usa: Humanities II in concord, Massachusetts

HUMN 221, or 'HUMN II', is the second installment of Geneseo's humanities core-requirement, and as such, is a required course for all Geneseo students.  This limited enrollment Humanities II course will be taught in Concord, Massachusetts, near Walden Pond.


Fast Facts


Program Type:  Off-campus, faculty-led
Term/Duration:      Summer/4 weeks
Summer 2014 Dates: June 22 - July 19, 2014
Credits: 4
Application Fee: $20
Estimated Program Fees: $2950
Tuition: $928 NYS Residents; $2,472 Out-of-State Residents
Application Deadline: Extended! April 15

Course Details and Setting

The 4-credit Humanities II course is required for all Geneseo students and satisfies SUNY's Western Civilization general education requirement.  This limited-enrollment program, taught in Concord, Massachusetts, takes its inspiration from one of that town's most family residents: Henry David Thoreau.  For students majoring in the sciences, for those with an interest in sustainable practices, and for those intrigued by Thoreau's vision of nature, our focus upon "green humanities" will include many experiential opportunities.  Thoreau claimed he had "travelled a good deal in Concord," discovering that an open mind and willing spirit could find enormous riches within a small radius there.

Like Thoreau, Geneseo students will be able to walk from Concord's town center to Walden Pond, perhaps even reading his words amidst the natural scenery he celebrated.  Some of the unique activities in this course are made possible through SUNY Geneseo's partnership with the Thoreau Society and the Walden Woods Project, both located near Walden Pond.  Students use facilities made available through the generosity of these two organizations, such as Thoreau's birth house and the Thoreau Institute Library, and they participate in the Thoreau Society's Annual Gathering - which brings together scholars and enthusiasts from around the world for several days of conference presentations and other events.

Besides Thoreau, important authors and social reformers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller and Louisa May Alcott all lived and worked in Concord.  The area remains at the forefront of environmental thought, and individualized course projects will encourage students to make use of its many resources: natural history museums, biremediation sites, alternative energies, sustainable agriculture - in short, meaningful engagement with some of the most challenging issues of our own times.  The class also will feature field trips to downtown Boston, where colonial revolutionaries took actions derived from the words of John Locke's Second Treatise; and to the National Historical Park in Lowell, Massachusetts, to see examples of the factory system that galvanized intellectuals like Karl Marx. 

  • walden pond
  • boston
  • walden pond
  • cabin site

While avoiding some of the heavier costs involved in overseas study, the Concord program will offer its participants some of the key advantages of education 'abroad': more intimate class size, intellectual concentration on a single subject, and terrific opportunities for learning outside classroom walls.  And Concord is a commuter-rail stop in the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority system, which means that the Freedom Trail and Boston Commons, the Museum of Fine Arts, the New England Aquarium and Fenway Park, fabulous restaurants and splendid musical performances - all the cultural and recreational offerings of one of America's great cities - are just a half-hour away.



The experience starts with housing in the famous Colonial Inn - which British soldiers and American minutemen passed in order to exchange "the shot heard round the world" just a few hundred yards away.  You can walk from your own room to the Concord battle site, but also to places connected to 19th century controversies over women's rights and African-American slavery.



Students must be in good academic standing with no financial obligations to the college.  The prerequisite for this course is Humanities I, HUMN 220.  Preference will be given to students without a judicial record; students with past or pending judicial issues should inform the Study Abroad Office.


Application Deadline

April 15