Seminar Schedules

Faculty & students working with the Glenwood Estate archives.

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.

Click on the links for registration information for individual seminars. General registration information is here. For previous seminar schedules, see here.

Fall 2021

CULS 600: Selected Topics – Appalachian Studies Research, Arranged (contact Director)

For students enrolled in the Appalachian Studies Certificate who are working on research projects in the Appalachian region. Registration by permission only. Contact the Director.

HUMN 602: Historical Studies (Lassiter), Thursdays, 7 – 9:50 PM

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

This course will be taught in conjunction with CULS 600 and HIST 585, and students will be encouraged to apply their knowledge gained in one or both of these courses to issues in Historical Studies. It is not recommended that a student sign up for this course only: i.e., if registering for only course for the semester, then it is recommended that you register for either CULS 600 or HIST 585.

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

HUMN 604: Expository Writing for Research (Lassiter), Wednesdays, 7 – 9:50 PM

This core writing course develops proficiency in writing for research.

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, 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: Memoir in Appalachia (Pleska), Mondays, 6:30 – 9:00 PM (VIRTUAL)

In this class we’ll read, discuss, report on, and write about Appalachian memoirs published in the past 250 years. What do they share? How do they differ from historical texts? What makes them Appalachian other than the region where the authors lived and wrote? What can the memoirs show us that demonstrate regional literature, especially memoirs, are universal? We’ll begin our discussion exploring what memoir is and how it differs from other personal narratives then we’ll dive into memoirs ranging from Lt. Henry Timberlake Memoirs (1756) to Hillbilly Elegy (2018) to discover the relevance of personal texts in a significant region. Expect to do memoir writing to explore your own connection to Appalachia.

Cat Pleska, MFA, is a 7th generation West Virginian and her memoir, Riding on Comets, was published in 2015 by WVU Press. She is a former book reviewer and radio essayist, and is currently working on a collection of travel/personal essays, The I’s Have It: Travels in Ireland and Iceland.

Summer 2021

CULS 600: Selected Topics – Appalachian Studies Research, Arranged (VIRTUAL) (Lassiter)

For students enrolled in the Appalachian Studies Certificate who are working on research projects in the Appalachian region. Registration by permission only. Contact the Director.

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

CULS 612: Time & Place in Appalachia, Wednesdays, 5 – 7 PM (VIRTUAL) (Lassiter)

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

HUMN 600: Introduction to Graduate Study in the Humanities, Thursdays, 5 – 7 PM (VIRTUAL) (Lassiter)
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.

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, Arranged

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

Spring 2021

CULS 600: Selected Topics – Appalachian Studies Research, Arranged (VIRTUAL) (Lassiter)

For students enrolled in the Appalachian Studies Certificate who are working on research projects in the Appalachian region. Registration by permission only. Contact the Director.

HUMN 605: Western Traditions and Contemporary Cultures, Tuesdays, 7 – 9:50 PM (VIRTUAL) (Lassiter)

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

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

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, 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: Selected Topics – Growing Up in Appalachia, Wednesdays, 7 – 9:50 PM (VIRTUAL) (Green)

What does it mean to grow up Appalachia? From gestating in the womb through late adolescence (around 24), we grow cell by cell and by the age of 24 develop a high-order pre-frontal cortex. We will investigate moments and facets of this topic in light of the particular opportunities (closer contact with nature, more accessible family and elders) and difficulties (e.g. the opioid epidemic, underfunded schools) in the region and consider how those vary with time, locality, and community. We will use a variety of disciplinary view points but will ground ourselves by reading fiction, non-fiction, and poetry as well as watching documentaries. The class will work together to decide what parts of this wide and important topic we want to focus on.

Chris Green is Director of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College. Chris began his studies of Appalachia in 1988 as an undergraduate of the University of Kentucky, and taught Appalachian literature at Marshall University from 2004 to 2012 where he was a professor of English and Graduate Humanities. Chris’s extended bio is available here.