Carthage College’s The Curriculum

All students entering Carthage take three seminar courses called Heritage Studies. The goal of the Heritage Studies program is to introduce them to a true liberal arts education. Using the seminar approach to learning, the Heritage sequence is taught collaboratively by faculty from academic departments across the college.

Each Heritage seminar is an encounter with dynamic cultural legacies. As a community of learners, students will be reconstructing and critiquing this inheritance. Heritage is not contained within a prescribed set of sanctioned books or artifacts to be transmitted from teacher to student. Rather, the texts chosen for each Heritage seminar represent outstanding works of literature, social and political philosophy, science, film, or music, and serve as a the beginning of meaningful intellectual inquiry. Through the selected texts students can focus on the process of rigorous thinking, questioning, and imagining that leads ultimately to authentic self-discoveries and self-expression. Thus, in each Heritage seminar students will be called upon to read critically, discuss intensely, write engagingly, and articulate their insights in presentations, essays, and structured discussions. Serious commitment to the goals of each Heritage seminar provides students with a level of competency in areas that will aid them in all other course work at Carthage and future careers.

Please consult the Heritage Studies web site for further information about the program and its goals and objectives.

Heritage I (105): Self in Community and in Culture
Heritage I engages the basic human questions of who am I? How do I come to know and understand myself? How is self-knowledge constructed, used, valued? The course looks at the nature and construction of culture itself—a common concern throughout the Heritage sequence: what does it mean to have or belong to a culture? What does it mean to inherit or transmit a cultural legacy, a heritage? Texts in Heritage I emphasize the traditions of the West, approaching the central questions about human identity through multiple intellectual and cultural perspectives.
Offered during the fall term: (4 credits)

Heritage II (106): Communities and Culture: The Ideal and the Reality
Heritage II furthers the inquiries of Heritage I. The lines of inquiry are broadened to include the construction, purpose, and value of community. How and why have human beings, in various places and times lived together? What are the sources and consequences of social contracts (for instance, the College’s Community Handbook)? How do communities inhibit liberty, equality, and justice? This seminar examines multiple, and sometimes antipodal, models for living with others: for example, as family members, as religious believers, as citizens. Texts in Heritage II, for the most part, focus on the traditions of the West; however, texts from non-Western perspectives are also included. In Heritage Ii central questions regarding human community as seen through multiple perspectives arise.
Offered during the spring term. (4 credits)

CEN101 Introduction to the Centenary Community
Heritage III focuses on encounters between individuals and communities from different cultures, in particular Asian cultures. Examining what it means to have a cultural legacy –a heritage – within a complex global community, you are challenged to make intellectual and personal sense of one or more cultures beyond the Western world. In particular the course fosters global thinking, problem solving, understanding, and communication, by engaging questions of individuality and community, tradition and innovation, status quo and change, rationality and spirituality, conflict and cooperation. The texts in Heritage III seminar represent multiple world cultures.
Prerequisites: Heritage I (105) and II (106)
Offered both fall and spring terms. (4 credits)

Program description supplied by: Christine Renaud, 2001