Classes

    Race in a Polarized America (Gen Ed 1052)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    Is the United States a beacon of liberal, democratic, diverse values and practices, that also has a pattern of racial injustice – or is the US at its core a white supremicist society, in which some people aspire to creating a genuinely tolerant liberal democracy?

     

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    Jennifer L. Hochschild

    How do we manage issues of race, ethnicity, and immigration in a polarized political era?  What role did race play in the election of President Trump, after eight years of the presidency of Barack Obama? How can we be good citizens of the world when Americans have such mixed views and take such mixed actions in engaging with racial hierarchy, identity, or interaction?... Read more about Race in a Polarized America (Gen Ed 1052)

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

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    How does ancient Egypt enlighten our times about what defines a civilization, and were those ancient humans, with their pyramids, hieroglyphs, and pharaohs, exactly like or nothing like us?

     

    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)

    Political Economy and its Future (Gen Ed 1054)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    What should we make of the market economy?

     

    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)

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

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    How and why does the U.S. Civil War continue to shape national politics, laws, literature, and culture---especially in relation to our understanding of race, freedom, and equality?

     

    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)

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

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    Why do slavery, human trafficking and other forms of servitude thrive today globally, including the USA, and what can we do about it?

     

    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? 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)

    Higher Education: Students, Institutions and Controversies (Gen Ed 1039)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    What are the effects of COVID-19 on higher education?

     

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Manja Klemenčič

    Though we may think of universities and colleges as centers of learning and research, they too are subject of teaching and burgeoning research. This course explores contemporary higher education institutions and their students through a number of different perspectives and approaches.... Read more about Higher Education: Students, Institutions and Controversies (Gen Ed 1039)

    Deep History (Gen Ed 1044)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

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

     

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    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)

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

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    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)

    Dark Satanic Mills: How the Factory Made Our World (Gen Ed 1143)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    How have changes in the way that things are manufactured and made transformed the world beyond the factory and other sites of production?

     

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    Victor Seow

    From spam to smart phones, much of the stuff we consume in our daily lives are factory-made. In the process of producing for our endless needs and wants, the factory has mobilized and motivated some of the latest advances in science and technology, defined and redefined the nature of work, and, through its polluting presence, pushed against the limits of our planetary boundaries.... Read more about Dark Satanic Mills: How the Factory Made Our World (Gen Ed 1143)

    Ancestry: Where do we come from and why do we care? (Gen Ed 1014)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    How does ancestry affect our opportunities, our rights, and our sense of who we are?

     

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

    Maya Jasanoff

    Everyone comes from somewhere. We carry our ancestries in our DNA, genealogy, family stories, and more. What do these forms of evidence tell us about who we are, as a species, as a social group, or as an individual? This course looks at ancestry from a range of perspectives: biology, anthropology, genealogy, history, law, and memory—from the origins of human populations to the origins of you.... Read more about Ancestry: Where do we come from and why do we care? (Gen Ed 1014)

    American Capitalism (Gen Ed 1159)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    What is capitalism and how has it unfolded in American history?

     

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    Sven Beckert

    How did capitalism emerge, expand and transform daily life in North America over the past 500 years? In this course, students will gain an in-depth understanding of how North America turned from a minor outpost of the Atlantic economy into the powerhouse of the world economy, how Americans built a capitalist economy and how that capitalism, in turn, changed every aspect of their lives.... Read more about American Capitalism (Gen Ed 1159)

    Is War Inevitable? (Gen Ed 1095)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    Is aggression inherent in relations between states, or between factions within states, and if so, can it be deterred, stopped, or mitigated?

     

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    Derek J. Penslar

    League of Nations poster

     

    What is war, and why has it been nearly constant throughout history? Why do wars start, how can they be stopped, and what can be done to prevent them? This course seeks to answer these questions. It ranges from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the last 300 years.... Read more about Is War Inevitable? (Gen Ed 1095)

    Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies (Gen Ed 1134)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    How does one understand a major global religion in a highly polarized and fragmented world?

     

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    Ali Asani

    People from diverse religious backgrounds are in closer contact with one another than ever before. Yet, without the intellectual tools needed to engage with and understand religious difference, this closer contact often has resulted in misunderstanding and stereotypes.... Read more about Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies (Gen Ed 1134)