Humanities - Interdisciplinary Major - Course Catalogue Skip Navigation


(For 2015–2016 academic year)

Director D. McCabe

Students who wish to focus their studies in disciplinary or interdisciplinary areas not encompassed by a single department in the arts and humanities may pursue a topical major in the division. In order to qualify for this major, a student must provide the division director with a proposed program of study and a rationale for this program during the spring term of the sophomore year. No proposal for a topical major will receive approval after the second month of the student’s fifth term. Customarily, the major is available for students who wish to devote special attention to studies such as comparative literature or some combination of creative arts, such as music and fine arts, or drama, literature, and stage design. Students majoring in this topical area will, in the last term, write a substantial integrating paper as an independent study; one course credit is earned for this senior project. Students interested in such a major program are strongly urged to discuss their proposed plans of study with appropriate academic advisers and with the division director well in advance of the deadline specified above.

Although Colgate does not have a formal major in comparative literature, it is fortunate to have a number of courses in literature in translation. Some of these courses are offered in conjunction with university studies programs, but all count toward the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. Please check the departmental listings for more complete information.

CLAS 221, The Epic Voice and Its Echoes
CLAS 222, The Tragic and Comic Muse
CLAS 224, The Age of Augustus
CLAS 225, Poets, Lovers, and Monsters
CLAS 230, Classical Mythology
East Asian Languages and Literatures
CHIN 222, China through Literature and Film
JAPN 222, Japan through Literature and Film
ENGL 302, The Literature of the Early Middle Ages
ENGL 402, Medieval Celtic Literature
GERM 330, Kafka
HUMN 330, The Western Esoteric Tradition
Jewish Studies
JWST 204, Jewish Fiction sincethe Holocaust
JWST 205, Yiddish Fiction in Translation
JWST 303, Jewish Fiction before the War
RELG/JWST 208, The Hebrew Bible in America
Romance Languages and Literature
FREN 222, French Literature in Translation
ITAL 222, Italian Literature in Translation
SPAN 225, Modern Latin American Literature in Translation
SPAN 226, Latin American Women Writers
Russian and Eurasian Studies
REST 253, 19th-Century Russian Literature
REST 260, The Émigrés: Lives of Remarkable Russians
REST 314, Dostoevsky and His World
REST 358, The New Russians: Post-Soviet Literature, Art, and Film

The Division of Arts and Humanities also offers individual courses, which can be used to fulfill one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Course Offerings

330  The Western Esoteric Tradition
J. Godwin
A survey of religious and philosophical movements which distinguish themselves from the mainstream, “exoteric” traditions. These include Hermeticism and Gnosticism; the “occult sciences” of alchemy, astrology, and magic; and the more recent currents of Christian theosophy, Rosicrucianism, esoteric Freemasonry, and the occult revivals of the 19th century. The course reads basic texts and scholarly studies of these traditions, and considers the different approaches and methodologies that give access to them.

291, 391, 491  Independent Study