Explore

What do we notice of what we see, and why? How can we cultivate the art of listening? How do the the things we make, collect, exhibit, or throw away shape our  personal histories and those of our cultures?  Does exile enable or stifle artistic creativity? Explore some courses clustered by theme and open a window into a new world.
 
SEEING and NOTICING

Seeing and Noticing

What do we notice of what we see? How did key visual technologies from history - the telescope, the television, the easel painting – prepare us for a world filled with smartphones, tablets, and other screen-based gadgets? Explore these questions in courses related to the world we see and notice.

Travel and Migration

Travel and Migration

How do roads map social change, ethnographic observations, memory and forgetting? What does it mean to be African or Afro-European in France, Great Britain, or Italy? Does exile enable or stifle artistic creativity? How does the experience of exile shape one’s attitude toward local and global culture? Explore these questions in courses involving migration and travel.

Memory

Memory

How are perception, cognition and introspection related, and what is the role of memory for personal identity and the self?   What is the impact of the past on the "present" of historical time?  How have different peoples encountered, imagined and appropriated earlier times - historical, pre-historical, mythical, ancestral, biographical, material and ideological? Explore the role of memory in what we think, learn and know.

Likeness

Likeness

How do visual images work? What makes some novels seem more "realistic" than others? How do forms of representation function to express imperial claims to mythic and historic precedents? How does drama relate to representation and performance? Explore these topics in courses involving the art and practice of representation.

Narrative and the Arts

Narrative & the Arts

Examine the nature of fiction and nonfiction storytelling, its enduring appeal, and its ability to adapt to multiple new technologies. Investigate how lyric poetry and photography provide respite from the plot’s pull toward closure. Compare narrative cycles in wall painting, manuscript illumination, sculpture and stained glass against the foil of oral storytelling and bible commentary.

Language

Language

What are the sounds of the world’s languages, and how are they organized to make words and sentences? What does it mean to "know the meaning" of an utterance? What do the world's almost 7,000 languages have in common? How has Hiphop helped to shape our understanding of African American and American character, identity and culture?  Explore these questions in courses involving language.

Things

Things

People make history through the things they make, collect, exhibit, exchange, throw away, or ignore.  Explore how objects tell stories, and how patterns of production and patronage both reflect and shape the cultures in which objects and monuments are found. Examine how artifacts such as Buddhist sculptures, Hindu temples, Jain manuscript paintings, Islamic tombs and calendar art distinguish the arts of South and Southeast Asia.

Violence

Violence

How has the coca leaf been transformed into an international villain?  What is the proper relationship between religion and armed conflict? How have people thought theologically about the ethics of warfare? How do artists, historians, poets, journalists, novelists and other individuals respond to conditions of extreme censorship, torture and terror?  What are the "laws of war"?  Explore themes of violence in some of these courses.

Romance and Desire

Romance & Desire

How did the lure of free will drive the modern Chinese to redefine terms of affect, such as love, feeling, desire, passion, sexuality, loyalty, dedication, revolution and sacrifice? How have LGBT themes have been central, rather than peripheral, to the Western literary tradition? What does it mean to be in love - in epic poems, chivalric romances,  love letters, sonnets, tragedies, and comedies from the Roman Empire through the Renaissance? Explore these questions in courses involving romance and desire.

Listening

Listening

Sounds produce emotions, mark out spaces, call up memories. What relationships exist between sound and time, community, responsibility and attentiveness? Why is jazz perceived to “say something” about social issues? How do musical compositions function both as works of art and as moments of cultural history? Explore what it means to listen and to hear.

Medical Humanities

Storytelling and listening are central to understanding medical and physical circumstances and to diagnosis and treatment.  Explore courses which link literature, philosophy, reasoning, and writing with our understanding of medical, ethical and biosocial realities.