First-Year Offerings

The Humanities Program is proud to sponsor several exceptional courses of study exclusive to first years. Apart from Directed Studies, an intensive introduction to the Western tradition of arts and letters, we also offer several first year seminars with world-class scholars as alternative points of entry into the world of humanistic studies at Yale. These mostly require preregistration.

Fall Seminars

This course is an introduction to the history, archaeology and literary sources of one of the most dynamic periods of ancient Egyptian history. We investigate the development of Egyptian foreign policies and military expansion, and topics such as ideology and imperial identity.

Fall 2021
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

Through the prism of thinking about the self, this course provides first-year students with an intensive introduction to studying the humanities at Yale, ranging widely across genres, media, periods, and geographies. Trips to Yale’s collections and sustained attention to writing skills. 

Fall 2021

In this course, we address the role of uncertainty in medicine, and the role that narrative plays in capturing that uncertainty. We focus our efforts on major authors and texts that define the modern medical humanities. 

Fall 2021
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

This seminar introduces students to some of the most influential texts of Greco-Roman Antiquity and investigates the meaning of their “performance.” A few sessions are devoted to practical activities (reenactment of a symposium, composition of ancient music, etc.).

Fall 2021
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

What are you here at Yale for? Engagement with three different traditions of imagining the good life and of imagining education: Confucianism, Christianity, and Modernism. 

Fall 2021
MW 9am-10:15am

Exploration of the divergent notions of divine law in Greco-Roman antiquity and biblical Israel; the cognitive dissonance their historical encounter engendered and attempts by Jewish, Christian, and contemporary secular thinkers to negotiate competing claims.

Fall 2021
W 9:25am-11:15am

Directed Studies:

The Directed Studies program consists of three integrated full-year courses in Philosophy, Literature, and Historical and Political Thought. Each of the three courses meets weekly for one lecture and two discussion seminars, where small groups of students work closely with a professor to texts in depth. Regular classes are complemented by a series of colloquia, in addition to sessions at the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Interested students must apply or petition for interest before the beginning of the Fall Semester of freshman year.

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