Humanities Learning Communities

Anyone, no matter what your major is, can choose to participate in the Humanities Learning Community. Each Learning Community will consist of 60-125 students and two faculty members. In addition, each community will have a different theme. Each semester students will:

Attend one large weekly lecture (75 students) on a theme/topic that meets the learning requirements for the General Education (GE) C3 requirement (Humanities). Attend a weekly seminar (20-25 students) linked to the lecture to practice critical thinking, writing, and oral presentation skills. The weekly seminar will fulfill GE area A3, critical thinking.

Students who successfully complete the two-semester sequence will receive credit for GE areas A3 and C3.

Students can choose from the following options:

AMCS 165: Big and Small Stories that Matter: Home and Belonging in the 21st Century
Dr. Leny Strobel and Jurgen Kremer
We live in a fast-paced world that is saturated with media-mediated phenomena and yet we remain drawn to the personal, face-to-face encounters that are increasingly marked by cultural, ethnic/racial, class and sex and gender differences that are easier to ignore than engage. This keeps us from developing deeper and more meaningful relationships to each other, to place, to community, to history. In this course, we explore the ways that students can develop a quality sense of presence and attention that attends to those differences.

ArtH 160: Cave Paintings to Picasso
Dr. Jennifer Roberson and Prof. Michael Schwager
This course is designed to introduce some of the major developments in art and architecture from the prehistoric through the late Medieval periods. It will focus primarily on artistic trends in Europe and the Mediterranean region but also will include sections on Asia. As the scope of the course is vast, the course is broken down into central themes that will serve as focal points for considering the form and function of art, and how it varies regionally and chronologically.

CALS 165: Latinos and Social Justice - (MOSAIC living/learning community and EOP students only)
Dr. Ronald Lopez and Dr. Amanda Martinez-Morrison

Students in this learning community will explore the reasons for social inequality in our society. Students will learn how inequalities are produced, how they persist and how they can be challenged and overcome. Central to the persistence of inequality in the United States is race, class, and gender differences. The course will focus on the relationship between differences and social inequality as it affects racial minorities with a particular focus on several Latino populations. The course will also address social justice movements that aim to address existing inequalities.

COMS 160: Understanding Media - (For Communication Majors only - COMS majors are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to enroll in this FLC)
Dr. Elizabeth Burch and Dr. Emily Acosta Lewis

Students will analyze the characteristics of mass media and new media, their historical development, and how they influence our lives. This course will help students make sense of and control their media environments, as well as develop a critical approach to understanding media. Students will pay special attention to relationships between film and other media (such as newspapers, television, and the internet), and critically analyze the social, cultural, and political significance of films about media, including how these films influence how we understand media, society, and the broader world.

MLL 161: Critical and Creative-Global Cultural Remix - (See Global Learning Experience for important requirement.)
John Nardine

This course is designed for first-year college students studying another language and/or considering studying abroad during their college career. MLL161A/B, "Critical & Creative: Global Culture Remix" is a year-long, 2-unit course that creates a space for students to reflect on how second language learning and contact between cultures and languages may shape their lives and identities as they become bilingual speakers and possibly live/study abroad. Students will explore concepts of identity of self and others through their own writing, art, literary texts, film, music, stagecraft, and roleplay. This learning community will provide students with an opportunity to share, compare, and contrast their experiences across languages, thus multiplying critical perspectives on second language acquisition (SLA). Offering pathways to study abroad, this course also connects academic content to preparation for future participation in SSU's International Programs. In the fall semester, students will also enroll in a language class (French 101, German 101 or Spanish 201). Students may study the language at a higher level if so placed, with the permission of the instructor.

Students interested in pursuing studies in Wine Business might also consider pursuing the to French Language Certificate for Wine Business. Contact Prof. Suzanne Toczyski, for details.

ENGL 160: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Identity
Dr. Tim Wandling, Sakina Bryant, Angie Evins

What can the rich works of imagination reveal to us about our culture's fascination with science, reality and identity? This course will explore the worlds of Science-Fiction and fantasy with a focus on the question of identity. Through study of films, novels and short stories, students will explore such questions of identity as: What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to "come of age?" Are gender and even sex biologically or culturally determined (LeGuin is particularly good on this topic)? What can we learn about ourselves by studying the past (Butler, especially good on race and history) and the future (Wells, especially good on class and labor).

MUS 160: First Hearings: What's Going on Here? (Required for, but not limited to, Music majors)

Students will experience and explore diverse musics as leisure, practice, and scholarship. The course will delve into relationships between music and society, social justice, other arts, and other academic subjects. Finally, the class will address the purpose and nature of education and the functions of a liberal arts education in a diverse society.

PHIL 160: The Heart of Wisdom: Compassion and the Good Life
Dr. Andy Wallace and Denny Bozeman-Moss

This learning community is guided by the ancient concern with discovering what it means to live life well. We make two key assumptions. Students will explore different philosophical theories about what living a "good life" means and how caring about the welfare of others intrinsically (compassion, empathy, altruism) is essential to this experience. This learning community combines these assumptions in community-based service by students, which we call the kindness project.

PHIL 165: Law and Technology Confront an Unethical World
Dr. Joshua Glasgow and Dr. John Sullins

This learning community will target students interested in legal, ethical, and socio-political issues. It will contain multiple modules on different topics under that theme, such as technology, war, robotics, discrimination law, and racism to name just a few.

THAR 160: Performance, the Artistic Process, and You - (Required for, but not limited to, Theater and Dance majors)
Christine Cali, Scott Horstein, Doyle Ott

Your journey through your first year in college is like a performance: filled with light and shadows, ritual, transformation, and revelation. This learning community explores the links between your own first-year journey and the power and urgency of live performance. We read scripts, watch dances and plays live and on video, and use targeted projects to create art and performance in an adventurous but safe and non-threatening way (no one is obliged to perform who doesn't want to). Along with way we critically analyze performance with the concepts of Aesthetic Distance and Willing Suspension of Disbelief; Myth, Ritual, and Sacred Space; Tragedy; Comedy; and Social Change. How can we transform others and ourselves through live performance? How can we name and understand performance in our everyday lives?

More information

For more information on the School of Arts and Humanities, please visit their website.