HUSC 2301: The World in the Twenty-First Century. An examination of some of the major currents of contemporary life. Topics such as globalization, development, consumerism and mass society, communication between cultures, religion and secularism, terrorism and violence, modernity and postmodernity. Spring.
HUSC 2311. Introduction to the Social Sciences. The social sciences are the disciplines among the contemporary human sciences that focus on human societies and cultures, in particular institutional structures as they pattern ways of living. Topics treated in this course include basic concepts of the social sciences; research methods; social structure and social power; socialization and identity; class; social institutions (e.g., family, churches, education, healthcare, government and economy); and contemporary social problems (e.g., race and gender discrimination and social stereotyping). Fall.
HUSC 3311: The Arts in Contemporary Cultures. An exploration of the arts in contemporary societies, with focus on topics such as avantgardism, technical innovation and artistic experimentation, the development of mixed media, the technical and aesthetic reorganization of public and private space, the economics of artistic production and consumption, the changing relationship of artist to audience, problems of the relationship of art works to social and natural reality, and the influences of remote cultural traditions.
HUSC 3312: Science, Technology, and Society. A study of the characteristics and growth of the modern sciences, their effects on society and culture, and the emergence of technological civilization. Topics such as the nature of scientific research and the application of sciences, big science vs. little science, the possible limits of technical knowledge and political and economic power, effects on individual and social ways of life, the rise of technicized industry and mass media, the relations between science and religion, ethics in science and technology.
HUSC 3331: Conceptual Foundations of the Human Sciences. An investigation into the historical emergence and durable legacy of the modern disciplines that aim to scientifically understand human societies and cultures. The course will include the reading of authors central to fields like anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and social psychology. Topics such as the significance of the concepts ‘society’ and ‘culture’, debates about the scientific character of social and human sciences, the differentiation of the various fields of the human sciences and their relations to other disciplines, the fundamental interdisciplinarity of the human sciences, and future prospects for the social, behavioral, and human sciences. Fall.
HUSC 3332: Junior Seminar. The Junior Seminar is intended for students who are majoring in Human Sciences (and, with the Chair’s approval, other well prepared and highly motivated students, especially Human Sciences concentrators). The seminar will treat extensively and in depth the design, methods, and conduct of research in the human sciences. Students will play the leading role in conducting sessions by making presentations and engaging in intensive discussions. The seminar will culminate in a proposal for the senior thesis project. Prerequisite: HUSC 3331. Spring.
HUSC 3341. Philosophical Anthropology of the Contemporary World. Since the middle of the twentieth century the human sciences have increasingly been divided between rigorous empirical work and ambitious "grand theory." This course will feature a small number of researchers who have addressed the tension between philosophical and scientific ambitions and striven to understand human being and human existence as a synthesis of the biological, cultural, social, psychological, and spiritual. Spring.
HUSC 4341: Tradition and Innovation. The dynamism and transformative power of Western civilization (and any future global civilization that derives from it) will be unintelligible without recognizing that the modern West is an outgrowth of classic works and institutions and that these works and institutions have produced an ethos encouraging change. The course considers topics such as the nature of history and tradition; the nineteenth-century emergence of historical/historicist philosophies and the subsequent questioning of tradition's value; the interplay of tradition, authority and cultural change; the nature and power of what is classic; differences between traditionalism and tradition; negative and dysfunctional traditions (e.g., racism and anti-Semitism); the role of education and the university in transmitting the past and facilitating the future; the challenges to tradition of science and technology; and the difficulties of achieving a fully integrated life in the face of the specialization and destabilization of human work and activities. Fall.
HUSC 4342: Senior Seminar I. The Senior Seminar is intended for students who are majoring in Human Sciences (and, with the Chair’s approval, other well prepared and highly motivated students, especially Human Sciences concentrators). The seminar will continue the themes, practices, and methods initiated in the HUSC Junior Seminar as students develop their senior research projects by carrying out empirical and theoretical investigation leading to the senior thesis. Students will play the leading role in conducting the sessions by making presentations and engaging in intensive discussions of their research methods and results. The research will culminate in a major paper, the senior thesis, the writing of which will continue into the spring semester. Prerequisite: HUSC 3332. Fall.
HUSC 4142: Senior Thesis. Continuation of Senior Seminar, which is prerequisite. Completion, defense, and formal presentation of the senior thesis. Spring.
Students of the programs in Human Sciences also take courses offered by other departments, as approved in their study plan by the Chair.