Proposal For the Humanities Major
UVM's Humanities Center was established by a resolution of the Board of Trustees on May 14, 1994. The stated goal in the original proposal was for the Center to function as UVM's main institutional site for promoting cross-disciplinary work in the humanities as broadly conceived. The proposal defined such work in three main areas: faculty development / research; curricular offerings; and community outreach. While all three areas are important to the functioning of the Center, the original proposal made it clear that UVM's "strong concerns for undergraduate education" would necessarily "shape ... our Humanities Center around curricular needs." From its inception, the Humanities Center has sponsored a variety of interdisciplinary courses and program offerings, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. To date, however, it has not established the interdisciplinary Humanities Major that was listed in the 1994 proposal as among the Center's key goals. This proposal aims to rectify that oversight by establishing a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities.
As an undergraduate major, Humanities will aim to provide interested undergraduates with new opportunities for learning and personal development by helping them explore more fully the interdependencies of different disciplines of knowledge. It will have as its primary intellectual commitment the balancing of the history of ideas with the recognition of how ideas exist within history (or histories). This commitment will give special attention to multi-disciplinary dialogue among fields devoted to the study of history and culture, philosophy, religion, the arts, languages (especially as related to the cultural situatedness of language and including how languages shape cultural identity as well as artistic, philosophical, and religious expression). Where possible, the program will also encourage students to explore humanistic perspectives on the sciences, medicine, the environment, educational theories and practices, and modes of communication (including new technologies). Participating faculty will be drawn from all the traditional fields of humanities within Arts and Sciences as well as from the CAS Social Sciences and even from outside of CAS (Rubenstein School, CESS, and even the Medical School) where faculty in those departments and programs pursue intellectual work that has relevance to the Humanities.
Students for the major are most likely to be drawn into the program through the Integrated Humanities Program (IHP: a first-year TAP program in CAS) and through the Honors College. Every year approximately 30 students enroll in IHP (and many more who would like to enroll in that program are turned away); every year the Honors College opens up to its first-year students multiple perspectives on knowledge (what it is, how it is produced and disseminated, etc.). In short, UVM regularly brings in a large number of first-year students encouraged to think outside of traditional disciplinary boundaries. The Humanities Major aims to give those students primarily committed to cross-disciplinary exploration of traditional humanities fields the opportunity of doing so within a structured major. With a start date of Fall 2013, it is anticipated that Humanities would have 45-75 majors within five years.
Proposed Description of Major for University Catalogue:
33 credits in approved Humanities courses to include:
A. 9 credits in core disciplines at the introductory level; 3-credits in each of the following areas:
History, Culture, and Society (all History courses, all Classics courses with historical-cultural focus)
Religion and Philosophy (all courses in Religion and Philosophy, all Classics courses with focus on religion or philosophy, all courses in Political Theory)
History of the Arts (all literature courses in World Literature, Romance Languages, German and Russian, and English-excluding courses in writing, literary theory, rhetoric and composition [except those with an explicitly historical focus]-Music history, Art history, Theater history, Film and Television history, all Classics courses with literary focus)
* Of the 9 introductory credits, 3 credits must be in a course with pre-modern focus.
B. at least 21 credits at the level of 100 and above to include:
HUM 101, HUM 102 , HUM 201 (Senior Seminar) or an approved Senior Seminar in a Humanities discipline (see below)
The remaining 12 credits for the major to be drawn from upper-level (100-level and above) humanities offerings in all relevant CAS departments (all core humanities disciplines, language departments [excluding courses in writing and language instruction], fine arts [excluding production courses]; of these 12 credits, majors may take 6 credits in courses in CAS Social Science departments or programs or in departments or programs outside of CAS (e.g. Environmental Thought and Culture Program) where these courses have relevant humanities-related content; to count for major these courses must be approved by the Director of Humanities.
C. Within their total of 33 credits, Humanities majors will complete at least 9 credits in each of two designated primary humanities disciplines (e.g. History / Philosophy; Religion / Classics); in each of these two designated disciplines only 3 credits can be below the 100-level; if HUM 201 is not selected to fulfill the Senior Seminar requirement, the student will take a Senior Seminar in either of the designated disciplines or in another course approved by the Director of Humanities.
In addition: majors must complete either 6 credits of a foreign language at or above the 100-level or complete two foreign languages through the level of 52; these credits do not count toward the 33 credits required for the major.
Last modified September 11 2012 11:53 AM