The Artists, Writers, and Philosophers We Teach

What We Teach

Courses currently taught by Senior Scholars:

Asian Civilization

(Particularly the introductions to major topics)

Similarly, texts from East Asia, the Middle East and South Asia with an emphasis similar to Contemporary Civilization. They are also taught in the discussion format.

Asian Humanities

(Primarily the colloquia on Major Texts)

Several courses on the major texts of East Asia, the Middle East and South Asia, taught by discussion of original texts, and forming a part of the requirements in the Core Curriculum that students treat other cultures beyond the Western in a seminar or colloquia format.

Music Humanities

HUMA W1123 Masterpieces of Western Music

A semester-long required course for undergraduates, exposing them to the many forms of Western music and involving them in active, critical listening.

Contemporary Civilization

CC C1101-1102 Introduction to contemporary civilization in the west

The four-point, year-long course covering major philosophical and political texts in the Western tradition. It is required of all Columbia College students, and each section is limited to enable its discussion format. It is a year-long course that has been central to the Core Curriculum in one form or other for 90 years.

Literature Humanities

HUMA C1001-C1002 Masterpieces of Western literature and philosophy

The four-point, year-long course covering major philosophical and political texts in the Western tradition. It is required of all Columbia College students, and each section is limited to enable its discussion format. It is a year-long course that has been central to the Core Curriculum in one form or other for 90 years.

Nobility and Civility

Interdepartmental Seminar W3920

A seminar in which classic texts from East and South Asia, the Middle East and the West are read and discussed side by side. It can be taken as part for the College’s Global Core requirement. 

Friendship in Western and East Asian Civilizations

Interdepartmental Seminar W3950

A seminar in the College's Global Core program drawing on classic and contemporary texts from East Asia  and the West about friendship and its historical vicissitudes.

Friends of the Heyman Center Colloquia

The Friends of the Heyman Center Colloquia offer discussion courses led by Columbia's most renowned teachers and scholars – many of whom are Senior Scholars – to alumni and friends of the University who wish to continue organized education without the need for academic credit. These colloquia are planned as active discussions rather than lectures. No papers or examinations are required. Two courses are offered each term, typically one relevant to Asian culture, and another about some aspect of Western thought.


Some Senior Scholars teach other courses, often in their former Departments.