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Western Heritage in a Global Context

General Education

Welcome Back, Class of 2016!

The faculty and I welcome you back to Eckerd College and the spring semester of Western Heritage in a Global Context (WHGC).  I want to invite all of you to look ahead at the spring semester as a fresh start and a time of renewal.

In the fall, we began with ancient and classical texts to consider some of the great questions of human civilization and philosophy.  We engaged in conversations about heroic journeys, justice, and truth, topics of concern across times and cultures.  In the spring, we will discuss new themes that explore the dynamics of human behavior and human society; power, freedom, and nature.  The texts and lectures that represent these themes will raise questions for us about living in the modern world and on the planet Earth, and will allow us to explore how we interact with one another.  We will read works by those who have struggled against oppression, violence, and exclusion and whose struggles have transformed the world and continue to transform the world's future.

The spring semester will also be a time for you to consider your immediate future.  Shortly after the semester begins, you will begin discussing with your mentors the next stage of your academic career, including the selection of an upper-division major.  Start thinking now about this next step, and make time to speak with your mentor, peers, and professors about areas you might wish to study in greater depth.

Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal, and change.  It will be, for you, a time of new opportunities, but it will be up to you to take advantage of them.  Remember that what you get from any educational experience depends upon your level of personal commitment and engagement.  Commit yourself to growing, learning, and thus gaining all that you can from the spring semester of Western Heritage in a Global Context.


Margie Sanfilippo
Associate Dean of Faculty

What is WHGC?

Western Heritage in a Global Context (known as WHGC) will engage some of the influential works and ideas of Western civilization in a conversation with important works of non-Western civilizations. We will also listen to voices that have often gone unrecognized in traditional Western Civilization courses. What we envision is a journey through time that creates cross-cultural communication and allows students to consider alternatives to the received wisdom of their own culture.