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The Humanities Program is a sequence of five courses required of all Revelle undergraduates. The five courses offer a chronologically arranged study of Western culture, from its origins in Hebrew and Greek society (Humanities 1) to its condition in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Humanities 5). Most texts are drawn from the "great books" of Western history, philosophy, and literature; writing assignments address topics derived from these books. The program does not demand that teaching assistants possess an expert knowledge of all the texts; it does demand that they possess a lively concern for individual students and their education, both in the Western cultural tradition and in rational and persuasive writing.
Teaching assistants will ordinarily be hired to work in either the first-year or second-year sequence of courses. (1) TAs in the first-year sequence take a fall seminar on Humanities issues, texts, and pedagogical methods; they then supervise discussion sections in Humanities 1 (winter) and Humanities 2 (spring). In each of these Humanities courses, which include intensive writing instruction, TAs work with two groups of students, attend three lectures and a staff meeting every week, and grade four groups of essays and a final examination. Graduate students who are new to the Humanities Program are almost always assigned to the first-year sequence. (2) TAs in the second-year sequence of courses attend lectures and staff meetings and supervise discussion sections in Humanities 3 (fall), Humanities 4 (winter), and Humanities 5 (spring). In these classes writing instruction is not so time-consuming, and TAs have fewer papers to read for each student.