See Where a Humanities Degree Can Take You

Culture is at the heart of Humanities at Kirkwood. The humanities are the studies of how people process and document human cultures and experiences.

Within the humanities, you can focus on music, art, theatre, anthropology, religion, languages and more.

As a Humanities student at Kirkwood, you will be exposed to a wide range of topics within these areas, preparing you to branch out into many careers or advanced study options.

We make transferring and earning your bachelor’s degree in humanities incredibly easy and affordable.  

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As a Liberal Arts student, you can take humanities courses both to meet your core humanities requirements and as electives in the humanities area of your interest.

Kirkwood has special transfer agreements with all three state universities for students interested in transferring with an Associate of Arts degree. You may also choose to transfer to another four-year institution.

Kirkwood makes transferring and earning your bachelor’s degree in humanities incredibly easy and affordable!

Sample coursework:

  • An interdisciplinary course
  • Ethics, Philosophy or Basic Reasoning
  • Art or Music Appreciation, or another art class 
  • Classes on human creations and endeavors

Kirkwood is the affordable option — we have more than $3 million in scholarships available each year!

A humanities background provides you with an incredibly broad base of diverse disciplines and options that can lead to many opportunities for a rewarding career. In fact, humanities graduates are in demand as candidates for a large range of industries because of the well-rounded education offered by a humanities background.

Today’s employers are looking for students with that broad knowledge base and skills that can be applied to most any career or industry requiring problem-solving skills, critical thinking and good communication. Kirkwood can help you explore your career options by providing exciting experiences in and out of the classroom to help you find the best path for you.

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The Humanities interest area at Kirkwood is part of our Liberal Arts program. Potential courses offered are listed below. You will work closely with the Advising and Transfer Center, as well as Humanities faculty when selecting courses that interest you. Our Humanities faculty are recognized experts and can help you explore future education and career options within the humanities field.

Course requirements include specialized humanities courses, and math and science. With so many options to choose from, the advising process will also help you determine the best choice for your specific interests.

DRA-116 Film Analysis (3)
Focuses on the methods and technologies of film art. The emphasis is on analysis of classic narrative films. Subjects for analysis include narrative structure, segmentation, shot-by-shot breakdown, elements of mise-en-scene and montage, auteurs, genres, production considerations, and conventions. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

DRA-117 Film Topics (3)
Offers in-depth study of various topics in film studies. Some topics offered are the study of genre theory, specific genres, film adaptation of literature and drama, moral themes and documentary film. All film topics will study the relationship between the topic and culture, identify operating principles and relevant contextual forces, and apply these concepts to the study of specific films. Course may be repeated for credit. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

HUM-105 Working in America (3)
Introduces students to the humanities through an interdisciplinary study of work. By examining works of art, literature, music, philosophy, religion, history and anthropology, this course explores human labor in the past, present and future in an attempt to understand how work shapes human nature and culture. Focus will be on the meanings and values of students' work experiences. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

HUM-116 Encounters in Humanities (3)
By asking a series of questions about various examples of human activity (literature, philosophy, history, visual arts and music), teaches a method of inquiry for use in understanding and appreciating the humanities. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

HUM-123 U.S. Film History (3)
Tracks the development of film art in the United States from its earliest silent years to the modern era. Identifies and explores the contributions of American filmmakers and the influences of the American film industry and American culture on cinema as an art form. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

HUM-124 World Film History (3)
Tracks the development of film art in countries other than the United States from the primitive era to the modern era. Identifies and explores the contributions of major world filmmakers and the influences of the various film industries and cultures as reflected in the films of these specific countries. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

HUM-142 Popular Culture (3)
Introduces students to the study of popular culture. Analyzes the way in which human beings interact with popular culture, both as individuals and as part of the larger society. The course also examines a wide variety of popular texts to illustrate the ways in which they reflect and perhaps shape cultural values. Through this process, students develop skills for the critical analysis of advertising, television programs, comic books, and interactive multimedia, among other forms of popular culture. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

HUM-190 Culture and Technology (3)
Introduces students to the relationships between technology and culture through an interdisciplinary study of the humanities. The course examines these relationships through works in the humanities, for example art, literature, music, philosophy, religion, history, film and anthropology. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

HUM-200 International Study in Humanities (3)
Provides students with the opportunity to pursue studies in such areas as history, art, politics, music, literature and foreign language. Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

Full-Time Faculty

Kristin Hanson
Assistant Professor, Humanities
319-398-5899 ext. 5339
Benton Hall room 330B

B.A.; University of Iowa
PhD; Louisiana State University

Kristin teaches Encounters in Humanities and Popular Culture. Her academic interests focus on gender, sexuality and their representation in culture. She enjoys teaching at Kirkwood and introducing students to new ideas and experiences. Each summer she volunteers for local theatre groups as a costumer.

Lydia Hartunian
Professor, Humanities
319-398-5899 x5707
Nielsen Hall 329

PhD; University of New York

Lydia teaches Culture and Technology, Working in America, and Encounters in Humanities. Her classes are discussion/debate oriented and emphasize understanding human behavior via how genetics and environment play roles in shaping who we are, and why we believe what we do.

Chris McCord
Professor, Philosophy
319-398-5899 x5713
Benton Hall 309

B.A.; Middle Tennessee State University
M.A.; University of Memphis
PhD; University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Chris teaches Philosophy, Ethics, Basic Reasoning, Philosophy of Human Nature and Working in America. He is also an advisor for the Kirkwood Philosophy Club and has a passion for existentialism, particularly the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre. Chris has published two articles, “Teaching Ethics with Scrooge” and “Frankenstein Meets Kant” in Teaching Philosophy, a peer-reviewed journal focused on practical and theoretical discussion on teaching and learning philosophy.

Clark Skaggs
Assistant Professor, Communication
319-398-5899 x5963
Benton Hall 350

B.A.; Southwest Baptist
M.A.; University of Central Missouri

Clark teaches Fundamentals of Oral Communication, Public Speaking and Encounters in Humanities. Clark believes in keeping communication skills sharp by participating in his area of interest. He regularly appears as a speaker and actor at area arts events.

Bill Stephens
Associate Professor, Anthropology
319-398-5899 x5341
Benton Hall Room 330B

B.A.; University of Texas-Austin
M.A. & PhD; University of Oregon

Bill teaches Cultural Anthropology, Indigenous Central America and Working in America. He has conducted long-term anthropological research in a highland Mayan community in Chiapas, Mexico, where he worked primarily with indigenous healers who were dealing with the problems of hope, suffering, and well-being, in an increasingly “global” age.

Humanities Adjunct Faculty

Matthew Hipps
U.S. Film History

Jack Wortman
Working in America

Why should you join one of Kirkwood’s special-interest student clubs? Studies show students actively involved and engaged with clubs and activities on campus actually perform better academically. Plus, involvement in clubs related to your interest area helps you round out your education and provides additional meaningful content for your resume.

Below are clubs specifically related to students interested in humanities.

Kirkwood for Reason

Lydia Hartunian, advisor

An affiliate of Secular Student Alliance, Kirkwood for Reason works primarily to help raise awareness of First Amendment issues and humanist values.

Philosophy Club

Chris McCord, advisor

The Philosophy Club engages in fun, informal discussion of a wide range of ideas including morality, religion, ethics, politics and policy, knowledge, and the nature of reality.

Phi Theta Kappa

Dr. Tony Arduini, advisor

Phi Theta Kappa provides opportunities for the development of leadership and service for exchange of ideas and ideals in an intellectual climate.

Kirkwood offers a very diverse mixture of clubs and organizations. You can select from a variety of opportunities that suit your personal interests, as well as your program interests. A complete list of clubs and organizations can be found in Student Life

Patrice Gwyan

“I had attended another college and almost lost hopes of attending a community college in Iowa, but a lot of people were saying great things about Kirkwood so I decided to give it a try. My professors are so helpful and the campus has a lot of great resources.”

Patrice Gwyan,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Arts & Humanities
336 Cedar Hall