Core Cultures Courses

Faculty of the Divisions of Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences

Lecturers Green, Worley

Director: James F. Pontuso

The Core Cultures program consists of three courses, including both Western Culture 101 and 102 and either Global Cultures 103 or 104. The Western Culture sequence 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 in Global Cultures expands on this through the comparison of cultures across global regions, tracing common experiences. Core Cultures courses are grounded in a consideration of both historical sequence and significant historical and cultural questions; they examine a variety of texts--literary, philosophic, theological, artistic--placed clearly in historical context. Ultimately, the courses aim to explore "the way we live now" through a consideration of both Western and global cultural legacies.

GLOBAL CULTURES

GLOBAL CULTURES 103. (3)
BEGINNING TO 1500 C.E. 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 1500. 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.

GLOBAL CULTURES 104. (3)
1500 C.E. TO PRESENT. 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 1500 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.

WESTERN CULTURE

WESTERN CULTURE 101. (3)
BEGINNING TO 1500 C.E. Western Culture 101 introduces students to the history, cultural achievements, and dilemmas of western civilization, from its roots to 1500. The course is grounded in a consideration of significant historical events and cultural questions. It examines a variety of texts – literary, philosophic, theological, and artistic – placed in historical context. Ultimately, the course aims to give a perspective on the contemporary world through an exploration of the West’s cultural legacy.

WESTERN CULTURE 102. (3)
1500 C.E TO PRESENT. Western Culture 102 introduces students to the history, cultural achievements, and dilemmas of western civilization, from 1500 to the present day. The course is grounded in a consideration of significant historical events and cultural questions. It examines a variety of texts – literary, philosophic, theological, and artistic – placed in historical context. Ultimately, the course aims to give a perspective on the contemporary world through an exploration of the West’s cultural legacy.

WESTERN CULTURE 103. (3)
1800 C.E.TO PRESENT. Common topics and events are Romanticism, the Industrial Revolution, the democratization of the world, modern science and technology, the world wars, and the modern world. Common texts are Darwin, The Origin of Species (selections) or a modern account of evolution; Marx, The Communist Manifesto; Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (selections); Achebe, Things Fall Apart; Martin Luther King, Letter from a Birmingham Jail; Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (selections).

updated 7/25/16