Classes

    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)

    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)

    If There is No God, All is Permitted: Theism and Moral Reasoning (Gen Ed 1161)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2022

    Ethics & Civics icon with text

    Jay Harris

    For centuries in the West, Jewish and Christian thinkers (among others) have asserted that moral judgment is impossible without some concept of the deity. So convincing were they that one important character created by a Russian author of the nineteenth century was led to express the idea (if not exactly the words), "if there is no God, all is permitted."... Read more about If There is No God, All is Permitted: Theism and Moral Reasoning (Gen Ed 1161)

    Science of Stress (Gen Ed 1162)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Katie A. McLaughlin

    Stress is a universal human experience. What is stress and why do we experience it? How does stress influence our emotions and the way we think and behave? What are common causes of stress in our modern world? What are the consequences of stress for our health and well-being? Why are some people more vulnerable to developing stress-related illnesses than others? And perhaps most importantly – what are the most effective strategies for coping with stress?

    ... Read more about Science of Stress (Gen Ed 1162)

    Asia in the Making of the Modern World (Gen Ed 1026)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Parimal Patil and Ian J. Miller

    How did we come to live as we do? Why do we eat what we eat, wear what we wear, play the games that we play, take the SATs? The roots of a surprisingly large number of things that we now take for granted, as parts of everyday American life, lie deep in the Asian past. In this class you will learn to perceive global history in the American present, and more importantly, to make new historical discoveries yourself.... Read more about Asia in the Making of the Modern World (Gen Ed 1026)

    Harvard Gets Medieval (Gen Ed 1160)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Daniel Lord Smail

    Starting in the late nineteenth century, Harvard got medieval. Through direct purchase and through the collecting activity of numerous alumnae/i, we began collecting all sorts of texts and artifacts generated by the medieval world of Arabic, Greek, and Latin civilizations. The things that arrived in Harvard’s collections came in many forms, ranging from great architectural monuments and motifs to little stuff such as belt buckles, pilgrims’ flasks, and fragments of pottery.... Read more about Harvard Gets Medieval (Gen Ed 1160)

    Tragedy Today (Gen Ed 1168)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Naomi Weiss

    “It’s a sad tale, it’s a tragedy / It’s a sad song…. We’re gonna sing it anyway.” So sings Hermes at the start of Hadestown, the hit broadway show that deals with capitalism, demagoguery, borders, and climate change. Based on the ancient artform of tragedy, this musical provokes its audiences to reflect on very modern concerns; it also, as the show’s creator Anaïs Mitchell says, “lets us cry.”... Read more about Tragedy Today (Gen Ed 1168)

    Race and Caste (Gen Ed 1126)

    Semester: 

    N/A

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

    Ajantha Subramanian

    Race and caste are two of the most enduring forms of social stratification. While their histories date well before the advent of political democracy, they have taken on new forms in the context of democratic social transformation and capitalist development. In this course, we will grapple with the meanings, uses, and politics of race and caste historically and in the contemporary moment.... Read more about Race and Caste (Gen Ed 1126)

    Mental Health and Mental Illness through Literature and the Arts (Gen Ed 1144)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Karen Thornber

    Mental health experts believe that globally, more than 1 billion people have a mental illness.  And yet the biases and misperceptions surrounding mental illness, not to mention the dehumanization and abuse in many communities of individuals with a mental illness, remains acute.  This course uses literature and the arts to help students learn about more about some of the prevalent biases/misperceptions/myths/stigmas against individuals with mental illness and how these biases can be (or in the past have been) ameliorated.... Read more about Mental Health and Mental Illness through Literature and the Arts (Gen Ed 1144)

    The Future of Cultural Space (Gen Ed 1141)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Jerold S. Kayden and Robin Kelsey

    Museums, concert halls, theatres, art galleries, libraries, opera houses, cinemas, performing arts complexes, clubs, bookstores, restaurants, public spaces, universities, retail stores, and other bricks-and-mortar venues have accommodated and shaped cultural ambitions for centuries. Today, many existing cultural facilities, anchored to particular histories, face accelerating threats from shifting user preferences and technologically driven substitutes that put their physical form, if not their very existence, in play. What is a library or bookstore when books are downloadable or available with same day delivery?... Read more about The Future of Cultural Space (Gen Ed 1141)

    Adam & Eve (Gen Ed 1075)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with textEthics & Civics icon with text

    Joseph Koerner and Stephen Greenblatt

    For most of history, humans expressed ethical ideas in the form of stories, and of all these the story of Adam and Eve has been perhaps the most powerful and enduring.  For almost three thousand years, in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds, people practiced ethical reasoning through the seedpod of this—even to early audiences—unreasonable tale: the first man, formed by God at the culmination of the world’s creation and followed soon by the first woman, disobeys his creator by eating a forbidden fruit, is punished by sickness, hardship, and death, and passes his curse to the entire future human species.... Read more about Adam & Eve (Gen Ed 1075)

    Africa and Africans: The Making of a Continent in the Modern World (Gen Ed 1096)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Caroline M. Elkins

    There are contradictory reports coming from Africa from news outlets, academics, entrepreneurs and businessmen, artists, and countless ordinary Africans. For some, there is an optimistic “Africa Rising” narrative that gestures to the continent being a trend-setter for the 21st century in the realms of entrepreneurship and investment, arts and culture, and innovation and design, among other things.... Read more about Africa and Africans: The Making of a Continent in the Modern World (Gen Ed 1096)

    The Urban Imagination in Global Arts and Media (Gen Ed 1077)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Julie Buckler

    Cities are one of humankind's most richly complex inventions and can best be understood through both creative and critical thinking. Offered in connection with a Mellon-funded initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, this course invites you to join an interdisciplinary investigation of the urban form and fabric, socio-cultural life, and artistic representation of five iconic cities: Boston, Berlin, Moscow, Istanbul, and Mumbai, as well as the special case study of Łódź, Poland.... Read more about The Urban Imagination in Global Arts and Media (Gen Ed 1077)

    Leadership, Social Change, and its Challenges: Boston as a Case Study (Gen Ed 1164)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Christopher Winship

    Over the last half century Boston has faced a multitude of issues and crises. Reoccurring themes have been the problems of inequality, race and ethnicity, class, and social justice. Their resolution as successes or failures has depended on the actions taken by leaders – individuals or groups.... Read more about Leadership, Social Change, and its Challenges: Boston as a Case Study (Gen Ed 1164)

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