Winter Online course | VLPA | Writing credit | No additional fee

New online course offered for the first time in Winter Quarter:  

Introduction to the Humanities 

  • COURSE NUMBER AND TITLE: HUM 201A (INTRODUCTION TO THE HUMANITIES)
  • SLN NUMBER:  15628
  • SATISFIES VLPA REQUIREMENT
  • OPTIONAL WRITING CREDIT AVAILABLE
  • ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 60

This course, co-taught by Michael C. Shapiro and Frances McCue, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, is designed to expose undergraduate students to a cross-sampling of subject areas in the humanities.  The course does not presuppose any prior college-level exposure to the humanities and is targeted to lower-division (i.e., first- and second-year) students in departments and majors throughout the University.

The humanities hold many different subject areas and this course will explore five of them: language, literature, history, visual culture, and musical culture. We will utilize “artifacts” of cultures past and present to provide students with substantive content in these areas within the humanities. The artifacts provide us the opportunity to collaborate, research, present, and articulate different points of view as we explore their significance. We will use critical reading of texts, dialogue, and reflective writing as the means to understand how to form knowledge across disciplinary fields. In the end, students will be able to take this artifact-centered method of inquiry and apply it to new encounters in any field. Whether they are confronting a visual representation of big data, a computer model, a musical composition, a painting or a sonnet, students will ask provocative, inspiring questions and be offered a range of perspectives.

At the core of this course are filmed presentations by exceptional faculty selected from a range of disciplines in the humanities. Each faculty member will present a sample artifact from his/her field of study. The lectures will represent these subject areas and following these lectures are a series of discussion groups, small and low-stakes dialogues and writing exercises, research puzzles, collaborative activities, and a final project. 

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