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333 Dartmouth Hall
HB 6084
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755


Baker Tower

Why you should take Humanities 1 and 2 in your first two terms at Dartmouth College:

  • Because you love to read, you love to think deeply, you love to discuss important ideas that have puzzled or inspired people for millennia.
    The course is organized with a double focus.  A third of the class hours are in lecture format. The rest of the class hours are devoted to intensive discussions in small groups led by each professor.
  • Because of the books. 
    These are books that have deeply influenced our culture. They have intrigued, inspired, and sometimes antagonized generations of readers. You’ll find yourself returning to them throughout your life. Previous Humanities students have said that these were exactly the kinds of books they hoped to study in college.
  • Because of the professors.
    This is a chance to get to know a few professors well at the beginning of your Dartmouth career, within an intellectually exciting but supportive small-class environment. Humanities 1 and 2 are among the oldest interdisciplinary courses at Dartmouth College.
  • Because the courses, when taken together, fulfill both the First-Year Writing requirement (in place of taking Writing 5) and a First-Year Seminar.
  • Because you like to think about the relationship between literature and other art forms.
    We will screen films inspired by these texts, and at times look at the works of art that influenced them, or were in turn inspired by them.
  • Because you want to learn to write better.
    In each section, the professor carefully reads, comments upon, and suggests ways of improving your essays. You will receive help with both the intellectual content of your work and the craft of writing.
  • Because Humanities 1 and 2 are open only to First-Year Students.
    The courses give First-Year Students a chance to explore the humanities on a “level playing field,” without feeling overshadowed by more experienced Dartmouth students. Don’t miss the opportunity to take these courses during your first year!
  • Because you are not afraid of challenges. 
    The course is deliberately structured to be demanding. Its philosophy is that the purpose of an education is to expand cultural and intellectual horizons and promote the kinds of intellectual and personal self-discipline that are important to the life of the mind and to life in society. The demands it will make on your time are reasonable, but it is not an “easy” way to satisfy the College’s distributive requirement in Literature.
  • Because Humanities 1 and 2 are a foundation for study in many departments and programs in the Social Sciences as well as the Humanities.

Last Updated: 5/21/15