Art, Imitating Life: Integrating Humanities for Teaching Social Sciences

Undoubtedly, higher education benefits from collaboration across disciplines. This webinar highlights the use of the humanities to enrich social science instruction. Methodologically, using the humanities as a lens for the social sciences allows students to gain a deeper understanding of often complex, nuanced concepts and unfamiliar phenomena in human behavior. Students benefit from the integration of the humanities in the classroom as it lends an additional, richer dimension to learning, similar to that of narrative-style teaching. Such methods may further contribute to positive student outcomes as it enhances learning via the use of multiple-modalities, addresses the variety of learning styles students may have, helps with knowledge retention, holds students’ interest in the classroom, and provides a broader learning context across disciplines (including art, literature, history, theatre, dance, and filmmaking).

Learning Outcomes: 

  1. Participants learn the basic ideas underpinning this approach to teaching.
  2. Participants learn how using art to teach social sciences can enhance interest, attention, and retention of critical concepts and theory.
  3. Participants learn how to adopt this approach in their own classrooms.

Rachel L. Austin is a faculty instructor in sociology and psychology at Blue Ridge Community College. She has been a lecturer/instructor at a variety of higher-education institutions, including a state university, private four-year college, several technical colleges, and multiple community colleges throughout central and western North Carolina and the upper Piedmont of South Carolina. Rachel holds a master’s degree in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master’s degree in psychology (forensic track) from the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of South Carolina Upstate, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in sociology and psychology (experimental track), and was the recipient of the C. Wright Mills Award in Sociology. She has been awarded grants for presenting original research, positional works, and pedagogical methods at a variety of conferences across the U.S. and abroad, in both traditional and digital format. Her work has been published in the refereed academic journals Sociological Inquiry and The Journal for Animal Ethics. She is an expert reviewer for Oxford University Press in the areas of social movements and criminology.

Eliana Kotsias is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She also works as an independent artist and Studio & Gallery Assistant at Starfangled Press in Brevard, North Carolina. Eliana is a graduate of Blue Ridge Community College and holds an Associate’s of Fine Arts (Summa cum Laude).

Please Note:

Only those attending the LIVE webinar will receive a certificate of attendance. Thank you!