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April 2015 note: Beginning Fall 2015, there will be several modifications to course titles. HUSC 3331 will become "Conceptual Foundations of the Human Sciences"; HUSC 4341 will become "Tradition and Innovation"; HUSC 4342 will become "Senior Seminar"; and HUSC 4142 will become "Senior Thesis." Course descriptions may be somewhat modified, but this will not substantively change course content.

Also beginning Fall 2015, HUSC 2301 will be designated as a Spring course, and HUSC 2311 as a Fall course. This will, in particular, allow pre-med students to complete Introduction to the Social Sciences in December, well before the spring MCAT exam is administered.

Beginning Spring 2016 a new regular HUSC course is planned, titled "Philosophical Anthropology of the Contemporary World." It will substitute for the no longer existing recent philosophy course (PHI 3328) that has until now been required for the B.A. A description of that course will be posted when it receives the final go-ahead. Students who have already taken an approved alternative to the no longer existing philosophy course (usually either PHI 3345 or 3346) will not need to take this new HUSC offering.


HUSC 2301: The World in the Twenty-First Century. An examination of some of the major currents of contemporary life. Topics such as globalization, development, consumerism and mass society, communication between cultures, religion and secularism, terrorism and violence, modernity and postmodernity. Fall.

HUSC 2311. Introduction to the Social Sciences. The social sciences are the disciplines among the contemporary human sciences that focus on human societies and cultures, in particular institutional structures as they pattern ways of living. Topics treated in this course include basic concepts of the social sciences; research methods; social structure and social power; socialization and identity; class; social institutions (e.g., family, churches, education, healthcare, government and economy); and contemporary social problems (e.g., race and gender discrimination and social stereotyping). Spring.

HUSC 3311: The Arts in Contemporary Cultures. An exploration of the arts in contemporary societies, with focus on topics such as avantgardism, technical innovation and artistic experimentation, the development of mixed media, the technical and aesthetic reorganization of public and private space, the economics of artistic production and consumption, the changing relationship of artist to audience, problems of the relationship of art works to social and natural reality, and the influences of remote cultural traditions.

HUSC 3312: Science, Technology, and Society. A study of the characteristics and growth of the modern sciences, their effects on society and culture, and the emergence of technological civilization. Topics such as the nature of scientific research and the application of sciences, big science vs. little science, the possible limits of technical knowledge and political and economic power, effects on individual and social ways of life, the rise of technicized industry and mass media, the relations between science and religion, ethics in science and technology.

HUSC 3331: Foundations of the Human Sciences. An investigation into the historical emergence and durable legacy of the modern disciplines that aim to scientifically understand human societies and cultures. The course will include the reading of authors central to fields like anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and social psychology. Topics such as the significance of the concepts ‘society’ and ‘culture’, debates about the scientific character of social and human sciences, the differentiation of the various fields of the human sciences and their relations to other disciplines, the fundamental interdisciplinarity and the future of the social sciences.

HUSC 3332: Junior Seminar. The Junior Seminar is intended for students who are majoring in Human Sciences (and, with the Director’s approval, other well prepared and highly motivated students, especially Human Sciences concentrators). The seminar will treat extensively and in depth some of the classic works of the social and human sciences and associated secondary literature, with special emphasis on leading theories and their associated methods. Students will play a leading role in conducting the sessions by making presentations and engaging in intensive discussions. The seminar will emphasize the development of critical research skills and culminate in the writing of a major term paper. Prerequisite HUSC 3331. Spring.

HUSC 4341: The Tradition of Innovation. The purpose of this course is to thematize questions and issues that arise from the University of Dallas core curriculum, which is based on the conviction that the dynamism and transformational power of modern Western civilization (and any future global civilization that grows out of it) will be unintelligible without a grasp of a twofold truth: that the modern West is an outgrowth of classic works and institutions, and that these works and institutions inevitably produce an ethos encouraging principled change. Topics include the interplay of tradition, authority and cultural change; the notion of the classic; transformations in education and its purposes (including the rise and role of the university in Western society); and the dialectic between the drive to specialization and the need to live an integrated life.

HUSC 4342: Senior Seminar I. The Senior Seminar is intended for students who are majoring in Human Sciences (and, with the Director’s approval, other well prepared and highly motivated students, especially Human Sciences concentrators). Students should take concurrently the lecture course “Tradition and Innovation.” The seminar will treat in depth a few of the major themes of the lecture course. Students will play a leading role in conducting the sessions of the seminar by making presentations and engaging in intensive discussions of topics and readings. The seminar will culminate in a major research paper, the senior thesis, the writing of which will continue into the spring semester. Fall.

HUSC 4142: Senior Seminar II. Continuation of Senior Seminar I, which is prerequisite. Completion, defense, and formal presentation of the senior thesis. Spring.

Students of the programs in Human Sciences also take courses offered by other departments, as approved in their study plan by the Director.

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