Humanities Disciplines

Humanities Disciplines

Art History 

Art History examines the forms, genesis, styles, expressions, and meanings of art within particular historical and cultural contexts and employs a variety of theories and methods to gain understanding of how, through the forms of painting, sculpture, and architecture, humanity has represented its inner and outer worlds. The Humanities major offers art history courses, including introductory and period surveys, thematic and interdisciplinary courses, and, at the graduate level, courses in theory, method, and advanced interdisciplinary practice.

English Literature

English Literature in the Humanities program offers courses in British, American, and world literatures, approaching texts in relation to their historical contexts; positioning them in relation to other arts such as film, theatre, and painting; and interpreting them through the lenses of current literary theories.

Interdisciplinary Writing

Interdisciplinary Writing is the study of the imagination’s role in storytelling, self-expression, and persuasion as well as how authors illuminate the human experience through literary traditions, terms, and techniques as they appear throughout history in poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction. The Humanities major offers introduction creative writing courses, including honors options, and more specialized courses in fiction, poetry, memoir, fantasy, graphic novels, nature writing, editing, and writing for the web and for magazines; graduate study includes rhetorical theory and advanced creative writing workshops.


Philosophy explores differing ways of knowing (whether through perception, feeling, imagination, action, etc.), alternative views of culture (media driven, capitalist, embedded in the natural world, etc.), the nature of various arts (poetry, painting, film, theater, etc.) and multiple conceptions of self, community and the world. The Humanities major offers philosophy courses that focus on the nature of the body, implied philosophies expressed by literature and other arts, cultural assumptions that shape political and social relations, novel ways of perception and expression, and critical theories used by other Humanities disciplines. 

Studio Art/Visual Art

Studio Art/Visual Art in the humanities is the study of two dimensional observational painting, drawing, color theory, design, self-expression, and how the human mind interprets the natural world through artistic traditions, terms, and techniques as they appear in the visual arts throughout history. The Humanities major offers introductory painting/drawing courses, including upper level courses in painting and figure drawing; undergraduate study includes options in graphic design and public art.