Area of Engagement: Historical Perspectives

Requirement Purpose

Culture determines our assumptions, defines our options, and governs how we judge and perceive the modern world. Western culture emerged over time through a range of intellectual, philosophical, religious, and historical currents. A study of the development of Western culture and its past is critical to understand, appreciate or critique it. Such awareness provides context for the current structures of Western society and assists students in making informed decisions as engaged citizens.

Required Course Characteristics

A course in this area will

  • examine the influence of economic, social, intellectual, political, artistic and/or religious movements and their impact on Western culture
  • provide historical perspective by relating the subjects under consideration to the broader historical and cultural contexts in which they occurred
  • analyze the relationship between the past and the present
  • interpret, discuss, and critique influential texts or ideas of the West
  • provide students with the opportunity to wrestle with the common, enduring themes of human existence that confront every society and tradition

Area of Engagement Learning Objectives

Through completion of an HP course, students should be able to

  • analyze different perspectives of historical interpretation in terms of their evidence and arguments
  • evaluate and interpret primary sources
  • articulate an understanding of the distinctive perspectives of people who lived in the time periods or settings studied
  • articulate an understanding of the influence of the past on contemporary events, issues, and ideas

HP Proposal Form