What to Expect

The four lower-level classes at Hutchins are:

LIBS 101: The Human Enigma (First Year class, offered in Fall semesters)
“The Human Enigma” draws on material about ancient and contemporary cultures, concentrating, within a comparative framework, on the development of cultural values, the concept of human nature, the growth of self-awareness, and the emergence of scientific and abstract thought.

LIBS 102: In Search of Self (First Year class, offered in Spring semesters)
“In Search of Self” focuses on the individual, exploring how personal history and political and historical environments shape the concept of self. This course develops a fuller understanding of these influences through historical exploration and creative expression, employing materials drawn from sociology, literature, history, politics, and art.

LIBS 201: Exploring the Unknown (Second year class, offered in Fall semesters)
“Exploring the Unknown” is an investigation of the meaning and limits of knowledge with respect to the nature of the mind and physical reality. These issues are pursued through several different but interrelated fields of study, including literature, art, philosophy, comparative religions, and science. The course considers Newtonian and quantum mechanical theories of physical reality, the religions of various cultures, and the functions of myth and religious language. The term includes a section focusing on the nature of human creativity.

LIBS 202: Challenge of Response in the Modern World (Second year class, offered in Spring semesters)
“Challenge of Response in the Modern Word” is an examination of modern accomplishments and problems that have derived from several sources: the 18th Century mechanical models, the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, and rise of modern economic theories. Asking how it is possible in the 21st century to live a moral life, this course examines the rise of individualism, the tension between personal and social values, the problems of poverty and the distribution of wealth, and the multiple consequences of modern technology.

Upper-Level Classes

Unlike many other departments, upper-level classes at Hutchins constantly change based on the areas of interest and excitement shown by students and faculty. Here is a sample of past classes at Hutchins, to give you a sense of the wide range of topics you might encounter. All classes are interdisciplinary. Sample of some of the cores we teach:

Absurdity and Meaninglessness
Alcoholic Republic: Cultures of Drinking in the US
Anthropology and Humor
Asian American Literature and Film
The Art of Memoir
James Baldwin
The Biased Brain
Bollywood and Globalization
Climate Change and Society
Conspiracy Theories
The Craft of Writing
Death, Dying and Beyond
Feminist Approaches to Science and Technology Studies
Informal Learning and STEM
Latinx Lit
Literacy, Language and Pedagogy
Machine as Metaphor
Madness and Civilization
Media Culture and Communication: Navigating Life During Chaotic Times
Minorities in American Cinema
Narratives of Slavery
Native American Literature
Neo-Noir: Crime Films and Capitalism
Persuasion, Propaganda and Conformity
Political Ecology
Secrets of Sleep and Dreams
Shop Til You Drop
Travel and Tourism
Voices of Childhood