Courses – Contemporary Topics

Contemporary Topics Courses:

The courses in our Contemporary Topics section explore topics of special interest to the Humanist movement. At present there is one course but more are in development.



Humanism and Race
by Dr. Monica R. Miller &
Dr. Christopher Driscoll

This course has been designed for those humanists sympathetic to—or interested in learning more about—the cause of racial justice as much as for those who might be unsure of why, or how, the topic of race or the social-structural issue of racism have anything to do with humanism at all. There’s no way to tell the full story of humanism and its relationship to race within the boundaries imposed by this course. But what we’ve offered here is a series of snapshots, held in tension by the theme of humanism and race, and we think they offer insights and guidance for how humanists can make sense of one of the most vexing issues confronting us today.



Positive Humanism
by Bo Bennett, PhD

Positive humanism is an applied secular humanistic philosophy based on the scientific findings of positive psychology that focuses on personal, professional, and societal flourishing. Positive humanism’s focus is almost entirely on promoting positive humanism and defending it when necessary, but avoiding “attacking” religion (i.e., avoiding making aggressive arguments against religion). Abstaining from all arguments against all aspects of religious belief is not always possible, especially when such arguments are necessary to understand arguments for positive humanism.  As a positive humanist, when I do make such arguments, I am committed to representing the religious argument as accurately as possible, and avoiding ridicule or other rhetorical devises that  otherwise reasonably offend.



Humanism and/in Hip-Hop
by Dr. Monica R. Miller

This courses introduces students to the varieties of humanisms in hip-hop culture and asks the question, “What can hip-hop teach humanists about the evolving nature and dimensions of humanism among marginal communities today?” Topics of exploration include: the history of Black Humanism and the role of cultural production, suffering and creativity, the varying humanisms in hip hop culture, and a consideration of the humanism within New Black Gods of hip-hop today.