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Humanities Course and Class Descriptions

Higher Education Articles January 30, 2013

Studying the humanities is a way of examining human culture. Consequently, there is a wide variation in the scope of different humanities courses that encompass several areas such as philosophy, social movements, cultural values, history and art. Coursework in some college-level humanities focuses on Western culture while others address cultures in all parts of the world.

Arts in 20th Century Western Culture Course

In this course, the performing arts of Western culture such as music, literature and art, among others, are examined using an interdisciplinary perspective. The course places emphasis on the manner in which various art forms reflect the cultural, social and aesthetic values of Western society. The course may require one or more cultural events to be attended by students; as for instance, an art show, dance or music performances.

Modern European Humanities Course

Students enrolled in this course study Europe’s historical, philosophical, political, dramatic, literary and artistic output and accomplishments from the end of the age of Enlightenment up to the 20th century. Students are required to read influential and famous works and write essays regarding the nature of influence that it had on contemporary life by this period.

Non-Western Culture Course

Some of the world’s larger cultural groups are introduced in this course. The primary intellectual and artistic accomplishments of Native American, Islamic, South American, Asian and African cultures are addressed in this course. This overview course briefly touches upon performing arts such as literature, music, visual art and philosophy, among others. The course also sheds light on ways they contrast and compare with the performing arts of Western culture.

Western Culture Course

Students are introduced through this overview course to the various developments in the architecture, philosophy, music, literature and art of Western culture. The course covers major eras including Byzantine, Early Renaissance and Medieval. The differences and similarities in ethical and moral values in Western Culture through the ages are addressed in this lecture and class discussion.

World Mythology Course

A reflection of the values and ideals of a culture can be defined as myth. This course studies the folktales, myths and legends of various cultures through the ages as they are depicted in drama, literature and art. Although the course can include myths of any of the world’s cultures, some of the ones more commonly studied are those of Asian, African, Norse, Egyptian, Roman and Greek cultures.

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