assistance. A complete listing of summer session and fall semester course offerings is available online at www.usm.maine.edu/lac/schedules.

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