Trinity College’s Humanities Gateway Program engages outstanding students in the interdisciplinary study of key themes and problems in human society. Students take a sequence of four seminars (over the course of the first year) that focus on a specified theme, with a focus on the ways in which history and literature, as well as religious and philosophical ideas, can help us engage with these issues.
The program builds upon the premise that the skills most highly valued in students who study the liberal arts – their strong writing skills and facility for verbal communication, as well as their capacity to think critically and synthesize complex ideas – are best developed from the outset of a student’s career, and in small seminar settings that encourage engagement with texts and traditions that grapple with defining facets of human experience.
For the 2023-2024 Academic Year, there will be two areas of focus.
The two courses of the Fall semester take up the various ways in which the human encounters and responds to the environment it inhabits. Students will engage with, and produce, various forms of literary environmental activism, and they will examine how the human observes its environment from a historical and also experiential perspective. Common to both courses is the practice of critically engaged reflection on the relationship of the human to the world outside itself.
The two courses of the Spring semester will focus on the intersections of gender, religion, identity and culture. Students will take an interdisciplinary approach to representations of non-normative sexualities in the contemporary Arab world (literature, film, etc.), and will also engage with questions of gender and sexuality as they relate to the Christian tradition. The two courses of this sequence share a focus on the complicated ways in which religious and cultural traditions relate to gender identity.