Humanities and Language Courses

Broaden your Humanities horizons and enhance your career prospects! Choose from hundreds of courses in a wide range of subjects, including Archaeology, Art History, English and Literature, History, Linguistics, Philosophy and Religious Studies, World Languages, Writing and much more!
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Available Courses by Program
COURSE: IDRHAA355 / LAAHAA355
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: January / July Sessions: 2, A

This course explores the principal architects and artists, monuments, and themes from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Italian art and architecture. Class time is divided equally between lectures and on-site visits in the city of Florence. Emphasis will be placed on Renaissance architecture in Florence and will also include architectural developments in other Italian towns. Special topics will include architectural theory, the Medici and papal patronage, urban planning, and church and palace design. Coursework will focus on important figures such as Brunelleschi, Alberti, Michelozzo, Michelangelo, and Leonardo, in addition to visits to key Renaissance buildings and urban spaces in Florence.

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CREDITS: 20 UK credits / 40 hours face to face in class lecture + tutorial hours

This module provides an opportunity for students to develop a deeper understanding of the history of London and of some of its most celebrated monuments, heritage and historical sites. It offers a pathway for students to study London’s history in greater depth and it internationalizes the learning experience. The module puts students in touch with various types of historical artefacts, namely London’s architecture, sculpture, painting and archaeological objects. It explores the past through various types of historical sources and approaches to studying. Students will develop a meaningful awareness of the particular character and challenges of London history through these visual and material sources as well as texts, both factual and fictional. The syllabus will include visits to London’s museums and heritage sites such as Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and less well-known sites, off the ‘tourist trail’.

This course is a second year module (Level 5 of British system).

Additional fees (£80-£150) go towards the various galleries/museums/cultural houses visited as part of this course.

COURSE: AH 340
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: Session 1 and 2

This course will provide a foundation in some of the most relevant Avant-garde movements of the 20th century in Western art, such as Cubism and Surrealism, through the thorough study of the lives, ideas, and artistic contributions of three great masters of Spanish art: Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dalí. While examining exemplary artworks in several mediums of these three artists, and some of their contemporary European counterparts, the course will explore how Avant-garde movements were synonymous with progress, social disruption and change, and how Avant-garde artists contributed to widen the notion of culture and push the boundaries of what traditionally had been considered art. The course will also examine the level of interaction between international artists, writers, and thinkers, and the mobility of artistic ideas across Europe and the USA.

Lectures will be illustrated with presentations of many significant artworks and will integrate readings relevant to the various artists and concepts under discussion. In addition there will be several guided visits to the National Museum of Catalan Art, the Picasso Museum, the Miró Foundation and the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, which will aid students to get into direct contact with art.

COURSE: IDRHAA355 / LAAHAA355
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: January / July Sessions: 2, A

This course explores the principal architects and artists, monuments, and themes from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Italian art and architecture. Class time is divided equally between lectures and on-site visits in the city of Florence. Emphasis will be placed on Renaissance architecture in Florence and will also include architectural developments in other Italian towns. Special topics will include architectural theory, the Medici and papal patronage, urban planning, and church and palace design. Coursework will focus on important figures such as Brunelleschi, Alberti, Michelozzo, Michelangelo, and Leonardo, in addition to visits to key Renaissance buildings and urban spaces in Florence.

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COURSE: FWFCBG305 / IDRHBG305
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: A, B

This course offers students a combination of two original approaches to Bernardo Buontalenti: discovering the artistic contribution of a genius in Florence’s 16th century intellectual scene, and learning the cultural, political and scientific background that led to the creation of modern ice cream (gelato). The lessons will range from Buontalenti’s childhood at the Medici court to his artistic training spanning the analysis of his Florentine works (ephemeral installations for spectacular events, theatrical sets, and costumes), masterpieces of sculpture, architecture, and monumental gardens. Buontalenti’s eclectic genius also involved the creation of the first ice cream machine. Students will learn about the various production techniques and genesis of sorbet, granita, and gelato from both a historical and technical point of view. Coursework will be organized through a series of practical workshops on various types of frozen desserts, lectures focusing on the artistic works of Buontalenti, and guided visits of major works by Buontalenti in Florence. Visits will include specialized tastings at select artisanal laboratories in Florence. This class includes experiential learning with CEMI.

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COURSE: FAPDFS225
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 3, 4, B

This course is designed to take full advantage of the student’s unique experiences living and studying in the city of Florence. With on-site inspiration channelled into artistic creativity, students will draw on location at sites of historical significance and visual interest, ranging from architectural masterpieces, landscape vistas, and medieval streets to formal gardens, street markets, and Renaissance fountains. Slide lectures will document the rich history of how Florence and its environs have attracted and inspired visiting artists over the centuries. Students will develop individual sketchbooks with the aim of building up source material for future projects.

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COURSE: GSUSFW280 / LAAHFW280 / LAHSFW280
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 2, A

This course examines the city of Florence with themed walks offering a comprehensive approach to the city as an open-air cultural, historical, and artistic research site from its Roman foundation to its contemporary Zeitgeist. Students will learn the history of the city through its art: they will understand how buildings, streets, squares, and monuments can be mapped as living traces of multiple, overlapping layers of a complex past, and how to encode them in their personal appropriation of the city. Starting from learning how to decode the artistic environment of the city and to unveil its traces – both visible and invisible – the course aims at understanding the main social and cultural reasons underlying the existing shape of the city. The course explores traces and evidences from Roman times through Middle Ages, Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque, up to Art Nouveau and contemporary Florence. Students will be provided with a consistent theoretical background related to relevant historic-artistic landmarks and their social and cultural context and main characters (Guelphs vs. Ghibellines, the Florentine Guilds, Dante, the Medici family, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Ghirlandaio, Ammannati, Pontormo, etc.). Students will be encouraged to develop their own experiential tools and strategies to approach the city through guided field learning activities that assess research, on-site involvement, and academic outcome for each themed walk in Florence.

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COURSE: LAHSIR330
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 3, B

This course explores the meaning of the term “Renaissance” when applied to the period of Italian history from circa 1350 to 1550. The subject will be approached from a variety of standpoints: social, political, economic, intellectual, scientific, and artistic. The focus will be on the concept of Italian Renaissance Humanism and on the relationship between art and society during this period. Lectures will be supplemented by a number of visits to key historical sites in Florence. Field activities and museum visits are an integral part of the course.

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COURSE: LAAHAH210
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 4, B

This introductory art history course will take students through Italian and European art from the classical Greek and Roman periods up to and including the eighteenth century. Special emphasis will be given to Florentine and Italian art of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and to the “Golden Age” of the Renaissance. The course is aimed at students who have not taken a history of western art course before. Lectures will alternate with on-site teaching in Florence including architectural walking tours and visits to relevant museums, churches, and palaces.

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COURSE: LAAHIR220
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 1, A

This introductory course is intended for students who have little to no background in the history of Western Art. Before examining the beginnings of Renaissance art that took flourished in Florence in the fifteenth century, students will be given a broad overview of Greek and Roman art and architecture, whose emulation is fundamental to understanding the cultural revolution of the Renaissance. Through on-site visits to medieval churches and palaces in Florence, students will early on become familiar with the Romanesque and Gothic styles in which the first Renaissance painters, sculptors, and architects found their roots and from which they were to dramatically diverge. As site visits are a significant part of this course, the focus will be on Florentine artists such as Masaccio, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo. By way of comparison, consideration will also be given to other important centers of art in Italy such as Venice, Siena, and Ferrara. In addition to analysing the style and subject matter of works of art, students will learn about the techniques of painting and sculpture and comparisons will be made with techniques in other countries during the same period, for example the use of oil paints in Flemish painting. This course features a journalism project with Blending.

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COURSE: IDRHAR340 / LAAHAR340
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 3, B

This course explores the principal architects, monuments and themes of fifteenth and sixteenth century Italian architecture. The course includes site visits in the city of Florence. Emphasis will be on Renaissance architecture in Florence, but will also include architectural developments in Rome, Urbino, Mantua, Verona and Vicenza. Special topics will include: architectural theory, Medici and papal patronage, urban planning, and church and palace design. A special focus will be dedicated to architects: Brunelleschi, Alberti, Michelozzo, Giuliano Sangallo, Bramante, Antonio Sangallo the Younger, Michelangelo, Giulio Romano and Palladio. Visits to key Renaissance buildings and urban spaces in Florence are included.

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COURSE: IDRHFY320 / LAAHFY320
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 1, A

This course spans the history of Italian gardens from the 1200s to the 1700s. The course explores the evolution of the Italian garden landscape starting from the ancient Roman roots and the emergence of herbal gardens in medieval monasteries for medicinal remedies to the flourishing of early Renaissance masterpieces in the great palaces and villas of Italy. The early transformation of the garden from functional to recreational purposes will be examined in religious and humanistic contexts. A second phase of evolution from the recreation to symbols of power will be introduced through the gardens of ruling families and religious figures who combined garden aesthetics with experimentation and horticultural innovation until the late Renaissance. The course will conclude with the waning of the Italian garden in the 18th century, which ceded the domination of Italian gardens to the landscaping practices of France.

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COURSE: FTFCSC280 / GSUSSC280
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 3, B

Through a series of walks and visits through art and design this course intends to show famous and hidden fashion paths in Florence. A journey through time and space to discover the place that marked the birth of Italian fashion and opened the doors to Made in Italy. Back in 1954 Florence was the star of the fashion system, anticipating trends and steeling the exclusive scene from Paris. Italy embraced the “new” in fashion through the talent and genius of Giovanni Battista Giorgini, who staged the first ever Italian fashion shows in Florence. Students will discover a city of exquisite taste, tradition and artistic craftsmanship. Starting from the location of the first Italian cat walk held in the Sala Bianca of Palazzo Pitti, they will learn how to map the fashion environment of the city. From Renaissance to modern day inspiration, fashion is kept alive in the products that were designed here and that grace the beautiful city today. Designers, such as Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Emilio Pucci, Stefano Ricci, Ermanno Scervino, and Roberto Cavalli, have all developed and changed through the years and they have all surely blossomed here in Florence. The course is intended to provide academic knowledge through guided field learning activities that include research, on-site involvement, and topic assessment for each fashion themed walk in Florence. The classroom approach of this course is based on experiencing the city of Florence as the academic space for learning and engagement. Classes are not held in a traditional, frontal-style setting; each lesson is carefully mapped for curricular content and featured locations: lectures, observations, exercises, analysis, and reflections on presented topics are held in relevant sites that are accounted for in the academic planning, syllabus, and related course material. Coursework and submissions will be regularly assessed on the MyFUA platform through daily assignments in addition to exams, papers, and projects. Learning through the on-site classroom approach fosters a deeper understanding of the cultural environment of Florence and how it is related to the subject of study represented by the course, and allows the overall experience to contribute to the students’ academic and personal enrichment.

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COURSE: 4ELIT007X
CREDITS: 20 UK Credits
OFFERED: Session 2

This module is an introduction to the visual culture of London, including painting, architecture, photography and contemporary media. Students will visit the major art galleries to examine how art works exhibitions and cultural organisations can be understood within wider social contexts. The sessions also include museums and historical sites, such as the British Museum and St Paul’s Cathedral, as well as art galleries. The classes will explore how these institutions reveal the complex cultural identity and history of London. The module develops students’ skills in visual analysis and critical thinking about culture.

Typical visits include the Tate Modern Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Portrait Museum, Museum of London, British Museum, Wallace Collection, Serpentine Galleries and Welcome Collection. Note these visits are subject to change. This module may include additional costs for museum tickets.

COURSE: 4JRNL007X
CREDITS: 20 UK credits
OFFERED: Session 2

This module offers students an introduction to the arts, entertainment, fashion, architecture and history that have made London the world’s most influential and vital cultural hub. Why see Paris and die when you can see London and live? How did London become the world capital of music, art, fashion, design, theatre, film, architecture, and so much else? From rock legends to the Royal Opera, Shakespeare to shock art and cathedrals to Canary Wharf, this module describes how London emerged from the ashes of war to become the most vibrant and culturally rich city on earth. It aims to give students an overall appreciation of London culture and to teach them the skills they need to write fluent, confident and relevant reviews across a variety of arts and entertainment genres. It will also give students an introduction to the various ways the arts are covered across all media platforms and to the work of some key London artists, designers and performers.

Site visit to Banksy exhibition (subject to change).

COURSE: ART HIS M110A
CREDITS: 5 Units

Study of architecture, sculpture, painting, and minor arts during Predynastic period and Old Kingdom. May be repeated for credit with consent of instructor.

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COURSE: ARCH&UD 10B
CREDITS: 5 Units

Survey of architectural and urban history from 1600 to present in global context. Exploration of buildings, cities, spaces, artifacts, landscapes, and ideas through their relation to geopolitical conditions and through their relation to theories of design.

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COURSE: ART HIS 154D
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Exploration of developments in painting, sculpture, photography, film, museums, and exhibitionary culture across Indian subcontinent from 1850 to 2000. This dynamic period saw rise and fall of colonial empires; emergence of nationalism(s); global conflict; and crises of territory, migration, and displacement in South Asia. Topics examined include artistic responses to empire and colonial patronage, relationship of modern art practices to notions of indigeneity, tradition and subaltern, and aesthetic cultures of nation-building in India and Pakistan.

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COURSE: ART HIS 132
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Pre-requisite: Course 23

Changing topics in contemporary art (post-1945) that reflect interests of individual regular and/or visiting faculty members.

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COURSE: ART HIS C126
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Period between 1300 and 1700 witnessed advent of technologies that democratized knowledge and experience (print); new doctrines concerning individual’s direct experience of God (Lutheranism); and reformulations of identity, prompted by overseas voyages to previously unknown lands inhabited by previously unknown peoples. These transformations refashioned how art was produced and perceived, and in certain cases were by-products of innovations that originated within artistic practice. Introduction to some of new ideas, mediums, genres, confessional identities, techniques, and materials that emerged in northern Europe between 14th and 17th centuries.

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