Interdisciplinary Humanities

“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 skills (writing, critical thinking, speaking) and a voice in the larger conversation that culture provides. In every workplace, from engineering to television programming, employees find common ground in culture. They talk about books, films, art, and music. The study of the humanities, in all its variety and complexity, offers students the opportunity to explore their curiosity about the world; human nature; artistic innovation; and great ideas, past and present.

Students 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

Lower-Division Preparation

Select 6 units of lower-division history courses from the following:
HIST 102The Ancient World3
HIST 103The Medieval World3
HIST 108The Atlantic World 1500-18003
HIST 109The Pacific World, 1500-18003
HIST 110World History Topics3
HIST 115Topics in War and Peace in Historical Perspective3
HIST 116War and Peace in the Modern World3-4
HIST 117U.S. History to 18703
HIST 118U.S. History, 1877 to the Present3
HIST 120U.S. History Topics3
HIST 125DRace and Ethnicity in the American Experience3
HIST 126DAmerican Women in History3
HIST 130East Asia in Transformation3
HIST 135Topics in the History of Culture and Identity3
HIST 140Modern Europe3
HIST 145Topics in Urban History3
HIST 150Topics in Comparative History3
HIST 155Topics in History, Literature, and Film3
HIST 160Topics in History of Science and Technology3
HIST 170Big History: From Cosmos to Cannibals3
HIST 171Modern World History3
HIST 180Great Moments in Time3

Major Requirements

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

Choose an emphasis from among the following Humanities departments. You must take at least 12 units but no more than 18 units in this department:
Art, Architecture + Art History
English
History
Languages, Cultures and Literatures
Music
Philosophy
Theatre Arts
Theology and Religious Studies

You must take 18-24 units in the Humanities departments listed above. No more than 9 units may be taken in any one department outside your emphasis. Coursework must be selected in consultation with the program director and include a

  1. Classical studies course from the following list:

HIST 102, ANTH 390, ANTH 391, ENGL 494, GREK 499, HIST 311, HIST 312, HIST 321, LATN 499, PHIL 470, POLS 301, THRS 353, THRS 385, THRS 388

    2. Medieval and/or Renaissance studies course from the following list:

HIST 103, HIST 108HIST 109, ANTH 339, ANTH 362, ENGL 300ENGL 312, ENGL 314ENGL 330, ENGL 335, ENGL 337, ENGL 338, ENGL 340, ENGL 341ENGL 420, FREN 320, HIST 321, HIST 322, HIST 323, HIST 324, HIST 331, HIST 346, HIST 357, HIST 382, MUSC 330, MUSC 331, PHIL 467, PHIL 471, SPAN 422, SPAN 423, SPAN 424, THRS 354, THRS 355

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

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.

Courses

HUMN 490 | THESIS PREPARATION SEMINAR

Units: 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.

HUMN 494 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE HUMANITIES

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Exploration and analysis of selected topics with a specific theme in the Interdisciplinary Humanities.

HUMN 495W | SENIOR RESEARCH SEMINAR

Units: 3

Prerequisites: HUMN 490

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.

HUMN 499 | INDEPENDENT STUDY

Units: 1-3

Program Director

Atreyee Phukan, PhD, English

Faculty Coordinators

Thomas Barton, PhD, History

Brian Clack, PhD, Philosophy

Bahar Davary, PhD, Theology and Religious Studies

Kimberly Eherenman, PhD, Languages, Cultures and Literatures

Florence M. Gillman, PhD, Theology and Religious Studies

Juliana Maxim, PhD, Art History

Molly McClain, PhD, History

Marianne R. Pfau, PhD, Music

Monica Stufft, PhD, Theatre Arts

Michael F. Wagner, PhD, Philosophy

Allison Wiese, MFA, Visual Arts

Irene Williams, PhD, English