Aerial photograph of the Immaculate Conception Chapel

Arts and Human Experience

Literature, music, drama, and the visual arts are vivid reflections of who we are.  They express what we think, feel, know, and believe.  To study the arts is to study how people share what is in their hearts and minds, even how one civilization influences another.  The arts are an extraordinary set of languages - visual, verbal, musical, gestural, tactile - that allow us to be in touch with the fullness of human life.  To understand and value the arts is as important and as central to a good education as the ability to read, write, and speak.  The Arts and Human Experience Cluster offers exciting opportunities for students and faculty to approach the arts from many different points of view. The arts reflect political, historical, psychological, and philosophical issues; they employ and are shaped by science and technology; they articulate aesthetic and spiritual values; they are both playful and profound.  Each course within the Arts and Human Experience Cluster will look in depth at a particular set of information and ideas and at the same time contribute to a broad comprehension of the arts as a collective, integrated record of creative human activity.

Courses in the Arts and Human Experience Cluster provide students with the opportunity to . . .

  • Study works of art, drama, literature, and music that have shaped the cultural heritage of our world;
  • Identify ways in which the arts both reflect and shape the experience of being human;
  • Examine a variety of traditional and contemporary theories about the arts;
  • Investigate particular historical periods to discover the social, economic, and political contexts in which significant works of art have been created;
  • Understand the scientific and technological principles that underlie the arts and give them their unique qualities and characteristics;
  • Analyze the psychological processes through which we perceive and create works of art;
  • Explore the variety of ways in which the arts articulate and perpetuate cultural and religious values and meanings in every major civilization;
  • Experience the rich arts offerings in Dayton and southwest Ohio.

Cluster Coordinator:
Dr. James Farrelly
Department of English
Humanities Building, Rm 211