Gateway Courses in Arts & Humanities

Departments in the Division of Arts & Humanities offer an array of undergraduate gateway courses that fulfill L&S Breadth requirements. Please find a selection of Spring 2023 classes below and learn more at, and view the full array of language instruction across A&H on our Languages and Global Engagement page.

Ancient Greek & Roman Studies

AGRS 10B: Introduction to Ancient Rome

Investigation of the main achievements and tensions in Roman culture from Romulus to the High Empire. All materials are read in English. Satisfies Arts & Literature, Historical Studies, or Philosophy & Values L&S Breadth. Course catalog link.

AGRS 17A: Introduction to the Archaeology of the Greek World

The physical remains of the Greek world from the Bronze Age to 323 BCE will be studied, with emphasis on its artistic triumphs, as a means of understanding the culture of ancient Greece. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Historical Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link.

Art Practice

Art 8: Introduction to Visual Thinking

*Most seats are reserved for declared and intended Art Practice majors

A first course in the language, processes, and media of visual art. Weekly lectures and studio problems will introduce students to the nature of art making and visual thinking. This course is a prerequisite for applying to the Art Practice major. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Celtic Studies

CELTIC 128: Medieval Celtic Culture

A study of medieval Celtic culture, its society, laws, religion, history, and the daily life of the Celtic peoples, as they are reflected in a selection of texts ranging from medieval literary works to legal texts and historical chronicles. All works will be read in English translation. Satisfies Historical Studies or Social & Behavioral Sciences L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

CELTIC 129: Aspects of Modern Celtic Cultures and Folklore

A comparative introduction to modern Celtic cultures: principally Irish, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Breton. The development of the distinctive cultures of the Celtic "nations without states" from 1500 to the present; an examination of the role of minority cultures and minority languages in larger political cultural entities. Satisfies Arts & Literature or International Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link.

Comparative Literature

COMLIT 60AC: Topics in the Literature of American Cultures - Boroughs & Barrios: Moving in and through New York City and Los Angeles

Who comes to the American city and why? How do visitors, residents, and (im)migrants negotiate and move through “The Big Apple” and “The City of Angels,” reimagining urban life in the process? With these questions in mind, we'll spend the semester tracing the crises of (im)mobility that mark the histories of New York City and Los Angeles, as well as exploring the possibilities for place-making forged by marginalized communities in these two U.S. urban centers. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth or American Cultures Requirement. Course catalog link.

Dutch Studies

DUTCH 171AC: From New Amsterdam to New York: Race, Culture, and Identity in New Netherland

What would it mean to begin modern American history on the island of Manhattan instead of New England? We intend to question the Anglo-American perspective on the representation of cultural identity, national identity, ethnicity, and race by constrasting the traditional foundation story of the United States with that of the 17th-century Dutch colony on Manhattan. Readings will include historical and ethnographic writings, self-representations of the different ethnic groups, and fictional accounts. No knowledge of Dutch is required.Satisfies Historical Studies L&S Breadth. Meets the American Cultures requirement. Course catalog link.

East Asian Languages and Cultures

CHINESE 7B: Introduction to Modern Chinese Literature and Culture

The second of a two-semester sequence introducing students to Chinese literature in translation. In addition to literary sources, a wide range of philosophical and historical texts will be covered, as well as aspects of visual and material culture. 7B focuses on late imperial, modern, and contemporary China. The course will focus on the development of sound writing skills. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

JAPANESE 7B: Introduction to Modern Japanese Literature and Culture

This course provides a survey of important works of 19th- and 20th-century Japanese fiction, poetry, and cultural criticism. The course will explore the manner in which writers responded to the challenges of industrialization, internationalization, and war. All readings are in English translation. Techniques of critical reading and writing will be introduced as an integral part of the course.  Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Korean 7B: Introduction to Modern Korean Literature and Culture

A survey of modern Korean literature and culture in the 20th century, focusing on the development of nationalist aesthetics in both North and South Korea. Topics include "new woman" narratives, urban culture, colonial modernity, war and trauma, and diaspora. Texts to be examined include works of fiction, poetry, art, and film. All readings are in English. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link


ENGLISH 45A: Literature in English: Through Milton

Historical survey of literature in English: Beginnings through Milton. What is the English literary tradition? Where did it come from? What are its distinctive habits, questions, styles, obsessions? This course will answer these and other questions by focusing on five key writers from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

ENGLISH 45B: Literature in English: The Late-17th through the Mid-19th Century

Historical survey of literature in English from the late-17th through the mid-19th century. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

ENGLISH 45C: Literature in English: The Mid-19th through the Mid-20th Century

Historical survey of literature in English from the mid-19th through the mid-20th century. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Film and Media

FILM 20: Film and Media Theory

This course is intended to introduce undergraduates to the study of a range of media, including photography, film, television, video, and print and digital media. The course will focus on questions of medium "specificity" or the key technological/material, formal and aesthetic features of different media and modes of address and representation that define them. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link


FRENCH 43B: Aspects of French Culture - Man, Woman, Other: Across and Beyond the Gender Binary in Francophone Cultures

Stories about gender variance and transgression have circulated in French and francophone cultures since the medieval period. While we investigate these themes, we will also attend to issues of anachronism and power in these works. How can contemporary ideas and terms guide our recovery of LGBTTQI+ lives from history—or hinder it? What is at stake when apparently cisgender writers take non-cisgender people as their subject matter? How are their stories similar to or different from ones written by the “interested parties”? Satisfies Historical Studies or Social & Behavioral Sciences L&S Breadth. Course catalog link


GERMAN C25: Revolutionary Thinking: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

We will explore the ways in which Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud--three of the most important thinkers in modern Western thought--can be read as responding to the Enlightenment and its notions of reason and progress. We will consider how each remakes a scientific understanding of truth, knowledge, and subjectivity, such that rationality, logic, and the powers of human cognition are shown to be distorted, limited, and subject to forces outside our individual control. All lectures and readings in English. Satisfies Historical Studies or Philosophy & Values, L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

History of Art

HISTART 11: Introduction to Western Art: Renaissance to Present

An introduction to the historical circumstances and visual character of Western art from the Renaissance to the present. This course is recommended for potential majors and for students in other disciplines, both humanities and sciences. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Historical Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Italian Studies

ITALIAN 30: Dante (in English)

An introduction to Dante's works in the cultural and historical context of the European Middle Ages. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Philosophy & Values L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Jewish Studies

JEWISH 100: Introduction to Jewish Religion, Culture, and People

The course is intended to give Jewish studies minors a general introduction to the field through a survey of religious and cultural expressions of Jews across time and geographies. No previous knowledge of Judaism or Jewish Studies is necessary. Satisfies Historical Studies or Philosophy & Values L&S Breadth. Course catalog link.

Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

MELC 11: Middle Eastern Worlds: The Modern Middle East

This course provides a multidisciplinary introduction to the Middle East, an area that has long dominated the news but remains relatively unknown to most Americans. In a broad sense, the Middle East refers to “Arab” countries in general as well as Israel, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and the region of Kurdistan. The course aims to help students expand their knowledge and understanding of the social, economic, and cultural complexities that underlie current events and politics in the Middle East. We will examine the interplay of cultures, societies, and economies of various regional communities that remain central to the dynamics of Middle Eastern identities. Satisfies Historical Studies or International Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

MELC 18: Introduction to Ancient Egypt

A general introduction to ancient Egypt, providing overview coverage of ancient Egyptian culture and society (history, art, religion, literature, language, social structure), Egyptian archaeology (pyramids, tombs, mummies, temples, cities, monuments, daily life), and the history and development of the modern discipline of Egyptology. Meets Arts & Literature, Historical Studies, or Social & Behavioral Sciences L&S Breadth. Course catalog link.


MUSIC 26AC: Music in American Culture

Two perspectives are developed: 1) diverse music of groups in America, and 2) American music as a unique phenomenon. Groups considered are African, Asian, European, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American. Lectures and musical examples are organized by topics such as music of socio-economic subgroups within large groups, survival of culture, pan-ethnicity, religious and concert music, and the folk-popular music continuum. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Social & Behavioral Sciences L&S Breadth. Meets the American Cultures requirement. Course catalog link.

MUSIC 29: Music Now

This course explores the basic materials and models that set the boundaries for various present-day musical experiences. Students are exposed to terminology and modes of engagement with the aim of inspiring new paradigms of listening. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link.


PHILOS 2: Individual Morality and Social Justice

Introduction to ethical and political philosophy. Satisfies Philosophy & Values or Social & Behavioral Sciences L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

PHILOS 3: The Nature of Mind

Introduction to the philosophy of mind. Topics to be considered may include the relation between mind and body; the structure of action; the nature of desires and beliefs; the role of the unconscious. Satisfies Philosophy & Values L&S Breadth. Course catalog link


RHETOR 10: Introduction to Practical Reasoning and Critical Analysis of Argument

An introduction to practical reasoning and the critical analysis of argument. Topics treated will include: definition, the syllogism, the enthymeme, fallacies, as well as various non-logical appeals. Also, the course will treat in introductory fashion some ancient and modern attempts to relate rhetoric and logic. Satisfies Philosophy & Values L&S Breadth. Course catalog link


SCANDIN 60: Nordic Culture and Values

What is courage? What makes a man or woman honorable? Can communities manage the destructive powers of envy, greed and jealousy? When does a warrior’s violence cross the line into monstrosity? The heroic legends of the North – tales of gods, valkyries, kings, slaves, dragons, and outlaws, written down among the volcanoes and glaciers of Iceland during the High Middle Ages – grapple with these and other fundamental human questions. They also open a window on a period of radical historical change, from the pagan warrior societies of the Viking Age, to the Christian, literate, centralized kingdoms of medieval Scandinavia. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Slavic Languages and Literatures

SLAVIC 36: Great Books of Russian Literature

How do you tell a war story? This course explores a range of Russian and Russophone narratives about war, from the 19th century to the present. We will consider the ethics and poetics of writing about war. How do authors navigate the relationship between fact and fiction when writing about actual historical events? How do our authors approach the task of writing about violence, trauma, and death—subjects that pose potential challenges to language, memory, and representation? Readings may include works by Lev Tolstoy, Isaac Babel, Svetlana Alexievich, Andrey Kurkov, and Yevgenia Belorusets. (No knowledge of Russian required. All readings in English.) Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

SLAVIC 49AC: Children's Literature in the Context of American Culture

Books written for children emerge from specific and complicated social and historical contexts, as do the children (and adults) who read these books. In recent years, the world of children's books has been rocked by productive debates about the kinds of stories told and the identities of the voices telling those stories. In this class, we will read a wide assortment of books written (both long ago and very recently) for children, with particular attention paid to books addressing the experiences of Native, Latinx and African American children in the United States. Satisfies the American Cultures requirement. Course catalog link.

South and Southeast Asian Studies

SASIAN 1B: Introduction to the Civilization of Medieval and Modern India

This course offers a broad historical and cultural survey of the civilizations of the Indian subcontinent from the 12th century to Partition in 1947. Attention will be paid to the geography and ethnography of the region, its political history, and the religious, philosophical, literary, and artistic movements that have shaped it and contributed to its development as a unique, diverse, and fascinating world civilization. Satisfies Historical Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

SEASIAN 10B: Introduction to the Civilization of Southeast Asia

Readings, lectures, and discussion of the culture and civilization of Southeast Asia. Insular Southeast Asia: Covers the modern-day nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Special emphasis on the arts and their social and political context, with discussions on the impact of the colonial experience and the question of modernization vs. tradition. Satisfies Historical Studies or International Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Spanish and Portuguese

SPANISH 25: Reading and Analysis of Literature Texts (in Spanish)

This is the bridge course between lower and upper division coursework in Spanish. In addition to exposing you to the principles and techniques of literary analysis, this course will continue to develop your speaking, aural comprehension, writing, and reading comprehension skills. After completing Spanish 25 you can begin taking the required upper-division courses for a Spanish major or minor. Satisfies Arts & Literature or International Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

THEATER 25AC: The Drama of American Cultures: An Introduction to Our Theater - Race and Performance

What is race? What is performance? How do these social phenomena intersect? How have public performances of civil disobedience changed racial discourses? What is a performance of civil rights? This course introduces students to core performance studies concepts through an examination of race and racialization in the US. We examine performance art, street performances and the intersection of the two to examine where civil society intersects with artistic expression. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Meets the American Cultures Requirement. Course catalog link

Divisional Courses

Divisional Humanities (HUM) courses encourage you to reach across disciplines and collaborate with professors and students from a variety of arts and humanities departments.