Academic Catalog 2023-24

Humanities and Cultural Studies (BA, Minor)

Humanities and Cultural Studies (HCS) explores the depth, breadth, and wondrous complexity of human thought and creativity. HCS students seek to understand the questions, ideas, and values that lie at the heart of creative, intellectual, and spiritual expressions across time and across cultures. We closely examine literary and artistic works of individual, cultural, and social significance through a variety of different lenses (historical, philosophical, literary, artistic, musical, and more.) in an attempt to better comprehend our own culture and that of others. Through this investigation students gain a foundation of thought from which they are able to critically analyze and interpret the past and present, as well as to begin to re-imagine new futures for our shared global community.

The HCS major brings together courses in art history, history, literature, philosophy, and religion, as well as interdisciplinary humanities seminars. All students undertake a self-defined research project under the guidance of a faculty member in their senior year. Students are encouraged to study abroad when possible. Graduates leave the program with highly developed skills in critical analysis and interpretation, the synthesis of ideas, logical argumentation, and well-honed written and verbal communication, all of which are highly prized by employers. Graduates in this program also are well ­prepared for the rigors of graduate school and choose to go on to law school, medical school (with science requirements met), doctoral programs, or master of arts programs in education, social work, and business management.

Program Learning Outcomes

The student should demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Critically analyze texts (written, visual, performative, etc.) from multiple disciplines and genres in a cultural context in order to facilitate inquiry into the enduring questions of humankind.
  2. Understand multiple cultural perspectives and employ knowledge of cultural diversity to assess and evaluate worldviews.
  3. Synthesize and contextualize (inter-)disciplinary knowledge and apply to a sustained research inquiry.