The minor in Interdisciplinary Humanities explores the enduring centrality of humanity in artistic, literary, and intellectual manifestations from diverse geographical and historical contexts. Courses focus on the intellectual roots of both Western and non-Western civilizations, the emergence of philosophical concepts, and the development of social values and beliefs across time and space.
Reynolda Hall 102
Interdisciplinary Humanities (HMN)
HMN 160. Contemporary Venetian Experience. (1.5 h)
Social, artistic and environmental aspects of life in contemporary Venice. Includes site visits, guest lectures, and interviews with Venetians. Taught only in Venice. Pass/fail.
HMN 170. Contemporary Spanish Experience. (1.5 h)
Social, political, cultural, and environmental factors of life in Spain today. Taught in Salamanca only. Pass/fail only.
HMN 180. Contemporary London Experience. (1.5 h)
Social, political, cultural, and environmental factors of life in London today. Taught only in London. Pass/fail.
HMN 186. Contemporary Chilean Experience. (1.5 h)
Social, political, cultural, and environmental factors of life in Chile today. Pass/fail. Taught in Chile only.
HMN 190. Contemporary Viennese Experience. (1.5 h)
Social, cultural, and environmental factors of life in contemporary Vienna. Includes site visits, guest lectures and interviews with Viennese. Taught only in Vienna. Pass/Fail only.
HMN 200. Introduction to Humanities: Themes in Literature, Culture, and Film. (3 h)
An introduction through literature and film to the history, principles, and concepts of the Humanities, using as its framework an examination of such topics as dystopia and utopia, the influence of Classical principles on contemporary Western cultures, social justice and human rights in literature and film, and other topics central to the humanities. Literary and film analysis will explore how cultural values and beliefs are expressed in media and writing, as well as how these beliefs are manifested in popular culture. The course will include creative writing exercises that explore various literary tropes and humanistic themes. (D)
HMN 211. Dialogues with Antiquity. (3 h)
Introduction to key ideas and concepts from ancient cultures and their legacies in medieval, modern, and contemporary societies through an interdisciplinary lens. Topics vary with the instructor. (D)
HMN 212. Reading the Modern World. (3 h)
Analyzes pivotal moments in modern and contemporary world history through artistic, literary, and cultural manifestations. Course topics vary with the instructor and may include the rise of nationalism and western democracy, the development of European colonialism, and the social, political, and religious causes of international conflicts from world wars to terrorism. (D)
HMN 213. Studies in European Literature. (3 h)
Texts studied are by such authors as Dante, Montaigne, Cervantes, Goethe, Dostoevsky, and Camus. (D)
HMN 219. Introduction to Japanese Literature. (3 h)
Explores Japanese literature of the modern and contemporary periods. The course examines ways in which literature reveals underlying Japanese values and provides commentary on social, cultural, class, sexuality and gender-based tensions in Japanese society. Course topics include narratives of Japanese cultural and historical development and tropes of modernity in film, art, and culture. (CD, D)
HMN 220. Historical Perspectives on the Humanities. (3 h)
Introduction to the concepts and methodology of the curriculum inspiring the Pro Humanitate motto. Investigation of the historical development of the humanities as an academic field founded in the principles of the liberal arts and of its relationship to theology, natural science, and social science.
HMN 223. African and Caribbean Literature. (3 h)
Examines works by writers from Africa and the Caribbean to investigate the intersection of history and personal history, and the role of race, class, and gender in the construction of cultural identity in the colonial and the postcolonial context. (CD,D)
HMN 225. Literature, Travel, and Discovery. (3 h)
Explores various works, primarily in translation, from Homer to the present that focuses on the relationship between travel and discovery, especially as travel establishes the ongoing connection between the sacred and the profane for both guest and host.
HMN 226. Interdisciplinary Approaches to Contemporary Fiction. (3 h)
Examines the formal and thematic developments of the short story and the novel, focusing on fiction’s engagement with history, culture, and society from a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective. (CD, D)
HMN 227. Engaging the Humanities: Social Justice and Equity in Communities. (3 h)
This course articulates and experiments with frameworks in the Humanities for critically and compassionately engaging pressing social concerns. Course activities include learning to ethically enter into communities, to remain accountable, and to imagine a more equitable society. Readings from contemporary social justice, ethics and literary scholars, in addition to case studies, will provide an introduction to approaches to navigating social contexts and collaborating with community partners. (CD)
HMN 228. Viennese Culture 1860-1914. (3 h)
A study of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Vienna as reflected in the matrix of the city's civic and artistic life. Offered in Vienna.
HMN 232. Italy in Literature. (3 h)
Readings and discussions in fictions, drama, and poetry that highlight trends and genres in Italian literature from the Middle Ages through contemporary times, and/or literature that features Italy as seen through the eyes of foreigners. Taught only in Venice.
HMN 262. Racism, Heterosexism, and Religious Intolerance. (3 h)
A comparative cultural examination through fiction and non-fiction sources of the initiation, maintenance, and treatment of prejudice, with emphasis on American society from the Jim Crow era to the present.
HMN 272. Literature and Ethics. (3 h)
Exploration of the possibility of applying ethical frameworks to literature and the challenges raised in fields including the health humanities and bioethics that can challenge literary analysis. The course will explore ethics through prose fiction and nonfiction, poetry, drama, and other writing. Representative authors may include Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Austen, Browning, Dostoevsky, Silone, Nabokov, Miller and Ishiguro. (CD, D)
HMN 290. The Humanities through Film, Literature and Media. (3 h)
Using film, literature and media genres as tropes for analysis, an exploration of new and innovative approaches to the humanities in the late 20th and early 21st century including public humanities, digital humanities, and environmental humanities and examining cultural studies, interdisciplinary studies, and gender and sexuality studies as approaches for investigating social justice, environmental justice, and social action. (CD)
HMN 291. The Humanities and History: Intersections of Public History and the Public Humanities. (3 h)
Exploration of approaches to public engagement developed in humanities disciplines and an examination of contributions of disciplines in the humanities and the liberal arts to civic discourse and to public engagement. The course includes design and implementation of a local public humanities project.
HMN 292. Environmentalism, the Humanities, and Gender. (3 h)
Survey of the global spread of Environmentalism, with an emphasis on its evolution as a disciplinary field that includes eco-feminism and feminist perspectives on the environment. Topics include the investigation of women's roles in environmental history and the construction of global environmental narratives. Also listed as WGS 309.
HMN 294. Digital Approaches in the Humanities. (1.5, 3 h)
An introduction to the concepts and tools of the digital humanities. Projects in the digital humanities include exercises that employ the use of these tools to examine data and narratives of the humanities, including disciplinary approaches in literature, public history, women's, gender, and sexuality studies, and media studies.
HMN 295. Social Entrepreneurship and the Humanities: Innovation, Public Engagement, and Social Change. (3 h)
Introduction to the role played by the humanities in social entrepreneurship, exploring the premise that norms can be developed for the application of the humanities, and that the knowledge derived in this process can empower and be a tool in community-based engagement and social change. Course includes a social entrepreneurial project in the local community. Also listed as ENT 321.
HMN 365. Humanity and Nature. (1.5, 3 h)
Examines the relationships between different social groups and nature from a variety of perspectives: philosophical, scientific, religious, political, legal, and aesthetic with a focus on how various humanistic perspectives articulate a sustainable and viable relationship with nature. The class engages religious, classical, and philosophical texts; visual art; discussions of ecology and human responsibility.
HMN 370. Medicine and the Humanities. (3 h)
Explores ideas and questions at the intersection of medical science and the humanities. Topics include the expression of disease in literature and art; the ethics of genetics research; the interplay of religion and medicine; the economics of health care; and the interplay between medical research and care and issues of race, gender, sexuality, colonialism, and disability.
HMN 374. Humanities and Law. (3 h)
Examines the common roots of law, philosophy, literature, and politics. Focuses on the interpretative strategies and critical skills that legal professionals, humanists, and artists share.
HMN 375. Urban Design and the Human Experience. (3 h)
A study of the role that urban design and planning play in shaping the urban experience, and the impact of design choices on the evolution of the cities and their possible futures. The course will explore human potential and expression in the built environment, drawing from literary and non-fictional accounts of life in cities. Observations and design exercises in local neighborhood and community spaces will serve as a basis for understanding the role of place in urban culture and its ability to shape the human experience. (CD)
HMN 385. Special Topics. (1-3 h)
Selected themes and approaches to the study of human culture that bridge disciplinary and/or national boundaries. Can be repeated for credit.
HMN 389. Directed Reading and Research. (1.5 h)
A research project in the humanities that pursues a topic studied in one of the courses of the minor and a synthesis of views from a least two traditional disciplines.
HMN 390. Directed Writing. (1.5 h)
Capstone project in the minor. P - HMN 389.
Director José Luis Venegas
Wake Forest Professor of the Humanities Corey D.B. Walker
Professor José Luis Venegas
Associate Professors Eric Ashley Hairston, David P. Phillips
Mellon Assistant Professor William H. Mosley
Assistant Professor Michael K. Lamb
Mellon Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow Rebecca Croog