Gen Ed Requirement Form
Description adapted from the Course Catalog
Critical Perspectives: West In Time
- Courses meeting this General Education requirement ask students to position their knowledge of the broader world, not just in “the here and now”, but through critical inquiry across time as well. The West in Time acknowledges the crucial importance of understanding the past as the context out of which contemporary modes of inquiry and contemporary fields of study have grown. These courses must be a two-block, two-unit course in which students will explore compelling aspects of the Western experience over a significant period of time (antiquity to the modern period or the Middle Ages to the modern period). This Critical Perspectives requirement acknowledges the modern Western propensity to create cultural and historical narratives that assume development and progress over time. It also insists on the importance of understanding the contemporary Western ‘self’ in the context of previous iterations of the ‘self’.
- These courses will meet the description given in #1 and will examine some combination of the following:
- Engage students in an exploration of the past through examination of ideas, events, cultural institutions, and practices;
- Enable students to expand their understanding of narratives of the development of the Western tradition over time and provide them with the analytical tools to critique those narratives;
- Engage students in critical analysis of the connections between the past and the present;
- Encourage students to consider how our understanding of contemporary events is informed by our grasp of the historical past.