Remembering History, Imagining the Future
The Humanities include a broad category of disciplines such as the classics, literature, languages, history, music, visual and performing arts, philosophy, and religion, all of which are concerned with studying aspects of the human condition, what it means to be human. Through a process of asking questions, evaluating assumptions, and analyzing beliefs, students of the Humanities reflect on what they know, assess what they think, and judge why they think it. This type of exploration demands disciplined thought, clear articulation of ideas, and cooperative discussion as preparation for the complex decisions and judgments that life and work present.
The mission of the Humanities Program is to provide courses which meet the University's Essential Studies (general education) requirements. Emphasis is placed on small group discussion, critical reading of classical and modern texts, and written responses to the materials of the course; reading, writing, research, dialogue, and conversation are central to class meetings. The study of the Humanities promotes the development of many important skills:
- critical thinking (reasoning, organizing ideas, making distinctions, recognizing important similarities, grasping what is essential)
- decision-making (maturity and refinement of judgment, ability to give good reasons)
- communication (clear, cogent expression of ideas and beliefs, both orally and in written form)
- valuation (ability to deal rationally with questions of value, to set priorities and balance competing ideals)
- cross-cultural awareness
- aesthetic sensibility
- civic responsibility
Integrated Studies Program
The Humanities Program also administers the Integrated Studies Program, a nationally-known, award-winning interdisciplinary Essential Studies (general education) program for first year students.
Faculty: Barrentine, Carmichael (Coordinator), LaPierre, Magness, and Rand