The Freshman Humanities Sequence has proven to be, from numerous reports of its alumni over the years, both a meaningful and provocative class experience for first-year Furman students. The undersigned staff have participated in the teaching rotation of the course since its inception in the early 1970s. We would like to propose a flexible but substantive course of action regarding the sequence.
The staff believe that it is crucial to begin immediately in the freshman year the process of developing students’ inquiring and reflective abilities on a mature level. The Freshman Sequence should be a core element of the “freshman experience” program, however that looks in its final iteration. Therefore, we urge the CRC and the faculty to retain an interdisciplinary, team-taught humanities sequence as one way to fulfill an educational requirement in the first year of Furman students as we revitalize our curriculum.
This is not to say that we are hidebound in the current traditions
of the course. Many of them we do not want to give up – the
variety of lecture and discussion, the focus on primary texts, the
interaction among the teaching faculty, and the involvement of an
upper-level “alum” as a teaching assistant. But the content
and form of the course may change as the university considers various
options for general education requirements and various calendar
possibilities. Some staff members have expressed interest in having
more than one track of the first-year sequence may be offered, with
different content emphases such as a non-Western focus, or an emphasis
on certain themes (a couple of possibilities might be the history of
science or the development of human communities). The course could also
easily be adapted to a semester system. In other words, we are
committed to the concept, but not determined that it look exactly the