HUMS courses investigate contemporary societies and those of the past, along with their rich array of cultural products, artifacts, and ideas. They encourage a comparative and reflective approach to the understanding of the past and what it can bring to the constitution of present social relations and cultural outlooks. By engaging with other cultures and civilizations, both ancient and modern, students gain insight into the experiences of others while also obtaining an opportunity to critically examine their own. The courses are intended to prepare students to become active and informed citizens.
CRITERIA FOR HUMS COURSES
Provide a multidisciplinary, or interdisciplinary focus on specific cultures or civilizations, tracing their existence across a significant span of time
Address a common theme or set of analytic questions comparatively
Introduce students to a range of issues concerning the kinds of communities – political, social, moral, and religious – that human beings construct for themselves and the values that inform and define such communities
Encourage a reflective approach to the understanding of the past and what it can bring to the present
While readings change from time to time, the factors that lead to adoption of a text always include historical influence, the presentation of ideas of enduring importance, and the demonstrated ability of a text to provoke productive discussion.