Course Catalog: Undergraduate Department of Humanities and Writing

The degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Marcia Folsom, Chair and Professor
Mary Battenfeld, Associate Professor
Edmund Campos, Assistant Professor
Gregory Cass, Assistant Professor
Gillian Devereux, Instructor
Jama Lazerow, Professor
Jenne Powers, Assistant Professor and Director of the Writing Pro-gram
Joyce Hope Scott, Associate Professor
Swen Voekel, Associate Professor
Scott Votel, Assistant Professor and Director of Composition Programs
Phillip Weiss, Assistant Professor
Andrea Wenz, Instructor

Available Programs of Study:

B.A., Humanities
Minors, History, Humanities, Literature, Philosophy, Writing

B.A./Humanities/ 36-40 credits

Humanities is a multidisciplinary major based in history, literature and philosophy. The major introduces the origin of “humanities” as the study of human experience and culture, and explores its evolving meaning over time. Students in the major focus in one of the three Humanities disciplines as they consider questions of value, identity, and meaning in the histories, literatures, philosophies, religions, and arts of different cultures. An aim of the Humanities major is to develop in students an appreciation not only of their own intellectual heritages but also of their cultural legacies of other peoples. In Humanities courses, students are also encouraged to explore the changing lives of women, people of color, and working people throughout the world.

The Humanities major complements professional preparation for careers working with children and families, and for all careers in which an understanding of the past, analytical skills, and excellent writing are necessary. It provides a lens through which students can view, reflect on and understand human culture and experience. Study in the Humanities provides the intellectual basis for a full, rich life. Internships are available for students who are not pursuing a professional major.

Learning outcomes for the Humanities major:

Students will:

  • Develop the ability to think, write, and speak thoughtfully about the worldviews of people in the past and present, in various cultures, and in their own lives. Achieve knowledge, sophistication, and insights about the world and its cultures.
  • Develop strong skills as readers of a variety of historical, literary, and/or philosophical texts, with the ability to understand arguments, grasp structure and meaning, recognize aesthetic value, identify hidden assumptions, and see connections among texts.
  • Develop strong skills as analytical writers, with increasing mastery of building an argument, an understanding of how to marshal evidence to support an argument, an ability to write thoughtful and engaging essays of various lengths, and a sense of pride in creating excellent written work.
  • Achieve knowledge of historical periods and texts, knowledge of the past, and understanding of the analytical distinctions between events and how those events are recorded. Achieve skills in research of historical issues, periods, and events, and the ability to write analytically and originally about that research.
  • Achieve knowledge of specific writers and literary genres, acquire knowledge of literary periods and writers from a variety of historical times and from different racial, ethnic, and cultural groups, become sophisticated in reading varieties of prose, drama, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction and writing about these texts with accuracy, insight, and verve.
  • Achieve knowledge of individual philosophers and schools of philosophy, become knowledgeable about the ongoing conversations about reality, value, and systems of thought, with the goal of developing a critically informed worldview.
  • Demonstrate an ability to think logically, engage in dialogues about the materials of history, literature, and/or philosophy, and develop a love of learning and intellectual conversation and work.

Learning outcomes for Writing:

Over the course of ENG 120/121, successful students will develop their writing skills to become clearer, more effective communicators in a variety of different environments (academic, professional, and civic). As writing instructors, our pedagogical approach is informed by two basic assumptions. The first is that the writing is a process that involves pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and sharing. The second is that writing is a necessary part of both encouraging and demonstrating critical thinking.

The design of the composition curriculum encourages students to embrace these attitudes toward writing because they are essential to our students’ development as writers. To that end, our students’ ability to grow as writers depends on their ability to:

Embrace writing as a process that involves pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and sharing

  • Use writing both to engage in critical thinking and to illustrate the product of that critical inquiry for an audience
  • Generate productive questions and seek insightful answers both through formal research and thoughtful reflection
  • Recognize genre conventions as a way to anticipate the needs and expectations of a given audience
  • Craft rhetorically effective, logically cogent, and structurally sound essays that use the conventions of different genres
  • Use library resources (including FLO catalog and online databases) to conduct productive research
  • Demonstrate the literacy skills necessary to pass all portions of the Writing Literacy and Communications Exam.

Requirements 36 credits

HUM 201 Introduction to the Humanities/4 cr

One Global Perspectives Course/4 cr

One Integrated Course/4 cr

(One Humanities or Art History course at the intermediate level/4 cr, for the 40-credit Humanities major without a professional major)

Focus in History, Literature, or Philosophy 16 credits(Including at least one advanced course in the focus.)

HUM 450 Research Seminar in the Humanities/ 4 cr

Global Perspectives Courses. These are courses based in Asian, African, or Latin American cultures.

AST 290 W. African History, Culture and Spirituality/ 4 cr

LIT 226 Literature and History of the Caribbean/ 4 cr

LIT 225 African Literature/ 4 cr

MUS 240 World Music Traditions/ 4 cr

PHL 150 World Religions/ 4 cr

PHL 215 Asian Thought/ 4 cr

PHL 240 Great Ages and Ideas of the Jewish People/ 4 cr

PSG 101 Issues in Globalization/ 4 cr

THE 305 African and Caribbean Theatre/ 4 cr

Integrated Courses. These are courses that integrate at least two disciplines.

AST 160 American Identities/ 4 cr

GEC 252 Trying Socrates/ 4 cr

GEC 258 The Resilient Spirit/ 4 cr

HIS 160 History of the Family/ 4 cr

HIS 210 Global Encounters: The Atlantic World/ 4cr

HUM 210 Russian History through Literature/ 4 cr

LIT 155 The Bible as Literature/ 4 cr

LIT 180 Film and Fiction/ 4 cr

LIT 219 The British Novel of the 19th Century/ 4 cr

LIT 225 African Literature/ 4 cr

LIT 226 Literature and History of the Caribbean/ 4 cr

LIT 240 The English Renaissance/ 4 cr

LIT 262 Shakespeare/ 4 cr

LIT 263 The Epic: Heroes and Monsters/ 4 cr

LIT 270 The American Renaissance/ 4 cr

LIT 288 Studies in the Novel/ 4 cr

LIT 301 Medieval Literature: Epic and Romance/ 4 cr

PHL 240 Great Ages and Ideas of the Jewish People/ 4 cr

THE 238 African American Theater/ 4 cr

Focus 16 credits

Students select a focus in one of the following disciplines: literature, history, or philosophy. At least 4 credits in the focus must be at the advanced level. Courses in the focus cannot be used to meet other requirements in the major.

Humanities Major without a Professional Major (40 credits)

Students who choose to major in the Humanities without a professional major follow the requirements for the 36-credit major as listed above and must also complete one additional course in the focus at the intermediate or advanced level.

Minor/Writing/16 credits

The minor in Writing is open to all students looking to complement their primary field of study. Students in the program may choose courses from a variety of departments and disciplines in both creative and professional writing. These courses may count for the minor after students have completed English 121 and the Wheelock Literacy and Communication Exam (WLCE).

Course Requirements: three courses (12 credits), from the following list, one of which must have an ENG designation, and the Writing Capstone (4 credits).

ENG 130 Introduction to Creative Writing/4 cr

ENG 220 Writing as Social Action/4 cr

ENG 201 Creative Nonfiction/4 cr

ENG 225 Personal Voice in Professional Writing/4 cr

ENG 230 Poetry in Practice/4 cr

LIT 150 Introduction to the Short Story/4 cr

COM 425 Storytelling in the Digital Age/4 cr

GEC 245 Telling Tales through Performance and Writing/4 cr

THE 123 Public Speaking/4 cr

THE 248 Playwriting/4 cr

ENG 401 Writing Minor Capstone/4 cr

Minor/Humanities/16 credits

History Minor

Four courses with HIS designation

One of the four courses must be “Advanced”

HUM 201 may be counted in the Minor

Literature Minor

Four courses with LIT designation

One of the four courses must be “Advanced”

HUM 201 may be counted in the Minor

Philosophy Minor

Four courses with PHL designation

One of the four courses must be “Advanced”

HUM 201 may be counted in the Minor

Humanities Minor

Four courses with HIS, LIT, or PHL designation or other relevant courses to be worked out with a faculty advisor.

An individualized Minor in the Humanities may be worked out with a Humanities faculty member and approved by the Chair of Humanities for students wishing to pursue a particular interest; e.g. African-American studies and race in America; or medieval and renaissance studies; or study of ancient cultures; or women’s studies and feminism.

HUM 201 is required for the Humanities Minor.

One of the four courses must be “Advanced”

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