University of Utah College of Humanities

University of Utah College of Humanities The College of Humanities at the University of Utah provides our students with critical skills that prepare them to succeed – personally and economically - in our increasingly complex and global society.

Operating as usual

As we come to the end of what has been a year for the history books, we look forward to all that 2021 has to offer.#TopN...

As we come to the end of what has been a year for the history books, we look forward to all that 2021 has to offer.
#TopNine #TopNine2020 #HappyNewYear

We are back with more #AlumniAdvice!David E. GeeB.S. in Philosophy, 1970An esteemed attorney in Salt Lake City for nearl...

We are back with more #AlumniAdvice!

David E. Gee
B.S. in Philosophy, 1970

An esteemed attorney in Salt Lake City for nearly half a decade, David E. Gee couldn’t have predicted where he would end up when he began school at the University of Utah. He entered the U from Granite High School with his sights set on studying geophysics and math until classes in Philosophy – from basic logic to Philosophy of Science and Law – caught his eye.

He was soon immersed in the Philosophy department with professors who made waves in the field, including Sterling McMurrin, Peter Appleby, Bill Whisner, and Charles Monson. Gee says his major in Philosophy was a quality education because it taught him and his classmates how little they actually knew. “That’s a true education –realizing we don’t know as much as we think we do. Knowledge expands your view and broadens your thinking about the world,” he says.

Gee followed his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy with a Law degree from the U, where he found the immersive education to be thrilling and where he decided he had a future in law. He also found similarities between his undergraduate and graduate education. “In Philosophy, we read, wrote, and spoke a lot. It was not that different from Law School in terms of discussing ideas, learning to see and argue both sides of issues, and manipulating concepts. Those are all transferable skills I learned early on,” he reflects. “My humanities education made me a better-rounded person – someone who thought critically, considered ethical implications, and valued reading in my personal and professional life.”

Philosophers make great lawyers, he believes, because of their training in conceptual thinking. The ability to think at a high level and apply reasoning to real-life situations is critical. “Studying the humanities teaches you to think,” he explains.

Advice for Students
Keep reading. “One should always read a lot and think deeply and critically,” he advises, and he lives it, too. Gee reads several books simultaneously, and always includes rereads of a few Shakespeare plays every year. His semi-serious social comment: “If you read The Great Gatsby, and watch the Godfather, Chinatown and The Wire, you know everything you need to know about America.”

#UofU #UofUHUmanities #UHumanities #Philosophy

Teaching Writing Online Amid a PandemicBy Natalie Stillman-WebbLike many U faculty, I spent spring break moving my cours...

Teaching Writing Online Amid a Pandemic

By Natalie Stillman-Webb

Like many U faculty, I spent spring break moving my courses online, in anticipation of campus being closed due to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, I created online migration resources for my colleagues in my role as Online Learning Coordinator in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies. I also spoke with panicked faculty members while hosting webinars for the Global Society of Online Literacy Educators: One professor at a small liberal arts college in New York requested help with recording videos for her students, while an instructor in Australia worried about the best way to move class discussions online.

Our emergency shift to remote teaching was different from the best practices in online pedagogy that I study. Teaching online is not about hastily uploading files or constructing a correspondence course but instead centers on designing and fostering a digital learning community.

Read the full story here

This story appeared in the 2019-2020 issues of Perspectives Magazine.⁠

#UofU #UofUHumanities #UHumanities #PerspectivesMagazine

Spring 2021 course feature! PHIL 1005Introduction to Philosophy in SpanishEste curso es enteramente en línea, es válido ...

Spring 2021 course feature!

PHIL 1005
Introduction to Philosophy in Spanish

Este curso es enteramente en línea, es válido para 3 créditos, y satisface el requerimiento de humanidades (HF). Las clases se dictarán en español, y las discusiones serán en español y en inglés.

El curso está dirigido a los alumnos que tengan conocimientos de español y deseen acercarse a la filosofía por primera vez, o a aquéllos que deseen practicar el idioma a la vez que amplían su comprensión del pensamiento filosófico.

A lo largo del semestre consideraremos preguntas como éstas: ¿Es posible probar or negar racionalmente la existencia de Dios? ¿Qué nos es dado saber, si es que es posible saber algo? ¿Cómo se relacionan las mentes y los cuerpos?¿Existe la libertad de acci´øn? ¿Cómo debemos afrontar la muerte?

Instructor: Edison Barrios ([email protected])

This course is entirely online, it is valid for 3 credits, and satisfies the humanities requirement (HF). Classes will be taught in Spanish, and discussions will be in Spanish and English.

The course is aimed at students who have knowledge of Spanish and wish to approach philosophy for the first time or those who wish to practice the language while expanding their understanding of philosophical thought.

Throughout the semester we will consider questions like these: Is it possible to try or rationally deny the existence of God? What is given to us to know, if it is possible to know something? How are minds and bodies? Is there freedom of action? How should we face death?

Contact the instructor with any questions: Edison Barrios ([email protected])

#Humanities #UHumanities #Philosophy #Spanish

Wishing You the Best of the Season & a Happy New Year!The College of Humanities will be closed from December 24 through ...

Wishing You the Best of the Season & a Happy New Year!

The College of Humanities will be closed from December 24 through January 3. On January 4 the Dean’s Office will open with our modified office hours (10 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday).

#UofU #UHumanities

HUMANITIES RADIO PRESENTS: COMM 4670Comm 4670 exposes students to the business of podcasting. Students analyze podcast s...


Comm 4670 exposes students to the business of podcasting. Students analyze podcast story structure and learn how to pitch and collaborate on audio stories. They learn research and interview techniques, script writing, recording, and editing of audio content.

In their podcasts, students covered topics such as ghost stories, the world of sports during COVID, weird things in Salt Lake City, and 2020 happenings. Listen to the Comm 4670 podcasts here

#UofU #UofUHumanities #UHumanities #Podcast #podcasts #StudentPodcasts #Comm4670

Afrofuturism and the Potential for HopeBy Crystal RuddsScience fiction and Hollywood have popularized so many versions o...

Afrofuturism and the Potential for Hope

By Crystal Rudds

Science fiction and Hollywood have popularized so many versions of ”the viral outbreak” that there's an uncanny sense that we've been here before. And yet, I'm sure the rapidity of recent cultural shifts feels new and unwelcome to many. When I think of the coronavirus outbreak from a racial perspective, an aspect that stands out to me is the jarring, uneven experience of time. We know that due to health disparities, political and social violence, racism, and economic loss, each of us is navigating the pandemic very differently; and the daily factors that either cushion or steal from our individual time banks make the difference between life and death. Read the full story here

This story appeared in the 2019-2020 issues of Perspectives Magazine.⁠

#UofU #UofUHumanities #UHumanities #PerspectivesMagazine

Spring 2021 course feature!HIST 4990 - American Conspiracy TheoriesIn our seminar, we will discuss the how and why of co...

Spring 2021 course feature!

HIST 4990 - American Conspiracy Theories

In our seminar, we will discuss the how and why of conspiracy thinking in American History, with the main focus on the period since 1900. We will ask how conspiracy theories develop and are transmitted? Who weaves events into plots? What makes conspiracy theories attractive to believers? How do key American institutions encourage conspiracy thinking? What impact does conspiracy thinking have socially and politically? Although we will discuss readings and ideas in common, the main purpose of the class is for each student to produce a scholarly paper based upon primary and secondary sources. This seminar is research and writing-intensive.

#UofU #UofUHumanities #UofUHistory #CourseFeature

We know your winter break JUST started, but now is the perfect time to start filling out those scholarship applications....

We know your winter break JUST started, but now is the perfect time to start filling out those scholarship applications. See what College of Humanities Scholarships are available here

#UofU #UofUHumanities #UHumanities #Scholarship

The only ⭐ on top of our 🎄#UofU #UofUHumanities #UHumanities

The only ⭐ on top of our 🎄

#UofU #UofUHumanities #UHumanities

Time for some #AlumniAdvice! Susan VanBeugueB.A. in Communication, 1986Dr. Susan VanBeuge never imagined that her underg...

Time for some #AlumniAdvice!
Susan VanBeugue
B.A. in Communication, 1986

Dr. Susan VanBeuge never imagined that her undergraduate education in Speech Communication would lead to a fascinating career in nursing, and ultimately to her involvement in changing how healthcare is delivered in the state of Nevada. Currently an Assistant Professor at UNLV School of Nursing, Susan splits her time between teaching, part-time endocrinology clinical practice, and clinical research. Her current research is tied to increasing interprofessional collaboration between various healthcare providers, particularly focused on enhancing care for the geriatric population.

Susan began her undergraduate studies at the University of Utah when she was just 17. “I was just a kid – and really didn’t know where I wanted to go with my education,” she says. However, she quickly found herself focused on Communication. “My degree really chose me,” she states. “I had the chance to work with some really good professors, like Professor Leonard Hawes, who was so dynamic. The more classes I took, the more I knew this was an area I wanted to focus on.”

Susan went on to earn a masters’ degree in Nursing, as a Nurse Practitioner and settled in Las Vegas, Nevada. She soon found herself part of a small group of healthcare professionals responsible for changing healthcare delivery in Nevada. “We were able to change the laws overseeing nurse practitioner practice, making us much more autonomous, and bringing the standards more in alignment with progressive states like Utah. This is a big change for Nevada nurse practitioners and my role in this change is something I’m very proud of.”

“I didn’t anticipate that my degree in Communication would provide such a great foundation for my nursing career – in fact for anything I do in my life,” Susan states. “I learned a lot about interpersonal relationships, about communicating, both in written and verbal forms. This has really served me well in nursing. As a healer, if you can’t connect with people you can’t do what you need to do.”

#UofU #UofUHumanities #WednesdayWisdom

Your Guide to the Strange World of COVID ConspiraciesBy James TaberyAmericans have been drawn to conspiracy theories for...

Your Guide to the Strange World of COVID Conspiracies

By James Tabery

Americans have been drawn to conspiracy theories for centuries. Fears about encroachment on individual liberties and an embrace of anti-elitism got built into the fabric of the country from the outset and fueled all sorts of conspiracies —about aliens, about the death of JFK, about the antichrist. These forces continue to work during the current pandemic. Read all about COVID conspiracy theories here

This story appeared in the 2019-2020 issues of Perspectives Magazine.

#UofU #UofUHumanities #UHumanities #PerspectivesMagazine

Spring 2021 courses feature!History of Women in Science, Technology & MedicineHPSCI 3950/HONOR 3955 MWF, 9:40-10:30 am, ...

Spring 2021 courses feature!

History of Women in Science, Technology & Medicine
HPSCI 3950/HONOR 3955
MWF, 9:40-10:30 am, online and synchronous

*Counts as an elective for Philosophy of Science majors*

Women have been both subjects and practitioners of science and medicine for centuries, yet inequality persists in their recruitment into the many scientific and technical fields today. This course will begin by considering the intellectual assumptions, social norms, and structural asymmetries that have historically made entry into scientific careers a challenge for women. Yet, despite these multiple challenges, women have found a diversity of ways to engage in the production of knowledge. We will explore this dynamic history from a broad systemic vantage point, through the lenses of specific disciplines in science, and through individual biographies of women, considering how the elements of personal and professional life may be both synergistic and antagonistic.

Email [email protected] with any questions.

#UofU #UHumanities #UofUHumanities #Spring 2021 #Course #WomenInScience

Congratulations students! This academic year has been unlike any other, and you have all adapted and shown such amazing ...

Congratulations students! This academic year has been unlike any other, and you have all adapted and shown such amazing resilience. We are absolutely blown away by each and every one of you. You should be so proud of all of your hard work. The Spring semester starts Tuesday, January 19. Enjoy your break and stay safe & healthy!

#UofU #UofUHumanities

Thanks to the Marriott Library for this Faculty Focus feature on our very own History Professor Nadja Durbach!Nadja Durb...

Thanks to the Marriott Library for this Faculty Focus feature on our very own History Professor Nadja Durbach!

Nadja Durbach is a historian of nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain who is particularly interested in the history of the body. She has taught in the History Department at the University of Utah since 2000. She teaches courses in British history, the history of medicine and the body, historical research methods, as well as the European history survey course. Her research focuses on questions around the body, citizenship, and identity, themes that she also incorporates into her teaching. She has published books on the Victorian anti-vaccination movement, the Victorian freak show, and government food programs offered between the 1830s and the 1960s.

“The library is essential to my teaching and to my research. In my British history courses I use databases such as “Victorian Popular Culture” and “Mass Observation” so that students have the opportunity to work with primary sources,” Nadja explains. “When I teach The Historian’s Craft, our course on historical research methods, the library is critical. I have partnered with librarians to teach students how to find both secondary and primary sources for their research projects. They learn how to use article databases such as JSTOR and Historical Abstracts as well as to search the catalog and the shelves for primary and secondary sources.”

Read the full feature here:

#UofU #UofUHumanities #MarriottLibrary #UofUHistory #FacultyFeature

It's Wednesday! Time for #AlumniAdvice!Kate ConyersB.A. in History, 2003Minor in Asian StudiesKate Conyers is a three-ti...

It's Wednesday! Time for #AlumniAdvice!

Kate Conyers
B.A. in History, 2003
Minor in Asian Studies

Kate Conyers is a three-time graduate of the U (BA in History and Political Science, 2003; MPA and JD, 2008) and an award-winning public defender at Salt Lake Legal Defender Association (SLLDA) where she currently practices as a felony attorney. In November 2016, she won the prestigious Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service and was presented with the honor at the Supreme Court of the United States. She has been recognized with many awards including the Utah State Bar’s Young Lawyer of the Year Award and the Utah State Bar’s Pro Bono Publico Young Lawyer of the Year Award.

Since 2011, she has represented hundreds of indigent defendants in all aspects of their criminal cases with the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association (SLLDA). She has defended clients at dozens of jury trials and bench trials. She also worked at SLLDA as a clerk before two stints in private practice at Snell & Wilmer, LLP, and Lokken and Associates.

Kate believes her incredible, young career has benefitted from her first degrees in the College of Humanities’ History and Asian Studies. She says she was naturally led to studying in the humanities because her history classes were the most compelling and Asian Studies made sense with her opportunities to travel there for study abroad. “Studying in humanities encouraged me to get involved all across campus. The interdisciplinary nature of the college was really important to me,” she says. Kate was able to go one not one, not two, but three study abroad trips during her undergraduate studies to India, Chile, and Korea, as well as a Hinckley Institute service trip to India. She also chaired the ASUU Lecture Series and worked at Pioneer Theater.

“My humanities classes encouraged me to think more critically and deeply about my assumptions. I started asking ‘why’ and ‘how’ in ways I hadn’t considered before,” she reflects. “And in my work in law, having a firm understanding of history and historical issues gives me the edge I wouldn’t have otherwise to help people from diverse populations and circumstances,” she says. “I’d recommend all students take classes in the humanities that allow you to read deeply and think critically, form coherent arguments, and understand history in vital ways.”

Kate’s belief about the importance of getting involved on campus continued into her life outside the university and into her career. Her example of selfless service by stepping outside your comfort zone and connecting with people from different backgrounds is a testament to how important it is for students to do the same.

In addition to public service at SLLDA, Conyers devotes 150 to 300 hours annually to helping Utah citizens in civil and criminal matters on a pro bono basis. Conyers was elected by members of the Utah State Bar to the Board Bar of Commissioners, where she serves as the Bar liaison to the Pro Bono Commission. She spearheaded the Veterans’ Legal Clinic at the VA Hospital on the University of Utah campus. She has served on the executive committee of Emerging Legal Leaders for the “And Justice for All” program, an umbrella organization that provides resources to Utah’s nonprofit civil legal aid agencies. She has also been an active volunteer in bar-related programs including “Wills for Heroes” and “Serving Our Seniors.”

“Humanities classes helped me to be more well-rounded as a world citizen. My Asian Studies minor and my International Studies certificate helped me to better understand the cultures I was visiting on my study abroad and service trips. Those classes also helped me to understand why it is important to learn about different cultures and respect them, and that has been helpful in my international travels since graduation,” she says. “My history classes have really helped me to see and understand how history informs the present time, and how learning about historical events can help us to not repeat mistakes we made in the past. I’d recommend a humanities major to anyone and everyone.”


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About Our College

The humanities teach us to question the world around us to better understand our place within it. In the University of Utah’s College of Humanities, you’ll learn to question the issues – past, present and future – consider the impact those issues have on cultures, science, technology, medicine and the human experience and connect the ideas with those of your peers and community to broaden your historical, ethical, social and international perspective.

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Please share this research opportunity with U of U students. We would like to talk with current U of U students in focus groups via Zoom to better understand their perspectives. If you are interested and willing to participate, please register for a focus group at (You can also scan the QR code included in the attached graphic.) One student in each focus group will win a $50 Amazon Gift Card as an incentive for participating!
Hope this help
After hearing that U of U will not be offering ASL 2010 and 2020 as they have done in past summers and what I was lead to believe would be happening this summer by many advisers at U, is there any exception to complete the Gen Ed requirement or opportunity to take the class elsewhere?
Hi, please help the Salt Lake Japanese American Citizens League get the word out about this film screening and panel discussion on Feb. 22 - thank you!
A Salt Lake Interfaith Month one of the key events: What would Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) do, if he were alive today, with regard to contemporary issues the world is facing? Of course, we have no way of knowing for sure, but some of his practices in the 7th century Arabia has surprising clues about what he might have said or done. We will discuss anecdotes from his life on contemporary issues such as interfaith relations, peace and war, racism, freedom of religion, gender relations, empowerment of women, environment, animals, and people with disabilities and more. Save the date and bring any question in your mind to ask. For questions and info email at [email protected]
How would one get a copy of the poster you made about Science VS. Humanities. It is for my high school classroom.
The reduction of the discussion of race in the church to include only those of African descent continues to perpetuate the myth that only those who were barred from the Priesthood / temple have faced discrimination and victimization in the church. This white/black Mormon binary is as offensive in Mormon studies as it is American studies.
Hi friends! Come celebrate culture next weekend in Draper with the non-profit 100 Humanitarians. $2 discount for students who use their school name as a promo code or wear your school sweatshirt at the door. It's a competition between BYU, UVU and U of U to see which college is best represented. Winning school gets pizza coupons from Papa Murphy's! There will be food trucks as well. Proceeds will go towards building a cultural center for the Maasai in Kenya. Check out their website to learn more Tickets can be bought at www.100humanitarians/humanijam-2017