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Office: Student Services, Building 260, Rooms 128
Mail Code: 94305-2005
Phone: (650) 723-1967. Fax: (650) 725-9306
Email: odunlop@stanford.edu
Web Site: https://humanitiescore.stanford.edu/

The undergraduate minor in Humanities provides Stanford students with a broad foundation in the humanities, emphasizing literature, philosophy, and history. The program combines this general knowledge with a focus on the particular cultures of a global region and allows students to reflect on and discuss many of the critical questions that arise everywhere that human beings live together.

Requirements

Students in any field qualify for the Humanities minor by meeting the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 6 courses completed at 3 units each.
  • Courses applied to the minor must be taken for a letter grade where offered. 
  • A grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better must be achieved in each course.
  • All electives and Bing Overseas courses must be approved by the faculty director, Dan Edelstein.  
  • Transfer credit and AP credit do not apply to this minor.
  • Courses applied toward the minor may not fulfill requirements for another degree.

The Humanities Core consists of three tracks:

  1. Choose one of the tracks listed below and take all three of the courses for 3 units each.
  2. Three additional courses in a humanities department chosen by the student as an elective toward the minor and approved by the faculty director.
Units
Tracks9
European (9 total units, 3 per course)
HUMCORE 11Humanities Core: Great Books, Big Ideas -- Europe, The Ancient World3
HUMCORE 52Global Humanities: The Grand Millennium, 800-18003-4
HUMCORE 13Humanities Core: Great Books, Big Ideas -- Europe, Modern4
HUMCORE 20Humanities Core: Dao, Virtue, and Nature -- Foundations of East Asian Thought3
HUMCORE 21Humanities Core: Love and Betrayal in Asia3
HUMCORE 22Humanities Core: Everybody Eats: The Language, Culture, and Ethics of Food in East Asia3
HUMCORE 31Humanities Core: Texts that Changed the World -- The Ancient Middle East3-5
HUMCORE 52Global Humanities: The Grand Millennium, 800-18003-4
HUMCORE 33Humanities Core: Global Identity, Culture, and Politics from the Middle East3

Certificate

The Humanities Interdisciplinary Program offers a certificate to students who complete a three quarter HUMCORE sequence. To receive the certificate, the student should contact Student Services, located in Room 128, Pigott Hall, or email odunlop@stanford.edu. To receive the certificate, all courses must be for a letter grade where offered.

Faculty Directors: Dan Edelstein and Debra Satz

Courses

HUMCORE 11. Humanities Core: Great Books, Big Ideas -- Europe, The Ancient World. 3 Units.

This course will journey through ancient literature from Homer to St. Augustine; it will introduce participants to some of its fascinating features and big ideas; and it will reflect on questions such as: What is a good life, a good society? Who is in and who is out and why? What is the meaning of honor, and should it be embraced or feared? Where does human subjectivity fit into a world of matter, cause and effect? When is rebellion justified? What happens when a way of life or thought is upended? Do we have any duties to the past? N.B. This is the first of three courses in the European track. These courses offer an unparalleled opportunity to study European history and culture, past and present. Take all three to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future. Students who take HUMCORE 11 and HUMCORE 12Q will have preferential admission to HUMCORE 13Q (a WR2 seminar).
Same as: CLASSICS 37, DLCL 11

HUMCORE 12. Humanities Core: Great Books, Big Ideas -- Europe, Middle Ages and Renaissance. 3-4 Units.

This three-quarter sequence asks big questions of major texts in the European and American tradition. What is a good life? How should society be organized? Who belongs? How should honor, love, sin, and similar abstractions govern our actions? What duty do we owe to the past and future? The second quarter focuses on the transition from the Middle Ages to Modernity, Europe's re-acquaintance with classical antiquity and its first contacts with the New World. Authors include Dante, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Cervantes, and Milton.
Same as: DLCL 12, ENGLISH 112A

HUMCORE 12Q. Humanities Core: Great Books, Big Ideas -- Europe, Middle Ages and Renaissance. 3-4 Units.

This three-quarter sequence asks big questions of major texts in the European and American tradition. What is a good life? How should society be organized? Who belongs? How should honor, love, sin, and similar abstractions govern our actions? What duty do we owe to the past and future? The second quarter focuses on the transition from the Middle Ages to Modernity, Europe's re-acquaintance with classical antiquity and its first contacts with the New World. Authors include Dante, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Cervantes, and Milton. N.B. This is the second of three courses in the European track. These courses offer an unparalleled opportunity to study European history and culture, past and present. Take all three to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future. Students who take HUMCORE 11 and HUMCORE 12Q will have preferential admission to HUMCORE 13Q (a WR2 seminar).
Same as: DLCL 12Q, FRENCH 12Q, ILAC 12Q

HUMCORE 13. Humanities Core: Great Books, Big Ideas -- Europe, Modern. 3-4 Units.

This three-quarter sequence asks big questions of major texts in the European and American tradition. What is a good life? How should society be organized? Who belongs? How should honor, love, sin, and similar abstractions govern our actions? What duty do we owe to the past and future? This third and final quarter focuses on the modern period, from the rise of revolutionary ideas to the experiences of totalitarianism and decolonization in the twentieth century. Authors include Locke, Mary Shelley, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Primo Levi, and Frantz Fanon.
Same as: DLCL 13, FRENCH 13, HISTORY 239C, PHIL 13

HUMCORE 13Q. Humanities Core: Great Books, Big Ideas -- Europe, Modern. 3-4 Units.

This three-quarter sequence asks big questions of major texts in the European and American tradition. What is a good life? How should society be organized? Who belongs? How should honor, love, sin, and similar abstractions govern our actions? What duty do we owe to the past and future? This third and final quarter focuses on the modern period, from the rise of revolutionary ideas to the experiences of totalitarianism and decolonization in the twentieth century. Authors include Locke, Mary Shelley, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Primo Levi, and Frantz Fanon. N.B. This is the third of three courses in the European track. These courses offer an unparalleled opportunity to study European history and culture, past and present. Take all three to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future. Students who take HUMCORE 11 and HUMCORE 12Q will have preferential admission to HUMCORE 13Q (a WR2 seminar). **NOTE** This class meets Monday and Wednesday in room 20-22K and Fridays in room 260-113 to attend a lecture along with the other two HUMCORE courses this quarter.
Same as: DLCL 13Q, GERMAN 13Q

HUMCORE 20. Humanities Core: Dao, Virtue, and Nature -- Foundations of East Asian Thought. 3 Units.

This course explores the values and questions posed in the formative period of East Asian civilizations. Notions of a Dao ("Way") are common to Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, but those systems of thought have radically different ideas about what that Dao is and how it might be realized in society and an individual's life. These systems of thought appeared first in China, and eventually spread to Korea and Japan. Each culture developed its own ways of reconciling the competing systems, but in each case the comprehensive structure of values and human ideals differs significantly from those that appeared elsewhere in the ancient world. The course examines East Asian ideas about self-cultivation, harmonious society, rulership, and the relation between human and nature with a view toward expanding our understanding of these issues in human history, and highlighting their legacies in Asian civilizations today. The course features selective readings in classics of Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist texts that present the foundational tenets of Asian thought. N. B. This is the first of three courses in the Humanities Core, East Asian track. These courses show how history and ideas shape our world and future. Take all three to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to the life of the mind.
Same as: CHINA 20, JAPAN 20, KOREA 20

HUMCORE 21. Humanities Core: Love and Betrayal in Asia. 3 Units.

Why are lovers in storybooks East and West always star-crossed? Why do love and death seem to go together? For every Romeo and Juliet, there are dozens of doomed lovers in the Asian literary repertoires, from Genji's string of embittered mistresses, to the Butterfly lovers in early modern China, to the voices of desire in Koryo love songs, to the devoted adolescent cousins in Dream of the Red Chamber, to the media stars of Korean romantic drama, now wildly popular throughout Asia. In this course, we explore how the love story has evolved over centuries of East Asian history, asking along the way what we can learn about Chinese, Japanese, and Korean views of family and community, gender and sexuality, truth and deception, trust and betrayal, ritual and emotion, and freedom and solidarity from canonical and non-canonical works in East Asian literatures. N.B. This is the second of three courses in the East Asian track. These courses offer an unparalleled opportunity to study East Asian history and culture, past and present. Take all three to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future.
Same as: CHINA 21, JAPAN 21, KOREA 21

HUMCORE 21Q. Humanities Core: Love and Betrayal in Asia. 3 Units.

Why are lovers in storybooks East and West always star-crossed? Why do love and death seem to go together? For every Romeo and Juliet, there are dozens of doomed lovers in the Asian literary repertoires, from Genji's string of embittered mistresses, to the Butterfly lovers in early modern China, to the voices of desire in Koryo love songs, to the devoted adolescent cousins in Dream of the Red Chamber, to the media stars of Korean romantic drama, now wildly popular throughout Asia. In this course, we explore how the love story has evolved over centuries of East Asian history, asking along the way what we can learn about Chinese, Japanese, and Korean views of family and community, gender and sexuality, truth and deception, trust and betrayal, ritual and emotion, and freedom and solidarity from canonical and non-canonical works in East Asian literatures. N.B. This is the second of three courses in the East Asian track. These courses offer an unparalleled opportunity to study East Asian history and culture, past and present. Take all three to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future.
Same as: CHINA 21Q, JAPAN 21Q, KOREA 21Q

HUMCORE 22. Humanities Core: Everybody Eats: The Language, Culture, and Ethics of Food in East Asia. 3 Units.

Many of us have grown up eating "Asian" at home, with friends, on special occasions, or even without full awareness that Asian is what we were eating. This course situates the three major culinary traditions of East Asia--China, Japan, and Korea--in the histories and civilizations of the region, using food as an introduction to their rich repertoires of literature, art, language, philosophy, religion, and culture. It also situates these seemingly timeless gastronomies within local and global flows, social change, and ethical frameworks. Specifically, we will explore the traditional elements of Korean court food, and the transformation of this cuisine as a consequence of the Korean War and South Korea¿s subsequent globalizing economy; the intersection of traditional Japanese food with past and contemporary identities; and the evolution of Chinese cuisine that accompanies shifting attitudes about the environment, health, and well-being. Questions we will ask ourselves during the quarter include, what is "Asian" about Asian cuisine? How has the language of food changed? Is eating, and talking about eating, a gendered experience? How have changing views of the self and community shifted the conversation around the ethics and ecology of meat consumption?.
Same as: CHINA 118, JAPAN 118, KOREA 118

HUMCORE 22Q. Humanities Core: How to be Modern in East Asia. 3-5 Units.

Modern East Asia was almost continuously convulsed by war and revolution in the 19th and 20th centuries. But the everyday experience of modernity was structured more profoundly by the widening gulf between the country and the city, economically, politically, and culturally. This course examines literary and cinematic works from China and Japan that respond to and reflect on the city/country divide, framing it against issues of class, gender, national identity, and ethnicity. It also explores changing ideas about home/hometown, native soil, the folk, roots, migration, enlightenment, civilization, progress, modernization, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and sustainability. All materials are in English. N.B. This is the third of three courses in the East Asian track. These courses offer an unparalleled opportunity to study East Asian history and culture, past and present. Take all three to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future.
Same as: CHINA 22Q, COMPLIT 22Q, JAPAN 22Q

HUMCORE 31. Humanities Core: Texts that Changed the World -- The Ancient Middle East. 3-5 Units.

This course traces the story of the cradle of human civilization. We will start from the earliest human stories, the Gilgamesh Epos and biblical literature, and follow the path of the development of religion, philosophy and literature in the ancient Mediterranean or Middle Eastern world.We will pose questions about how different we are today. What are our foundational stories and myths and ideas? Should we remain connected in deep ways to the most ancient past of civilization, or seek to distance ourselves from those origins? N.B. This is the first of three courses in the Middle Eastern track. These courses offer a UNIQUE opportunity to study Middle Eastern history and culture, past and present. Take one, two or all three courses to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future.
Same as: COMPLIT 31, DLCL 31, RELIGST 150

HUMCORE 33. Humanities Core: Global Identity, Culture, and Politics from the Middle East. 3 Units.

How do we face the future? What resources do we have? Which power structures hold us back and which empower us? What are our identities at college in the Bay Area? In 1850s Lebanon, Abu Faris Shidyaq faced all these same questions (except the last one; he was a Christian magazine editor). In this course we will engage with claims about identity, culture, and politics that some might say come from the "Middle East" but that we understand as global. Ganzeer's graphic novel is as much for California as it is for Egypt. Ataturk's speech is about power and identity just like Donald Trump is about power and identity. In Turkish novels and in Arabic poetry, the people we engage in this course look to their pasts and our futures. What happens next? This is the third of three courses in the Middle Eastern track. These courses offer an unparalleled opportunity to study Middle Eastern history and culture, past and present. Take all three to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future.future.
Same as: COMPLIT 33, DLCL 33

HUMCORE 52. Global Humanities: The Grand Millennium, 800-1800. 3-4 Units.

How should we live? This course explores ethical pathways in European, Islamic, and East Asian traditions: mysticism and rationality, passion and duty, this and other worldly, ambition and peace of mind. They all seem to be pairs of opposites, but as we'll see, some important historical figures managed to follow two or more of them at once. We will read works by successful thinkers, travelers, poets, lovers, and bureaucrats written between 800 and 1900 C.E. We will ask ourselves whether we agree with their choices and judgments about what is a life well lived.
Same as: DLCL 52, HISTORY 206D, JAPAN 52