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 as well as the American Cultures requirement. Please find a selection of Fall 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 10A: Introduction to Ancient Greece

Study of the major developments, achievements, and contradictions in Greek culture from the Bronze Age to the 4th century BCE. 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

*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 70: The World of the Celts

Celtic Studies 70 will provide an introduction to the history of the Celtic-speaking peoples from the time of the Indo-Europeans through to the present day. Satisfies Historical Studies or Social & Behavioral Sciences L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Comparative Literature

COMLIT 20C: The Good Life: Ancient and Modern Answers

From antiquity to the present, writers and artists have addressed the question of how to lead a good life, as well as addressing those obstacles—fate, the gods, our own divided psyches—that have made it difficult for us to do so. They have also presented conflicting notions of what the good life is, and what its relationship is to happiness and happenstance. In this course, we will explore a range of ancient and modern takes on these questions. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Historical Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Dutch Studies

DUTCH 166: Anne Frank and After

This course deals with the occupation of the Netherlands by Nazi Germany in World War II and the Holocaust, with a special focus on Anne Frank's diary. We will discuss literature, film and historiography with a focus on anti-Semitism, collaboration and resistance as well as the postwar discussion on guilt and responsibility. All materials will be in English, no knowledge of Dutch is required. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

East Asian Languages and Cultures

EALANG C50: Introduction to the Study of Buddhism

This introduction to the study of Buddhism will consider materials drawn from various Buddhist traditions of Asia, from ancient times down to the present day. The overarching emphasis throughout the course will be on the hermeneutic difficulties attendant upon the study of religion in general, and Buddhism in particular. Satisfies Philosophy & Values L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

CHINESE 7A: Introduction to Modern Chinese Literature and Culture

The first in 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. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Historical Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

JAPANESE 7A: Introduction to Modern Japanese Literature and Culture

This course is an overview of Japanese literature and culture, 7th- through 18th-centuries. No previous course work in Japanese literature, history, or language is expected. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Historical Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Korean 7A: Introduction to Modern Korean Literature and Culture

A survey of pre-modern Korean literature and culture from the seventh century to the 19th century, focusing on the relation between literary texts and various aspects of performance tradition. All readings are in English. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Historical Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link


ENGLISH 45A: Literature in English: Through Milton

Historical survey of literature in English: Beginnings through Milton. Satisfies Arts & Literature, L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

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

In a world of expanding global commerce (imports like tea suddenly becoming commonplace in England), political revolution (English, American, French), and changing conceptions of what it means to be a man or woman (a new medical discourse viewing them as categorically distinct), increasingly available printed texts become sites of contestation—including debates about what constitutes "proper" language and Literature itself. Satisfies Arts & Literature, L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

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

This course will examine different examples of British, Irish, American, and global Anglophone literature from the middle of the 19th century through the middle of the 20th. Moving across a number of genres and movements, we will focus on the ways novelists, poets, and dramatists have used literary form to represent, question, and even produce different aspects of modernity (broadly construed). Satisfies Arts & Literature, L&S Breadth. Course cataloglink

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 48: Introduction to Translation Studies

This course provides a general introduction to translation studies. Translation studies is a relatively new field which lies at the intersection of a range of disciplines from literature and linguistics, through gender and postcolonial studies, to cognitive and computer science. We will explore the history of the way that people have thought about translation from the ancient world and thinkers such as Cicero and Dao’an to the formal field of translation studies which emerged in the 1980s. You will be asked to carry out some translation in this course but this does not mean that you need knowledge of French or any other language; students can opt to translate between different registers and varieties of English instead of using another language. Fulfills Social & Behavioral Sciences, L&S Breadth. Course catalog link.

FRENCH 80: The Cultural History of Paris

This class will offer students a historical exploration of the urban artifact that is Paris. Proceeding “forensically,” the class aims to peel back what is visible to today’s observer in order to uncover the historical, economic, and ideological forces that have produced one of the most visited cities in the world. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Historical Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link


GERMAN 39P: Robots, Monsters, Operating Systems: Technology and the Cultural Imagination

This course focuses on imposter tales, i.e. stories of people pretending to be what they are not. We will read classic stories by H. C. Andersen, G. Keller, and F. Kafka, films such as To Be or Not To Be, Imitation of Life and Catch Me If You Can, as well as acts of posing and exposing on TV, YouTube, and social media platforms. Theories on the presentation of self and framing social interaction will guide our analyses. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

History of Art

HISTART 10: Introduction to Western Art: Ancient to Medieval

An introduction to the art of Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the European Middle Ages. Works of painting, sculpture, and architecture are presented chronologically and interpreted within their particular historical circumstances. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Historical Studies, L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Italian Studies

ITALIAN 40: Italian Culture (in English)

Introduction to Italian studies through selected topics and themes integral to the history, literature, and arts of Italy from Dante to Fellini. Satisfies Arts & Literature, Historical Studies, or Social & Behavioral Sciences L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Jewish Studies

JEWISH 120: Comic Books and Jewish Identity

Coming from exclusion and powerlessness, Jewish creators invented the modern comic book. Comics are where Jewish stories get told, from the Holocaust to daily life. The superhero genre, mostly invented by Jews, narrates core Jewish ethical concepts such as Responsibility to the Other. We will read lots of comics and focus on the overlapping themes of Jewish history, identity, and faith. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

MELC 10: Middle Eastern Worlds: Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

This course introduces students to the Ancient Middle Eastern world through its languages, texts, art, and material culture. Emphasis is placed on Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia as well as their neighbors in Iran, Turkey, Arabia, and Africa. No prior coursework is required. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Historical Studies L&S Breadth. Course catalog link


MUSIC 25: Introduction to Music Theory, Analysis, and Notation

A writing course based on traditional harmony. Beginning linear and vertical analysis. For general students. Emphasis on written exercises. Satisfies Arts & Literature 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. Meets the American Cultures Requirement. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Social & Behavioral Sciences, 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 75: Nordic Culture and Values

This course explores the most important cultural contributions of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. It focuses on an interdisciplinary historical examination of the emergence of three central contemporary Nordic value systems: environmentalism, gender equality, and social solidarity/trust. Taught in English with readings in English. Satisfies Historical Studies and Social & Behavioral Sciences L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Slavic Languages and Literatures

SLAVIC 36: Great Books of Russian Literature

This course explores a particular cluster of definitions for what reading a “great book” might mean. The texts that we will read together a) are experimental in form; b) rich in ethical value; c) reflect upon major historical events; c) depict everyday private experience; d) have had a thorny history of creation and reception; and e) have all eventually made it into the Russian literary canon. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

SLAVIC 45: Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature

Populated with many unique and eccentric characters — from revolutionary socialists to runaway human noses — nineteenth-century Russian literature displays a startling experimentation and innovation that advanced Russia to the vanguard of Western literature. Encompassing poetry, fiction, and journalism, this survey explores how authors such as Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Garshin, and Chekhov positioned literature at the center of public discourse, as a venue for addressing important philosophical, political, religious, and social issues, including gender and class relations; personal and national identity; and the role of the writer in public life. Satisfies Arts & Literature L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

South and Southeast Asian Studies

SASIAN 1A: Introduction to the Civilization of Early India

This course offers a broad historical, political, ethnographical and  and cultural survey of the civilizations of the Indian subcontinent from the earliest period known to archaeology to the advent of Islam as a major cultural and political force around the 13th century CE. Satisfies Historical Studies, L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

SEASIAN 10A: Introduction to the Civilization of Southeast Asia

Readings, lectures, and discussion of the culture and civilization of Southeast Asia. Mainland Southeast Asia: Covers the modern-day nations of Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, etc., with special emphasis on the impact of Hinduism and Buddhism. Satisfies Historical Studies or International Studies, L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Spanish and Portuguese

SPANISH 30: Don Quixote in English

A close reading of Don Quixote in English. Don Quixote was the first modern novel and a funny book, a self-described parody of chivalric romances, but it is also a deep investigation and representation of love, legitimacy, epistemology, and everyday life. Satisfies Arts & Literature or Philosophy & Values, L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

THEATER 26: Introduction to Performance Studies

This course introduces the critical terms and practices of the contemporary study of performance. Several key terms and important genres of artistic and social performance will be engaged; the course will draw critical and disciplinary methods from anthropology and ethnography, from the theory of dance and theater, from literary and cultural theory. Satisfies Arts & Literature, L&S Breadth. Course catalog link

THEATER 52AC: Dance in American Cultures

Dance as a meaning-making expressive form.  Develop the tools necessary for looking at dance, analyzing it, writing about it, and understanding its place in larger social, cultural, political structures. Satisfies Arts & Literature, L&S Breadth or American Cultures Requirement. Course cataloglink

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.