Recognize, describe, and apply methods, materials, and/or insights from at least two humanities disciplines to the analysis of issues, problems, or questions introduced in coursework and/or independent reading and research:
I find myself using more than one humanities disciplines in most of my classes. That is one of the main things I love about the humanities: the focus is primarily shifted to emphasizing and enhancing one’s ability to think, investigate and utilize a multitude of skills to approach a question or problem. I found myself exercising this process in one of my philosophy courses: Race, Racism and Beyond. This course required teaching the history of racism around the world in order to evaluate the psychological and philosophical aspects of it. In my final essay for the course, we had to reflect on what we learned throughout the course and how it affected us.
“The second film we watched in this course was about the Black War and the genocide of Aboriginal Australians in Tasmania. The European Army viewed the Tasmanians as barbaric for doing things differently than the British did. They claimed they had no values and were viewed as animalistic and primal. There was a factory put into place that aimed to convert the Aboriginals from barbaric to “normal” and help them to gain morals. I think this was the first time I really understood the meaning of dehumanization”
This is a section from my final essay where I reflect on the history of the Black War that I had never known about prior to the course. Likewise, I hadn’t known what dehumanization meant. Through this ONE philosophy course, I was able to dive into the history of global racism while learning about the philosophy behind dehumanization and racial stigmas.
Find, evaluate, and integrate a variety of primary and secondary sources of information in order to reach informed conclusions about problems and issues:
One of the many english courses I have taken at UNE was called Prize Fiction. This course investigated the nominations for the 2020 Booker Prize by using primary sources (the five novels nominated), and secondary sources (Susan Gallagher and Stephen Levin, just to name two) to explain and evaluate their nomination status. Further, we used these sources to investigate the real-life 2020 Booker Prize winner. I utilized the secondary sources to come up with a set of criteria in which a novel would need to meet in order to be deemed the winner. This is an excerpt from my final essay where I used the secondary criticisms to name my criteria and select my Booker Prize winner through the lens of those criteria:
“Through the investigation of Susan Gallagher’s Contingencies and Intersections: The Formation of Pedagogical Canons and Stephen M. Levin’s Is There a Booker Aesthetic? Iterations of the Global Novel, I was able to determine the two most noteworthy and typical criteria for the Booker to be reader appeal and reliability along with the ability to entertain through scandal. There were five novels shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize and one winner. Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste, Real Life by Brandon Taylor, This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga and The New Wilderness by Diane Cook were the five shortlisted novels, leaving Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stewart to be named the winner. Shuggie Bain encompassed the relatability and appeal to the reader as mentioned by Gallagher, while also being able to entertain through scandal, as Douglas Stewart refused the award. Shuggie Bain showcases these criteria better than the other nominees which is ultimately why it deserves to win”
It’s evident in this passage the two secondary sources I used to evaluate my primary sources. Because I have a biology minor, I had known what primary and secondary sources look like in scientific settings. I did not really have a grasp on primary and secondary sources within the humanities until I asked about them in class about a week ago. I definitely think this is an area within the learning outcomes that could be expanded upon or emphasized more. After having the difference explained to me, I had realized that I had used primary and secondary sources in almost all of my classes, I just had not recognized it.
Communicate ideas orally and in writing:
As a humanities major, I have to communicate my ideas through writing almost every day. It’s not as often that I get to communicate orally through presentations, and I almost wish I had more opportunities to do that more. I’m someone who gets kind of nervous presenting in front of a group, which is why I think more practice in that area could have been beneficial.
In my second year at UNE, I took a history course called Medicine in the Media that aimed to evaluate the history of how medicine and disease has been portrayed in America. I thought this would be an interesting class, considering I was hoping to go to dental school at the time and I love the humanities. It turned out to be one of my favorite classes I’ve taken. For that class, I was able to organize a presentation surrounding a health topic (I chose mental health) and investigate the history of its portrayal to the public. I then gave this presentation orally in front of the class. I’ve attached this presentation below:
Also in my Prize Fiction course mentioned above, we created “Month-In-Review” presentations where we evaluated the new secondary criticisms and the novels we had read that month. I liked these presentations because they were recorded and we did not have to present them in front of the class. However, the class had access to the presentations and could watch them on their own time. I was still able to practice oral communication, as I voiced over the presentations and often had to redo it multiple times until I liked it, but there was less pressure about looking or sounding a certain way in front of an audience. I will link one of these Month-In-Reviews below:
Assess their own learning through the development and presentation of a capstone revision project:
My capstone project was centered around my experiences in both the sciences in the humanities, and my growth in both disciplines. I chose to revise a paper I had written first semester Freshman year. I realized this paper lacked a thesis and an overall argument. I focused far too much on summary and other sources that I lost myself and my own argument. I felt this was a great paper to revise because it was centered around different discourses and how one builds an identity through them. Over these four years I’ve had three different majors, two different hair colors, two different pairs of glasses, and an exponential amount of different thoughts/outlooks/ways of being. This project was very sentimental for me, as I didn’t recognize or realize how much I had grown these past four years. Putting that into perspective and being able to portray this growth to faculty and friends solidified the meaning of my college experience and made it feel tangible. Final drafts of my revision presentation and paper are linked on my site if you’d like to learn more.