FAQ about IPHS
Seminar, lecture, tutorial—I don't get it. How does IPHS 113-114 work?
On the surface, IPHS may seem like many other introductory humanities courses offered at top colleges. Actually, though, we're unique. Some schools offer lectures by seasoned professors and sections with less-experienced instructors; others offer only a seminar where you meet to discuss your personal reactions to the book, often with an instructor who may not even have a background in the field. Kenyon's program is quite different. Each week, you'll attend two or three lectures, most given by IPHS professors, with a few guest lecturers given by other distinguished Kenyon faculty. These provide the historical context for each week's reading, as well as a sense of how each text fits into the tradition we're exploring. Then, you'll meet once weekly in a smaller seminar led by one of our professors, where you'll engage in a more in-depth reading. Finally, every three weeks or so, you'll write a 4-5 page tutorial paper which you'll present, alongside a fellow classmate or two, to your seminar leader. The tutorial gives you a chance to formulate your own personal responses to these great works, as well as to initiate a dialogue with your professor about the text and your writing.
How do the credits and grading work for IPHS 113-114? What breadth requirements does it satisfy?
Because the course is really equivalent to two classes (both a lecture and a seminar), it counts for a full unit of credit each semester. We recommend that you not overextend yourself by enrolling in too many units, especially your first semester. Since the course is a year-long course, your grade in December will be provisional. IPHS 113-114 satisfies many of your breadth requirements. It is open only to freshmen.
Okay, I'm ready to enroll. How do I pick a section?
Although each seminar will have its own unique feel, we recommend that you pick your seminar based on your schedule. The class experience is consistent across sections: you'll read the same texts, attend the same lectures, and take exams together. Your section will remain the same throughout the year.
I loved IPHS 113-114. How can I continue?
IPHS offers many upper-division courses, some of which explore authors introduced in the first-year course (Dante, Machiavelli, Thucyidides), and others which continue where 113-114 left off with an investigation of Modernism and Postmodernism.
I notice that English offers a Modernism course. Is the IPHS course the same?
The Modernism class in the English department focuses on modernist literature written in the English language. Our class is quite different in that we study Modernism as an international phenomenon. It is also very interdisciplinary, ranging beyond literature to include film, the visual arts, architecture, dance, and music. Preference is given to students who have already taken IPHS 113-114. Postmodernism is similarly international and interdisciplinary, starting where Modernism leaves off. Preference is given to students who have already completed Modernism.
What is this senior seminar I keep hearing about? And how can I concentrate?
IPHS offers a concentration that complements your major. In addition to IPHS 113-114, you are required to take 2 upper-division seminars of your choice and to enroll in the senior seminar. We like to think that IPHS offers you the chance to do a senior project quite different from what may be possible within your major. We encourage creative projects and projects that rely on true interdisciplinarity. You can opt for a semester or a year-long project. During that time, you meet every several weeks with the IPHS faculty and other concentrators to give and receive encouragement and suggestions.