Humanities & Diversity


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For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

 COM 121 - Introduction to Theatre (3 cred.)

This course will include a general survey of Western theatre from Classical Greece to contemporary America. Students will learn the diverse practice of the art of theatre by studying theatre history, dramatic literature, and the practical components of acting, directing, design and production.

 COM 216 - Dramatic Literature and Script Analysis (3 cred.)

This course introduces students to the diverse genre of dramatic literature in Western and Eastern theatre. Students study the origins of tragedy, comedy, melodrama, the rise of Realism and Anti-Realism, as well as the sub-genres within those general categories. Eastern traditions of text such as Kabuki, Noh, and Bunraku are also studied. Students learn how to read a play on a deeper level for content, themes, historical and sociopolitical influences, as well as the emerging and changing aesthetics of each genre. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

 COM 352 - Advanced Cinema Studies (3 cred.)

An in-depth study of the aesthetics and theory of cinema through the examination and critical analysis of the technical and creative elements of selected iconic Hollywood and international motion pictures. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

 COM 371 - Small Group and Conflict Management (3 cred.)

An exploration of various concepts and types of conflict and the role of argumentation in managing and/or resolving conflict. The study examines the theory and practice of communication within small groups, as well as problem solving and decision making as common contexts in which argument occurs and conflict arises, and a continuum from formal to informal modes of conflict management/resolution is discussed and practiced by the students. Examples of specific areas covered include formal debate, negotiation, and arbitration. Prerequisite: COM 202.

 ENG 230 - Environmental Literature (3 cred.)

A study of environmental literature. Students analyze the formal and thematic characteristics of the literature. To inform critical interpretations, students read relevant cultural and environmental theory. The theme or topic is announced each semester. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 ENG 232 - Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality (3 cred.)

A focus on multicultural literature representing literal and metaphoric borders and crossings. Students examine how culture and ideology inform representations of the interconnections among race, class, and gender. Examples include literatures of migration, mixed identities, and racial and gender crossings. Prerequisite: ENG 102with a minimum grade of ÒC-.Ó

 ENG 237 - Women and Literature (3 cred.)

Critical study of selected topics, themes, or issues about women as they are interpreted in popular and classic literary works. Specific titles to be announced each time the course is offered. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-".

 ENG 238 - Literary Culture of the American West (3 cred.)

A study of traditional and nontraditional forms of Western literature. Specific titles to be announced each time the course is offered. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 ENG 250 - Critical Approaches to Literature (3 cred.)

Students study a variety of genres as a basis of learning to write literary analysis. Focus is on an understanding of the varied perspectives from which a text can be approached, and how readers construct meaning based not only upon the text itself, but also the context in which it is studied. The critical approach as well as theme or topic may vary. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 ENG 255 - Ancient World Literature (3 cred.)

A study of ancient texts and their relation to their own time, and to ours. Since an understanding of these writings is important for reading English literature, the focus of the course is on Western texts central to that tradition. However, students may also read selected works from non-Western cultures in order to give them a taste of the diversity of the ancient world. Works studied may include selections from the Bible (Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament), Homer's writings, poetry and theatre of Classical Greece, Chinese poetry from the Book of Songs, a selection from the Mahabharata, and Roman poetry, particularly Virgil and Ovid. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 ENG 270 - Folklore (3 cred.)

A study of one or more areas of folklore with a focus on American folklore. Possible areas include folksong, folk tales and legends, customs and festivals, dance and drama, proverbs, traditions, beliefs, recipes, and games. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 ENG 337 - Women Writers (3 cred.)

Analysis of the poetry, drama, or fiction of women writers. Emphasis is on 19th century, 20th century, or contemporary writers. Prerequisite: ENG 250 with a minimum grade of "C."

 ENG 358 - Global Literature: Studies in: (3 cred.)

A study of literatures from around the globe that considers the artistry, culture, and diverse social conditions of various countries. A specific focus is announced each time the course is offered. Possible topics may include "Colonialism and Globalization," "The Sacred Texts," and "War and Revolution." Course may be repeated once for credit with a different title, but may be counted only once toward the major. Prerequisite: ENG 250 with a minimum grade of "C."

 ENG 370 - Myth and Culture (3 cred.)

An introduction to the role of myth in literature and in our contemporary world.Examining myth from various perspectives, including the archetypal, the course focuses upon myth as a means for understanding aspects of our society's cultures. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: ENG 250 with a minimum grade of "C."

 ENG 371 - Literary Theory and Criticism (3 cred.)

An introduction to some of the primary conversations structuring debates in literary theory and criticism. Students learn to identify central questions, assumptions, and conflicts in theoretical and critical texts. Students also gain an understanding of the ways that theory and criticism influence their immediate experiences in English courses. Prerequisites: ENG 250 with a minimum grade of "C" and at least one 300-level literature course, or instructor permission.

 ENG 384 - American Literature: Early to Civil War (3 cred.)

An exploration of authors and texts in American literature up to 1865. Prerequisite:ENG 250 with a minimum grade of "C."

 ENG 385 - American Literature: Civil War to Present (3 cred.)

An exploration of authors and texts in American literature from 1865 to the present. Prerequisite: ENG 250 with a minimum grade of "C."

 ENG 463 - Major British Authors: (3 cred.)

An in-depth study of selected, significant authors that approaches works from similar or cross-historical periods of British literature. Course may be repeated once for credit when taken with a different emphasis. Prerequisite: ENG 250 with a minimum grade of "C" and junior standing.

 ENG 464 - Major American Authors: (3 cred.)

An in-depth study of selected, significant authors that approaches works from similar or cross-historical periods of American literature. Course may be repeated once for credit when taken with a different emphasis. Prerequisite: ENG 250 with a minimum grade of "C."

 PHIL 101 - Introduction to Philosophy (3 cred.)

An introduction to the central philosophical questions that have historically spanned and conceptually founded Western civilization. The course surveys key thinkers, philosophical movements, and academic fields of the discipline. Questions regarding the meaning of existence, the freedom of the self, the nature of a just society, and the workings of human knowledge expose students to the pursuits of metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, philosophy of science, moral and political philosophy, and ethics.

 PHIL 315 - Eastern Philosophy (3 cred.)

An introduction to the central philosophical questions which have conceptually founded Eastern philosophy. This course surveys primary texts, intellectual movements, and cultural traditions that inform and influence Eastern philosophy while investigating the theoretical spaces that exist between philosophical assumptions of the East and West. Prerequisite: PHIL 101

 PHIL 325 - Women and Gender in Philosophy (3 cred.)

A discussion of the significance of women and gender in the development of philosophy.  This course questions how the philosophical canon has appropriated, incorporated, and sometimes erased women's contributions.  Drawing upon a variety of discourses in and outside of philosophy itself (including feminist and queer theory), students will assess how the philosophical endeavor changes in light of previously overlooked and currently influential gender studies work.  Students will use gender and sexuality as a framework that enriches and interrogates philosophical fields ranging from cultural theory to epistemology. Prerequisite: PHIL 101

 SPAN 324 - Spanish for Medical and Social Services (3 cred.)

Develops oral proficiency and writing skills in Spanish as applied to medical and social services settings. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: SPAN 202 or WebCAPE score of 509 or higher, or instructor permission.

 SPAN 341 - Latin American Civilization and Culture (3 cred.)

An introduction to the general trends of Latin American civilization, culture and the national character, as expressed in everyday life in the various countries of Latin America. Includes pre-Columbian history to the present. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 255 or equivalent.

 SPAN 460 - Hispanic Lit: (3 cred.)

A course to give students the opportunity to read and analyze works by major Hispanic novelists, dramatists, essayists, poets and short story writers. The content of the course varies. This course may be taken for credit more than once. This course is conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 385.

 SPAN 482 - Spanish in the US (3 cred.)

Develops critical and linguistic awareness about the relationship between language, individual, and society, in the context of the use of Spanish in the U.S.  Conducted in Spanish.  Prerequisites: SPAN 202 or WebCAPE score of 509 or higher, or instructor permission.      

Faculty & Staff


Lorena Gómez, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Phone: 970.943.2306
Office Location: Taylor Hall 222A
Tyson Hausdoerffer, Ph.D. headshot
Director, Graduate Program in Creative Writing
Phone: 970.943.2298
Office Location: Taylor Hall 222B
Steven Cole Hughes, MFA headshot
Director of Theatre and Assistant Professor of Communication Arts
Phone: 970-943-3029
Office Location: Taylor Hall 212 D
Christine Jespersen, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of English
Phone: 970.943.2088
Office Location: Taylor Hall 218
Jack Lucido, MFA headshot
Professor of Communication Arts, Director of Film Studies, Chair of CALL Department
Phone: 970.943.3052
Office Location: Taylor Hall 216
Alina M. Luna, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of English
Phone: 970.943.2456
Office Location: Taylor Hall 208F
Anthony Miccoli, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Philosophy, Director of Philosophy Program
Phone: 970.943.3004
Office Location: Taylor Hall 208D
Eun-A Park, Ph.D. headshot
Associate Professor of Communication Arts
Phone: 970.943.2265
Office Location: Taylor Hall 222C
Terry Schliesman, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Communication Arts
Phone: 970.943.2036
Office Location: Taylor Hall 212E
Liz Smith, Ph.D. headshot
Lecturer in English
Phone: 970.943.2124
Office Location: Taylor Hall 220A


Institutional Scholarships

Common Scholarships

Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit our scholarships page.

Early Action Credit

If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit

Neighboring States Program

Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Presidential Promise

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Tuition Discount Programs

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Western Merit Scholarship

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • Bistro Philosophy: A monthly gathering of philosophy students and faculty at a local bistro to discuss concepts taught in classes, then brainstorming and expanding upon them creatively to address “burning questions” that arise through the semester.
  • Contemporary Writer Series: Emerging and established literary artists visit campus and community venues.
  • Multicultural Center: Immerse with students from many cultures on campus and participate in community service and organizing cultural events.
  • Philosophy Intersections: A series of discussions and lectures that highlights work among disciplines campus-wide, where students and faculty look at how their fields intersect and interact with Philosophy.
  • Sigma Tau Delta: Join the international English honor society.
  • Volunteering: Students serve at Gunnison County’s Multicultural Resources and Project Hope to provide support for local Spanish-speaking individuals searching for additional resources to succeed in life.
  • Western Theatre Company: A co-curricular program and student-run producing board that oversee and provide quality live performance to the campus and Gunnison community.
  • Wordhorde: This group hosts slam poetry and fiction at open-mic nights.

The Humanities & Diversity minor provides the opportunity for students to examine ideas, perspectives and representations informed by issues such as diversity, identity, sexuality and lived realities through the study of literature and related disciplines in the liberal arts.

The program celebrates diversity through “an educational environment that honors the entities, experiences and intersectionality of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, intellectual abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs and ideologies.” Furthermore, it supports “a firm and unyielding stance in support of diversity, inclusivity, scientific inquiry and creative expression … [and that] … these principles are a moral imperative requiring constant vigilance and a firm stance against actions motivated by hate or intimidation.” (From Western’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Internationalization Committee)

Learn More

Reach out for more information about the program.

Photo of Alina Luna
Professor of English
Office Location: 
Taylor Hall 208F

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Creative Writing

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Communication Arts

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Film Studies

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Strategic Communication

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Theatre & Performance Studies

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