Note: The Arts and Ideas in the Humanities Major is now open to ALL LSA Students.
The Arts and Ideas in the Humanities Program offers a broad array of interdisciplinary courses in literature, the visual arts and music. Many courses focus on specific historical moments or contexts ranging from ancient times to the 21st century understood in global terms. Students are encouraged to encounter different cultures through their distinctive artistic production, and to develop the interpretive and analytical skills appropriate to an understanding of these works. Courses in visual studies, dance, studio art and music provide training in comparative analysis as well as in the actual practice of these art forms. By combining studio practice with the academic study of art, the Arts and Ideas curriculum enables students to understand global art production from three important perspectives: thoughtful analytic engagement; historical depth; and in the active space of studio discovery.
Arts and Ideas in the Humanities courses stress interdisciplinary and comparative methodologies. Students investigate how different forms of art speak to one another: how they argue or agree, how they overlap or diverge in form and content. In addition, by combining theory with practice, many Arts and Ideas courses encourage students to reflect on the material origins of art. To understand art at its deepest level, one must have some experience in its production. Through intensive discussion, writing, and studio practice, students become more sophisticated analysts, critical historians, and well-informed producers of culture.
To major in Arts and Ideas in the Humanities, students combine three academic courses in history and theory with two courses focusing on visual studies, studio arts, dance, and music. To complete the concentration, students then construct an individualized program of specialized study in two areas of focus, a total of seven courses. In the specialized study portion of the Arts and Ideas Concentration, different area combinations are possible, depending on the interests of the student. Possible combinations include: philosophy and art history; literature and psychology; Southeast Asian studies and musicology; or African-American studies and photography. The full program requires a minimum of 12 courses, or about 37 credit hours of work.