Classes

    Contemporary Developing Countries: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Problems (Gen Ed 1011)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How do you successfully design and implement solutions to intractable social and economic problems in the developing world?

     

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    Tarun Khanna and Satchit Balsari

    What problems do developing countries face, and how can individuals contribute to solutions rather than awaiting the largesse of the state or other actors? Intractable problems – such as lack of access to education and healthcare, forced reliance on contaminated food, deep-seated corruption – are part of the quotidian existence of the vast majority of five of the world’s seven billion people.... Read more about Contemporary Developing Countries: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Problems (Gen Ed 1011)

    The Caribbean Crucible: Colonialism, Capitalism and Post-Colonial Misdevelopment In The Region (Gen Ed 1019)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How does the growing inequality between and within nations—which is the major global issue of our times—impact the Caribbean region and, in turn, its U.S. neighbor?

     

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    Orlando Patterson

    This course explores the complex, formative role of the Caribbean in the development of Western colonialism and capitalism and the consequences for the peoples of the region. Four major themes will be examined. First, the importance of the region in the origin and early development of Western imperialism and capitalism: Why did both Western Europe and America begin their imperial and colonial expansion in this region and to what degree did the region’s slave based economies influence the nature and development of Western capitalism?... Read more about The Caribbean Crucible: Colonialism, Capitalism and Post-Colonial Misdevelopment In The Region (Gen Ed 1019)

    Deep History (Gen Ed 1044)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    Who are we, how did we get here... and how far back in time do we have to go to start asking the question?

     

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    Matthew J. Liebmann and Daniel Lord Smail

    When does history begin? To judge by the typical history textbook, the answer is straightforward: six thousand years ago. So what about the tens of thousands of years of human existence described by archaeology and related disciplines? Is that history too?... Read more about Deep History (Gen Ed 1044)

    African Spirituality and the Challenges of Modern Times (Gen Ed 1071)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    What can African spiritual traditions contribute to human flourishing in the contemporary age?

     

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    Jacob K. Olupona

    Taking the Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther” as a starting point, the course will explore the African spiritual heritage both on the continent and the diaspora communities (Black Atlantic diasporas). We will begin by spelling out the features of African indigenous religious traditions: cosmology, cosmogony, mythology, ritual practices, divination, healing ceremonies, sacred kingship, etc. ... Read more about African Spirituality and the Challenges of Modern Times (Gen Ed 1071)

    The Border: Race, Politics and Health in Modern Mexico (Gen Ed 1089)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    What can histories of tension and cooperation at the U.S.-Mexico border tell us about our own nation's public health programs and national racism?

     

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    Gabriela Soto Laveaga

    Why does the Mexico-U.S. border continue to be a space for debate and controversy? This course examines how the creation of the U.S.-Mexico border in 1848 shaped modern Mexican society from the nineteenth century to our present.... Read more about The Border: Race, Politics and Health in Modern Mexico (Gen Ed 1089)

    Making Change When Change Is Hard: the Law, Politics, and Policy of Social Change (Gen Ed 1102)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How does social change happen?


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    Cass Sunstein

    How does change happen? When, why, and how do people, and whole nations, come to together to influence large-scale policies and actions on issues like the environment, equality, criminal justice? Why do revolutions occur? This course will try to answer these questions, and do so by exploring a diversity of efforts related to societal change.... Read more about Making Change When Change Is Hard: the Law, Politics, and Policy of Social Change (Gen Ed 1102)

    Can We Know Our Past? (Gen Ed 1105)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    In a time when histories are being contested, monuments removed, and alternative facts compete with established orthodoxy, how do we evaluate competing narratives about what really happened in the past?

     

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

    Jason Ur and Matthew Liebmann

    What happened in the past? How do you know? Even though today we take great pains to document every major event that occurs, more than 99% of human history is not written down.... Read more about Can We Know Our Past? (Gen Ed 1105)

    The Political Economy of Globalization (Gen Ed 1120)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How can a globalizing world of differing countries – rich and poor, democratic and authoritarian – best promote inclusive growth and human security by meeting the challenges of inequality, climate change, rising populism, and global disease?

     

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    Lawrence Summers and Robert Lawrence

    Why is populism becoming pervasive - and is there a revolt against global integration? What is the right balance between national sovereignty and international integration? Is the US equipped to sustain its role as a global leader? How does international trade affect prosperity and inequality?... Read more about The Political Economy of Globalization (Gen Ed 1120)

    The English Language Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow (Gen Ed 1183)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How does the English language shape our world, and how does the world shape English?

     

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    Daniel Donoghue

    How does the English language shape our world? And how does the world shape English? Our “world” includes our most intimate thoughts and feelings, but it also can expand into an ever-widening social network; either way, whether personal or global, the English language has a profound and reciprocal relation with its speakers.... Read more about The English Language Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow (Gen Ed 1183)

    Moctezuma's Mexico, Then and Now: The Past, the Present and Pandemics in North America (Gen Ed 1148)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How does Mexico's rich cultural past shape contemporary Mexico and the US in the face of today's pandemics, protests and other challenges of the borderlands?

     

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    Davíd L. Carrasco and William L. Fash

    This course provides students with the opportunity to explore how the study of pre-Hispanic and Colonial Mexican and Latina/o cultures provide vital context for understanding today's changing world. The emphasis is on the mythical and social origins, glory days and political collapse of the Aztec Empire and Maya civilizations as a pivot to the study of the sexual, religious and racial interactions of the Great Encounter between Mesoamerica, Africa, Europe, and the independent nations of Mexico and the United States.... Read more about Moctezuma's Mexico, Then and Now: The Past, the Present and Pandemics in North America (Gen Ed 1148)

    Living in an Urban Planet (Gen Ed 1103)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How did the world become so urban, and how can we build more sustainable, just, and livable cities? 

     

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    Bruno Carvalho and Diane Davis

    It has become a cliché to say that more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities. The speed and scale of urbanization over the past century has been stunning, and we tend to underestimate the extent to which built environments and natural landscapes have become entangled.... Read more about Living in an Urban Planet (Gen Ed 1103)

    Equity and Excellence in K12 American Schools (Gen Ed 1076)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How does the U.S. K12 education system reflect, reinforce, and reshape American society?

     

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    Katherine K. Merseth

    Each year, between September and June some 52 million students attend public schools in America.  But why?  Why do we have K-12 schools in America? What is their purpose? What we do expect schools to accomplish?  Headlines decrying the failed state of our nation’s schools and clarion calls for the improved quality and reach of American schooling in the 21st century are commonplace.... Read more about Equity and Excellence in K12 American Schools (Gen Ed 1076)

    Borders (Gen Ed 1140)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How have borders been formed historically, and what are the ethics of border construction, defense, expansion or transgression?

     

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    Mary Lewis

    Two people holding hands and crying on the opposite sides of a metal fence.

    As a society, we pay particular attention to borders when incidents such as children separated from their asylum-seeking parents or tear-gas being used to deter entry throw the legal divide between two nation states into sharp relief. But seldom do we stop to think about what a border is, or when and why some borders are defended more aggressively than others. 

    ... Read more about Borders (Gen Ed 1140)