The minors in theory, culture, and interpretation are designed for students who major in any of the traditional disciplines and would like to organize their electives around issues in critical theory and the interpretation of art, culture, and texts. Each minor is based on the intersection of two or more disciplines-philosophy and literature, social and political structures, creative structures, and interpretation of cultures-enabling faculty and students to consider their research in a larger context of systematic inquiry than is framed by a single discipline. Each discipline employs the methods of the other to evoke new perspectives and test the traditional findings of that specialty. As a result, each discipline is richer for the interaction. Students who select one of these minors will enjoy a fascinating intellectual challenge as well as find it helpful in applying to graduate school in any of the related areas. Each minor consists of a minimum of seven courses from at least three disciplines. Of these courses, two are core; three are intermediate electives; and two are 300-level capstone courses.

Creative Structures

The minor in creative structures introduces students to various approaches to the organization of creative work in art, music, theatre, dance, and the language arts. Ambiguity, spontaneity, emotion, the accidental-all are part of the process and product of contemporary art. Students learn to recognize similarities in artistic strategies, as well as to discern the differences in the expression of thinking and feeling demanded by individual arts. This minor is recommended for, but is not limited to, students majoring in one of the arts.

Core courses:

  • ART 102
  • ENG 215

Three intermediate electives must be chosen from the following:

  • ART 100
  • ART 281
  • DAN 103
  • DAN 250
  • ENG 219
  • ENG 221
  • MUS 120/122
  • MUS 249/349
  • PHL 201
  • PHL 220/320
  • THE 120
  • THE 231

Students must select two capstone courses from 300-level seminars, advanced courses, and independent studies in one of the disciplines. Courses taken at the 200 level may not be repeated.

Interpreting Cultures

The minor in interpreting cultures examines human behavior and institutions, material artifacts, thought, feeling, and expression as complementary and contradictory strands in a web of culture. Critical reflexivity is emphasized, and students are encouraged to question the nature and meaning of cultures. This focus on the interpretive process shifts attention away from static and monolithic conceptions of culture and toward the ways in which cultures are individually and socially constructed.

Students must take two of the following core courses:

  • COM 213
  • PSC 202
  • SOC 210
  • WS 230

Three of the following intermediate electives are required:

  • ANT 223 (WS 223)
  • ANT 234
  • ANT 265
  • COM 256
  • DAN 103
  • ENG 285
  • HIS 234
  • HIS 265
  • MUS 200
  • PCE 241
  • PCE 261
  • PSC 224
  • PSC 225
  • PSC 242
  • PSY 230
  • SOC 221
  • SOC 245
  • SOC 274 (WS 274)
  • SOC 276
  • SOC 285
  • SP 249
  • WS 220
  • WS 240

Two capstone courses must be selected from the following:

  • COM 301
  • COM 335
  • ENG 330
  • ENG 350
  • SOC 393

Philosophy and Literature

The minor in philosophy and literature introduces students to important ways in which 20th-century textual studies (i.e., literary, philosophical, popular media, etc.), have been and continue to be influenced by modes of thought developed in continental philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, feminism, and political theory. The courses in the minor focus on questions raised in the texts and theoretical works, including the status of language, subjectivity, history, narrative, and gender, as well as the concept of difference and identity. This track is an ongoing dialogue on interpretation using contemporary theories and methodologies. The core courses instruct students in a variety of critical methodologies.

Students must take two of the following:

  • COM 213
  • ENG 215
  • PHL/RLG 235/335
  • PHL 276/376

The intermediate electives both continue to add methodologies to students' repertoire of critical tools and help them to relate these theories directly to the kind of text they are interested in evaluating. Students must choose three courses drawn from core courses not taken to satisfy the core requirement or the following:

  • ENG 221
  • ENG 273
  • PHL 201
  • PHL 219/319
  • PHL 230/330
  • PHL 280/380
  • PHL 224/324
  • PHL 276/376 (WS 276/376)
  • PSY 215 (WS 218)
  • WS230
  • WS250
  • PSC 202

Two capstone courses must be chosen from:

  • COM 301
  • ENG 307
  • ENG 392
  • PSC 306
  • Any 300-level philosophy course listed above

Courses taken at the 200 level may not be repeated.

Social and Political Theory

The minor in social and political theory exposes students to a series of profound attempts to place social life within a comprehensive theoretical framework. Critiques of such a project are also examined. Texts explore the relationships among culture, political life, personal identity, and collective identity, and they illuminate contemporary concerns about freedom, responsibility, justice, legitimacy, individuality, and reason. Thinkers include Sophocles, Plato, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx, Comte, Kierkegaard, Durkheim, Weber, Freud, Addams, Sartre, Arendt, Foucault, Derrida, and Haraway.

Two core courses must be selected from the following:

  • COM 213
  • PHL/RLG 235
  • PSC 202
  • SOC 210

Three intermediate electives from the following are required:

  • ANT 234
  • ENG 273
  • PHL 211
  • PHL 219
  • PHL 230
  • PHL 243
  • PHL 276 (WS 276)
  • PSC 201
  • PSC 205
  • PSY 212
  • SOC 245
  • WS 230

Two capstone courses must be chosen from:

  • ENG 392
  • PSC 306
  • Independent work
  • Any 300-level philosophy course listed above

Courses taken at the 200 level may not be repeated.