Spring 2021

Scientific Critical Thinking (Gen Ed 1024)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

How can we (as individuals and as whole societies) better incorporate into our thinking and decision making the problem-solving techniques characteristic of science at its best?

 

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Edward J. Hall and Douglas Finkbeiner

We humans have developed rational and systematic methods for solving problems, ways carefully designed to chart a reliable path to the truth. Yet we as individuals, as groups, as whole societies fail to take full advantage of these methods.... Read more about Scientific Critical Thinking (Gen Ed 1024)

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?

 

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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?

 

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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)

Life as a Planetary Phenomenon (Gen Ed 1070)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

Is there alien life beyond Earth?

 

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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?

 

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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?

 

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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)

Who Do You Think You Are? The Ethics of Identity (Gen Ed 1009)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

Who are you, how did you come to be that way and what are the possible persons you could become?

 

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Jay Harris

Who are you? We typically answer this question with a name and a collection of identity terms. Our identities may be ascribed or chosen; we often experience them as simply given, and we sometimes struggle against them. We use these identity categories, in turn, to structure decisions, negotiate relationships, and otherwise shape our lives.... Read more about Who Do You Think You Are? The Ethics of Identity (Gen Ed 1009)

American Capitalism (Gen Ed 1159)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

What is capitalism and how has it unfolded in American history?

 

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Sven Beckert

How did capitalism emerge, expand and transform daily life in North America over the past 500 years? In this course, students will gain an in-depth understanding of how North America turned from a minor outpost of the Atlantic economy into the powerhouse of the world economy, how Americans built a capitalist economy and how that capitalism, in turn, changed every aspect of their lives.... Read more about American Capitalism (Gen Ed 1159)

Modern Art and Modernity (Gen Ed 1156)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

What role do artistic practices play in the formation of modern culture and society, and how does art foster critical reflection and debate?

 

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Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, Benjamin Buchloh, and Maria Gough

What makes art modern? What role has modern art played in the constitution of the modern subject? This course traces art’s transformation from tool of aristocratic and ecclesiastical elites into instrument of broad public instruction and civic debate on controversial topics.... Read more about Modern Art and Modernity (Gen Ed 1156)

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