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: SPAN 350
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: January / July: Session 1 and 2

Why are Spaniards currently exhuming mass graves of the Civil War? How can the country tolerate an unemployment rate of 20 percent? Why has Catalan and Basque nationalism dominated politics for decades? Why does a country with a historic reputation for machismo boast such progressive laws on gender and gay marriages? Why does political corruption remain so prevalent? This course examines political and social issues relevant to Spaniards today. It begins by discussing recent history in order to contextualize the major themes of the past few decades. It then moves to those subjects that emerged out of the transition to democracy – regionalism, terrorism, and linguistic pluralism – and still account for many of the peculiarities of Spanish politics. The second half of the course analyzes “Spain’s Second Transition” under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero by focusing on immigration, Islamic fundamentalism, foreign policy, gender and family relations, historical memory, political corruption, and the economic crisis. The course is multi-disciplinary, consisting of a mixture of readings from political science, history, and cultural studies. Each session will consist of a lecture and a class discussion.

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: SPAN 350
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: January / July: Session 1 and 2

Why are Spaniards currently exhuming mass graves of the Civil War? How can the country tolerate an unemployment rate of 20 percent? Why has Catalan and Basque nationalism dominated politics for decades? Why does a country with a historic reputation for machismo boast such progressive laws on gender and gay marriages? Why does political corruption remain so prevalent? This course examines political and social issues relevant to Spaniards today. It begins by discussing recent history in order to contextualize the major themes of the past few decades. It then moves to those subjects that emerged out of the transition to democracy – regionalism, terrorism, and linguistic pluralism – and still account for many of the peculiarities of Spanish politics. The second half of the course analyzes “Spain’s Second Transition” under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero by focusing on immigration, Islamic fundamentalism, foreign policy, gender and family relations, historical memory, political corruption, and the economic crisis. The course is multi-disciplinary, consisting of a mixture of readings from political science, history, and cultural studies. Each session will consist of a lecture and a class discussion.

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

This course will examine various aspects of the relationship between food, culture and society in the Mediterranean basin, where eating is not a simple act of survival but rather a cultural and social activity. Looking at the local culture through the lens of food allows us to discover and understand social constructs, values and even the history of Europe, from ancient Greece to the great chefs of the 21st century such as Ferran Adrià. Through this we will discover the similarities and differences between how the Spanish, Italian and Greece societies work.

In this course we offer a cross-cultural perspective that will focus on history, anthropology, sociology, literature, gastronomy and the business that works behind the food industry.

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: LACMHM380 / LAHSHM380
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 4, B

This course discusses the origins and development of the Mafia in the context of Italian politics, economics, and society from the nineteenth century to the present day. It analyzes the nature of Mafia activities and their international relevance. Special focus will be given to judicial procedures against the Mafia and the experiences of key individuals and groups contrasting their illegal activities.

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COURSE: GSDGSR350 / LAHSSR350
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 2, A

Beginning with an examination of the “how to” advice manuals common to Italian households during the Renaissance period, this course explores various aspects of sexuality in Renaissance Italy. These aspects range from the aforementioned self-help books aimed at instructing young couples in sexual pleasure, to conception and childbirth, and an examination of the differing social roles of the common prostitute (meretrice) and the high-class courtesan (cortigiana). The theme of male homosexuality will also be explored with special focus placed on the intellectual climate of Renaissance Florence where the prevailing interest in Neoplatonic philosophy may have played a part in creating a more lenient moral climate for homosexuals. Discussions will take cue from Renaissance art in which erotic subjects became increasingly popular in courtly circles in the sixteenth century. Museum visits form an integral part of this course.

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COURSE: FWFCIF300 / GSDGIF300 / LAHSIF300 / LSSOIF300 / LARSIF300
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 2, A

The course engages the student in the exploration of the history and culture of the French and Italian Riviera, a region that still today preserves a peculiar identity, and builds a bridge between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Strategically placed in the north of the Mediterranean, Provence and the city of Nice have always attracted civilizations from all over. Throughout its long history, people of many nationalities have docked here and been assimilated into the city, turning it into a cultural and culinary melting pot: Greeks, Romans, North Africans, Corsicans, Sicilians, Arabs, have all left their mark.

The course examines the many culinary identities of the area creating a unique culinary cornucopia of different cultures and flavors, as seen in establishments such as restaurants, markets, boulangeries, Maghreb spice stalls, Mediterranean fishmongers, and Sub-Saharan vegetable vendors.

The course also focuses on the relevance that the area had in the development of Europe. During the Middle Age, in monasteries and abbeys, the roots of cultural and religious traditions of Europe were continued. Furthermore, thanks to the work of the monks, the techniques of agriculture and viticulture were preserved and improved. Two of the great ancient pilgrimage routes have their start in Provence, the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James), through the Roman Via Aurelia to Santiago di Compostela, and the Via Francigena, which leads from France to Rome.

Places of culinary, historical, and religious relevance, such as ethnic restaurants and local markets, archaeological sites, and monasteries, will be studied in order to contextualize an interdisciplinary understanding of the culture and history of the Italian and French Riviera. Group discussions and personal research assignments are essential forms of re-elaborating the course topics. The course emphasizes the development and evolution of religion, its connection to food, and their heritage in the contemporary society. This course includes cooking labs, food and wine tastings, and visits.

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COURSE: 4HIST008X
CREDITS: 20 UK credits
OFFERED: Session 1

The class aims to provide the student with an informed understanding of the social, cultural and economic context of the Whitechapel murders that occurred in the 1880s. Assessing the wider history of Victorian London, and focusing upon the 1880s in particular, students will learn about class, poverty, wealth, religion and culture in late Victorian London. Students will also learn about the Ripper murders and their effects in the metropolis, and consider why the murders continue to exercise fascination to this day.

Students will visit the Museum of London, Tate Britain, The Royal London Hospital, The Metropolitan Police Heritage Centre, Sir John Soane’s Museum, The Bishopsgate Institute, The Museum of London Docklands. The students will also go on a walking tour to ‘map’ the Ripper murders and get to grips with the geography of the East End. Note these visits are subject to change.

COURSE: 4HIST009X
CREDITS: 20 UK credits
OFFERED: Session 1

London is one of Europe’s greatest cities, with a fascinating history stretching back over two thousand years. Originally built by the Romans, it has endured a long history of war and civil war, fire, famine and plague. It has survived aerial bombardment and terrorism, yet remains a fascinating mosaic of distinct villages, which has given shelter to successive generations of those fleeing persecution and poverty in other lands. It is home to the British monarchy and British parliament, and is the cockpit of British life and culture.

This class aims to offer an introduction to a new history of London and to the specialism of ‘public history’, based in part on recent archaeological research and visits to London museums. The class thus aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to evaluate how and how well the history of London is presented to audiences of non-historians.

Field trips include visits to the Roman Amphitheatre and the London Wall Walk, the British Museum, Museum of London, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery, Museum of London in Docklands, British Library, the museums of South Kensington, Greenwich, Westminster as well as Medieval and Tudor London Walk. Note these visits are subject to change.

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: 4HIST007X
CREDITS: 20 UK credits
OFFERED: Session 2

This course examines London as the historical setting for monarchy and national ceremonial. As such the course considers Royalty’s central place in British life and examines how its purpose and function have changed over the centuries. It also investigates Royalty’s influence on British history and society and its impact on government, culture and science. Finally the course will consider how the monarchy has adapted – and continues to adapt – to changing times and how critics react to it.

As a part of the course, students will visit The British Museum, British Library, National Portrait Gallery, the Museum of London, Imperial War Museum. The students will also tour important royal sites in London. Note these visits are subject to change. This module may include additional costs for museum tickets.

COURSE: RELIGN M132
CREDITS: 5 Units

Introduction to religious beliefs, practices, and sentiments of ancient Egypt to study Egyptian religion as coherent system of thought and sphere of action that once served as meaningful and relevant framework for understanding physical reality and human life for inhabitants of Nile Valley. General principles as well as developments through time (circa 3000 BC to 300 CE). Topics include mythology, temple and cult, magic, and personal piety.

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COURSE: HIST 191C
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Survey of backgrounds, campaigns, and aftermath of this most lethal of all wars in human history–one that victors fought as moral imperative against Axis powers. Flawed Versailles peace of 1919 that ended World War I is starting point for inquiry. Inter-war malaise of Democracies and appeasement together led to outbreak of world war in 1930s, first in China, then in Poland/Western Europe. Student presentations serve as backdrop for identification of turning points of so-called good war itself, World War II. Survey of growing tensions among victors that produced ensuing epoch known as Cold War.

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COURSE: CLASSIC 20
CREDITS: 5 Units

Study of Roman life and culture from time of city’s legendary foundations to end of classical antiquity. Readings focus on selections from works of ancient authors in translation. Lectures illustrated with images of art, architecture, and material culture. Knowledge of Latin not required.

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COURSE: HIST 134C
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Changing European economy after World War I and II and in 1990s; impact of fourth and fifth Industrial Revolutions; Great Depressions of century during 1930s, 1970s, and 1980s; and changing modernization strategies; import-substituting industrialization in peripheries; Soviet modernization dictatorship in East Central Europe and its collapse; integration process of second half of century and rise of European Union; modernization model at end of century.

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COURSE: ASIA AM 10
CREDITS: 5 Units

Multidisciplinary examination of history of Asians and Pacific Islanders in U.S.

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COURSE: HIST 154
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Economic, social, intellectual, and political development of California from earliest times to present.

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COURSE: HIST 179B
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Cultural, scientific, and social context that shaped modern medicine from Renaissance to Romantic era. Topics include establishment of anatomy, physiology, and modern clinical medicine, mapping of human body, medical approach to mental illness, rise of anatomo-clinical method at Paris School.

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COURSE: CHICANO 10A
CREDITS: 5 Units

Interdisciplinary survey of diverse historical experiences, cultural factors, and ethnic/racial paradigms, including indigenousness, gender, sexuality, language, and borders, that help shape Chicana/Chicano identities. Emphasis on critical reading and writing skills.

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COURSE: HIST 97M
CREDITS: 5 Units

Southeast Asia region is made up of 11 modern nation-states that encompass amazing diversities. As such, its histories reflect these diversities; and writing of those histories involves and includes variety of views and approaches. As it is with writing history of any people, there are competing interpretations. In Southeast Asian histories, among areas of conflicting views are history from below versus from above; those of colonial powers versus those of colonized peoples; peasants versus elites; nationalist versus anticolonialist movements; and many more. Dichotomies are not always so marked–there can be nuanced differences. Introduction to historical practice through cross-section and overview of Southeast Asian historiography, and examination of competing visions of various aspects of Southeast Asian history.

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COURSE: HIST 1B
CREDITS: 5 Units

Introduction to history of the West and its connections to rest of world from 843 to 1715. Profound social, political, cultural, and intellectual changes that affected development of modern world. Topics covered include economic, social, and cultural aspects of feudal system; relationship between Church and empire; new religious movements (including the Reformation); formation of nation-states; relationship between Western Europe and non-European and non-Christian people and traditions.

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COURSE: ETHNMUS 50A
CREDITS: 5 Units

Survey of development of jazz in American culture. Discussion of different compositional/performance techniques and approaches that distinguish different sub-styles of jazz from one another, as well as key historical figures that shaped development of jazz from its early years through modern jazz. Important historical social issues (segregation, Depression, World War II, Civil Rights Movement) that intersect with history of U.S. and jazz music.

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COURSE: CHICANO M124
CREDITS: 5 Units

Overview of Mexican, Central American, and Latina/Latino immigration to U.S., examining social, political, and economic contexts out of which different waves of Latin American immigration have occurred.

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COURSE: PHILOS C119
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Study of selected philosophers or themes in history of philosophy from different periods (e.g. ancient and medieval, medieval and early modern).

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COURSE: HIST 119D
CREDITS: 5 Units

Special topics in history of Middle Ages, including religion in society, justice and law, politics of war and diplomacy, economic upheaval and renewal, and cultural representations. May be repeated for maximum of 16 units with topic and/or instructor change.

Middle Ages played critical role in construction of modern Western sexual and gender identities, as well as its conception of love and romance. Through close reading of primary sources, exploration of treatment of sex and sexuality in Middle Ages. Topics include love and romance, gender relations, homosexuality, marriage and adultery, gynecology and medicine, prostitution, masturbation, sexual deviancy, and eroticism.

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COURSE: ISSU9TJ
CREDITS: 10 UK credits (24 contact hours + independent study & full-day excursion)
OFFERED: Session 2

The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the origins, main features and impact of the Jacobite movement, while placing Scotland’s experience of Jacobitism firmly within its wider British and European context. The themes we will examine include the Stuart monarchy in general and James VII in particular; the nature of the multiple monarchy, looking at relations between Scotland, England and Ireland; Highlands and Lowlands; early modern warfare; and international diplomacy. The module seeks to deepen historical and transferable skills already acquired or to assist students coming to history as a discipline for the first time in acquiring such skills.

Excursion(s): A field trip to Killiecrankie, a key site during the first Jacobite rebellion of 1689 is included.

COURSE: ISSU9TW
CREDITS: 10 UK credits (24 contact hours + independent study & full-day excursion)
OFFERED: Session 1

The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the key events of the period between c.1286 and c.1424, and to allow them to develop an appreciation for the complexities of this pivotal period of Scottish history and how it shaped the kingdom and national identity of the people within it. The themes that it will examine include the Wars of Independence, kingship and dynastic crises, the role of the political and religious elites in Scotland during this era, the development of national culture and identity, critical assessment of key figures (such as John Balliol, Edward I, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce), the role of chronicles and epic poetry in recording the medieval past, and Scotland’s relationships with England, France and the Papacy. The module seeks to introduce or build and improve on history-specific skills including primary and secondary source analysis, research, and essay writing, as well as develop transferable analytical, communication and inter-personal skills.

Excursion(s): This module will include a field trip to the iconic Bannockburn Battlefield, with an opportunity to recreate the battle with the centre’s new interactive battle simulation technology.

COURSE: ISSU9WS
CREDITS: 10 UK credits (24 contact hours + independent study & full-day excursion)
OFFERED: Session 2

Between 1563 and 1736, during years of political and religious turmoil, around 4,000 people were accused of witchcraft in Scotland. This module will examine this significant aspect of Scottish history, looking at the phenomenon of witchcraft belief as part of early-modern culture, as well as its prosecution. Other themes that will be covered include: religion, popular culture, law and order, illness and death, community tensions and gender issues. We will also consider the continuity and development of ideas about magic and witchcraft.

The module aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the phenomena of witchcraft belief and prosecution in Scotland between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The focus of the module will be mostly on social and cultural themes but an understanding of the political, economic and religious context will be important.

Excursion(s): This module will visit the village of Dunning, Maggie Wall’s monument near Dunning, Robert Kirk’s burial site and the Fairy Tree at Aberfoyle, all sites related to early modern witchcraft in Scotland.

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