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Course List

New Humanistic Studies classes that will be required for all majors in Studio Art + Humanistic Studies

Freshman level-

HMST 105 introduction to Humanistic Studies

This foundation elective class is intended for students interested in exploring MICA's integrated major in Humanistic Studies and one o MICA's studio art majors - those interested in pursuing an integrated and socially concerned program of study in their college career and beyond. Artist of the 21st century are increasingly multi-disciplinary. They want to be object makers as well as writers and spokespersons for their culture. This class is designed to examine the problems and strategies of working across traditional disciplinary boundaries to address the problems of culture. It also serves as an introduction to Humanistic Studies and the role of the "public intellectual" in today's world. It opens the debate on a wide range of issues - historical study, feminism, globalism, peace/war, contemporary philosophy, ecology, film, politics, and many more. The discussions in this class will grow out of the most important intellectual crises of the 21st century

[note - this is a freshman elective that will be a part of the pool of electives offered by every major so that freshman can explore the department and major. It is not a requirement. Students can choose the Studio Art + Humanistic Studies major without taking this class. We can allow sophomores to register if it does not fill with freshmen]

Sophomore level -

HSMT 220 Sophomore Seminar: On Being Human I

This is the first required class for majors in Studio Art + Humanistic Studies. It explores the question of what is means to be a human being through a review of concepts developed by thinkers and writers throughout history and in a global context on the problem of human nature. The goals of the course will be to build the students' analytical reading skills along with substantial experience in research and writing. Readings will include texts in literature, philosophy, history, the sciences, as well as an examination of material productions such as art, architecture, states, and nations. Humanistic Studies majors are to take this course in conjunction with the spring semester course On Being Human II.

HMST 230 Sophomore Seminar: On Being Human II

This class follows closely on the Fall seminar. The two semesters are actually " serially team taught": that is, two faculty with different approaches or theoretical frameworks will address essentially the same theme - the human experience. They will consider different historical and cultural configurations. For example, a philosopher might be paired with someone from Literature. The two instructors will work together to prepare their syllabi so that the work over the two semesters is complementary. In both semesters, students will begin to consider professional opportunities for graduates in the humanities and arts.

HMST 240 Global Perspectives: History and Politics

A sophomore requirement for majors in Studio Art + Humanistic Studies which explores our contemporary would and world events, especially as they relate to the interests of Humanists. This course takes a "non-western" perspective. All readings are by authors, activists, and scholars outside the Euro-American nexus. Its goal will be to bring students up to date on where human development and the progress of societies stand in the 21st century. This class will introduce students to non-western ways of looking at the contemporary world and to the "world systems theory." It will also consider the media through which so much of the world is represented and understood.

Junior Level -

HMST 320 Humanistic Theory I

This class is the first Junior level requirement for all Studio Art + Humanistic Studies majors. It looks at social, intellectual, and other theories that are brought to bear on the analysis of culture, especially in the context of the last hundred years or so of work. For example, students may explore the tradition of anti-humanism form Nietzsche to Foucault, or theories of race, feminism, gender, sexuality, or theories of semiotics, language, and meaning. Theoretical explorations into community, political, and economic structures are also be important. Some community involvement may also be required, especially in MICA's Community Arts Partnership program. Substantial research and writing will be required.

HMST 330 Humanistic Theory II

This class follows closely on the fall semester of Humanistic Theory. Like the sophomore seminars, these two classes are "Serially team taught" by two different instructors who bring different perspectives and intellectual frameworks to the subjects of the class. This class will require substantial research and writing and may require some community involvement, especially in MICA's Community Arts Partnership. Further work in professional development will be required. Students will also work on making connections with the projects they are doing in the studio side of their integrated major.

HMST 340 Writing in the Humanities and Arts.

Writing is important in all Humanistic Studies classes, but this class takes a practical stance. Students will be asked to write for on-line journals, blogs, discussion forums or student-run professional conferences and journals. They will be introduced to the world of practicing writers, working on areas such as film, book, or art exhibit reviews, and commentarie3s on current issues. Students will make public presentations of their work in readings, conference-style seminars, and other forums. The goal will be to get students involved in the on-going discussion of contemporary issues and to move them into the role of the "public intellectual" who helps his or her community understand the issues of the times.

Senior Level -

HMST 480 Senior Thesis: Issues in Contemporary Humanistic Studies, I

Fall and spring of the senior year, will be taught by a single instructor who will serve as the mentor for each student's enior thesis project. The class will also focus on contemporary issues in Humanistic Studies. This will serve as a culmination of work done at the lower levels. The thesis project will begin very early in the fall with a written proposal by each student. Some students will choose research papers; some will choose an integrated project linking their studio work with their academic work. Students should undertake a major project that grows organically out of their three years of experience at MICA as a combined Studio Art + Humanistic Studies major.


HMST 490 Senior Thesis: Issues in Contemporary Humanistic Studies, II

Students concentrate on their thesis projects. Class presentations and group critiques will take place as work progresses. All students should work toward a public presentation at the senior show. This can be in the form of a Humanities conference or some other venue developed by the class.