Programs

Minor in Humanities

Minor in Humanities

The Minor in Interdisciplinary Humanities combines foundational study in several disciplines in the Humanities with more advanced courses and independent work. The Humanities program introduces students to the cultural products and
practices that have informed the development of Western cultures. Along with critical examination of "the West" and consideration of what it has meant--and means today-to be human, students refine their writing and speaking skills and participate actively in Humanities seminars. Students who complete the Humanities minor will be able to conduct interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary critical inquiry, evaluate the implications of historical change over time, and approach the study of cultures--their own and others--in intellectually informed and responsible ways. In addition to completing four courses that approach the critical study of the Humanities from the ancient to modern worlds, Humanities minors also enroll in a 300-level seminar focused on the Humanities in the twenty-first century.

Minor Requirements: Five Humanities courses, including:
1. Humanities 103
2. Humanities 104
3. Two 200-level Humanities courses
4. Humanities 380

Courses
HUMN 103 Experience, Expression, and Exchange in Western Culture: Texts and Contexts of the Ancient World
This interdisciplinary course explores significant issues in Greco-Roman culture as well as the religious traditions of the Near East. It provides a critical introduction to cultural contexts and ideological tensions that have contributed to the construction of Western identities and civilizations. Through examination of selected textual and intellectual echoes over time, the course considers the changing reception and impact of controversies and debates that have not only shaped ideas of "the West" but
continue to challenge and perplex human beings. (Credit, full course.)

HUMN 104 Experience, Expression, and Exchange in Western Culture: Texts and Contexts of the Medieval to Early Modern Worlds
This interdisciplinary study emphasizes critical engagement with the idea of "the West" through an examination of the cultural practices, institutions, influences, and legacies of the medieval and early modern worlds. Pilgrimage, the Crusades, encounters with the "New World," the Reformation, the Renaissance, the development of vernacular literatures, and changes in visual culture, artifacts, and the built environment are among the significant focal points of the course. No prerequisite, though prior study in Humn 103 strongly recommended. Foundational Writing-Intensive. (Credit, full course.)

HUMN 203 Experience, Expression, and Exchange: Manifestos, Movements, and Terrorism
What prompts the composition of manifestos-and what consequences have ensued?  What are the underlying purposes of terrorism, and how have acts of terror been defined and even justified? This interdisciplinary course explores intellectual and social movements in cultural context from the early modern period to the present day with attention to the writings (especially manifestos) and outcomes (including terror) they have produced. Using the French Revolution, humanism and technologism, imperialism, and the artistic movements of the early twentieth century as some central focal points, the course examines competing visions of progress and resistance to it. (Credit, full course.)

HUMN 204 Experience, Expression, and Exchange: Utopias and Dystopias
This course explores how utopian, dystopian, and post-apocalyptic discourse imaginatively engages-and has engaged-cultural and historical challenges. Using approaches related to history, philosophy, literature, political theory, and the visual
arts-especially film-this class seeks to ground utopian and dystopian speculation in the historical and cultural circumstances engendering it. Possible texts include works by Rousseau, More, Plato, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Marx, Leibniz, Voltaire, Huxley,
Orwell, Zamyatin, McCarthy, Durgess, Atwood, Ishiguro, Lovecraft, Fritz Lang, and Ridley Scott. (Credit, full course.) Staff

HUMN 214. Experience, Expression, and Exchange: Histories of Science, Vision, and Art: 1500-Present.
This course focuses on the histories of relations between visual art and contemporary scientific method(s). It looks at why and how major socio-economic, cultural, and political changes associated with the history of "the West" (c. 1500 to the present),
involved a preoccupation with vision and its effects. The course hones in on artists and "scientific observers", many of whom were directly involved in colonial and commercial projects. Topics of focus include: the uses of instruments (such as the
microscope) for mediating sight and producing new knowledge about nature: the ordering, politics, and display of visual objects in collections and more. (Credit, full course.) Thompson, Whitmer

HUMN 380: Seminar for Humanities Minors
Students use methodologies gleaned from previous Humanities courses-and acquire new ones-to approach topics relevant to contemporary study of the Humanities. Each iteration of the course focuses on a set of interrelated themes (e.g., justice and power, faith and reason, journey/exploration, etc.) to be determined by Humanities faculty during spring planning meetings. The seminar culminates in a final interdisciplinary paper and presentation with peer review components. (Credit,
full course.) Staff.

Prerequisites: four courses in Humanities.