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.

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 2020

CULS 600: Selected Topics – Native North America, Thursdays, 7 – 9:50 PM

This seminar will explore the historical and socio- political, economic, and cultural processes that have given rise to contemporary Native North America.

Dr. Luke Eric Lassiter is director of the Graduate Humanities Program and professor of humanities and anthropology.  His books in the area of Native North America includeThe Power of Kiowa Song; The Jesus Road: Kiowas, Christianity, and Indian Hymns; and Powwow: Ethnographic Texts.  His writings on American Indian Studies have appeared in American Indian Quarterly, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Chronicles of Oklahoma, Western Historical Quarterly, Ethnohistory, and Ethnomusicology, among others.

HUMN 603: History & Theory of the Arts, Wednesdays, 7 – 9:50 PM

Core course provides chronological survey of the arts, emphasizing the social, political and/or religious motives that underlie artistic production. This seminar will explore the theory and practice of expressive arts, with consideration of visual, verbal, cinematic, public, protest, visionary, and performance forms, among others. Using anthropological, folkloristic, and arts and cultural studies theoretical frameworks, we will explore the engaged relationship of the arts to society and consider how these concepts can inform current work in arts administration, museums, public folklore, and community development. The course will rely on participatory critical analysis and discussion, with some excursions to area museums, organizations, artist studios, and public installations.

Emily Hilliard is the West Virginia state folklorist and founding director of the West Virginia Folklife Program at the West Virginia Humanities Council. She holds an M.A. in folklore from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a B.A. in English and French from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. For over the past ten years she has worked at cultural heritage organizations including Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the American Folklife Center, the National Council for the Traditional Arts, and Maryland Traditions. Her writing and media work has been published by NPR, Humanities Magazine, The Bitter Southerner, Southern Cultures, and Ohio University Press, among others. Find more of her work at emilyehilliard.com.

HUMN 604: Expository Writing for Research (Pleska), Mondays, 7 – 9:50 PM

This core writing course develops proficiency in writing for research.

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.

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.

Summer 2020

Per ongoing COVID-19 concerns, all MU Summer 1 courses will be delivered online or virtually. Our seminars, independent studies, research, and other work will move ahead as planned, albeit for online and virtual delivery only. We will make every effort to ensure that our seminar experiences are as smooth and engaging as possible. Please contact the Program Director should you have any questions or concerns.

CULS 600 – Selected Topics – The 19th Amendment, 100 Years: The Long Struggle for Women’s Equality, Wednesdays, 5– 7 PM
August 18, 2020, marks the 100 year anniversary of ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. This is a major event in American history and a milestone in the national aspiration for the equal right of every individual to participate in a democratic society. In light of this event, this course will examine the evolution of equal rights for women from the revolutionary period to modern times. It will feature the more than 70 year struggle for the vote from Seneca Falls to passage of the 19th Amendment and the women and men who led the fight. It will analyze the women’s rights movement in terms of class and gender and promote an understanding of the dynamics of social movements.

Renate Pore received a PhD in history from West Virginia University in 1977. Her publications includeA Conflict of Interest: Women in German Social Democracy and Toward the Second Decade: The Impact of the Women’s Movement on American Institutions. Dr. Pore was a leader in starting the Women’s Study Program and the Council for Women’s Concerns at WVU. She was a feminist activist in the 1970s lobbying Congress to extend the deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment.

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

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.