Arts & Human Courses

Prof. Sarah Lewis lectures in front of a screen

Courses designated ARTS or HUMAN in the course catalogue have been specifically designed to incorporate the very best of our disciplines, from boundary-pushing arts practice, to close interpretation of textual readings, to encounters with works of art and history.

Fall 2022

HUMAN 10A: A Humanities Colloquium: From Homer to Valeria Luiselli
Glenda Carpio, Stephen Greenblatt, Jill Lepore, Luke Menand, Namwali Serpell, Alison Simmons

2,500 years of essential works, taught by six professors. Humanities 10a will likely include works by Homer, Sophocles, Plato, Shakespeare, Descartes, Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Douglass, Dickinson, Woolf, Morrison and Luiselli. One 75-minute lecture plus a 75-minute discussion seminar led by the professors every week. Students will receive instruction in critical writing one hour a week, in writing labs and individual conferences. Students also have opportunities to participate in a range of cultural experiences, ranging from plays and musical events to museum and library collections.  

Note: The course is open only to first-year students. Students who complete Humanities 10a meet the Harvard College Curriculum divisional distribution requirement for Arts & Humanities. Students who take both Humanities 10a and Humanities 10b fulfill the College Writing requirement. This is the only course outside of Expository Writing that satisfies the College Writing requirement. No auditors. The course may not be taken Pass/Fail. Students must apply to be admitted to the course. Enrollment is limited to 90.

Hum 10 will hold three virtual info sessions to introduce the course to interested students: a first session with one of the course heads and the head teaching fellow on Tuesday, August 16 at 10:30am ET; a second with leaders of the Hum Alum Mentorship Program on Wednesday, August 17 at 8pm ET; a third with one of the course heads and the head teaching fellow on Thursday, August 18 at 10:30am ET. Applications will be due online via Canvas on Sunday, August 21 at 12pm ET. See the Canvas site for full information and Zoom links.

HUMAN 20: A Colloquium in the Visual Arts
Jinah Kim, Joseph Koerner, Yukio Lippit, David Roxburgh, Jennifer Roberts

An introduction to major works of art and architecture from around the world, co-taught by a team of professors. Subjects examined in 2022 include Hokusai, the Parthenon and Persepolis, Albrecht Dürer, the Vietnam War Memorial, the illustrated Bhavata Purana, Chinese landscape painting, Frederick Douglass and photography, Max Beckmann, and Robert Hooke. Consists of one 75-minute lecture plus a 60-minute discussion seminar led by the professors every week. Students will also participate in weekly looking labs and special lectures, workshops, and screenings outside the class.

Note: The course is open to all undergraduate students. Students who complete Humanities 20 meet the General Education distribution requirement for Arts & Humanities. No auditors are allowed, and the course may not be taken Pass/Fail. Enrollment is limited to 72.

HUMAN 90: Making It: Mahindra Scholars Seminar

Robin Kelsey , Lauren Kaminsky

 

"Making It: Mahindra Scholars Seminar" is a new course for sophomores, regardless of intended Concentration, who wish to deepen their engagement in the humanities. Each week in the seminar, guided by a distinguished guest, we will focus on a particular creative form – the novel, for example – with the aim of refining our powers of observation, interpretation, and articulation. In this way, we will learn new ways to approach the meaning of poems, speeches, paintings, sculptures, plays, arguments, and songs. The course will not only give us insight into these creative forms; it will also enhance our relationship to the world.

 

Note: The course is designed for sophomores, who will receive preference through an application process. However, students from all class years are welcome to apply. Students who enroll in both HUM 90 in the fall and HUM 93: Place and Planet: Mahindra Scholars Lab in the spring will earn the distinction of being named Mahindra Scholars, an honor conferred by the Mahindra Humanities Center through the Undergraduate Scholars Initiative and the Intergenerational Humanities Project (I-HUM). Students in HUM 90 are encouraged but not required to enroll in HUM 93 in the spring. Preference for admission to HUM 93 will be given to those students who have completed HUM 90.

Spring 2023

HUMAN 10B: A Humanities Colloquium: From Ellison to Homer

Beth Blum, Ambrogio Camozzi Pistoja, Kathleen Coleman, Stephen Greenblatt, Jesse McCarthy, Luke Menand

 

2,500 years of essential works, taught by six professors. Humanities 10b will likely include works by Homer, Sappho, Sophocles, Virgil, Dante, Boccaccio, Montaigne, Austen, Du Bois and Joyce, along with the Book of Genesis. One 75-minute lecture plus a 75-minute discussion seminar led by the professors every week. Students will receive instruction in critical writing one hour a week, in writing labs and individual conferences. Students also have opportunities to participate online or in person, depending on public health conditions, in a range of cultural experiences, ranging from plays and musical events to museum and library collections.

Note: The course is open only to first-year students who have completed Humanities 10a. Students who complete Humanities 10a meet the Harvard College Curriculum divisional distribution requirement for Arts & Humanities. Students who take both Humanities 10a and Humanities 10b fulfill the College Writing requirement. This is the only course outside of Expository Writing that satisfies the College Writing requirement. No auditors. The course may not be taken Pass/Fail. 

HUMAN 93: The Nature of Cities: Mahindra Scholars Lab

Bruno Carvalho and Tiya Miles

  

What is a city? What is nature? Where is nature in cities? How does urbanization transform the environment? How do environments and ecologies shape city life and relations among residents? This course will encourage students to submit intuitions about cities and nature to pressure in order to better understand how the past converges in the present, and to enlarge our sense of possibilities for the future. Assigned readings will focus on the Americas from the 1800s onwards, on topics such as rivers, streets, gardens, ports, metals, parks, walls, and lots. Greater Boston will act as an anchor and connecting thread throughout the semester, as we draw on comparisons and connections to other places, such as Rio de Janeiro, Detroit, Mexico City, and Los Angeles. Final projects for the course will engage with the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford, including a digital visual representation and a transformative intervention grounded on the site and in its history.

 

Note: This course has limited enrollment. Preference will be given to students previously enrolled in HUM 90: Making It.