Learn what Humanities First offers during the first year—and beyond. On this page you can find a description of this year's program, as well as an outline of our previous courses. You can read more about our programs goals on our About Us page and check out our current faculty on our People page.


2021 - 2022 

In 2021 – 2022, the theme of Humanities First is “Health and Wealth.”  In the Fall, our lecture cohorts are taught by a team of faculty from English (professor Stephanie Clare), Linguistics (professor Naja Ferjan Ramirez), and Music History (professor Anne Searcy). Student teams will take the topic of Health and wealth as encountered in their readings and class discussion, and create public-facing Instagram feeds or digital Zines aimed at their peers.  In addition, students will create E-Portfolios that they will use to curate their four-year journey at the UW and convey that journey to the public (many students use these when seeking internships and employment). 

The Winter and Spring seminars will focus on shared texts (Harriet Shelton Dover’s Tulalip from my Heart in Winter and Shawn Wong’s Home Base for Spring), E-Portfolio development, and public humanities scholarship. Most excitingly, in-class discussions will be further enhanced by a series of in-person field trips throughout these quarters. 

Visit our Field Trips page to learn more about our destinations for this year!

Winter quarter we will explore campus locations such as the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Henry Art Gallery, and the offices of the University of Washington Press. In Spring we will visit the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Seattle’s Chinatown – International District​, the Suquamish Museum on Port Madison Indian Reservation, and the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial on Bainbridge Island.

Students who complete the first year series will earn the designation “Humanities First Scholar” and will have the opportunity to apply for a Humanities First Internship, where they will develop their mentoring and communication skills with the incoming cohort of Humanities First students.


2020 - 2021

In 2020 – 2021, our inaugural year, the theme of Humanities First was “Journeys.” Fall term was taught by a team of faculty from Asian Languages and Literature (professor Chris Hamm), Classics (professor Sarah Stroup), and Scandinavian Studies (professor Lauren Poyer). The Winter and Spring Terms were taught by professors Sam Jaffee (Spanish and Portuguese), Sarah Stroup (Classics), and Shawn Wong (English). Our shared texts were Deborah Miranda's Bad Indians and John Okada's No-No Boy


Want to hear more about the program? Check out our "Reimagining the Humanities" Virtual Seminar from January 28th, 2021.