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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Area of Study:
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Available Courses by Program
COURSE: LAPLBE320 / LSHHBE320
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 4, B

This course examines the ethics of medical practices and issues in contemporary society. Coursework will pose questions regarding areas that affect human life and death. Topics include practices such as euthanasia, birth control and abortion, cloning, genetic engineering, and biomedical research. Students will analyze the ethical nature of covered practices, how they affect humans on individual and social scales, and the relationship between patients and physicians and medical structures in terms of information, consent, and responsibility. Case studies from local European as well as non-European countries will be closely considered for discussion and study.

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COURSE: LARSHC310
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 1, A

This course will approach Christianity both as an institution and as an intellectual tradition from a historical point of view. Course topics will focus on the roots of Christianity, Christianity during the Roman Empire, the Medieval church, the Papacy, monasticism, the schism between the Western and Eastern Churches, the Protestant Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, as well as the challenges faced by contemporary Christianity. The course will include visits to churches and monasteries in Florence.

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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: LARSRW320
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 3, B

This course will examine the presentation and position of women in major world religious traditions such as Christianity and Islam. Other religions, including pagan and neo-pagan cults and religions, will be introduced for comparative purposes. Much use will be made of religious texts, feminist criticism, and the study of the visual arts. Lectures will be enhanced by on-site teaching in Florence in order to examine the depiction of female saints in Italian art in the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.

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COURSE: GSHSAY190 / LARSAY190 / SHPPAY190 / SHSSAY190
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 2, A

This course provides students with an introduction to the art of yoga and meditation to gain an understanding of the philosophical and spiritual contexts that the discipline is rooted in. The course investigation begins with the notion of awareness, and the acquisition of the term through an overview of the principal asanas and their correct practice. The spiritual aspects of yoga are experienced in the form of various meditation techniques from different philosophies as well as the study of pranayama breathing exercises. Topics also include an examination of yoga props as well as dietary and nutritional guidelines, studied through the lens of yoga philosophy gleaned from sacred texts. The course will cover yoga traditions from ancient times to more contemporary interpretations.

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COURSE: GSANWA300 / GSHSWA300 / GSUSWA300 / LAPLWA300 / SHSSWA300
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 1, A

This course will introduce students to the world of walking as an artistic, philosophical, political, literary, inspirational – as well as physical – experience. While exploring different types of walking, the concept of “wanderlust” will also be analyzed and discussed from both an anthropological and philosophical perspective, to provide students with a thorough overview of the traveling and walking experience both in natural and urban landscapes. Different types of walking activities will be an integral component of the course, allowing students to reflect upon walking as an act of desire, escape, imagination, freedom, rebellion, and well-being.

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: LARSWR300
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 2, A

This is an introductory comparative study of the world’s major religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the religions of China and Japan. The course will examine a significant number of specific themes in all religions studied: the nature of this world and universe, the relationship between the individual and the transcendent, ultimate reality, the meaning and goals of worldly life, the importance of worship and rituals, the importance of devotion to the master or guru, ethics, and human action. Excerpts from important texts of each tradition will be analysed.

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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: GERMAN 56
CREDITS: 5 Units

Introduction to strains of German philosophy and political thought that focus on cosmopolitanism. Exploration of different historical and philosophical engagements with cosmopolitan projects.

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COURSE: ASIAN M60W
CREDITS: 5 Units

Pre-requisite: English Composition 3 or 3H or English as a Second Language 36.

Knowledge of Asian languages not required. General survey of Buddhist worldview and lifestyle, with focus on those religious doctrines and meditative practices most essential to various Asian traditions of Buddhism. Particular attention to problems involved in study of religion.  

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COURSE: RELIGN M60B
CREDITS: 5 Units

Knowledge of Chinese not required. General survey of religious life in China, with emphasis on everyday religious practice over doctrine, and themes common to Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism.

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COURSE: PHILOS 22
CREDITS: 5 Units

Systematic introduction to ethical theory, including discussion of egoism, utilitarianism, justice, responsibility, meaning of ethical terms, relativism, etc.

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COURSE: ISLM ST M20 / RELIGN M20
CREDITS: 5 Units

Genesis of Islam, its doctrines, and practices, with readings from Qur’an and Hadith; schools of law and theology; piety and Sufism; reform and modernism.

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COURSE: PHILOS 7
CREDITS: 5 Units

Introductory study of philosophical issues about nature of the mind and its relation to the body, including materialism, functionalism, behaviorism, determinism and free will, nature of psychological knowledge.

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COURSE: PHILOS 6
CREDITS: 5 Units

Study of some classical or contemporary works in political philosophy. Questions that may be discussed include What is justice? Why obey the law? Which form of government is best? How much personal freedom should be allowed in society?

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COURSE: PHILOS 31
CREDITS: 5 Units

Recommended for students who plan to pursue more advanced studies in logic. Elements of symbolic logic, sentential and quantificational; forms of reasoning and structure of language.

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COURSE: PHILOS 166
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Examination, through study of recent philosophical writings, of such topics as nature of law, relationship of law and morals, legal reasoning, punishment, and obligation to obey law.

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COURSE: PHILOS 129
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Preparation: one 4-unit psychology course, one philosophy course. Selected philosophical issues arising from psychological theories. Nature of perception and issues about perceptual psychology and development of important types of representation (e.g., of body, cause, agency) in early childhood. Relevance of computer simulation to accounts of thinking and meaning; relations between semantical theory and learning theory; psychological aspects of theory of syntax.

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COURSE: RELIGN M108
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Introduction to Quran, its early history, and form and function as scripture in Muslim history, civilization, and culture. Focus also on Quranic interpretation, its relationship to Islamic law, and Quran in contemporary discourses such as human rights, feminism, and contemporary reform movements. Primary sources include excerpts from Quran, Quranic interpretation, and selected writings of Muslim thinkers and reformists. Strong focus on analytical and writing skills through in-class assignments and discussion.

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COURSE: RELIGN 11
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Introduction to varieties of religious experience in Los Angeles and its environs. Presentations, required readings, and (where possible) site visits to examine selected faiths and spiritual practices throughout Southern California and provide deeper understanding of myriad ways that sacred is made manifest and encountered. Foundational academic orientations within study of religion (anthropological, historical, psychological, sociological, etc.) used as framework to examine and interpret almost unparalleled religious diversity of City of Angels. Recognizing that spiritual traditions are crucial reflection of region’s ever-changing demographics, emphasis on role of ethnicity, gender, nationality, and race in shaping of religious landscape.

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COURSE: GENDER M110C / PHILOS M187
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Pre-requisite: Gender studies 10 or one philosophy course.

Examination in depth of different theoretical positions on gender and women as they have been applied to study of philosophy. Emphasis on theoretical contributions made by new scholarship on women in philosophy. Critical study of concepts and principles that arise in discussion of women’s rights and liberation. Philosophical approach to feminist theories. May be repeated for credit with consent of instructor.

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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: ISSU9CR
CREDITS: 10 UK credits (24 contact hours + independent study & full-day excursion)
OFFERED: Session 1

Develop a critical understanding of the Celtic world in this interdisciplinary program drawing on archaeological, historical, literary and mythological sources. A unique course that will enable you to develop critical thinking skills in relation to the concept of religion whilst exploring more recent trends within the study of religion such as material religion and implicit religion to develop an in-depth knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Celtic religion, folklore and mythology from Ireland, Scotland and Wales (the Celtic fringe). This course is taught exclusively by a scholar from Ireland who speaks the indigenous language and has training in older forms of the Irish language, although no prior knowledge of the Celtic languages is required or necessary to take and succeed in this course.

From the Classical age to the 21st century, Celts have fascinated and frightened people. This course explores the evolving way Celtic people lived and died, what they believed and why, different ways in which Celtic peoples have been perceived by outsiders, the ways in which Celts have presented themselves to the world and considers why there has been a revival in 21st century of Celtic faiths. In answering these questions you be introduced to the pre-Christian beliefs of the Celtic and Indo-European worlds, to the historical narratives in which such beliefs are embedded, and to the methodology of investigating ancient and medieval belief systems. You will also explore the impact of Christianity in different eras upon the Celtic religions, folklore and mythology through the recurring themes of freedom and independence, especially in relation to the warrior and druid types, signs and symbols and the materiality of the land.

Following an educational field trip to the Scottish Crannog Centre and an ancient stone circle in Aberfeldy you will have the opportunity to consider and respond creatively to the notion of a “sacred landscape” and develop a more in-depth understanding of how legends and mythology become attached to and rooted within sacred sites.

Excursion(s): Course includes one excursion. Details to come.

COURSE: ISSU9RC
CREDITS: 10 UK credits (24 contact hours + independent study & full-day excursion)
OFFERED: Session 1

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the sociological and analytic study of religion, identity, conflict and violence within a local, national and global context. It will examine issues such as nationalism, colonialism, international affairs and the role of those charged with reporting such conflicts. Extensive attention will be paid to the representation of religious conflict in the arts, such as literature and films, alongside a detailed examination in of the violent groups that have arisen as an apparent reaction to religious fundamentalism as a rising narrative of a new cultural war.

Excursion(s): Students will attend a guided visit to Stirling Castle.

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