Scripps College is looking to create an Interdisciplinary Humanities Commons that would integrate humanities programs including the Core curriculum and the Humanities Institute. This framework, as outlined in a Nov. 12 email sent to the Scripps student body from the Core program, would “promote innovative ways to learn about and engage in the Humanities.”
The Humanities Institute at Scripps is responsible for sponsoring lectures, conferences and artistic exhibitions relating to a specific theme each semester, and the Core curriculum is a three-course curriculum that first-years and first-semester sophomores are required to take.
“We’re in the process of applying for a grant now that may enable us to streamline part of what goes on in the Humanities Institute and maybe find more ways to connect it with Core,” said David Roselli, the director of Scripps’ Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities. “There’s always been a relationship between the two programs; it’s just that this year we were working on themes that perhaps overlapped more so than in the past.”
Already, cooperation between the two programs has increased. The programs co-funded the college’s hosting of the traveling photography exhibition Prison Obscura, curated by Pete Brook. The exhibition explored problems in the U.S. prison system, meshing with this year’s Core I theme of violence.
“Some of these social-political problems related to prisons were interesting to both the faculty and the Humanities Institute,” Roselli said.
Without the cooperation between the two programs, the show could have exceeded the budget of one program, he added.
Director of the Humanities Institute and Associate Professor of Art History Juliet Koss also highlighted the way the two programs cooperated to incentivize student attendance.
“Some Core I sections visited the exhibition, and some Core I professors gave students extra credit for attending the talk in October by the exhibition’s curator, Pete Brook,” she wrote in an email to TSL.
Students were able to provide input on the proposal for the Humanities Commons via a survey included in the email from the Core program.
Update: This article was modified Dec. 5. The article incorrectly stated that Scripps is considering merging the Core curriculum and the Humanities Institute, when in fact the programs would remain distinct within the umbrella of the Humanities Commons. The headline was also updated from “Scripps Considers Merging Core Program and Humanities Institute.”