Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations

The Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations (AMC) program at Rice offers a challenging, interdisciplinary major that explores the worlds of the ancient Greeks, Romans and Jews and the cultures of the Christians and Muslims in their formative periods. 

Students are immersed in more than two millennia of some of the world’s most influential civilizations, while studying their histories, arts, religions, philosophies, economies, literatures, languages and political systems and evaluating their contributions to the modern world. With AMC’s highly integrated curriculum, you’ll acquire a broad perspective on the beginnings of the society in which we live today. AMC stresses the critical evaluation of ancient evidence through close reading of ancient texts and the careful examination of art and material culture. Writing and research play an important role in the AMC curriculum, as students explore and share their interests. Through debate and discussion, students and professors analyze ancient ideas for their own sake and for how they have helped shape the West.

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Center for Languages & Intercultural Communication

The vision of CLIC is to help students become productive members of a society in which multilingualism and multiculturalism are the norm rather than the exception.

To that end, our courses develop communicative and interactional abilities in a second language through the study of linguistic, social and cultural aspects of language use in context.

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Chao Center for Asian Studies

The Chao Center for Asian Studies has two main missions of teaching and research. It is home to the B.A. in Asian Studies degree program.

The Chao Center brand of Asian Studies focuses on transnational, transhistoric, diasporic, and global movements of peoples and cultures of Asia. It also houses the Transnational Asia Research Initiative (TARI) where postdoctoral research fellows with diverse disciplinary expertise pursue new research projects on Asia and also work as a collaborative, think-tank-like team to explore key issues concerning transnational movements across Asia. The Center's web journal, the Journal of Transnational Asian Studies (inaugural issue: Fall 2016), acts as a vehicle to disseminate the Center's research output. In addition to these two major missions, the Chao Center also defines itself as a key player in reaching the Asian and Asian American populations in Houston and beyond, promoting community building and broader cultural understanding.

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Classical & European Studies

We are home to three programs: Classical Studies, French Studies, and German Studies. Additionally, we host Politics, Law & Social Thought, an interdisciplinary program that involves several other departments across the School of Humanities and the School of Social Sciences.

While each program has its own historical and cultural focus, the four overlap and share common questions.  Where does language interface with culture, geography with politics, literature and media with history and theory?  How do the aesthetic, social, and political possibilities of the present follow from the events and choices of the past—the Greek polis, the Roman imperium, the scientific revolutions of early modern Europe, and the political and artistic transformations that would define modern France and Germany?

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The Program in Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies is an interdisciplinary field that crosses traditional boundaries between academic fields and departments.

Courses in Jewish Studies allow students to study Judaism as it has evolved from an ancient set of shared religious practices into the pluralistic religion and culture that it is today. In both the humanities and social sciences, Jewish Studies broadly examines the texts, history, languages, philosophy, literature, and culture of the Jewish people from the ancient to the modern. The study of Jewish life and culture provides an opportunity to explore the continuities and diversity of Judaism as it has been lived and practiced for over three millennia all over the world.

Diversity of thought is a hallmark of Jewish culture dating back to the earliest Jewish texts, and we strive to follow this model in our courses. The diverse and interdisciplinary nature of the Program in Jewish Studies allows undergraduates the opportunity to enrich their major fields of study with a specific focus on Judaism and Jewish culture. The Program in Jewish Studies at Rice also forms an important bridge to the community, making use of the rich resources available in Houston, engaging with local institutions, and participating in timely public discussions.

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Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Rice University's Medieval and Early Modern Studies major offers students the opportunity to study a variety of often interrelated medieval civilizations: European, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian, from the 4th to the 16th centuries.

Our global and interdisciplinary program draws on a broad range of critical approaches and eleven departments - Anthropology, Art History, Classics, English, French Studies, History, Jewish Studies, Music, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. Students have the opportunity to experience medieval materials firsthand by examining the illuminated manuscripts and medieval art at Rice University and in the libraries and museums in Houston.  Eligible students can sing or play early instruments in the Collegium Musicum--an early music ensemble organized by faculty at the Shepherd School of Music.

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