Fall 2001 Course Descriptions|
Key to Course
All courses and subtitles listed below are approved to be taught as
of Fall 2001; however, some subtitles may not be offered this term. Check
the Schedule of Classes for subtitle offerings. Course numbers link to
the Schedule. The complete course list
below is a
good indicator of what may be offered over the next few years.
General Education: Tier One General
Tier One: Individuals and Societies (INDV)
101 -- Mind, Self and Language (3 units)
Description: Explores the central questions about the nature of
human beings, focusing on the individual experience. Course topics may include
basic human thought processes (e.g. conceptual systems, symbolic representation
of the world, judgment and decision making), personal identity, individual
freedom and social control, ethical and moral principles, and others.
Usually offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.
The Structure of Mind and Behavior An introduction to mind and
behavior. Broad coverage of wide-ranging issues including how minds reflect
social influence and how neural systems underlie thoughts and conscious
Philosophical Perspectives on the Individual Philosophical perspectives
on the Individual addresses the individual person construed as a cognitive
Language Survey of linguistic concepts and methods: communication among
animals, physiology of human speech, elementary phonetics, syntax, language
and thought, language change, language and the brain.
Problem Solving for Daily Life A study of the manner in which
structured knowledge, and structured approaches to decision making, is brought
to bear on problems of daily life.
The Politics of Difference This course will examine the politics
(understood broadly as differential access to material and symbolic resources)
of difference (understood as institutionalized social hierarchies that oppress
individuals). We will focus on three key structures of difference and their
interaction: ethnicity/race, class, and gender.
The Politics of Difference This course examines the politics
(understood broadly as differential access to material and symbolic resources)
of difference (understood as institutionalized social hierarchies that oppress
individuals.) We will focus on the hierarchies of ethnicity/race, class,
gender and sexualities and how these interact to shape individual and
102 -- Social Interactions and Relationships (3 units)
Description: Explores the central questions about the nature of
human beings in social context. Course topics may include group identity; family
and kinship structures; religious, political, economic, and legal institutions;
individual freedom and social control; ideas of social justice, and others.
Usually offered: Fall, Spring.
Black and White: The Causes and Consequences Race remains, as Thomas
Jefferson feared and Alexis de Tocqueville predicted, the most incendiary and
intractable issue in American politics. It was a divisive issue when the
Constitution was drafted in 1787; it was the central issue in a series of
compromises that ultimately failed to hold the nation together in 1860; it was
the most visible issue in both the Civil War and the worst riots in the
nation's history that followed in the present century. In his Second Inaugural
speech on January 20, 1997, President Bill Clinton correctly described racism
as America's "constant curse." The purpose of this course is to
identify and explain why this is so.
Business in Modern Society This course examines the place of business
in the larger context of a society's multiple endeavors with an emphasis on
three major roles: the creation of society's wealth, the creation of goods and
services society needs to support an acceptable standard of living, and the
creation of jobs that permit the society's members to claim a share of its
wealth in order to partake of that standard of living. We will evaluate the
extent to which business has achieved each of these goals throughout history,
with special emphasis on present day America.
Gender and Contemporary Society This course will encourage students to
consider the ways in which gender influences issues of self-identity, social
differences, and social status. It will provide students with an understanding
of the connections between the individual and institutions such as mass media,
the disciplines of science, and political and economic systems.
Human Geography and Global Systems This course introduces students to
fundamental issues and concepts pertinent to the study of individuals and
societies. In focusing on models and explanations of how things are
interrelated in earth space. Students are given a clearer understanding of the
economic, social, and political systems with which individuals live and
American Design on the Land This course is broad exploration of
individuals from diverse backgrounds who have helped shape the American
landscape. Examination of original writings, and built environments including
cities, parks, gardens, vernacular expressions, and preserves of wild, scenic,
and cultural landscapes will provide the framework for discussion about
landscape design as a comprehensive art form and dialog between man and
Modern Latin America: A Social Science Perspective An interdisciplinary
introduction to the people, place and cultures of Latin America and to the
political, economic and social institutions and conditions of the region. The
course examines how and why environmental quality, economic development,
living conditions, democracy, migration, trade, religion and US policy vary
across different countries and social sectors.
Personal Morality This course studies modern ethics with attention to
contemporary moral problems.
Current Issues in the Psychology of Gender An in depth exploration of
societal and familial influences on gender development along with considerable
self-exploration of individual conceptions of gender.
Social Issues in America The primary objective of the course is to
provide students with an opportunity to become conversant with and think
critically about various contemporary social problems that bear directly on
aspects of their lives and futures and that are relevant to their communities
and the nation more broadly.
Sex, Health and AIDS Recognizing that HIV/AIDS, has irretrievably
changed the lives of individuals and societies across the globe, this course
sets out to explore this social and disease phenomenon from a number of
perspectives. Most importantly, the course approaches the topic with the
recognition that most areas of concern surrounding HIV and AIDS are
controversial and under debate, including the origins of the virus, ways to
change behavior and conditions of sexual exchange, the social and economic
causes of HIV transmission, funding allocations for research, and foreign
policy concerning AIDS testing and aid.
Many Ways of Being Human: Anthropological Perspective This course
introduces the student to anthropological perspectives on cultural diversity.
The course focuses on gender, race, ethnicity and class through readings by
and about peoples of the non-western world.
www.gender.com: Individuals and Information from Manuscript to Modem
This course will encourage students to think about how information
technologies shape self-identity, social difference, and social status; to
theorize about how information technologies function politically to affect
social systems, governments, and economies; and to form substantive opinions
about the relationship between information and social identity based on a
familiarity with a range of scholarly theories on the history and significance
of such technological revolutions.
Lesbian and Gay Studies A study of issues related to sexual identity of
individuals, communities, and whole societies. Special attention to norms and
categories and to conceptual binaries such as Natural/Unnatural,
Health/Illness, Knowledge/Ignorance, Public/Private, Same/Different,
Hetero/Homo. The course is interdisciplinary with units drawn from sciences
and arts as well as from the social studies.
Sport, Leisure and Consumer Culture Explores the economic,
technological, political and socio-cultural forces that shape sport and
leisure consumption, and how such consumption shapes individual and collective
identities and differences.
103 -- Societal and Institutional Systems (3 units)
Description: Explores the nature of human beings and their
individual experiences in a social context. Course topics may include personal
identification within a social identity, personal ethics and morality versus
social standard, and others.
Usually offered: Fall, Spring.
Environment and Society This course introduces students to the study of
relationships between people and the environment from a social science
perspective, and provides a context for thinking about the social causes and
consequences of environmental changes in different parts of the world. It
focuses on how and why the human use of the environment has varied over time
and space; analyzes different approaches to decision-making about environment
issues and examines the relative roles of population growth, energy
consumption, technology, culture and institutions in causing and resolving
contemporary environmental problems around the world.
An Economic Perspective The study of the interactions of individuals
and societies from the viewpoint of economics. The Course examines a series of
important social problems that lie on the intersections of economics and
disciplines such as law, history, anthropology, political science, psychology,
and so forth.
U.S. Society and Institutions Since 1877 This course examines and
analyzes the social, political, and economic transformations of American
Society since Reconstruction. It focuses on multiple levels of society as well
as the groups and individuals who comprised it.
Modern Latin America An interdisciplinary introduction to Latin
American societies from the 1820s to the present that gives special emphasis
to diversity within Latin America and to dynamic and, hence, historical
processes of social, political, cultural, and economic change over time.
What is Politics? Issues in contemporary political analysis, human
values and political goals, how governments differ and why they change, how
nations differ from on another.
World Food Issues This course will describe the prominent
characteristics of the world food system in terms of the utilization of land,
water and energy resources, the role of different technologies in world
agricultural production, and the nutritional requirements of consumers. The
primary focus of the course is on developing countries, however, important
interactions between wealthy and poor countries will be emphasized. The course
will include foundational knowledge about individuals and societies.
Philosophical Perspectives on Society This course addresses the
fundamental moral questions regarding society.
Private, Public, or Profit? The Organization of Social Life Why is it
illegal to sell your vote but legal to sell your ideas? Should we reform
Social Security, privatize retirement savings, or count on families and
charities to take care of the elderly? All these questions point to the
diverse ways in which modern societies are organized.
World History, 1600-2000 Survey of world history, 1600-2000,
emphasizing cross-societal encounters.
Globalization and Global Governance Globalization refers to rapidly
increasing levels of political, economic and cultural interconnectedness among
the world s separately constituted states, societies and economies. This
course examines the causes and consequences of globalization and the
transnational institutions established to cope with this process.
Popular Culture, Media, and Latina/o Identities This course provides a
broad-based introduction to the growing interdisciplinary field of popular
culture and media studies with an emphasis on the Latina/o experience.
Students will explore current theoretical ideas and debates about popular
culture and chart its growing importance in all aspects of life. It is a
central course for students interested in the social sciences, as well as for
students interested in cultural and media studies.
Europe in the Modern World Europe in the Modern World 1600-1989
presents student with the opportunity to inquire into the origins and
development of the modern Western world. The goal is to instill a sense of the
past as a viable part of any student's heritage, with all its diverse problems
and rewards, and allow them to enrich their understanding of European culture
through critical interaction with history.
Islamic Civilization: Traditional & Modern Middle East This course
will introduce students to the basic principles of the religion of Islam and
its historical development from the seventh century to the present day. We
will focus on Islam as a culture by asking how it spread and changed, how it
produced traditions and institutions, and how it has both shaped and adapted
to the realities of the modern world. The course will ask students to consider
the religion and civilizations of the Islamic world as dynamic processes by
looking for patterns of structure formation, institutionalization, change and
decline in the political, economic, military and cultural realms. While the
main focus will be on the Middle East heartland of classical Islam, the spread
of Islam to Africa, South and Southeast Asia and the west will also be
examined. Students will be expected to illustrate mastery of basic
geographical, historical and doctrinal information, as well as to show
increasing ability to critically evaluate certain central questions with
regard \to a variety of historical and geographical contexts and to mobilize
evidence in defense of their views.
Tier One: Natural Sciences (NATS)
-- The Earth and Its Environments
Description: An overview of the key concepts in physical and chemical processes, including Newton's laws governing force and motion, the laws of thermodynamics governing energy and entropy, the role of electromagnetism in nature, and the atomic structure of matter. The course will explore these concepts in an inter-disciplinary context, drawing from areas such as environmental sciences, atmospheric sciences, engineering/technological sciences, and others.
Usually offered: Fall, Spring.
Basic Concepts in Water-Related Applications This course develops an understanding of natural science concepts and ideas and how they can be used to understand and analyze processes and objects in the every day world. Water is a central theme. Students examine how it is obtained, stored, distributed, used, polluted, and cleaned. They learn to estimate its quality, quantity, energy, and movement. It is a broad introductory course.
Earth's Environment: Introduction to Physical Geography Introduction to fundamental laws of nature as expressed physical processes that govern the spatial distribution of Earth's land, sea, air, and biological environments. Focus on fluxes and feedbacks among these systems, and interactions with humans.
Earth Resources and the Environment This is a course about the mineral resources of the Earth, our demand and use of these resources for material goods and energy, and the environmental consequences of our use of these resources.
A Geological Perspective Students will learn that a few universal laws describe the behavior of our physical surroundings, from the universe to every action in our daily lives. this interdisciplinary course will cover aspects of the scientific process, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and Earth sciences, with an emphasis on geosciences and society, including earthquakes, mass extinctions in geologic history, and global warming. It will give students the ability to read and appreciate popular accounts of major discoveries and important public issues in the physical sciences.
Introduction to Environmental Science This course will not be confined to one discipline but rather will include information from physics, chemistry, biology and the social sciences such as economics and anthropology. The central theme of the course will be that of change as a normal and natural process. It will consist of four major focus areas: Biodiversity, Pollution, Population, and Resources. Within each major focus area we shall explore how change has and is occurring at the local, regional and global scales. To facilitate the learning process we shall analyze local, national and international case histories. The case histories would include air pollution at the Grand Canyon, TCE groundwater contamination in Tucson, landfill and leaking underground storage tanks in Tucson, Chernobyl, and the Mt. Graham controversy.
Introduction to Global Change The basics of physical science are presented within the context of global environmental change processes (climatic change, global warming, deforestation, etc.) that impact Earth and its inhabitants. Includes hands-on activities, discussions, computer exercises, and a personal interest project.
Science, Technology and Environment The scientific method, technology, motion, energy, gases, heat, chemistry, electricity and magnetism are covered in class lectures. In laboratories, students will use physical principles to assess environmental problems and technology: e.g., CAP water, air pollution, solar cookers, and water use in the arid southwest.
Planet Earth: Evolution of the Habitable World This course develops a planetary perspective on the evolutionary processes that shaped Earth throughout history. We will examine why Earth is habitable, that is, why any kind of life can live on it, we will discuss the unique influences that biological processes and atmosphere/ocean systems have on each other, and we will review current notions of climate change, including evidence for the influence of human activities on it. This interdisciplinary treatment of Earth and its sister planets will encourage students to think about how science and engineering must be applied to today's challenges if humankind is to have a promising future on (and off) this planet.
The World Around Us This is a course inquiring into basic concepts used by every physical
science in its exploration of the world. The concepts originate in physics, which offers the framework on which other disciplines are
build. Applications of the concepts are made in the course, not just to traditional physics problems, but to problems in many other scientific disciplines. In the course we will explore the development of the concepts from their intuitive beginnings to their present forms. In the process, we will see how science searches for a logically consistent explanation of the world, and how the creation of these concepts has influenced our perception of that world.
Introduction to Weather and Climate An introduction to the science of weather processes and climate, including the genesis of fronts and cyclones, precipitation processes, the wind systems of the world, severe storms, and weather forecasting. Special emphasis will be given t natural phenomena which have strong impacts on human activities including tornadoes, hurricanes, El Nino, global warming, ozone depletion, and air pollution. The fundamental importance of physics, chemistry, and mathematics to atmospheric science will be stressed.
Water in Our Environment The hydrologic cycle is used as a vehicle to explore the interactions of the hydrosphere with the lithospheric, atmospheric, and biospheric components of the environment with emphasis on concepts and principles, and relating to these every day experiences.
Connections: A Study of Science, Technology and Innovation Basic aspects of physics, chemistry, and astronomy are integrated to show how technology evolves from science, interconnecting events, and accidents of time. Who would have imagined that modern communications, movies, printing presses, and computers have their roots in the stirrup, cannon, 12th century underwear, and the water wheel. We explore the science and technology that has given us today's society and examine opportunities for today and the future.
-- Beyond the Earth in Space and Time
Description: Introduction to the study of the planetary and geological sciences and their application to events in the everyday world. The course examines Newton's laws governing force and motion, the laws of thermodynamics governing energy and entropy, the role of electromagnetism in nature, and the atomic structure of matter, in the context of current issues in planetary and geological sciences.
Usually offered: Fall, Spring.
The Physical Universe The Physical Universe presents the astronomical phenomena of the universe in the context of physical science.
The Role of Time in Science The central theme in the course is time; how we decide what it is, how we measure it, and how our view of it has changed as we learn more about the natural world. The course will discuss many sorts of natural clocks, both cyclic (atoms, planet orbits, neutron stars) and non-cyclic growth and decay (chemical and nuclear reactions, radioactivity, geological processes, the birth and death of stars), and the time scales on which each can be used. We will see how a few central principles keep recurring in our attempt to understand the working of these clocks. Ultimately, we will discuss how Einstein had to change our ideas about time measurement in order to accommodate these principles, and how the accommodation has lead to our present view of the universe.
The Universe and Humanity: Origin and Destiny This course explores the deep relationships that connect the largest structures in the universe to the world of atoms and subatomic particles. Topics covered begin with the scientific method and tools of science, proceed to fundamental physical concepts and processes that govern the natural world, and move on to a study of features of the natural world based upon fundamental laws of nature. This knowledge is used to create a broad perspective for understanding the origin and evolution of our Milky Way Galaxy, our Solar System, and their common cosmic heritage.
Aeronautics: Science and People Examination of the evolution of flight from birds to space shuttles. The examination of flight will focus on the observations of experimental facts and discussions of physical principles. It will also address historical events and stories of pilots, astronauts, engineers, and scientists. The role of individuals in the development of aeronautics will be emphasized.
-- Biological Sciences
Description: Introduction to the study of biology and its application to events in the everyday world. Areas examined include 1) the evolution and diversity of life, 2) cells, 3) structure and function or organisms at the multi-cellular level 4) genetics and development, 5) health and disease, and 6) interaction and interdependence between organisms.
Usually offered: Fall, Spring.
Biology in Medicine, Engineering and Applied Science This course will cover the fundamental concepts and principles of biology and directly link them to applications in medicine, engineering and other applied sciences. A typical class week will consist of two one-hour lectures on biological concepts and principles and one three-hour applications session. Each applications session will consist of a one-hour seminar on biological applications in medicine, engineering and other applied sciences and a two-hour problem session.
Evolution of Modern Biology This course is designed to introduce students to concepts in modern biology, with an emphasis on the processes that created the current status of life on earth. Students should leave the course with the understanding of the relationship between DNA, RNA, proteins, genes the phenotypes. They will be introduced to basic metabolism, and the kinds of regulatory networks that control our cells. Students also will look at the ways that different types of reproductive strategies are utilized by populations of organisms. Finally, we will talk about the ways that humans are changing the rules-the impact of recombinant DNA technology on present and future human life.
Plants and Our World Plants and Our World will cover the principles of plant growth, development, and reproduction from the cellular to the whole organism levels, explore how plants are affected by their environment, and their ecology and evolution. The emphasis of the course is on what makes plants uniquely interesting and different from other organisms, and their importance to life and society.
Nutrition, Food and You Nutrition, Food and You covers the principles of human nutrition. Topics include digestion, absorption, metabolism, vitamins, minerals, life cycle nutrition and food safety.
Human Variation in the Modern World Fundamental concepts and principles of human biology emphasizing the evolutionary processes that create organic diversity. An in-depth study of biological differences existing within and between populations of our species focusing on genetic mechanisms and adaptive strategies.
Life on Earth Course examines the evolution of life, how ecosystems work, and aspects of the ecological role of humans in the global ecosystem. Emphasis on modern biological processes as well as the geologic history of those processes.
Views of Life There is grandeur in this view of lifeSand that, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. C. Darwin, 1859.
Animal Sexual Behavior This course will examine ideas of how sexual reproduction cam about and the consequences the origin of sex has had on biological diversity. We will explore the diversity of animal courtship and mating behaviors using readings, group discussions, library research, writing, and class presentations, and we will conduct behavioral investigations in the lab.
Tier One: Traditions and Cultures (TRAD)
-- Non-Western Cultures and Civilizations
Description: Historical development and fundamental concepts of a nonwestern culture. Examines how members of a particular culture are shaped by a distinct heritage of ideas, values, and artistic expressions that may be in sharp contrast to traditional western ideas and values.
Approved as: General Education Gender, Race, Class, Ethnicity, or Non-Western Area Studies.
Usually offered: Fall, Spring.
The Worlds of Buddhism An introduction to Buddhism as both a religion and an array of cultural traditions, with emphasis on its various contributions to the formation of the South, Central, Southeast, and East Asian civilizations.
Chinese Civilization Introduces you to traditional Chinese civilization for the purposes of this course defined as: "the totality of a culture's perception of itself and the world it occupies and the ways in which that self-perception is expressed in society, politics, religion, philosophy, and the arts." The content of the course is arranged in thematic units, each unit being placed in the context of a specific historical period. We will examine the religious symbolism of ancient Chinese bronze vessels, Chinese theories of nature based on concepts like Yin and Yang, the great medieval religions of Taoism and Buddhism, and other topics. Over the semester you will learn to think more like the Chinese of centuries past to exercise your imagination, and to explore a world that is different from your own.
Colonial Latin America This course examines 1) the history of Spanish and Portuguese exploration, conquest, settlement, and state-building in the Americas; 2) the impact of European colonization on indigenous American cultures and civilizations, especially the acts of native resistance, accommodation and adaptation that shaped the consequences of this cultural encounter; 3) the forced migration of African peoples to the Americas, including the development of slave societies, and the emergence of regional African-Latin American cultural traditions; and 4) the growth of multiracial social groups who developed new and distinctive cultural forms of their own and eventually came to challenge the cultural and political hegemony of Spain and Portugal.
The French-Speaking World This course will consider the development of the French-speaking world from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. The first half of the course will present a historical perspective on the evolution and exportation of French language and culture from 1500 to 1900, while the second half will emphasize the cultural and artistic expressions of modern French-speaking countries other than France.
African Diaspora: Religion and Culture This course surveys continental African religions and their manifestations in the African Diaspora. Brazil, Jamaica, Trinidad, Cuba, Haiti and the U.S.A. are highlighted. The epistemologies and practices of the Fon, Yoruba, and Bantu peoples are analyzed to understand their continued impact on the contemporary world.
Many Nations of Native America An interdisciplinary survey of native peoples in North and Central America, from their origins to present. This course is structured around the themes of sovereignty, cultural diversity, native epistemologies, the Columbian exchange, and cultural transformation and survival. These themes integrate our examination of seven native Nations, ranging from the Aztec of Central Mexico to the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic. The course focuses on homelands and origins, intercultural exchange, demography, ecological transformation, the impacts of introduced epidemic diseases, processes of colonialism, social organization and culture, education, and contemporary issues.
Middle Eastern Humanities Introduces students to the values, traditions, and development of Middle Eastern (Islamic) culture and civilization. This course is designed to familiarize students with the principal achievements in art, architecture and literature of Islamic civilization, to help students understand these achievements in their social and cultural contexts, and to consider the historical evolution of our knowledge and understanding of these achievements.
Languages and Cultures of East Asia This course will explore the social, historical, and linguistic aspects of the languages and cultures of East Asia and how they have changed over time, drawing from anthropology, linguistics, sociology, and history.
Confucian Asia Although the countries of East Asia and many of those in Southeast Asia have very distinct cultures, languages, and national identities today, they share one important thing: all have been heavily influenced throughout their history by the world
view known as Confucianism. This course is designed to examine Confucianism in Asia through education, and the importance of ritual and propriety.
Beginning at the beginning, with the life of Confucius in the 6th century BCE and the principle text that bears his name, the Analects, we will explore the
central ideas of Confucianism and their adoption and adaptation by different Asian societies at different times. We will end with a consideration of issues in
contemporary Asia and among the Asian-American population in the U.S. that demonstrate the continued importance of this way of thought.
Asian Humanities: China and Japan This course will expose students to major artistic, cultural, and literary movements in Japan from pre-history to the present day. This course will also emphasize the relationship of literature to traditional arts and rituals. Students will discover how poetry, drama, fiction, and film reflect Japanese aesthetics, nuances of manners and emotional expressions, and perceptions of nature. Religious diversity in Japan will be explored in art and literature, especially Shintoism, the Buddhist influences from China, and Zen Buddhism. Cultural transformations in Japan will be emphasized, such as aristocratic codes of conduct, samurai codes, rising power of chonin (non-samurai urban merchants and artisans), isolation and the West, and contemporary material culture. Particular attention will be given to class issues, gender categories, and critiques of social institutions and values.
Colonial and Post-Colonial Literatures A study of non-western texts (from Africa, India, or the Caribbean) that use English as a literary language while incorporating indigenous materials.
Patterns in Prehistory This course takes an explicitly global perspective exploring some
important events in the history of humankind. Patterns in Prehistory
examines global migration, sedentism, origins of agriculture, and the
development of complex social systems through different times, places and cultures.
The Africana Experience This course will introduce students to fundamental issues and
concepts in the Africana experience in the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean, from an interdisciplinary perspective. Principle topics of discussion will be drawn from areas of history, philosophy, political-economy, literature and the arts, religion-culture and society.
Colonialism and Native Peoples Cultural studies of indigenous groups in the Americas, Eurasia, Africa and the Pacific Rim and how these have been shaped by the colonial process.
Ancient Civilizations of the Near East The purpose of this course is to examine the rich and fascinating history of the Ancient Near East. It will familiarize students with the principal social, cultural, religious, and material achievements of the major political entities of the region. Our survey begins with the rise of the first civilization in Mesopotamia and ends with the rise of Islam. The assumptions underlying archaeological reconstruction and textual interpretation will be examined and critiqued. Contacts between traditions, mutual
accommodations, and reciprocal influences will be discussed. The different experiences of men and women, rulers and ruled, urban dwellers, and rural and pastoral populations will also be considered.
Writing Systems of the World Explores the nature of writing and the origin of the oldest known systems. Surveys the history and modern decipherment of ancient writing systems, and examines the variety of systems in use in the modern world.
-- Western Cultures and Civilizations: Classical to Renaissance
Description: Historical development and fundamental concepts of western civilization, from ancient times to the Renaissance. Examines the heritage of ideas, values, and artistic expressions that shaped western tradition during that time.
Usually offered: Fall.
Democracy in Theory and Practice: The Greek Experience Investigation of the history and growth of democratic institutions, values and ideas in ancient Greece, with some reference to contemporary relevance.
History of Western Civilization: From the Rise of Cities to the Counter Reformat This course explores the civilizations of the West by considering the development of the ideas and ideologies that shaped the institutions of the West, development directed by Human interaction and conflict on a social, political, religious, and cultural level, in addition to the intellectual. Themes of particular interest include the structure and dynamics of power, competing configurations of deity and ritual, image and architecture as tools in the acquisition of authority, and the construction of a social normative on the grounds of class, culture and gender.
Humanities: Ancient Times to Renaissance Chronological survey of human civilizations from pre-history to the renaissance. Students will be introduced to the critical analysis of the literacy and artistic expressions that constitute the ideas and values of our collective heritage. Emphasis will be placed on the interrelation of Western and non-Western cultures and on the inter-perspectives including science, gender and psychology, politics, social conditions, religion and philosophy.
In the Beginning: Roots of Western Culture The roots of "western" tradition(s) are often traced to the Classical Greeks. However, by the time that work on the Parthenon had begun, the peoples of the Near East and Northeastern Africa had already witnessed the rise and fall of a series of great civilizations for over ten thousand years. In fact, many of the elements of "classical" civilization can be traced to experiments made in this distant past.
Western Culture: The Italian Perspective: Antiquity through the Middle Ages From Antiquity through the Middle Ages. Taught in English.
World History to 1600 Survey of topics in world history to 1600.
Books in Dialogue: Classical to Medieval This course aims to provide solid grounding in the Western intellectual and cultural tradition through pairing of central literary, philosophical, and theological works. The second work in each pair will be studied as a response to the first: e.g., The Aeneid to The Odyssey and Aristotle's Ethics to Plato's. Students will be encouraged to deal with each of the paired texts individually and comparatively and to compare members of different pairs, e.g., Augustine with Plato, and non-scriptural works of the Christian era with the selections from the Bible.
Drama and Dance in Western Cultures: Origins to 1603 Drama and dance are modes of creative expression used to communicate ideas, values, stories and myths which help define a community or culture. Both art forms employ the human body as the medium through which an audience may be engaged. Through ever-changing conventions, drama and dance reshape human experience into patterns which help us order our perceptions about the world in which we live. This course will focus primarily on principal themes in western culture as expressed in drama and dance.
-- Western Cultures and Civilizations: Renaissance to Present
Description: Historical development and fundamental concepts of western civilization, from the Renaissance to the present. Examines the heritage of ideas, values, and artistic expressions that have shaped western tradition since the Renaissance.
Usually offered: Fall, Spring.
The Arts and Politics in Latin America A study of the interrelationships between cultural forms and their socio-historical contexts in the development of Latin America from pre-colonial times to the present.
Books in Dialogue: Early Modern and American This course will study four pairs of works: Thomas More's Utopia and Machiavelli's The Prince; Shakespeare's Tempest and Swift's Gulliver's Travels; Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography and Thoreau's Walden; and Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man. The aim will be to explore the ways in which the works respond to one another. Such exploration will entail the study of the satire, autobiography, and novel--and how the author develops his thematic interests through the manipulation of the literary forms.
Democracy and Its Limits: The Modern Experience This course examines some difficulties stemming from the theory and practice of modern democratic life, especially in the context of American democracy. The course examines such issues by a careful and intensive reading of some classic writings on democracy. In addition, attention will be paid to the historical circumstances and contemporary conditions of democracy in the United States. The aim is for the student to acquire a more well-rounded and critical perspective on the situation of democracy in modern life.
Drama and Dance in Western Cultures: 1603 to Present Drama and dance are modes of creative expression used to communicate ideas, values, stories and myths which help define a community or culture. Both art forms employ the human body as the medium through which an audience may be engaged. Through ever-changing conventions, drama and dance reshape human experience into patterns which help us order our perceptions about the world in which we live. This course will focus primarily on principal themes in western culture as expressed in drama and dance.
Humanities: Renaissance to Present Chronological survey of human civilization from the eve of the New World and African colonization, concluding with the contemporary world.
Technology and Society: Introduction to Science, Technology and Society This course is an introduction to the social, historical, and ethical contexts of knowledge, science and technology. Although science and technology are perhaps the defining features of contemporary Western society, all cultures have distinct forms of knowledge and technical practices, which reflect their relationships to the natural world and other peoples. In this course we will discuss a range of questions relevant to scientists, engineers, and the general public, about the causes and contents of scientific and technical information, basing these discussions on a broad historical understanding of science and technology in various cultures.
The Making of American Cultures, 1600-1877 This course introduces students to the history of the United States before 1877. It focuses on the creation of a distinctive set of American cultures. Central themes include the colonial meeting of Spanish, French, English, native American, and African American cultures; the development of distinctly American Creole cultures in the eighteenth century; race and conquest; the American Revolution and the creation of a republican political culture; the transformation of that political culture through struggles over industrialization and wage labor, slavery, and women's rights; and the revolution in American political culture and social relations during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Russia: From Empire to Federation This course is designed to familiarize students with Russia--its culture, history, politics, economy, peoples, languages, traditions, and role in the world today. Upon completion of the course students will be able to understand and discuss intelligently past and current events relating to Russia. They also will have gained a familiarity with the many perspectives available for studying a country that continues to play a significant role in world events. And beyond all this, they should have a good background for discussion of major events relating to Russia and problems in the twentieth-century world.
The Americas - Renaissance to the Present Day This course will expose students to major movements in the Americas from the Renaissance to contemporary times.
Architecture and Society The built environment has, 'a permanent and profound impact on (our) personal health, productivity and happiness, and on community life.' The purpose of this course lay the foundation of architectural literacy. The basis of this knowledge is found in understanding the relationship between a society and the forms it creates. This is accomplished through studying the major components that effect architecture: region, culture, and technology. the course follows these factors through the history of western civilization, from ancient Greece to contemporary Europe and America. Greater emphasis is given to the contemporary period because radical changes in technology and resources make this information more pertinent to the present.
-- Topics in Culture and Civilization
Description: Explores select topics in human culture in the context of how humans, as historical beings, are shaped by the thoughts and actions of our predecessors; and that we will influence the lives of those who follow us. The course examines culture as a distinct heritage of ideas, values, and artistic expressions that undergo continual adaptation due to social changes.
Comparative Religions. A study of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, including both ancient and
Usually offered: Fall, Spring.
Justice and Virtue This course will introduce you to some of the central and historically important questions and ideas in moral and political thought and philosophy through the works of some of the most important thinkers in the western tradition.
Comparative Religions A study of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, including both ancient and modern developments in their cultural contexts.
Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages Courtly love was a discovery of the High Middle Ages and became the dominant theme in literature, the arts, philosophy, and even in religion. This course will examine the concept of love as discussed by medieval poets from the 11th through the 15th centuries and cover the wide spectrum of European history culture seen through the lenses of the theme of "love."
Mind, Matter and God Mind, Matter and God is a historical survey of the western philosophical conceptions of mind, matter and God starting with the ideas of the ancient Greeks and advancing to include primary figures in the medieval, early modern and, possibly, contemporary periods. The primary aims of the course are to acquaint students with a set of ideas that are fundamental to western culture and to foster critical thinking on abstract questions of profound intellectual and cultural importance.
Oral and Spiritual Roots of Traditional Cultures Exploration of the cultural insights in two mythological traditions: Ancient Mediterranean, origin or Western rationality and monotheistic belief; Native American, influences now being recognized.
Science and Inquiry The effects of modern science on western civilization have been profound. A moment's thought will reveal applications of science that have transformed our way of life. But aside from its practical benefits (and costs!), modern science has had an equally profound intellectual impact. An educated man or woman at the close of the twentieth century has a vastly different view of the world, and of the power of science to reveal that world, from the views of Aristotle, of Dante or even of Newton. This transformation has been brought about in large part by the development of scientific thought. In this course we shall examine the distinctive features of scientific inquiry. We shall aim to understand the power and also the limitations of scientific methods.
Critical Concepts in Western Culture Course focuses on an idea, theme or symbolic figure important to Western and other cultures since ancient times.
Critical Cultural Concepts This course examines--through literature, film, art, and philosophy-different concepts critical to the shaping of primarily "Western" culture(s), with a glance at similar concepts in "non-Western" cultures. The course is also "critical" in the sense that it asks students, through virtually weekly take-home quizzes, to critique these concepts, taking the wheat and letting the chaff be still. Topics may include the ideology of war or human rights; the problem of evil; the figure of the Trickster; and others.
Issues in Latin American Society and Popular Cultures This interdisciplinary course will examine popular culture as an approach to understanding 19th and 20th century Latin America.
Introduction to African American Literature Introduction to African American literature will explore the linguistic and cultural roots and traditions of literary writing by African Americans in three centuries of American history focusing on select readings in poetry, drama, and fictional prose. The overall goal of the course is to introduce students to the history of the different genres, contexts, and content of literary production by African American writers from the 1700s to the late 20th century.
Origins of Human Diversity This course explores the biological and cultural evolution of the human species over the last several million years and examines human similarities and diversity globally. Approaches utilized include archaeology, biological anthropology, ecology, genetics, and geology.
Intellectual Foundations of International Relations: Classical Theories & Modern Addresses the origins and context of international relations theory in an historical context as well as referring to recent disputes.
Jewish Thought and Culture We will explore the historical construction of Jewish culture as an organically developing constellation of multiple and often conflicting communities throughout history with varying religious ideas and
Images of the Pacific Comparison of popular, academic, and indigenous representations of the same cultural activities in the Pacific Oceanic societies, and analysis of how global power relations in the past and present shape and affect the production and circulation of these images.
America and Antiquity Students will examine the history and myths, institutions, literary works, and arts of ancient Greece and Rome that influenced colonial through postrevolutionary America.
Art and Society in the Western Tradition Course provides an overview of the relationship between art and western society from the ancient Greek world up to the present, and will address how works of art can also be read as indicators of the shared beliefs and aspirations of the groups which fashioned them.
Love in World Religions This course investigates the various conceptions of love in world religions. We will explore the conceptions of love in Western traditions including Greek, Jewish and Christian traditions as well as conceptions of love in Islam and Buddhism.