HUMA 180 – What’s That All About?

Are you an academically gifted student enrolled in Humanities? Do you have a knack for research? If so, we are here to recommend HUMA 180: Examining Humanities Research to you!

This class, taught by UVic’s own stellar Linguist Alex D’Arcy, provides a great introduction to what research at the university level is actually like! So, if you’re keen on discovering what this class may entail, stick around and find out what each of us thought of the class!

Thank you Vanessa for your awesome introduction!

Hi, Natasha here! I am going to tell you my personal perspectives of the Faculty of Humanities, especially the challenge course of HUMA 180.

To start, I am going to talk about my personal pros and cons of HUMA 180.


An incredibly important detail in this class is the want for creativity. HUMA 180 loves creativity and independent thinkers as it’s very personal research and a drive to interact with unique databases.

Individuality is the best part of the class. This class is full of unique and diverse people with beautiful stories of their own. The social engagement in this class is incredible! So if you love people with a flashing personality and/or an awesome chilled out vibe, this class is a great fit for you.

In my opinion, this class is so impressive as the external collaboration and guest lecturers with other departments in this class are so unique. If it was not for these external professors who came in to talk about their own personal subjects within Humanities, I would have not been able to discover a new passion with Indigenous Studies.

The last pro of this course is the broad spectrum of assignments in HUMA 180. They were the most unique assignments I have ever done.

For example, there is this one assignment we do that requires us to write an academic pun that pertains to the subject of Humanities!! (This was my favourite assignment in the entire course!)

“Communism jokes aren’t funny unless everyone gets them!” :p

In contrast, there are three cons that you should be aware of in this class. I have also stated some other ways to make a negative into a positive!!


The workload can be a lot. Although there are only about six to eight assignments in HUMA 180, they can be a lot of work to do.

To help reduce the stress this may cause, I would strongly recommend you plan ahead and schedule some focus time on the assignments provided. In my case, I would schedule 30 mins twice a day and just do the work, all devices on silent to help with concentration, then just switch to do something I like (usually self care).

The class can feel very long as it runs for almost a full three hours so you might be a bit fidgety.

To mitigate this impatience or potential boredom, I would strongly recommend to pack something that is quiet while you listen to the lecture at hand.

In my case, I would have an extra sheet of paper and sketch to keep my mind busy or a squishy stress toy to just passively make yourself feel preoccupied.

The final negative of this class is actually a positive. Unfortunately, there is only one scheduled class during the week and thus you do not get more time with the incredible class.

To mitigate this, I would strongly recommend befriending your classmates (very easy to do) and hanging outside of class and discussing what you both love!

Academic Rigour

In this class, there is clear academic rigour! Not only do you have to be an excellent student from high school that has high grades, community service and leadership, you have to carry this strong drive in HUMA 180.

Once you are able to get into this class, you truly need to push yourself beyond the standard system of following the criteria and “think outside the box”!

Was it worthwhile?

Was HUMA 180 worthwhile? In my humble opinion, YES!! ABSOLUTELY!! DEFINITELY!! HUMA 180 is one of the best experiences to ever happen to me! Not only has this class inspired me to take many leaps of faith and independent thoughts with my learning, this class has given me the courage to “think beyond the tip of my nose”.

The guest lecturers are such a pleasure to listen to as they clearly speak about their passions in their academic works.

Frankly, HUMA 180 is a class you should genuinely join and participate with, if you are able to get into the program.

Now onto Vanessa’s thoughts!

Thank you, Natasha!

Although Natasha and I physically took the same course, our experiences were seemingly different. We do agree on one thing though, the class was awesome!!

To begin, here are some of the Pros of HUMA 180:

Firstly, it was so much fun to be a part of. Being able to work so closely with the other students and engage with each other fully every class was always something I looked forward to attending.

The fact that this class was only composed of 22 students made it so easy to make so many new connections with a diverse group of people! Working with all of these other great minds and learning from each other’s lived experiences was one of the best things about this class. I met some of my greatest new friends here!

Though there weren’t many assignments throughout this course, that just made sure the ones we did have were very detailed and engaging! My favourite would have to be the Op-Ed assignment, specifically because it gave each of us a chance to write our opinion on a topic of our choice. The creative freedom was something I truly enjoyed!

Ultimately, this class was super engaging and I felt like I was able to really practice my research skills here. This class was a safe space for me where I felt like I could truly be myself without the fear of judgment.

Although this class has so many positive attributes to it, wherever there are Pros, Cons must follow:

The work that one must do in this class is intimidating and requires a lot of time and effort spent to channel the creativity needed to succeed. This does not bode well for procrastinators, like myself. The one thing I regret most about my time in this course is not giving more time to these assignments.

I had a really busy schedule, with two off-campus jobs and five classes all at once, so taking this class took a very big toll on me. I would recommend only taking this course if you know that you will be able to handle it.

I agree with Natasha, this class did feel very long a lot of the time. I definitely recommend bringing a snack, or even packing yourself a small meal to have during the short break we are given to keep yourself fuelled for the remainder of class. And not to mention going for a short stroll either outside or through the hallways of the building you are in to stretch your legs when you can!

I think you can see that my pros definitely outweigh my cons!

Mental Health Break

While both Natasha and I have mentioned how the workload in this class can feel like a lot, and I mentioned how this class definitely took a toll on me, it also provided a bit of a mental health break for me.

Rather than having to attend this class multiple times a week, we met once a week on Mondays which made it a lot easier to complete homework, and do the readings – which was not in a textbook.

Our homework was to read the news, find out what is going on in the world and be prepared to share with the class the next time we were all together. It was definitely a break from having to read line after line within a textbook.

Breath of Fresh Air

All in all this class was a break both mentally and within my schedule of history classes.

It focused on the here and now, what is happening in our recent society rather than what happened in our society hundreds of years ago.

Don’t get me wrong, history is great. I love it just as much as the next person, but it is always nice doing something different for a change. Focusing on our present and our future rather than solely learning about our past.

In conclusion, HUMA 180 is an excellent course with a lot of work and rigour as it is a challenge-style class. Personally, I love HUMA 180 and wish to pursue further with HUMA 380 and potentially HUMA 480.

Creativity, passion, kindness and leadership are the heart of this course and I feel honoured to support this program and all of its amazing attributes.

So if you have strong enough grades, all of these skills, and genuine character, HUMA 180 is definitely the class for you!

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