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The Core Curriculum


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Inaugurated in 1937, the Humanities sequence consists of Humanities A, a mandatory freshman survey of classic texts of Western literature and philosophy, spanning from antiquity through the end of the eighteenth century, and Humanities B, a sophomore elective focused on visual arts and music.  Humanities A was never described as a "great books" course, since that implied emphasis on a fixed reading list, while Humanities A placed emphasis on developing students with critical appreciation of texts. Instructors understood from the outset that the course was incredibly - often, unrealistically - demanding, asking students to read a book a week in its entirety.  Humanities A was modeled after CC A: small classes, two-semesters with same instructors, instructors drawn from multiple departments, common reading list.