2012-2014 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 24, 2018  
2012-2014 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Classes are offered at our Newport campus.

Director: Michael Budd, Ph.D.
(401) 341-3284

About the Master’s Program

The Master of Arts offers the humanities as a dynamic tradition of questions and methods grounded in the study of history, language and literature, the arts, ethics, philosophy, and religion. Students develop the knowledge, skills and perspective required to analyze and critically consider the human condition and its dilemmas. Broadly conceived, the humanities are presented as an evolving field that includes the public humanities and the digital humanities. Interdisciplinary electives allow students to integrate humanities study with work in the social sciences and cultural studies. Students develop an individual focus that complements their undergraduate background, work experience and life goals. Designing their own plan of study through their choice of electives, individuals may choose to strengthen the focus of their interdisciplinary work by writing an optional thesis, completing an internship, or practicum field experience rather than the general humanities degree.

Students may choose to pursue specific specialized concentrations that are theme- or problem-focused (humanitarian assistance, public humanities, religion, peace and justice). All graduates pursue in-depth study in their chosen humanities area and acquire advanced skills in research and writing, creative synthesis and problem-solving. Graduates benefit from the insights and perspectives they develop as they expand their knowledge in humanities subject areas and build practical skills applicable in fields such as education, public policy, social work, business and the arts. The Master of Arts may be pursued as a path to the humanities Ph.D. or combined with other programs for a dual degree.

Program Requirements

Following completion of an approved program of 12 courses (36 credits) and all degree requirements, students qualify to receive the Master of Arts degree in humanities.

About the Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. offers the humanities as a foundation for understanding a world of accelerating and complex change. Cultivating expertise in traditional humanities fields and building skills as contemporary interdisciplinary scholars, students pursue doctoral research that makes a difference; bridging disciplines and exploring questions of human meaning in a dynamic study of the past, present and future. The humanities Ph.D. was inaugurated in 1989 as an interdisciplinary investigation of the question, “What does it mean to be human in an age of advanced technology?” In one form or another, this question still commands attention in the 21st century. Broadly conceived, the human-technology relationship remains at the heart of the curriculum allowing students to draw insights and integrate knowledge from a variety of fields: religion, philosophy and ethics; art, literature and new media; history, politics and cultural theory. The challenge for each doctoral candidate is to develop a specific research direction that builds on the broader humanities and that engages with the doctoral theme. Students begin by choosing a program area of inquiry that is relevant to their preliminary research problem or issue. Building upon previous studies, professional and life experience, students choose from four areas of inquiry rooted in the scholarly expertise of faculty, the history of the doctoral program and Mercy mission of Salve Regina University:

  • Technology, Science and Society
  • Culture, Language and Memory
  • Global Ethics and Human Security
  • Community, Self and Social Transformation

Each area presents a different web of possible relationships linking a range of theoretical issues, debates and practical problems with relevant modes of inquiry from the humanities and social sciences. Students use the program area of inquiry to leverage prior knowledge and study, work and life experience in developing their own individualized foundation that leads to problem-focused and integrated interdisciplinary research and a distinguished doctoral dissertation.

Descriptions of Program Areas of Inquiry

Technology, Science, and Society

The humanities doctorate emerged from a historical moment at the end of the Cold War when studies of the impact of technology and science on the society and culture were coming to the fore. Information was the operative word and the World Wide Web was not yet a pervasive part of social and commercial life. In the interim, mobile and digital have become the new buzz words and awareness of global relationships has increased the currency of using cultural and critical theory to investigate the impact of both technology and science in people’s lives and on their ways of thinking. Topics: philosophy and technology, environmental sustainability, bio-ethics, medical humanities, technologies of war and violence, human factors and design, technology and material culture, technical innovation and business enterprise.

Culture, Language and Memory

The malleable term culture encompasses the way we see ourselves and the past, the things we make and the institutions and customs we sustain around us. Language and memory are the primary means of reproducing and understanding culture. Work in this area focuses on debates and problems concerning public and personal memory, the politics of social representation and narrative, historical interpretation, comparative literature and culture, and the history of ideas. Topics: epistemology and difference; local history; the city and human geography; historic preservation; digital humanities; new media; literature and history.

Global Ethics and Human Security

The term global describes not only a networked and connected world but also one that is riddled with technological gaps and social inequalities. Like universal human rights, global ethics underscores the challenge of respecting difference while building common human community and history. Looking beyond national borders and tribal perspectives the question of human security offers a frame for addressing a range of issues concerning democracy, health and the environment, corporate responsibility, competition for scarce resources, and peace building. Topics: conflict and climate; privacy and surveillance; civil-military relations; diasporas and immigration; community policing; economic justice; peace studies and conflict resolution; corporate ethics.

Community, Self and Social Transformation

The concepts of self and community lie at the heart of humanistic studies and are central constructs in making sense of the bridges and divides characterizing social, political and economic behavior. From the sphere of personal growth and individual healing to critiques of systems and institutions in an increasingly complex world we confront a range of oppositions from change vs. continuity, to the local vs. the global.

As we navigate personal relationships and the political and economic systems shaping our lives, questions arise about how we can serve the self and meaningfully connect to the larger world. How can self-fulfillment and individual beliefs be balanced with community in a pluralistic world? Topics: comparative belief; holistic studies; culture and values; leadership; educational reform; social policy; health care; mental health; disability; enterprise and business ethics.

Program and Course Listings


    Master of ArtsDoctor of Philosophy



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