Richard Moye approaches his humanities courses the same way he approached his own undergraduate studies: as a science. It’s a left-brain slant on what is more often viewed as a right-brain area of study, but it works for him. More important, it works for his students.
Characterizing himself as a non-intuitive reader by nature, his goal is to teach his students the skills he had to learn on his own: analysis, interpretation, literary criticism. Scientific inquiry provides his methodology; students learn to dissect written passages, to look for patterns, and to interpret based on evidence.
“It’s an exciting way to teach humanities because, unlike mathematics, literature is not based on a perfect language,” Dr. Moye observes. “English is filled with ambiguities and double meanings.” That, he adds, leads to the question of how much of a text’s meaning is infused by the writer and how much lies in the reader’s interpretation.
The product of what he calls a “privileged education,” Dr. Moye did not land at a small rural college by accident. “After teaching at Columbia, I came to Lyndon instead of continuing on a research university track. Here I have the opportunity to expose students to resources that more elite institutions take for granted. Lyndon’s strong focus on students and teaching matched my priorities and sense of the real value of education.”