Courses and Instructors

Odyssey Courses

Odyssey Project student

HUM 110 (Introduction to the Humanities I: Philosophy and Art History) and HUM 111 (Introduction to the Humanities II: Literature and US History) are non-degree, credit-bearing foundation courses in the humanities for adult learners in the Odyssey Project program.

Together, they form a two-course sequence that constitutes the full Odyssey Project first-year curriculum at Illinois. We recommend that students complete HUM 110 in the Fall before enrolling in HUM 111 in the Spring, but the courses may be taken in either order. Students who complete the coursework will receive University of Illinois credit (4 hours per course, with two non-degree courses offered) that will be transferable to a two- or four-year institution.

Odyssey Instructors

HUM 110, Art History: Associate Professor of Art Education Jorge Lucero is an artist who tests the pliability of the institution as material. For this work—which he sometimes calls “teacher as conceptual artist”—Jorge makes everything from teaching and publications to installations and events.

HUM 110, Philosophy: Dr. Shelley Weinberg is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her interests are more broadly in the history of early modern philosophy (17th and 18th centuries) with a past focus on psychological, epistemological, and metaphysical issues in the philosophy of John Locke.

HUM 111, Literature: Valerie O’Brien is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Illinois specializing in twentieth-century Anglophone literature. An award-winning instructor, she has taught a variety of literature and composition classes at the University, including Introduction to Fiction, Modernist Poetry, Science Fiction, and Fairy Tales and Gender Formation. In addition to the Odyssey Project, Valerie currently teaches at the University Laboratory High School.

HUM 111, U.S. History: Kathryn Oberdeck teaches U.S. history, with emphasis on cultural history, histories of working-class history, public history, urban history, and social theory in the Department of History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also co-coordinates the department’s Public History initiatives and a humanities-oriented community engagement initiative.

Critical Thinking and Writing (both HUM 110 and HUM 111): as part of his MFA in Fiction at the University of Illinois, Azlan Smith is revising a novel and a series of novellas. He also created Voices, an English/Theater project that aims to bring communities together, and has facilitated the project in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Illinois. He holds a BA in English and Philosophy from Amherst College. Previously Azlan taught high school English and Drama in the United States and abroad. He writes and reads to find the places where we meet, and, by meeting, where we can work toward compassion.