Welcome to the Humanities Colloquium — a foundation year at StFX, where great minds don’t always think alike. The Latin word colloquium means “conversation.” In the Humanities Colloquium you will have many conversations about the most important ideas: conversations with great thinkers from the past, with professors, with students, and with invited speakers, both in the classroom and outside.
What Makes us Human?
If you want to know, study the humanities: those specialized fields of inquiry—religious studies, philosophy, literature, history, languages, art history—which focus on what makes us human. Your companions will be ancient Greek philosophers, mediaeval saints, Renaissance artists, and modern revolutionaries.
What is the Humanities Colloquium?
It is a first-year option in which enrolled students all take the same three sections of Philosophy, English, and History. In addition, related courses in, for example, Art History or Religious Studies may be added. These courses will be taught collaboratively, as if they were a single course. Lectures, assignments, and discussions will be coordinated to bring out exciting connections among the disciplines, and to avoid conflicts in assignment due dates.
Course of Study
Students in these courses will learn from the greatest teachers — The Bible, the Qur’an, Plato, Sophocles, Aristotle, Virgil, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Chaucer, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Mary Wollstonecraft, Marx, Nietzsche. The study of these will be coordinated historically: for example, when you read Shakespeare in English, you will also read Descartes in Philosophy and Calvin in History. Guest lectures, debates, and informal discussions will supplement classroom learning.
A Foundation Year
The Colloquium will provide you with a foundation for any major in the Faculty of Arts. It will also give you a community of scholars and friends, because you can live together with other HC students in one residence. The conversations there and the books you study will often raise more questions than they answer. The goal of the Colloquium is not to make you think like others, but to give you the best tools to think for yourself.