Main Office: Peck Hall 302
Department Chair: Dr. Maria K. Bachman
Telephone: (615) 898-5644
Fax: (615) 898-5098
Advisor | General Information | Summary of Requirements for the Minor
Description of Curriculum | The Formation Of Historical Awareness | Course Lists
Images courtesy of Dr. Michael Neth
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| Faculty Advisor:
Dr. MichaeI J. Neth, Professor of English
Courses which receive the Great Books designation are courses whose instructors have agreed to teach in its entirety at least one pathbreaking, defining text in the discipline in question. In Great Books courses, students will study, discuss, and write about one or more seminal books (novels, plays, scientific works, historical works, philosophical works, etc.) that have been central to shaping and influencing their discipline. Students who successfully complete the requirements for the minor will receive a designation on their transcript noting that they have graduated with a minor in Great Books.
For example, in this program an English major might enroll in a course in sociology enabling him or her to study the works of Robert Merton, Max Weber, or other great figures in sociology. Similarly, a student in medieval history could enroll in an English course focusing on the Great Books of the Middle Ages. The Great Books minor is designed to give students an education that is broad as well as deep, ranging over diverse disciplines at the same time that it enables the student to focus on the major field of his or her choice.
Interested students should contact Dr. Michael Neth at the phone number or e-mail address listed above. The following information lists the formal requirements that must be fulfilled in order to graduate with a degree minor designation in Great Books.
| 1. Summary of Requirements for the Minor
All individual departmental prerequisites apply to Great Books minor courses. No course may be taken for both major and minor credit.
Students who decide to enroll in the Great Books minor should plan ahead: the minor's required course, PHIL 4600, is offered once every three to four semesters, so students should be prepared to take it in whichever semester it is offered.
| 2. Description of curriculum
The Great Books interdisciplinary minor is designed to provide students with a conceptual and historical foundation to help them understand the evolution of ideas within the various disciplines constituting higher learning, and to aid them in appreciating how interconnections between the various fields of knowledge are inextricably embedded in specific historical circumstance. For this reason, each student enrolling in the program will be required to complete, during his or her junior or senior year, one three-hour course focused upon the meaning and value of historical thought. in order to understand the present, we must first know how we arrived where we are. Comprehending the nature of historical knowledge will enable students to establish a political, social, and cultural context for their lives.
| The Formation of Historical Awareness
Philosophy 4600: Philosophy of History
The course traces the nature of historical knowledge and the problems of historical inquiry. Topics covered include the meaning and value of history, the reality of the past, and historical determinism versus human freedom.
For this Interdisciplinary Minor, a student must compile a minimum of eighteen (18) hours, with no more than six (6) hours drawn from courses in any one department, unless he or she surpasses the required eighteen hours necessary for that minor. A student may take no more than three (3) hours credit toward a minor in the same department or discipline in which he or she is taking a major. No course may be counted for both major and minor credit. Students must fulfill all departmental prerequisites for any course within an interdisciplinary minor.
Following is a list of the departments across campus (not only in the College of Liberal Arts) that have agreed to sponsor courses in the proposed minor, and a listing of probable and possible courses. Whether a course will qualify as a Great Books course during a given semester is contingent upon whether it is taught according to the guidelines for Great Books courses set forth at the beginning of this document. Individual faculty members will determine whether they wish to teach these courses as Great Books courses in any particular semester. Courses designated as Great Books courses will be flagged in each semester's Schedule of Courses booklet.