Classes

    Loss (Gen Ed 1131)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How are we to cope with the inevitability that some of what we most love in life we will lose?

     

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Kathleen Coleman

    Loss is an inevitable fact of human existence. Small losses most of us learn to bear with equanimity. But enormous, wrenching, life-changing losses open voids in our lives for which we can never feel adequately prepared, even if we can see them coming.... Read more about Loss (Gen Ed 1131)

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

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    Given all our technological advances, why are we still not able to prevent preventable diseases, provide affordable healthcare for millions of people, and deliver cures for curable diseases?

     

    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 address epidemics? 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)

    Confronting Climate Change: A Foundation in Science, Technology and Policy (Gen Ed 1094)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How can we address the issue of climate change, reducing the damages by preparing for impacts already underway and fixing the problem by transforming our energy system?

     

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Daniel Schrag

    This course will consider the challenge of climate change and what to do about it.   Students will be introduced to the basic science of climate change, including the radiation budget of the Earth, the carbon cycle, and the physics and chemistry of the oceans and atmosphere.... Read more about Confronting Climate Change: A Foundation in Science, Technology and Policy (Gen Ed 1094)

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

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How do you successfully design and implement solutions to intractable social and economic problems in the developing world?

     

    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)

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

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How can health care systems be restructured to provide high quality care even to the poorest and most vulnerable people on our planet?
     

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Arthur Kleinman, 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. The global coronavirus pandemic illustrates with dramatic urgency the role social forces play in patterning health inequities and determining individual fates. The vulnerabilties of those most likely to get sick and die from COVID-19 stem from the ongoing effects of systemic racism on racialized subjects, the devaluation of eldercare and precarity of low-paid work under neoliberal forms of governance, and material effects of colonial-era power structures that render health care systems dangerously weak or inaccessible for many communities. Now, as ever, it is imperative to develop frameworks and methodologies to identify and to intervene effectively in harmful social configurations that cause illness and suffering.

    ... Read more about Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Cares? Reimagining Global Health (Gen Ed 1093)

    Can We Know Our Past? (Gen Ed 1105)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    In a time when histories are being contested, monuments removed, and alternative facts compete with established orthodoxy, how do we evaluate competing narratives about what really happened in the past?

     

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

    Jason Ur and Matthew Liebmann

    What happened in the past? How do you know? Even though today we take great pains to document every major event that occurs, more than 99% of human history is not written down.... Read more about Can We Know Our Past? (Gen Ed 1105)

    Equity and Excellence in K12 American Schools (Gen Ed 1076)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How does the U.S. K12 education system reflect, reinforce, and reshape American society?

     

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

    Katherine K. Merseth

    Each year, between September and June some 52 million students attend public schools in America.  But why?  Why do we have K-12 schools in America? What is their purpose? What we do expect schools to accomplish?  Headlines decrying the failed state of our nation’s schools and clarion calls for the improved quality and reach of American schooling in the 21st century are commonplace.... Read more about Equity and Excellence in K12 American Schools (Gen Ed 1076)

    Conflict Resolution in a Divided World (Gen Ed 1033)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    From the interpersonal to the international, are we destined to live in a world of destructive conflict—or can we negotiate our way out?

     

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    Daniel Shapiro

    Romero Britto image

    How should we understand conflict in our own lives and in the world around us? At all levels of society, people tend to approach conflict as an adversarial battle—communities polarize, ethnopolitical groups clash, and nations and international institutions face daily political tensions.... Read more about Conflict Resolution in a Divided World (Gen Ed 1033)

    Anime as Global Popular Culture (Gen Ed 1042)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    What can anime’s development in Japan and its global dissemination teach us about the messy world of contemporary media culture where art and commerce, aesthetic and technology, and producers and consumers are inextricably entangled with each other?

     

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Tomiko Yoda

    Banner of anime images

    In this course, students will learn to engage Japanese or Japanese-style animation (sometimes known as anime) through two-pronged approaches. First, the students will learn to evaluate the aesthetic and socio-cultural relevance of anime in relation to the criteria and perspectives developed through the study of more established artistic forms such literature, cinema and visual arts. We will cover topics including, anime’s generic conventions, formal aesthetic, and narrative motifs.... Read more about Anime as Global Popular Culture (Gen Ed 1042)

    Faith and Authenticity: Religion, Existentialism and the Human Condition (Gen Ed 1069)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How do the possibilities of faith and the demands of living authentically square with the developments of the modern west and its threats of nihilism?

     

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Courtney Bickel Lamberth and David Lamberth

    This course engages some of the most fundamental questions of human existence through the philosophical, theological and literary works of 19th and 20th century authors many of whom are associated with the movement called “existentialism.” What is an authentic individual life?... Read more about Faith and Authenticity: Religion, Existentialism and the Human Condition (Gen Ed 1069)

    Living in an Urban Planet (Gen Ed 1103)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How did the world become so urban, and how can we build more sustainable, just, and livable cities? 

     

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Bruno Carvalho and Diane Davis

    It has become a cliché to say that more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities. The speed and scale of urbanization over the past century has been stunning, and we tend to underestimate the extent to which built environments and natural landscapes have become entangled.... Read more about Living in an Urban Planet (Gen Ed 1103)

    How to Build a Habitable Planet (Gen Ed 1018)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    The relationship between human beings and Earth is the central problem of our time; can an understanding of Earth’s history reveal a place for us in a process of planetary evolution that might influence our behavior?

     

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Charles H. Langmuir

    Poster for Gen Ed 1018 - How to Build a Habitable Planet. Includes images of earth as well as a construction worker. Text describes course.

    Is Earth one of many planets in an inhabited Universe, or is it the result of a low-probability accident? And what does the answer to that question tell us about humans’ relationship to our planet? The aim of this course is to place human beings in a universal and planetary context as we investigate the steps of planetary evolution and their significance to our current relationship to Earth.... Read more about How to Build a Habitable Planet (Gen Ed 1018)

    The Ancient Greek Hero (Gen Ed 1074)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How did ancient Greek heroes, both male and female, learn about life by facing what all us have to face, our human condition?

     

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    Gregory Nagy

    How to face death? Concentrating on this central human question, we will explore some of the greatest works of ancient Greek literature in English translation. For the Greeks, a special way to address the problem of death was to think long and hard about what they called "heroes" in their myths.... Read more about The Ancient Greek Hero (Gen Ed 1074)

    Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory (Gen Ed 1091)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    What if many of our assumptions about the self and about how to live fully are limiting and even dangerous, and what other possibilities might we be able to find in classical Chinese philosophy?

     

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    Michael Puett

    What is the best way to live a fuller and more ethical life? Concretely what should we do to begin to live in a more flourishing and inspiring way? Questions such as these were at the heart of philosophical debates in China.... Read more about Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory (Gen Ed 1091)

    The Art and Politics of Propaganda (Gen Ed 1012)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022


    Why did Nazi sights, sounds, and propaganda prove to be so captivating and compelling for German audiences of a modern nation and how do we explain the continuing impact of Nazi images and fantasies to this very day, which is to ask, what do “they” have to do with “us”?  

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

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    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)

    The Caribbean Crucible: Colonialism, Capitalism and Post-Colonial Misdevelopment In The Region (Gen Ed 1019)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How does the growing inequality between and within nations—which is the major global issue of our times—impact the Caribbean region and, in turn, its U.S. neighbor?

     

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    Orlando Patterson

    This course explores the complex, formative role of the Caribbean in the development of Western colonialism and capitalism and the consequences for the peoples of the region. Four major themes will be examined. First, the importance of the region in the origin and early development of Western imperialism and capitalism: Why did both Western Europe and America begin their imperial and colonial expansion in this region and to what degree did the region’s slave based economies influence the nature and development of Western capitalism?... Read more about The Caribbean Crucible: Colonialism, Capitalism and Post-Colonial Misdevelopment In The Region (Gen Ed 1019)

    The Political Economy of Globalization (Gen Ed 1120)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How can a globalizing world of differing countries – rich and poor, democratic and authoritarian – best promote inclusive growth and human security by meeting the challenges of inequality, climate change, rising populism, and global disease?

     

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    Lawrence Summers and Robert Lawrence

    Why is populism becoming pervasive - and is there a revolt against global integration? What is the right balance between national sovereignty and international integration? Is the US equipped to sustain its role as a global leader? How does international trade affect prosperity and inequality?... Read more about The Political Economy of Globalization (Gen Ed 1120)

    Sleep (Gen Ed 1038)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How does sleep affect your health, your safety, and our society?

     

    Science & Technology in Society icon with text

    Charles Czeisler and Frank A.J.L. Scheer

    What is sleep? Why do we sleep? Why don't we sleep? How much sleep do you need? What are circadian rhythms? How do technology and culture impact sleep? This course will explore the role of sleep and circadian timing in maintaining health, improving performance and enhancing safety.... Read more about Sleep (Gen Ed 1038)

    Painting's Doubt: A Studio Course (Gen Ed 1114)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How does a hands-on practice of image making (painting) lead us  to perceive, represent and inhabit our world differently?

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Matt Saunders

    Paul Cezanne, unfinished painting of trees

    Painting is an engagement between the self and the world.  It is a practice of embodied making, and, as a language outside of words, can think around conditioned understanding.  This introductory studio art course proposes learning to paint as a new experience of relating to the world, and through painting we will investigate not only what we have to say, but what we have to see.... Read more about Painting's Doubt: A Studio Course (Gen Ed 1114)

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