Herbst Program of Humanities

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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 Students Say ...

"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)

Herbst Lunchtime Seminars 

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. For more information, email herbst@colorado.edu.

April 9th and 16: 200 Years of Brothers Grimm: Fairy Tales not for the Faint-Hearted! presented by Anja Lange

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm did not travel across the German countryside to collect tales, fables, and stories by simple folks. In fact, most of the tales were brought to their study by men and women, friends and acquaintances, who were essentially quite educated. Most of the fairy tales are not even of German origin. The collection of these stories in Kinder- und Hausmärchen (1812) was published during rather turbulent times: Napoleon had just reached Moscow in 1812, the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations had just collapsed, Prussia was defeated, and the doctrines of the French Revolution had become an exciting but also bitter reality. Were these popular tales meant for children, or do we have to assume that they reflect something outside the nursery?

Who doesn’t like the familiar phrase “once upon a time”? Please join us for a brief discussion on some of the most familiar and lesser known fairy tales. Share with us memories of your own fairy tale experiences.
For the first meeting (April 9), please read the following three stories, available here:

  1. Aschenputtel / Cinderella
  2. Hänsel und Gretel / Hansel and Gretel
  3. Der Froschkönig / The Frog King

For the second meeting (April 16) we will be reading tales for adults, available here:

  1. Mother Trudy
  2. The Hand with the Knife
  3. How Children Played Butcher with Each Other
  4. The Children Living in a Time of Famine
  5. The Stubborn Child
  6. The Rose


Important Announcements

CUEngineering is here!
The 2014 edition of CUEngineering magazine is hot off the press! Check it out online.

Graduating this spring?
Get all the critical details about the May 2014 Engineering Recognition Ceremony.

Don't forget summer session!
CEAS courses don't slow down over the summer - choose from 58 undergraduate and graduate engineering courses during Maymester and sessions A-D, May 12-Aug. 8.

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