Humanistic Studies

Humanistic Studies (HMST)

HMST 101 Ways of Writing

Previously titled Frameworks, Ways of Writing is an introduction to college-level reading and writing. Organized around a central theme, course reading material exposes students to different genres (forms) of written expression with various functions and audiences, e.g., scholarship, short stories (fiction), personal essays, journalism, memoir. As such, HMST 101 explores critical reading, attribution, and ways of writing. As part of their practice of active reading, students develop comprehension skills and increase their information literacy. Ways of writing include the writing process, from initial exploration and articulation of ideas to a polished piece. Students explore attribution, including questions of whose voices and ideas to include, accept, and use and how writers build upon previous work, ethically and practically.

HMST 110 Language of Art & Design

In this course, students whose first language is not English develop their proficiency and fluency in communication about art and design. Students will develop skills and strategies for listening to academic content, practice speaking and paralinguistic communication, and build confidence participating in discussion and critique as well as presenting their ideas to a group. Students will also refine their comprehension of spoken and written material and develop familiarity with visual and cultural studies vocabulary that will help them succeed in their coursework.

HMST 220 On Being Human

The first required class for majors in Humanistic Studies exploring the question of what it means to be a human being through a review of concepts developed by thinkers and writers throughout history and in a global context on the problem of human nature. Students' build analytical reading skills along with substantial experience in research and writing. Readings include texts in literature, philosophy, history, the sciences, as well as an examination of material productions such as art, architecture, states, and nations.

Prerequisite: HMST 101 or AH 101

HMST 225 Grammar for Eff Writing

Increasing mastery in English grammar and syntax presents a unique opportunity for language learners. Students practice complex grammatical forms and sentence structures, developing skills to proofread and edit their own writing to produce effective writing in academic and professional contexts.

HMST 335-TH Research & Engagement Ethics

This course examines the practices of research and community engagement and differences between them; and surveys influential instances of research misconduct in history. Students investigate the ethics of research and engagement, particularly issues of informed consent, institutional authority, researcher positionality, and intellectual property as they apply to working with and learning about other people.

Prerequisite: 3 credits of IH1 and 3 credits of IH2

HMST 400 Publishing Culture

Take part in editing, designing, and producing a new journal devoted to art and cultural criticism. As an assistant editor for the journal, you will gain hands-on publishing experience as we curate and edit original content, design the journal (digital and print), and produce and distribute the finished product. Each issue of this annual journal will be dedicated to a topic of contemporary relevance to artists, designers, and writers. In addition to taking part in the editorial work and production of the journal, students in the class will study selected texts concerning the issue’s given theme.

Prerequisite: one academic course at the 300 level or higher

HMST 450V STI: HMST Venice

In this interdisciplinary program, you will visit historical national pavilions in the Biennale Gardens and the nearby Arsenale as you witness first-hand the magical transformation of these spaces, including the work of Simon Leigh in the 2022 U.S. pavilion. In addition to exploring the historical sites of the biennale, we will seek out projects and installations located throughout the seductive architecture of this labyrinthine city. You will tour the centuries-old Accademia museum, Peggy Guggenheim’s jewel-like collection of modern art, the creatively curated Mario Fortuny Museum, the François Pinault Collection, and the Prada Foundation to gain insights into the international art scene embedded in Venice. As you absorb the sights and sounds of contemporary Venice, the Murano glass industry, the dramatic mosaic of the Last Judgment in the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta on Torcello, and Giotto’s Arena Chapel in Padua, you will practice the craft of art criticism on site. We will also make day trips to nearby towns such as Ferrara, Trieste, and Rovereto. Classes are held both in the classroom and on location throughout the program. Local experts, curators, art historians, and participating artists in this year’s Biennale will provide special lectures. As you experience the sights and sounds of Venice, you will live on the beautiful breezy island of San Servolo, just ten minutes away from the historic Piazza San Marco. Fully equipped with wireless connections, an affordable cafeteria, luxurious grounds, and access to the nearby Lido beaches, San Servolo provides a wonderful balance to the academic side of this program.

HMST 480 Senior Thesis I

Fall and Spring of the senior year, thesis is taught by a single instructor who serves as the mentor for each student’s senior thesis project. The course also focuses on contemporary issues in Humanistic Studies. This serves as a culmination of work done at the lower levels. The thesis project begins very early in the fall with a written proposal by each student. Some students choose research papers; some choose an integrated project linking their studio work with their academic work. Students should undertake a major project that grows organically out of their three years of experience at MICA as a combined Studio Art + Humanistic Studies major.

Senior Art History and Humanistic Studies majors and minors only

HMST 490 Senior Thesis II

Students concentrate on their thesis projects. Class presentations and group critiques take place as work progresses; students work toward a public presentation at the senior show.

Senior Art History and Humanistic Studies majors and minors only