Liberal Arts and Sciences Modules 2021-2022

Autumn Semester

Liberal Arts

  • The Nature of the Text I: Hermeneutics and Literature
    Founded on classical, medieval and early modern ideas of Grammar this seminar surveys the development of the art of textual interpretation from the classical age, through the medieval era up to late modernism. Central texts will focus on philosophy, theology and literature, from Plato, patristics, medieval Christian, Jewish and Islamic texts, Reformation interventions, and contemporary philosophical hermeneutics from Schleiermacher through to Strauss and Gadamer.
  • Liberal Arts Seminar
    In the Westfield House Liberal Arts seminar, faculty and students read and discuss texts drawn from different eras and disciplines within the humanities and sciences, including classic works in literature, philosophy, theology, economic and political science, and more. Each semester the set texts for study and discussion are gathered around a common theme. The seminar is complemented with smaller group preceptorials in which students address central questions arising from their close readings and engagement with the set texts.

Languages & Literature

  • Classical Latin I
    This module provides and introduction to classical Latin, including pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, translation and syntax. The focus is directed towards developing the ability to read, comprehend and translate Latin.
  • Explorations in Literature
    This module introduces a wide range of literary works which are central to the Western canon, ranging from ancient Greek texts in translation to the contemporary. The emphasis is on the reading and exploring of a diversity of primary texts and cultures. In addition to the set texts each student is required to select two additional works per semester for research and presentation in seminar.
  • Shakespeare
    This module engages in close reading and interpretation of major Shakespearian plays, including histories, comedies and tragedies.

Mathematics & Astronomy

  • Introduction to Astronomy
    Following a brief historical introduction to astronomy, the module is organised into three topical sections. The first section introduces the basic physical principles of gravitation, electromagnetic radiation and spectra. Additionally, the tools and techniques of astronomical observation including telescopes, detectors, imaging, photometry, and spectroscopy are introduced. The second section involves the study of the Solar System, including the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars, the Giant Planets, and outer regions. This section concludes with an introduction to contemporary research on the formation of the Solar System and exoplanet discoveries. The third section introduces stellar, and more briefly, galactic and extragalactic, astrophysics. Topics for study include nuclear fusion and stellar interiors, the observational characteristics and classification of stars, and the stellar life-cycle. This section concludes with a brief introduction to the Milky Way, the classification and characteristics of external galaxies, the evolution and distribution of galaxies and cosmology.
  • Calculus I
    This module introduces differential and integral calculus with physical applications and transcendental functions throughout the course. An emphasis is also placed on the historical role of calculus in the development of the natural sciences. Topics include: limits and continuity, the derivative and its application, and an introduction to the techniques of integration and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. The module includes laboratory work with instructor-selected computer algebra systems

Music

  • Western Music: Cultures & Contexts
    This module gives a broad overview of Western music from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, with emphasis on late baroque, classical, romantic, and modernist styles (1700 – 1910). Students will develop listening skills and an understanding of diverse forms and genres. The focus of the module is on weekly listening and reading assignments.

Theology & Religious Studies

  • Christianity & the Arts
    This interdisciplinary module considers how visual art, architecture and music have developed and been used in relation to Christian worship. Focusing on various dimensions of religious art and architecture – iconographic, didactic, institutional, communal, experiential and aesthetic – questions will be posed for students to research, taking advantage of the wealth of historical and contemporary Christian art, architecture and music throughout Great Britain. This module will involve numerous field trips to visit museums, art galleries, worship spaces and worship services in Cambridge and its environs, London and beyond. NB. This module will include an extra fee to cover the costs of field trips.

Spring Semester

Liberal Arts

  • Reading the Book of Nature I: Natural Philosophy & the Scientific Revolution
    This module surveys the history of Natural Philosophy from its origins in the ancient world to the Scientific Revolution, culminating in the emergence of the modern sciences in the nineteenth century. The place of Natural Philosophy within the broader context of human knowledge and understanding is addressed and historical continuities and discontinuities in the emergence of the sciences are explored. Students will engage directly in the reading of primary historical sources, including foundational scientific texts and papers as well as other popular and cultural expressions of scientific ideas.
  • Liberal Arts Seminar
    In the Westfield House Liberal Arts seminar, faculty and students read and discuss texts drawn from different eras and disciplines within the humanities and sciences, including classic works in literature, philosophy, theology, economic and political science, and more. Each semester the set texts for study and discussion are gathered around a common theme. The seminar is complemented with smaller group preceptorials in which students address central questions arising from their close readings and engagement with the set texts.

Literature & Language

  • Classical Latin II
    A continuation of classical Latin, with an emphasis on developing vocabulary, grammar, syntax and the translation of set texts. Prerequisite: LAT 201 or equivalent
  • British Science Fiction
    This module surveys British science fiction with a focus on the analysis of both literary texts and cinematic productions and their relationship to British life and culture. The history and theory of the genre is engaged through the study of set texts and broad themes in the literary tradition such as Deep Time, Utopias and Dystopias, Evolution and Spirituality are investigated.
  • Shakespeare
    This module engages in close reading and interpretation of major Shakespearian plays, including histories, comedies and tragedies.

Mathematics & Astronomy

  • Calculus II
    This module continues the study of differential and integral calculus with physical applications and transcendental functions throughout the course. An emphasis is also placed on the historical role of calculus in the development of the natural sciences. Topics include: sums and sequences, Taylor series, parametric equations and polar coordinates and an introduction to vector calculus, multivariates and differential equations. The module includes laboratory work with instructor-selected computer algebra systems
  • Cosmology
    This module surveys the changing conceptions of the universe from the ancient world to the current scientific paradigm, including special and general relativity, Hubble’s Law and the expansion of the Universe, the Big Bang and cosmic inflation, dark matter and dark energy. Emphasis will be placed on the ideas and philosophical issues which arise regarding the origin and fate of the Universe and humanity’s place within it.

Music

  • Western Music: Cultures & Contexts
    This module gives a broad overview of Western music from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, with emphasis on late baroque, classical, romantic, and modernist styles (1700 – 1910). Students will develop listening skills and an understanding of diverse forms and genres. The focus of the module is on weekly listening and reading assignments.

Theology & Religious Studies

  • World Religions
    This module examines several major non-Christian religious traditions of the world including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam, in terms of their history, worldviews, beliefs and practices. Emphasis is placed on historical and geographical origins, later adaptations and developments, and methods of comparative analysis.

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