*the convergence of intellectual fields of study to stimulate new ideas, theories, and modes of thinking
The Program in Interdisciplinary Humanities embodies and embraces all disciplines. Our students – those taking one or two classes as well as those who complete the minor – are trained to see patterns in intellectual history and human creation across disciplines. Students can complete the six course minor with or without a culminating independent study thesis.
Why Interdisciplinary Humanities?
What are “the humanities” and what good can a humanities course do you? Especially if you are pursuing a degree in law, medicine, science, politics or business, how can your career be enhanced by enrolling in humanities courses or by minoring in Interdisciplinary Humanities? Aside from the benefits to your career, how can humanities courses enrich your personal life?
The humanities are those disciplines that study human lives and human issues using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, interpretive, imaginative, and speculative. Humanities courses acknowledge ambiguity and paradox, allowing for differing interpretations and exploring questions which often have no clear cut answers. In contrast, other disciplines use empirical or quantitative approaches that yield more clear-cut data and answers. Humanities courses help us make better sense of our own lives and of our world by introducing us to controversial and profound ideas and questions that cannot be answered with empirical or quantitative data. These courses help us understand and appreciate the experiences of other people and other societies in the past and in the present. With this understanding, we are better able to address personal, political, and spiritual issues that confront us now. Humanities courses enrich our lives by addressing such personal questions as: What is most important in my life? What can I do to make my life better? How can I decide what is ethically or spiritually right for me? How can I address the challenges in my family, my community, my country and my world? How can I make informed decisions about current issues based on my knowledge of other cultures and of the past.
We invite you to read these pages and to meet with one or more of the Interdisciplinary Humanities faculty to discuss your participation. Since the 1970′s, the Program in Interdisciplinary Humanities at Wake Forest has offered undergraduate students a forum for study in coursework that would not normally fall in the jurisdiction of our various departments. The Program is ideal for those whose intellectual interests attract them to the recently approved Interdisciplinary Major, but whose course schedule and trajectory do not allow time for that major. (If you contemplate the full Interdisciplinary Major, visit http://college.wfu.edu/academics/interdisciplinary_major for more information.)