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Northwestern University

FD-LA: Literature and Arts

NOTE: Students who started taking classes at Northwestern in Spring 2023 or earlier should refer to the Area VI: Literature and Fine Arts page. The information below pertains to students who start at Northwestern after Spring 2023.

By taking courses in literature and art, students come to understand and appreciate the achievements of the creative imagination in a range of artistic forms and media. These include printed and oral literature, theater, music, the visual arts, and film and digital media. Students learn to describe, value, and critique such works; to identify and query the ideas and perspectives they represent; and to consider them as an array of aesthetic practices through which human beings have attempted to explore and transform their worlds. As students encounter the power of literature and art to imagine the breadth of human experience, they come to grasp the role of the arts in the evolution of human ways of knowing, being, feeling and expressing. At the same time, students examine the historical, cultural, and social contexts in which creative works are produced, which they at once reflect and contest. In recognizing the many ways in which texts and artistic works create meaning, and by paying attention to the factors that influence such processes, students gain exposure to the descriptive vocabularies, theoretical approaches, and reading practices common to criticism on literature and the arts. What is more, they develop essential skills in critical thinking and cultural analysis that will make them more conscientious readers of texts, images, and objects of all kinds.

learning objectives

Courses in Literature and Arts are designed to achieve the following learning outcomes:

Choosing courses

This list includes a wide range of literature courses as well as courses in music and in the visual arts. Students with good skills in certain languages other than English can satisfy the requirement by taking advanced courses taught in various languages.

Approved Courses

Foundational Discipline - Literature and Art
Subject Number Title
ART 270-0 Contemporary Art Survey (or FD-HS)
ART 272-0 Critical Methods for Contemporary Art
ART 372-0 Seminar
ART_HIST 220-0 Introduction to African Art (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ART_HIST 222-0 Introduction to Art of the African Diaspora (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ART_HIST 224-0 Introduction to Ancient Art (or FD-HS)
ART_HIST 225-0 Introduction to Medieval Art (or may be applied to FD-HS)
ART_HIST 232-0 Introduction to the History of Architecture: 1400 to Present (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ART_HIST 235-0 Introduction to Latin American Art (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ART_HIST 240-0 Introduction to Asian Art (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ART_HIST 250-0 Introduction to Early Modern European Art (or may be applied to FD-HS)
ART_HIST 255-0 Introduction to Modernism (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ART_HIST 260-0 Introduction to Contemporary Art (or FD-HS)
ART_HIST 320-1 Medieval Art Byzantine (or may be applied to FD-HS)
ART_HIST 320-3 Medieval Art: Late Medieval (or FD-HS)
ART_HIST 330-1 Early Modern European Art 1400-1500 (or may be applied to FD-HS)
ART_HIST 340-1 Baroque Art: Italy & Spain 1600-1800 (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ART_HIST 342-0 Eighteenth-Century European Art (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ART_HIST 350-1 19th Century Art 1: 1789-1848 (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ART_HIST 350-2 19th Century Art 2: 1848-1914 (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ART_HIST 359-0 Special Topics in 19th-Century Art (or FD-HS)
ART_HIST 360-1 20th Century Art 1 (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ART_HIST 375-0 Media Theory (with HUM 225-0)
ART_HIST 378-0 The Global City (or FD-HS)
ART_HIST 386-0 Art of Africa (or may be applied to FD-HS)2
ASIAN_AM 247-0 Asian Americans and Popular Culture1
ASIAN_AM 275-0 Introduction to Asian American Literature (with ENGLISH 275-0)1
ASIAN_AM 276-0 Topics in Asian American Literature (with ENGLISH 276-0)1
ASIAN_LC 200-0 Introductory Topics in Chinese Literature and Culture
ASIAN_LC 221-0 Introduction to Premodern Japanese Literature and Culture
ASIAN_LC 222-0 Introduction to Modern Japanese Literature and Culture
ASIAN_LC 223-0 Introduction to Contemporary Japanese Literature and Culture
ASIAN_LC 224-0 Introduction to Japanese Film, Media, and Visual Culture
ASIAN_LC 240-0 Introductory Topics in Korean Literature and Culture
ASIAN_LC 260-0 Introductory Topics in South Asian Literature and Culture
ASIAN_LC 261-0 South Asian Popular Cultures
ASIAN_LC 265-0 South Asian Cinemas
ASIAN_LC 290-0 Introductory Topics in Asian Languages and Cultures
ASIAN_LC 300-0 Advanced Topics in Chinese Literature and Culture2
ASIAN_LC 321-0 Advanced Topics in Premodern Japanese Literature and Culture
ASIAN_LC 322-0 Advanced Topics in Modern Contemporary Japanese Literature and Culture
ASIAN_LC 340-0 Advanced Topics in Korean Literature and Culture
ASIAN_LC 360-0 Advanced Topics in South Asian Languages and Cultures
ASIAN_LC 370-0 Literary Cultures in South Asia
ASIAN_LC 373-0 Religious and Textural Traditions in South Asia (or may be applied to FD-EET)
ASIAN_LC 375-0 South Asian Societies2
ASIAN_LC 390-0 Advanced Topics in Asian Languages and Cultures2
ASIAN_LC 391-0 Religious and Textual Traditions in Asia
ASIAN_LC 392-0 Advanced Studies in Asian Film, Media, and Visual Culture2
ASIAN_LC 393-0 Asian Environmental Humanities2
BLK_ST 210-0 Survey of African American Literature1
BLK_ST 211-0 Literatures of the Black World
BLK_ST 236-0 Introduction to African-American Studies (or may be applied to FD-SBS)1
BLK_ST 275-0 Africans and African Americans2
BLK_ST 315-0 Religion in the Black Atlantic (or may be applied to FD-HS)
BLK_ST 350-0 Theorizing Blackness1
BLK_ST 360-0 Major Authors1
CLASSICS 211-0 Greek History and Culture (or may be applied to FD-HS)
CLASSICS 245-0 Classics and the Cinema
CLASSICS 250-0 Literatures of the Ancient World
CLASSICS 260-0 Classical Mythology (or may be applied to FD-HS)
CLASSICS 310-0 Archaeology of the Ancient Mediterranean (or may be applied to FD-HS)
CLASSICS 311-SA On-Site Archaeology of the Ancient Mediterranean (or FD-HS)
CLASSICS 340-0 Greek and Roman Drama
CLASSICS 350-0 Greek and Latin Literature
CLASSICS 380-0 Classical Reception Studies (or may be applied to FD-HS)
COMP_LIT 200-0 Introduction to Literary Theory
COMP_LIT 201-0 Reading World Literature
COMP_LIT 202-0 Interpreting Culture
COMP_LIT 205-0 Reading Difference
COMP_LIT 211-0 Readings in Genre
COMP_LIT 270-0 Literatures in Translation
COMP_LIT 301-0 Studies in World Literature
COMP_LIT 302-0 Reading Across Disciplines
COMP_LIT 303-0 Movements and Periods
COMP_LIT 305-0 Studies in Film, Media, and Visual Culture
COMP_LIT 306-0 Studies in Race & Ethnicity
COMP_LIT 307-0 Studies in Gender, Sexuality & Representation
COMP_LIT 312-0 Major Authors and Texts
ENGLISH 200-0 Literary Histories
ENGLISH 210-1 British Literary Traditions
ENGLISH 210-2 British Literary Traditions
ENGLISH 211-0 Introduction to Poetry
ENGLISH 212-0 Introduction to Drama
ENGLISH 213-0 Introduction to Fiction
ENGLISH 214-0 Introduction to Film and Its Literatures
ENGLISH 215-0 Topics in Literature, Film, and Media
ENGLISH 220-0 The Bible as Literature (or may be applied to FD-EET)
ENGLISH 234-0 Introduction to Shakespeare
ENGLISH 266-0 Introduction to African American Literature1
ENGLISH 267-0 Topics in African American Literature1
ENGLISH 270-1 American Literary Traditions
ENGLISH 270-2 American Literary Traditions
ENGLISH 273-0 Introduction to 20th-Century American Literature
ENGLISH 274-0 Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Literatures1
ENGLISH 275-0 Introduction to Asian American Literature (with ASIAN_AM 275-0)1
ENGLISH 276-0 Topics in Asian American Literature (with ASIAN_AM 276-0)1
ENGLISH 277-0 Introduction to Latinx Literature (with LATINO 277-0  and SPANISH 277-0)1
ENGLISH 279-0 Topics in Multiethnic American Literature1
ENGLISH 280-0 Introduction to Postcolonial Literature2
ENGLISH 281-0 Topics in Postcolonial Comparative Literatures2
ENGLISH 283-0 Introduction to Literature and the Environment
ENGLISH 284-0 Topics in Literature and the Environment
ENGLISH 285-0 Topics in Literature and Culture
ENGLISH 287-0 Topics in Global Literatures2
ENGLISH 288-0 Topics in Literature and Ethics (or FD-EET)
ENGLISH 300-0 Seminar in Reading and Interpretation
ENGLISH 302-0 History of the English Language (or may be applied to FD-HS)
ENGLISH 310-0 Studies in Literary Genres
ENGLISH 311-0 Studies in Poetry
ENGLISH 312-0 Studies in Drama
ENGLISH 313-0 Studies in Fiction
ENGLISH 322-0 Medieval Drama
ENGLISH 323-1 Medieval Poetry
ENGLISH 324-0 Studies in Medieval Literature
ENGLISH 331-0 Renaissance Poetry
ENGLISH 332-0 Renaissance Drama
ENGLISH 334-0 Montaigne and Modernity 
ENGLISH 338-0 Studies in Renaissance Literature
ENGLISH 339-0 Studies in Shakespeare
ENGLISH 340-0 Studies in 18th-Century Literature
ENGLISH 344-0 18th-Century Fiction
ENGLISH 351-0 Romantic Poetry
ENGLISH 353-0 Studies in Romantic Literature
ENGLISH 357-0 19th-Century British Fiction
ENGLISH 359-0 Studies in 19th-Century Literature
ENGLISH 361-0 20th and 21st Century Poetry
ENGLISH 363-0 20th and 21st Century Fiction
ENGLISH 365-0 Studies in Postcolonial Literature2
ENGLISH 366-0 Studies in African American Literature1
ENGLISH 368-0 Studies in 20th- and 21st-Century Literature
ENGLISH 369-0 Studies in African Literature2
ENGLISH 371-0 American Novel
ENGLISH 372-0 American Poetry
ENGLISH 374-0 Studies in Native American and Indigenous Literatures1
ENGLISH 375-0 Studies in Asian American Literature1
ENGLISH 377-0 Topics in Latinx Literature1
ENGLISH 378-0 Studies in American Literature
ENGLISH 379-0 Studies in Multiethnic American Literature1
ENGLISH 381-0 Literature & Medicine
ENGLISH 382-0 Literature and Law
ENGLISH 383-0 Special Topics in Theory
ENGLISH 384-0 Studies in Literature and the Environment 
ENGLISH 385-0 Studies in Literature and Culture
ENGLISH 386-0 Studies in Literature and Film
ENGLISH 388-0 Studies in Literature and Ethics (or FD-EET)
ENGLISH 389-0 Studies in Gender, Sexuality, and Embodiment 
ENGLISH 397-0 Research Seminar for Literature Majors
FRENCH 210-0 Reading Literatures in French
FRENCH 211-0 Reading Cultures in French2
FRENCH 271-0 Introducing the Novel2
FRENCH 272-0 Introducing Theatre
FRENCH 273-0 Introducing Poetry
FRENCH 277-0 French Existentialism (or FD-EET)
FRENCH 280-0 Major Topics in French and Francophone Studies
FRENCH 334-0 Montaigne and Modernity
FRENCH 335-0 17th Century Literature (taught in French)
FRENCH 340-0 Sexual Politics and the Ancient Regime (taught in French)
FRENCH 355-0 Topics in Modern and Contemporary French Literature and Culture2
FRENCH 362-0 African Literatures and Cultures (taught in French)
FRENCH 365-0 The Maghreb and the Middle East (taught in French)2
FRENCH 367-0 Transnational Francophone Studies (taught in French)
FRENCH 371-0 Giants, Cannibals, and Critique
FRENCH 374-0 Proust (taught in English)
FRENCH 375-0 French Film
FRENCH 386-0 Gender and Writing2
FRENCH 390-0 Topics in Literature and Culture (taught in French)
FRENCH 395-0 Advanced Studies in Culture and Thought2
GNDR_ST 361-0 Gender, Sexuality, and Literature
GEN_MUS 170-0 Introduction to Music 
GEN_MUS 175-0 Selected Topics in Music Literature for Non-Majors 
GEN_MUS 230-0 History of Opera 
GEN_MUS 250-0 History of Rock 
GERMAN 211-0 German Culture Through Film
GERMAN 221-1 Introduction to Literature: 1800-1900
GERMAN 221-2 Introduction to German Literature: 1900-1945
GERMAN 221-3 Introduction to Literature: 1945-today
GERMAN 223-0 Austrian Literature
GERMAN 228-0 German Film
GERMAN 230-0 Berlin and the Culture of Democracy (or FD-HS)
GERMAN 232-0 The Theme of Faust Through the Ages (or may be applied to FD-EET)
GERMAN 234-1 Jews and Germans: An Intercultural History I (or may be applied to FD-EET)2
GERMAN 234-2 Jews and Germans: An Intercultural History II2
GERMAN 236-0 Kafka and Nietzche (or FD-EET)
GERMAN 244-0 Analyzing Freud
GERMAN 245-0 Special Topics in German Literature and Culture (taught in German)
GERMAN 246-0 Special Topics in German Literature and Culture (taught in English)
GERMAN 266-0 Introduction to Yiddish Culture: Images of the Shtetl (with JWSH_ST 266-0)
GERMAN 321-1 Reason, Revolution, and Despair: 1800-1900
GERMAN 321-2 Myth and Modernity: 1900-1945
GERMAN 321-3 Recoveries and Transitions: 1945-present
GERMAN 322-0 German Contributions to World Literature (taught in English)
GERMAN 327-0 German Expressionism
GERMAN 328-0 Prague: City of Cultures, City of Conflict (with SLAVIC 328-0)2
GERMAN 331-0 Shattered Worlds: Representation after the Shoa
GERMAN 333-0 Literature of a Divided Nation
GERMAN 334-0 Writers and Their Critics
GERMAN 335-0 Minority Voices in Germany (taught in German)2
GERMAN 345-0 Topics in German Literature and Culture (taught in German)
GERMAN 346-0 Topics in German Literature and Culture (taught in English)
GREEK 301-0 Readings in Greek Literature
HIND_URD 320-0 Topics Hindi-Urdu Literature
HISTORY 317-1 American Cultural History: 19th C. (or FD-HS)1
HISTORY 350-0 Soviet History Through Film (or FD-HS)
HUM 210-0 Humanities in the World I
HUM 225-0 Media Theory (with ART_HIST 375-0)
HUM 325-6 Humanities in the Digital Age
HUM 370-6 Special Topics in the Humanities
ITALIAN 251-0 Introduction to Italian Cinema2
ITALIAN 275-0 Dante's Divine Comedy
ITALIAN 277-0 Global Neorealism2
ITALIAN 377-0 Gender and Sexuality in Italian Culture2
JWSH_ST 266-0 Introduction to Yiddish Culture: Images of the Shtetl (with GERMAN 266-0)
JWSH_ST 279-0 Modern Jewish Literature
JWSH_ST 280-6 Topics in Israel Studies
LATIN 310-0 Readings in Latin Literature
LATINO 230-0 Latine Feminist Sexualities1
LATINO 232-0 Queer and Trans Latino Studies1
LATINO 277-0 Introduction to Latinx Literature (with ENGLISH 277-0  and SPANISH 277-0)1
LATINO 393-0 Topics in Latina and Latino Text and Representation
MENA 290-6 Introductory Topics in Middle East and North African Studies
MENA 390-6 Advanced Topics in Middle East and North African Studies
PERF_ST 101-0 Modes of Performance
PERF_ST 200-0 Introduction to Performance Studies 
PERF_ST 220-0 Sound Cultures 
PERF_ST 225-0 Black Music Studies1
PERF_ST 230-0 Food and Performance
PERF_ST 301-0 Performance and Activism in Digital Culture 
PERF_ST 308-0 Contemporary Middle Eastern Performance2
PERF_ST 310-0 Performing Africa
PHIL 280-0 Introduction to the Philosophy of Art
PORT 210-0 Icons, Legends & Myths in Brazil
PORT 380-0 Contemporary Brazil: Literature and Film2
RELIGION 301-0 Hindu Epics: Mahābhārata
RELIGION 315-0 Buddhist Auto/biography
RELIGION 319-0 Topics in Buddhism (or may be applied to FD-EET)
RELIGION 374-0 Contemporary Religious Thought (or may be applied to FD-EET)
SLAVIC 210-1 Introduction to Russian Literature
SLAVIC 210-2 Introduction to Russian Literature
SLAVIC 211-1 20th-Century Russian Literature
SLAVIC 211-2 20th-Century Russian Literature
SLAVIC 218-0 Introduction to Polish Literature2
SLAVIC 255-0 Slavic Civilizations
SLAVIC 261-0 Heart of Europe: Poland in the Twentieth Century
SLAVIC 310-0 Tolstoy
SLAVIC 318-0 Polish Cinema2
SLAVIC 328-0 Prague: City of Cultures, City of Conflict (with GERMAN 328-0)2
SLAVIC 367-1 Russian Film
SLAVIC 369-0 Russian Drama
SLAVIC 392-0 East European Literature and Visual Arts
SPANISH 204-0 Advanced Spanish II: Artivism in Times of Political Change2
SPANISH 223-0 Cervantes (taught in English)2
SPANISH 231-0 New Latin American Narrative2
SPANISH 250-0 Literature in Spain Before 1700
SPANISH 251-0 Literature in Spain Since 1700
SPANISH 260-0 Literature in Latin America Before 18882
SPANISH 261-0 Literature in Latin America Since 18882
SPANISH 277-0 Introduction to Latinx Literature (with ENGLISH 277-0 and LATINO 277-0)1
SPANISH 323-0 Cervantes' Don Quixote
SPANISH 335-0 Modern Fiction in Spain
SPANISH 340-0 Colonial Latin American Literature (taught in Spanish)2
SPANISH 341-0 Latin American Modernismo
SPANISH 343-0 Latin American Avant-Gardes (taught in Spanish)
SPANISH 344-0 Borges (taught in Spanish)
SPANISH 345-0 Reading the 'Boom'
SPANISH 346-0 Testimonial Narrative in Latin America (taught in Spanish)2
SPANISH 350-0 Visual Culture in Latina/o America and Spain (taught in Spanish)2
SPANISH 362-0 Citizenship and Urban Violence in Latin America2
SPANISH 395-0 Topics in Latin American, Latina and Latino, and/or Iberian Cultures

1 Also Overlay 1: U.S. Perspectives on Power, Justice, and Equity

2 Also Overlay 2: Global Perspectives on Power, Justice, and Equity

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