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 and other works. For more information, email herbst@colorado.edu.

First up in September: Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand, translated by Brian Hooker -- led by Leland Giovannelli

Cyrano has a great wit and a great soul: he is a soldier, a philosopher, and a poet. He also has a colossal nose.  As he himself puts it: "When it bleeds, the Red Sea!"  Because of his appearance, he does not dare declare his love for the beautiful and witty Roxane. Instead, he performs extravagantly heroic deeds, hoping that she will notice him.... I can't tell you more without giving away too much of the plot -- but Cyrano is an unforgettable character. You'll want to meet him! 
The Hooker translation is essential: http://www.amazon.com/Cyrano-Bergerac-Bantam-Classics-reissue/dp/0553213601/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 (don't get the Kindle edition - it's the wrong translation).
          Sept. 16: Act I
          Sept. 23: Acts II and III
          Sept. 30: Acts IV and V

October: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock , by T.S. Eliot  -- led by Scot Douglass
        Oct. 14 and Oct. 21 - Poem Text


More to come:

November: Paul Diduch - The Problem of Evil in Three Films by Terrence Malick: Badlands, The Thin Red Line, and The Tree of Life

Important Announcements

CUEngineering A publication for alumni and friends. Read the 2015 edition of CUEngineering magazine here.

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