Academic Course Catalogs

Drop Shadow

Interdisciplinary Humanities

Program Director
Molly McClain, PhD, History

Faculty Coordinators
Michael Agnew, PhD, Languages and Literatures
Thomas Barton, PhD, History
Pavlo Bosyy, MFA, Theatre Arts
Brian Clack, PhD, Philosophy
Bahar Davary, PhD, Theology and Religious Studies
Florence M. Gillman, PhD, Theology and Religious Studies
Brigitte Heimers, PhD, Languages and Literatures
Juliana Maxim, PhD, Art History
Atreyee Phukan, PhD, English
Marianne R. Pfau, PhD, Music
Michael F. Wagner, PhD, Philosophy
Allison Wiese, MFA, Visual Arts
Irene Williams, PhD, English

“Want Innovative Thinking? Hire from the Humanities.” This was the headline in the Harvard Business Review (March 31, 2011). Author Tony Golsby-Smith, argued that people trained in the humanities “have learned to play with big concepts, and to apply new ways of thinking to difficult problems that can’t be analyzed in conventional ways.”

The Interdisciplinary Humanities major encourages creativity, innovative thinking, and the ability to connect complex ideas. Students gain excellent training in communication and presentation skills. They also take the lead in designing their own major, drawing from classes in the following disciplines: Art, English, History, Languages and Literatures, Music, Philosophy, Theatre Arts, and Theology & Religious Studies. Students can also opt for one of the two other tracks in the major, European Studies or Asian Studies, which include options from Political Science and/or Sociology.

Humanities Studies

Lower-Division Preparation

Six units of lower-division history from HIST 102, 103, 108, 109, 110, 116, 117, 118, 120, 125D, 126D, 130, 140, 170, 171, 200, 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 280.

Major Requirements

40 Upper-Division Units in the Humanities disciplines, as follows:

Choose an emphasis from among the following Humanities disciplines. You must take at least 12 units but no more than 18 units in this emphasis:

Art
Art History
English
History
Languages and Literatures
Music
Philosophy
Theatre Arts
Theology and Religious Studies

You must take between 18-24 units in any or all of the humanities disciplines listed above. No more than 9 units may be taken in any one discipline outside your emphasis.

Coursework must include a 1) a Classical studies course, and 2) a Medieval and/or Renaissance studies course as approved by the program director

Coursework must include a two-semester, upper division senior seminar HUMN 490 (1) and 495W (3)

European Studies

Lower-Division Preparation

Six units of lower-division history from HIST 102, 103, 108, 110, 140, 170, 171.

A fourth-semester language course (or its equivalent) in French, German, Italian, or Spanish (depending on the upper division linguistic focus chosen below)

Two semesters (second-semester or its equivalent) in a second European language (may include Classical Greek or Latin)

Major Requirements

Nine Upper-Division Units in French, German, Italian, or Spanish, chosen from the following courses:
FREN 300-499
GERM 301-499
ITAL 301-499
SPAN 300-499

Nine units in History and/or Political Science, chosen from the following courses:
HIST 311, 312, 321, 322, 323, 324, 331, 334, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 346, 347, 348, 350, 353, 354, 357
POLS 355, 362, 363, 364, 365

Nine units in English, Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, and/or Fine Arts, chosen from the following courses:
ARTH 333, 334, 338, 344, 345, 355
ENGL 312, 366
MUSC 330, 331, 332, 333W, 441, 442
PHIL 467, 470, 471, 472, 473, 474
THRS 354, 355

Nine upper-division elective units in the humanities disciplines

Four Upper-Division Units in a two-semester, senior seminar HUMN 490 (1) and 495W (3)

Asian Studies

Lower-Division Preparation

HIST 130
PHIL 175 OR THRS 112

Intermediate Mandarin or Intermediate Japanese, or equivalent; or fourth-semester or equivalent in another Asian language

Major Requirements

Twelve units of Asian civilizations courses chosen from the following courses:
ECON 337
HIST 364, 365, 366, 367, 372
POLS 358, 367, 368

And/or Asian civilizations courses offered by the languages and literatures department
And/or appropriate upper-division topics courses in these disciplines.
Twelve units of Asian cultures courses from the following:

ENGL 364, ENGL 494 Special Topics: Sanskrit (3)
MUSC 440
PHIL 476
THRS 312, 315

And/or Asian civilizations courses offered by the languages and literatures department
And/or appropriate upper-division topics courses in these disciplines.
Twelve Upper-Division Units of electives in the Humanities disciplines,
Four Upper-Division Units in a two-semester, senior seminar HUMN 490 (1) and 495W (3)

Humanities Courses (HUMN)

HUMN 490 THESIS PREPARATION SEMINAR (1)
This course precedes the 3-unit HUMN 495W course. In this course, each student will identify a research topic that would integrate and apply his/her interdisciplinary experience in the Humanities major. This topic will lead, in HUMN 495W, to producing a senior thesis (a substantial research paper or a well-researched creative project). Each student will consult with the instructor in identifying and developing a topic; produce a prospectus and a bibliography for the topic; and, as possible, begin collecting and outlining research material from the bibliography. A class presentation is typically required as well. Prerequisite: Senior or, for December graduates, junior standing in the Humanities major; or approval of the Humanities program director. Fall semester.

HUMN 494 SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE HUMANITIES (3)
Exploration and analysis of selected topics with a specific theme in the Interdisciplinary Humanities.

HUMN 495W SENIOR RESEARCH SEMINAR (3)
In this continuation course to HUMN 490, each student will complete the research phase of his/her thesis project; produce a working outline and at least one substantial draft of the senior thesis or creative project; and revise and finalize the thesis by the end of the semester. A formal presentation of results and highlights from the completed research and initial thesis draft is typically required as well. Spring semester. Prerequisite: HUMN 490.