HMST 220 On Being Human

The first required class for majors in the Integrated Humanistic Studies exploring the question of what it means to be a human being through a review of concepts developed by thinkers and writers throughout history and in a global context on the problem of human nature. Students' build analytical reading skills along with substantial experience in research and writing. Readings include texts in literature, philosophy, history, the sciences, as well as an examination of material productions such as art, architecture, states, and nations.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in HMST 101

HMST 240 Global Perpectives

Explores our contemporary world and world events, especially as they relate to the interests of humanists. This course takes a "non-western" perspective, focusing on politics and history. All readings are by authors, activists and scholars outside the Euro-American nexus. Students are brought up to date on where human development and the progress of societies stand in the 21st century and introduces non-western ways of looking at the contemporary world and to the "world systems theory." The media through which so much of the world is represented and understood are also considered.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in HMST 101

HMST 315-TH Critical Race Theory

Critical race theory scholars have argued that racial inequality is endemic to American society. This course examines how a critical framework that initially emerged from legal studies of structural racial inequity has influenced thinking in history, sociology, and education and how elements of critical race theory have been deployed, and resisted, in public debate. Students will read classic works on race and the law, whiteness, civil rights, colorblindness, and affirmative action and recent interventions attentive to gender, class, and sexuality. Throughout the course we will consider the possibilities and limitations of critical race theory as a lens for understanding current conditions of inequity.

Prerequisite: 3 credits of IH1 and 3 credits of IH2, or HMST 220 or HMST 230

HMST 340 Writing in Humanities & Arts

Writing is important in all Humanistic Studies classes, but this class takes a practical stance. With publication as a goal, we will write for journals, blogs, conferences, and zines. Each student will produce and refine three essays, with the help of workshop-style critiques and selected readings. We will focus our energy in particular on art and cultural criticism, taking as our subjects of inquiry selected works of visual art, film, literature, and performance, as well as certain cultural phenomena. As we read the work of influential critics and write our own essays, we will consider the purpose, value, and potential of criticism, and strive to develop our own unique critical voices.

Prerequisite: one academic course at the 200 level or higher

HMST 346-TH Intro Critical Muslim Studies

An interdisciplinary area of scholarly inquiry in which Islam is not considered a religious, spiritual, or cultural tradition, but rather becomes the focal point of an area of study that explores, through a variety of disciplines and methodologies, how we produce knowledge that is no longer organized by the West/Non-West divide. Students investigate global ways of thinking and being in the world, raises questions about decolonization and postcolonial approaches to understanding the world, and critiques Islamophobia, Euro-centrism, and other forms of Xenophobia. This course introduces materials from a variety of fields, which may include Anthropology, Sociology, Literature, History, Cultural Studies, Critical Studies, and Islamic Studies.

Prerequisite: 3 credits of IH1 and 3 credits of IH2, or HMST 220 or HMST 230

HMST 480 Senior Thesis I

Fall and Spring of the senior year, will be taught by a single instructor who will serve as the mentor for each student’s senior thesis project. The class will also focus on contemporary issues in Humanistic Studies. This will serve as a culmination of work done at the lower levels. The thesis project will begin very early in the fall with a written proposal by each student. Some students will choose research papers; some will choose an integrated project linking their studio work with their academic work. Students should undertake a major project that grows organically out of their three years of experience at MICA as a combined Studio Art + Humanistic Studies major.

Humanistic Studies majors and minors only

HMST 490 Senior Thesis II

Students concentrate on their thesis projects. Class presentations and group critiques take place as work progresses; students work toward a public presentation at the senior show.

Seniors only