What is art? Why does visual culture matter? How do images and art objects come to have meaning, value, and power within culture more broadly? These questions are central to the dynamic and intense engagement with art history at Grinnell College. We study art both in the particular time and place of its social and cultural history and as we encounter it in the complex global world today. Doing art history at Grinnell means approaching art and visual culture in multiple ways, from object-centered analysis to social-political history to contemporary critical theory.
Joining a Music Department ensemble is an enjoyable, hands-on way of exploring music you might not encounter in any other way, guided by faculty who are experts in the field. It can provide you with an experience that is intellectually stimulating, aesthetically rewarding, and fun to do with your friends.
When you study the world's religious traditions, you learn about the histories, literatures, practices and beliefs that have shaped human societies. You study rituals and festivals that organize perceptions of time and place, disciplines that develop modes of attention, and ideas of holiness, justice, love, and beauty through which human beings have expressed their highest ideals. You develop tools to understand the complex ways that people across history and around the world oppose oppression, justify violence, understand their bodies, and give meaning to their lives.
Grinnell offers opportunities for students who want to continue their studies off-campus. Religious studies majors have lived in Hindu communities while studying in India, immersed themselves in the religious culture of Japan, studied with Buddhists scholars, and learned Hebrew in Jerusalem and Arabic in Cairo. Students also have arranged internships at Neighborhood Capital Budget Group and the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services. One student held a summer internship that combined work among Hispanics in inner-city Chicago with the study of Catholic liberation theology.
At Grinnell, all studies take place within a liberal arts framework, focusing on the study of German literature and culture through the contexts of the arts, history, social history, philosophy, and politics.
Many of the English faculty have developed online projects to enhance our teaching.This page highlights a few examples of such projects.
Stephen Andrews has collaborated with Ralph Russell of the music department and technologists David Berk and Munindra Khaund to create a multimedia edition of The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches.
Courses that focus primarily on various forms of artistic expression or philosophical thought
Courses take students around the world, such as biology students studying in the Namib desert and economics students exploring South Korea's rise.