The Humanities and Fine Arts1: IAI GECC Definition
Study in the humanities and fine arts develops an understanding of what it means
to be human--the struggles and aspirations, comedies and tragedies, and achievements
and failures of human beings; wrestles with the basic questions that confront all
human beings in the course of their lives--identity, beauty, courage, love, truth,
justice, and morality; and examines the dreams, traditions, and cultural expressions
of peoples throughout time who have wrestled with these same questions. To understand
what it means to be human, one must understand oneself in relation to the natural
world and in relation to others, reflect on ideas and confront presuppositions from
one's own and other cultures, and respond creatively.
Thus, study in the humanities and fine arts focuses on intellectual and cultural
expression approached through historical, hermeneutic, cultural, and aesthetic investigations.
Courses designed to fulfill the Illinois Transferable General Education Core Curriculum
(IAI GECC) humanities and fine arts requirement involve students in the basic questions
and substance of the humanities and fine arts, as well as in the methods used to
approach these questions. Courses in philosophy, religious studies, literature,
history, and the history and appreciation of the visual and performing arts, as
well as interdisciplinary courses, are typically included among those considered
part of a general education. Because critical thinking, investigation, and reflection
are necessary to the study of the humanities and fine arts, these processes--as
embodied in writing (essays and essay examinations) and speaking (oral presentations
and discussion)--are a significant component of humanities and fine arts courses.
Where appropriate, course readings and activities also reflect an awareness of the
United States' multicultural inheritance: race, ethnicity, gender and class.
By contrast, courses that primarily focus on developing a skill, such as performance
or production courses in the arts, technique or professional courses in communications,
and those foreign language courses that focus on learning to speak and write a different
language at an elementary level, generally are not considered part of a general
education in the humanities and fine arts.
To fulfill the IAI GECC humanities and fine arts requirement, students should select
a minimum of three courses (9 semester credit hours) from the approved course list,
selecting at least one from the humanities and one from the fine arts. Interdisciplinary
courses encompassing both the humanities and the fine arts may be used for both