In addition to the institutional and degree level learning outcomes objectives, the Master of Arts in Humanities also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. With reference to each of the respective areas of humanities, graduates in this degree program will be able to:
Research, Thinking, and Writing
- Critically analyze literary works for their contribution to the body of human knowledge.
- Articulate written positions on ideas that stem from the great works of human thought.
- Apply classical logic to historical and contemporary issues of human behavior, society, and civilization.
Advanced Knowledge of the Great Works
- Examine the human experience from multidimensional perspectives from antiquity to modern times through examination of the leading authors and works of each age.
- Analyze the origins and implications of the concept of individualism as it applies in concepts of tradition, power, society, and culture.
- Use advanced science and social science knowledge, methods, and logic to inform and influence scientific and/or social processes and structures.
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Humanities: Research, Study and Use
This is the first course in the graduate humanities program. It is designed to introduce the student to the theory, concept, and general approach to a program of study centered on civilization’s great works, authors, and ideas. Course topics include how to approach study of the great works, authors, and ideas; a philosophy grounded in the classical/liberal tradition; and the university and curricular concepts centered on the great ideas. Students are expected to use this course to orient themselves for the remainder of the graduate humanities curriculum, prepare for a life of focused and purposeful study based on fundamental concepts and a particular modus of thought and reflection, and apply themselves within a general framework of knowledge acquisition and application. Readings for this course include Adler and Van Doren's How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading.
The Ancient World
This course acquaints students with the Hebrew Scriptures and the world of the ancient Greeks. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and other peoples to whom the Hebrews and Greeks are indebted are also considered. Among the topics to which the course attends are the human experience of the divine, man's struggle with human and natural forces, warfare and the meaning of justice, the development of logos as human reason or cognition, and the emergence of science, technology, and artistic experience. Readings for this course include The Epic of Gilgamesh; The Bible; Homer's Odyssey; Thucydides' The Peloponnesian War; Aeschylus' The Oresteia; and Plato's The Republic.
Antiquity and Medieval World
This course addresses the possibility of the existence of a proper way or path through life. The course topics address works from history’s most esteemed authors. Included among the topics are Aristotle, seminal works of art and literature from the Far and Middle East, the Hellenistic world, and the Roman Empire. Religious issues of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity are covered in depth. Readings for this course include: Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics; Confucius' Analects; Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching; The Bhagavad Gita; Epictetus' The Encheridion; Virgil's Aeneid; The Bible; and Dante's Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradisio.
This course provides an overview of works of the Renaissance, and offers a detailed study of its major thinkers. Issues include the birth of rationalism, individualism, skepticism, and secularism. Questions address the problem of what the knower knows, the war between intellectual tradition and change, and the dominance of the sphere of science. Readings for this course include: Petrarch's Selections from the Canzoniere and Other Works; Machiavelli's The Prince; Francois Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel; Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's Don Quixote; Shakespeare's King Lear; Michael de Montaigne's Selections from the Essays; John Donne's Selected Poems; Rene Descartes' Discourse on Method, and his Meditations; and John Milton's Paradise Lost.
Enlightenment and the Modern World
This course focuses on the culmination of Enlightenment principles as they develop in the New World and into the 19th Century. Readings for this course include Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, Song of Myself, and There Was a Child Went Forth; Friedrich Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil; Fyodor Dostoesvsky's Crime and Punishment; and Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Evolution of Life and Intelligence
This course is a study of issues related to genetics, the human nervous system, and artificial intelligence. Course topics include computers, computation, and its limitations; natural and machine intelligence; and the ethical responsibility of the scientist, the politician, the philosopher, and the artist as they relate to emerging issues. Philosophical, ethical, and scientific points of view will be discussed. Readings for this course include selected works of Mary Shelley, Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Paul Churchland, and Edwin O. Wilson, among others.
The 19th Century: Romantic and Industrial Revolutions
In this course students will explore diverse representations of nineteenth century literature. Students will seek to critically identify and analyze literary meanings from interdisciplinary perspectives. They will question how the works discussed reflect and impact a range of cultural issues in the nineteenth century-- a time of radical social change. Through the lens of literature students will look at social upheaval in terms of national identities, urbanization, science, music, class, popular culture, gender, industry and, in the U.S, slavery.
History and Popular Culture
This course explores the history of expressive and material cultures around the world, with emphasis on industrialized nations. Topics include aesthetics, social identification, and production, consumption, and reception of cultural forms. Using literature, films, pictures, and music, students study theories of popular culture and aesthetic hierarchy; explicate historical contexts of artistic movements; discuss cultural imperialism; address problems of cultural appropriation, creativity, and identity; and examine cultural expressions of social difference and deviance. Topics also include the social history of culture in the age of mass society, including popular arts and the culture of consumption.
Cultural History of Technology
This course examines the relationships among technology, culture, and politics in a variety of social and historical settings ranging from 19th century factories to 21st century techno dance floors. Students focus on three questions: What cultural effects and risks follow from treating biology as technology? How have computers and information technologies changed the ways we think about ourselves? How are politics built into the infrastructures within which we live? The cross-cutting themes address whether or not technologies facilitate and undermine inequality, and if resulting changes in technology produce a better world.
History of Science
This seminar explores past and recent historiographical approaches within the history of science. Students examine a wide variety of topics primarily from the 17th through the 21st centuries, to include the fields of physical sciences, natural history, and medicine. Emphasis is placed on deciphering various theoretical approaches; the pros and cons of different research questions, subjects, and sources of evidence; and what makes the history of science valuable to our understanding of global change.
History of Religion
This course explores the historical development and central beliefs and practices of each of the major world religions. Students employ a multi-disciplinary approach to religious study (e.g., the use of literary criticism, anthropology, psychology, phenomenology and other tools) to examine the importance of religious thought and expression within each religion. The scope of the course is international, and each religious movement is approached from both a chronological and geographical perspective.
Evolution of Earth and Universe
This course provides study of the logic and methods of science in relation to the development of the universe. It addresses the path by which scientific description of the universe has been made possible. It covers the origin of the universe, the nature of reality, and the relationship between observer and nature. Course topics include cosmology and the future of the human race. Readings for this course include Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time and other emerging relevant contemporary documents.
Society, Class and Wealth
This course builds upon the study of distinctive perspectives of the social sciences. Course topics include the development of modern political and social understanding as it relates to the impact of economic issues on societies. Readings for this course include: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality; Max Weber, The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism; Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations; Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Selected Works.
Individuals, Societies, and the Spirit
This course continues the study of the development of the individual in modern society. Readings for this course include: William James, Varieties of Religious Experience; Emile Durkheim, Elementary Forms of Religious Life; Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism; Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents; Erik Erikson, Childhood and Society; Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
This course examines the major historical movements and cultural expressions, relative to Buddhism, from India and Tibet to China and Japan. Course content includes the origin and development of the teachings, rituals, and institutions, of the Buddhist tradition, in South Asia, over the period since the beginning of the common era, to the present day.
This course examines Hindu religious life, within the framework of the historical and thematic contexts, as embedded in the socio-cultural structure of India. Course topics include the disciplines (yogas) of devotion (bhakti), action (karma), knowledge (jnana), ethics, and the major schools of thought. Students will explore some key concepts (such as, dharma, samsara, atman, maya, moksha, artha, monism, and pantheism), along with an attempt to have a firm grasp of the meaning of religious ideas, symbols, and practices, as related to the participants. Also examined are the functional implications of religion, in traditional and contemporary Hindu social life, in India and abroad.
Master's Capstone Seminar in Humanities
This course provides the framework for students to write a thesis, a major research paper, or develop a creative project. Capstone courses are NOT included in the university retake policy. All grades for any capstone attempts will appear on transcript and will be calculated in GPA
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.