Liberal Arts

Perspectives Curriculum

The structure of the Perspectives Curriculum guarantees that students will discover a variety of liberal arts disciplines beyond their major. Through exposure to the major liberal arts traditions, they emerge with an understanding of the different kinds of questions and methods that each of these knowledge communities engages as well as tools to develop critically informed perspectives that are appreciative of diversity and conducive to becoming ethical, informed, and active participants in society. Students are given a great deal of flexibility to choose individual courses that particularly interest or challenge them, and even to build clusters of courses that promise the greatest degree of integration with their major.

Courses in this perspective foster critical and intellectual engagement with creative works by examining them in historical, aesthetic, philosophical, cultural, and/or socio-political contexts with a concern for contemporary interpretations. Students may choose from the following courses:

DA 203  Perspectives in World Dance
MU 137 Listening to Music
MU 139 History of Jazz
MU 201 History of Music: European
MU 202 History of Music: American
MU 203 Perspectives in World Music
MU 233 History of Opera
MU 256 Deconstructing 20th-Century Art Music
MU 257 The Musical Premiere
TH 203 Perspectives in World Theatre
TH 204 Theatre into Film
TH 205 Dress Codes: American Clothes in the Twentieth Century
TH 315 Topics in Contemporary Theatre
VM 105 Introduction to Visual Arts
VM 203 History of Photography: 19th Century to the 1970's
VM 205 History of Photography: 1970 to the Present
VM 210 History of Western Art I: Renaissance and Baroque
VM 211 History of Western Art II: 18th- and 19th-Century Art
VM 212 History of Western Art III: Modern
VM 213 History of Western Art IV: Post World War II
VM 214 History of Non-Western Art I:  East Asian Arts
VM 215 History of Non-Western Art II: South Asian Arts
VM 216 History of Non-Western Art: Africa and African Diaspora Arts
VM 217 History of Non-Western Art: Arts of the Americas and the Pacific
VM 368 Topics in Art History and Digital Photography (offered at Kasteel Well only)

Courses in this perspective challenge students to articulate the foundations for their beliefs and judgments and subject these value commitments to critical analysis. Students may choose from the following courses:

HS 202 Sophomore Honors Seminar II
PH 105 Introduction to Ethics
PH 110 Ethics and Justice
PH 200 Contemporary Ethics
PH 203 Special Topics in Ethics or Value Theory
PH 204 Environmental Ethics
PH 210 Narrative Ethics
PL 328 Political Thought

Courses in this perspective emphasize a global perspective and help prepare students to work and live in an increasingly interconnected and multicultural world. Students may fill the Global Diversity Perspective simultaneously with any other requirement, and may choose from the following courses:

CC 203 Intercultural Communication
DA 203 Perspectives in World Dance
HI 201 Non-Western World History
HI 204 Islam in the World
IN 153 The Africana Diaspora: Through Lens and Word
IN 203 Post-Colonial Cultures
IN 210 Topics in Global Studies
IN 226 Nationalism, Multiculturalism, and Identity
IN 236 Global Protests: From Tahrir Square to Occupy Wall Street and Beyond
IN 318 Women, Media, and Globalization
IN 321 Asian/Pacific Rim Film and Literature
IN 322 Global Identity, Local Consumption
IN 323 Global Cities
IN 325 Space, Race and Power
LI 211 Topics in Global Literature
LI 381 Global Literatures
LI 396 International Women Writers
LI 423 Topics in Global Literature
MU 203 Perspectives in World Music
PH 112 Religion in Eastern Cultures
SO 206 Gender in a Global Perspective
TH 203 Perspectives in World Theatre
VM 214 History of Non-Western Art I: East Asian Arts
VM 215 History of Non-Western Art II: South Asian Arts
VM 301 Post-Colonial Cinema
VM 410 Seminar in Non-Western Art
VM 418 Transnational Asian Cinemas

Courses in this perspective foster an understanding of the cultural pluralism of American society and focus on understanding of the historical, artistic, and/or political contexts of cultural traditions and an appreciation of the value of diversity itself as a democratic and intellectual strength. Students may fulfill the U.S. Diversity Perspective simultaneously with any other requirement, and may choose from the following courses:

CC 344 Rhetoric of Social Movements
CD 153 Images of the Disabled
HI 203 Social Movements in the U.S.
HI 211 African American History
HS 102 First-Year Honors Seminar II
IN 152 Cultural Constructions of Identity
IN 223 Blacks, Whites, and Blues
JR 555 Reporting Issues of Diversity
LI 208 U.S. Multicultural Literatures
LI 209 Topics in U.S. Multicultural Literature
LI 210 American Women Writers
LI 361 Native American Literature
LI 382 African American Literature
LI 481 Topics in African American Literature
MU 139 History of Jazz
PL 332 Civil Rights
PS 306 Psychology of Prejudice
SO 200 Communities and Race Relations
TH 313 African American Theatre and Culture
VM 307 Communication Ethics and Cultural Diversity

Courses in this perspective foster an understanding of the context and content of societal actions and events and provide students with insight into the evolution of cultures, people, and countries over time. Students may choose from the following courses:

HI 102 Western Civilization and Culture
HI 200 Contemporary World History
HI 201 Non-Western World History
HI 203 Social Movements in the U.S.
HI 204 Islam in the World
HI 205 History of England
HI 208 The World Since 1914
HI 211 African American History
HI 220 Russian and Soviet History
HI 223 Renaissance and Reformation Thought
HI 235 History of the United States
PL 225 U.S. Government and Politics
PL 240 Communication, Politics, and Law
PL 332 Civil Rights
PL 333 The First Amendment

Courses in this perspective challenge students to understand and appraise the role of interdisciplinary knowledge in arts, culture, and/or human affairs by exploring how at least two disciplinary approaches can be brought together to address a topic in a given area. All freshman and all first-year transfer students are required to complete one 100-level course in the first year of study at Emerson. Upper-level transfer students shall complete one course at the 200-level or above. Students may choose from the following courses:

First-Year Seminars

IN 107 Forbidden Knowledge
IN 108 Love and Eroticism in Western Culture
IN 111 The City
IN 117 Women Artists in Cultural Contexts
IN 123 Top: American Popular Culture
IN 123 Top: Behind the Scenes
IN 123 Top: Blood Rites
IN 123 Top: Culture, Art & Soc Change*
IN 123 Top: Communication Revolutions
IN 123 Top: Civic Media in Action
IN 123 Top: Coming of Age*
IN 123 Top: Ethics & Communication
IN 123 Top: Literature of Photography
IN 123 Top: Science & Psychology of Survival*
IN 126 Literature of Extreme Situations*
IN 127 Politics of the Past: History*
IN 130 Exoticism in Literature and Art
IN 135 Ways of Seeing
IN 138 Staging American Women
IN 146 Making Monsters*
IN 150 Creativity in Context
IN 152 Cultural Constructions of Identity
IN 154 Power and Privilege*
IN 155 Rethinking Race*

*Multiple sections of this course are offered

Upper-Level Courses

IN 200 Introduction to Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
IN 203 Post-Colonial Cultures
IN 206 Introduction to Digital Media & Culture
IN 208 Rainbow Nation?
IN 210 Top: Living (with) Borders and Borderlines
IN 212 Top: Emotions & Everyday Life
IN 212 Top: Psychoanalysis & the Arts
IN 216 Top: Digital Media & Culture Lab
IN 223 Blacks, Whites, and Blues
IN 235 The Arab Uprisings
IN 319 Feminist Cultural Theory
IN 322 Global Identity, Local Consumption
IN 324 Documenting Visual Culture
IN 326 The Dammed Shawsheen: Blending Ecology & Economics in the Real World
IN 331 Key Contemporary Thinkers: Marx
IN 332 Key Contemporary Thinkers: DuBois
IN 333 Civic Media
IN 374 Top: Gender, Sexuality, and the American Media Industry
IN 374 Top: Gender, Sexuality & the Middle East
IN 374 Top: Ghosts of the Past, Specters of the Present
IN 374 Top: Neither Angels nor Demons: The Problem of Good and Evil
IN 402 Living Art in Real Space: Multidisciplinary Art & the Collaborative Process
IN 403 The Shock of the Old: Representations and Renaissance Culture
IN 406 Queer Dreams: Politics, Culture and Difference

Courses in this perspective foster a critical, intellectual, and emotional engagement with literature that stimulates reflection on how literary texts use language to communicate about fundamental human concerns. Students may choose from the following courses:

CC 264 Oral Presentation of Literature
HS 102 First-Year Honors Seminar II
LI 201 Literary Foundations
LI 202 American Literature
LI 203 British Literature
LI 204 Topics in Literature
LI 208 U.S. Multicultural Literatures
LI 209 Topics in U.S. Multicultural Literature
LI 210 American Women Writers
LI 211 Topics in Global Literature

Courses in this perspective explore existing knowledge in particular natural or physical domains, learn that science is an approach to acquiring more reliable knowledge of the natural world, and identify how science pertains to students’ own lives. Students may choose from the following courses:

HS 201 Sophomore Honors Seminar I
SC 210 Human Health and Disease
SC 211 Food and Nutrition
SC 212 Evolution of Human Nature
SC 213 The Brain and Behavior
SC 214 Plagues and Pandemics
SC 215 Personal Genetics and Identity
SC 216 DNA and Society
SC 220 Energy and Sustainability
SC 221 Meteorology
SC 222 Earth Science: Natural Disasters
SC 223 Climate Change
SC 224 Ecology and Conservation
SC 225 The Science and Politics of Water
SC 226 Plants and People
SC 290 Topics in Science
SC 291 Topics in Human Biology and Health
SC 292 Topics in Environmental Science

Courses in this perspective examine the social and/or psychological process and mechanisms that influence human behavior and learn to appreciate that people’s actions and thoughts reflect factors intrinsic to the person (such as personality, values, and motives) as well as social influences inherent in situations, groups, institutions, communities, and societies. Students may choose from the following courses:

CD 153 Images of the Disabled
EC 203 Principles of Economics
PL 231 Personality, Power, and Politics
PS 101 Introductory Psychology
PS 200 Social Psychology
PS 201 Abnormal Psychology
PS 202 Developmental Psychology
PS 203 Cognitive Psychology
SO 150 Principles of Sociology
SO 200 Communities and Race Relations
SO 206 Gender in a Global Perspective
SO 208 Visual Society
SO 210 Topics in Sociology
SO 303 Culture and Power
SO 310 Advanced Topics in Sociology
SO 360 Deviance and Social Control

Courses in this perspective challenge students to reason logically to conclusions, read mathematics with understanding and communicate mathematical ideas with clarity and coherence, calculate mathematical equations with the appropriate methods and formula, and use mathematics and statistics to solve practical, real-world problems. Students may choose from the following courses (course waivers may apply):

MT 102 Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning
MT 106 Business Mathematics
MT 207 Statistics

Courses in this perspective teach students to express themselves in the target language using a range of lexical items and grammatical constructions, demonstrate a growing ability to comprehend information and ideas as well as a variety of textual productions, and obtain an appreciation and understanding of the culture affiliated with the target language. Students may choose from the following courses (course waivers may apply):

CD 162 American Sign Language 1
CD 208 American Sign Language 2
CD 309 American Sign Language 3
CD 409 American Sign Langauge 4
LF 101 Elementary French I
LF 102 Elementary French II
LS 101 Elementary Spanish I
LS 102 Elementary Spanish II

Events Spotlight

Book Celebration for Miranda Banks, Assistant Professor, Visual and Media Arts


This event celebrated Miranda Banks' new book The Writers, the only comprehensive qualitative analysis of the history of writers and writing in the film, television, and streaming media industries in America. Featuring in-depth interviews with more than 50 writers — including Norman Lear and Frank Pierson —The Writers delivers a compelling, behind-the-scenes look at the role and rights of writers in Hollywood and New York over the past century.

Granted unprecedented access to the archives of the Writers Guild Foundation, Banks also mines more than 100 never-before-published oral histories with legends such as Nora Ephron and Ring Lardner Jr., whose insight and humor provide a window onto the enduring priorities, policies, and practices of the Writers Guild.