Comparative Arts Major

As a comparative arts major, you’ll study the relationship between literature and one or several other arts—music, drama, dance, the visual arts, and film—across national, cultural, and linguistic borders. Courses track universal themes such as individual identity, memory, human suffering, violence, beauty, ethics, and dreams across nationalities. Since knowing the language is essential to understanding a given literature and culture, all majors study a second language and literature at an advanced level. This major is housed in Comparative Literature.

sample courses:

Romantic Revolutions in European Music and Culture

The early nineteenth century in Europe witnessed sweeping changes in social, political, and cultural life, but some of the most fascinating happened in music. This course considers intersections between Romantic thinking about music--which inspired an idealistic vision of the art form as a source of quasi-spiritual experience-- and other contemporary "revolutions." To what extent was Romantic music a "holy art" that offered a refuge from the world? In what ways was it a worldly participant in larger currents in society and culture? By exploring these questions and more, students will develop the skills and framework needed to incorporate works of music into their investigation of enduring issues in history and the humanities.

Introduction to Digital Humanities: Cultural Analysis in the Information Age

It is a truism that computers have changed our lives and the way we think and interact. But in fact systematic efforts to apply current technologies to the study of history and culture have been rare. This course will enable students to consider how these technologies might transform the humanities. We will explore the various ways in which ideas and data in the humanities can be represented, analyzed, and communicated. We will also reflect on how the expansion of information technology has transformed and is continuing to transform the humanities, both with regard to their role in the university and in society at large.

our students have gone on to become:


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