Humanities Program

School of Arts & Humanities

Our unique Humanities Program — incorporating history, literature, philosophy, and fine arts— is central to the Milligan liberal arts education. We think it’s important for tomorrow’s leaders to be individuals who can think for themselves, analyze information and ideas, and explore the nature and meaning of the world.

How do we make sense of all the rampaging data that surrounds us on televisions, cell phones, radios, computer monitors, billboards, and movie screens? Is it possible to put together some coherent understanding of the past in order to understand the present and have some idea where we might be headed in the future? Milligan College wants to help you put together the puzzling pieces. We begin with the confident declaration that all knowledge is ultimately unified, brought into being by a Creator. Because knowledge is unified, we can see the connections between history, literature, the arts, philosophy, and the Creator of all these disciplines.

In the Milligan College Humanities Program (part of the required curriculum), students and faculty work to bring together the pieces of the puzzle in an interdisciplinary program. Over the course of four semesters, students study some of the ideas and events that have shaped history and created contemporary civilizations. This lays the foundation for a lifetime of sense making, a lifetime of finding meaning in the past, making informed judgments on the present, and preparing for a meaningful future.

All four semesters of the Humanities program address the following questions:

  • What does it mean to be fully human?
  • Who is God and how does a person know God?
  • What responsibilities do we, as both part of creation and stewards of it, have to the rest of the created order?
  • How does one relate to one’s fellow human beings?
  • How does one answer life’s inescapable questions — of love, hate, belonging, vocation, meaning, death?

As one of our recent students declared: “There is no way to describe how much the Humanities Program has influenced my life.” He certainly doesn’t have everything figured out as a result of his studies at Milligan College, but he has invaluable tools, not only to make a living, but to make sense out of life. A college education doesn’t get any better than that.


Humanities Curriculum

  • HUMN 101: Ancient and Medieval Cultures (4 hrs)

  • HUMN 102: Renaissance and Early Modern Cultures (4 hrs)

  • HUMN 201: Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Cultures (4 hrs)

  • HUMN 202: Cultures of the Twentieth and Early Twenty-first Centuries (4 hrs)

  • Optional:
    • HUMN 200P: European Study Tour Preparation (1 hr)

    • HUMN 200T: European Study Tour (3 hrs)


At the heart of the Milligan liberal arts education is an old-fashioned approach to education: we read the great works of the men and women in history who have shaped the way we live and think about the world. Milligan’s interdisciplinary humanities program is one of the hallmarks of a Milligan education. Students form close intellectual friendships with each other and with their professors in a rewarding educational experience that establishes a shared, solid foundation for life-long learning. Here is a sampling of previous first-year readings:

  • Homer
  • Thucydides
  • Aeschylus
  • Sophocles
  • Plato
  • Aristotle
  • Virgil
  • Augustine
  • Beowulf
  • Catherine of Siena
  • Dante
  • Chaucer
  • Pico della Mirandola
  • Machiavelli
  • Erasmus
  • Martin Luther
  • John Calvin
  • William Shakespeare
  • Moliere
  • Alexander Pope
  • Jonathan Swift
  • Mary Wollstonecraft
  • John Wesley
  • Voltaire
  • John Locke
  • David Hume
  • Goethe
  • William Blake
  • Robert Burns
  • William Wordsworth
  • John Keats
  • Alfred Tennyson
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • George Eliot
  • Robert Browning
  • E. B. Browning
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Walt Whitman
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Gustave Flaubert
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Kate Chopin
  • Anton Chekhov
  • Henrik Ibsen
  • Chinua Achebe
  • William Butler Yeats
  • W. E. B. DuBois
  • Erich Maria Remarque
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Karl Marx
  • Nella Larsen
  • Virginia Woolf
  • John Maynard Keynes
  • John Steinbeck
  • Flannery O’Connor
  • Thadeusz Borowski
  • Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Albert Camus
  • Frantz Fanon
  • Dorothy Sayers
  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Anne Sexton
  • Adrienne Rich
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Isabel Wilkerson
  • Lorraine Hansberry



Dr. Lee Blackburn

Lee Blackburn

Associate Professor of History and Humanities

Phone: 423.461.8493
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 125


Dr. Michael Blouin

Michael Blouin

Associate Professor of English and Humanities

Phone: 423.461.8768
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 117


Dr. Tim Dillon

Tim Dillon

Professor of History and Humanities; Henry and Emerald Webb Chair of History

Phone: 423.461.8732
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 115


Dr. Todd Edmondson

Todd Edmondson

Assistant Professor of Composition and Humanities

Phone: 423.461.8790
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Building 123


Dr. Craig Farmer

Craig Farmer

Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities; Associate Professor of History and Humanities; Area Chair of Humane Learning; Joel O. and Mabel Stephens Chair of Bible

Phone: 423.461.8942
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 122


Dr. Susan Higgins

Susan Higgins

Associate Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Education; Professor of Sociology and Missions; Area Chair of Social Learning

Phone: 423.461.8739
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 116


Dr. Heather Hoover

Heather Hoover

George and Janet Arnold Chair of Humanities; Associate Professor of English and Composition; Director of Writing; Director of the MAH Program

Phone: 423.461.8944
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 113


Dr. John Jackson

John Jackson

Associate Professor of Bible and Humanities

Phone: 423.461.8794
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 111


Dr. Philip Kenneson

Philip Kenneson

Associate Dean of the School of Bible and Ministry; Professor of Theology and Philosophy; Area Chair of Biblical Learning; The Kenneth E. Starkey Chair of Bible and Christian Ministries

Phone: 423.461.8797
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 112


Hongyou Lu

Hongyou Lu

Program Development Associate for Engineering; Mandarin Chinese Instructor

Phone: 423.461.1517
Contact via email
Office: Engineering Offices, B.D. Phillips Building


Dr. Allysha Martin

Allysha Martin

Assistant Professor of Spanish and Humanities

Phone: 423.461.8780
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 103


Dr. Jeffrey Miller

Jeffrey Miller

Vera Britton Chair of Bible; Professor of Bible

Phone: 423.461.8747
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 120


Dr. Ted Thomas

Ted Thomas

Professor of Humanities, History and German

Phone: 423.461.8996
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 121


Dr. Kayla Walker Edin

Kayla Walker Edin

Assistant Professor of English and Humanities

Phone: 423.461.8743
Contact via email
Office: Baker Faculty Office Center, 119