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Current Courses

Fall 2020

HUM 101: Humanities I

This course surveys Mediterranean cultures from the second millennium B.C. through the first century of our era. It pays particular attention to issues of personal and community identity, and to the relationship of the individual to the family, the state, and the divine. It explores how these cultures have shaped and still shape our world, how we identify with them today, and how we distance ourselves from them.

MWF 11-11:50 + discussion section

CRN 13001.  Instructor: Malcolm Wilson

HUM 300: Themes in Humanities: Medieval Manuscipts

This course explores Medieval Manuscripts.  Two-thirds of class time will investigate Manuscript Culture, including the study of important manuscripts and texts; one-third of the class will offer hands-on workshops where we will practice medieval handwriting, decorated letters, and miniature painting, constructing our own medieval manuscripts.

TR 10-11:20, CRN 16092

Instructor: Anne Laskaya

HUM 300: Themes in Humanities: Film, Buildings, and People

With film, we can experience places, buildings, lives and cultures distinct from our own.  We can experience worlds that once existed, or do not exist and perhaps never will.  This course will use film as a vehicle for discussion about the role of architecture and place in people’s lives. Through films such as “Blade Runner,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and “The Magnificent Seven,” we will gain a greater appreciation for the role that buildings, cities and landscape play in our lives.

TR 16-17:50, CRN 16844

Instructor: Virginia Cartwright

Winter 2020

HUM 102: Humanities II

This course is designed to provide students with a basic working knowledge of the various cultural developments of the Western Middle Ages.  Although we will devote considerable attention to the history of medieval Christendom, both east and west, we will also engage developments in the Jewish and Islamic cultural traditions. 

Instructor: Stephen Shoemaker

HUM 260: Postwar European Culture

The history of the European continent since 1945 in light of humanistic themes and texts reflecting upon various aspects of that history. The course approaches this subject through weekly readings that combine historical narrative with cultural readings by Europeans that have an especially literary, moral, and visionary quality.

Instructor: George Sheridan

HUM 300: Tolstoy’s Legacy

Leo Tolstoy was not only a great, world-renowned writer, the author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, he was also in many ways a philosopher, a religious thinker and a reformer. In the late 19th and early 20th century, he was also one of the most famous people in the world, even causing the government of the Russian Empire to feel threatened by his influence. He advocated and in some cases was able to achieve reform in such areas as education, human rights and law, and he was an influential proponent of non-violent resistance. In this course we will read some of Tolstoy’s most important and fascinating works, both literary and extra-literary, and will examine the connection between them. We will study as well his legacy in regard to property rights, political rights, the treatment of prisoners, his advocacy of vegetarianism, and his sense of what he felt to be true religious devotion – he was famously excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox Church. In particular we will examine his far-reaching promotion of non-violent resistance that spread, due in part to his correspondence with Mahatma Gandhi, from South Africa to the Indian subcontinent, and ultimately to the American civil rights movement.

Instructor: Katya Hokanson

HUM 245: Food, Art & Literature: Food in the Ancient Greco-Roman World

Food in the Ancient Greco-Roman world, including historical, literary, artistic, and practical approaches, including some tasty experiments of our own. The class also focuses on important ingredients, recipes and cookbooks, and the convivial gatherings of banquet and symposium.

Instructor: Mary Jaeger

Spring 2020

HUM 103: Humanities III: “The Closest of Strangers: European Modernity and the Black Atlantic.”

Humanities 103 introduces the cultural production of a period that we call the “modern,” looking at how the European colonization of Africa and the aesthetic strategies used by African artists, writers, musicians, and intellectuals, on the continent and in the diaspora, to reclaim their cultures. In the end we will return to the United States to follow the movements of these dynamics associated with modernity as they hit home. It is my hope that this course will allow us to understand our conception of culture, and that we will expand our sense of the possibilities of human expression and artistry.

Instructor: Michael Stern

HUM 300: Themes in Humanities: Medieval Women Writers

This course will allow us to enter into the often hidden parts of the Middle Ages through letters, diaries, memoirs, poetry, and essays written by women. These women include Radegund, a woman of the sixth century who escaped her husband by taking religious vows, and who was later declared a saint; tenth-century Hrotsvit of Gandersheim, who was among the earliest to write plays; the twelfth-century Marie de France, whose imaginative writings makes her a “mother” of late medieval fantasy and quest narratives; and the fifteenth-century Christine de Pizan, the first professional medieval woman writer, author of the bold and original “Book of the City of Ladies.”

Instructor: Anne Laskaya

 HUM 361: Ancient Science & Culture

This course will explore the subject, practice and social place of science in the ancient world.  In addition to the study of specific scientific notions, theories and discoveries — including measuring the circumference of the earth using period instruments and methods — we shall consider the philosophical and social underpinnings of early science.  The students will gain insight into the historical situation of modern science and specific intellectual activities from which it arose.

Instructor: Malcolm Wilson

HUM 240: Medical Humanities

This course examines the intersection of literature, philosophy, history, and the arts with medical theory and practice.

Instructor: Katherine Brundan

Catalog Courses

  • HUM 101. Introduction to the Humanities I. 4 Credits.

    Ideas and modes of vision Western culture has inherited from the classical period. Readings and discussions focus on literature, philosophy, history, the arts, and religion.

  • HUM 102. Introduction to the Humanities II. 4 Credits.

    Ideas and modes of vision Western culture has inherited from the medieval to the Renaissance periods. Readings and discussions focus on literature, philosophy, history, the arts, and religion.

  • HUM 103. Introduction to the Humanities III. 4 Credits.

    An interdisciplinary introduction to the global humanities in the modern period.

  • HUM 199. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


  • HUM 240. Medical Humanities. 4 Credits.

    Examines the intersection of literature, philosophy, history, and the arts with medical theory and practice.

  • HUM 245. Food, Art, and Literature. 4 Credits.

    The study of food in the Ancient Greco-Roman world, ancient China, or the modern world using historical, literary, and practical approaches.

  • HUM 260. Postwar European Culture. 4 Credits.

    Addresses the broad history and culture of 20th century Europe through humanistic themes and texts that reflect aspects of that experience.

  • HUM 298. Temporary Group-Satisfying Course. 4 Credits.
  • HUM 300. Themes in the Humanities. 4 Credits.

    Interdisciplinary and multimedia introduction to the study of the humanities. Analysis of such themes as tragedy in music, literature, and art.

  • HUM 354. The City. 4 Credits.

    Examines the urban experience in reference to law, culture, and systems of belief (e.g., classical Athens, Renaissance Florence, 20th-century Berlin).

  • HUM 355. The American City. 4 Credits.

    Study of the great American city from the colonial period to the present, particularly New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

  • HUM 399. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

    Problem-oriented course designed to explore new topics or approaches to studies in the humanities. Repeatable.

  • HUM 403. Thesis. 1-6 Credits.


  • HUM 405. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-6 Credits.


  • HUM 407. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


  • HUM 410/ 510. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.