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)

    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)

    Pluralism: Case Studies in American Diversity (Gen Ed 1166)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Ethics & Civics icon with text

    Diana Eck

    Who do we mean when we say “we?” How does a society deal with religious, ethical, and cultural diversity? What challenges do we face as people of different communities encounter one another in cities and public institutions, schools and businesses, neighborhoods and families? These are urgent questions in many nations today, but in this course we focus on the United States.... Read more about Pluralism: Case Studies in American Diversity (Gen Ed 1166)

    Res Publica: A History of Representative Government (Gen Ed 1032)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

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

    Daniel Carpenter

    “A republic, if you can keep it.”  So did Benjamin Franklin characterize his hopes for American government. What did Franklin and others mean by republic, and why did he and so many others worry that it might be something hard to hold onto? This course will give you the theoretical basis and historical evolution of republics so that you can understand the American system of a democratic republic, now spread widely around the planet even as it is considered under threat.... Read more about Res Publica: A History of Representative Government (Gen Ed 1032)

    Shakespeare's Timeliness (Gen Ed 1153)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Marjorie Garber

    The First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays was published in 1623, seven years after the playwright’s death. A memorial poem by Ben Jonson, included in the book, described Shakespeare, famously, as “not of an age, but for all time.” This course will argue that the works of Shakespeare—like all great works of literature—are both “of an age” and “for all time.”... Read more about Shakespeare's Timeliness (Gen Ed 1153)

    Music from Earth (Gen Ed 1006)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Alexander Rehding

    In 1977 humanity sent a mixtape into outer space. The two spacecraft of NASA’s Voyager mission include a Golden Record, featuring greetings in 55 earth languages, 116 images of the planet and its inhabitants, plus examples of music from a range of cultures across the world: from Azerbaijani bagpipes to Zaire pygmy songs, from English Renaissance dances to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and from Louis Armstrong to Chuck Berry.... Read more about Music from Earth (Gen Ed 1006)

    Power and Civilization: China (Gen Ed 1136)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    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: 

    2020

    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)

    Medicine and Conflict: The History and Ethics of Healing in Political Turmoil (Gen Ed 1150)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Ethics & Civics icon with text

    Soha Bayoumi

    “War is the only proper school for surgeons,” the Ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, is quoted to have said. This saying has been used to show how medicine and war have been thought for millennia to shape each. Medicine has played a major role in situations of political conflict, ever since human societies engaged in war and started elaborating “just war doctrines,” that determine how belligerent parties should conduct war, as an attempt to “civilize” war and mitigate its scourges.... Read more about Medicine and Conflict: The History and Ethics of Healing in Political Turmoil (Gen Ed 1150)

    Stories from the End of the World (Gen Ed 1001)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Giovanni Bazzana

    Fantasizing about the end of the world is something that many people in the US do on a daily basis either by watching their favorite shows on TV, by playing videogames, or by listening to political speeches. This course will start from this observation to ask why imagining the end is so pervasive in our culture and to analyze critically where these images are coming from and how they are used in contemporary conversations.... Read more about Stories from the End of the World (Gen Ed 1001)

    Texts in Transition (Gen Ed 1034)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

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

    Ann Blair and Leah Whittington

    We live in a moment of “crisis” around regimes of preservation and loss. As our communication becomes ever more digital— and, therefore, simultaneously more ephemeral and more durable—the attitudes and tools we have for preserving our culture have come to seem less apt than they may have seemed as recently as a generation ago. This course examines how texts have been transmitted from the past to the present, and how we can plan for their survival into the future.... Read more about Texts in Transition (Gen Ed 1034)

    Why Is There No Cure for Health? (Gen Ed 1079)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    David M. Cutler

    Around the world, billions of dollars are spent on health care treatments, public health initiatives, and pharmaceutical research and development. So why are we still not able to prevent preventable diseases, provide affordable healthcare for millions of people, and deliver cures for curable diseases? And what are the best ways to address these issues? Because these questions are so large, we will focus our discussion around questions like: What steps should be taken to end HIV/AIDS? How should the United States reform its health care system? And how should prescription drugs be produced and sold?... Read more about Why Is There No Cure for Health? (Gen Ed 1079)

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

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    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 as Present in North America (Gen Ed 1148)

    Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Cares? Reimagining Global Health (Gen Ed 1093)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2020

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Arthur Kleinman, Paul Farmer, Anne Becker, and Salmaan Keshavjee

    If you are sick or hurt, whether you live or die depends not only on biological factors, but social ones: who you are and where you are, what sort of healthcare system is available to help you survive, and what kind of care is available to help you recover, if society believes you deserve it. Most medical research narrowly focuses on the biological basis of disease, but this course takes a novel biosocial approach to reveal how governments, institutions, and histories shape health and well-being, how poverty and racism get into someone’s lymph nodes, how cost- saving measures manifest as tuberculosis in someone’s lungs.... Read more about Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Cares? Reimagining Global Health (Gen Ed 1093)

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