About the Program
The program in comparative humanities is designed to approach the western tradition of ideas, history, literature, and art in an interdisciplinary fashion. Such a program of study is intended to reflect contemporary trends in humanistic discourse and has a largely but not exclusively European orientation. The essential components of the major are three-fold:
- a study of bounded historical periods
- coursework in upper division humanities courses
- a senior thesis
The program integrates parts of the Humanities Residential College and the Humanistic Scholars Program. Members of these programs may find the major in comparative humanities particularly appropriate. The major is also especially suitable for students interested in broad study of the humanities and comparative studies, e.g., individuals otherwise focusing their education in the sciences and other non-humanities disciplines or students interested in advanced study of the humanities in graduate programs and seeking a balance of disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies for this purpose.
Inasmuch as language and culture are central to this interdisciplinary program, students interested in the comparative humanities major are required to satisfy a language requirement. The ability to consider texts in their original language is desirable.
Students interested in the major are encouraged to contact one of the faculty as soon as possible to begin the advising process.
In addition to two foreign language courses (ancient or modern) taken at Bucknell at the intermediate or advanced level, the major in comparative humanities consists of three period courses in humanities (HUMN 98 or 128, 150, and 250), two humanities seminars (selected from HUMN 301, 302, 303, and 304), two courses in related humanities disciplines (approvied by the advisor, on of which is in a non-European tradition), and independent study for a senior thesis (HUMN 350 or HUMN 351).
The period courses introduce the student to major eras of western humanistic traditions. A course in non-European tradition of humanistic studies, selected in conjunction with the advisor, provides a further dimension of comparative perspective. The two humanities seminars allow in-depth analysis of humanistic subjects. A third seminar or advanced course in an appropriate humanistic discipline, also selected with the adviser, allows students to tailor the major by emphasizing a particular discipline or subject. The senior thesis experience directs the student to consolidate the curricular training in the service of pursuing focused research in concert with a faculty member (or faculty members) associated with or sympathetic to comparative humanities.