Humanities Courses

To study the humanities is to study how humans make the world meaningful. It is to study the art, music, philosophy, literature, and languages with which cultures have contended with the challenges and approached the limits of human experience. At Harvard, fifteen departments and four undergraduate degree programs offer courses in the humanities.

The breadth of these offerings is exhilarating, but also potentially daunting. Fortunately, there are Harvard courses in the humanities designed especially for freshmen. They are taught by faculty members with a superb track record in teaching undergraduates. For students wishing to dive into the humanities, these courses are a great option.

Prof. Luke Menand

 

Humanities 10a: A Humanities Colloquium: From Homer to Valeria Luiselli

Stephen Greenblatt, David Atherton, Glenda Carpio, Jay Harris, Deidre Lynch, Mark Schiefsky
Fall 2020, Tuesdays, 10:30-11:45am, plus section

2,500 years of essential works, taught by six professors. Humanities 10a includes works by Homer, Plato, Sappho, Sophocles, Augustine, Murasaki, Shakespeare, Madame de Lafayette, Saikaku, Mary Shelley, Wagner, Dickinson and Luiselli. One 75-minute lecture plus a 75-minute discussion seminar led by the professors every week. Students will receive instruction in critical writing one hour a week, in writing labs and individual conferences. Students also have opportunities to visit cultural venues and attend musical and theatrical events in Cambridge or Boston.

Note: The course is open only to freshmen. Students who complete Humanities 10a meet the General Education distribution requirement for Arts & Humanities. Students who take both Humanities 10a and Humanities 10b fulfill the College Writing requirement. This is the only course outside of Expository Writing that satisfies the College Writing requirement. No auditors. The course may not be taken Pass/Fail.

This course has a two-step lottery and application process. Enrollment is limited to 90. 

 

Humanities 10b: A Humanities Colloquium: From James Joyce to Homer

Stephen Greenblatt, Beth Blum, Jay Harris, Sean Kelly, Jill Lepore, Leah Whittington
Spring 2021: Tuesdays, 10:30-11:45am, plus section

2,500 years of essential works, taught by six professors. Humanities 10b is open only to students who completed Humanities 10a in Fall 2019. Humanities 10b includes works by Joyce, Nietzsche, Douglass, Austen, Montaigne, Marguerite de Navarre, Dante, Virgil, Plato and Homer, as well as the Federalist Papers. One 75-minute lecture plus a 75-minute discussion seminar led by the professors every week. Students continue to receive instruction in critical writing one hour a week, in writing labs and individual conferences. Students also have opportunities to visit cultural venues and attend musical and theatrical events in Cambridge or Boston.

Note: The course is open only to freshmen. Students who complete Humanities 10a meet the General Education distribution requirement for Arts & Humanities. Students who take both Humanities 10a and Humanities 10b fulfill the College Writing requirement. This is the only course outside of Expository Writing that satisfies the College Writing requirement. No auditors. The course may not be taken Pass/Fail.