Humanities & Liberal Studies


The program’s reading list is inspired by the Great Books. The major offers its students a broad liberal arts education through a comprehensive study of the western intellectual tradition as presented in philosophy, literature, theology, history and, to some extent, in the experimental sciences and mathematics. Under optimum circumstances, classes are conducted as seminars with a maximum enrollment of twenty students. This interdisciplinary major allows Ave Maria University to offer its students the opportunity to be nourished in a truly integrated curriculum, as with Great Books Colleges and Programs elsewhere. The major in Humanities and Liberal Studies is a properly catholic discipline for a Catholic University.

Students will develop knowledge in History of major historical events and movements of the formation of Western Civilization, demonstrate knowledge of some central philosophers and philosophical traditions that have informed western civilization, and develop knowledge in Politics of the governmental, political, and societal structures of the United States.

Shakespeare in Performance
The Humanities department is home to the productions of Shakespeare in Performance. Find us on Facebook.

Explore the Humanities & Liberal Studies Program

Welcome to the study of humanitas.  Our students’ high standards of self-expression, the intellectually significant classroom conversation, and a unique program await you.  Indeed, our students tailor their own path of studies by selecting suitable electives from the best courses that the university offers.  As a result, the major offers a broad liberal arts education through a comprehensive study of the western intellectual tradition as presented especially in philosophy, literature, theology, the arts, and history.  To major in humanities, we seek spirited students who love great books, beautiful language, and powerful ideas.

In addition to the core curriculum, humanities majors take the following courses
HUMS 301 Humanities Seminar I
HUMS 302 Humanities Seminar II
HUMS 490 Senior Seminar: Thomas More
PHIL 302 Ancient Philosophy
PHIL 305 Medieval Philosophy
HUMS 206/LITR 206 Shakespeare
THEO 309 Christ and His Church –OR- THEO 411 Advanced Scripture
POLT 402 Modernity and Postmodernity

Elective Options
HUMS 325 Jane Austen and Samuel Johnson
HUMS 330 Shakespeare in Performance
ECON 303 Great Economic Ideas
GREK 203 Greek Readings
HIST 290 History of Ideas
HIST 366 British Empire
LATN 204 Golden Age Poetry
LATN 304 Latin Church Fathers
LITR 490 Literary Theory
MATH 201 History of Mathematics
MUSC 212A/B Survey of Western Music I / II
POLT 201 Introduction to Political Thought
POLT 302 Catholic Political Thought
POLT 305 Politics and Literature
PHIL 402 Recent Philosophy
PHIL 403 Political Philosophy
PHIL 405 Philosophy of Science
PHIL 413 Modern Philosophy
PHIL 414 Contemporary Philosophy
THEA 204 Theatre Production Practicum
THEA 206 Fundamentals of Acting I
THEA 207 Fundamentals of Acting II
THEA 330 Shakespeare in Performance

See the Academic Catalog for course descriptions

John Colman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Politics
Education: B.A., Political Science, Carleton University; M.A., Political Science, Carleton University; Ph.D., Political Science, Boston College
Office: Canizaro Library 161B
Phone: (239) 280-1609

Travis Curtright, Ph.D.

Chair of the Humanities Department, Director of Shakespeare and Performance, Professor of Humanities & Literature
Education: B.A., Philosophy, University of Dallas; M.A. Literature, University of Dallas; Ph.D., Literature, University of Dallas
Office: Canizaro Library 161A
Phone: (239) 280-1612

Barry David, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Philosophy
Education: B.A., History & Classical Philosophy, University of King’s College & Dalhousie University; M.A., History, Classics, & Religion, Carleton University; Ph.D., Medieval Philosophy, University of Toronto
Office: Henkels 3046
Phone: (239) 280-2534

Andrew Dinan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Classics
Education: B.A., Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame; M.T.S., Moral Theology, John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage & Family; M.A., Greek & Latin, Catholic University of America; Ph.D., Greek & Latin, Catholic University of America
Office: Henkels 2050
Phone: (239) 280-1619

Charles Kolmann

Adjunct Professor of Theater
Education: B.A, English & Literature, LaSalle University; Master’s Equivalency, Pennsylvania State

Michael Sugrue, Ph.D.

Professor of History and Humanities 
Education: A.B., History, University of Chicago; M.A. History, University of Chicago, M.Phil. History, University of Chicago, Ph.D., History, Columbia University
Office: Henkels 2018
Phone: (239) 280-1624