Classes

    The Art and Politics of Propaganda (Gen Ed 1012)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Eric Rentschler

    As thinking beings we consider the limits of human potential and wonder what is the worst. The Nazis obsess us because they were masters of extremity who brought to the world unprecedented violence, destruction, and murder. They were also masters of propaganda who engineered sophisticated techniques of mass manipulation; in this endeavor cinema and modern media assumed a seminal role.... Read more about The Art and Politics of Propaganda (Gen Ed 1012)

    Outside Looking In: Sex, Race, and (Not) Belonging in the U.S. (Gen Ed 1065)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Caroline Light

    For most of us, sex is intensely private. Few of us want our hidden, innermost desires and erotic practices made available for public scrutiny. But when we look at our contemporary world’s most divisive public debates – over reproductive rights, public health resources, immigration, marriage equality, even people’s access to public restrooms – we can’t help but notice that sex comprises a vital part of public discourse that shapes systems regulating people’s access to the rights, privileges, and protections of citizenship.... Read more about Outside Looking In: Sex, Race, and (Not) Belonging in the U.S. (Gen Ed 1065)

    The Democracy Project (Gen Ed 1002)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Ethics & Civics icon with textHistories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Jill Lepore

    The history of the United States is the story of a struggle to realize two ideas: that all people are created equal and that people can govern themselves. “Our great experiment,” generations of Americans have called the United States, and with good cause. Democracy has always been, at heart, an inquiry, a question: Can the people rule? In 1787, when Alexander Hamilton asked whether it’s possible to establish a government ruled by reflection and choice rather than by accident and force, that was a hypothetical question.... Read more about The Democracy Project (Gen Ed 1002)

    American Society and Public Policy (Gen Ed 1092)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Theda Skocpol and Mary Waters

    In the U.S., compared to other major nations, how have social problems been defined and redefined in recent decades; why do they appear differently to various groups; and how are public policies about problematic social conditions debated, devised, and changed? This course synthesizes various kinds of evidence-demographic, attitudinal, ethnographic, and institutional-to probe the creation and impact of major public policies about social support for families and workers; immigration and citizenship; and access to higher education.

    What Have Athens and Rome to Do with Us? (Gen Ed 1007)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Emma Dench

    Why do we venerate Athens as the birthplace of democracy when it was a culture structured on slavery and gender inequality? Why does the fall of the Roman empire make us nervous when that empire gloried in violence, and judged numerous societies (including large swathes of northern and western Europe) to fall below the standards of civilization?... Read more about What Have Athens and Rome to Do with Us? (Gen Ed 1007)

    Making Memories (Gen Ed 1060)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with textHistories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Stephanie Sandler

    How we make, keep, and lose memories throughout our life is one of our great skills as human beings, and also something of a mystery. Is what we think of as memory ours individually, or is it based on shared experiences – national, communal, familial, and with peers? Also far from decided is how much memories are made and put at risk by biological processes in the brain, and how much by the verbal, visual, and experiential inputs that we call daily life. These questions have broad cultural impact as well as their personal presence in each individual’s life.... Read more about Making Memories (Gen Ed 1060)

    What is Life? From Quarks to Consciousness (Gen Ed 1029)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Logan S. McCarty and Andrew Berry

    This course views life through multiple lenses. Quantum physics involves uncertainty and randomness, and yet paradoxically it explains the stability of molecules, such as DNA, that encode information and are critical to life. Thermodynamics is about the universe's ever increasing disorder, and yet living systems remain ordered and intact.... Read more about What is Life? From Quarks to Consciousness (Gen Ed 1029)

    Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies (Gen Ed 1134)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Ali Asani

    The course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts of Islam and the role that religious ideas and institutions play in Muslim communities around the world. Its main concern is to develop an understanding of the manner in which diverse notions of religious and political authority have influenced Muslim societies politically, socially and culturally.... Read more about Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies (Gen Ed 1134)

    Understanding Darwinism (Gen Ed 1004)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2019

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with textScience & Technology in Society icon with text

    Janet Browne and Andrew Berry

    How does scientific knowledge develop, how is it shaped by history, and what effect does it have on society? An interdisciplinary exploration of Darwin's ideas and their impact on science and society, this course links the history of Darwin's ideas with the key features of modern evolutionary biology. We review the development of the main elements of the theory of evolution, highlighting the areas in which Darwin's ideas have proved remarkably robust and areas in which subsequent developments have significantly modified the theory.... Read more about Understanding Darwinism (Gen Ed 1004)

    Black Radicalism (Gen Ed 1016)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2019

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Robert Reid-Pharr

    “Black Radicalism” is a course designed to introduce students to the main currents of black radical thought in the period stretching from the close of World War II until roughly 1980 and the advent of the Reagan Era.  The course will be divided into three sections: Anti-Colonialism; Black Nationalism; and Black Feminism and will focus on key works of fiction, theory, and criticism by especially prominent black intellectuals including Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth); Richard Wright (White Man Listen!); George Jackson (Soledad Brother); Huey Newton (Revolutionary Suicide); Angela Davis (If They Come for Me in the Morning); and the members of the Combahee River Collective (The Combahee River Statement).... Read more about Black Radicalism (Gen Ed 1016)

    The Science of Happiness (Gen Ed 1154)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2019

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Jason P. Mitchell

    Recent research in the cognitive sciences—especially psychology, economics, and neuroscience—has begun to examine the factors that promote personal well-being and happiness. One surprising, but consistent, observation has been that many of the things that are widely believed to be crucial for our happiness—wealth, material possessions, “not missing out”, even good grades—not only fail to make many people happy but can actively undermine the sense of well-being.... Read more about The Science of Happiness (Gen Ed 1154)

    Faith and Authenticity: Religion, Existentialism and the Human Condition (Gen Ed 1069)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2019

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Courtney Bickel Lamberth, David Lamberth, and Cornel West

    This course engages some of the most fundamental questions of human existence through the philosophical, theological and literary works of 19th and 20th century authors many of whom are associated with the movement called “existentialism.” What is an authentic individual life?... Read more about Faith and Authenticity: Religion, Existentialism and the Human Condition (Gen Ed 1069)

    Energy Resources and the Environment (Gen Ed 1085)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    John Shaw

    This is a revolutionary time of change regarding how we produce and utilize energy around the world. How will we provide enough energy to support our growing global economy while protecting our environment? This class examines the full life cycle of each energy resource, including where it comes from geologically, how we acquire it, the way it is used in our economies, and the environmental impacts of these activities.... Read more about Energy Resources and the Environment (Gen Ed 1085)

    Interracial Encounters in American Literature and Culture (Gen Ed 1135)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Ju Yon Kim

    From depictions of exchanges in the early colonial Americas to efforts to envision alternate and imminent futures, this class will examine representations of interracial encounters in U.S. American culture. We will explore how various texts and performances have conceived, embodied, and reimagined the relationships not only among differently racialized groups, but also between race and nation, individual and community, and art and politics.... Read more about Interracial Encounters in American Literature and Culture (Gen Ed 1135)

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