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Arts & Humanities Courses

Autumn Quarter 2024 Arts & Humanities courses

-This is for informational purposes only. Areas of inquiry/degree requirements, fees, and course descriptions may change. Check the time schedule for course days and times BEFORE you register.  

-Always refresh your degree audit after registering for courses or changing your schedule.

For more A&H courses, use the Time Schedule:


American Indian Studies

AIS 170 – American Indian Art and Aesthetics (5 credits)
Diversity credit
Introduces the aesthetic universe of Indigenous peoples of North America, peoples who are currently known as American Indian, Alaskan Native and Canadian First Nations. Explores multiple examples of North American Indigenous thought, expression, stories, dance, art, film, and music.

AIS 307 – Indigenous Literature and the Environment (5 credits)
Diversity credit
Engages with a variety of authors and literary forms, as well as critical perspectives including ecocriticism and Indigenous Environmental Studies. Examines how Indigenous ways of knowing the environment remain relevant and impactful today.

African American Studies

Afram 214 – Introduction to African American Literature (5 credits)
Diversity credit
Writing credit
Introduction to various genres of African American literature from its beginnings to the present. Emphasizes the cultural and historical context of African American literary expression and its aesthetics criteria. Explores key issues and debates, such as race and racism, inequality, literary form, and canonical acceptance. Offered jointly with ENGL 258.

Afram 220 – African American Film Studies (5 credits)
Diversity credit
Examines the history and theory of African American filmmaking, introducing central political and aesthetic debates by way of different cinematic eras, genres, and filmmakers. Focuses primarily on black directors and producers independent and commercial contexts as they confront popular representations of U.S. blackness in their own cinematic practice.

Afram 318 – Black Literary Genres (5 credits)
Diversity credit
Considers how generic forms and conventions have been discussed and distributed in the larger context of African American, or other African diasporic literary studies. Links the relationship between generic forms to questions of power within social, cultural, and historical contexts. Offered jointly with ENGL 318.

Afram 404 – Advanced Studies in Humanities:  Black Sound Studies and the Archive (5 credits)
Diversity credit

Advanced and interdisciplinary engagement with racial formation, Black cultural production, and resistance among people of African descent throughout the Diaspora. Draws upon cultural studies perspectives with an emphasis on literature, film, music, performance, visual and material culture. Topics include art, labor, migration, politics; racial capitalism and political economy; social movements and cultural history; black intellectual traditions.

American Ethnic Studies

AES 312 – Race and Radical Imagination (5 credits)
Diversity credit
Works of speculative culture and experimental writing in Black, Asian American, Chicanx/Latinx, and Indigenous literary and aesthetic traditions, such as Afrofuturism. Includes popular genres like sci-fi and horror, alongside demanding, innovative, and visionary texts. Considers their relation to radical and revolutionary political movements.

Asian American Studies

AAS 330 – Asian-American Theater (5 credits)
Diversity credit
Covers drama from the 1970's to now, in historical contexts. They study of drama is dialogical, through dialogue. Themes are contested among the characters. Our studies participate, with the plays, in questioning race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. Includes students' performances of dramatic readings. No prior experience in theater is required.


Anth 203 – Introduction to Anthropological Linguistics (5 credits)
Linguistic methods and theories used within anthropology. Basic structural features of language; human language and animal communication compared; evidence for the innate nature of language. Language and culture: linguistic relativism, ethnography of communication, sociolinguistics. Language and nationalism, language politics in the United States and elsewhere. Offered jointly with LING 203.


Arch 150 – Appreciation of Architecture I (3 credits)
Historical survey of global architecture and built environments with reference to environmental, technological, and socio-cultural contexts, from prehistory to 1400. For nonmajors.

Arch 200 – Architectural Design and Representation (5 credits)
No freshmen
Introduces architectural representation as fundamental medium for investigation, analysis, and documentation of objects, processes, and architectural space. Consists of a series of investigative projects that introduce orthographic projection, axonometric, and perspective drawing, through which students develop comprehensive skills in hand-drawing and digital media.

Arch 350 – Architecture of the Ancient World (3 credits)
No freshmen
Architectural history from beginnings to AD 550.

Art History

Art H 200 – Art in the Modern Imagination: From Athena to Lady Gaga (5 credits)
Informs ability to see art as a tool to examine history, ideology, beauty, and ultimately the image-saturated present. Also to distinguish between historical context and modern projection on artworks. Further, to discover how art transcends its context and still speaks in a language in which people can become literate.

Art H 209 – Art Themes and Topics: Arts of Japan (5 credits)
Writing credit
Introduces students to new ideas, developing themes, and current research in art history and visual culture.

Art H 273 – History of Photography (5 credits)
Asynchronous. Visit Time Schedule for details.
Is it possible today to imagine a world without photography? Photographs inform and impact so many aspects of our lives, we know—but how, specifically? This course is a survey of photography from its beginnings in the early 19th century to the digital imaging of today. Online video lectures, course readings and discussion forums will address photography’s multiple histories and theorizations: as an artistic medium, as a social text, as a technological adventure, and as a cultural practice. Key photographers, cultural movements and recurring themes will be explored with close attention to the social and cultural contexts in which photographs were produced, circulated and consumed. Further, we will explore critical approaches to, and complex theories concerning the operations and impact of photography, emphasizing a consideration of how photographic media impacts each of us, today.

The course is "asynchronous," meaning participants will work through sequences of materials and assignments organized in weekly “modules” on Canvas according to their own individual schedules with a great degree of flexibility. Course content will be delivered through a series of Panopto video lectures and coordinated readings. Online discussion forums, reflective papers on readings, online quizzes and assignments have been designed to engage students with course topics, foster creative and critical thinking, allow dialogue concerning the stakes involved in visual representations, and allow instructor assessment and evaluation of participants’ progress.

Art H 435 – Thematic Studies in Native American Art: Contemporary Northwest Coast Art (5 credits)
Juniors, Seniors only
Open to all students on 6/17.
Approach to Native-American art through themes and issues. Focus varies from year to year (e.g. Shamanism in Native-American art, gender identity in Native-American art, social and political aspects of Native-American art, issues in contemporary Native-American art).

Asian Language and Literatures

Asian 200 – Intro to Asian Languages and Literatures (5 credits)
Introduces approaches to the study of Asian languages and literature. Topics include theoretical, applied, historical, and comparative linguistics; literary and cultural study; philosophy; languages, and writing systems of Asia; and indigenous Asian approaches to the study of language and literature.

Asian 204 – Literature and Culture of China from Tradition to Modernity (5 credits)
Introduction to modern Chinese literature in its cultural context. Texts in English translation.

Asian 263 – Great Works of Asian Literature: Racial Histories and Stories of the Malay Archipelago (5 credits)
Selected major works of Asian literature. Taught on a rotational basis with the literary traditions of China, Japan, India covered in successive years. Content varies depending on specialization and interest of instructor. Primary emphasis on literary values of works and their tradition; attention also given to historical and social contexts and the thought and value systems of the culture involved.

Chicano Studies

CHSTU 465 – Contemporary Chicano Literature (5 credits)
Examines one or more problems, themes, and/or figures in the developing body of Chicano literature. Taught in English. Jointly offered with Comp Lit 321D/Span 465/Glits 313B.


Clas 320 – Society and Status in Greece and Rome (5 credits)
Diversity credit

Examines the societies of ancient Greece and Rome, with a special focus on status, class, and gender. The diversity of human experience is explored through the study of men, women, children, the elderly, slaves, housing, dress, food, sexuality, medicine, death, religion, theater, politics, law, economics, travel, warfare, art, and athletics.

Clas 328 – Sex, Gender, and Representation in Greek and Roman Literature (3 credits)
Affirmation and inversion of gender roles in Greek and Roman literature, myths of male and female heroism; marginalization of female consciousness; interaction of gender, status, and sexual preference in love poetry. Readings from epic, drama, historiography, romance, and lyric.


Com 200 – Introduction to Communication (5 credits)
Introduces theories and research in communication. Explores the myriad ways scholars approach fundamental issues of contemporary human communication. Focuses on theories and research of communication (e.g. relational, group, political, cultural, and international). Acts as a gateway to knowledge about the communication discipline.

Com 234 – Public Debate (5 credits)
Examines public debate in a democracy by developing a rhetorical perspective of public argument and skills to evaluate debates critically. Develops an understanding of rhetoric, values, audiences, tests of reasoning, and sources of information. Sharpens critical skills and applies them to contemporary controversies in the public sphere.

Comparative History of Ideas

Chid 201 – Radical Poetics (5 credits)
This course is just what the title claims, a deep dive into the radical poetic innovations of, in this case, BIPOC poets. Understand, this is not simply a course in close reading poems in isolation, although that skill will certainly be important at times, and you will be given instruction in basic close reading upfront. After that introduction, the course will turn its attention to understanding poetic forms, exploring how many of our poets have spent considerable time revisiting major poetic conventions, such as the sonnet and the aubade, in response to important historical events and pressing political questions.

Chid 211 – Apocalypse and Popular Culture (5 credits)
Introduces strategies for interpreting popular culture and film, focusing on a range of filmic subgenres that imagine future worlds, while situating these films within wider cultural, political, and historical contexts and foregrounding questions of power and difference, science and technology, and the politics of representation.

Chid 444 - Eye + Mind (5 credits)
Investigates life as an emergent phenomenon across the disciplines of biophilosophy, art, art history, literary criticism, and information studies with an emphasis on interdisciplinary methods. Addresses key issues in phenomenology, social theory, contemporary bioart, and complexity studies. Throughout the quarter we will ask questions such as: What do art and science have in common? What is an emergent phenomenon? What is special about living things?


Engl 206 – Rhetoric in Everyday Life (5 credits)
No seniors Period I registration
Introductory rhetoric course that examines the strategic use of and situated means through which images, texts, objects, and symbols inform, persuade, and shape social practices in various contexts. Topics focus on education, public policy, politics, law, journalism, media, digital cultural, globalization, popular culture, and the arts.

Engl 257 - Asian-American Literature (5 credits)
Writing credit
Diversity credit

No seniors Period I registration

Examines the emergence of Asian American literature as a response to anti-Asian legislation, cultural images, and American racial formation. Encourages thinking critically about identity, power, inequalities, and experiences of marginality.

Engl 259A – Literature and Social Difference (5 credits)
Writing credit
Diversity credit
No seniors Period I registration
Literary texts are important evidence for social difference (gender, race, class, ethnicity, language, citizenship status, sexuality, ability) in contemporary and historical contexts. Examines texts that encourage and provoke us to ask larger questions about identity, power, privilege, society, and the role of culture in present-day or historical settings.

Engl 267 – Intro to Data Science in the Humanities (5 credits)
TTh 2:30-4:20
Writing credit
Diversity credit
No seniors Period I registration

Concepts and methods in data science and their applications to humanistic research in language, literature, and culture. Also examines humanistic perspectives on the cultural use and applications of data in society. Offered jointly with TXTDS 267.

Engl 316 – Postcolonial Literature and Culture (5 credits)
Diversity credit
Open to all majors period II registration
Readings of major texts and writers in postcolonial literature and culture. Surveys some of the most important questions and debates in postcolonial literature, including issues of identity, globalization, language, and nationalism. Cultural focus may vary; see professor for specific details.

Engl 322 – Medieval and Early Modern Literatures of Encounter (5 credits)
Diversity credit
Open to all students period II registration
Cultural encounters across medieval and early modern worlds, with particular attention to how these works depict cultural difference, race/racism, and geopolitical power..

Engl 348 – Studies in Popular Culture (5 credits)
Open to all students period II registration
Explores one or more popular genres (fantasy, romance, mystery) or media (comics, television, videogames), with attention to historical development, distinctive formal features, and reading protocols. May include study of audience, reception histories, or fan cultures.


French 378 – Making Contemporary France (5 credits)
Study of the historical origins and subsequent development of contemporary problems and characteristics of French government and politics, economy, and society. Taught in English. Jointly offered with HSTEU 490A.

Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies

GWSS 451 – Latina Culture (5 credits)
Explores the expressive culture of Chicana/Mexican American/Latina women in the United States. Cultural and artistic practices in home and in literary, music, film, spoken word, performing and visual arts. Focuses on how Chicana/Latina writers and artists re-envision traditional iconography.

History of Ancient & Medieval History

HSTAM 370 – The Vikings (5 credits)
Vikings at home in Scandinavia and abroad, with particular emphasis on their activities as revealed in archaeological finds and in historical and literary sources. Offered jointly with SCAND 370.

History of Modern Europe

HSTEU 274 – European History and Film from the 1890s to Present (5 credits)
Writing credit
Introduces the histories of world war, the rise and fall of fascism and communism, postwar migrations, the Cold War and decolonization, and the making of the European Community through film. Historical content unified by methodological focus on the social and political function of film.


ITAL 354 – Travels, Migrations, and Exile (5 credits)
This class explores literary expressions of cross-cultural interactions between European and Non-European cultures in the Middle Ages, as well as representations of "Otherness" in cultural settings and literary texts. 

Students will engage with a wide range of literary texts; explore how diversity and interconnectivity materialize in the contexts of politics, commerce, migration, religion and similar philosophical and cultural frameworks; and examine how such ‘modern’ global phenomena find root in the 'premodern' world. While focusing on German and Italian-speaking areas, this class will take a critical view of Eurocentric approaches. In English. Offered jointly with German 298A/Glits 313A.

Jackson School of International Studies: Area Studies

JSIS A 365 – Luso-Brazilian Cultures (5 credits)
Explores cultures of Brazil, Portuguese-speaking Africa, Asia, and Europe within the framework of cultural studies theory. Follows an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from readings, audio files (radio), films and documentaries in history, literature, arts and performances, anthropology, among others. Focuses on selected cultural aspects and countries. Taught in English. Offered jointly with PORT 365.

Jewish Studies

Jew St 460 – Sephardic Culture (5 credits)
Explores Sephardic art. Music, food, film, literature, citizenship and nationhood, identity, and the origins of ladino, among other topics. Taught in English. Offered jointly with SPAN 460.

Landscape Architecture

L Arch 341 – Designing the Future (3 credits)
Introduces urban ecological design issues for good site-planning processes, principles, and methods. Linked with L ARCH 301. Addresses planning for people, natural systems in place-making, design for movement with carried land uses. Includes readings, discussions, presentations, campus walks, case studies, graphic and written assignments.

L Arch 352 – History of Landscape Architecture: (Re) Righting Landscapes (5 credits)
Writing credit
The history of landscape is embedded within the land. Even when those narratives are contested or erased, they continue to affect the ways in which we understand and shape the world. Survey of the development of landscape architecture as an art form from Mesopotamia to the present. Relationships to physical landscape, climate, culture, religion, and other arts. Open to non-majors.


Ling 200 – Intro to Linguistic Thought (5 credits)
RSN credit
Not open for credit to students who have completed LING 201 or LING 400.
Language as the fundamental characteristic of the human species; diversity and complexity of human languages; phonological and grammatical analysis; dimensions of language use; and language acquisition and historical language change.

Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

Melc 101 Gateway to the Middle East (5 credits)
Provides general introduction to the peoples, cultures, and languages of the Middle East, both past and present. No previous knowledge of the Middle East required.

Melc 316 – Israeli Identities (5 credits)
Diversity credit

Examines fiction and film, as well as selected poetry, popular songs, and essays, to explore diverse groups within contemporary Israeli society. Topics include the sabra ideal, holocaust survivors, Sephardic/Mizrahi communities, religious and secular Jews, Israel's Arab minority, and questions of gender.

Melc 334 – Culture of the Arab World (5 credits)
Hybrid course. Go to Time Schedule for details.
General survey of the linguistic, geographical, historical, social, religious, and cultural aspects of the modern Arab world, including the Arabic language, family, and the Arab experience in the United States. Examines Arab American relations, the role of the past and of social change, and Arab art and music.

Melc 359 – Language and Ethnicity (5 credits)
Diversity credit
Explores the political, social, and linguistic contexts of language diversity in Inner Asia, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and the ongoing process of nation-state building efforts from sociolinguistic and ethnographic perspectives. Examines the power relationship between language and ethnicity, the role played by language in power inequalities, and inequality in the distribution of resources. Offered jointly with LING 359.


Music 120 – Survey of Music (5 credits)
Studies in listening, with emphasis on the changing components of Western art music. Illustrated lectures, laboratory section meetings, and presentations by guest artists.

Music 131 – History of Jazz (5 credits)
Group Start online course. Go to time schedule for details.
Extensive overview of important musicians, composers, arrangers, and stylistic periods of jazz history from emergence of the first jazz bands at the turn of the twentieth century through post-modern bebop era of the 1990s.

Music 162 – American Pop Song (5 credits)
Group Start online course. Go to time schedule for details.
Historical, social, and stylistic study of popular idioms from the late nineteenth century to the present. Most attention to contemporary idioms (rock, country-western, soul, hip-hop). Various facets of the industry examined to learn how they influence taste and musical style.

Music 185 – The Concert Season (2 credits)
Group Start online course. Go to time schedule for details.
Performances from the School of Music concert season, supplemented by lecture topics related to concert repertoire. Analysis of applicable musical topics appropriate for enhanced appreciation of historical and cultural contexts of works performed. Attendance at ten concerts required.

Music 252 – Musical Cultures of the World (5 credits)
Near East, Central Asia, Far East, South and Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Content varies.


Phil 102 – Contemporary Moral Problems (5 credits)
Philosophical consideration of some of the main moral problems of modern society and civilization, such as abortion, euthanasia, war, and capital punishment. Topics vary.

Phil 240 – Intro to Ethics (5 credits)
Critical introduction to various philosophical views of the basis and presuppositions of morality and moral knowledge. Critical introduction to various types of normative ethical theory, including utilitarian, deontological, and virtue theories.


ROMN 420 – Romania Transformed (5 credits)
Explores Eastern and Western artistic trends and ideologies in Romanian literature and culture during the last 100 years. Investigates contributions to surrealism, dadaism, theatre of the absurd, and practices of resistance against communism as well as women's roles in forging a post-Soviet identity. Taught in English.


Russ 110 – Intro to Russian Culture and Civilization (5 credits)
Introduction to Russian culture and history from pre-Christian times to the present, as seen through literary texts, music, film, visual art, and historical works. All lectures and written materials in English. No prior knowledge of Russian necessary.

Russ 223 – Russian Cinema (5 credits)
Covers Russian cinema from its beginnings to the present day. Directors include Yevgenii Bauer, Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevoldo Pudovkin, Dziga Vertov, Mikhail Kalatozov, Andrei Tarkovsky, Aleksei Balabanov, and Aleksandr Sokurov. Also "Russians in Hollywood." Covers the relevant sociopolitical context. Also features documentaries and animation. Taught in English.

Scandinavian Studies

Scand 100 – Intro to Scandinavian Culture (5 credits)
The Scandinavian experience from the Viking Age to the present day. Covers the background for contemporary Scandinavian democracy with major emphasis on the cultural, political, and religious development of the Scandinavian countries.

Scand 330 – Scandinavian Mythology (5 credits)
Integrative study of religious life in the pre-Christian North. Emphasis on source materials, including the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda. Discussion of historical, archeological, and folkloric evidence.

Slavic Languages and Literatures

Slavic 320 – The Other Europe: Post-World War II East European Fiction (5 credits)
Topic: Sinister East/Central Europe: Slavic Horror. Introduces post-WWII Eastern European fiction created during and after the communist era, both in Eastern European countries and in exile. Includes works by Polish, Czech, Yugoslav, post-Yugoslav, Hungarian, and Baltic writers. Taught in English. Offered jointly with Glits 251A/C Lit 251A.

Slavic 423 – East European Film (5 credits)
Studies major East European film makers who left their countries at some point in their careers. Compares East European and Western production of those directors who worked partially in the West. Offered jointly with CMS 423A/Glits 314A.

Textual and Digital Studies

TXTDS 221 – Artificial Intelligence and Human Creativity in Historical Perspective (5 credits)
Explores impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) and technologies of automation on ideas and practices of human creativity and originality. Situates impacts in historical context of humans developing and using technologies of reading and writing.

TXTDS 403 – Archives, Data, and Databases (5 credits)
Textual archives and databases; their historical construction and role as mediators to the past, bringing light to and obscuring/reshaping the past. Digitization of archives and repositories. Transformation of historical texts into data, which can be searched, processed, and analyzed in new ways. Techniques for building, organizing, and analyzing archives and databases.