"I honestly don’t think I could have accomplished so much in my life if it not been for my time spent in the Humanities program. Beyond just the great education I got in those classes, it was so instrumental in teaching me the importance of community when it comes to humanities and the arts, which is something I seek out now as an adult. My biggest take away from the program was that building relationships with others who have similar intellectual and artistic interests, and finding ways to collaborate with and support them, is the best way to expand upon one’s own endeavors.” -- Stefani D, English major, class of 2011 (now a widely published author)
This program explores great texts and thinkers, with a focus on their ongoing relevance to contemporary life. The program consists of four courses taught by award-winning faculty in literature, history, and religion/philosophy, with an emphasis placed on social experience, the nature of humanity and ethics, the modern self, and personal questioning. An additional one-credit fall colloquium brings students together for regular guest lectures and performances, connecting students to intellectual leaders within and outside UVM. Within courses, readings extend from the Classical world of Homer and Plato to modern figures like Virginia Woolf and Elie Wiesel. Assignments focus on common themes, with each class addressing those themes from different disciplinary perspectives, offering a complementary and integrated approach
Established in 1978, the Humanities program was the first integrated residential academic program in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program provides a rich, foundational experience in the liberal arts that benefits students regardless of their major or future career. Students from the program have established careers in law, diplomacy, higher education, medicine, science, ecology, public service, and writing and publishing at all levels.
Past courses have included:
• The Rise of Popular Rule
• Fashioning the Self and Society, from Antiquity to the Renaissance
• Classical Texts and Transformations
• Modern Political Ideas in the Western Tradition
• Religion, Philosophy, and Self-Knowledge
• Literature of the Western Tradition
Admission is by application. For further information, contact:
Professor Mark Usher
Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 courses
Extra Humanities Application Question:
What writer or artist or era are you particularly curious about and would like to explore more completely? What about that writer/artist/era interests you in particular? Why do you think it is important to study that topic?