Classes

    Is the U.S. Civil War Still Being Fought? (Gen Ed 1133)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    John Stauffer

    Most of us were taught that the Civil War between the Confederacy and the Union was fought on battlefields chiefly in the American South between the years of 1861-1865. In this narrative, the North won and the South lost. But what if the issues that resulted in such devastating bloodshed were never resolved? What if the war never ended? This course demonstrates the ways in which the United States is still fighting the Civil War, arguably THE defining event in U.S. history.... Read more about Is the U.S. Civil War Still Being Fought? (Gen Ed 1133)

    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)

    Brains, Identity, and Moral Agency (Gen Ed 1064)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Ethics & Civics icon with textScience & Technology in Society icon with text

    Steven Hyman

    Advances in brain science have the potential to diminish many forms of human suffering and disability that are rooted in disordered brain function. But what are the ethical implications involved in altering the structure and function of human brains? What’s at stake when we have the ability to alter a person’s narrative identity, create brain-computer interfaces, and manipulate social and moral emotion? In this course, you will ask and attempt to answer these questions, and discuss the implications of mechanistic explanations of decision-making and action for widely-held concepts of moral agency and legal culpability.... Read more about Brains, Identity, and Moral Agency (Gen Ed 1064)

    Classical Mythology: The Power of Myth in Antiquity and Today (Gen Ed 1110)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Brigitte Libby

    The myths of ancient Greece and Rome embody both our worst nightmares and our most fabulous fantasies. Heroism, happy endings, and everlasting love blend with disturbing themes of parricide, cannibalism, incest, misogyny, and unthinkable violence.  The resulting stories have fascinated artists, writers, and thinkers throughout western civilization, and this course will serve as an introduction to this distant but strangely familiar world. We will move from the very first works of Greek literature through the classic Greek tragedies and the Roman tales in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.... Read more about Classical Mythology: The Power of Myth in Antiquity and Today (Gen Ed 1110)

    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)

    The Challenge of Human Induced Climate Change: Transitioning to a Post Fossil Fuel Future (Gen Ed 1137)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Michael B. McElroy

    Human induced climate change has the potential to alter the function of natural ecosystems and the lives of people on a global scale. The prospect lies not in the distant future but is imminent. Our choice is either to act immediately to change the nature of our global energy system (abandon our dependence on fossil fuels) or accept the consequences (included among which are increased incidence of violent storms, fires, floods and droughts, changes in the spatial distribution and properties of critical ecosystems, and rising sea level).... Read more about The Challenge of Human Induced Climate Change: Transitioning to a Post Fossil Fuel Future (Gen Ed 1137)

    Evolving Morality: From Primordial Soup to Superintelligent Machines (Gen Ed 1046)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Ethics & Civics icon with textScience & Technology in Society icon with text

    Joshua D. Greene

    In this course we’ll examine the evolution of morality on Earth, from its origins in the biology of unthinking organisms, through the psychology of intelligent primates, and into a future inhabited by machines that may be more intelligent and better organized than humans. First, we ask: What is morality?... Read more about Evolving Morality: From Primordial Soup to Superintelligent Machines (Gen Ed 1046)

    Rationality (Gen Ed 1066)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Ethics & Civics icon with text

    Steven Pinker

    How can members of a species that discovered symbolic logic and the double helix also believe that the earth is flat and that Hillary Clinton ran a child-sex ring out of a pizzeria? Human rationality is very much in the news, as we struggle to understand how an era with unpreceded scientific sophistication could harbor so much fake news, conspiracy theorizing, and “post-truth” rhetoric.... Read more about Rationality (Gen Ed 1066)

    Designing the American City: Civic Aspirations and Urban Form (Gen Ed 1003)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Alex Krieger

    An interpretive look at the American city in terms of changing attitudes toward urban life. City and suburb are experienced as the product of design and planning decisions informed by cultural and economic forces, and in relationship to utopian and pragmatic efforts to reinterpret urban traditions in search of contemporary alternatives.... Read more about Designing the American City: Civic Aspirations and Urban Form (Gen Ed 1003)

    Law, Politics, and Trade Policy: Lessons from East Asia (Gen Ed 1119)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Christina Davis

    How do states balance the challenges and opportunities of international markets? Importing ideas and resources while exporting manufactured goods underlies the East Asian growth miracle but also builds conflict with other governments. This course examines the transformative role of trade policy for Japan, Korea, and China. From the “unequal treaties” of the nineteenth century to the World Trade Organization today, trade law binds the interactions between East Asia and the world.... Read more about Law, Politics, and Trade Policy: Lessons from East Asia (Gen Ed 1119)

    Political Economy and its Future (Gen Ed 1054)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Dani Rodrik

    The world’s economic and political order reels under mounting challenges: the global financial crisis, the austerity debacle, a slowdown in economic growth and productivity, the aggravation of inequality and the inadequacy of conventional responses to it, the discrediting of the Washington Consensus, the globalization backlash, the re-emergence of nationalist politics in Europe and the United States, and a contest over the meaning, value, and requirements of democracy. We examine connections among these phenomena and explore alternative ways of thinking about contemporary market economies and their reconstruction.

    ... Read more about Political Economy and its Future (Gen Ed 1054)

    The Two Koreas in the Modern World (Gen Ed 1100)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Carter Eckert

    How and why did there come to be two competing and adversarial states on the Korean peninsula in our contemporary world, one a prosperous capitalist democracy of global reach, and the other an impoverished dictatorship, bordering on theocracy and almost totally estranged from the international community—both claiming exclusive rights to speak for the Korean people and the Korean “nation” as a whole? In this course, we will explore not only the two contemporary Korean societies, North and South, but also to Korea’s pre-modern and colonial periods, and to explore together the roles played by China, Japan, the United States, and Russia (Soviet Union) in shaping modern Korean history.... Read more about The Two Koreas in the Modern World (Gen Ed 1100)

    Prediction: The Past and Present of the Future (Gen Ed 1112)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Alyssa Goodman

    Human beings are the only creatures in the animal kingdom properly defined as worriers. We are the only ones who expend tremendous amounts of time, energy, and resources trying (sometimes obsessively) to understand our futures before they happen. While the innate ability of individual people to predict has not changed much in the past few millennia, developments in mathematical and conceptual models have inordinately improved predictive systems.... Read more about Prediction: The Past and Present of the Future (Gen Ed 1112)

    Experiments that Changed Our World (Gen Ed 1037)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Philip Sadler

    Facing the edifice of preexisting knowledge, how are breakthrough scientific discoveries made that contradict the existing canon? Twelve great experiments that have transformed our understanding of nature will guide us, first through immersion in the scholarship and popular beliefs of the time. Next, how did the discoverer prepare? What were the motivations, prior experiences, and training that led to the threshold of a fruitful advance?... Read more about Experiments that Changed Our World (Gen Ed 1037)

    Ignorance, Lies, Hogwash, and Humbug (Gen Ed 1023)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Ethics & Civics icon with text

    Christopher Robichaud

    Time magazine cover - "Is Truth Dead?"

    Is truth dead? Time Magazine posed this question in bold red print on its April 3, 2017 cover. It’s a surprising concern, given that information of every sort imaginable is merely a click away on our phones, access to educational resources is robust for both traditional students and online learners, and direct interaction with public figures is more unencumbered than ever before with the help of social networks.... Read more about Ignorance, Lies, Hogwash, and Humbug (Gen Ed 1023)

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