Spring 2021

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Spring 2021 Courses

An exciting range of Gen Ed courses is on offer this spring.  You can explore these course offerings in a number of ways:

Choosing the Best Courses for You

Gen Ed has worked to spread course offerings out across the academic day in the hopes that there are good options for students all over the globe. Please see the below chart to determine whether a course might be a good fit for your needs. The chart also gives you an overview of required course materials. Please see the course' syllabi and Canvas sites for more detailed information. 

Course Number Faculty Course Name Cat. Required Books Good for multiple time zones?
GENED 1009 Harris Who Do You Think You Are? The Ethics of Identity E&C Appiah, The Ethics of Identity Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1014 M. Jasanoff Ancestry HSI, STS (not both) None. Yes. If you are unable to attend lecture synchronously, you will be able to watch recorded lectures instead and attend an alternate synchronous course session. All students are also expected to attend a weekly TF-led synchronous section.
GENED 1015 Stanczyk Ethics of Climate Change E&C None. Yes - has two synchronous meeting options to fit multiple time zones.
GENED 1024 Hall & Finkbeiner Scientific Critical Thinking STS TBD. Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1027 Lieberman Human Evolution and Human Health STS Lieberman, Story of the Human Body Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1030 Damrosch The Philosopher and the Tyrant A&C, E&C (not both) Feizi, Basic Writings; Plato, Republic; M. Aurelius, Meditations, Machiavelli, Essential Writings; More, Utopia Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1039 Klemencic Higher Education: Students, Institutions and Controversies HSI None. Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1044 Liebmann & Smail Deep History HSI None. Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1046 Greene Evolving Morality: From Primordial Soup to Superintelligent Machines E&C, STS (not both) Wright, Nonzero; Greene, Moral Tribes; additional books TBD Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1052 Hochschild Race in a Polarized America HSI Frey, Diversity Explosion; Hochschild, Facing up to the American Dream; Gillion, Loud Minority; Jiminez, Other Side of Assimilation; Hochschild, Stranger in Their Own Land; Abramowitz, Great Alignment; Allen, Cuz Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1054 Rodrik & Unger Political Economy and its Future HSI Unger, Democracy Realized; Rodrik, Economics Rules; Rodrik, Globalization Paradox; Unger, Knowledge Economy Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1063 Goldie World Health: Challenges and Opportunities STS None (recommended text available in course reserves). Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1064 Hyman Brains, Identity, and Moral Agency E&C, STS (not both) TBD. Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1067 Atherton Creativity A&C Han, Deconstruction in Chinese Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1068 Kirby The United States and China HSI Mahbubani, Has China Won?; Rudolph, The China Questions; Pomfret, The Beautiful Country and Middle Kingdom; Freymann, One Belt One Road; Alison, The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World; Economy, The Third Revolution; Rigger, Why Taiwan Matters Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1070 Sasselov Life as a Planetary Phenomenon STS Bennett, et al., The Cosmic Perspective, 5th Edition; A.H. Knoll, Life on a Young Planet Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1073 Light Guns in the U.S.: A Love Story HSI Jackson, Force + Freedom; Burbick, Gun Show Nation; Dunbar-Ortiz, Loaded; Light, Stand Your Ground Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1082 Engell Elements of Rhetoric: Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking A&C Burcharts, English Grammar/Punctuation; Lucas, The Art of Public Speaking (recommended, not required); Corbett, Classical Rhetoric for Modern Students; Letteri, Handbook of Public Speaking (recommended, not required); Torricelli, In Our Own Words Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1084 Haig The First Nine Months STS TBD. Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1089 Soto Laveaga The Border: Race, Politics, and Health in Modern Mexico HSI Holmes, Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies; Deleon, Land of Open Graves; Nazario, Enrique's Journey Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1095 Penslar Is War Inevitable? HSI Clark, Sleepwalkers; Fanon, Wretched of the Earth; LeCarre, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1097 J. Nagy Tradition, Performance and Culture A&C None. Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1099 Manuelian Pyramid Schemes: What can ancient Egyptian civilization teach us? HSI None. Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1108 Subramanian Ecology & Equity HSI Cronon, Changes in the Land (20th Anniversary Edition) Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1110 Libby Classical Mythology A&C Hesiod, Theogony; Shelmerdine, Homeric Hymns; Ovid, Metamorphoses; Homer, Odyssey; Euripides, Euripides I (ed. Grene); Sophocles, Sophocles I (ed. Grene); Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1112 Goodman Prediction STS Weinberg, To Explain the World; Agrawal, Prediction Machines; Bloomberg, Climate of Hope; Al-Khalili, House of Wisdom; Silver, Signal + Noise Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1115 Patterson Human Trafficking, Slavery and Abolition in the Modern World E&C, HSI (not both) TBD. Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1117 Chaplin Nature E&C Shelley, Frankenstein (1818 text) Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1122 Reuben The Social Responsibilities of Universities E&C TBD. Maybe; if a group of students want to take the course but cannot attend the designated lecture times because of time zone differences, the instructor is willing to make accommodations. If this option interests you, please email natalie_solomon@gse.harvard.edu and include your location and the time range (in EST) that you would be able to attend alternative course sessions.
GENED 1125 Murthy Artificial and Natural Intelligence STS None. Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1128 Unger & West The Conduct of Life in Western and Eastern Philosophy E&C Emerson, Self Reliance and Other Essays; Schopenhauer, World as Will and Representation; Confucius, Analects; Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic; Unger, Religion of the Future Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1131 Coleman Loss A&C Genova, Still Alice; Lewis, A Grief Observed; Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking; Deraniyagala, Wave Yes - has two synchronous meeting options to fit multiple time zones.
GENED 1133 Stauffer Is the U.S. Civil War Still Being Fought? HSI Melville, Bartleby & Benito Cereno; Lincoln, Great Speeches Unabridged; Twain, Huckleberry Finn; Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin; Masur, Civil War; Faust, The Republic of Suffering; Blight, Race & Reunion Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1134 Asani Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies HSI Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path; Esposito, Voices of Resurgent Islam; Schimmel, Islam Yes - has two synchronous meeting options to fit multiple time zones.
GENED 1137 McElroy The Challenge of Human Induced Climate Change: Transitioning to a Post Fossil Fuel Future STS McElroy, Energy & Climate: Vision for the Future Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1143 Seow Dark Satanic Mills: How the Factory Made Our World HSI Hahn, Technology in the Industrial Revolution; Wang, Blockchain Chicken Farm; Freeman, Behemoth Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1145 Zahlten Global Japanese Cinema A&C None. Yes - has two synchronous meeting options to fit multiple time zones.
GENED 1149 Cohen One Book, Two Religions, Many Truths A&C Trypho, Dialogues; Jewish Study Bible Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1156 Lajer-Burchart Modern Art and Modernity A&C Foster, et al., Art Since 1900, Vols. 1 and 2; Eisenman, et al., Nineteenth-Century Art: A Critical History Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1158 McColl Water and the Environment STS Hakim, Weather Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1159 Beckert American Capitalism HSI Beckert, Monied Metropolis; Sugrue, Origins of Urban Crisis; Cronon, Changes in the Land; Johnson, Sam Patch, Famous Jumper; Hickel, The Divide; Saunt, Unworthy Republic; McGirr, War on Alcohol; Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes; Mintz, Sweetness and Power Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.
GENED 1173 S. Jasanoff, L. Mahadevan, Evans, Raffel Numbers in Policy and Society STS None. Maybe; synchronous attendance required at regular class meetings. Check my.harvard and Canvas for more info.

Enrollment Caps and Lotteries

 

UPDATE AS OF 11:27 A.M. EST WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20: The Spring 2021 Gen Ed lottery has concluded. If you were admitted into a course you petitioned for, you will see a GREEN CHECK next to the course in your Crimson Cart. If you were denied for the course, you will see a RED X in your Crimson Cart. Sometimes, a cart is validated or a change is made before you're able to see a RED X; in those cases, a "Resubmit" button will appear. The appearance of a "Resubmit" button means that your petition for the lottery was not approved. 

If your petition was approved, your seat will be held ONLY until 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday, January 21 (the course registration deadline). 

If your petition was NOT approved or you didn't submit a petition by the deadline, please check  your desired course's Canvas page frequently over the next few days for information about whether there are seats available. It's possible that some faculty are able to approve additional petitions after the registration deadline. Please also note that if your petition was denied and you wish to be reconsidered for a course, you must re-petition through my.harvard. An orange clock in your Crimson Cart means that you have an active petition pending.

Please note that the lottery process denied ALL petitions submitted between when the lottery closed (11:59 p.m. EST Tuesday, January 19) and 11 a.m. EST Wednesday, January 20. If you are hoping to be considered for a course, you may need to resubmit your petition. All questions about enrollment should be sent to gened_enrollment@fas.harvard.edu

 

Some - but not all! -Spring 2021 courses in Gen Ed have faculty-placed enrollment caps. If a course has an enrollment cap, it will be noted in my.harvard with this note:

This course has an enrollment cap, so to be considered, you must request permission to enroll and rank your choices through my.harvard by 11:59 p.m. EST Tuesday, January 19, 2021. The Gen Ed lottery will run Wednesday, January 20, 2021, with approvals and denials sent out no later than 11:59 p.m. EST that day. Visit the Spring 2021 Gen Ed web page for more information and step-by-step instructions.

Gen Ed will run a coordinated, ranked-choice lottery on Wednesday, January 20 for all capped courses that have more requests to enroll than seats. In order to participate in the coordinated lottery, you must do the following by 11:59 p.m. EST Tuesday, January 19:

  • Request a seat in the course by submitting a petition through my.harvard. Once you've put in a petition for any Gen Ed course, my.harvard will add you to the lottery event within 15 minutes. When you're entered into the lottery, you'll see a Gen Ed Lottery banner in your my.harvard account.
  • Rank your choices in the my.harvard lottery banner. You don't have to choose five courses; if you're only interested in one course, request it and rank it no.1. Sometime before the end of the day January 20, you'll see a green check in your Crimson Cart if your petition has been approved in the lottery. If you weren't successful in the lottery, you'll see a red X in your Crimson Cart. 
  • Register for the course(s) you were approved for in the lottery no later than the enrollment deadline (11:59 p.m. EST Thursday, January 21). Your seats in a course won't be held any longer than that.
  • Note: When you create a petition in my.harvard, a blank box will pop up that allows you to type in any information you'd like. There's no need to enter anything into that box, so please feel free to leave it blank. 
     
  • Send all questions to gened_enrollment@fas.harvard.edu. We're happy to answer!

                 Click here to see a step-by-step, illustrated process for petitioning and ranking your choices. 

Remember: Not all Gen Eds have enrollment caps this term. Below are the Gen Ed courses with enrollment caps; all other Gen Ed courses do not have a cap, and you may enroll in them freely once your advising hold is lifted. A lottery is not required for the courses without caps.

These courses have enrollment caps, so you must petition to enroll in them:

  • GENED 1009, Who Do You Think You Are? The Ethics of Identity (Harris)
  • GENED 1039, Higher Education: Students, Instituitons and Controversises (Klemencic)
  • GENED 1063, World Health: Challenges and Opportunities (Goldie)
  • GENED 1068, The United States and China (Kirby)
  • GENED 1082,  Elements of Rhetoric: Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking (Engell)
  • GENED 1073, Guns in the U.S.: A Love Story (Light)
  • GENED 1095, Is War Inevitable? (Penslar)
  • GENED 1099, Pyramid Schemes: What Can Ancient Egyptian Civilization Teach Us? (Manuelian)
  • GENED 1112, Prediction (Goodman)
  • GENED 1117, Nature (Chaplin)
  • GENED 1156, Modern Art & Modernity (Lajer-Burchart)
  • GENED 1158, Water & the Environment (McColl)
  • GENED 1143, Dark Satanic Mills: How the Factory Made Our World (Seow)

All Gen Ed courses not listed above do NOT have enrollment caps, and you may enroll in them freely once your advising hold is lifted.

Questions and Advising

We’re happy to talk with you! Please join us at one of our virtual drop-in office hours via Zoom during shopping and registration.  All times are EST.

  • Wednesday, January 6 - 11am-1pm
  • Wednesday, January 13 - 11am-1pm
  • Friday, January 15 - 11am-1pm
  • Tuesday, January 19 - 1-3pm
  • Wednesday, January 20 - 3-5pm
  • Thursday, January 21 - 8:30-10:30am
  • Friday, January 22 - 10am-12pm

If you're unable to make any of these times, please contact us at gened_questions@fas.harvard.edu to set up an appointment.  Please note that the Gen Ed office is closed on evenings, weekends, and holidays.

You can also submit questions on the Gen Ed Questions page