Core Cultures

Western Culture program is a two-semester sequence that introduces all Hampden-Sydney students to the history and cultural achievements of western civilization, from its roots in the early civilizations of the Middle East to the present day. The course is grounded in a consideration of both historical sequence and significant historical and cultural questions; it examines a variety of texts--literary, philosophic, theological, artistic--placed clearly in historical context. Ultimately, the course aims to explore "the way we live now" through a consideration of our cultural legacy.


Global Cultures program is a two-semester sequence that introduces students to global processes across time. The course is thematically organized and contextually centered. It does not attempt to narrate a "history of the world;" rather, it compares hierarchal structures, cultural frameworks, and regional and global networks from the beginning of human history to the present. It emphasizes how contingency and human agency have shaped the global past, how civilizations are mutable "works in progress," and how texts serve as examples of authors writing within specific historical contexts.