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Undergrad Catalog 2010

School of Humanities

Bryce Sullivan, Dean - College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences


The School of Humanities explores the human experience as expressed by the individual and by local and international communities. Through curricular and co-curricular activities, the faculty of the school engages students with the enduring questions of values and the struggle for fulfillment, self-expression, communication, and meaning as reflected in the languages, literature, cultures, and philosophies.


The School of Humanities promotes many ways to know and understand human thought, language, and culture. Because an advanced global civilization must give full value to the great branches of scholarly and cultural activity represented in the humanities, students and faculty engage in the study of specific cultures, languages, ideas, times, and places. Faculty within the school employ innovative pedagogies, technology, research, and scholarship to address the cultural and intellectual questions about what it means to be human.


  1. Students of the Humanities will investigate how languages, ideas, cultural practices, and values shape ways of being human.
  2. Student of the Humanities will explore how texts, languages, and cultures influence and express human self-perceptions and communal responses.
  3. Students of the Humanities will engage in thoughtful ethical reflection through a variety of opportunities for experiential learning.
  4. Students of the Humanities will prepare for professional and educational opportunities in their selected fields of study, as well as begin to become life-long learners.

The School of Humanities consists of three departments:
     Department of English
     Department of Foreign Languages
     Department of Philosophy

The School of Humanities offers many undergraduate academic majors and minors:

  • Chinese (minor)
  • Classics (major and minor)
  • Comparative Philosophy (minor)
  • English (major)
  • English Literature (minor)
  • European Studies (major and minor)
  • French (major and minor)
  • German (major and minor)
  • Interdisciplinary Ethics (minor)
  • Italian (minor)
  • Japanese (minor)
  • Latin (minor)
  • Philosophy (major and minor)
  • Philosophy of Religion (major)
  • Second Language Acquisition (minor)
  • Spanish (major and minor)
  • Writing (minor)

In addition to its major and minor degree programs, the school offers: teacher licensure in English, French, German, Latin and Spanish; the M.A. degree in English, as well as other graduate courses which support the M.Ed. degree offered in the School of Education.

The School of Humanities sponsors the following initiatives for the university community: the World’s Fair; The Belmont Literary Journal; academic lectures; convocation programs; and a variety of writing awards, including the Stacy Awalt Essay Contest and the Ruby Treadway Creative Writing Award. The faculty in the school directs several learning facilities which are important parts of the educational experience of all Belmont students: the Writing Center; the Language Learning Center; the Computer Classroom for Composition; and the Language Houses.

The students of the school participate in many curricular and co-curricular activities including: the national honor societies Phi Sigma Iota (Foreign Languages), Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophy), Sigma Tau Delta (English); student clubs, such as the French Club, the German Club, the Italian Club, the Latin Club, the Spanish Club and the English club; service learning projects; and study abroad.

Humanities Courses (HUM)

HUM 1000. Humanities Seminar (3). Through a variety of topics, students and faculty of the humanities explore the role of language in engaging the fundamental questions of humanity on individual, local, and global levels.
Gen. Ed. Designation: GS (G – Global Studies).

HUM 1400. Culture and Arts of the Medieval World (3).  A general interdisciplinary introduction to the culture and arts of the Middle Ages.
Gen. Ed. Designation: GS (G – Global Studies).

HUM 1500. Asian Humanities: The World of Asia (3). This class will introduce the undergraduate to the exciting world of Asia. The course will deal with both the ancient and modern eras, as it surveys the history, culture, religion, state, and society of India, China, and Japan, approaching the subject in an interdisciplinary way, focused on the humanities.
Gen. Ed. Designation: GS (G – Global Studies).

HUM 1950-4950. Studies Abroad (3-6). Prerequisite: ENG 1100. Interdisciplinary courses in humanistic disciplines.
Gen. Ed. Designation: GS (G – Global Studies).

HUM 1990-4990. Special Studies (1-3). Prerequisite: ENG 110. Interdisciplinary courses in humanistic disciplines.
HUM 2990 Gen. Ed. Designation: GS (G – Global Studies).

HUM 2000. Language and Culture (3). Biologist Lewis Thomas, in his book Lives of a Cell, states that "the gift of language is the single human trait that marks us all genetically." In this course, we will examine what language is, how its various systems, such as grammar and phonetics, work together to enable us to communicate, and why language and culture are so mutually dependent on each other. Students will also be introduced to basic theories of linguistics, language acquisition, and grammar.

HUM 2300. Greek Civilization (3). A survey of the culture and history of Greece from its Mycenaean origins through the Hellinistic period. Topics include literature, art, mythology, history, and philosophy. Cross-listed as CLA 2300. Global Studies

HUM 3100.  French and Francophone Literature and Culture (3). Pre-requisite: ENG 1010.  This course, which may vary by topic at each offering, will study  literatures and cultures of the French-speaking nations of the world.  Texts taught in translation.  Repeatable two times with different topics.

HUM 3500. Topics in Asian Culture (3). Prerequisite: ENG 1100 or its equivalent. This course, which may vary by topic at each offering, will study special topics related to the culture, arts, and philosophies of the countries of Asia, past and present. Repeatable twice with different topics.
Gen. Ed. Designation: GS (G – Global Studies).