Classes

    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)

    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 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?

     

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    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)

    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?

     

    Ethics & Civics icon with text

    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)

    Deep History (Gen Ed 1044)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    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)

    African Spirituality and the Challenges of Modern Times (Gen Ed 1071)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    What can African spiritual traditions contribute to human flourishing in the contemporary age?

     

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    Jacob K. Olupona

    Taking the Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther” as a starting point, the course will explore the African spiritual heritage both on the continent and the diaspora communities (Black Atlantic diasporas). We will begin by spelling out the features of African indigenous religious traditions: cosmology, cosmogony, mythology, ritual practices, divination, healing ceremonies, sacred kingship, etc. ... Read more about African Spirituality and the Challenges of Modern Times (Gen Ed 1071)

    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)

    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?

     

    Histories, Societies, Individuals icon with text

    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)

    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?

     

    Ethics & Civics icon with text

    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)

    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)

    Making Change When Change Is Hard: the Law, Politics, and Policy of Social Change (Gen Ed 1102)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How does social change happen?


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

     

    Cass Sunstein

    How does change happen? When, why, and how do people, and whole nations, come to together to influence large-scale policies and actions on issues like the environment, equality, criminal justice? Why do revolutions occur? This course will try to answer these questions, and do so by exploring a diversity of efforts related to societal change.... Read more about Making Change When Change Is Hard: the Law, Politics, and Policy of Social Change (Gen Ed 1102)

    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)

    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)

    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?

     

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

    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)

    Power to the People: Black Power, Radical Feminism, and Gay Liberation (Gen Ed 1130)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    How does understanding political activists and movements in the past help us radically change the world today?

     

    Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

    Michael Bronski

    This course is an introduction to the radical American social change movements of the 1960s and 70s. We will examine the specific historical conditions that allowed each of these movements to develop, the interconnections and contradictions among them, and why their political power faded, only to reemerge in new manifestations today.... Read more about Power to the People: Black Power, Radical Feminism, and Gay Liberation (Gen Ed 1130)

    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)

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