Old Dominion University
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College of Arts and Letters


Institute of Humanities




Core Classes

HUM 601--Introduction to the Humanities
3 Credits
.  As with traditional humanities courses, this class focuses on the enduring questions and ideas of human history, doing so through an interrogation of many of the "great works" that help us entertain such questions and ideas. How this class differs is that the great works are some of the most important books and thinkers of social theory in the second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the new millennium.  We take an interdisciplinary approach to scholars and social thinkers who can help us entertain some of the most fundamental questions, concepts, and/or behaviors that shape human existence. These include: reality, culture, power, truth, knowledge, justice, identity,subjectivity, communication/communion/community, and the technological mediation of life.  Social thinkers encountered include Michele Foucault, Antonio Gramsci, Judith Butler, Clifford Geertz, John Dewey, John Rawls, and others.  Having engaged in sustained debates over these issues, students will then be prepared for the subsequent core class (HUM 602) that will delve into the theories and methods available for the interrogation ofthese questions across disciplinary boundaries.

HUM 602--Theory and Methods in the Humanities
3 credits.  This class instructs students inmany of the major theoretical and methodological approaches for conductingresearch within the humanistic disciplines. In particular, students will become familiar with LiteraryTheory, Critical/Cultural Studies, Historical Methods, Qualitative SocialScientific Approaches, and Visual Studies (art and media), as well as the conduct of research across disciplinary boundaries.  Students will learn the practice and craft of conducting scholarly research, and engage in activities and research projects that demonstrate the mastery of interdisciplinary research skills deploying a variety of methods and approaches.

HUM 694--Interdisciplinarity and the Humanities: Theory and Practice
3 credits. The capstone seminar for non-thesis students. Readings and discussions on the problems and challenges of doing interdisciplinary work in the humanities. In order to bring together differing disciplinary perspectives, the course may be team-taught by instructors from more than one humanities department. Students will be required to complete an integrating paper as the culmination of their academic work leading to the M.A. in Humanities (non-thesis option).

HUM 696--Special Topics in Humanities
1-3 credits
. Appropriate advanced study of small groups on special topics selected under the direction of an instructor. Conferences and papers as appropriate.

HUM 697--Tutorial Work in Humanities
1-3 credits. Independent reading and study on a topic to be selected under the direction of an instructor. Conferences and papers as appropriate.