Histories, Societies, Individuals

Histories, Societies, Individuals courses engage questions of identity and social change, helping you understand the histories and traditions that you will encounter in a global context.

The following courses fulfill the Gen Ed Histories, Societies, Individuals requirement

Africa and Africans: The Making of a Continent in the Modern World (Gen Ed 1096)

Semester: 

N/A

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Caroline M. Elkins

There are contradictory reports coming from Africa from news outlets, academics, entrepreneurs and businessmen, artists, and countless ordinary Africans. For some, there is an optimistic “Africa Rising” narrative that gestures to the continent being a trend-setter for the 21st century in the realms of entrepreneurship and investment, arts and culture, and innovation and design, among other things.... Read more about Africa and Africans: The Making of a Continent in the Modern World (Gen Ed 1096)

American Capitalism (Gen Ed 1159)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

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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)

American Society and Public Policy (Gen Ed 1092)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2020

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Theda Skocpol and Mary Waters

In the U.S., compared to other major nations, how have social problems been defined and redefined in recent decades; why do they appear differently to various groups; and how are public policies about problematic social conditions debated, devised, and changed? This course synthesizes various kinds of evidence-demographic, attitudinal, ethnographic, and institutional-to probe the creation and impact of major public policies about social support for families and workers; immigration and citizenship; and access to higher education.

Ancestry (Gen Ed 1014)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

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Maya Jasanoff

Everyone comes from somewhere. We carry our ancestries in our DNA, genealogy, family stories, and more. What do these forms of evidence tell us about who we are, as a species, as a social group, or as an individual? This course looks at ancestry from a range of perspectives: biology, anthropology, genealogy, history, law, and memory—from the origins of human populations to the origins of you.... Read more about Ancestry (Gen Ed 1014)

Ballots and Bibles: Why and How Americans Bring Scriptures into Their Politics (Gen Ed 1062)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

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David Holland

In 2018, in a public speech to law enforcement officers, the attorney general of the United States used a scriptural passage to defend tougher implementation of immigration laws. His reference bewildered observers who were unaware of a long tradition of citing Romans 13 in American political controversies, including such formative conflicts as the American Revolution and the sectional crisis over slavery.... Read more about Ballots and Bibles: Why and How Americans Bring Scriptures into Their Politics (Gen Ed 1062)

Borders (Gen Ed 1140)

Semester: 

N/A

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Mary Lewis

As a society, we pay particular attention to borders when incidents such as children separated from their asylum-seeking parents or tear-gas being used to deter entry throw the legal divide between two nation states into sharp relief. But seldom do we stop to think about what a border is, or when and why some borders are defended more aggressively than others.... Read more about Borders (Gen Ed 1140)

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

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2019

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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)

Designing the American City: Civic Aspirations and Urban Form (Gen Ed 1003)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

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Alex Krieger

An interpretive look at the American city in terms of changing attitudes toward urban life. City and suburb are experienced as the product of design and planning decisions informed by cultural and economic forces, and in relationship to utopian and pragmatic efforts to reinterpret urban traditions in search of contemporary alternatives.... Read more about Designing the American City: Civic Aspirations and Urban Form (Gen Ed 1003)

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

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2019

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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)

Forced to Be Free: Americans as Occupiers and Nation Builders (Gen Ed 1017)

Semester: 

N/A

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Andrew Gordon and Erez Manela

The history of the United States in the 20th and 21st century world is marked by a number of significant military occupations of foreign lands, all of them framed as nation-building projects carried out with the intent of delivering democracy. These episodes include (but are not limited to) the Philippines in the early 20th century, Japan and Germany in the years after World War II, Vietnam in the 1960s, and Iraq and Afghanistan most recently.... Read more about Forced to Be Free: Americans as Occupiers and Nation Builders (Gen Ed 1017)

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Gen Ed Categories

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Aesthetics & Culture

Aesthetics and Culture courses engage diverse artistic genres and cultural traditions, helping you situate yourself and others as products of and participants in art and culture.

 

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Ethics & Civics

Ethics and Civics courses engage with large questions about right and wrong, helping you grapple with the nature of civic virtue and the ethical dimensions of what you say and do.

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Histories, Societies, Individuals

Histories, Societies, Individuals courses engage questions of identity and social change, helping you understand the histories and traditions that you will encounter in a global context. 

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Science & Technology in Society

Science and Technology in Society courses engage you in the study of scientific innovations and their social contexts, helping you assess the promise and pitfalls of current and future innovations using methods of scientific inquiry.

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Questions about Gen Ed?

Come to our weekly office hours (1-3pm during the term) on the fourth floor of the Smith Campus Center or contact a Gen Ed advisor.

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