Classes

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)

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)

Vision and Justice: The Art of Race and American Citizenship (Gen Ed 1022)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

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

Sarah Lewis

How has visual representation—from videos and photographs to sculptures and memorials—both limited and liberated our definition of American citizenship and belonging? Art is often considered a respite from life or a reflection of the times, but this class examines how art actually has created the times in which we live.... Read more about Vision and Justice: The Art of Race and American Citizenship (Gen Ed 1022)

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)

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?

 

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)

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)

Life as a Planetary Phenomenon (Gen Ed 1070)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

Science & Technology in Society icon with text

Dimitar Sasselov

What is it about Earth that enables life to thrive? This question was reinvigorated with the 2016 ground-breaking discovery of a habitable planet around the nearest star, Proxima Centauri. A decade of exploration confirmed that such planets are common in our galaxy, and the commonality of habitable planets has raised anew some age-old questions: Where do we come from? What is it to be human? Where are we going? Are we alone in the universe?... Read more about Life as a Planetary Phenomenon (Gen Ed 1070)

Global Japanese Cinema (Gen Ed 1145)

Semester: 

Spring

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)

One Book, Two Religions, Many Truths (Gen Ed 1149)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

How are Judaism and Christianity the same and how are they different?

 

Aesthetics & Culture icon with text

Shaye J.D. Cohen

The Hebrew Scriptures, what Christians call the “Old Testament” and Jews call the “Bible,” are the basis of both Judaism and Christianity, and stand behind many debates in our contemporary culture wars. In this course we shall survey how this work of literature, through interpretation and re-interpretation, spawned and spawns a wide variety of truths.... Read more about One Book, Two Religions, Many Truths (Gen Ed 1149)

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