For current Graduate Humanities Seminars, see here.

Summer 2014

CULS 610: Seminar in Appalachian Culture (Luke Eric Lassiter); Summer 1 (May 19 – August 11) online T-course with live meetings

Exploration of selected aspects of culture (e.g., art, music, folklore, history, literature), emphasizing regional culture from an interdisciplinary perspective. This course is offered on-line with three live meetings on Tuesday, May 20, 6-9 PM; Tuesday, June 17, 6-9 PM; Tuesday, July 22, 6- 9 PM.

Dr. Luke Eric Lassiter is director of the Graduate Humanities Program and professor of humanities and anthropologyHis latest book, co-authored with Elizabeth Campbell, is Doing Ethnography Today (forthcoming from Wiley Blackwell in the fall).

HUMN 650 – Special Topics – Independent Studies arranged between instructor and student (contact Director to arrange course)

For students who need to conduct independent research and/or reading in a specific topic in the humanities, the Program will offer independent studies in those topics as funds allow. Contact the Director for more information. Examples of Special Topics might include:

* Museum Studies
* Film Criticism
* Studies in Appalachian Music
* Studies in Poetry
* Language and Communication

HUMN 680 – Independent Research Symposium (Luke Eric Lassiter), Arranged

A pro-seminar required of all Humanities degree students who are beginning the thesis or final project. Arranged with the Program Director.

Spring 2014

Spring Semester 2014 Poster

Press Release: Local foundation provides tuition assistance for class on history of Charleston

Tuition Assistance Program for Spring 2014 Semester

CULS 620: Women, Men, and Cultural Change (Luke Eric Lassiter) Wednesday, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

Did you know that some societies name and recognize three or four genders?  Did you know that women and men may have different dialects in some parts of the world, even though they speak the same language? Did you know that in some places men and women can live in altogether separate households throughout their adult lives? Did you know that same-sex marriage is not a modern phenomenon, that in some societies it is actually a very old practice? Learn about this and more in CULS 620: Women, Men and Cultural Change, a course about sexuality, gender, and a process of cultural change between and among women and men that is centuries old.

Dr. Lassiter, director of the Graduate Humanities Program and professor of humanities and anthropology, has authored and edited several books on anthropology and culture change including Invitation to Anthropology and Explorations in Cultural Anthropology.

HIST 600 – SelTp: Glenwood (section 231: 1 hour) and the History of Charleston (section 232: 3 hours) (Billy Joe Peyton), Tuesday, 7:00 – 9:50 p.m. 

This seminar will meet at Glenwood, an iconic 1850s estate that stands in the hills of Charleston’s West Side.  Students will get up close and personal with the past as they utilize elements of the historic Glenwood collection to examine the 150-year development of Charleston from a small 19th century village into a modern 21st century capital city. Sponsored in part by the Historic Glenwood Foundation.

This seminar is split into two sections:

HIST 600-231, Glenwood (1 hour):  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC; APPLY AS NON-DEGREE STUDENT TO MU

HIST 600-232, History of Charleston (3 hours): SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABLE FOR COURSE; APPLY THROUGH HUMANITIES PROGRAM

**CONTACT THE PROGRAM OFFICE FOR DETAILS: 304-746-2022**

Dr. Billy Joe Peyton, associate professor of history at West Virginia State University.  He is the author of Charleston Then and Now, and has researched and written extensively on the history of Charleston and West Virginia

HUMN 650 – Special Topics – Independent Studies arranged between instructor and student (contact Director to arrange course)

For students who need to conduct independent research and/or reading in a specific topic in the humanities, the Program will offer independent studies in those topics as funds allow. Contact the Director for more information. Examples of Special Topics might include:

  • Museum Studies
  • Film Criticism
  • Studies in Appalachian Music
  • Studies in Poetry
  • Language and Communication

HUMN 680 – Independent Research Symposium (Luke Eric Lassiter), Arranged

A pro-seminar required of all Humanities degree students who are beginning the thesis or final project. Arranged with the Program Director.

LITS 600 – SelTp: Appalachian Literature: Exploring the Soul of a Region (Cat Pleska), Monday, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

This seminar will engage selected literature by Appalachian writers to explore the region’s history and culture. Some authors covered will include Denise Giardina, Charles Frazier, James Still, Scott McClanahan and several others.  Readings will examine the past and present public perception of Appalachia, as well as noting what comprises the soul of this vast region.

Ms. Pleska teaches writing at West Virginia State University, where she is also the Director of the WVSU Writing Center. She earned her MFA in creative nonfiction writing at Goucher College in Baltimore and is an essayist for West Virginia Public Radio. She also is the Editor-in-Chief of Mountain State Press and Senior Editor of Fed from the Blade: Tales and Poems from the Mountains.

Fall 2013

CULS 540 – World Religions (Luke Eric Lassiter), T, 4:30 – 6:50  p.m.

Study of several religions as they developed within their individual times and cultures.

Dr. Lassiter, director of the Graduate Humanities Program and professor of humanities and anthropology, has written extensively in several books and essays on the relationship of encounter, experience and story, especially as they relate to issues of belief and worldview, language and culture, memory and identity.

CULS 600 – Directed Reading Seminar – SpTp: Explorations in Language & Identity (Robin Conley), Arranged

SEMINAR PARTICIPANT LIMIT: 3. “Directed Readings” is a new kind of seminar for Fall 2013. These seminars will be limited to 3 students who will read 3–5 books over the course of the given semester along with a faculty expert in a particular area. Faculty and students will arrange times to discuss the books

This seminar will draw from literary works including memoir, ethnography, and autobiography to explore the connections between language and identity. Working from a social science perspective, we will investigate how language in different cultural and historical contexts helps to construct a variety of identities in the U.S. and abroad.

Robin Conley is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Marshall University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research and teaching focus on legal, linguistic, and cultural anthropology; gender and language; and violence and empathy in democratic institutions.

HIST 585 – Coal Mine Life, Work & Culture (Michael Workman), Th, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

This course provides students with a better understanding of the continuing economic, political, environmental and cultural impact which the extraction of coal has had on West Virginia.

Michael Workman worked in the underground coal mines of southern West Virginia before earning degrees in political science and his doctorate in history at WVU.  He has written and published on coal and labor history, and currently is Assistant Professor of History at WVSU.

HUMN 601 – Literary Theory & Criticism (Ann McConnell), M, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

Core course introduces modern critical approaches, concepts and methods of research and scholarship in the broad field of literature. Open to non-degree students.

Dr. Anne McConnell teaches world literature, critical theory, and writing in the English Department at West Virginia State University. She recently published Approaching Disappearance at Dalkey Archive Press; the book explores the work of Maurice Blanchot, Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, and Nathalie Sarraute.

HUMN 604 – Expository Writing for Research (Cat Pleska), T, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

This core writing course develops proficiency in writing for research. Open to non-degree students.

Cat Pleska teaches writing at West Virginia State University, where she is also the Director of the WVSU Writing Center. She earned her MFA in creative nonfiction writing at Goucher College in Baltimore and is an essayist for West Virginia Public Radio.

HUMN 650 – Special Topics – Independent Studies arranged between instructor and student (contact Director to arrange course)

For students who need to conduct independent research and/or reading in a specific topic in the humanities, the Program will offer independent studies in those topics as funds allow. Contact the Director for more information. Examples of Special Topics might include:

  • Museum Studies
  • Film Criticism
  • Studies in Appalachian Music
  • Studies in Poetry
  • Language and Communication

HUMN 680 – Independent Research Symposium (Luke Eric Lassiter), Arranged

A pro-seminar required of all Humanities degree students who are beginning the thesis or final project. Arranged with the Program Director.

Summer 2013

CULS 611 – Appalachian Studies: Themes and Voices (Luke Eric Lassiter); Summer 1 (May 20 – August 09) online T–Course with live meetings.

This interdisciplinary course orients students to the significant issues and research in Appalachian studies. Important political, social, and cultural issues will be considered. Research areas are introduced. (This core course in the Graduate Certificate in Appalachian Studies may be taken by degree students in Humanities.)

This course is offered on-line with live meetings on T, May 21, 6-9 p.m.; T, June 18, 6-9 p.m.; T, July 23, 6-9 p.m.

HUMN 600 – Introduction to the Study in the Humanities (Luke Eric Lassiter); Summer 1 (May 20 – August 09), Th, 6-9 p.m.

Interdisciplinary core course addresses questions/concepts central to the humanities. Texts from philosophy, history, literature, the arts and the sciences provide insights into selected historical periods. Open to non-degree students.

HUMN 650 – Special Topics – Independent Studies arranged between instructor and student (contact Director to arrange course)

For students who need to conduct independent research and/or reading in a specific topic in the humanities, the Program will offer independent studies in those topics as funds allow. Contact the Director for more information. Examples of Special Topics might include:

  • Museum Studies
  • Film Criticism
  • Studies in Appalachian Music
  • Studies in Poetry
  • Language and Communication
HUMN 680 – Independent Research Symposium (Luke Eric Lassiter), Arranged

A pro-seminar required of all Humanities degree students who are beginning the thesis or final project. Arranged with the Program Director.

Spring 2013

A&S 501 – Studies in Non-Western Art & Music (Luke Eric Lassiter), Thursday, 7:00-9:50 p.m.

Studies emphasizing non-Western art or music.  This seminar will explore the various dimensions of art and music ethnographically, as well as examine the role of art and music in people’s lives everywhere as a cross-cultural phenomenon.

Dr. Lassiter, director of the Graduate Humanities Program and professor of humanities and anthropology, has written extensively in several books and essays on the relationship of encounter, experience and story, especially as they relate to issues of belief and worldview, language and culture, memory and identity.

CULS 612 – Time & Place in Appalachia (Robert Maslowski), Tuesday, 7:00-9:50 p.m.

This interdisciplinary course orients students to the importance of geography, topography, and geology to the history and development of the Appalchian region.

Dr. Robert Maslowski, retired Archeologist for the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, possesses extensive knowledge of Appalachian archeology, culture, and history. He was executive producer of three award winning films, Ghosts of Green BottomRed Salt & Reynolds, and Secrets of the Valley. His numerous publications have appeared in venues such as World ArchaeologyNational Geographic Society Research ReportsPennsylvania ArchaeologistWonderful West Virginia, and West Virginia Archeologist (which he also serves as Editor).

HUMN 605 – Western Traditions & Contemporary Cultures (Ann McConnell), Monday,  7:00-9:50 p.m.

Using primary materials from different cultural periods, as well as contemporary critical analyses, this core course explores epistemological questions that underlie conflicts between cultures.

Dr. Anne McConnell teaches world literature, critical theory, and writing in the English Department at West Virginia State University.  She recently published Approaching Disappearance at Dalkey Archive Press; the book explores the work of Maurice Blanchot, Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, and Nathalie Sarraute.

HUMN 650 – Selected Topics as independent study arranged between instructor and student (contact Director to arrange course)

For students who need to conduct independent research and/or reading in a specific topic in the humanities, the Program will offer independent studies in those topics as funds allow. Contact the Director for more information. Examples of Special Topics might include:

* Museum Studies
* Film Criticism
* Studies in Appalachian Music
* Studies in Poetry
* Language and Communication

LITS 600 – SpTp: Writing Creative Nonfiction: Focus on the Personal Essay (Cathy Pleska), Wednesday, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

You may be familiar with the personal essay; that is, a genre of writing that uses the “I” as the center to explore inner and outer worlds via experience and memory. Did you know the personal essay comes in many flavors, such as the memoir essay, nature, travel, and radio, to name a few? In this course we will study models in each of four sub-genres and then write and workshop the essays. Expect field trips!

Ms. Pleska teaches writing at West Virginia State University, where she is also the Director of the WVSU Writing Center. She earned her MFA in creative nonfiction writing at Goucher College in Baltimore and is an essayist for West Virginia Public Radio.

HUMN 680 – Independent Research Symposium (Luke Eric Lassiter), Arranged

A pro-seminar required of all Humanities degree students who are beginning the thesis or final project. Arranged with the Program Director.

Fall 2012

CULS 600 – SpTp: Experience, Story, and (Auto)Biography (Luke Eric Lassiter), Tuesday, 4:30 – 6:50 p.m.

How does encounter and experience factor into the stories we tell about ourselves and others? How do personal narratives affect how we come to understand the world? What role do things like culture, language, and memory play in the construction of meaningful story? To what extent do stories reflect our pasts and shape our futures? This seminar will explore these and other questions as well as involve participants in the crafting of autobiographical and biographical narratives.

Dr. Lassiter, director of the Graduate Humanities Program and professor of humanities and anthropology, has written extensively in several books and essays on the relationship of encounter, experience and story, especially as they relate to issues of belief and worldview, language and culture, memory and identity.

HIST 600 – SpTp: The Lore of Lost Civilizations: Archeological Myths and Realities (David Anderson), Monday, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

<<  THIS SEMINAR HAS BEEN CANCELLED >>

The “lost wisdom” of ancient civilizations presents an irresistible lure for many modern Americans. This interest has lead to an innumerable quantity of popular books, television shows, movies, and more that allege to present the hidden truth behind the many mysteries of the past. Professional archaeologists have long stood in firm opposition to these alternative interpretations of past civilizations, and yet this opposition often seems to provide more credit to the alternative theorist than discredit. In this seminar, we will examine both sides of the debate, asking how do we learn about the prehistoric past and what can we truly know about ancient civilizations.

Dr. Anderson is an anthropolgical archaeologist who received his Ph.D. from Tulane University in 2010. His research interests include Maya culture, Preclassic Mesoamerica, archaeoastronomy, and the relationship between mainstream and alternative interpretations of the ancient past.

HUMN 602 – Historical Studies (Dan Holbrook), Thursday, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

Core course acquaints students with problems of historical knowledge, changes in the interpretation of history, nature of historical forces, and methods of historical research. Open to non-degree students.

This seminar will be offered in conjunction with the Department of History’s HST 600 – Methodology: Seminar in Historical Methods, taught by Dr. Dan Holbrook. Holbrook will teach HST 600 on the Huntington campus. Graduate Humanities students must sign up for the HUMN 602 course. Students can join this cross-listed seminar in person on the Huntington campus or via PolyCom from the South Charleston campus. Check our website for classroom assignments.

Dr. Holbrook is a historian of technology and the Chair of MU’s Department of History, and is very interested in local and public history..

HUMN 650 – Special Topics – Independent Studies arranged between instructor and student (contact Director to arrange course)

For students who need to conduct independent research and/or reading in a specific topic in the humanities, the Program will offer independent studies in those topics as funds allow. Contact the Director for more information. Examples of Special Topics might include:

* Museum Studies
* Film Criticism
* Studies in Appalachian Music
* Studies in Poetry
* Language and Communication

HUMN 604 – Expository Writing for Research (Cathy Pleska), Tuesday, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

This core writing course develops proficiency in writing for research. Note: a degree student may demonstrate competency through an alternative assessment to have the requirement waived. Open to non-degree students.

Ms. Pleska teaches writing at West Virginia State University, where she is also the Director of the WVSU Writing Center. She earned her MFA in creative nonfiction writing at Goucher College in Baltimore and is an essayist for West Virginia Public Radio.

HUMN 680 – Independent Research Symposium (Luke Eric Lassiter), Arranged

A pro-seminar required of all Humanities degree students who are beginning the thesis or final project. Arranged with the Program Director.

LITS 600 – SpTp: Reading and Writing America’s Poetries (Cathy Pleska), Wednesday, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

This seminar will explore our lives and the many and varied lives in America (including Appalachia) through reading and studying poems as if we were the ones whose lives depended on them as well as doing writing exercises, creating poems, and workshopping together. No previous experience required! Just open hearts and hungry minds.

Ms. Pleska teaches writing at West Virginia State University, where she is also the Director of the WVSU Writing Center. She earned her MFA in creative nonfiction writing at Goucher College in Baltimore and is an essayist for West Virginia Public Radio.

Summer 2012

CULS 610 – Seminar in Appalachian Culture (Luke Eric Lassiter); Summer 1 (May 21 – August 10) online T–Course with live meetings.

Exploration of selected aspects of culture (e.g., art, music, folklore, history, literature), emphasizing regional culture from an interdisciplinary perspective. This course is offered on-line with four live meetings on Tuesday, May 22, 6-9 PM; Tuesday, June 19, 6-9 PM; Tuesday, July 24, 6- 9 PM. See http://www.marshall.edu/SUPERSATURDAY/ for more information, including classroom assignment for live meetings.

HUMN 600 – Introduction to the Study in the Humanities (Luke Eric Lassiter); Summer 1 (May 21 – August 10), Th, 6-9 p.m.

Interdisciplinary core course addresses questions/concepts central to the humanities. Texts from philosophy, history, literature, the arts and the sciences provide insights into selected historical periods. Open to non-degree students.

HUMN 650 – Special Topics – Independent Studies arranged between instructor and student (contact Director to arrange course)

For students who need to conduct independent research and/or reading in a specific topic in the humanities, the Program will offer independent studies in those topics as funds allow. Contact the Director for more information. Examples of Special Topics might include:

* Museum Studies
* Film Criticism
* Studies in Appalachian Music
* Studies in Poetry
* Language and Communication

HUMN 680 – Independent Research Symposium (Luke Eric Lassiter), Arranged

A pro-seminar required of all Humanities degree students who are beginning the thesis or final project. Arranged with the Program Director.

Spring 2012

A&S 600 – SpTp: Film Music: Magical Tunes from Wagner’s Valkiries to Williams’s Wizards (Kay Lawson), Thursday, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

Richard Wagner’s ideas for creating the total work of art by merging music and drama have influenced more than a century of composers and film makers.  The study of a variety of film genres and the impact of their musical scores on audiences is the basis for examining the history of this popular art form.

CULS 611 – Appalachian Studies: Themes and Voices (Chris Green), Wednesday, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

This interdisciplinary course orients students to the significant issues and research in Appalachian studies. Important political, social, and cultural issues will be considered. Research areas are introduced.

CULS 600 – SpTp: Globalizing Foods (Bob Maslowski), Tuesday, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

From Homo erectus to McDonalds, this course will cover the history of food from hunting and gathering and agricultural societies to the modern industrial food chain with an emphasis on Appalachia. It will incorporate tastings and field trips to give students a better understanding of where food comes from, what people eat and how food preferences develop.

HUMN 650 – Independent Studies in Selected Topics (Luke Eric Lassiter) – Arranged

Students wishing to set up an independent study in area of special interest with an approved graduate instructor may do so in consultation with the Program Director. For more information, contact the Program Director before the start of the term. Examples of Special Topics might include:

* Museum Studies
* Film Criticism
* Studies in Appalachian Music
* Studies in Poetry
* Language and Communication

HUMN 680 – Independent Research Symposium (Luke Eric Lassiter), Arranged

A pro-seminar required of all Humanities degree students who are beginning the thesis or final project.  Arranged with the Program Director.

LITS 600 – SpTp: Reading & Writing Memoir (Fran Simone), Monday, 7 – 9 p.m.

Memoir is a story from a life. It is about how our past selves continue to inform our present selves. The class is organized around discussions and workshops which are designed to help writers transform life stories into engaging narratives. Students will read and discuss selected works. They will participate in writing workshop, draft and revise narratives and reflect on their writing process.

CI 677 – Writing for Publication (Luke Eric Lassiter), Wednesday, 4:30 – 6:50 p.m.

GSEPD doctoral seminar: For professional educators and students who wish to study and practice writing articles for publication in scholarly journals in the field of education.  Humanities students may register for the seminar by permission only.  Contact Lassiter for more details.