Academic Program

Academic Program


Students who minor in interpretation theory take a total of 6 courses that build on a combination of classic and current hermeneutic methods. Four general rules guide the selection:

  1. All minors take a one-credit capstone seminar, team-taught by 2 faculty members from different departments in spring of their senior year.  Juniors may enroll upon approval of the instructors.
  2. The remaining courses are elective, but must draw on at least 3 different departments. At least 4of the 6 Interpretation Theory credits must be outside the major.
  3. A minimum "B" average is required for all minors by their junior and senior years.

Other courses may be considered upon petition to the Interpretation Studies Committee. These may include relevant courses offered at Bryn Mawr, Haverford College, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Capstone Seminar

Each year, graduating seniors enroll in a capstone seminar that proposes a structured investigation into an inherently interdisciplinary problematic. The capstone seminar embodies both the theoretical and interdisciplinary qualities that make interpretation theory distinctive and compelling.

Students majoring in a variety of disciplines come together with faculty members from 2 different areas to explore theories of knowledge and questions of interpretation and representation. For example, past capstone seminars have brought together professors from French literature and biology, political science and religion, sociology/anthropology and English, philosophy and art, classics and linguistics, and other interdisciplinary combinations.

Capstone titles have included Rituals and Spectacles of Violence, Hero Time Travel, Mind, Body, Machine; Interpretation and the Visual Arts; Beyond Reason: Nietzsche, Levinas, and the Kabbalah; Mapping the Modern; and Visionaries of Spirit, Masters of Suspicion. View the Capstone Seminar Archive.

Honors Program

All students participating in the Honors Program are invited to define a minor in Interpretation Theory. Students must complete one preparation for external examination. This 2-credit preparation can be the seminar and a reading attachment or a thesis, a combination of two courses in different departments, a 2-credit thesis, or a combination of a thesis and a course. Any thesis must be multidisciplinary. The proposed preparation must be approved by the Interpretation Theory Committee. Honors minors must meet all other requirements of the interdisciplinary minor in course.