Courses in the Arts and Humanities area of the Common Ground in General Education explore expressions and artifacts of human experience from past and present cultures throughout the world. Courses taken in fulfillment of the Arts and Humanities requirement introduce students to a range of knowledge, analytical frameworks, and critical perspectives, and are intended to contribute to any or all of the following learning outcomes.
Students who complete the Arts and Humanities requirement will demonstrate
- knowledge of origins, varieties, and meanings of the expressions and artifacts of human experience, including (a) original written texts in various literary forms, (b) works of visual art and design, (c) musical compositions, and (d) dramatic performance (live theater, dance, film, video, digital, etc.);
- knowledge of the cultural, intellectual, and historical contexts through which these expressions and artifacts are interpreted;
- an understanding of the modes of symbolic expression and aesthetic and/or literary conventions that are used in these expressions and artifacts;
- the ability to develop arguments, ideas, and opinions about forms of human expression, grounded in rational analysis and in an understanding of and respect for the historical context of expressions and artifacts, and to express these ideas in written and/or oral form;
- the ability to create or reinterpret artistic works, as performer or as critic, through the development of skills of performance or skills of analysis and criticism;
- the ability to explain and assess the changing perspectives on the meanings of arts and humanities traditions;
- the ability to explore one's own identity within prior and current intellectual, aesthetic, and cultural frameworks.
Courses in the Arts and Humanities enable students to understand and interpret expressions and artifacts of human experience in word, image, music, and gesture. In these courses, students investigate the varieties of aesthetic, intellectual, and cultural expression from both contemporary and historical perspectives. They also develop the abilities to think rationally and to construct and assess opinions, ideas, and arguments. Arts and Humanities courses further encourage students to explore their own identity and traditions, so that they may craft their own responses to a changing and complex, modern world.
In the Arts, students explore human expression through (a) writing in various literary forms, (b) visual arts (painting, sculpture, textiles, etc.), (c) musical composition and performance, and (d) dramatic performance (live theater, video and film, dance, etc.). In the Humanities, students explore areas of knowledge and analysis relating to human history, philosophy, and/or culture.
Courses approved in Arts and Humanities (a) investigate and analyze modes of symbolic representation and artistic and/or literary conventions; (b) explore cultural, historical, and intellectual contexts of literature, art, music, and drama; (c) grapple with religious, philosophical, and moral questions; and/or (d) create and/or re-create artistic works culminating in individual or group publication, production, or performance. Courses included in this last category will integrate analytical papers or formal critiques demonstrating students' ability to express opinions and ideas, and to argue rationally about them.
At the discretion of departments, and with permission of the appropriate academic dean, exemptions for approved courses may be earned by satisfactory performance on departmentally approved examinations.