Classes

    How Did We Get Here? From Slavery to #MeToo (Gen Ed 1041)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    How can the resistance strategies of women from slavery through today help us critically examine oour current moment from identity and power to racism and law?

     

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Linda Chavers

    Everything we think we know is wrong, right? We get our news through a wide variety of mediums from Twitter to FOX News. The #MeToo movement as we know it came to national fame from a Twitter thread.... Read more about How Did We Get Here? From Slavery to #MeToo (Gen Ed 1041)

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

    Semester: 

    Fall

    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?

     

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    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)

    Global Japanese Cinema (Gen Ed 1145)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    What can film from Japan tell us about the strange pair of intensifying global interconnections and rising nationalism in the world today?

     

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Alexander Zahlten

    Global Japanese Cinema introduces some of the masterworks from the rich history of Japanese cinema as a way of exploring the global language of film. Participants will learn how to analyze moving images and the ways they influence us – a basic media literacy that we all need for life in a media- saturated society.... Read more about Global Japanese Cinema (Gen Ed 1145)

    The Democracy Project (Gen Ed 1002)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    At a time when democracies are collapsing all over the world and when American democracy lies in a state of crisis, what, of its future, can be learned from its past?

     

    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)

    Music from Earth (Gen Ed 1006)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    How can music help us in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence?

     

    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)

    Texts in Transition (Gen Ed 1034)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    What makes some texts long-lived while others are ephemeral, today and in the past?

     

    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)

    Human Nature (Gen Ed 1056)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    What does it mean to be human, from a biological perspective – and how did we get that way?

     

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Erin Hecht and Martin Surbeck

    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)

    Power and Civilization: China (Gen Ed 1136)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    What does China’s past mean for its and your future as China once again becomes the most powerful nation on earth?

     

    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)

    Popular Culture and Modern China (Gen Ed 1111)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    What is the “people," and how “popular” can popular culture be in contemporary People’s Republic of China and beyond?

     

    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".... Read more about Popular Culture and Modern China (Gen Ed 1111)

    American Dreams Made in Hollywood and Beyond (Gen Ed 1043)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    If we talk about American dreams and the many different ways they take shape in the mass-produced film fantasies made in Hollywood and beyond, what language are we to use and how are we to speak as we confront the diversity of experience portrayed in these designs for living; for whom is the American dream, one wonders, is it for everyone?

     

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Eric Rentschler

    The American dream once essentialized the grand promise of a better, fuller, and richer life. At the present moment, however, it seems in many minds to have lost its evocative power as a collective myth. Does this notion still represent a principle of hope or has it become a form of cruel optimism? In a time of prolonged political crisis, this General Education course has a pressing mission. It aims to further a dynamic understanding of American dreams (for there are many and not just one), to apprehend their complexities and contradictions, to appreciate their diverse manifestations and historical shapes, and above all to take measure of their presence and meaning in the world we now inhabit.

    ... Read more about American Dreams Made in Hollywood and Beyond (Gen Ed 1043)

    Medical Ethics and History (Gen Ed 1116)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    Why have debates about medicine and public health (e.g., vaccination, abortion, etc.) become so polarized and contentious in the United States?

     

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

    David Shumway Jones

    'The Doctor' painting by Luke Fildes

    Students will encounter the ethical dilemmas of medical practice throughout their lives, whether with their own health, or with the health of their families and friends.  This course will equip them with the tools of moral philosophy so that they can recognize, critique, and craft arguments grounded in appeals to utilitarianism, deontology, or rights.... Read more about Medical Ethics and History (Gen Ed 1116)

    Understanding Darwinism (Gen Ed 1004)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    How has our understanding of evolution evolved since Darwin?

     

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

    Andrew Berry and Janet Browne

    How does scientific knowledge develop, how is it shaped by history, and what effect does it have on society? An interdisciplinary exploration of Darwin's ideas and their impact on science and society, this course links the history of Darwin's ideas with the key features of modern evolutionary biology. We review the development of the main elements of the theory of evolution, highlighting the areas in which Darwin's ideas have proved remarkably robust and areas in which subsequent developments have significantly modified the theory.... Read more about Understanding Darwinism (Gen Ed 1004)