Course Offerings

Spring Semester of 2020

History 150: Great Books of the Western Historical Tradition  

Professor Dominic Erdozian
Course Time: MWF 1-2:15 PM

Note: Fulfills a History, Society, Cultures General Education Requirement

We will analyze works in the Western tradition that have shaped how men and women have understood their world and themselves. Topics include: the role of human agency in history; conceptions of divine and human authority; the relationship between self and society; the natural world and the laws governing it; the development of economics; and changing notions of what constitutes a good political system. After reading the assigned texts, students will be expected to discuss 1) what the documents actually say; 2) what they tell us about how and what people thought in the past; and 3) why these texts are important. Authors include Herodotus, Caesar, Machiavelli, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud and Primo Levi.

 

Political Science 150: Foundations of American Democracy

Professor Ahmed Siddiqi
Course Time: TuTh 8:30-9:45 AM

Note: Fulfills a History, Society, Cultures General Education Requirement

This class is a study of the basic principles of American political life: democracy, equality, and liberty. Through a close reading of core texts of the American political tradition, we will attempt to see how these ideas took hold in the US, what arguments were made on their behalf, and what possible pitfalls there are for a society dedicated to those ideas. The course will proceed entirely through a close reading of primary sources. There will be units on John Locke and the basic principles of liberal democracy, on the ratification debate, on Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, on race and civil rights, and on the competing visions of progressivism and conservatism.

 

English 150 - Shakespeare

Professor Joseph Fritsch
Course Time: TuTh 11:30-12:45 PM

Note: Fulfills a Humanities, Arts, and Performances General Education Requirement

Of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), friend and fellow author, Ben Jonson, wrote, “he was not of an age but for all time!” Four centuries later, we still agree.  In this discussion-based class, we will read across Shakespeare’s works, developing our ability to appreciate and analyze his poems and plays. We will consider these texts in their original contexts and lend our contemporary insights to them to understand better why The Bard continues to loom large in our literary and cultural imaginaries. This course is designed for new readers of Shakespeare. Course assessment is based upon in-class participation, short assignments, and a final paper in lieu of a final exam.

 

Spanish150 - Great Spanish Works in Translation 

Professor Karen Stolley
Course Time: MW 2:30-3:45 PM

Note: Fulfills a Humanities, Arts and Performances General Education Requirement

This course will explore some of the great works that have been written in Spanish across a wide range of historical periods, national traditions, and genres. The course, taught in English, will provide an opportunity for students whose command of Spanish is not "yet!" sufficient to read them in the original Spanish. Authors will range from Cervantes and Sor Juana to Yuri Herrera; readings will be drawn from the plays and poetry of Spain's Golden Age, colonial Spanish America, the Latin American Boom, contemporary narrative and poetry, and other cultural production (including film). Selected secondary readings will provide additional context, but the focus will be on close reading and discussion of the primary texts.

 

Psychology150 - Great Works in the Western Psychological Tradition

Professor Marshall Duke
Course Time: TuTh 10-11:15 AM

Note: Fulfills a History, Society, Cultures General Education Requirement

The original writings of key figures in the history of Western psychology, including Sigmund Freud, William James, John Watson, B.F Skinner, and Carl Jung, as well as original research articles which grew into classic works in the study of human behavior, normal and abnormal (e.g., the Little Albert study, the Milgram studies of obedience, the Stanford prison experiments, Bandura’s works on vicarious learning, Seligman’s studies on learned helplessness, etc.).  Students will be required to write three short (5-7 page) papers and one final integrative paper 15-20 pages) and to participate actively in class discussions.

  

German 190 - Great German Books in Translation 

Professor Peter Hoeyng
Course Time: TuTh 2:30-3:45 PM

Note: Fulfills a First Year Seminar Requirement

You will read a variety of different genres and authors over a time span of four centuries, starting with Martin Luther’s On the Freedom of a Christian (1520), and ending with Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents (1929). You are expected to read and discuss the assigned texts, and write in three different genres: a summary, an annotated bibliography, and a paper of about 8 pages. In addition, you will give three short presentations: reading a text passage, a report on developing a bibliography, and a presentation of your paper.

 


Fall Semester of 2019

Art History 104: Great Buildings

Professors Sarah McPhee and Bonna Daix Westcoat
Course Time: TuTh 10-11:15 AM

Note: Fulfills a Humanities, Arts, Performance General Education Requirement.

Great buildings stand as icons to their cultures: the pyramids, Parthenon, St. Peter's, Center Pompidou. In this course, we explore these and other monuments asking why and how they have driven the development of western architecture from antiquity to contemporary America.Great buildings stand as icons to their cultures: the pyramids, Parthenon, St. Peter's, Center Pompidou. In this course, we explore these and other monuments asking why and how they have driven the development of western architecture from antiquity to contemporary America. 

 

History 150: Great Books of the Western Historical Tradition  

Professor Joseph Crespino
Course Time: MWF 11-11:50 AM

Note: Fulfills a History, Society, Cultures General Education Requirement.

We will analyze works in the Western tradition that have shaped how men and women have understand their world and themselves. Topics include: the role of human agency in history; conceptions of divine and human authority; the relationship between self and society; the natural world and the laws governing it; the development of economics; and changing notions of what constitutes a good political system. After reading the assigned texts, students will be expected to discuss 1) what the documents actually say; 2) what they tell us about how and what people thought in the past; and 3) why these texts are important. 

 

Philosophy 115: Introduction to Ethics  

Professor Donald Verene
Course Time: MWF 9-9:50 AM

Note: Fulfills a History, Society, Cultures General Education Requirement.

Introductory examination of fundamental moral questions, such as the best way of life for a human being, the relationship between happiness and moral excellence, and the nature of ethical reasoning, as treated by major philosophers in the history of philosophy. How am I best to live my life? Is human happiness possible? Is human society better today than in the past? Is the unexamined life not worth living? These questions are central to moral philosophy and the idea of the good life as they appear in the great writings of the ancients and the moderns. The texts for the course are all short classics.

 

Political Science 150 - Foundations of American Democracy

Professor Judd Owen
Course Time: TuTh 4-5:15 PM

Note: Fulfills a History, Society, Cultures General Education Requirement.

Discussion based course on the foundational ideas that underlie American democracy and other major American political debates from the revolutionary era to the present. Readings drawn from classic texts and original documents, speeches and writings of leading American political figures.

 

Classics 150 - Masterworks of Classical Literature

Professor John Master
Course Time: TuTh 1-2:15 PM

Note: Fulfills a Humanities, Arts and Performances General Education Requirement

This reading-intensive class introduces students to some of the major authors, works, and genres of the classical canon, stretching from the 8th century BC epics of Homer to the works of Imperial Rome. We will wrestle with the major themes and concerns of a variety of ancient poetic and prose texts.

 

MESAS 170 (and Philosophy 185) - Plato and Aristotle 

Professor Kevin Corrigan
Course Time: MW 1-2:15 pM

Note: Fulfills a Humanities, Arts, Performance General Education Requirement.**TAUGHT IN ENGLISH**

This course will provide an in-depth introduction to two of the major figures of ancient thought, seminal for the whole history of philosophy and theology: Plato and Aristotle. So fundamental are these figures to contemporary thinking that the Harvard philosopher of religion, Wilfrid Cantwell Smith, observed over thirty years ago that even in the modern world we all tend to Platonize our own experience and Aristotelianize the experience of others.