Guided Studies Program

European Cultures

Trinity College’s Guided Studies Program engages outstanding entering students in a comprehensive examination of Western cultures through integrated, interdisciplinary study of European histories, literatures, and thought from classical antiquity to the present. The program concentrates on the primary issues and modes of interpretation that have shaped European cultures at the same time that it traces the social, economic, political, and ideological changes that occurred throughout these periods.

By exploring the complex interplay of past and present, tradition and innovation, Guided Studies helps students attain a deeper understanding of the age in which they live and its place in the larger sweep of historical development.

Topics of fundamental importance covered by the program include:

  • Philosophical ideas and literary ideals of ancient Greece and Rome as cornerstones of the European intellectual tradition 

  • The foundation and development of Judaism and Christianity and their encounters and intersections with the Muslim world 

  • The medieval “synthesis”

  • Artistic and literary significance of the Renaissance 

  • The Reformation’s disruption of Christian unity 

  • Europe’s encounter with other peoples and cultures in the era of exploration and conquest 

  • Interaction of literature and history and the changing role of the creative artist in society 

  • Causes and consequences of the Scientific, Industrial, French, and Russian revolutions 

  • The changing roles of women 

  • The struggle between liberalism and authoritarian movements of both the Right and the Left 

  • Theory and practice of nationalism 

  • The profound transformations wrought by the two world wars


Feature Image

First-Year Scholars

For select Trinity first-year students, the Guided Studies program provides a full-immersion liberal arts experience.