The program is based on the belief that by studying the humanities, participants acquire the cultural capital, conceptual skills, and appreciation for reasoned discourse necessary to improve their societal situation. Clemente students receive 110 hours of instruction in five humanistic disciplines and explore the great works of literature, art history, moral philosophy, and American history. Instruction in critical thinking and writing is also offered.
"The humanities are a foundation for getting along in the world,
for thinking, for learning to reflect on the world
instead of just reacting to whatever force is turned against you.
I think the humanities are one of the ways to become political..."
— Earl Shorris, Clemente Course founder, from Riches for the Poor