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The Core Humanities program at the University of Nevada, Reno unequivocally supports the Black Lives Matter movement and condemns the violent suppression of those exercising their First Amendment rights in pursuit of justice. The courses we offer highlight questions of just governance and across the Core Humanities program, we teach the voices who have defined civil disobedience through their battles against injustice, racism and colonialism. We see the protestors in the streets and the voices of our Black students who are calling for change and for justice for Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Breoanna Taylor and too many others. We support them, we are listening to them and we commit to doing the work of fighting racism and assisting in the struggle for social justice.

In addition to teaching the voices of those who have stood up to the violent suppression of humanity, Core Humanities courses also teach the history of racism and totalitarianism. Confronting these legacies is part of the ongoing work of the Core Humanities curriculum. Decades ago, the program was called Western Traditions. Since then, the program has worked to move away from Euro-centric worldviews. We still have work to do as a program to develop curriculum and pedagogy that is anti-racist, culturally competent and that tells a fuller story of the wide range of the human experience. As we work together, we take hope in the knowledge that the humanities have long done the work of articulating values, amplifying marginalized voices and connecting communities.

We do not wish to merely rehearse platitudes or send “thoughts and prayers,” but rather to take action as a program and tap into the potential the humanities have to address real-world problems. We will uphold the University's mission, which states that the University of Nevada, Reno "recognizes and embraces the critical importance of diversity" and "is committed to a culture of excellence, inclusion and accessibility." Please look to us for the following, share your ideas and hold us to account as we develop:

  • Training in anti-racist pedagogy
  • Ongoing curricular revision to include more diverse voices and histories in all CH courses
  • Courses that center on non-Western traditions, such as Indigenous cultures and knowledge
  • Programming that emphasizes diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism
  • Policies to support students, staff and faculty of color

University of Nevada, Reno logo in black

Core Humanities is an award-winning interdisciplinary program that forms the heart of the core curriculum at the University of Nevada, Reno. Faculty and graduate assistants from five different disciplines (English, history, philosophy, political science and world languages and literatures) participate in teaching the humanities courses required of all students at the university. In addition, Core Humanities partners with the Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities to promote collaboration among the field of humanities and to continually broaden our perspectives.

Core Humanities courses are unique and interdisciplinary in nature. They examine the history, philosophy, cultural values, political systems, literature and artistic works that have shaped societies throughout the world from ancient times to the present. After completing a Core Humanities sequence of courses, students gain valuable knowledge, a solid foundation and the skills necessary to navigate a complex and fast-changing world, including:

  • An understanding of the historical forces that created modern, diverse human cultures and the ways these cultures are interconnected both within the United States and across nations.
  • The ability to read, understand, summarize, analyze and synthesize information drawn from a variety of written and cultural sources.
  • The ability to formulate interpretations and arguments, support them with evidence and present them clearly and persuasively in both written and oral expression.
  • Informed perspectives on the major political and ideological debates of our times and the ability to participate in those debates as American and global citizens.