The Humanities Program offers general-education courses to students across the University. It also provides the opportunity for motivated and independently minded students to craft an individualized major with a humanistic orientation. Students working toward a Humanities major, which is designed in consultation with the program advisor, pursue their interests in a systematic and coherent way across several disciplines.

  • Humanities Program Courses

    A series of introductory surveys taught by senior faculty (HUM 101, 102, 103) introduce students to major approaches and issues in the study of the humanities. These courses are directed towards first and second-year students and may be taken independently or as a sequence. More specialized courses at both the lower and upper-division levels address specific themes in the humanities, for example: the nature of the city; the relationship between science and culture; and food as a mode of human expression. These courses meet Group I, Arts and Letters, requirements.

    Humanities 101, 102, 103, Introduction to the Humanities courses follow a chronological order. Humanities 101: the classical world; Humanities 102: the Medieval and Renaissance period; and Humanities 103: the modern world. These courses are offered every fall, winter, and spring, respectively. The specific regions and periods covered reflect the instructors’ interests and expertise.

    The Humanities Program also offers upper-division introductory courses with a more limited chronological span. HUM 300 is a topical course, offered two or three times each year. Past topics have included: Venice, Dresden and European Culture; Music, Art and Culture in the Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern Period; and Theater and Culture. For 2013-2014 topics, see Current Courses.

A series of more specializes courses also meets Group I, Arts and Letters, requirements. Such courses are taught at least once a year. For specific information on material covered in each course, consult Current Courses.

  • HUM 245: Food, Art, and Literature

    Examines food as a mode of human expression, as well as its representation in art and literature. Time periods and regions covered reflect the instructor’s interest and expertise.

  • HUM 260: Postwar European Culture

    Addresses the broad history of Europe since 1945 in the light of humanistic themes and texts.

  • HUM 298: Medical Humanities

    Explores questions about health, well-being, medicine and social inequality in the 21st c.

  • HUM 300: Themes in the Humanities

    Interdisciplinary and multimedia introduction to the study of the humanities. Analysis of such themes as tragedy in music, literature, and art.

  • HUM 315: Introduction to African Studies

    Surveys the cultural, social, political and economic diversity of historical and contemporary Africa, with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa.

  • HUM 354: The City

    Examines the urban experience in reference to law, culture, and systems of belief. Cities covered reflect the instructor’s interest and expertise.

  • HUM 355: The American City

    Covering culture and civic life in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

  • HUM 361: Science and Culture

    Explores the subject, practice, and social place of science in the ancient world. This course is also taught as PHYS 361 or as HIST 361. It is recommended that students enrolling in this course first take HUM 101 or HIST 101.


The Humanities Program is located on the third floor of Susan Campbell Hall (SC), just north of Gerlinger Hall and behind the Schnitzer Museum of Art.


Contact Us

Mary Jaeger
Professor of Classics, Humanities Program Director 2013-
335 Susan Campbell Hall (SC)

Humanities Office

Carol Kleinheksel
Office Manager
311 Susan Campbell Hall (SC)

Previous Directors of the Humanities Program

Ina Asim, Associate Professor, History
Humanities Program Director 2011-2013

John Nicols, Professor Emeritus of History and Classics
Humanities Program Director 1990-2011

Participating Faculty 2014-2015

Ina Asim, History
Greg Bothun, Physics
Yvonne Braun, Women and Gender Studies
Jennifer Burns Bright, English
Matthew Dennis, History
Katya Hokanson, Russian and Comparative Literature
Mary Jaeger, Classics
Jeffrey Librett, German and Scandinavian studies
John Nicols, History and Classics
Gina Psaki, Romance Languages
George Sheridan, History
Elizabeth Reis, Women and Gender Studies
Michael Stern, German and Scandinavian Studies
Mary Wood, English