Associate Chair and Undergraduate Adviser
Faculty with Research Interests
For information regarding faculty visit the Department of Humanities website.
The Department of Humanities offers Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in humanities (HUM), digital humanities (DHUM), and communication (COM). The HUM degree is a flexible liberal arts degree, and students may specialize in history, literature, philosophy, communication, or art and architectural history. Students taking the DHUM degree have two specializations: a three-course set in a traditional area of the humanities such as history, philosophy, etc; and a five-course digital specialization in information architecture, technical communication, or science and technology studies. Students pursuing the COM degree specialize in professional and technical communication, journalism of science, or journalism of technology and business. The department offers courses in art and architectural history, communication, history, literature, and philosophy.
The Department of Humanities also offers academic minors in communication, English language and literature, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, professional and technical communication, and web communication. A minor in urban studies is also offered in conjunction with the Department of Social Sciences.
The department has these five undergraduate educational objectives:
- To offer and support the B.S. degree programs and the academic minors.
- To provide students the opportunity to pursue personal interests in the humanities. This objective is achieved through offering a wide range of advanced courses in the many disciplines that comprise the humanities. The department also encourages students to take minors in literature, history, and philosophy.
- To strengthen the ability of all university students to formulate and express ideas in a variety of formats. In addition to composition courses for both native and non-native English speakers, the department supports the Writing Center, where students receive one-on-one tutoring at their convenience. Undergraduates who qualify may also take advanced courses in writing. Advanced courses provide further exposure to critical thinking and to the communication of ideas.
- To support the requirements of all of the university’s professional degree programs. Courses marked with (H) satisfy degree requirements in general education. The department also offers specialized courses (such as architectural history) that meet the educational needs of specific degree programs. The department offers many courses of special relevance to students preparing for careers in the law in the university’s Honors Law Program.
- To enable all students to enrich their professional and personal lives. This goal is achieved through advanced elective courses in the humanities, which provide an appreciation and understanding of human development and the foundations and diverse expressions of human experience, particularly as reflected in history, literature, and philosophy.
Illinois Institute of Technology students are encouraged to broaden their educational backgrounds and to discover new interests through the study of humanities.
The Department of Humanities considers the advising of students an important obligation. Each semester, all students majoring in HUM, DHUM, or COM must meet with their faculty advisers during the advising period. Students must closely adhere to course prerequisites to maximize academic performance and satisfy requirements of the degree programs.
- Bachelor of Science in Communication: General Communication
- Bachelor of Science in Communication: Journalism of Science
- Bachelor of Science in Communication: Journalism of Technology and Business
- Bachelor of Science in Communication: Professional and Technical Communication
- Bachelor of Science in Digital Humanities
- Bachelor of Science in Humanities
Comprehensive background as well as concentration on individual cultures and their architects from ancient to medieval times. Discussion of architectures from around the world. Specific details and expressions of more generalized theories and strategies will be explored.
Comprehensive background as well as concentration on individual cultures and their architects from the Renaissance to modern times. Discussion of architectures from around the world. Specific details and expressions of more generalized theories and strategies will be explored.
This course explores the artistic history of the United States, from an agrarian society that developed into an industrialized nation with a distinguished national art. This broad chronological survey begins with the colonial art of Copley, Peale, West and Stuart, followed by the nation building iconography of the Hudson River School. The art of Mount and Bingham reflect antebellum culture, followed by Johnson in post-Civil War America on the eve of the Gilded Age. Finally, the course examines the realism of Homer and Eakins, defining a truly American iconography.
This broadly chronological survey begins with Sargent and Cassett in the context of European traditions. Impressionism comes to America through the art of Chase and Hassam, and other members of "The Ten". Early Modernism follows with Henri, Glackens and Sloan, leading artists of "The Eight" and the Ashcan painters, including Bellows. The major regionalists include Benton, Wood, and O'Keefe with Hopper emerging as the most significant artist of the century. With New York as the new center of Western art in post-war America, Pollock defines abstract Expressionism, followed by Warhol and Pop-Art.
An investigation into a topic of current or enduring interest in Art and/or Architectural History which will be announced by the instructor when the course is scheduled.
For advanced students. Instructor permission required.
A study of the use of writing, reading, and discussion as a means of discovering, questioning, and analyzing ideas, with an emphasis on audience, context and the use of revision. This course satisfies the Basic Writing Proficiency Requirement. It does not satisfy a general education requirement in the Humanities and Social or Behavioral Sciences.
The rhetorical theory and applied practice of digital writing. Topics include word processor alternatives, social media for professional development, multimedia writing, and collaboration and project management.
An introduction to the systematic study of language. Focus on the core areas of linguistics, such as sound patterns of language (phonology), form (syntax, morphology), and meaning (semantics, pragmatics), as well as applied areas, such as language, variation, language acquisition, psychology of language, and the origin of language.
This course surveys dialects of English around the world, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, India, Africa, and the Caribbean, focusing on vocabulary, word and sentence formation, and sound patterning.
This course examines the structure of the English language from four different approaches: traditional-prescriptive, descriptive, generative, and contextual.
Beginning with basic concepts in language development, this course traces the evolution of modern English, from its Indo-European roots, through Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Middle English and Early Modern English.
Analysis of human and synthetic speech intended for technology mediated environments and devices. Focus on talker characteristics that affect speech intelligibility and social factors that affect talker characteristics. Attention to design characteristics of technology-mediated speech and how humans react to it.
The analysis of language "flow" beyond sentence boundaries. Working with both spoken and written discourse, students will consider culture and gender-related patterns, and will apply findings from discourse analysis to communication problems in politics, education, healthcare, and the law.
This course focuses on strategies for communicating scientific information in professional and general settings. Students develop genre documents, learn how to adapt scientific information to various audiences, and complete exercises on style, grammar, and other elements of effective professional communication. Emphasis on usability, cohesion, and style in all assignments.
This course introduces the theory and practice of standards-based web design and development. The course focuses on an agile, incremental approach to building accessible, usable, and sustainable web pages that work across all modern browsers and web-enabled mobile devices. The course also provides a rhetorical and technological foundations for quickly establishing competencies in other areas of digital communication such as web application development.
A production-intensive course in applied theory and practice of developing web-based applications emphasizing interface and experience design using emerging Web standards and backend development using Ruby-based web application frameworks.
A production-intensive course in the theory and applied practice of working with application programming interfaces (APIs), especially Web-available APIs for exchanging and mashing up content and data.
A study of the literature of science from the Renaissance to modern times.
The study of covert and overt persuasion and their influences on society and individuals.
The history and structure of mass media, from print through film and broadcasting to the Internet, and their influences on American society.
This course introduces students to the general theories and practices of political campaign communication today. It investigates how those rules and types apply in the current presidential campaign. More generally, the course teaches students to produce written and oral discourse appropriate to the humanities.
Explores ethical and legal issues concerning communication in diverse contexts, such as: the mass media - e.g. print, broadcast, and electronic; government and politics; organizational hierarchies - e.g. public and private sector workplaces; academic life - e.g. the classroom, student, and faculty affairs; and interpersonal relations - e.g. love, friendship, marriage.
An investigation into a topic of current interest in communication, which will be announced by the instructor when the course is scheduled.
An investigation into a topic of current interest in communication, which will be announced by the instructor when the course is scheduled.
This course will discuss a variety of measures and properties of networks, identify various types of social networks, describe how position within and the structure of networks matter, use software tools to analyze social network data, and apply social network analysis to areas such as information retrieval, social media and organizational behavior.
This course will investigate and experiment with both conceptual and applied efforts to humanize technology. We will question the goals of humanization and its relationships to concepts such as design ethics and user-centered and emotional design. While the focus of the class will be on computer technology and programming languages, we will also look at humanization with regard to industrial design, engineering, architecture and nanotechnologies.
Principles and practice in the communication of technical materials. Students work on the design, writing, and revising of reports, articles, manuals, procedures, proposals, including the use of graphics. Works by modern writers are analyzed.
Principles and strategies for effective document and information design, focusing on print media. Students design, produce, and evaluate documents for a variety of applications, such as instructional materials, brochures, newsletters, graphics, and tables.
Principles and practical applications of editing at all levels, working with both hard and soft copy and including copymarking, copyediting, proofreading, grammar and style, and comprehensive editing. Attention primarily to documents from science, technology, and business.
Introduces students to the issues, strategies, and ethics of technical and professional presentations, and provides students with opportunities to engage in public address, video presentations and conferencing, and group presentations. Analysis of audience types and presentation situations, group dynamics, persuasive theories, language, and mass media.
An introduction to the problems of communication across cultures, with emphasis on the interplay of American civilization with those of other cultural areas.
Introduction to the principles and practices of modern American journalism. Students will analyze news stories and media, and will cover and report on campus area events. Student-generated news stories will be discussed, analyzed and evaluated.
A cooperative arrangement between IIT and industry, the internship provides students with hands-on experience in the field of technical communication.
Consent of department. For advanced students. Based on the selected topic, this course may or may not be applied to the humanities general education requirement. Consult the course instructor.
The history of Latin America from colonial times emphasizing the political evolution of the several republics. Special consideration will be given to the political, economic, military, and social relations of the U.S. with Latin American countries in the 20th century.
This course will students understand how ideas about gender have shaped the lives of women and men in Latin America and how women and men have, in turn, influenced ideas about gender. The course will improve students ability to understand and analyze historical documents, processes, and writings, and will improve students' verbal and written skills though public speaking and writing.
An overview of the historical development of Latin American film, from early to contemporary films, along with a study of the methods of critical inquiry developed to analyze film and cultural and political history in Latin America. This course provides differing visions of Latin American history as constructed through film. We analyze some of the major films of Latin American cinema with a view to the characteristic marks of this cinema, its aesthetic, major themes, the various ways that it impacts political, social and cultural systems and how social-political changes in turn impact the production and politics of film. Films will be in Spanish and English subtitles.
Nationalism and nation states; patterns of diplomacy; origins, conduct, and settlement of World War I; Russian Revolution; fate of democracy; rise of totalitarianism; World War II and the Holocaust.
The history of the "Big 3" of the world's religions -- Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism -- is traced from antiquity to the present day. Key individuals, texts, theological innovations, and reformations will be discussed and analyzed. This is predominantly a lecture-style course, although there will be occasional class discussions on primary or secondary religious texts. May not be taken for credit by students who have completed HIST 380 World Religions I.
The history of Judaism, Buddhism, and a number of faiths with a similar worldview that have been placed under the heading of Nature Religions is traced from antiquity to the present day. Key individuals, texts, theological innovations, and reformations will be discussed and analyzed. This is predominantly a lecture-style course, although there will be occasional class discussions on primary or secondary religious texts. May not be taken for credit by students who have completed HIST 380 World Religions II.
An examination of how women shaped the course of US history and of how key political and social events shaped their lives. Since no single experience conveys the history of all American women, this course will discuss the diverse realities of women of different races, classes, ethnicities, and political tendencies. It looks at how and why the conditions, representations, and identities of women changed or remained the same. By incorporating women into our vision of history, we develop a more complete understanding of our past.
Examines the creation of the American nationality from its diverse roots, which include almost all the world's great cultures. Special stress on immigration, African American history, and the relationships among concepts of race, class, and gender.
Traces America's transformation from agrarian republic to Industrial Empire. Stresses impact of industrialization on all aspects of life, the nature of slavery, the failures of "Reconstruction", and the western and urban frontiers. Explores the adventures that made America a great power.
Traces how America attained economic and military power and what it did with that power at home and abroad. Discusses the World Wars, the Great Depression, the limits of the "welfare state," the movement for Black equality, and the transformations of the 1960's.
Explores the historical roots of contemporary issues. Topics vary by semester but always include the Cold War and America's international position, tensions over immigration and racial integration, and the historic roots of changes in popular culture and daily life.
A historical analysis of contemporary globalization in trade, technology, labor, and culture. The course includes a comparative analysis of the world's leading economies (e.g. Great Britain, Germany, United States, and Japan), and considers their varied responses to industrial revolutions in the past two centuries.
Students gain an understanding of the history and culture of Greece, Rome, and ancient Palestine. Walk a mile in someone else's sandals while tracing the early foundations of Western culture. Using disciplined analysis and creative interpretation to reconstruct aspects of ancient civilizations, students are challenged to escape their own personal and cultural perspectives.
This course examines how women in different regions of the world have helped to shape their nation's society and history. It also explores the connections and/or lack of connections between women, women's movements, and key political events during the twentieth century. The course will both draw some general themes and look at some specific case studies.
Basic facts and issues of U.S. urban history; reasons for the growth, development, and decay of cities; origins of contemporary urban political, social, and economic problems.
This course explores the city throughout world history as both place and space. The course begins by examining the early history of cities in the ancient world around the globe and then moves across time to examine the medieval, early modern, and modern/contemporary city. By the end of the course students will be expected to understand how and why cities have been constructed and how cities and the idea of the city have, over time, been historically interconnected even before the global urban world of today.
Basic institutions of the contemporary city studied in their historical context, using Chicago as a case study. Political machines, social and political reform traditions, planning agencies, ethnic neighborhoods, organized crime and many other urban institutions.
What is digital labor? Since the mid-twentieth century, labor forces have radically changed in relation to new digital, electronic computing technologies. Perhaps the clearest example of this change is the evolution of computer programming as a respected and highly paid profession. But those who work directly with computers are not the only ones affected. As computing systems have steadily reorganized aspects of society, the idea of what counts as labor has changed. This course introduces students to historical and contemporary issues in the history of technology to explain how our national and global work forces are shaped by digital, electronic technology. We will look at everything from World War II electronic codebreaking to present-day struggles over net neutrality. We will also look at the "hidden labor" behind our digital technologies, from hardware's origins in African mines and Chinese factories to the strenuous manual and psychological labor hidden in the back-ends of many of our favorite online services. Throughout, students will learn how seemingly unrelated changes share a common history. The course will include several guest lecturers from academia and industry. Students will be asked to write papers, do multimedia projects, and engage with their classmates in group projects.
Examines the birth and evolution of professional engineering. Topics include engineering education, professional standards, industrial and government contexts, distinctive modes of thinking, and engineering in popular culture.
This course introduces students to the history of video gaming while providing instruction in scholarly practice with an emphasis on research and writing. Topics include the technical and cultural history of the video games, academic writing, and humanities research methods.
This course investigates different disasters throughout history to show how disasters catalyze legislative and technological change. Since our understanding of what constitutes a disaster is constructed through public discourse and popular media, this course will employ a variety of media and teaching techniques. In addition to discussion, lecture, and required readings, students will watch documentaries and read news articles to piece together the histories of regulatory changes effected by disasters in the realms of power production, environmental stewardship, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure, public health, reproduction, food production, and more.
This course addresses the question "How do technologies change the world?" through examining the history of computing. Readings and discussions on the people, technologies, ideas, and institutions of modern computing; and the uses of computers in computation, control, simulation, communication, and recreation. We'll learn about hardware heavyweights, software moguls, and where the World Wide Web came from.
How does history become known, and how do certain accounts become popularized as the truth or "common knowledge"? What role do visual media, particularly films and documentaries, play in the process of creating and understanding our shared past? Can film be a force for uncovering and popularizing "hidden" histories that upset our assumptions about the past? This course takes a novel approach to less well-known chapters in history by looking at how films and documentaries can be tools for disseminating historical knowledge and how they can also be activist interventions in how we understand the past and its relationship to the society we live in today. Throughout the course, we will watch films and documentaries that try to answer the questions posed above, and we will read historical accounts of the events they convey. Students will learn how to write a short history from primary documents and then transfer it to an audio or a visual medium. This will result in 2 projects: a short podcast and a short documentary film on a historical topic.
An investigation into a topic of current or enduring interest in history, which will be announced by the instructor when the course is scheduled.
Explores the process of technological change during the birth of industrial societies. Considers the context of early industrial development in Europe, then examines the industrial revolution in Britain and America. Concludes by assessing technology's role in European domination of Asia and Africa.
Examines technological change as a characteristic activity of modern societies. Investigates the science-based "second" Industrial Revolution in Europe and America. Explores the varied responses of artists, writers, architects, and philosophers to the machine age. Concludes by discussing technology's place in the modern nation-state.
Consent of department. For advanced students.
An interdisciplinary course that examines the development of modern industrial society and the impact of science and technology on our culture. Readings drawn from history, literature, and philosophy. This course is also writing instruction intensive.
An introduction to the humanities through an investigation of important changes in our culture associated with Darwin's theory of evolution. Readings drawn from literature, philosophy, and science. This course is also writing instruction intensive.
An interdisciplinary study of biographies and autobiographies. In addition to considering such works as a genre, the course examines the historical events and the philosophical issues that have shaped the lives and attitudes of the writers/subjects. This course is also writing instruction intensive.
Introduces major topics in digital culture while providing instruction in scholarly practice with emphasis on research and writing. Topics include technical and cultural history of the internet, academic writing, and humanities research methods.
Introduction to Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary course with an American lens that draws on feminist ideas and scholarship to develop a set of tools for analyzing women's experiences in social, cultural, and political contexts. The course aims to sharpen students' critical awareness of how gender operates in institutional and cultural contexts and in their own lives as well as to give them an opportunity to imagine participating in social change. May not be taken for credit by students who have completed HUM 380 Introduction to Women's Studies.
Have you ever wondered why more men choose to portray themselves as women online than the reverse? Or why there are more boys than girls in China? Or why vibrator technology was seen as a medical necessity in the 19th century? Have you ever thought about how the interplay between technology and gender constructs everything from our modern military to how we choose to spend our free time? To where we work? This course explores the history of technology by using gender as a category of analysis. It also looks at how technological objects and tools participate in molding elements of our culture that we may take for granted as logical or timeless. By looking at change over time, we will analyze the different ways technology affects how we live and see ourselves and how gender defines technological priorities.
This course focuses on the latest work in science and technology studies and the history of technology from ethics in genetic engineering to the social dimensions of computing. Other topics include the intersection of gender and sexuality with new technologies, the role of communications media in "rewiring" our brains and our social connections, and the role of the world wide web in constructing national and global technocracy. Students will read and discuss works by academics as well as journalists in order to offer grounding in the historical, social, and economic background of key technical topics and the presentation of technical topics for wider audiences. Students will also learn about the ways in which authors leverage different information technologies to communicate to wider audiences and how those methods are evolving.
This course introduces students to fundamental principles and practices in the design of games. Students complete readings and workshop activities related to design principles and game mechanics and complete individual and group design projects.
Interactive Storytelling is an upper-level communication course that examines methods and forms of interactive storytelling while engaging students in hands-on production projects.
An investigation into a topic of current or enduring interest in the humanities, which does not fit neatly into standard categories.
Independent reading or research.
Summer research for undergraduate students in IIE/BSMP.
A treatment of select science fiction texts in terms of how they reflect shifting forms of work and social life in the 20th century. The course will focus on how these texts translate shifts in social patterns and popular entertainment.
Comics, once a genre associated primarily with superheroes, have evolved since the 1970's to address weighty philosophical and existential issues in extended formats such as the graphic novel. This course will examine the graphic novels from major authors in the genre (e.g., Spiegelman, Eisner, and Moore) as well as "outside" artists. Also covered are the theoretical foundations of comics theory according to Will Eisner and Scott McCloud (among others). May not be taken for credit by students who have completed LIT 380 Graphic Novel.
A formal and thematic analysis of a diverse selection of works of short fiction. The selection will be announced by the instructor when the course is scheduled.
Analysis of the novel as a literary form with attention to its place in ongoing cultural and political discourse.
Contemporary networks of global capital and information technologies provide the motivation for the reading strategies of this course. The course will examine literary texts from a variety of global contexts from the perspective of globalism and nationalism.
Study of poetry and imaginative prose, including an analysis of the theoretical, literary, and socio-cultural contexts of these works. The course may include creative writing by students.
While reading is the first step in understanding Shakespeare's work, seeing his words brought to life in a film or stage production comes closest to experiencing the plays as Shakespeare intended 400 years ago: as a performance. For each play discussed, students will view and compare two film versions. Students will also go to a live production of one play. Also covered are a history of Shakespeare in film and an introduction to film analysis. May not be taken for credit by students who have taken LIT 380 Shakespeare on Stage and Screen.
Designed to introduce students to the variety of professional theater performances in and around Chicago. Main emphasis on seeing plays, ancient to contemporary; essays and oral reports; study of dramatic genres and theater history.
Examination of the style and language of film as shown in a number of feature films, with emphasis on the various ways individual directors use the cinema for personal and cultural ends.
This course introduces students to literary texts in Western and other traditions that examine issues of gender and sexuality, exploring how both gender and sexuality are interactive concepts shaped by their interrelationships with other vectors of identity, and with the artistic forms in which they are represented. May not be taken for credit by students who have taken LIT 380 Gender and Sexuality in Literature.
This course explores various issues represented within African American literature. Throughout the course the students will read texts that focus on relationships between race, class, gender and identity. Students will discuss and research topics associated with themes outlined by the instructor.
Study of such writers as Steineck, Frost, Eliot, Anderson, O'Neill, Hemingway, Cather, Wolfe, Faulkner, and contemporary writers such as Updike and Toni Morrison.
An investigation into a topic of current or enduring interest in literature, which will be announced by the instructor when the course is scheduled.
A workshop demonstrating principles of composition in fiction, poetry, or drama, studied from a writer's vantage point. Works by modern authors are analyzed. Student manuscripts are discussed and evaluated.
Consent of department. For advanced students.
A study of major works by Plato, Aristotle, and other important ancient philosophers.
The study of major 17th and 18th century philosophers, such as Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.
A study of recent philosophical trends (or movements), including logical positivism, existentialism, ordinary language philosophy, etc.
An in-depth study of a single outstanding philosopher, chosen by the instructor. The focus of the course will be announced when the course is scheduled.
An analysis of the concept of language in both the works of philosophers and the works of linguists. The course looks into theories of linguistic meaning, sentence structure, speech acts, and the assumptions underlying research in modern linguistics.
This course draws upon two or more widely different traditions in considering one or more topics of philosophical interest. Usually, the course will include both Western and non-Western sources. The course may be organized around a given philosophical issue or may compare and contrast two or more thinkers from the relevant traditions.
Examination of different conceptions of legitimate political authority; includes discussion of ideas of social justice, natural rights, sovereignty.
A systematic examination of contemporary Social issues such as abortion, euthanasia, war, environmental destruction, poverty, terrorism, and sexual morality.
Through an analysis of the concepts of explanation, theory, hypothesis, experiment, and observation, this course seeks an understanding of how the growth of scientific knowledge is possible.
An examination of the conception of "mind" as opposed to body implications for psychology, artificial intelligence, and neuroscience.
An examination of the methods and theories of the social sciences, especially sociology and anthropology, and their relationships to the natural sciences.
A history of interaction between science and philosophy showing how changing conceptions of metaphysics and scientific method have influenced the development of Renaissance astronomy, nineteenth century atomic theory, ether theories, theories of geological and biological change, etc.
This course will consider questions such as: What role should values play in scientific inquiry? Should scientists consider only epistemic or cognitive values, or should they also take into account social and cultural values? Could science be objective and make progress if it is shaped by social and cultural values?.
A study of the fundamental issues of moral philosophy.
An analysis of the concept of law and how it differs from custom, religion, and morality. The course looks into issues of judicial reasoning, the assumptions that underlie the criminal justice system and the imposition of liability, and legal ethics.
The philosophy of the fine arts, including an analysis of the concepts of beauty, representation, expression and the purpose of art.
A study of the problems of moral and social responsibility for the engineering profession, including such topics as safety, confidentiality and government regulation.
A study of the moral problems architects must resolve in the practice of their profession, including problems of confidentiality, candor, esthetics, and economy arising from the special responsibilities of architects to and public, client, employer, and colleagues.
Ethical issues relating to individual and corporate responsibility, self and governmental regulation, investment, advertising, urban problems, the environment, preferential hiring.
Moral problems that confront professionals in computer-related fields, including questions raised by the concept of intellectual property and its relationship to computer software, professional codes of ethics for computer use, responsibility for harm resulting from the misuse of computers.
An investigation into a topic of current interest in philosophy; which will be announced by the instructor when the course is scheduled.
Supervised individual research for advanced students. **Instructor permission required.**