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Humanities and Western Civilization Program

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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:

Humanities

  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

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Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

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Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Humanities and Western Civilization courses

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An introduction to the humanities as a division of learning and to interdisciplinary study in the humanities. Topics include the history and role of the humanities in a liberal education, perspectives and methods in the humanities, the humanities and human diversity, and interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and interpreting texts. LEC
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An introduction to the humanities as a division of learning and to interdisciplinary study in the humanities. Topics include the history and role of the humanities in a liberal education; perspectives and methods in the humanities; the humanities and human diversity; and interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and interpreting texts. Prerequisite: Membership in the University Honors Program. LEC
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A program of study emphasizing the reading and discussion of some of the influential writings and ideas that have shaped the intellectual and cultural heritage of the Western world. Western Civilization I includes readings from the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods. Prerequisite: Membership in the University Honors Program or permission of department. LEC
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A program of study emphasizing the reading and discussion of some of the influential writings and ideas that have shaped the intellectual and cultural heritage of the Western world. Western Civilization II includes readings from the modern period. Prerequisite: Membership in the University Honors Program or permission of department. LEC
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Introduction to perennial themes that define human experience through reading and discussion of primary texts. Topics may include the nature of humanity; nature and the supernatural; the individual and the state. LEC
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Honors version of HWC 150. Introduction to perennial themes that define human experience through reading and discussion of primary texts. Topics may include the nature of humanity; nature and the supernatural; the individual and the state. Prerequisite: Membership in the University Honors Program, or permission of instructor LEC
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A program of study emphasizing the reading and discussion of some of the influential writings and ideas that have shaped the intellectual and cultural heritage of the Western world. Western Civilization I includes readings from the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods. Prerequisite: Not open to freshmen except members of the University Honors Program. LEC
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A program of study emphasizing the reading and discussion of some of the influential writings and ideas that have shaped the intellectual and cultural heritage of the Western world. Western Civilization II includes readings from the modern period. Prerequisite: Not open to freshmen except members of the University Honors Program. LEC
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A sequel to the two Western Civilization courses which offers the opportunity to examine influential works of literature, philosophy, history, and political thought written since the end of World War II. In keeping with the decline of colonialism and the growth of global and multicultural civilization since 1945, the readings of the course are selected from both Western and non-Western writers. LEC
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An interdisciplinary course, focusing on different topics and drawing on diverse media, cultures, and historical periods. Humanities-based, this course, depending on its topic, may include the arts, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. May be repeated for credit with different topics. LEC
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The course provides historical, cultural, and political overviews of Europe since 1945 with particular emphasis on the contribution of French and Italian culture and society. The course emphasizes Europe's contribution to Western intellectual thought, social movements, arts and literature, and global society. (Same as EURS 302.) LEC
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The study of great books in English translation from antiquity through the fifteenth century from two or more national literatures. LEC
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The study of great books in English translation from the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries from two or more national literatures. LEC
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The study of great books in English translation in the modern period (late nineteenth and twentieth centuries) from two or more national literatures. LEC
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A survey of the art of ancient Greece and Rome (ca. 1000 B.C.E. -500 C.E.). Emphasis on major sites, architecture, sculpture, and painting. Illustrated lectures and discussion; use of the Wilcox Classical Museum. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required. Not open to students who have taken both CLSX 526/HA526 and CLSX 527/HA 537, except with permission of the instructor. (Same as CLSX 317, HA 317.) LEC
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Preparation for senior thesis project required of HWC majors. Introduction to writing strategies, library investigation, and time management skills. Open to HWC majors and others engaged in research and writing at the undergraduate level. Class will proceed by discussion of skills, methods, and examples, and will culminate in a written proposal from each student. LEC
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An introduction to recent cultural theory and interdisciplinary methods used across the humanities and qualitative social sciences. Includes examination of traditional views of the humanities and its implicit cultures along with discussion of new methodologies of cultural analysis. LEC
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An overview of Western Legal education, both in historical and modern contexts. Legal subjects such as constitutional law, contracts, property, the courts and ethics are also studied. Students gain perspective on law as a profession, and the legal environments in which we live. Note: this course does not guarantee admission to law school or constitute entry into the legal profession as a career. It is intended to provide information and help students identify interests in the field of legal study. LEC
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An integrated study of several disciplines such as history, philosophy, art, music, and literature as they relate to the twentieth century in one country, or one historical or aesthetic movement occurring during this time. LEC
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Classical Greek and Roman attitudes to gender and sexuality compared and contrasted with modern nations and behaviors. Attention is paid to literature (dramatic, philosophical, medical, and legal texts) and archaeological evidence (vase painting, sculpture, and domestic architecture). The course may include the following topics: age divisions and rites of passage from childhood to maturity; marriage; conception, birth, and infanticide; the family; love; homoeroticism; property and economics; and sexuality and the law, politics, and religion. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required. (Same as CLSX 374.) LEC
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The study of the evolution of a cultural or literary tradition from the Graeco-Roman world into modern times. The theme of the course will normally vary from semester to semester; topics such as these may be examined: the analysis of a literary genre (e.g. drama, satire, lyric), the transformation of the ancient mythical heritage, the reception of ancient astronomy. Students should consult the Schedule of Classes for the theme of the course in a given semester. With departmental permission, may be repeated for credit as topic varies. (Same as CLSX 350.) LEC
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A study of selected works in literary theory and of selected problems in literary interpretation and comparative literary methodology, designed to examine and apply systematically basic critical principles and approaches. Study of approaches such as feminism, Marxism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies are carried out through discussion and writing. Prerequisite: Completion of the freshman-sophomore English requirement or its equivalent. LEC
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The complete Divine Comedy will be read in English translation, with equal stress on each of its three parts--the Inferno, the Purgatory, and the Paradise. The poem will be explained for the general reader by specialists having a variety of perspectives. (Same as HIST 420.) LEC
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An interdisciplinary seminar on the relations of several of the humanities and the arts. Topics will vary, but the interrelation of the humanities and arts will be the central focus. Not open to freshmen and sophomores; recommended in the junior year. Required of students majoring in humanities. LEC
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A seminar to result in a senior thesis in the student's area of emphasis in the major. Course includes seminar meetings and individual conferences with the instructor for guidance on topic selection, identification of a project director, investigation of resources, and instruction in writing strategies and documentation styles. Project proposal, completed thesis, and oral presentation required. Required of all students majoring in Humanities and Western Civilization. Not open to freshmen and sophomores; recommended in the senior year. Prerequisite: HWC 420 for students in the Humanities emphasis, and in Humanities and Literature emphasis, HWC 430 for students in the Western Civilization emphasis. IND
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An introduction to the literature of encounters between European and non-European civilizations, drawing on both Western and non-Western sources. The course may include European interactions with areas such as the Mediterranean Basin, Sub-saharan Africa, South and East Asia, and the Americas. World areas and historical periods chosen for study will vary from semester to semester according to the interest and field of the instructor. Not open to freshmen. (Same as EURS 430.) Prerequisite: HWC 114 or HWC 204 and HWC 115 or HWC 205. LEC
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Investigation of Muslim migration into Europe and day-to-day interactions of Muslims with other European populations. This is an integrated study of historical, political, religious and economic influences that determine Muslim experience in contemporary European culture. (Same as EURS 435.) LEC
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A study of the role of animals (especially mammals), both wild and domesticated, in defining the nature of human beings and human culture through the disciplines of religious studies, philosophy, history, art and literature. Both western and non-western courses are examined. LEC
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A study of the phenomenon of visions, their expression in various media, and theories of visionary experience from the humanities and social sciences, with a particular emphasis on critically evaluating the relationship between the visionary experience and its expression. (Same as REL 464). LEC
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An examination of how illness and health have been conceptualized, expressed, and explored in Western literature and art, as well as a consideration of issues and health from the perspectives of philosophy and religious studies. (Same as REL 468). LEC
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An interdisciplinary analysis of the historical origins and present currents within American medicine. This is an integrated study of basic historical, political, economic and professional influences that underlie the character and practice of health care in our century. LEC
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Examination of the symbols, images, scriptures, rites and teachings that define gender in various religious traditions. (Same as REL 477.) LEC
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This course introduces students to the basic concepts and ideologies of US Federal Indian policy. It surveys European intellectual trends that were influential in creating policies applied to colonized native peoples. The course explores the origins of such policies, including removals, "civilization programs," the reservation period, the Dawes (Allotment) Act, the New deal, termination, relocation, NAGPRA and tribal rights, in addition to issues surrounding American Indian identity, tribal membership and demographics. This course serves as a foundation for more in- depth study of Federal Indian Law pertinent to the Indigenous peoples of the United States. (Same as ISP 490.) LEC
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Investigation of a subject in fields or on topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses. May be repeated for a total of 6 hours. Does not replace or satisfy specific course requirements for the HWC major. May be counted as part of the total junior-senior credit hours required. LEC
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A study of significant themes, topics, or problems in the humanities. May also relate an issue in the humanities to the social sciences or natural sciences. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies. LEC
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An exploration of major social, political and economic developments post World War II including the rise of the European Union, the integration of Eastern and Western Europe, the growing role of Islam, attitudes towards the United States, and Europe's role in the world economy. Topics may vary based on current events. LEC
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The objective of this course is to provide members of the university community with information that enables them to judge the humanistic, moral, and ethical implications of scientific and technological developments. Formal presentations by guest lecturers, followed by question-and-answer periods, will alternate with panel discussions, symposia, etc., prepared by faculty members drawn from the various departments, schools, and organizational units of K.U. LEC
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This course asks how fiction written in Central Europe engaged and grappled with the totalitarian experience imposed by Nazi and Soviet forms of government. The course focuses on the works by 20th-century Polish, Czech, and Hungarian writers that deal with totalitarianism. (Same as SLAV 514.) LEC
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Studies in one or more national literatures. Discussion and frequent critical papers. Prerequisite: Completion of one junior-senior level course in a language and literature department. LEC
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A survey of the principal modes of Chinese thought from their origins through the imperial period. Not open to students with credit in EALC 132. (Same as EALC 642 and PHIL 506.) Prerequisite: Eastern civilization course or a course in Asian history or a distribution course in philosophy. LEC
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An interdisciplinary study of elements that have contributed to the development of a particular civilization, such as Irish, Scottish, or Scandinavian. LEC
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Students will undertake substantial work in the translation of non-technical writing, e.g., poems, short stories, novels, essays, from any foreign language to English, and examine the practical and theoretical problems encountered in or raised by translation. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of at least third-year foreign language work. LEC
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This course traces the various manifestations of the Devil through Russian and European folklore, myth, theology, culture, and literature. Although the focus is on Russian literature, classic European works are discussed, as they had a powerful impact on the modern Russian conception of the Evil One. Readings in English. (Same as SLAV 566.) LEC
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An examination of conceptions of masculinity from Europe and North America since the eighteenth century. Historical examples illustrate a diverse range of topics, including medicine and the body, emotion and willpower, consumption and beauty, war and fascism, homophobia and sexual orientation, and the interplay of race and class in conceptions of manhood. (Same as WGSS 570.) LEC
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An examination of the role of the human body in the creation of personal and social identities in the West since the sixteenth century. Contemporary theories of embodiment are applied to a variety of historical themes, which may include posture, manners and morality; cleanliness and hygiene; exercise, dieting and body-building; sexuality and personal identity; fashion, make-up and cosmetic surgery; vegetarianism, self-help literature and alternative medicine; tattooing and body modification; and the history of the senses. (Same as WGSS 575.) LEC
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Examination in depth of the historical, social, and artistic growth and development of one major urban center. LEC
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An interdisciplinary study of elements that have contributed to the development of a particular civilization, such as Irish, Scottish, or Scandinavian. LEC
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An intensive examination of the history and theory of masculinities in the Western World since the sixteenth century. Students will become acquainted with some of the key theories of men and masculinities, examine in depth the interplay between manhood and modernity, and develop research projects on a topic negotiated with the instructor. May be repeated if content varies sufficiently. LEC
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An intensive examination of the role of the human body in the creation of personal and social identities in the West since the sixteenth century. Emphasis is on understanding how contemporary theories of embodiment are applied to concrete historical or contemporary problems. May be repeated if course content varies sufficiently. LEC
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An introduction to the content and methods of peace studies. Peace studies is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to the study of war and peace. Building on and integrating the work of various fields of study, the course examines the causes of structural and direct violence within and among societies and the diverse ways in which humans have sought peace from conquest and balance of power to international organizations and nonviolent strategies. LEC
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A study of the changing nature of warfare and the struggle to bring about peace. Topics include pacifism, the "military revolution" that created the first professional armies; the development of diplomatic immunity, truces, and international law; the peace settlements of Westphalia, Utrecht, Vienna, Versailles, San Francisco; the creation of peace movements and peace prizes; the evolution of total war, civil war; and guerrilla warfare involving civilians in the twentieth century; the history of the League of Nations and United Nations; and the rise of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. (Same as HIST 329 and EURS 329.) LEC
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A study of influential proposals for world peace from Erasmus' The Complaint of Peace (1515) to the 1995 Hague Appeal for World Peace. Selected writings by such authors as Erasmus, Hugo Grotius, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, Henry Thoreau, Henri Dunant, Berthe von Suttner, Woodrow Wilson, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr., are considered. (Same as EURS 550.) Prerequisite: HWC 204 or HWC 205. LEC
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This course offers specialized or interdisciplinary perspectives on historical, political, social, and religious movements, institutions, societies, agencies, or texts dealing with conflict resolution. May be repeated for credit with different topics. LEC
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This course reviews the history, aims and methodology of peace education. Topics include examination of the roots and causes of social violence; educational initiatives that seek to reduce structural and direct violence; and teaching methodologies in the field of multicultural education and pedagogy. LEC
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Practicum or research under the supervision of a faculty member and with the approval of the Peace and Conflict Studies Minor. Individual conferences, reports, and papers, and, in the case of practicum, supervised experience with an approved organization or agency. Prerequisite: Completion of three core courses in the minor. IND
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Examines in literature, art, and film from about 1800 to the present, both sides of the ongoing debate surrounding the idea that all human persons possess inalienable rights because all persons possess intrinsic value as persons, value independent of race, gender, caste or class, wealth, age, sexual preference, etc. Anti- and pro-rights proponents are paired and studied with equal care. (Same as EURS 565.) LEC
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This capstone seminar provides a sustained and in-depth study of a particular topic in Peace and Conflict Studies, to be chosen by the instructor. Each student is required to carry out a substantive research project to produce a term paper or comparable work. Required for completion of minor. Prerequisite: Students must have completed at least nine hours in the minor before enrolling. LEC
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Research under the supervision of a faculty member and approved for the Peace and Conflict Studies program. Individual conferences, reports, and papers; may be combined with classwork. Open only to graduate students. LEC
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An interdisciplinary study of the historic literature on human conflict and peacemaking and the methods used to analyze and interpret the literature. Peace literature encompasses a range of genres that include religious teachings, philosophical essays, political proposals, treaties and conventions, fiction, poetry, and drama. Approaches to solutions to human conflict cover a spectrum including political revolution, diplomacy and treaties, international law and organizations, and world government. Students produce a substantial graduate-level research project. PCS 801 is required for the Graduate Certificate in Peace & Conflict Studies, and to be taken as early as possible in the students program of study. Open only to graduate students. LEC
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The capstone of the Graduate Certificate program, providing a sustained and in-depth study of a particular topic in Peace & Conflict Studies, to be chosen by the instructor. The members of the seminar have the option of doing a research project or supervised practicum resulting in a substantial paper that integrates their work in the program. Required for the Graduate Certificate and open only to graduate students. Prerequisite: At least six hours of course work toward the Graduate Certificate including PCS 801. SEM
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