On this page
- Spring 2021 Courses
- Choosing the Best Courses for You
- Enrollment Caps and Lotteries
- Questions and Advising
An exciting range of Gen Ed courses is on offer this spring. You can explore these course offerings in a number of ways:
- Filter Spring 2021 courses by category
- See the urgent problems and enduring questions examined in Gen Ed courses (Spring 2021 courses are marked in bold)
- Find a course by time through our visual schedule of Spring 2021 Gen Ed courses
- Learn more at Gen Ed's Course Preview Days, held on Friday, January 15 (9am-1pm) and Tuesday, January 19 (1-5pm) (EST)
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|
|GENED 1039||Klemencic||Higher Education: Students, Institutions and Controversies||HSI||None.|
|GENED 1044||Liebmann & Smail||Deep History||HSI||None.|
|GENED 1046||Greene||Evolving Morality: From Primordial Soup to Superintelligent Machines||E&C, STS (not both)||Wright, Nonzero; Greene, Moral Tribes; additional books TBD|
|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|
|GENED 1054||Rodrik & Unger||Political Economy and its Future||HSI||Unger, Democracy Realized; Rodrik, Economics Rules; Rodrik, Globalization Paradox; Unger, Knowledge Economy|
|GENED 1063||Goldie||World Health: Challenges and Opportunities||STS||None (recommended text available in course reserves).|
|GENED 1064||Hyman||Brains, Identity, and Moral Agency||E&C, STS (not both)||TBD.|
|GENED 1067||Atherton||Creativity||A&C||Han, Deconstruction in Chinese|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|GENED 1084||Haig||The First Nine Months||STS||TBD.|
|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|
|GENED 1095||Penslar||Is War Inevitable?||HSI||Clark, Sleepwalkers; Fanon, Wretched of the Earth; LeCarre, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold|
|GENED 1097||J. Nagy||Tradition, Performance and Culture||A&C||None.|
|GENED 1099||Manuelian||Pyramid Schemes: What can ancient Egyptian civilization teach us?||HSI||None.|
|GENED 1108||Subramanian||Ecology & Equity||HSI||Cronon, Changes in the Land (20th Anniversary Edition)|
|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);|
|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|
|GENED 1115||Patterson||Human Trafficking, Slavery and Abolition in the Modern World||E&C, HSI (not both)||TBD.|
|GENED 1117||Chaplin||Nature||E&C||Shelley, Frankenstein (1818 text)|
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|GENED 1158||McColl||Water and the Environment||STS||Hakim, Weather|
|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|
|GENED 1173||S. Jasanoff, L. Mahadevan, Evans, Raffel||Numbers in Policy and Society||STS||None.|
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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 email@example.com 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.