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For students seeking new routes into the Arts & Humanities, the faculty has recently created courses specially designed to introduce the challenges and rewards of this study. These courses fulfill requirements in Humanities concentrations and in General Education.

Humanities 10a. A Humanities Colloquium: From Homer to García Márquez

Humanities 10b. A Humanities Colloquium: From Beckett to Homer

2,500 years of essential works, taught by six professors. Humanities 10a includes works by Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, Dante, Shakespeare, Mozart, Austen, Douglass, and Garcia Marquez, as well as the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Declaration of Independence. Hum 10b includes works by Joyce, Nietzsche, Rousseau, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Murasaki, Augustine, Virgil, Sophocles, and Homer. One 90-minute lecture plus a 90-minute discussion seminar led by the professors every week. Students also receive instruction in critical writing one hour a week, in writing labs and individual conferences. Students who take both Humanities 10a and 10b fulfill the College Writing Requirement. This is the only course outside of Expository Writing that satisfies that requirement. Students also have opportunities to visit cultural venues and attend musical and theatrical events in Cambridge or Boston.

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SEEING and NOTICING

Humanities 11a. Frameworks: The Art of Looking

Jennifer Roberts (History of Art and Architecture)

Visual information today is superabundant thanks to our smartphones, tablets, and other screen-based gadgets. But few of us recognize how thoroughly our habits and experiences of looking have been conditioned by interfaces with long and complex histories. Participants in this new Framework Course, developed as part of the Humanities Project at Harvard, will approach looking through a consideration of key technologies from its history, such as the telescope, the television, and the easel painting. Students will learn about the hidden intricacies of looking and hone skills of visual, material, and spatial analysis through encounters with aesthetic objects from Harvard's collections.

Humanities 11b. Frameworks: The Art of Listening


Alexander Rehding (Music)

Our world is steeped in sound, but we must learn to pay attention to listening. Sounds produce emotions, mark out spaces, call up memories; silence can be deafening; voice is a marker of identity. This course will sharpen our ears. We explore the sonic world through diverse readings and creative projects with sound. Discussions and assignments will open our minds (and ears) to listening practices, what the arts teach us about listening, and how we describe our experiences as listeners. We examine the relationships between sound and time, community, responsibility and attentiveness, and explore the soundscape in which we live.

Humanities 12. Essential Works in World Literature

David Damrosch (Comparative Literature) and Martin Puchner (English and Comparative Literature)

With readings from Gilgamesh and The Odyssey to Salman Rushdie and Orhan Pamuk, this course explores how great writers refract their world and how their works are transformed when they intervene in our global cultural landscape today.

Humanities 54. The Urban Imagination

 Julie Buckler (Slavic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature)

Cities are one of humankind’s most richly complex inventions and can best be understood through both creative and critical thinking.  Offered in connection with a Mellon-funded initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, this course invites you to join an interdisciplinary investigation of the urban form and fabric, socio-cultural life, and artistic representation of five iconic cities -- Boston, Berlin, Moscow, Istanbul, and Mumbai.  We will treat literature, film, and photography alongside cultural history, experiment with urban fieldwork, and use digital tools for mapping and curating virtual exhibitions.