Many students share a common mindset when choosing a major: take the required classes and graduate, which leaves little time to venture out and take courses that may not be required or don't lead straight to the commencement stage.
What students may not know is that the University of Nevada, Reno offers various courses beyond English 101 and pesky calculus requirements. Many of these courses can be taken as electives or to satisfy the University's Silver Core Curriculum, the courses required by all students to graduate, such as natural science and fine arts courses.
At the University, departments such as history, English and anthropology offer a wide range of classes covering topics like magic, witches, fashion in the 1660s and many more. Several of these unique courses are offered under the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Minor at the University. The minor is interdisciplinary, pulling in coursework from history, literature and art and combining the different methods of inquiry to come up with a broader explanation of how we got to where we are today.
"I think there is a real advantage to being able to think strategically and critically about not just the past but also about literature and art, so this minor and these courses really force you to do that," Edward Schoolman, an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University, who also runs the Medieval and Renaissance Studies minor, said.
Schoolman is responsible for making sure the curriculum is up to date, advising students and arranging guest speakers, such as medievalists, to speak to the students. Schoolman said that the minor is not housed in a department, so his eventual goal for the minor is to either create a program or find another way to advertise it to prospective students. Although it is not connected to a larger major, he said that the popularity of the minor has remained steady since its creation 40 years ago.
All of the courses Schoolman teaches at the University fall under the Medieval and Renaissance Studies minor, including Roman, Medieval and Byzantine Empire history classes. Other courses available under the minor are Witches, Wars, and Wisdom in the Early Modern Era; Medieval English Literature; Introduction to Old Norse Code; and Fashion, History and Style to 1660, among many others.
Similar to the unique courses offered under the Medieval and Renaissance Studies minor, the University offers other extraordinary courses spread over a range of departments. Listed below are various diversity and capstone courses offered by the University.
Unique courses that satisfy the University's Diversity requirements:
- ANTH 420 Magic Witchcraft and Religion
- ANTH 421 Legends, Myths and Customs: Folklore and Culture
- HIST 224 Pirates and Hackers
- HIST 296 Nomads to Nations in Inner Eurasia
- FREN 406/WMST 406 Francophone Literature and Films in Translation
- GRI 415 Jewish Thought and Philosophy
- HGPS 201 Concepts in Holocaust, Genocide, and Peace Studies
- HIST 215 History of Sexuality in the United States
Unique courses that satisfy the University's Capstone requirements:
- ANTH 413/ART 466/BASQ 466 Museums, Architecture, City Renewal
- ANTH 477/BASQ 477 War, Occupation and Memory in the Basque Country
- ART 444 Fashion History and Style to 1660
- ART 478 Beauty and the Body
- CRJ 489 Star Trek, Law, and Ethics
- GEOG 488B/HIST 488B Lake Tahoe Landscapes
- HIST 480B Renaissance Science and the Secrets of Nature
- HIST 481 Mind, Madness, and Culture: Psychotherapy in Europe and America
To learn more about these unique courses and others offered at the University, visit the University's course catalogue. For general questions and questions regarding courses offered under the Medieval and Renaissance Studies minor, visit the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Minor page, or contact Edward Schoolman.