The 2-Semester Course at Davidson College
The Humanities program, as it exists at Davidson College, aims to provide an interdisciplinary and holistic education in the field of the humanities to produce well-rounded liberal arts graduates from Davidson.
More importantly, in my opinion, Humes strives to provide a community to first-year students in which they feel intellectually stimulated, secure in making mistakes, confident in branching out, and strong enough to argue their beliefs.
The 2019-2020 faculty members/instructors/facilitators are Prof. Quillen, Prof. Robb, Prof. Tamura, Prof. Wills, Prof. Bory, Prof. Munger, Prof. Ewington, and Prof. Denham (chair of the program).
In addition to faculty members, there are upperclassmen involved in the course called “Humes Fellows” or simply “Fellows.” Fellows also facilitate discussion in class, provide instruction on writing, and answer any questions students may have.
The course has eight three-week units over the two semesters, each of which is taught by a different faculty member. The class is designed to have three hour-and-fifteen-minute class periods each week: one on Tuesday mornings, one on Thursday mornings, and one on Thursday afternoons. The class periods are spent either in smaller discussion sections or in full plenary lectures at the discretion of the unit professor.
Students are encouraged to take notes in the red notebooks that were distributed to us during a pre-orientation trip during the summer. On the trip, we dove straight into the course and read Diderot, Leibniz, and Voltaire (among other authors) together. In addition to stimulating our minds together on the trip, we also participated in community service together. The pre-orientation trip was a true example of Humes’ holistic approach to feeding the mind.
For more insight on what we study in the course and why we study it, please click here.