HSP Core Courses

SHUM 2750 Introduction to Humanities

SHUM 2750 Introduction to Humanities (rotating topics) 
Fall, Spring. 3 credits. Limited to 15 students. 

These seminars offer an introduction to the humanities through the exploration of various historical, cultural, social and political topics. Students will engage with a range of texts and media drawn from the arts, humanities, and/or humanistic social sciences. Guest speakers, including Cornell faculty and Society for the Humanities Fellows, will present from different disciplines and points of view. Students will consider local sites including Cornell special collections and archives. Students enrolled in these seminars will have the opportunity to participate in additional programming related to the Society’s theme and the Humanities Scholars Program for undergraduate humanities research.

(FA24) Topic: Statues and Public Life

M/W 10:10 - 11:25am

Verity Platt

Why do so many societies create statues, and why do they set them up in prominent spaces within their communities? How and why do statues and monuments loom so large in the public imagination? Looking both to the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean and to modern West, this course examines the social, political, religious, and erotic power attributed to statues across diverse periods and contexts together with their cultural framing. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from ancient texts to contemporary public policy documents, we will explore topics including the foundational role of statues for political states, the destruction of statues (from Christian iconoclasm to Confederate monuments), creative forms of engagement, and objects of cult. Course writing assignments experiment with different genres of writing, while drawing from different kinds of historical evidence and research, encouraging close attention to statues relevant to students themselves, including the Cornell cast collection, statues on campus, and those in your own home town.

This course is open to anyone interested in a major of minor in the humanities. You do not need to apply to the Honors Program in order to sign up for this course. If you are considering the Humanities Scholars Program and are also hoping to go abroad for your junior year, then we encourage you to take this course as a sophomore.

SHUM 3750 Humanities Scholars Research Methods

SHUM 3750 Humanities Scholars Research Methods 
Spring. 4 credits. Limited to 20 students.

Also ANTHR 3950, ARTH 3755, ASIAN 3375, NES 3750

This course is a seminar studying the practice, theory, and methodology of humanities research, critical analysis, and communication through writing and oral presentation.  The goal of the seminar is to teach and refine research methods (library research, note taking, organizing material, bibliographies, citation methods, proposals, outlines, etc.) as well as to guide students through the initial stages of a research project of your own design.

We will be studying the work and impact of humanists, who we define very broadly as scholars of literature, history, theory, art, visual studies, film, anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, who are posing big questions about the human condition. By reading and analyzing the scholarship of humanists – critiquing them, engaging their ideas, and perhaps even being inspired by them – we will try to imagine how we might craft our own method and voice as we pose big questions for the humanities.  We hope that you see this course as a journey that helps you to consider how you might do a research project.

This course is open to all students interested in writing a longer research paper, whether for a semester or academic year, and to anyone interested in a major or minor in the humanities. Enrollment preference will be given to students in the Humanities Scholars Program. You do not need to apply to the program in order to sign up for this course, and taking this course does not represent a commitment to write a thesis.  If you are considering the Humanities Scholars Program and are also hoping to go abroad for your junior year, then we encourage you to take this course as a sophomore. 

SHUM 4750 Senior Capstone Seminar

SHUM 4750 Senior Capstone Seminar 
Fall, Spring. 1 credit. Limited to 10 students per section. 

(FA24) Two sections offered:

T 10:10 - 11:00am (Kyhl Stephen)

R 11:15am - 12:05pm (Paulo Lorca)

This 1-credit course is designed to support seniors in the Humanities Scholars Program. Seniors will meet for one hour per week with HSP mentors to work on their capstone projects. The course has three learning goals: creating a cohort of humanities researchers, sharing work in progress, and working collaboratively and in groups. 

HSP Elective Courses

Explore the slate of courses (using the SHUM prefix) that are cross-listed with the Humanities Scholars Program. Humanities Scholars must complete two electives before graduation. This list will be updated continually.