Approved courses are concerned with defining and disputing that which is understood to be quintessentially "human:" studying language, texts, thought, and culture; their definition, interpretation, and historical development; and their reflection of human values, beliefs, and traditions. Courses in a variety of disciplines explicate the underlying assumptions, methods of study, practices, theories, and disputes appropriate to those disciplines.
Approved courses generally fall into one of three categories (all open to majors and non-majors):
- introductions to basic materials and methods in the disciplines;
- introductions to subfields or groupings of materials in the disciplines;
- literature and culture courses taught in a foreign language higher than the third- semester level.
Learning Objectives for General Education Humanities Courses
Humanities courses teach students to analyze and interpret texts, ideas, artifacts, and discourse systems, and the human values, traditions, and beliefs that they reflect.
Humanities courses enable students to demonstrate knowledge of the assumptions, methods of study, and theories of at least one of the disciplines within the humanities.
Depending on the discipline, humanities courses will enable students to demonstrate some or all of the following:
- an understanding of the objects of study as expressions of the cultural contexts of the people who created them;
- an understanding of the continuing relevance of the objects of study to the present and to the world outside the university;
- an ability to employ the terms and understand the conventions particular to the discipline;
- an ability to analyze and assess the strengths and weaknesses of ideas and positions along with the reasons or arguments that can be given for and against them;
- an understanding of the nature of the texts, artifacts, ideas, or discourse of the discipline and of the assumptions that underlie this understanding, including those relating to issues of tradition and canon.