The Humanities Super Seminar
The Humanities Super Seminar ~ taught every spring at Union College ~ is a humanities-centered, multidisciplinary course designed for students interested in seriously cool, critically challenging, and deeply thought-provoking conversations. Best of all, the Seminar remains small in size — open to only 15 students — so as to put into practice the most effective learning environment a quality Liberal Arts education can provide.
Based on a different overarching topic every year, students from all disciplines across campus engage in the reading and analysis of visual and written material, in deeply challenging conversations, in the synthesizing of ideas, and in the creation of a host of different projects, such as podcast interviews, photographic journals, webpage designs, video projects, set designs, sculptures, visual installations, debates, public blogs, and presentations. Each Humanities Super Seminar also includes speakers or workshops. Course syllabi, student blog discussions, and class projects will be showcased every year on this class website.
Learning Outcomes of the Humanities Super Seminar
Students in this course will be exposed to a different team of faculty members (or student leaders) from the arts and humanities and across the college each year. The multi-disciplinary perspectives that these leaders bring to the table will allow students to engage with the course’s yearly topic through a variety of approaches and to hone their critical and creative synthesizing skills. This process will be supported by a conversational and open pedagogical approach that gives students the skills to self-critically examine their position and power in the world at large, their beliefs, values, and possible effects and influence as civilians.
Whether the course topic is about political activism, medicine, or the law, students will engage with a variety of themes through humanities-based lenses concerning value, condition, culture, history, society, ethics and expression. They do so using methods that are critical, analytical, and speculative, and through a learning environment that emphasizes the building of skills in critical literacy, cultural understanding, historical and personal relevance, and effective expression and response. In sum, through multi-disciplinary perspectives, critical questioning, human expression, self-examination, and creative thinking, students of the Humanities Super Seminar will complete the course having developed strong analytic and reflective abilities, synthesizing skills, and creative resolution skills.
This course is directed by Christine Henseler and has been supported by the Dean of Academic Departments & Programs, by a "Shared Humanities" Mellon grant, and an "Ethics Across the Curriculum" grant.