This list is part of the Open Access Directory.
- This is a section within the larger Open Educational Resources.
The links below go to available Massive Open Online Courses in the Humanities, sorted by discipline. These are free online classes you can register for and take as an active participant. They are courses aimed at college-level participants. This list is not exhaustive and new contributions are welcome. Many of these courses require that participants follow the set timeline of the course so participants should read all course materials available before choosing to register for a course. Some of these classes offer mechanisms for assessment and confirmation of completion.
Greek and Roman Mythology - University of Pennsylvania. This course will focus on the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, as a way of exploring the nature of myth and the function it plays for individuals, societies, and nations.
The Ancient Greeks - Wesleyan University. This is a survey of ancient Greek history from the Bronze Age to the death of Socrates in 399 BCE.
English 300: Introduction to Theory of Literature - Yale University. This is a survey of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. Lectures will provide background for the readings and explicate them where appropriate, while attempting to develop a coherent overall context that incorporates philosophical and social perspectives on the recurrent questions: what is literature, how is it produced, how can it be understood, and what is its purpose?
English 291: The American Novel since 1945 - Yale University. The course traces the formal and thematic developments of the novel in this period, focusing on the relationship between writers and readers, the conditions of publishing, innovations in the novel's form, fiction's engagement with history, and the changing place of literature in American culture. The reading list includes works by Richard Wright, Flannery O'Connor, Vladimir Nabokov, Jack Kerouac, J. D. Salinger, Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Maxine Hong Kingston, Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, Cormac McCarthy, Philip Roth and Edward P. Jones.
Classics of American Literature: T.S. Eliot - Duke University. The central purpose of this course is to facilitate a better understanding of poems by T. S. Eliot. We will focus mainly on classic works such as The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, and The Hollow Men, but we may also take up some less prominent poems as well.
Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World - University of Michigan. We understand the world — and our selves — through stories. Then some of those hopes and fears become the world. This course will explore Fantasy in general and Science Fiction in specific both as art and as insights into ourselves and our world.
Modern & Contemporary Poetry - University of Pennsylvania. This course is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, from Dickinson and Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly "difficult."
Poetry: What It Is and How to Understand It - George Washington University. This course will attempt to define this genre of writing, to discuss its particular attributes, to distinguish between good and bad poetry, to explain why so much poetry is difficult, and to isolate the sorts of truths poetry seems best at conveying. Our focus will be on modern poetry, in English and in translation.
Elementary French I - Carnegie Mellon University. Elementary French I is a carefully sequenced and highly interactive presentation of French language and culture in a media-rich course environment including new video shot in France and Québec with young professional actors.
Elementary French II - Carnegie Mellon University. Elementary French II is a carefully sequenced and highly interactive presentation of French language and culture in a media-rich course environment including new video shot in France and Québec with young professional actors.
A Brief History of the World - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The course surveys the entire length of human history, from the evolution of various human species in the Stone Age up to the political and technological revolutions of the twenty-first century.
A History of the World since 1300 - Princeton University. This course will examine the ways in which the world has grown more integrated yet more divided over the past 700 years.
A New History for a New China 1700 - 2000 - The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The purpose of this course is to summarize some of the new directions in Chinese history and Chinese social science produced by the discovery and analysis of new historical data, in particular archival documents and datasets, and to organize this knowledge in a framework that encourages learning about China in comparative perspective.
The Modern World, Global History since 1760 - University of Virginia. This is a survey of modern history from a global perspective. It begins with the revolutions of the late 1700s, tracks the transformation of the world during the 1800s, and analyzes the cataclysms of the last century, concluding with the new phase of world history we are experiencing today.
Women and the Civil Rights Movement - University of Maryland. Learn about women’s roles in the U.S. civil rights struggles of the 1890s to the 1990s.
Election 2012 - Stanford University. This course focuses on the November 2012 election in the United States. and what it means for us, the state of California, the United States of America, and the globe.
Italian 310: Dante in Translation - Yale University. The course is an introduction to Dante and his cultural milieu through a critical reading of the Divine Comedy and selected minor works (Vita nuova, Convivio, De vulgari eloquentia, Epistle to Cangrande). An analysis of Dante's autobiography, the Vita nuova, establishes the poetic and political circumstances of the Comedy's composition. Readings of Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise seek to situate Dante's work within the intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages, with special attention paid to political, philosophical and theological concerns.
Introduction to Philosophy - The University of Edinburgh. This course will introduce you to some of the most important areas of research in contemporary philosophy. Each week a different philosopher will talk you through some of the most important questions and issues in their area of expertise.
Know Thyself, An investigation of the nature and limits of self-knowledge - University of Virginia. An investigation of the nature and limits of self-knowledge from the viewpoints of philosophy, psychoanalysis, experimental psychology, neuroscience, aesthetics, and Buddhism.
Think Again: How to Reason and Argue - Duke University. Reasoning is important. This course will teach you how to do it well. You will learn how to understand and assess arguments by other people and how to construct good arguments of your own about whatever matters to you.
Philosophy of Love in the Western World - MIT. This course is a seminar on the nature of love and sex, approached as topics both in philosophy and in literature. Readings from recent philosophy as well as classic myths of love that occur in works of literature and lend themselves to philosophical analysis.
Philosophy 176: Death - Yale University. There is one thing I can be sure of: I am going to die. But what am I to make of that fact? This course will examine a number of issues that arise once we begin to reflect on our mortality. The possibility that death may not actually be the end is considered. Are we, in some sense, immortal? Would immortality be desirable? Also a clearer notion of what it is to die is examined.
Modern European Mysticism and Psychological Thought - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This course will provide an entry into the complex world of modern mysticism, through studying its psychological thought. We shall especially look at two terms that are very much in use also in general culture: the heart (as an emotional rather than as a physical center!...) and the soul, looking at the unique mystical concepts of their nature and destiny and asking if there were influences and meetings between the different religions.
Russian Literature and Music - Northwestern University. During the previous two centuries, Russian speaking writers and composers have made extraordinary contributions to the culture of the world. They have also presented a truly remarkable understanding of the human soul. The objective of this course is to provide an opening into this colorful, absorbing, and deeply sensitive universe of written images and pulsating sounds.