Humanities Curriculum

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The Humanities Curriculum at Wyoming Catholic College includes eight courses and a total of 24-credit hours of instruction.

Abstract[edit]

Purpose[edit]

In a culture increasingly forgetful of its past, the WCC Humanities curriculum is a rare opportunity: a deep immersion in the intellectual and imaginative sweep of the Western world, from Homer’s Greece to Flannery O’Connor’s Georgia—the works, events, heroes, catastrophes, and ideas that have shaped the imagination and worldview of the European and American tradition. Why literature, history, politics, and philosophy? Because studying these disciplines together cultivates both the intellect and the heart; our reason and our emotions. The powers of imagination and memory work together with the abstract intellectual faculties to provide an integrated understanding of our world. This is what we mean by poetic knowledge.

Sequence[edit]

In the Freshman year, students are introduced to the mythical reasoning of the Greeks and their superb poetic realizations of gods and heroes in epic, tragedy, and comedy. The rise of Socratic philosophy takes place against the backdrop of the great wars—Persian and Peloponnesian—that define the cities of Athens and Sparta as permanent archetypes for the West. In the sophomore year, students come to terms with the rise of Rome, her imperial rule, and her implosion: all of which constitute the Roman inheritance in the Christian Middle Ages, especially in the works of Augustine, Boethius, and Dante. Juniors examine the works that both revived the ancients and moved beyond them in the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, especially the writings of Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Milton. Seniors learn the meaning of the whole tradition as it comes through America—the Federalist Papers, Moby-Dick—and plunge into the dizzying twentieth century, including Eliot, Joyce, Faulkner, and O’Connor. As Wordsworth might put it, this tradition offers “glimpses that might make us less forlorn,” fostering hope for the future.

Poetry[edit]

Because lyric poetry cultivates the imagination with special forcefulness, awakening a strong receptivity to the wedding of word and idea, students learn by heart more than thirty poems over their four years, such as Hopkins’ “God’s Grandeur,” sonnets by Shakespeare, Donne, Wordsworth, and Keats, and Yeats’s “The Second Coming.”

Courses Included[edit]