Humanistic Studies

Interdisciplinary Major or Minor
(Bachelor of Arts)

Professors – Gregory Aldrete, David Coury, Jennifer Ham, Derek Jeffreys, E. Nicole Meyer, Cristina Ortiz
Associate Professors – Caroline Boswell (chair), Clifton Ganyard, Stefan Hall, Catherine Henze, Hye-Kyung Kim, J. Vincent Lowery, Christopher Martin, Rebecca Meacham, Lisa Poupart, Charles Rybak, Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz, Heidi Sherman, Brian Sutton, Bryan Vescio, David Voelker
Assistant Professors – Hernan Fernandez-Meardi, JP Leary
Lecturers – Carl Battaglia, Deborah Burden, Dianne Gordon, Kevin Kain, Karla Larson, Linda Toonen, Carol Van Egeren

Humanistic Studies is an interdisciplinary program that will help students develop a greater understanding of what it means to be human through the study of history, literature, philosophy, religion, languages and world civilizations. Humanistic Studies explores some of the central questions in life, such as the meaning of beauty, justice, and the “good life,” as well as the importance of language, culture and artistic expression.

The humanities comprise those fields that study human creations of all sorts, including literary studies, creative writing, linguistics, history, ancient and modern languages, cultural studies and philosophy.

The Humanistic Studies major offers four areas of emphasis:

  • The western cultures emphasis. In this track students will study the development of values and their effect on cultural identity and change in western cultures from prehistory until the present. Students will also study values in other cultures to provide a basis for comparison.
  • The ancient and medieval studies emphasis. In this track students will study the cultures and civilizations of the ancient and medieval worlds through courses in history, literature and philosophy as well as through interdisciplinary courses.
  • The religious studies emphasis. In this track students will have an opportunity to understand how the religions of the world have affected values, human behavior, and human institutions.
  • The American cultures emphasis. In this track students will engage in an interdisciplinary study of the region that became the United States — not only as an expanding nation (after 1776) but also as a site of cultural contact and conflict, with emphasis on the histories, literatures, religions, and other narratives that have shaped American national identities.

The Humanistic Studies minor offers two areas of emphasis:

  • One area emphasizes cultures and values.
  • Another area emphasizes linguistics / teaching English as a second language.

While the factual content of Humanistic Studies courses ranges widely in subject matter, all courses emphasize a distinct set of broadly useful skills. Among these are the ability to express one’s ideas in a clear, organized, well-reasoned, and grammatically correct manner in both speech and writing; to think critically and analyze texts; to make arguments and present them effectively; to understand context (how history and culture shape us); to recognize and appreciate nuance and complexity of meaning; and to understand and appreciate cultural diversity.

A program in Humanistic Studies complements other courses of study. It is a natural accompaniment to majors or minors in History, Philosophy, English, French, German or Spanish, as well as First Nations Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. Humanistic Studies also complements majors and minors in business, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and the fine arts.

In conjunction with other courses of study, a Humanistic Studies major or minor is an excellent preparation for many graduate programs in the humanities and in law, medicine or engineering. The general intellectual skills emphasized in Humanistic Studies courses and the flexibility and versatility they impart help graduates succeed in today’s rapidly changing job market, where specific factual knowledge can quickly become outdated. The two most common career paths of Humanistic Studies majors are in the fields of education and business, but the skills acquired by Humanistic Studies students are applicable to nearly any career.

Students may study abroad or at other campuses in the United States through UW-Green Bay’s participation in international exchange programs and National Student Exchange. Travel courses are another option for obtaining academic credits and completing requirements. For more information, contact the Office of International Education at (920) 465-2190 or see

Language Requirement

All Humanistic Studies majors are expected to fulfill the non-English language requirement by completing one of the following:

  • Complete at least two college-level semesters of a non-English language. Students who have taken French, German or Spanish in high school or who have acquired a knowledge of the language elsewhere may receive credit for that preparation by passing an advanced-level UW-Green Bay course with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Demonstrate the equivalent level of proficiency in a non-English language on a proficiency exam. NOTE: Students seeking to fulfill the language requirement through proficiency testing in French, German, or Spanish should contact the appropriate language coordinator. For skill assessment in other languages, students should contact the chair of Modern Languages.

Area of Emphasis

Students must complete one of the following areas of emphasis:

Area of Emphasis

Students must complete one of the following areas of emphasis:


HUM STUD 101. Foundations of Western Culture I. 3 Credits.

Comprehensive chronological survey of major events, people, and ideas that have influenced the history, literature, art, and culture of Western Civilization. This course covers ancient civilization through the Renaissance.

HUM STUD 102. Foundations of Western Culture II. 3 Credits.

Comprehensive chronological survey of major events, people, and ideas that have influenced the history, literature, art, and culture of Western Civilization. This covers the Renaissance up to the present.

HUM STUD 103. World Civilizations I. 3 Credits.

Chronological survey of major events, people, and ideas that have influenced the history, literature, art, and culture of various world civilizations. This course covers the origins of civilization to the Age of Exploration.

HUM STUD 104. World Civilizations II. 3 Credits.

Chronological survey of major events, people, and ideas that have influenced the history, literature, art and culture of various world civilizations. This course covers the Age of Exploration up to the present.

HUM STUD 160. Introduction to Language. 3 Credits.

Study of language and linguistics, including basic principles and methods in structural linguistics, social and regional variation in language, historical change and introductory study of meaning.

HUM STUD 198. First Year Seminar. 3 Credits.

Reserved for New Incoming Freshman.

HUM STUD 201. Introduction to the Humanities I. 3 Credits.

Major methods and ideas of the western humanities, examined in selected works of literature, philosophy and fine arts, from Classical world through Renaissance.

HUM STUD 202. Introduction to the Humanities II. 3 Credits.

Major methods and ideas of the western humanities, examined in selected works of literature, philosophy and fine arts, from Baroque through the Modern Period.

HUM STUD 213. Ethnic Diversity and Human Values. 3 Credits.

This course will explore some of the most fundamental questions of human values and meaning by studying the rich literature, history, and culture of one or more of the following groups of the United States: African American, American Indian, Asian American, and Latino.

HUM STUD 220. ESL: Listening and Speaking Across Cultures. 3-6 Credits.

Global and discrete listening and speaking skills for ESL students based on content in intercultural communication. Emphasis on note-taking, listening for main ideas and key details, organizing and delivering speeches, and participating effectively in debates and small and large group discussions.
P: International student status or permission of instructor.

HUM STUD 299. Travel Course. 1-4 Credits.

Travel courses are conducted to various parts of the world and are led by one or more faculty members. May be repeated to different locations.
P: cons of instr & prior trip arr & financial deposit.

HUM STUD 318. Topics in Linguistics/TESL. 3 Credits.

Analysis and discussion of topics of central importance in applied linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). Possible topics include:Teaching Grammer to ELLs; Second Language Pragmatics; Second Language Writing; and others.

HUM STUD 319. Second Language Acquisition. 3 Credits.

Overview of issues in second-language acquisition, including linguistic, cognitive, social, and affective factors. Students will examine and think about learner language, read research on learner language, and consider implications for second-language teaching.
Rec: HUM STUD 160.

HUM STUD 320. Second Language Assessment. 3 Credits.

An exploration of policies, procedures, and instruments in assessing English language proficiency. Focus will be on practical assessment strategies and their incorporation into instructional planning.
P: HUM STUD 160 or EDUC 311 or 315.

HUM STUD 321. Language and Society. 3 Credits.

The study of language in relation to society, including social and regional dialects, bilingualism and language contact, speech communities, the ethnography of language, and applications such as language policy and planning.
P: None. REC: HUM STUD 160.

HUM STUD 323. The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). 3 Credits.

Interdisciplinary study of the Hebrew Bible (also called the Old Testament), read and discussed in English.
P: none; REC: jr st.

HUM STUD 324. The New Testament. 3 Credits.

The origins of the Christian tradition as reflected in the primary texts of that tradition in the New Testament: The major divisions of the writings of the New Testament, the life of Jesus as recorded in the gospels, the importance of St. Paul and the apocalyptic writings of St. John.
P: none; REC: jr st.

HUM STUD 326. Non-Western Religions. 3 Credits.

The two major religions of the East, Hinduism and Buddhism: the richness, variety and flexibility of the faith and practice of Hinduism, with its belief in a multiplicity of gods and goddesses; and the various sects and schools of Buddhism--Theravadic, Mayahana, Zen and Tantric.
P: none; REC: jr st.

HUM STUD 327. Religion and the Social Order. 3 Credits.

This course considers sociological, class, and economic analyses of religion. Exploring how these approaches challenge religious belief, it also examines how modern religious thinkers respond to this challenge.
P: jr st; REC: HUM STUD 201 and 202.

HUM STUD 334. Perspectives on Human Values: The Classical World. 3 Credits.

Focuses on the values of the world of classical Greece and Rome as reflected in its texts and fine arts.
P: jr st.

HUM STUD 335. Perspectives on Human Values: The Medieval World. 3 Credits.

Focuses on the history, society, culture and values of the middle ages as reflected in its literature and fine arts.
P: jr st.

HUM STUD 336. Perspectives on Human Values: The Renaissance. 3 Credits.

Explores human values as they appear in texts and fine arts in the 15th and 16th century European Renaissance.
P: jr st.

HUM STUD 337. Perspectives on Human Values: The Age of Reason. 3 Credits.

Immerses in the ideas that fueled the enlightenment era in seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe. Focuses specifically on political turmoil amidst radical thinking, the revolution in the conduct of science, and the impact of these changes on the social world.
P: jr st.

HUM STUD 350. Interdisciplinary Study of Great Works. 1-3 Credits.

Interdisciplinary study of one or more works central to the Humanistic tradition. Variable content.
P: jr st.

HUM STUD 351. Interdisciplinary Themes in Humanistic Studies. 3 Credits.

Interdisciplinary examination of a single important theme in the Humanities. Variable content.
P: jr st.

HUM STUD 352. Literatures in Translation. 3 Credits.

A study of selected works of literatures in translation. A variable content course.
P: jr st.

HUM STUD 356. German Culture. 3 Credits.

The culture of the German-speaking world from the earliest periods to the present with a focus on how contemporary Germany has been shaped by issues of history, religion, art, music, philosophy, and commerce.

HUM STUD 357. German Cinema. 3 Credits.

Historical and critical introduction to the work of prominent German filmmakers and to cinematic representations of German culture.

HUM STUD 360. Globalization and Cultural Conflict. 3 Credits.

This course examines the phenomenon of globalization and its impact on cultural identity as well as the conflicts in values and belief-systems that have arisen in its wake. We will explore the notion of a clash of civilizations and cultures with particular emphasis on the supposed clash between the West and the Islamic world.
REC: jr st.

HUM STUD 382. Perspective on Human Values: Romanticism to Modernism. 3 Credits.

Studies the challenge to tradition and reason and the response to that challenge from the development of romanticism in the late 18th century to the flowering of modernism in the early twentieth century.
P: HUM STUD 102 or 202; REC: jr st.

HUM STUD 383. Perspectives on Human Values: The Contemporary World. 3 Credits.

A study of values shaping the contemporary world through reflection on historical, literary, philosophical, artistic, and other cultural products from the Second World War to the present.
P: HUM STUD 102 or 202; REC: jr st.

HUM STUD 384. Perspectives on Human Values in Other Cultures. 3 Credits.

Study of values and worldview of a culture other than those of Western Europe and the United States.
P: none; REC: jr st.

HUM STUD 385. Perspectives on Human Values: First Nations. 3 Credits.

Drawing upon American Indian oral traditions and Elder epistemology, this course will examine the diverse traditional, cultural, spiritual, and political values and world views of American Indian Nations.
P: FNS 225 or 226.

HUM STUD 478. Honors in the Major. 3 Credits.

P: min 3.50 all cses req for major and min gpa 3.75 all UL cses req for major.

HUM STUD 480. Humanities Seminar. 3 Credits.

A capstone seminar for humanities majors, examining basic questions and issues in the humanities. Course will emphasize student participation and a substantial term paper. Topics vary. May be repeated for credit when different topics are covered.
P: Humanistic Studies major.

HUM STUD 497. Internship. 1-12 Credits.

Supervised practical experience in an organization or activity appropriate to a student's career and educational interests. Internships are supervised by faculty members and require periodic student/faculty meetings.
P: jr st.

HUM STUD 498. Independent Study. 1-4 Credits.

Independent study is offered on an individual basis at the student's request and consists of a program of learning activities planned in consultation with a faculty member. A student wishing to study or conduct research in an area not represented in available scheduled courses should develop a preliminary proposal and seek the sponsorship of a faculty member. The student's advisor can direct him or her to instructors with appropriate interests. A written report or equivalent is required for evaluation, and a short title describing the program must be sent early inthe semester to the registrar for entry on the student's transcript.
P: fr or so st with cum gpa > or = 2.50; or jr or sr st with cum gpa > or = 2.00.

HUM STUD 499. Travel Course. 1-6 Credits.

Travel courses are conducted to various parts of the world and are led by one or more faculty members. May be repeated to different locations.
P: cons of instr & prior trip arr & financial deposit.