Jun 14, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Humanities, M.A.

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Program Description

Contact: Mitch Ylarregui, Graduate Program Coordinator, mylarregui@ucmerced.edu

The Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Group program orients itself to the UC Merced 2009 Strategic Academic Vision. In particular it adopts the UC Merced guiding principle of “The World at Home/At Home in the World” as its signature focus. Our location in Merced, in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley—the breadbasket of the United States, where virtually all of the agricultural workers in the region have been of Mexican ancestry, but also a valley with an unusually large number of European, Middle Eastern, and Asian ethnicities—inspires this programmatic concentration, which guides and structures the overall IHGG curriculum and mission. We mark this with the idea of Global Crossroads, a phrase that signals our commitment to socially engaged education and research. The Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Group is the marquee graduate program of a single interdisciplinary department, one allowing faculty and students to illuminate grand challenges. After all, the task of humanists, artists and anthropologists is to explain and express cultural complexity and contingency. 

The Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Group program offers courses of study leading to either a Masters of Arts (M.A.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. Drawing on the expertise and interests of affiliated faculty, both M.A. and Ph.D. students develop coursework-based and research-based courses of study that encompass traditional seminar instruction and independent research. Students may either define their research around an interdisciplinary problematic, or in primarily disciplinary terms with a wider lens. Thus, the program offers a unique framework in which to approach core disciplines of scholarly study, while emphasizing an understanding of how similar issues and topics are addressed in multiple fields. Our students problematize these questions using a variety of methods that include fieldwork, description, narrative, hermeneutics, qualitative and quantitative analysis, curation, and an orientation toward ethics and politics.  

Program Learning Outcomes

All IHGG students share a set of Program Learning Outcomes, but the program sets distinct Standards of Mastery for M.A. and Ph.D. students. M.A. students learn the methods and practices by which knowledge is created in the humanities and are able to communicate about the content and methods of the humanities in many organizational and institutional settings.  Ph.D. students combine and extend multiple research practices, apply them to novel topics, and produce new insights about the humanities. 

Upon graduating, we expect students to:

  1. Become proficient in selected theories and research methods appropriate to the study of the humanities.
  2. Understand and apply both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to humanities research.
  3. Achieve domain expertise in a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary field of the humanities.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in research, analysis, and critique in the humanities through exams, papers, and theses.
  5. Display commitment to the research ethics and professional standards of the humanities and to the particular field of expertise.

Master’s Program Learning Outcomes

The standards of mastery for the M.A. are:

  • Develop communication skills and strategies appropriate for explaining the content and methods of the humanities to a wide range of audiences.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in using one or more established research methods to address existing topics in a humanities field.

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