Study the world’s greatest literature and art, and the cultures that produced them. In Cultural Foundations, a three-course sequence, you journey from ancient times to today as you examine the most influential artistic works – not only the great books but music, architecture, and art – that are the building blocks of cultures around the world.
Studying the Great Works
Explore epics like The Odyssey, Gilgamesh, and the Ramayana. Discover the Temple of Hera, the Basilica of St. Denis, and the Forbidden City. Consider Shakespeare’s plays, Michelangelo’s sculptures, and Chaplin’s films. Analyze poetry by Rumi, novels by Garcia Marquez, and lyrics by the Beatles.
Experience these great works firsthand: read original texts and visit museums, theaters, and concert halls in your surrounding city. As you do, you will make connections across borders and eras that help you understand how art and society shape one another.
Building a Foundation
Each class in the Cultural Foundations sequence covers a historical period from ancient to modern times. Present your interpretations of great works and consider your classmates’ perspectives through lively debate, taking advantage of the small seminar-style classes. Instructors ground your analysis of artistic traditions and historical events in global themes that dominate each era -- from the development of the first cities to modern cross-cultural exchange.