Classes

    Outside Looking In: Sex, Race, and (Not) Belonging in the U.S. (Gen Ed 1065)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Caroline Light

    For most of us, sex is intensely private. Few of us want our hidden, innermost desires and erotic practices made available for public scrutiny. But when we look at our contemporary world’s most divisive public debates – over reproductive rights, public health resources, immigration, marriage equality, even people’s access to public restrooms – we can’t help but notice that sex comprises a vital part of public discourse that shapes systems regulating people’s access to the rights, privileges, and protections of citizenship.... Read more about Outside Looking In: Sex, Race, and (Not) Belonging in the U.S. (Gen Ed 1065)

    What Have Athens and Rome to Do with Us? (Gen Ed 1007)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Emma Dench

    Why do we venerate Athens as the birthplace of democracy when it was a culture structured on slavery and gender inequality? Why does the fall of the Roman empire make us nervous when that empire gloried in violence, and judged numerous societies (including large swathes of northern and western Europe) to fall below the standards of civilization?... Read more about What Have Athens and Rome to Do with Us? (Gen Ed 1007)

    Making Memories (Gen Ed 1060)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

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

    Stephanie Sandler

    How we make, keep, and lose memories throughout our life is one of our great skills as human beings, and also something of a mystery. Is what we think of as memory ours individually, or is it based on shared experiences – national, communal, familial, and with peers? Also far from decided is how much memories are made and put at risk by biological processes in the brain, and how much by the verbal, visual, and experiential inputs that we call daily life. These questions have broad cultural impact as well as their personal presence in each individual’s life.... Read more about Making Memories (Gen Ed 1060)

    The Einstein Revolution (Gen Ed 1019)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Peter Galison

    Albert Einstein has become the icon of modern science. Following his scientific, cultural, philosophical, and political trajectory, this course aims to track the changing role of physics in the 20th- and 21st- centuries. Addresses Einstein's engagement with relativity, quantum mechanics, Nazism, nuclear weapons, philosophy, and technology, and raises basic questions about what it means to understand physics and its history.... Read more about The Einstein Revolution (Gen Ed 1019)

    If There is No God, All is Permitted: Theism and Moral Reasoning (Gen Ed 1161)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2022

    Ethics & Civics icon with text

    Jay Harris

    For centuries in the West, Jewish and Christian thinkers (among others) have asserted that moral judgment is impossible without some concept of the deity. So convincing were they that one important character created by a Russian author of the nineteenth century was led to express the idea (if not exactly the words), "if there is no God, all is permitted."... Read more about If There is No God, All is Permitted: Theism and Moral Reasoning (Gen Ed 1161)

    Science of Stress (Gen Ed 1162)

    Semester: 

    N/A

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Katie A. McLaughlin

    Stress is a universal human experience. What is stress and why do we experience it? How does stress influence our emotions and the way we think and behave? What are common causes of stress in our modern world? What are the consequences of stress for our health and well-being? Why are some people more vulnerable to developing stress-related illnesses than others? And perhaps most importantly – what are the most effective strategies for coping with stress?

    ... Read more about Science of Stress (Gen Ed 1162)

    The Empire Strikes Back: Science Fiction, Religion and Society (Gen Ed 1024)

    Semester: 

    N/A

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

    Ahmed Ragab and Sophia Roosth

    From the seventeenth century to today, science fiction has reflected the aspirations of scientific innovation and anticipated new discoveries. It has reflected rhetorical practices by which science melds present contexts with futurism, extrapolation, and promissory logics. Authors have engaged with ethical problems, fears about innovations gone awry, and pessimism about the prospects of technological development, all while critiquing views on gender, race, and sexuality, and subverting colonial ambitions while engaging postcolonial aspirations.... Read more about The Empire Strikes Back: Science Fiction, Religion and Society (Gen Ed 1024)

    Harvard Gets Medieval (Gen Ed 1160)

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2021

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Daniel Lord Smail

    Starting in the late nineteenth century, Harvard got medieval. Through direct purchase and through the collecting activity of numerous alumnae/i, we began collecting all sorts of texts and artifacts generated by the medieval world of Arabic, Greek, and Latin civilizations. The things that arrived in Harvard’s collections came in many forms, ranging from great architectural monuments and motifs to little stuff such as belt buckles, pilgrims’ flasks, and fragments of pottery.... Read more about Harvard Gets Medieval (Gen Ed 1160)