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Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities

UnCommon Core | The Humanities beyond the Academy: A Colloquium on Colloquium
A 2013 panel moderated by Hilary Strang, deputy director of the MAPH program at UChicago, discussing Colloquium, a biannual online journal that showcases interdisciplinary writing--poetry as well as multimedia art.

The bachelor of arts degree program in the Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities offers qualified undergraduates the opportunity to shape an interdisciplinary plan of course work centered in, but not necessarily restricted to, study in the humanities.

Students majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities design individual programs in close collaboration with a faculty adviser. While the potential for developing individual B.A. programs in Interdisciplinary Studies is as great as the combined ingenuity, imagination, and interest of each student in consultation with his or her advisers, there are identifiable patterns in the choices of fields and lines of inquiry currently being implemented in the committee. The most prominent of these include the following:

  • Study in philosophy and literature (as six- and four-course fields with either literature or philosophy emphasized) to investigate differences in handling concepts and language in philosophy and literature and/or mutual influence between the two fields.
  • Study in verbal and nonverbal art forms and expressions (art and literature, and music and literature) leading to consideration of the implications of the verbal and nonverbal distinction for interpretation and criticism.
  • Study in the history, philosophy, language, religious expression, and literary and artistic productions of a given culture or of a given historical period within one or more cultures. Examples include American studies, the Renaissance, or Greece (and the Mediterranean) in the preclassical and classical ages.
  • Study in humanistic fields (e.g., literature and philosophy) and in a social science field (e.g., sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science). This option is particularly adapted to a focus on gender studies. Please note, however, that the College offers a major in Gender Studies.
  • Study of modern culture in its various aspects of popular and elite forms of cultural expression.
  • Study in humanistic approaches to biological or physical science. This option is particularly adapted to interest in problems or aspects of intellectual and cultural history (e.g., the impact of Newtonian physics on eighteenth-century European thought) or to study of modern society and science’s role within it (medical ethics being one possible focus among many).
  • Study in human rights in relation to one or two humanistic disciplines such as philosophy, literature, or history

Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities in the College Catalog

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