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Arts and Ideas in the Humanities (Major)

In Arts and Ideas in the Humanities, students encounter global cultures through their distinctive artistic production and develop the interpretive and analytical skills to understand these works. Courses draw on interdisciplinary and comparative methodologies.

The Arts and Ideas in the Humanities Major is open to ALL LSA Students.

Courses & Requirements

Many courses—in art history, dance, literature, music, and visual arts—focus on specific historical moments or contexts, ranging from ancient times to the 21st century. To understand art at its deepest level, one must reflect on its material origins and have some experience in its production: the Arts & Ideas curriculum provides training in the actual practice of these art forms. Students thus gain an understanding of global cultural production from three key perspectives: thoughtful analytic engagement; historical depth; and studio discovery.

Through intensive discussion, writing, and studio practice, students become more sophisticated analysts, critical historians, and well-informed producers of culture.

Effective for students who declare Fall 2020 and after:

  • Prerequisites: None
  • Requirements: Minimum Credits 33

Arts & Ideas Overview

I. How to Think in the Arts and Humanities: 6 credits

All majors are required to take 6 credits of How To Think courses, preferably in a balance of Arts and Humanities topics. 

RCHUMS 201: How to Think (Humanities)

RCHUMS 202: How to Think (Creative Arts) 

II. Core Humanities: 6 credits

Must be fulfilled with the following courses primarily designed to treat at least two art forms.

RCHUMS 290: The Experience of Arts and Ideas of the 20th Century

RCHUMS 291: The Experience of Arts and Ideas of the 19th Century

RCHUMS 304: Time, History, Arts, and Culture

RCHUMS 305: Art & Resistance 

RCHUMS 306: History of Writing

RCHUMS 312: Central European Cinema

RCHUMS 319: Topics in Film

RCHUMS 334: Topics in Humanities

RCHUMS/ENVIRON 337: Children Under Fire: Narratives of Sustainability

RCHUMS 338: Growing Up Near the Great Lakes: Reading and Writing Landscapes of Childhood

RCHUMS 342: Representing the Holocaust in Literature, Film and the Visual Arts

RCHUMS 387: Renaissance Drama

RCHUMS /AAS/HONORS/WGS 354 (WOMENSTD 354): Race and Identity in Music

RCHUMS/ASIAN 373: The Performing Arts in South and Southeast Asia

RCHUMS 410: Advanced Arts and Ideas seminar

III. Core Arts: 6 credits

Courses fulfilling this requirement may be chosen from offerings at the RC and across the University at the 200 level or above, including those from the RC Visual Arts, Music, and Drama programs.

Choose these courses in consultation with the Arts & Ideas advisor. Make an appointment here.

IV. Focus: 15 Credits

Courses fulfilling this requirement converge around a single art form in deep historical and theoretical context, or two art forms in relation to each other. The rationale informing course selections in this section must be approved by the Arts & Ideas advisor.

Courses may be chosen from among offerings in RCARTS, RCHUMS, RCMUSIC, and across the university at the 300-level or above. RC Language Readings courses may be counted in this section. With advisor approval, courses taken abroad may also count. Make an advising appointment here.

V. Cultural and Historical Perspectives Requirement

Of the total coursework in sections I-IV above, at least one course must have a significant focus on the world before 1900 and at least one (separate) course must have a significant focus outside the English-speaking or European worlds.

Courses fulfilling this requirement are to be determined in consultation with the Arts & Ideas Advisor. Make an advising appointment here.

Effective for students who declared Winter 2018 - Summer 2020: Arts and Ideas Major requirements

Prerequisites

None.

Requirements

A minimum of five courses to be elected from (1) History and Theory and (2) Visual Studies, Performance and Studio Arts, completed by seven courses of Specialized Study. (Total: minimum of 12 courses)

  1.  
    1. History and Theory: There are two areas: (A) Historical Perspectives and (B) Issues of Modernity. Students take two courses in one area and one in the remaining area:
      1. Historical Perspectives
        • RCHUMS 309: Classical Sources of Modern Culture
        • RCHUMS / ENVIRON 337: Children Under Fire: Narratives of Sustainability
        • RCHUMS 338: Growing Up Near the Great Lakes: Reading and Writing Landscapes of Childhood
        • RCHUMS 344 / HISTART 342: Reason and Passion in the 18th Century
        • RCHUMS 346 / HISTART 352: Art and Philosophy in the Renaissance Tradition
        • RCHUMS / AAS/ HONORS / WGS 354 (WOMENSTD 354): Race and Identity in Music
        • RCHUMS 371: Political Modernism: The Artist in the Nightmare of History: Picasso, Eliot, Orwell (only through SU18)
        • RCHUMS / ASIAN 373: The Performing Arts in South and Southeast Asia
      2. Issues of Modernity
        • RCHUMS 290: The Experience of Arts and Ideas of the 20th Century
        • RCHUMS 291: The Experience of Arts and Ideas of the 19th Century
        • RCHUMS 305: Cultural Confrontations in the Arts
        • RCHUMS / ASIAN 308: Art and Culture: Arts and Ideas of South and Southeast Asia
        • RCHUMS 318: Critical Approaches to Literature
        • RCHUMS 342: Representing the Holocaust in Literature, Film and the Visual Arts
        • RCHUMS 371: Political Modernism: The Artist in the Nightmare of History: Picasso, Eliot, Orwell (F18)
        • RCHUMS 372: The Subject in the Aftermath of Revolution
    2. Visual Studies, Performance, and Studio Arts: Two courses selected from one or more of the following areas.
      1. Film/Video
        • RCHUMS 217: Fathers and Sons
        • RCHUMS 218: The Hero as Outsider, Outcast or Outlaw
        • RCHUMS / FTVM 236: Art of the Film
        • RCHUMS / SLAVIC 312: Central European Cinema
        • RCHUMS / FTVM / SLAVIC 313: Russian and Ukrainian Cinema
      2. Dance
        • RCHUMS 235: Topics in World Dance
        • RCHUMS 260 / DANCE 241: The Art of Dance: An Introduction to American and European Dance History
        • RCHUMS 444: George Balanchine and the Transformation of American Dance
      3. Studio Arts
        • RCARTS 268: Introduction to Visual Thinking and Creativity
        • RCARTS 269: Elements of Design
        • RCARTS 285: Photography
        • RCARTS 286: Sculpture
        • RCARTS 287: Printmaking
        • RCARTS 288: Beginning Drawing
        • RCARTS 289: Ceramics
      4. Music
        • RCMUSIC 249 (RCHUMS 249): Foundations of Music
        • RCHUMS 251: Topics in Music
        • RCHUMS 253: Choral Ensemble
        • RCHUMS 256: Studying and Playing Southeast Asian Music
        • RCHUMS 259: Musical Improvisation
        • RCHUMS 301: Beginning Indonesian Orchestra
        • RCHUMS 302: Beginning Indonesian Orchestra
        • RCHUMS 303: Indonesian Orchestra
        • RCMUSIC 320 (RCHUMS 250): Chamber Music
        • RCMUSIC 334 (RCHUMS 252): Topics in Musical Expression
        • RCHUMS 350: Creative Musicianship
        • RCHUMS 351: Creative Musicianship: Theory Lab
        • RCHUMS 352: Found Instruments - Building, Design and Performance
        • RCHUMS 356: The Symphonic Century: Music and Revolution in the 19th Century
        • RCMUSIC 357 (RCHUMS 258): Afro-Cuban Drumming and Styles

    3. Specialized Study: Seven upper-level courses (300 and above) distributed among two areas of focus. Four courses must be selected from one area and three in the remaining area. These areas and the specific courses considered appropriate for inclusion are determined by the student in consultation with the Arts and Ideas designated advisor. Possible areas of specialization include, for example: drama and anthropology; photography and history of art; literature and history; creative writing and African-American studies. However, no more than one of the two specializations may be in the practice of an art form.

LSA Honors Subplan & Thesis

To be eligible for an LSA Honors subplan in Arts & Ideas, students should have a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.4, and a 3.5 grade point average in courses counting toward the major.

Students who elect an Honors degree will write an Honors Thesis during the final year of their course work. More information about electing an Honors Thesis can be found here.


Faculty members who teach courses that students can integrate into an Arts and Ideas plan of study include:

 

Guest faculty join the RC faculty from time to time, bringing their unique expertise to enrich our students.