Bookmark and Share
  • Text +
  • Text -

Humanities and Fine Arts Programs

The disciplines within the humanities and fine arts strike a balance between learning to appreciate and assess the work of others and learning to create your own work. Pomona students concentrate on primary texts. Not only do they read what Plato, Mozart, Michelangelo, Austen, Carlyle, Churchill or Descartes have written; they study their art, listen to their music and learn to make critical judgments. A student whose primary interest is in creating receives intensive training from professors who are performing musicians, exhibiting artists and published writers. Students interested in performance and studio classes take courses in the academic components of their disciplines, ensuring breadth of knowledge as well as technical proficiency. The humanities and fine arts at Pomona educate many students who become successful musicians, artists, writers, translators, teachers, scholars, doctors, lawyers, business people and professionals of all kinds.

Art & Art History

Pomona offers distinct majors in the practice of art and the history of art. The Studio Art major permits students to expand their creative awareness and to develop visual and technical abilities. The Art History major offers students an interdisciplinary approach, a global outlook and an interest in ethnic and gender diversity. Faculty: 11 (Creative interests include: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, digital art, installations. Research interests include late antique/early medieval art, medieval and Renaissance Genoa, art of the African diaspora, art and politics, 19th century photography.)

Asian Languages & Literatures

Students in this department study the languages, cultures and literatures of China and Japan. Courses are designed to develop advanced language skills and foster an understanding of culture through written works and film. Oral proficiency is emphasized along with literacy. Faculty: 11 (Research interests include fiction of the Ming and Qing dynasties, classical Japanese literature, interactions of Japanese and Western culture in the Meiji period, the works of Lu Xun, 18th century Japanese literary theory.)


This cooperative intercollegiate program offers two majors. The Classical Languages and Literatures major is designed for students who want to study classical languages in depth, with full programs in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. Students majoring in Classical Studies specialize in Classical Literature, Greek, Latin, Ancient Art and Archaeology, Ancient History, Ancient Philosophy or Ancient Political Theory. Faculty: 3 (5C faculty of 7) (Research interests include fiction of the Ming and Qing dynasties, classical Japanese literature, Japanese/Western interactions in the Meiji period, the works of Lu Xun, 18th-century Japanese literary theory.)


The English major provides a broad-based and varied background in significant authors, genres, literary history and literary theory. Majors may choose from two areas of emphasis—literature or writing. Students who choose the writing emphasis take advanced workshop classes in the essay, fiction, poetry or screenwriting. Faculty: 20 (Research interests include history of literary criticism, psychology of the novel, literature and the visual arts, critical feminist theory, Old & Middle English literature, African- American literature, Native American literature.)

German Studies

German studies is the interdisciplinary study of the contemporary cultural, social, economic and political life of the German-speaking peoples in their historical and international contexts. The German faculty of Pomona and Scripps colleges offers a single unified and comprehensive curriculum for language, literature and cultural studies courses.


Courses in music theory and composition, history and appreciation, performance and ethnomusicology meet the needs of both Music majors and students who want to explore music as one of the liberal arts. Private instrumental and vocal lessons, from beginning to advanced levels are offered by full-time faculty and performance faculty. Faculty: 39 (Creative and research interests include composition and performance, chamber music, electronic music, American music, English sacred music, early atonal music, Afro-Cuban folkloric performance, history of jazz.)


The Philosophy major enables students to understand the philosophic tradition and to cultivate critical thinking skills while joining in rigorous explorations of the most fundamental questions in life. A variety of courses on special topics, such as bioethics and the philosophy of law, are suitable for majors and non-majors alike. Faculty: 10 (Research interests include philosophy of language, philosophy of the mind, normative ethics, science and values, European thought, human spirituality, history of modern philosophy, metaethics, ancient philosophy.)

Religious Studies

The cooperative, five-college Religious Studies major permits students to examine the importance of religious customs and traditions in all societies Eastern and Western, ancient and contemporary. The department represents no particular tradition, but seeks to develop critical skills and broad and informed knowledge. Faculty: 7 (5C faculty of 17) (Research interests include feminist theology, Islamic ethics, African diasporic thought, philosophy and mysticism, the Dizang cult of medieval China, the Holocaust, shamanism, apocalyptic thought.)

Romance Languages & Literatures

With majors in French, Spanish and Romance Literatures, the department permits students to acquire fluency in French and Spanish and to explore the literature and culture of French and Spanish-speaking countries. Classes develop analytical and writing skills along with oral proficiency through intensive critical study of literature, cinema, culture and history. Faculty: 14 (Research interests include nihilism in Montaigne and Albert Cohen, Latino/Chicano literature, literature of Sephardic Jews, Cervantes, the French Resistance, Caribbean literature, Puerto Rican theatre.)

Russian Studies

The Russian Program prepares students to pursue careers in international development, academia, diplomacy, law, business, and journalism. We view the study of Russian language, culture, and society as part of a broader intellectual project, building knowledge, skills, and experience conducive to a full, rich, and rewarding life.

Theatre and Dance

The department offers courses in every aspect of the dramatic arts and dance— performance, design and technology, dance, theatre history, dramatic literature and directing. Theatre majors choose from four emphases: general theatre, performance, design and dramaturgy/ playwriting. The Dance major offers two areas of emphasis: performance studies and movement studies. Faculty: 21 (Creative interests include acting, mime, directing, design, choreography, kabuki. Research interests include Laban movement analysis, women theatre activists in India, theatre of Asia, the medieval Dance of Death.)


Social Media