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Open Online Courses in Humanities

Humanities is the study of human culture and historical development of humanity. More specifically, humanities may cover topics such as ancient and modern literature, philosophy, religion, as well as various forms of art which impacted the growth of human culture throughout history. Studying humanities is often helpful in understanding what is right or wrong, or what is true to our heritage and history. Courses released by universities and institutions around the nation typically cover topics such as Sociology and Classic Literature. Academically, humanities courses emphasizes on ideas and theory rather than a study of factual history.

Subjects

Humanities (10)

African American Studies 40A: African American StudiesUniversity of California, Irvine

Open Courseware

Culture Studies, Creative Studies
Taught by: Bridget Cooks

Course Description:

If you are interested in developing a greater understanding of African-American culture, literature, and history, this creative studies online course can serve as a starting point. The course, originally taught in 2009, is taught at an undergraduate level and has no prerequisites, so you can get started right away. Some of the quizzes and lecture notes presented on the course page require you to have a program which can display PowerPoint files, so you should make sure you have such a program before starting.

Monarchs, People, and HistoryUMass Boston

Open Courseware

History, Organizational Leadership, Institutional Leadership
Taught by: Aidan Breen

Course Description:

This organizational leadership online course looks at the history of institutional leadership in the Western world, focusing on monarchies and how those leaders gained and lost effectiveness. Originally taught in 2008, this free course is designed for undergraduates with no organizational leadership or history background, so you can peruse the material without any prior training in these fields. If you are interested in improving your understanding of the material through writing, the course also provides essay assignments.

Introduction to HumanitiesDixie State College of Utah

Open Courseware

Humanities, Culture Studies, Social Science
Taught by: Edwin Reber

Course Description:

In this online course, you will learn about advances in cultural philosophies, art forms, and science made since the Renaissance era. This undergraduate course, first taught in the fall of 2007, has no prerequisites, so you can start learning about humanities topics whether or not you have any previous background in the field. Much of the content of the course is offered in PowerPoint or PDF format, so you will need to be able to open files in one of these file formats to access the course.

New Media LiteraciesMassachusetts Institute of Technology

Open Courseware

Literacy, New Media, History
Taught by: Alice Robison

Course Description:

This 2007 online course provides lecture notes and assignments focused on the concept of literacy theory, starting with its historical context in ancient Greece and continuing up to modern media literacy. The course primarily consists of lectures in PDF format, so you should have a PDF reader installed on your computer before attempting to use the presented materials. There are also exercises provided, appropriate for both graduate and undergraduate students, though no answers or study guides for these exercises are given.

Understanding Records and Archives: Principles and PracticesUniversity of Michigan

Open Courseware

History, Sociology, Archival Science
Taught by: Prof. Paul Conway

Course Description:

As you examine the various methods and technologies used throughout history to create, organize, store and preserve records, you will gain an understanding of why record keeping is vital to cultures and societies. Through this online course, you will be introduced to the field of records management and archival administration as you learn about how organizations and individuals use records for accountability, research, litigation and preservation of history. Although there are no prerequisites for the course, it is an advanced-level records management and archival course, therefore it is open to graduate students with a variety of education backgrounds.

Forms of Democracy in Nineteenth-Century U.S. LiteratureUniversity of Notre Dame

Open Courseware

Language Arts, Literature, Political Science
Taught by: Sandra M. Gustafson

Course Description:

This reading online course – published in Spring 2008 – is a graduate student seminar that examines the evolving ideology and ongoing debate concerning the concept of democracy in 19th century American literature. There are no academic credit or degree requirements for this course, but you should be prepared to engage in class discussions over the works of authors like Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman. You should also be prepared to apply the knowledge you gain towards a final examination worth 40% of your overall grade.

Reinventing the Fairy TaleUniversity of Notre Dame

Open Courseware

Reading, Language Arts, Literature
Taught by: Jacquilyn Weeks

Course Description:

This reading online course examines the stylistic, thematic and ideological difference between different iterations of historically popular tales such as Cinderella, Arabian Nights and Beauty and the Beast. During the course, you will be responsible for completing Q&A sheets, a mid-term and final paper and a final examination, but there are no additional course credit or degree requirements. This course was published in Spring 2008 and is composed of four units dedicated to Cinderella, Arabian Nights, The Pied Piper of Hamelin and Beauty and the Beast.

Women's Narrative in the Southern ConeUniversity of Notre Dame

Open Courseware

Reading, Language Arts, Literature, Sociology, Spanish
Taught by: Dr. Maria Rosa Olivera-Williams

Course Description:

This reading online course was published in Spring 2007 and covers the written works of female authors in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile during the latter half of the 20th century. During the course, you will examine gender roles, feminine sexual identity and female suffrage movements at this time through the passages of these authors. This course has no academic credit or degree prerequisites, but it is taught entirely in Spanish so you will certainly need a strong background in speaking and writing in Spanish prior to your enrollment.

Cultural AnthropologyVirtual University

Video

Anthropology, Cultural Studies
Taught by: Syed Mohammad Ali

Course Description:

Developed in 2011, this social science online course will educate you about the complex patterns in modern society and teach you how to consider them in a thoughtful fashion. You will examine topics you might have never questioned, such as how kinship and family relationships are formed, marriage customs and economic traditions. This course uses somewhat complex concepts, and is recommended for undergraduate-level students with some familiarity with psychology and sociology. You need no special equipment beyond an Internet browser to use it and a computer capable of playing the video lectures.

Introduction to SociologyVirtual University

Video

Sociology, Social Science
Taught by: Dr. Muhammad Anwar

Course Description:

Building on sociological insights coming from everyday life, this social science online course is geared towards introductory undergraduate students. Published in 2011, you will be taken on a tour of sociology's history and its insights on modern society, together with learning to challenge your own preconceptions about how society is organized. This course requires no special software, although access to the lectures will require an Internet connection and web browser capable of playing videos.