University Core Curriculum
Module III: Engaging the World

Humanities and Global Challenges

  • Courses that explore important global issues through the lens of a specific discipline in the humanities. Each course focuses on a particular issue/challenge and course content assists students in understanding key disciplinary knowledge and approaches that provide insight into the issue. Students explore ways to productively think about and address the issue. These courses help students increase their understanding of complex global issues, develop knowledge of the humanities as they relate to global issues, explore approaches to and solutions for global issues, develop skills and confidence in applying knowledge to complex issues, and improve writing and research skills. Global Challenges courses include students from a variety of disciplines, promoting interdisciplinary conversation and understanding. This course requires a major paper or project, as well as a reflective assignment where students are asked to synthesize their overall learning as it relates to the global issue being studied. Community-based learning is encouraged but not required.  

    Sample Sections

    Crossing Borders: Immigration, Migration, Diaspora, and Double-Consciousness

    Faculty: Jennifer Schulz

    Catalyzed by new technologies of communication, information, and war, the global movement of people, goods, and culture has increased exponentially in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century and has given us new perspectives on migration in earlier historical periods.  In this course we will explore immigration and migration through literary texts from the 17th century Puritans to twenty-first century immigrants to the U.S.  from Latin American and the Middle East (and many points in between) as they navigate community, borders, double-consciousness, and expanding conceptions of "home." Further, you will engage in Service Learning throughout the quarter as a way to explore the interplay between the experiences of reading literature and directly engaging with immigrants to the U.S.

    Cultural Heritage and Cultural Exchange

    Faculty: Hazel Hahn

    This course starts with a study of the UNESCO charter on world heritage sites, which represents sites of both tangible and non-tangible heritage for the world.  Then we will study the historical and contemporary conditions of some of these sites in all continents.  At the end of the course, we will go back to the UNESCO charter in light of everything students have learned, to re-examine the global challenges regarding cultural heritage.  Covered topics include the selection criteria for the world heritage sites and procedures of campaigns for the selection of sites, as well as the aftermaths of the selection of the sites.

    Gender and Film

    Faculty: Christopher A.  Paul

    We live in a world filled with media that shape the way we think.  As a course, Gender and Film addresses the challenge of how gender is represented in the media by interrogating various kinds of representations and looking at the myriad ways in which gender can be represented.  Blending tools from communication studies, rhetoric, and other disciplines in the humanities, students will develop their ability to analyze media products and enhance their understanding of gender and sex roles in our global society.

    Produce, Distribution, and Foodways in Classical Greece, Republican Rome, and Now

    Faculty: Marco J.  Zangari

    In this course, you will analyze anxieties around food, food safety, and food production as experienced in the ancient Mediterranean basin.  You will need to think through and with food (and drink) so as to examine the relationships between social systems, economic forces, and cultural ideas.  In the end, you will be able to construct a functioning food system for the ancient world as it relates to our contemporary global challenges surrounding these similar issues.

  • Learning Objectives

    Through the focused study of a global challenge, students gain additional humanities-based knowledge and insight and improve their abilities to use rigorous critical analysis grounded in the Humanities to answer questions and solve problems.

    Students will develop their abilities to reflect on and use relevant knowledge they have learned in other courses across a variety of disciplines.

    This course assists students in becoming effective writers, including writers of high quality academic prose.

    This course helps students learn to engage in persuasive communication in appropriate civic spheres.

    Each section of this course teaches students to deeply understand a major global issue or challenge (primarily from the perspective of a Humanities discipline).

    This course helps students understand relevant cultural dimensions of the global challenges being studied and, when appropriate, helps students develop awareness and skills in cross-cultural engagement.