Students enrolled in the Graduate Humanities Program explore broad interdisciplinary issues through a diverse array of course offerings. Each semester, our seminars engage the intersection of the arts, literature, culture and history within an open, exploratory, and experimental educational environment. While several seminars are discipline-specific (our core curriculum, for example), most are designed to go beyond individual disciplines and enlist students in the cross-disciplinary study of the humanities.


Upcoming Seminar Schedules

Click on the links for registration information for individual seminars.

General registration information is here.

For previous seminar schedules, see here.


Fall 2014

A&S 600 Directed Reading Seminar – Selected Topics: Reading American Landscapes (Arijit Sen), electronic/Skype meetings on Thursday, August 28, 7-9:50 p.m.; Thursday, October 2, 7-9:50 p.m.; and Thursday, November 13. CLASS LIMIT: 3. By permission of the Director only.

Places and landscapes frame and influence our actions and identities. Yet we rarely examine the ways we interpret and read the material world around us. Do we ever stop to ask why a gas station looks the way it does? Do we critically examine why a bank building gets built only in certain locations? Do we think that we behave in scripted ways inside a 7-11 store? The goal of this reading seminar is not only to examine “ways of reading” the built world; but also to interrogate how our individual reading practices frame the way we understand, interpret, and act in this world.

Dr. Arijit Sen is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, where he teaches architectural design urbanism and cultural landscapes. He is the co-coordinator of the Buildings Cultures Landscapes doctoral program initiative between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Milwaukee. His research interests include physical and cultural landscapes of immigration in the United States.

CULS 612 Time & Place in Appalachia (Bob Maslowski), Tuesdays, 7 – 9:50 p.m.

This interdisciplinary course orients students to the importance of geography, topography, and geology to the history and development of the Appalachian 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 Bottom, Red Salt & Reynolds, and Secrets of the Valley. His numerous publications have appeared in venues such as World Archaeology, National Geographic Society Research Reports, Pennsylvania Archaeologist, Wonderful West Virginia, and West Virginia Archeologist (which he also serves as Editor).

HUMN 602 Historical Studies (Luke Eric Lassiter), Wednesdays, 7 – 9:50 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.

Dr. Luke Eric Lassiter is director of the Graduate Humanities Program and professor of humanities and anthropology.

HUMN 604 Expository Writing for Research (Cat Pleska), Mondays, 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.