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)

    Power to the People: Black Power, Radical Feminism, and Gay Liberation (Gen Ed 1130)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Michael Bronski

    This course is an introduction to the cultures of radical American social change movements of the 1960s and 1970s. We will examine the specific historical conditions that allowed each of these movements to develop, the interconnections and contradictions among them, and why – even as they changed the world – they ultimately lost political power.... Read more about Power to the People: Black Power, Radical Feminism, and Gay Liberation (Gen Ed 1130)

    Money, Markets, and Morals (Gen Ed 1109)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Ethics & Civics icon with text

    Michael Sandel

    What should be the role of money and markets in our society? Are there some goods that should not be bought and sold? Do market practices and incentives sometimes erode or crowd out non-market norms worth caring about? We tend to assume that a deal is a deal; people should be free to choose for themselves what value to place on the goods they exchange. On this view, all voluntary market exchanges are just.... Read more about Money, Markets, and Morals (Gen Ed 1109)

    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 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)

    Human Nature (Gen Ed 1056)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Joseph Henrich, Richard Wrangham, and Erin Hecht

    This course asks: What makes us behaviorally and psychologically human? In what ways are humans similar to other species and in what ways are we different? What are the evolutionary origins of the behavioral and psychological features found across human societies including parental love, sibling rivalry, pair-bonding, incest aversion, social status, war, norms, altruism, religion, language, and cooking?... Read more about Human Nature (Gen Ed 1056)

    Popular Culture and Modern China (Gen Ed 1111)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    David Wang

    This course examines "popular culture" as a modern, transnational phenomenon and explores its manifestation in Chinese communities (in People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and North America) and beyond. From pulp fiction to film, from "Yellow Music" to "Model Theater", from animations to internet games, the course looks into how China became modern by participating in the global circulation of media forms, and how China helps in her own way enrich the theory and practice of "popular culture".

    Happiness (Gen Ed 1025)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Susanna Rinard

    Should we pursue happiness, and if so, what is the best way to do it?  This course will critically assess the answers to these questions given by thinkers from a wide variety of different places, cultures, and times, including Stoicism, Epicureanism, Buddhism, Daoism, and contemporary philosophy, psychology, and economics.

    Act Natural (Gen Ed 1050)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    David Levine

    “To thine own self be true,” runs the famous line in Hamlet. But which self? And why? And who’s judging? Does this injunction to be authentic even make sense today, when profiles proliferate online and surveillance is ubiquitous? Acting—the art of creating and reproducing selves—can help us navigate these questions. Just as every century’s approach to acting tells us something about their idea of personhood, so too can our own era’s quandaries around empathy, personae, identity, work, art-making and politics be explored through our approach to acting.... Read more about Act Natural (Gen Ed 1050)

    Power and Civilization: China (Gen Ed 1136)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2019

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    William C. Kirby and Peter K. Bol

    How is a civilization built and sustained over millennia?  How are political systems supported or undermined by cultural, economic, and ecological challenges?  How does the need for shared values in a nation compete with individual interest and creativity?

    These concepts are common to humankind, but nowhere on Earth are they more in evidence than in the story of the longest, continuous civilization in human history, China, home to one-fifth of mankind.... Read more about Power and Civilization: China (Gen Ed 1136)

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

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2019

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    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)

    Vision and Justice: The Art of Race and American Citizenship (Gen Ed 1022)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

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

    Sarah Lewis

    How has visual representation—from videos and photographs to sculptures and memorials—both limited and liberated our definition of American citizenship and belonging? Art is often considered a respite from life or a reflection of the times, but this class examines how art actually has created the times in which we live.... Read more about Vision and Justice: The Art of Race and American Citizenship (Gen Ed 1022)