Survey Says: Favorite Classes Outside Your Major

An essential part of Rhodes’ liberal arts approach to education is the Foundations curriculum, which encourages students to explore subject matter outside of their majors. The goal of this method is to enrich the student’s perspective and allow for greater depth and understanding of his or her chosen field.

We asked five seniors from the Class of 2016 the question, “What was your favorite class outside of your major, and why?” Here’s what they told us:

Lara Johnson, Art Major
MLK Theory
It gave me a perspective I've never had before. I grew up in a conservative, white, Christian household and was taught about MLK in a problematic way. Learning about MLK's theology not only gave me a new perspective on the man, but also the experience of African Americans living in America. Professor Ivory is quite possibly the most gifted teacher I've ever met. He made the content engaging and fun, while also conveying its importance.

Sean Denby, Music Major
Sources of Violence in American Culture
This was taught by Dr. Garceau in the History department. It’s a 400-level class, and we basically came in and discussed readings for 10 minutes; and then we just talked about specific topics, connecting the historical with the present. It seems depressing, but it was a really amazing course.

Annelise Blair, Political Science Major
Government and Politics in Latin America
This course, offered by Professor Amy Risley, truly inspired a long-term interest and passion for the region.  As a political science student, I am often focused on the impact and consequences of our own political system within the confines of American territory.  This course encouraged me to think more broadly about public policy, and respect political systems and processes that might be drastically different from our own. This interest led me to invest my elective credits in more Spanish and Latin American Studies courses, which consequentially allowed me to form strong bonds with professors outside of my department. I could not imagine my Rhodes experience without the invaluable lessons from Professors Pettinaroli and del Pozo Martinez in the Spanish department, and Professors Risley and LaRosa in the Latin American Studies department.

Jordan Meyer, Physics Major
American Music History
It was a really fun class I took as a first semester freshman. It was team-taught by Dr. McKinney and Dr. Saxe.  We studied the history of American music with a focus on Memphis. It's really cool to see how influential this city has been in shaping American music, and we also got to go on field trips to Sun Studios, the Rock and Soul Museum, and Graceland.

Darceny Winston, History Major
Text and Context
The purpose of the class was to read literature from different eras and learn more about the time period in which they were written, the location they were written about, or a social issue of the time. I found it extremely revealing, as social issues of the time period could often be controversial issues that revealed something important about our society. It was almost like a history class and an English class combined. Plus Professor Richards did an amazing job relaying the information to the class and encouraging open dialogue about the texts.

By Swaneet Mand ’18