Skip to main content

Humanities Commons & Academic Departments

Core Program & Humanities Commons

Together, ASI 110 and ASI 120 constitute a challenging, broad-ranging, year-long course on the origins and development of civilizations, with particular emphasis upon the cultural heritage of Western Civilization as it evolved in the larger context of other world civilizations. While the course follows the general narrative of the history of Western Civilization and tells that story in large part by looking at developments in philosophy, literature, religious studies, and rhetoric in their historical contexts, it also seeks to understand how other civilizations developed rich and enduring traditions that help us, by comparison, to understand the complex tapestry of human experience. In addition, the course integrates the development of university-level writing skills throughout the academic year. ASI 110 explores the period from the beginnings of civilization through the seventeenth century; ASI 120 completes the course by bringing it to the present.

For Core students, ASI 110 and 120 fulfill all of the Humanities Commons requirements, including ENG 114, ENG 198, and ENG 200, as well as the CAP requirement in Advanced Historical Studies. Successful completion of ASI 110 and 120 earns the Core student 15 credit hours.


By completing the courses within the Humanities Commons, students will:

  • Read primary texts closely and critically (including self-critically);
  • Analyze, in writing, a variety of texts contributing to larger historical conversations, debates, and traditions and as resources for understanding and appreciating the complexities of human identity, dignity, and experience;
  • Develop an understanding of their place in community, country, and world in relationship to multiple others, with particular attention to differences – such as class, gender, and race – upon which social inequalities are constructed and maintained;
  • Engage central concepts of Catholic intellectual tradition as they contribute to humanistic inquiry and reflection in the relevant academic discipline (English, History, Philosophy, or Religious Studies);
  • Examine the question of what it means to be human from a disciplinary perspective, and in the process make connections among disciplines and develop an appreciation for the ways in which learning is a process of integrating knowledge;
  • Understand and practice academic honesty as foundational to the making and sharing of knowledge in a community of learners that is both local and global.

Upon completion of these course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of important events, concepts, and developments in the early modern, modern, and contemporary worlds from the standpoint of history, literature, philosophy, religious studies, and rhetoric;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the idea of the west and western civilization as a historical construct with different meanings and manifestations in different times and places;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the historically contingent development of Christianity in the context of other major world religions;
  • Develop an appreciation of the contributions that history, literature, philosophy, religious studies, rhetoric, and the arts make to human knowledge and civilizations, seeing the distinct nature of each of the disciplines as well as interconnections.

In addition, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical reading of texts.
  • Produce well-researched and supported arguments that contribute to a scholarly conversation.
  • Engage in a process of inquiry culminating in a research project addressed to an academic audience.
  • Respond in writing to diverse perspectives on social inequalities.
  • Reflect upon habits of scholarly inquiry and argumentation as inherited from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
  • Write about historical texts with attention to historiography and historiographical interpretation.

English & Humanities Commons

The Common Academic Program contains two writing courses, a first-year writing seminar and a second-year writing seminar. The College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office determines the appropriate ENG course(s) for each student among the alternatives available to complete these requirements. Generally, students will complete both ENG 100 and ENG 200, or either ENG 114 or ENG 198. Students who complete ENG 114 or ENG 198 will not take the second-year writing seminar (ENG 200).

ENG 100: Writing Seminar I is a one-semester course completed by most students, who will later take ENG 200. This course focuses on personal and academic literacies, with an emphasis on expository writing and the development of college-level reading, writing, research, and critical thinking skills as well as a process approach to writing. With its focus on personal and academic literacies, ENG 100 addresses the question, “What does it mean to be human?” as it explores the relationship between literacy and being human.

ENG 114: First-Year Writing Seminar is a course for students who demonstrate high writing proficiency. It is a variable theme writing seminar focused on academic writing, research, and argumentation practices for engaging public discourses and audiences. 

ENG 198: Honors Writing Seminar is a course for those students who have been accepted into the Honors Program. It is a variable theme composition course focused on academic writing, research, and argumentation. Students examine a particular topic through sustained critical inquiry, with the goal of contributing to a scholarly conversation in writing.

ENG 200: Writing Seminar II is a variable theme composition course focused on academic discourse, research, and argumentation and is taken by students who have completed the first-year writing seminar. Students further develop their reading, writing, research, and critical thinking abilities as they come into contact with the ways that various disciplines (at least three) engage a particular theme. In addition, by studying scholarship across disciplines, students will develop rhetorical awareness about the arguments, approaches, and conventions of these disciplines.


By completing the courses within the Humanities Commons, students will:

  • Read primary texts closely and critically (including self-critically);
  • Analyze, in writing, a variety of texts contributing to larger historical conversations, debates, and traditions and as resources for understanding and appreciating the complexities of human identity, dignity, and experience;
  • Develop an understanding of their place in community, country, and world in relationship to multiple others, with particular attention to differences – such as class, gender, and race – upon which social inequalities are constructed and maintained;
  • Engage central concepts of Catholic intellectual tradition as they contribute to humanistic inquiry and reflection in the relevant academic discipline (English, History, Philosophy, or Religious Studies);
  • Examine the question of what it means to be human from a disciplinary perspective, and in the process make connections among disciplines and develop an appreciation for the ways in which learning is a process of integrating knowledge
  • Understand and practice academic honesty as foundational to the making and sharing of knowledge in a community of learners that is both local and global.

ENG 100: Writing Seminar I

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Employ rhetorical concepts, many of which are inherited from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, for the analysis and production of texts.
  • Build a recursive process of academic inquiry through writing.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the needs of diverse readers by producing texts that purposefully engage multiple others.
  • Communicate expert knowledge on a topic relevant to humanistic study.

ENG 114: First-Year Writing Seminar

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical reading of texts.
  • Produce well researched and supported arguments that appeal to public audiences.
  • Respond to diverse perspectives on social inequalities.
  • Engage in a process of inquiry culminating in a research project that responds to a contemporary social problem.
  • Reflect upon the habits of research and argumentation as inherited from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

ENG 198: Honors Writing Seminar

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical reading of texts.
  • Produce well researched and supported arguments that contribute to a scholarly conversation.
  • Engage in a process of inquiry culminating in a research project addressed to an academic audience.
  • Respond in writing to diverse perspectives on social inequalities.
  • Reflect upon habits of scholarly inquiry and argumentation as inherited from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

ENG 200: Writing Seminar II

Generally, students will complete both ENG 100 and ENG 200 to fulfill the two writing course requirements in CAP. Students who complete ENG 114 or ENG 198 will not take ENG 200.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Write about primary and secondary texts on the course theme in a manner that reflects the ability to read critically.
  • Engage in a process approach to writing college-level prose.
  • Produce rhetorically effective college-level expository prose.
  • Produce well researched academic arguments and appeals that are documented in accordance with the MLA style manual.
  • Examine one topic from at least three disciplinary perspectives (two of which are in the Humanities Commons).
  • Examine one topic with attention to differences such as class, gender, race, sexuality, religion, etc.

History & Humanities Commons

Survey of key themes in world history including the social, economic, cultural, political, and environmental forces that shaped the human past throughout the globe.

This course offers a history of globalization by examining key aspects of world history. We will examine how patterns of interactions in the past have contributed to the making of our contemporary world. In doing so we will explore the nature and transformation of environments, economies, and the politics associated with such change that were connected to questions of empire, community, nationalism, gender and race, immigration and labor, culture and religion. The course will exhibit, at an introductory level, the value of humanistic inquiry and reflection as a means of advancing the seven learning outcomes by challenging students to ask the question: “What does it mean to be human?” Particular emphasis will be placed on the diversity outcome and on introducing the Catholic intellectual tradition. Prerequisites: None

HST 103 is taught by a large number of faculty, and content, periodization, emphasis, etc. will vary between sections. However, the Student Learning Objectives are the same in all sections.

Methods of instruction may include: lecture, instruction on close, critical reading of assigned material (e.g., written responses to reading guides, guided classroom discussion, oral presentations), co-curricular experiences (e.g., guest speakers), and written assignments including essays that require students to produce clear and logical papers.


HST 103 is a first-year Humanities Commons course within the Common Academic Program. As such, its student learning outcomes (listed in the next section) are designed to support the six student learning goals of the Humanities Commons.

By completing the courses within the Humanities Commons, students will:

  • Read primary texts closely and critically (including self-critically);
  • Analyze, in writing, a variety of texts contributing to larger historical conversations, debates, and traditions and as resources for understanding and appreciating the complexities of human identity, dignity, and experience;
  • Develop an understanding of their place in community, country, and world in relationship to multiple others, with particular attention to differences – such as class, gender, and race – upon which social inequalities are constructed and maintained;
  • Engage central concepts of Catholic intellectual tradition as they contribute to humanistic inquiry and reflection in the relevant academic discipline (English, History, Philosophy, or Religious Studies);
  • Examine the question of what it means to be human from a disciplinary perspective, and in the process make connections among disciplines and develop an appreciation for the ways in which learning is a process of integrating knowledge
  • Understand and practice academic honesty as foundational to the making and sharing of knowledge in a community of learners that is both local and global.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Historian’s Craft: effectively use appropriate sources to support a historical argument.
  • West and Global Encounters: explain how historical encounters between the Western and non-Western world have transformed the societies involved.
  • Modernity: explain the development of the modern world.
  • Critical evaluation of our times: use historical knowledge to critically evaluate the challenges of their times in light of the past.

Philosophy & Humanities Commons

Introduction to philosophical reflection and study of some central philosophical questions in the Western and non-western intellectual traditions, including questions of ethics, human knowledge, and metaphysics. Prerequisites: None

This course will be taught by many different instructors who will be responsible for selecting topics that will address the student learning outcomes. Inevitably, the topics will vary from section to section. See the student learning outcomes below for further information.

Methods of instruction may include: lecture, instruction on close, critical reading of assigned material (e.g., written responses to reading guides, guided classroom discussion, oral presentations), co-curricular experiences (e.g., guest speakers), and written assignments including essays that require students to produce clear and logical papers.


PHL 103 is a first-year Humanities Commons course within the Common Academic Program. As such, its student learning outcomes are designed to support the six student learning goals of the Humanities Commons. 

By completing the courses within the Humanities Commons, students will:

  • Read primary texts closely and critically (including self-critically);
  • Analyze, in writing, a variety of texts contributing to larger historical conversations, debates, and traditions and as resources for understanding and appreciating the complexities of human identity, dignity, and experience;
  • Develop an understanding of their place in community, country, and world in relationship to multiple others, with particular attention to differences – such as class, gender, and race – upon which social inequalities are constructed and maintained;
  • Engage central concepts of Catholic intellectual tradition as they contribute to humanistic inquiry and reflection in the relevant academic discipline (English, History, Philosophy, or Religious Studies);
  • Examine the question of what it means to be human from a disciplinary perspective, and in the process make connections among disciplines and develop an appreciation for the ways in which learning is a process of integrating knowledge
  • Understand and practice academic honesty as foundational to the making and sharing of knowledge in a community of learners that is both local and global.

Upon completion of this course:

  • Understand and accurately represent philosophical arguments.
  • Engage in competent ethical reasoning. 
  • Demonstrate basic understanding of philosophical perspectives from outside the western canon or of philosophical issues related to diversity and social justice.

Religious Studies & Humanities Commons

Introductory course focused on two academic disciplines: the study of religions as historical and embodied realities, and theology as faith seeking understanding. By learning about these two disciplines, students will gain a critical self-awareness of the ways in which the modern context shapes their engagement with religion. The course emphasizes learning how to read Scripture and other primary religious sources, and learning how the Catholic intellectual tradition addresses the question of God, the meaning of human life, and the significance of human diversity. REL 103 is required for all University of Dayton students. Prerequisites: None

Though specifics of the course will vary by instructor, every course will cover the following topics: an introduction to contemporary religious and theological studies, approaches to reading and appreciating sacred texts, and selections from Catholic intellectual tradition on God, what it means to be human, religious diversity, and Catholic social teaching.

Methods of instruction may include: lecture, instruction on close, critical reading of assigned material with written responses to reading guides, guided classroom discussion, oral presentations).

Co-curricular experiences: guest speakers, interviews with local religious leaders, exploration of religious art and architecture), and written assignments.


REL 103 is a first-year Humanities Commons course within the Common Academic Program. As such, its student learning outcomes are designed to support the six student learning goals of the Humanities Commons.

By completing the courses within the Humanities Commons, students will:

  • Read primary texts closely and critically (including self-critically);
  • Analyze, in writing, a variety of texts contributing to larger historical conversations, debates, and traditions and as resources for understanding and appreciating the complexities of human identity, dignity, and experience;
  • Develop an understanding of their place in community, country, and world in relationship to multiple others, with particular attention to differences – such as class, gender, and race – upon which social inequalities are constructed and maintained;
  • Engage central concepts of Catholic intellectual tradition as they contribute to humanistic inquiry and reflection in the relevant academic discipline (English, History, Philosophy, or Religious Studies);
  • Examine the question of what it means to be human from a disciplinary perspective, and in the process make connections among disciplines and develop an appreciation for the ways in which learning is a process of integrating knowledge
  • Understand and practice academic honesty as foundational to the making and sharing of knowledge in a community of learners that is both local and global.

This course is designed to facilitate a critical understanding of contemporary approaches to the academic study of religious and theological traditions as part of the Catholic intellectual tradition. Upon completion of REL 103 students will be able to:

  • Describe a religious studies approach to the analysis of an aspect of contemporary experience.
  • Compare the ways two thinkers (20th or 21st century), at least one of whom writes from the perspective of a marginalized identity, address a theological question in Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
  • Describe practices or teachings of a faith community (other than Christianity) on a question that is of central importance to that tradition, or currently debated within that tradition.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of two methods of scriptural interpretation, with reference to specific texts.

CONTACT

Michelle C. Pautz, Ph.D. Assistant Provost for the Common Academic Program


300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1302
937-229-3651
Email
CONNECT

CAP Newsletter

All stakeholders are encouraged to subscribe, stay informed, and get updates from our team on highlights, relevant stories, programs, events, and resources aligning with innovative teaching and CAP courses.

Subscribe