Since 1989, the Herbst Program has equipped engineering students with the right tools to gain intelligent and relevant access to the great ongoing conversations of human existence. Our core classes are small (12-14), highly interactive and practical. We emphasize the development of communication and thinking skills that will enhance both your life and your career. As a program of "applied humanities," we wrestle with how a more skillful engagement of literature, philosophy, film, drama, music, and art can enrich, inform, transform and enliven how we choose to engage ourselves, others and our world.
All Herbst classes count toward Humanities and Social Sciences requirements in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
"Herbst was a breath of fresh air in my engineering education. While traditional engineering classes seem to focus on straightforward "plug and chug," Herbst seminars provided me with an opportunity to analyze situations with many different answers ... Having been in the workforce for several years now, I often find myself in situations of complete uncertainty. Successfully navigating these open-ended challenges requires developing an idea while accepting and adapting to feedback ... It's not just like being in a Herbst seminar; it's like writing a Herbst essay!" - Nick Little (AeroEngr '09)
"I cannot say enough about the Herbst program, and not just because it afforded me my first opportunity to leave the country to spend a Maymester in Italy (though that was an experience of a lifetime!). I would never have been exposed to Greek philosophers, Italian artists, and lesser-known novels of American novelists without Herbst. The intimate classes, engaging discussions, and emphasis on critical thinking outside of a technical area were invaluable." - Heather Doty (BS/MS CivEngr '01)
A directed reading group for engineering faculty and staff during the academic year.
Wednesdays, 12:00-12:50 p.m. in ECOT 831
The Herbst Program of Humanities hosts a series of drop-in brown bag seminars for engineering faculty and staff throughout the academic year. Bring your lunch and join us to learn and share your thoughts and insights on a variety of great books and other works. For more information, email email@example.com.
First up in September: The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West
This episodic 1945 novel centers on the Birdwell family, American Quakers raising a family in 19th-century Indiana. Eliza is a preacher; her husband, Jess, is a traveling nursery-man. Both are kind, generous, determined, and devout -- but Jess has a few traits that a preacher's husband should not cultivate. He pines for music, he always turns a Sunday drive into a horse-race, and he has an irreverent sense of humor. There is no great drama here -- just the business of sharing a life, raising children, and weathering the storm. The writing is lovely and lilting, and the stories will stay with you for a long time...
Wed., Sept. 10th - Chapters 1-4
(Music on the Muscatatuck, Shivaree before Breakfast, The Pacing Goose, Lead Her Like a Pigeon)
Wed., Sept. 17th - Chapters 5-8
(The Battle of Finney's Ford, The Buried Leaf, A Likely Exchange, First Day Finish)
Wed., Sept. 24th - Chapters 9-12, 14
("Yes, We'll Gather at the River," The Meeting House, The Vase, The Illumination, Homer and the Lilies)
You can order the book at http://www.amazon.com/The-Friendly-Persuasion-Jessamyn-West/dp/015602909X
OCTOBER'S SELECTION: Hardy Fredricksmeyer on the movie Memento, on October 8th, 15th, and 22nd
After an attack in which his wife is killed and he suffers short-term memory loss, the protagonist, Leonard Shelby, hunts for the assailant through clues inscribed onto his body. Christopher Nolan's noir thriller earned 50 awards and is ranked by IMDB.com (9/18/14) as the 40th best film of all time. Film reviews include:
"A new classic among thrillers." Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"A masterpiece." Mike D'Angelo, Time Out
"A diabolical and absorbing experience." Roger Ebert, Chicago Tribune
Whether you agree with such accolades or not, Memento (available through Netflix, Amazon, etc.) raises fascinating questions about self-identity, memory, language, illusion and reality.
Do you like stories about danger on the high seas, mysterious plots, magic spells, angry spirits, enchanted islands, wizards, witches, monsters, and, strangest of all, romantic love? Come meet new Herbst faculty member Paul Diduch and brave Shakespeare's The Tempest!
January - Anja Lange: Goethe's Faust, Part I
February - New Herbst faculty member Andrea Kowalchuk: Necessity and Nobility in Euripides' Hecuba
March - Wayne Ambler: "A Week in Rome"
April - Scot Douglass: TBA