May 27, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies

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Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary humanities department. We give our students a broad perspective on the world by leading them in exploration of major textual traditions, drawing on all the scholarly disciplines that make up the humanities - philosophy, religion, history, literature, and the arts - to see how people in different cultures have thought about truth and the meaning of human experience, standards of moral judgment for human actions, and the nature of beauty and the cultivation of taste in the arts.

The department teaches students to ask how works of the humanities have been shaped by their historical and cultural contexts, and how they in turn have influenced readers and audiences. The department supports the study of humanities in the cultures of Europe, the Americas, China, Japan, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and in predominately Islamic areas. Its courses give attention to historical development and cross-cultural interaction, both in the past and in the modern period.

The department offers the BA in Humanities with two areas of concentration: the history of culture, and the academic study of religion, both with the option of writing a senior thesis. Students in the BA degree programs practice what they have learned about analyzing texts, works of art and historical contexts in various forms of supervised research. In the degree programs and in General University Requirements courses students develop habits of mind characterized by awareness of methodological issues, analysis from more than one perspective, aesthetic appreciation, and clear communication, habits which have proved to be broadly useful to them in a variety of professional careers and in civic life.


For additional information, contact the Department of Liberal Studies, Western Washington University, 516 High St., Bellingham, WA 98225-9064. The department office is located in Bond Hall 152, telephone 360-650-3030, fax 360-650-6713, e-mail: Web access:

  • The department offers interdisciplinary courses which can fulfill a major part of the WWU General University Requirements in humanities and in comparative, gender and multicultural studies; see the University Graduation Requirements  section of this catalog for the complete General University Requirements and options for satisfying them
  • The department offers a BA in Humanities with a choice of two concentrations, in History of Culture or in Religion and Culture 
  • The department offers interdisciplinary minor programs in Humanities and in the Study of Religion
  • The department administers and offers courses in the minor in Arabic and Islamic studies
  • The department offers courses in the East Asian Studies program
  • The department administers the Student/Faculty-Designed Major in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. This program allows students, in consultation with appropriate faculty, to design an interdisciplinary course of study in areas not available through existing departmental majors

Additional information about all of the foregoing is available from the Liberal Studies Office, Bond Hall 152.


KIMBERLY LYNN (2006) Chair and Associate Professor. BA, College of William and Mary; MA, PhD, Johns Hopkins University.
HOLLY FOLK (2007) Associate Professor. BA, Wesleyan University; MA, Columbia University; PhD, Indiana University.
ANDREA GOGRÖF (1996) Professor. BA, MA, University of Paris, Nanterre; PhD, University of Washington.
JONATHAN MIRAN (2003) Associate Professor. BA, MA, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris; PhD, Michigan State University.
SEAN E. MURPHY (2002) Associate Professor. AB, MA, PhD, Cornell University.
SCOTT PEARCE (1992) Professor. BA, Rutgers University; PhD, Princeton University.
MICHAEL SLOUBER (2014) Assistant Professor. BA, UC Davis; MA, South & Southeast Asian Studies, UC Berkeley; MA, Kultur and Geschischte Indiens, University of Hamburg, Germany; PhD, UC Berkeley.
ROBERT F. STOOPS, JR. (1983) Professor. AB, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; MDiv, Harvard Divinity School; MA, PhD, Harvard University.

Other Departmental Information

Mid-Program Checkpoint

Students seeking to complete a BA in Humanities degree within four years should take LBRL 121 and LBRL 122 before spring quarter of their junior year. LBRL 302 should be taken in spring quarter of the junior year. If not taken before this quarter, LBRL 123 must be taken in the same quarter as LBRL 302. By the end of their junior year students also should complete 12-15 additional credits from the courses required for the BA in Humanities degree. Transfer students should contact the department for advisement as early as possible.


    Undergraduate MajorUndergraduate Minor


      Liberal Studies

      Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies  section of this catalog.

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