HSP Core Courses

SHUM 2750 Introduction to Humanities

SHUM 2750 Introduction to Humanities (rotating topics) 
Fall, Spring. 4 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.

(SP23) SHUM 2750 Introduction to Humanities: Subcultures and Archives (SEM 101)
T/R 9:40 - 10:55am
Marty Cain

Also ENGL 2950

The anarcho-punk musician Pat the Bunny once sang, “A punk rock song won’t ever change the world / but I can tell you about a couple that changed me.” Taking this tension between art and activism as a starting point, this course asks: how have underground and avant-garde artists historically sustained themselves outside of the mainstream? How have they documented their own histories? Is a truly anti-capitalist, “outsider” art or literature possible? We will explore these questions as a way of understanding the methodologies and broader stakes of humanist research. Our course materials will include both scholarly work and primary materials such as zines, modernist little magazines, literatures of the mimeograph revolution, and contemporary small press publications. A particular emphasis will be placed upon archival research, and we will work closely with Cornell’s Rare and Manuscript Collections.

(SP23) SHUM 2750 Introduction to Humanities: Literature and Knowledge (SEM 102) 
T/R 11:25am - 12:40pm 
Krithika Vachali

Also ENGL 2950

What might we find when we treat literature as a form of knowledge production, with its own methods, conventions, and histories? In this class, we will engage with literary texts that make claims about knowledge or knowing across literary genres, from the depiction of knowledge as dangerous in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, to the interrogation of how disciplines like botany produce knowledge in Jamaica Kincaid’s My Garden Book. By studying literary and non-literary modes of knowledge production, we will think through how we come to know concepts like the self, the world, the past and the future, emotion, violence, objectivity, memory, and more. In short, we will explore how we might know through our engagement with literary work and interrogate the potential and necessity of literary knowledge making. Texts for this course will include literary material such as graphic novels, poetry, non-fiction prose, and novels, as well as select works of art, exhibitions, films, and archival materials.  

SHUM 3750 Humanities Scholars Research Methods

(SP23) SHUM 3750 Humanities Scholars Research Methods 
Spring. 4 credits. Limited to 20 students.
M/W 2:45 - 4:00pm

Durba Ghosh

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. 

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.