Humanities (HUMN)

HUMN 502  American Popular Culture  (4 Credits)  

This course examines the origin, nature, and social impact of popular culture in America. Students explore and define what culture is, beginning with the differences between high culture, or the culture of the elite and intelligentsia, and low culture, or the culture of the masses - particularly as these differences in taste, recreation, art, and leisure activities relate to social and economic class, educational level, political power, health, and human development. Subsequently, the focus is primarily on aspects of popular culture. Students acquire and hone the skills of cultural analysis by dissecting both the ephemeral and archetypal facets of an eclectic and wide-ranging sampling of public media, art, music, fads, trends, and entertainment.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Examine and define popular culture, particularly in contrast to traditionally identified high culture.
  2. Acquire and apply the basic vocabulary and concepts of cultural analysis.
  3. Acquire and apply an analytical language or lexicon for cultural analysis.
  4. Examine and evaluate the theories and approaches of major cultural critics in terms of connecting underlying values to vehicles of popular culture.
  5. Conduct a field study of various phenomena of popular culture—such as shopping malls, video arcades, text messaging—with extensive notes and historical research.
  6. Analyze in writing various popular culture artifacts, activities, or media in terms of what these phenomena communicate about the values inherent in the culture from which they evolved.

HUMN 504  World Religions  (4 Credits)  

This course offers a comparative study of world religions. The focus of the course is to acquire a broad overview of world religions through an examination of sacred texts, art and iconography, as well as religious experience and practice. Theological, philosophical and cultural influences are considered as religious language is examined. Religions considered are: Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, religions of Africa, as well as primal religions.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of central theological and philosophical issues particular to each religion.
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with specific terminology of individual religions.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to research and present a topic of interest pertaining to course work.
  4. Identify cultural aspects of religious experience.
  5. Compare and contrast theological and philosophical concepts of comparative religions.

HUMN 505  Introduction to Ethics  (4 Credits)  

This course introduces students to a variety of prominent ethical theories. It examines their complex interrelations, historical development, and relevance to ordinary life. Students are encouraged to engage in the critical analysis and comparison of these theories and to consider how they might explain and evaluate contemporary controversies such as war, environmental protection, euthanasia, and abortion. Relationships between ethics and other areas of philosophical investigation are considered.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Identify philosophers associated with each of the major philosophical perspectives on ethics.
  2. Explain the basic tenets of major ethical perspectives including relativism, hedonism, stoicism, utilitarianism, Christian ethics, deontology, and virtue theory.
  3. Compare and contrast the historical development and interrelations among the various ethical perspectives.
  4. Analyze how different ethical perspectives can be applied to evaluate contemporary ethical dilemmas.
  5. Consider modern perspectives like feminist ethics and environmental ethics and multicultural perspectives like Islamic or Buddhist ethics.
  6. Identify and critically evaluate their own ethical principles in the context of their ordinary experience and personal choices.

HUMN 560  Introductory Spanish  (4 Credits)  

This course presents introductory grammar and vocabulary in order to lay the groundwork for comprehension, communication, and interest in Spanish and Spanish-speaking cultures. Students develop a basic proficiency in the language through practice in reading, writing, listening comprehension, and oral expression.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Write and speak in Spanish using vocabulary related to their immediate world and other topics of general interest.
  2. Formulate sentences using Spanish verbs in the present, past, and future tenses.
  3. Express basic ideas and wishes through speaking in spontaneous situations.
  4. Explore elements of Spanish-speaking cultures and discuss cultural differences and similarities with other cultures in the United States.
  5. Gain proficiency in the comprehension of spoken and written Spanish.

HUMN 625  Introduction to Cultural Theory  (4 Credits)  

This writing and reading intensive course is a general introduction to the critical perspectives and theories that enliven contemporary cultural studies with attention to various schools of 20th and 21st-century criticism, critical applications, and critical terminology. Theories covered include: Marxism, Psychoanalytic criticism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism, Feminist literary studies, Gender studies, Queer studies, Critical Race studies, Post-colonialism, New Historicism, Cultural studies, and Postmodernism. More broadly, this course explores current studies of literature and culture, examining the practices and values of literary and cultural scholars, students, and teachers in order to gain an understanding of the tradition and norms that have emerged from those practices and values, and finally, to consider which of those trends are most valuable for future critical endeavors in the field of cultural studies.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 500 The Writing Process and CRIT 501 Critical Inquiry.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Read, interpret, write, and speak about a diverse range of texts, for example: literature, film, digital media, and popular culture.
  2. Define what “theory” is and identify a number of theoretical approaches to literary and cultural studies.
  3. Understand texts analytically and critically on the basis of careful close reading and the application of a variety of approaches to textual and discourse analysis.
  4. Understand that texts are culturally constructed in time, place, and tradition, as well as how texts inform and reflect aspects of culture and identity, such as: gender, race, class, sexuality, and nationality.
  5. Determine and articulate what is at stake in choosing one critical or theoretical methodology over another.
  6. Synthesize analyses verbally and in writing through class discussion, group work, oral presentations, papers, and a written examination.

HUMN 650  Integrative: Project in Humanities  (4 Credits)  

This capstone course for Humanities and English majors is designed to integrate learning from the entire program in an individually-customized project. Students demonstrate competency in the study of the humanities by producing a substantive original essay based on in-depth research.

Prerequisite(s): CRIT 602 Advanced Critical Analysis and Strategic Thinking, IDIS 601 Interdisciplinary Seminar, and all major requirements must be completed prior to enrollment in this course. Academic Advisor approval is required for registration to be processed. NOTE: Students who were admitted to the college before Fall 2019 and have remained active in their original catalog year are not required to take IDIS 601.

View Course Outcomes:

  1. Develop a humanities-related research question for extended exploration.
  2. Conduct thorough research on the chosen humanities topic.
  3. Demonstrate critical analysis of a variety of sources in the field of humanities.
  4. Write a comprehensive original paper employing advanced skills of exposition, argument, analysis, and synthesis of ideas related to the selected subject of study.
  5. Employ responsible quotation and citation practices based on impeccable documentation and solid understanding of standard conventions.