Humanities 2

Applications are currently open for Humanities 2!

Are you enrolled in Writing 5 this fall and curious about Humanities 2 as an alternative to a First Year Seminar? Do you wish you had applied for the Hum 1 and 2 sequence this past summer?

All students who are currently enrolled in Writing 5 (Fall 2023) are invited to apply for Humanities 2 for Winter 2024. The application period will be open during winter term registration (from Wednesday, October 25 to Thursday, November 2).

Note that the course is at the 12 block (MWF 12:50-1:55 pm).

The application, which consists of two responses (about 200-300 words each) to prompts, is available at https://www.dartmouth.edu/hums1-2/forms/h2appform.html

Frequently Asked Questions

I was waitlisted for the humanities sequence this past summer. Am I still under consideration for HUM 2?

Yes! Waitlisted students will be prioritized. We'll know how many spaces we have to offer following the course election period.

If I'm scheduled to take a First Year Seminar (FYS) in the winter, should I still register for an FYS during the winter term election period?

Yes! You can switch if you're offered and you accept a spot in HUM 2. Humanities 2 fulfills the FYS requirement.

If I'm offered a spot in HUM 2, am I required to take it?

Not at all. You can pass on the opportunity and we'll offer the spot to the next person on the list.

What are the advantages of taking HUM 2 over a First Year Seminar?

It simply depends on the what interests you. Please see the description of HUM 2 below, which includes a list of assigned works, including poetry, short stories, films, an opera, essays, and a novel.

Will I be disadvantaged if I haven't taken HUM 1?

In our experience, students who switch from Writing 5 to HUM 2 have no problems adjusting.

How do I apply?

The application is available here: https://www.dartmouth.edu/hums1-2/forms/h2appform.html

Whom do I contact with questions about HUM 2?

Email Prof. Laura Edmondson, the Director of Humanities 1 and 2, at Laura.Edmondson@dartmouth.edu.

Humanities 2: Varieties of Intimacy, Winter 2024


Humanities 2 is the second part of a two term sequences that introduces first-year students to the interdisciplinary richness of the humanities. Through an exploration of compelling literary texts, films, paintings, and other artworks that speak to key moments in global culture, students are invited to learn about the stories, images, and ideas that shape and reshape our world. Weekly lectures are paired with small, lively discussion sections in which students work with professors and peers to hone their analytical and writing skills. The theme for winter 2024 is, “Varieties of Intimacy.”


The course will be taught by Paul Carranza (Spanish and Portuguese), Ainsley Morse (Russian & Comparative Literature), and Dennis Washburn (Asian Societies, Cultures and Literatures; Comparative Literature). Students will work closely with one of these three professors in their discussion section.

The course will also feature guest lectures from Veronika Fuechtner (German and Comparative Literature), Carlos Minchillo (Spanish and Portuguese), Steve Swayne (Music), and Paul Young (Film and Media Studies). Vievee Francis and Matthew Olzmann (English and Creative Writing) will visit the class at the end of the term to discuss their poetry. 

Assigned Works

The works to be taught include:

  • Poems by Catullus, Sappho, & Grigori Dashevsky
  • Short stories by Ichiyō Higuchi and Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
  • Punishment without Revenge by Lopa de Vega (play)
  • Hood Museum’s exhibit, “Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art”
  • Bessie Head’s “Collection of Treasures” (short story)
  • Benjamin Britten’s opera Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Were the World Mine (film)
  • Short stories by Isaac Babel
  • Excerpts from Freud’s Studies in Hysteria and Civilization and Its Discontents
  • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas (novel)
  • The Shining (film)
  • Poems by Vievee Francis and Matthew Olzmann

Course assessment & assignments

Assessment is based on student participation (including attendance), completion of approximately eight discussion posts over the course of the term, and three essays. The first two essays are about 5-6 pages each; the final essay (due during finals week) is about 8-10 pages. Students have the option to revise one of the first two essays. Writing workshops are scheduled during the term, and students are encouraged to work closely with their section professors on their essays.