Cultural Studies Minor
The interdisciplinary minor in Cultural Studies requires 18-24 credits of coursework. At least six credits must be from courses which are numbered 300 or above.
Coordinator: Dr. Liana Cheney, Professor of Art History [Department of Cultural Studies]
Coburn Hall, Room 201
The courses offered in this program are interdisciplinary in their content and structure and explore a topic in greater depth and from broader perspectives than is ordinarily possible in other courses. Many courses are team-taught by faculty chosen from various academic departments and colleges within the University. Courses emphasize the sources (artistic, literary, philosophical, and historical) of the period studied and focus on the aspirations and achievements of our own civilization.
- 59.110 Foundations of Cultural Studies
- 59.205 Human Values in Western Culture I
- 59.206 Human Values in Western Culture II
- 59.208 Cultural Studies I
- 59.209 Cultural Studies II
- 59.248 Values in American Culture
- 59.313 The Culture of Ancient Greece
- 59.314 Society and Culture in the Early Middle Ages
- 59.315 Islamic Culture and Medieval Europe
- 59.320 16th Century Italian Culture
- 59.323 Science and Medieval Europe
- 59.330 17th Century European Culture
Additional Interdisciplinary and Intercollegiate Courses
Technology, Society, and Human Values
- 59.303 Understanding Technological Risk
- 59.309 The Engineer in Society
- 59.321 Literature on Technology and Human Values
43.105 Western Civilization
Traces the major forces in the development of European history from the beginning to Greek civilization to 1715.
43.106 The Modern World
Examines the major forces in the development of modern European history in a global context from the origins of the French Revolution to the present.
43.204 China and the Modern World
This course introduces China’s interactions with the world since 1840s. with the Opium War as the starting point, students are ushered into a traditional China whose political system, cultural values and an economic structure stood in sharp contrast to those of the outside world.
43.272 The American Indians
A study of the American Indian before the introduction of white European civilization.
The course examines the history and culture of selected tribes of several regions within the present boundaries of the United States. 3 cr.
43.393 History of the Middle East
An introduction to Islam and the History of the Middle East from Mohammed to the present. The course focuses on Islamic values as they impact upon our own culture and value. 3 cr. This course can be substituted with Women and Islam 46-494.
43.295 History of Japan Since 1600
A study of the traditional Japanese institutions and the transformation of Japan into a modern state after 1868, including, the Tokugawa Shogunate, Meiji Restoration, Russo-Japanese War, World War II and present day Japan. 3 cr. This course can be substituted with China and the Modern World 43-322.
45.340 Mysticism: East and West
This course explores the similarities and differences in the mystical traditions of various world religions. The course looks at the relation of mystical experience to organized religion.
58.203 History of Art I: Prehistoric to Medieval Art
A survey of the origins and development of painting, sculpture and architecture from prehistoric times to the Medieval period. Emphasis is placed on non-western and western representative works of art from Ancient Egypt and Near East, Antiquity, Byzantine and Medieval and Early Renaissance Europe. Methodological problems of interpretation, formal analysis and aesthetic principles are studies in these art works. The aim of the course is to introduce the student to basic critical and art historical methods as well as the analysis of style and content within sequential cultural contexts.
58.204 History of Art II: Renaissance to Modern Art
A survey of the origins and development of painting, sculpture, and architecture from Renaissance times to the Modern period. Emphasis is placed on representative works of art from the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Nineteenth Century Movements-Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism - and the Twentieth Century Movements-Expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism and Abstract Art. The impact of the non-western tradition is analyzed in representative examples of the Renaissance through Modern art. The aim of the course is to introduce the student to basic critical and art historical methods as well as the analysis of style and content within sequential cultural contexts.
58.205 Studies in World Art
Historical and critical examinations of regions works of art from China, Asia, India, Africa, North America, Latin America, and Mexico. Topics vary from year to year. Course may be repeated. Mexican Muralists: Examination of the dominance of Mexican Muralists in the visual and aesthetic culture in Latin America in the early twentieth century. Discussion of the implication of the social revolution and political sentiments on Mexican murals representations. Also stylistic and iconographical analysis of the Muralists, such as Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo as well as Frida Kahlo will be studied in relation to past muralist traditions. Primitive Art: Method and Theory The purpose of this course is to provide a general overview of the art of the traditional cultures of Africa, North America and the South Pacific. This overview will be presented within a critical framework that questions the relationship between “civilized” viewers and so-called “primitive” art. Asian Art: The purpose of this course is to provide a general overview of the art of the traditional cultures of Asia, China, India and Japan. This survey provides a critical and historical examination of these cultures. 3 cr.
54.302 Introduction to Latin American Literature
Studies the major writers of Latin America from the indigenous literature to the modernist period. The authors and their works will be placed in their historical, sociological, and literary perspective, thus introducing students to the Latin American world. Conducted in Spanish, 3 cr.
59.205 Human Values in Western Culture I
Addresses some of the important questions of human existence through a close study of representative literary, philosophical, and religious texts from ancient times to the present and relevant modern works in the behavioral and political sciences. In the first semester the students explore and evaluate three perennial themes: the problem of evil, self and society, freedom and fate. In the second semester course, the thematic units are: the pursuit of knowledge, the nature of humankind, and the experience of love. 3 cr.
59.206 Human Values in Western Culture II
A continuation of 59.205. May be taken independently of 59.205 3 cr.
59.208 Cultural Studies I
The actual development of a culture proceeds on many levels at once; the art, literature, philosophy and social structure of a given historical period evolve together, interact with one another, and eventually give rise to a new era. These courses are designed to capture the richness of the various periods of western and non-western civilization to discern networks of dependency and influence among the diverse aspects of epoch's culture and to trace lines of continuity between one age and another. The first semester will treat the period from ancient civilization to the Protestant reformation; the second semester will focus on developments from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. 3 cr.
59.209 Cultural Studies II
A continuation of 59.208. May be taken independently of 59.208, Cultural Studies I. 3 cr.
59.248 Values in American Culture
Examines the relationship among American views on humanity, nature and democracy and shows how these relationships affect attitudes towards the individual the "American Dream" science and technology. Readings are selected from authors as diverse as the Puritans, the ex slave Douglass, Wharton, Hemingway and Oppenheimer and include such genres as the essay, the short story, autobiography and the magazine article. Topics to be considered include Immigration, technological invention, and the modem application of democratic principles to the business community. The course shows how an evolving systems of values in America is a factor influencing both individual and national decisions. 3 cr.
59.313 The Culture of Ancient Greece
No one term can capture completely the richness of Greek culture, but there is one which comes closer than any other: TO KALON, which means nobility, goodness, or beauty. Taking this term as a guideline, we explore the many facets of Greek culture by focusing upon social and political structures, the development of moral consciousness, and the appreciation of beauty. These issues are approached through the examination of developments in Greek art as well as through reflections upon works by Greek poets, dramatists, philosophers and historians. 3 cr. This course can be substituted with Greek and Roman Art 58-231 or Ancient Greek History and Civilization 43-225.
59.314 Society and Culture in the Early Middle Ages
Explores the political, social and cultural transformation which took place in Europe during the five centuries following the collapse of the western Roman Empire. Drawing from historical, literary, linguistic and artistic sources. The classes and lectures focus on the classical, Christian, Germanic and Celtic contributions to the new society and culture that was being created in Europe at this time. A major aim of the course is to make the students aware of how this formative period of the early Middle Ages can help us understand the full achievements of medieval society and culture at its zenith and, ultimately, the European civilization to which it gave birth. 3 cr. This course can be substituted with The Middle Ages 43-231 or Medieval Art 58-241.
59.316 Islamic Culture and Medieval Europe
Helps the student to understand the major tenets of Islamic culture and to analyze its growth and dissemination in the Mediterranean basin. Examines the relationship of Islamic culture to medieval Europe via Moorish civilization of Spain and, to a lesser extent, of Sicily. 3 cr. This course can be substituted with Medieval Institutions 43-370.
59.320 16th Century Italian Culture
Examines the literary, artistic and musical works of the Italian Renaissance in the sixteenth century; focusing on the theories governing the creation of these works, their backgrounds in classicism, their inter-relationship as a part of the humanistic involvement. Changes in modes of representation and the emergence of new genres. Examines the socio-historical conditions leading to the ideal of 'universality" to the role of the Italian courts and academies in fostering the arts, and to the historical development of the Reformation and Counter-reformation. 3 cr. This course can be substituted with Italian Renaissance Art 58-321 or Italian Mannerist Art 58-330.
59.330 17th Century European Culture
Examines views of the individual and the emergence of the modern state. Concentrating primarily on France, England and the Netherlands, we examine the political and social organizations of these emergent nations, and the various views of human nature which are expressed in their literature, philosophy and art. A principal goal is to discern how the art-forms and ideas of individuals influence and are influenced by the social and political structures around them. 3 cr. This course can be substituted with Italian Baroque Art 58-332 or Northern Baroque Art 58-334.
Course Listing Cultural Studies