College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Additional Humanities Course Suggestions (BA)

BA General Education Requirement: 3 Hours

African American Studies | Classics | Environmental Studies | Gender Studies | Philosophy & Religion | Southern Studies


African American Studies

Any AAS course will fulfill this requirement. Below are the two introductory courses.

AAS 201. African American Experience I. This course is a multidisciplinary study of the African American experience, with emphasis on historical, sociological, cultural, economic, and social-psychological issues in the study of African Americans.  The objective is to present a general picture of the African American experience and to reflect the principles, concepts, and ideas of this experience through the voices of African Americans.

AAS 202. African American Experience II.  This course is a survey of the African American experience using the study of culture and the arts as a major focus.  Students will survey the events and social forces that have come to define contemporary African American life.  We will use a social scientific perspective to study major themes that have shaped black culture and characterized the black experience.  We will study a diverse mix of academic and popular texts, from classic works to contemporary additions, autobiographies to ethnographies, essays to documentary film.  Far-reaching topics such as the impact of employment and black family structures, what black hair styles reveal about the complex relationship between African Americans and whites; and how rap music represents both freedom of expression and police repression will all be explored. Finally, we want to discover truths­ about the African-American experience that are best revealed through triangulation.


Classics

Any CLC course will fulfill this requirement. Below are the introductory (100-level) courses.

CLC 101. Introduction to Greek Civilization. This is an introductory survey course on the history, literature, art, architecture, government, and thought of ancient Greece.  The course generally covers Greek civilization from its rise in the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic Age and the death of Alexander the Great.  However, much of the course naturally is grounded in providing a better understanding of the Classical Age and the cultural, political, and artistic achievements of the Athenians.

CLC 102. Introduction to Roman Civilization. In addition to learning about the beginnings of the Roman Empire and the Romans’ empire-building process through art, history, and literature, students will also learn about pre-Roman Italy and the world of the Etruscans.  The everyday life of Romans in Italy and throughout the empire, as well as the lives of the elite, will be investigated.

CLC 103. Women in Antiquity (cross-listed with G ST 103). Over the last 25 years, archaeologists and classicists have realized that women’s lives and experiences in ancient Greece and Rome can be recovered to some extent through a careful reading of ancient literature in translation, and by studying the art, architecture, and culture of ancient Mediterranean.  Considering issues of gender identity in the context of ancient Greece and Rome enables the beginning class not only to appreciate the cultural construction of male and female identity, but also to learn more broadly about the ancient world.

CLC 104. Sports in the Ancient World (cross-listed with ES 104). What are the origins of modern competitive sports?  When and why did ancient Greek men begin to compete in individual competitions?  What did their athletic prowess mean, and how was it rewarded?  Students will explore the world of ancient athletics and discover that the Olympic Games and other Panhellenic competitions were not secular activities but dedicated to Zeus and other gods.  Through the study of ancient Greek and Roman literature in translation and the architecture and art of athletics, they glimpse the complex world of the ancient athlete and his culture context.
CLC 105. From Myth to Film. The films that draw on ancient myth and the mythic figures of ancient history are countless. This course considers how ancient source material is translated to film, and sometimes how filmic adaptations can reveal new ways of thinking about the ancient sources. Expect both selections from ancient authors and the movies themselves to be your texts for this course.

CLC 106. Classical Mythology. This course provides a general introduction to the myths of the Greeks and Romans through ancient literature in translation and art.  From the origins of the cosmos, to the Olympian gods, and the numerous myths of Greek and Roman heroes, the course provides a better understanding of the myths themselves as well as ways these myths have been subsequently used and viewed through the ages.

CLC 107. Ancient Cities. This introductory survey of the urban centers of the ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian and Mediterranean worlds will begin with the earliest known settlements, ca. 7000 B.C., and trace urbanization as far as Imperial Rome and, finally, Constantinople (ca. A.D. 400). Emphasis will be placed on comparing the characteristics of urbanism and the archaeological evidence for urbanization in different cultures of the ancient Mediterranean.


Environmental Studies

Only ENVS 101 will satisfy this requirement.

ENVS 101. Humanities and the Environment. This is an interdisciplinary course designed to introduce students to classics of modern environmental literature, questions of environmental ethics, issues of interaction between humans and their environment, and broad trends in environmental history. It is mandatory for the Environmental Studies minor, and open to other students as well. Students’ personal reflections, analysis, and engagement concerning environmental questions are essential to the success of the course. A representative reading list should include works from among the following: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring; Jared Diamond, Collapse; Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac; Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; Roy Rappaport, Pigs for the Ancestors; Janisse Ray, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood; H.D. Thoreau, Walden.  Plus field trips, library reserve readings, essays, poems, etc., at the discretion of the professor.


Gender Studies

G ST 201, 301, 333, and 350 will fulfill the humanities requirement.  In addition, gender studies courses that are cross-listed with African American studies, classics, English, modern languages, philosophy, or religion courses will also satisfy this requirement.

G ST 201. Women, Gender, and Society. This course is interdisciplinary, drawing from such areas as sociology, history, political science, communications and literature.  Students will examine women’s identities, roles, and statuses, with an accompanying awareness of how “manhood” is socially constructed in different cultures and historical periods.  The class will analyze how markers of one’s identity besides gender, such as race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and ability, includes one’s experiences in culture.  Students will focus on different dimensions of women’s (and men’s) lives, including socialization, images in the media, education, intimate relationships, the workplace, violence against women, and religion.  This class is valuable to two kinds of students: (1) general education students who need a humanities requirement and are interested, in particular, in interdisciplinary approaches; (2) students who are considering or are enrolled in a gender studies minor.

G ST 333. Gender Theory. This course is a survey of gender and feminist theories, primarily those generated out of the women’s movement in the Western world over the last 30 years.  The course highlights the different schools of feminism and analyzes the relevant issues and debates.  Students will read theories that: (a) describe and analyze women’s and minority groups’ oppressions; and (b) provide strategies for social change. Students read these theories within the contexts of different stages of the feminist and other social movements, primarily focusing on the United States.  Students who have had at least one gender studies class will likely be more comfortable with the more challenging readings in this course. This class is also a key course for minors in gender studies. This course has a prerequisite of G ST 201.


Philosophy & Religion

Any philosophy or religion course will fulfill this requirement. Below are the five introductory (100-level) courses.

PHIL 101. Introduction to Philosophy. Philosophy 101 is a general introduction to philosophy.  Instructors choose their own texts and their own approach.  Typically the course is a survey of major philosophical questions, a history of philosophy, and/or the major divisions of the discipline (e.g., ethics, political philosophy).  Here is an example of one approach: “Is belief in God rational? Are rationality and religious faith consistent? What is knowledge, and are we capable of it? What is the relationship of mind to body? What is free will, and do we have it?”

PHIL 102. Introduction to Professional Ethics. Philosophy 102 is a general introduction to major ethical theories and a consideration of how those are best applied to the real world. Instructors choose their own texts and their own approach. Typically the course begins with a broad overview of traditional moral theories, followed by an exploration of how well these theories can help address typical challenges faced by professionals. But the course also looks carefully at the unique kinds of moral dilemmas faced by those in professions such as law, business, medical research, advertising, journalism, and the military.

PHIL 103. Logic: Critical Thinking. Philosophy 103 is a general introduction to logic as an art of critical thinking.  Like the other surveys, instructors choose their own approach and texts.  Students are introduced to the concepts and practice of formal and informal reasoning, deduction and induction.  Typical of the approaches to logic: a study of “various techniques for representing and evaluating arguments and reasoning… learn to recognize common mistakes in reasoning, and try to understand why poor reasoning can seem so convincing.”  This course puts much more emphasis on problem-solving since it is a skills course.  Usually, there is required daily homework as well as periodic tests.

REL 101. Introduction to Religion. Religion 101 is a general introduction to religion and religions across the world.  Similar to PHIL 101, instructors choose their own texts and their own approach.  Typically the course includes a survey of major world religions as well as so-called primal religions such as African indigenous religions and Native American spirituality.  Students may explore the basic beliefs, deities, personalities, life rituals, and holy days of the different religions.  They may assess the commonalities of all religions as well as their differences.

REL 102. Introduction to Asian Religions. This course introduces you to the religious and philosophical traditions that arose in ancient India, China, and Japan. We will study Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Shinto in their historical and cultural contexts to look at the essential beliefs, philosophical ideas, religious practices, and artistic expressions. Themes to be covered are myths and creation, life and death, the self and the divine, humankind and nature, rituals, yoga and meditation practices, self-cultivation, enlightenment and liberation. Without requirements for previous study or personal knowledge of the languages, cultures, and histories of Asia, this course provides a convenient starting point for those who want to explore Asian cultures.

REL 103. Introduction to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Approximately half of the world’s population identifies as a monotheist. This course provides a thematic survey of three prominent monotheistic religions that originated in the Middle East, known collectively as the Abrahamic religions (or traditions)—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will examine their historical origins and development as well as their monotheistic worldview, primarily through the lens of their sacred texts (and later interpretations of these sacred texts). We will also take a look at the rituals, ethics, and sacred space/objects that characterize each of them. We will also examine the leadership and other loci of authority in each religion as well as the impact of these religions on political discourse, including the use of violence to achieve political ends.


Southern Studies

Only S ST 101 and 102 will fulfill this additional Humanities requirement.

S ST 101 and 102. Introduction to Southern Studies I and II. Southern Studies 101 and 102 are both team-taught, interdisciplinary courses that study the South from multiple perspectives: historical, literary, cultural, intellectual, musical, political.  Each semester’s set of instructors typically chooses a theme around which to center the readings; in recent semesters, themes have included Southern manners, the Southern landscape, issues of family life, and change in the recent South.  Course objectives include introducing students to interdisciplinary study and providing them with opportunities to discuss, both orally and in writing, their observations about the South that surrounds them.  S ST 101 is not a prerequisite for S ST 102.