The Humanities Department offers students several different majors and minors in English , Foreign Languages and Philosophy, as well as minors in Film Studies , Latin American Studies , and Creative Writing .
We also work closely with interdisciplinary programs such as Women's and Gender Studies , Ethnic Studies , Gay Studies , and the International Education program, and of course we offer the most-taught course in higher education, College Writing. We want to make sure every student at UW-Platteville has the tools to improve his or her writing. Every year, members of our composition program publish the best examples of college writing in Stylus, and that anthology becomes a required textbook for the next year's students.
Our English Program offers majors in English Education , Professional Writing , and Literature. Students can participate in our Visiting Writers Reading Series , our Student Reading Series and Creative Writing Festival, as well as observe and student teach in local schools. Many complete professional writing internships.
We offer undergraduate and graduate courses in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language ( TESOL ).
The Foreign Language Program offers majors in German and Spanish and minors in Spanish , German and French , as well as introductory classes in Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese. These programs can include participation in study abroad programs that enable students to travel to places like Spain, Costa Rica, France, Germany, China and Japan while earning college credits.
Elementary language courses also meet the foreign language competency requirement . Students who come in with intermediate level of language proficiency may want to check about receiving retroactive credit for that language ability. Such students are often much closer to earning a minor than they realize! Like the English Education major and TESOL minor, the Spanish and German majors and minors and the French minor can be part of a Department of Public Instruction (DPI) approved teaching major or minor for shose who want to teach in secondary schools.
The Philosophy Program also offers a major and a minor. Studying philosophy provides students with an excellent foundation for graduate studies in law, theology, teaching, business and more.
Most of our sophomore-level and above courses in English, Spanish, German, French and Philosophy also meet the General Education Humanities Requirement , and others also meet general education requirements in Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, or International Education.
Welcome to Chatter Box! Chatter Box is a Q & A column to get to know the students and faculty within each branch of the Humanities department. If you have any burning questions that you’d like to ask your fellow students or faculty members, please email email@example.com, and you just might get your answer! You can find this column posted on www.uwplatt.edu/humanities and www.facebook.com/UWPlatteville.English
This week's interview comes from the Department Head Terry Burns who has been at the university for over 20 years!
Have you published anything? If so, what is it about?
With Dr. Nancy Turner, I published a translation of Tuba Veneris. My most recent scholarly work looked at neo-Latin poet Elizabeth Jane Weston. I’ve also published various popular articles and short stories.
What do you believe is a common misconception of humanities?
I don’t think that most people even think about the word enough to define it, honestly. If we’re talking about the arts, the common misconception is that they’re not needed. Yet there’s been no known human society who didn’t tell stories and express themselves one way or the other in the arts. If you lose the ability to tell your story, someone will tell it for you, and worse yet, you might believe that other person’s story about who and what you are. The arts are what create our identity as human beings, which is why they’re part of the “Humanities.”
If you could create any type of humanities driven class to take what would it be and why?
Reading and writing short fiction – because it’s much more fun to talk about short stories with people who are writing them than with people who are being forced to read them
Literary translation – because there’s almost a palpable pleasure to experiencing how something feels different when expressed in one language rather than another
What is one of your favorite books/series?
Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Dorothy Dunnett’s The Game of Kings
Favorite novel: Song of Solomon, by Tony Morrison
Favorite play: Midsummer Night’s Dream, by that British guy
Favorite poem: “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe
What type of music helps you study/ do work best?
Any music my husband is playing! He plays harp, piano and guitar, and I do my best writing when he’s playing music.