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)

    Natural Disasters (Gen Ed 1098)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Brendan Meade

    From Mexico to India, San Francisco to Tokyo, natural disasters have shaped both the surface of our planet and the development of civilizations. These catastrophes claim thousands of lives and cause tens of billions of dollars in damage each year, and the impact of natural disasters is only increasing as a result of human population growth and urbanization.... Read more about Natural Disasters (Gen Ed 1098)

    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)

    Painting's Doubt: What Artmaking Lets Us See and Say (Gen Ed 1114)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Matt Saunders

    Paul Cezanne, unfinished painting of trees

    Painting is an engagement between the self and the world.  It is a practice of embodied making, and, as a language outside of words, can think around conditioned understanding.  This introductory studio art course proposes learning to paint as a new experience of relating to the world, and through painting we will investigate not only what we have to say, but what we have to see.... Read more about Painting's Doubt: What Artmaking Lets Us See and Say (Gen Ed 1114)

    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)

    Human Trafficking, Slavery and Abolition in the Modern World (Gen Ed 1115)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

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

    Orlando Patterson

    We often think of slavery as being a dark chapter in our past, but this is a tragic oversimplification. What defines slavery in the modern world, and what are the moral, political and social implications of its continued existence? The mechanisms of many forms of bondage are secretive and illegal, making it difficult to quantify the number of people affected by this persistent institution. As we explore its underpinnings, we discover that all of us may be in some way complicit in its survival.... Read more about Human Trafficking, Slavery and Abolition in the Modern World (Gen Ed 1115)

    The Stories We Tell (Gen Ed 1021)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Martin Puchner and David Damrosch

    The Stories We Tell is based on the premise that we are story-telling animals. There have been human societies without the wheel, but none without stories. We use stories to make sense of experience, to understand where we are coming from, and to orient ourselves in the world. Today, we are asked to produce stories to get into college, to run for president, to pitch start-up companies, and to turn scientific insight into new policies. Where do these stories come from?... Read more about The Stories We Tell (Gen Ed 1021)

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

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

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

    Samantha Power and Cass Sunstein

    How does change happen? Why do revolutions occur? When do people, and when do whole nations, suddenly focus on the environment, on sex equality, on religious liberty, on criminal justice, on free markets, on new rights? This course will try to answer these questions, exploring diverse efforts to influence large-scale policies and actions.... Read more about Making Change When Change is Hard: the Law, Politics, and Policy of Social Change (Gen Ed 1102)

    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)

    Pyramid Schemes: What Can Ancient Egyptian Civilization Teach Us? (Gen Ed 1099)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2020

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Peter Der Manuelian

    How much of your impression of the ancient world was put there by Hollywood, music videos, or orientalist musings out of the West? How accurate are these depictions? Does it matter? This course examines the quintessential example of the “exotic, mysterious ancient world” – Ancient Egypt – to interrogate these questions.  Who has “used” ancient Egypt as a construct, and to what purpose? Did you know that pyramids, mummies, King Tut, and Cleopatra represent just the (overhyped) tip of a very rich civilization that holds plenty of life lessons for today?... Read more about Pyramid Schemes: What Can Ancient Egyptian Civilization Teach Us? (Gen Ed 1099)

    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)

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