Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE 1003 - Science Fiction      

Science Fiction
Out-of-control scientific discovery, time travel, aliens, androids, corporate and political domination, reimaginings of race, gender, and sexuality--these and other themes have dominated science fiction over the last 250 years. We will try to understand the ways in which selected writers have seen the world we inhabit and have imagined alternatives to it. Texts and movies include: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; H. G. Wells, The Time Machine; Isaac Asimov, I, Robot; Ursula Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness; and Ridley Scott, Bladerunner. CW LIT

Fall 2012, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1021 - Love and Death      

Love and Death in Western Europe, 1300-1900
History is not just names and dates; it also encompasses how ordinary people lived and felt. Emotions have a history because they have changed over time. This seminar deals with aspects of the history of desire and fear in Western Europe from the Middle Ages to the industrial era. Topics will include sex, marriage, child-rearing, disease, suicide, and the belief in immortality. In addition to works of historical analysis, we will read literary and theoretical sources, including Dante, Goethe, and Freud. Our aim is to understand how common emotions have been altered by social and cultural circumstances. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR HIS SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1025 - Chance      

Chance *
A prominent statistician once wrote, “Statistics exists only at the interfaces of chance and empirical data. But it exists at every such interface.” Are most cancers attributable to bad luck, as Forbes recently suggested? Do fluctuations in US News college rankings reflect educational quality? Is texting while driving riskier than drunk driving? You can't follow the news, choose a college, or even get behind the wheel without encountering statistical claims. Which should you trust? Our readings will include your favorite newspaper, Stephen J. Gould's essays on excellence and variability, and Edward Tufte's critique of data graphics in the popular press.. 3 hrs. sem.
CW DED

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1028 - Identity/Difference      

Identity and Difference
How do we use categories of identity and difference? How does culture determine how we perceive and perform gender and ethnic identity: male/female, gay/straight, East/West, black/white? We will look at constructions of gender and sexual identity in various cultures and consider how they intersect with national and ethnic identity. Literature and film will be our primary focus. We will read Euripides’ Bacchae, Forster’s Passage to India, and Hwang’s Madame Butterfly and view films like Kiss of the Spiderwoman and Europa Europa that problematize sexual and gender identity. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Spring 2015

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FYSE 1030 - Love & Friendship      

Love and Friendship
We will start with Plato's Phaedrus, to learn about love and its relationship to speaking and writing, and then turn to Aristotle's Ethics, to consider friendship in relation to politics. Then we will read: Jane Austen’s Persuasion; Shakespeare Sonnets; Montaigne's essay, "Of Friendship"; Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Flaubert’s Madame Bovary;
Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina; and Plato’s Symposium. We will also study The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric, by Sister Miriam Joseph, and we will watch two movies: The Philadelphia Story and Anna Karenina. CW EUR LIT PHL

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1041 - Economics of Social Issues      

The Economics of Social Issues
In this course we will examine current social problems from the perspective of an economist. We will use the tools of economics as a framework for understanding important social issues such as poverty, discrimination, access to health care, crime and drugs, immigration, welfare reform, affordable housing, quality and affordability of childcare, solvency of social security, gun control, divorce, and the environment. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1049 - Myth & Cosmology      

Myth and Cosmology
In this seminar we will trace some of the fundamental concepts underlying ancient ways of approaching the world. We will compare the Chinese, Biblical, Hindu, Navajo, and Maori creation traditions, the divination cultures of East Asian and African nations, and the rich symbolism that emerged out of some of the major centers of ancient civilization. Through our reading of myths, scholarly writings, and literary works, we will explore the ways China and various other cultures understood and dealt with the world around them, from flood myths to astrology, from the Yijing to omens and geomancy. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW PHL

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1056 - The Black Death      

The Black Death
In this seminar we will examine the great plague of 1348, the Black Death, as an epidemiological, cultural, and historical event. What was the plague? How did it affect European society in the short term, and what were its repercussions? Was the Black Death truly a turning point in European history, or have its effects been overrated? Finally, we will look at the role the plague has played as a metaphor in society and will discuss modern plagues like the hemorrhagic viruses and AIDS using fiction and film as well as the works of modern scholars. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR HIS

Fall 2011, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1062 - Econ/Culture Great Depression      

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? Economy and Culture in the Great Depression
The Great Depression of the 1930s changed economics forever. It also brought forth a period of distinctly American, socially-engaged literature and visual art. New relationships were forged between the U.S. government and working people, the arts, and the market. In this seminar we study economics to understand the collapse of the American economy; we study painting, photography, music, drama, and oral history to understand the rapid social change taking place. As a group, students will develop a digital media project representing one or more aspects of the 1930s experience. 3 hrs. sem. CW HIS NOR

Fall 2011, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1066 - Voices Along The Way      

Voices Along the Way
This seminar designed for international students is an introduction to contemporary American culture via literature and film. Our exploration of the American landscape and mindscape will begin with three topics: a sense of place, family relationships, and the American educational scene. We will conclude with a fourth topic, 'creating an identity," within which we will explore our own potential contributions to a global community. We will respond to each of these topics by writing essays, creating web pages and digital stories, and designing multi-media presentations. We will read stories and essays by John Updike, Amy Tan, Gloria Naylor, Theodore Sizer, James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, William Faulkner, and Jamaica Kincaid; we will consider films including Dances with Wolves, The Godfather, Stand and Deliver, and Dead Poets’ Society; and we will research and compare our own and each other’s cultures as a basis for determining what we consider to be “American.” 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Fall 2011, Fall 2013

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FYSE 1080 - Mozart Operas      

Mozart Operas: Swains, Countesses, and Magic Flutes
In this seminar we will delve into how opera comes about, its place in our culture, and its aesthetic, with our explorations centering on musical components. We will focus on the text and music of Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute. The main work will be viewing, listening to, and understanding these great works, with excursions into operas old and new. Special attention will be given to writing, varying from response and research papers to some creative writing. Assignments will be given throughout the semester in the various disciplines that come together in operas. We will have informal presentations of your creative work in class and, if possible, gather them in a public performance late in the semester. Music background preferred. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW EUR

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1081 - Greek Phil., Tragedy, & Comedy      

"The Ancient Quarrel": Greek Philosophy, Tragedy, and Comedy*
In Plato's day there was a “quarrel” between philosophy and poetry, a rivalry for the ethical education of citizens. How do the tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles communicate ethical dilemmas? Does Aristophanes in The Clouds suggest a serious critique within his comic satire of Socrates? Why does Plato banish the poets from his ideal city in The Republic, but develop his own philosophical poetry? Why does Aristotle in the Poetics emphasize the catharsis of the tragic emotions? Finally, we will consider Nietzsche's interpretation in The Birth of Tragedy: Socratic rationalism deals the fatal blow to tragedy, yet Plato transforms Socrates into a tragic figure. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR PHL

Fall 2011, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1099 - Cultural History of the Piano      

Piano, Piano: The Cultural History of the Piano
Why do so many people have a piano in their living room? In this seminar we will try to answer this question by exploring the cultural history of the piano. As we study the piano’s special place in our (musical) culture, we will learn about the technical as well as social aspects of this instrument’s developments over the past 300 years. We will hear virtuosos like Franz Liszt and Keith Jarrett, study milestones of the pianistic repertoire, and discuss representations of this instrument and its artists in literature, the arts, and film. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW EUR

Fall 2012, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1105 - The Poet's I      

CW LIT

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1107 - Shaping the Future      

Shaping the Future
Molecular biotechnology has provided extraordinary benefits to humankind, including the ability to cure disease, remove pollutants from the environment, and create crops that are resistant to disease. From these and other advances emerge a variety of social concerns. Should we use recombinant DNA technology to disclose our medical futures? Should we release genetically engineered organisms into the environment? Is it ethical to patent a living organism? Is it acceptable to clone animals? In this seminar we will explore these and other biotechnological advances and promote discussion and debate of the societal implications that derive from the genetic engineering revolution. 3 hrs. sem. CW SCI

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1108 - Chemical & Biological Warfare      

Science Demonized: Chemical and Biological Warfare
The Geneva Protocol of 1925 called for a halt to chemical and biological warfare. Since that time, creation of new technologies and advances in the fields of chemistry, molecular biology, and biochemistry have created the threat for even greater devastation. In this seminar we will examine the development and use of these agents, with attention to their chemical, biochemical, and biological mechanisms. Discussion and readings will focus on specific agents such as anthrax, plague, "super" viruses, and chemical nerve poisons. Texts and readings by Camus, Alibek, Miller, Tucker, and others will trace the creation and use of these weapons from WWI to the present. International efforts to prevent deployment and medical strategies to protect military and civilian personnel will also be considered. CW SCI

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1120 - Earth Resources      

Earth Resources: Origin, Use, and Environmental Impact
The global economy, world politics, and many aspects of our environment are dependent on the extraction and use of materials taken directly from the Earth. Unfortunately, within our lifetimes, we will be faced with significant shortages of many of these resources. In this seminar we will focus on how resources such as oil, coal, aluminum, and even gem minerals are generated by geological processes, how they are extracted and processed, and how these activities impact the Earth's environment. Numerous field trips during the laboratory portion of the seminar will allow us to view first hand the impacts of resource extraction, processing, and use. 3 hrs. sem. CW SCI

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1121 - Representations of Urban Italy      

Representations of Urban Italy: Rome, Florence, Venice
Rome, Florence, and Venice are central to the Western image of the city. With ancient Rome as a model, we will enrich our historical knowledge of the cities and their famous sites. We will explore how literature, urban planning, and the arts represent them. Genres to be explored (in English) include poetry and travel memoirs; literature and film of ancient Rome, including toga epics; contemporary novels and films (e.g., Michael Dibdin, Donna Leon; this year’s Oscar-winning The Great Beauty). Research projects will focus on the cities’ distinctive cuisines, and will include culinary practice. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR HIS

Fall 2012, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1123 - Encounters with Middle East      

Close Encounters with the Middle East
In the west, few other cultures have evoked such strong emotions or have been so widely misunderstood as the cultures of the Middle East. In this seminar, we will explore alternative understandings of the region by examining various types of historical and contemporary narratives. Rather than focus exclusively on political events and trajectories, we will investigate social and cultural experiences of peoples in the Middle East which have emerged through the intersection of history, identity, modernity, gender relations, and popular expression. This approach allows students to become familiar with the region’s inhabitants and cultures, and to think beyond the static images commonly portrayed in today’s media. In this seminar we will draw on various sources including film, media, literature, music, among others, and will interpret their ongoing significance in today’s world. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW HIS

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1132 - Shakespeare and Music      

Sounds and Sweet Airs: Shakespeare and Music
Shakespeare's plays are the stories we tell ourselves to explain to ourselves who we are. We have told them over and over, and they have proven to be infinitely adaptable to our needs. Composers, too, have been drawn to them from the beginning, adding their music to the music of Shakespeare's language. In this seminar we will study a number of plays, among them Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the operas, ballets, film scores, and symphonic works they have inspired from the 17th century to the present. ART CW EUR

Fall 2012, Fall 2013

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FYSE 1134 - Empires      

Empires
Why do empires rise and fall? Are "democracy" and "empire" always a contradiction in terms? Can imperialism be a good thing? For whom? Drawing on classical and contemporary sources, we will explore the origins and fates of empires from Ancient Greece to the present. We will start by reflecting on why Eurasia dominated the world prior to the twentieth century, rather than the other way around. We will then explore the similarities and differences in both the principles and practices of particular empires, as well as how those characteristics evolved over time. Special attention will be given to Rome, Britain, Austria-Hungary, the Ottomans, Russia/Soviet Union, and the United States. An overarching aim of this seminar is to view the global power of the 21st century United States in proper perspective. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1144 - Jane Austen and Film      

Jane Austen & Film
Why did a writer born over 200 years ago become a hot property in Hollywood? The explosion of film adaptations of Austen's novels has sent readers scurrying to Austen's six major works: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. We will study these novels and their film and video adaptations, while examining the differences between the language of film and the language of fiction, and while considering Austen's appeal to 21st century men and women. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2011, Fall 2013

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FYSE 1145 - Voices Along The Way      

Voices Along the Way
In this seminar—designed for international as well as U.S. students—we will examine American culture, as perceived both in the U.S. and abroad, through the lenses of gender, sexuality, race, class, and migration. Using literature and popular media, we will develop an understanding of the complexities and challenges in American culture, articulating them in inquiry-based writing and oral presentations, and learning how scholarly work has been integral to understanding them. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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FYSE 1153 - Poems, Poets, Poetry      

Poems, Poets, Poetry
In this seminar, we will read a wide range of lyric and narrative poems and explore ways of responding to them, in discussion and in writing. We will contemplate the resources of language and expressive form and structure upon which poets variously depend and draw. We will ask such questions as: can a poem really be "analyzed " or "explicated", and what assumptions lie behind such an attempt? The aim of this seminar is to assist in making poetry accessible and enjoyable without diminishing its complexity or its challenge, and to encourage a sense of poems as companions for life. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1158 - Passages from India      

Passages from India
In this seminar, we will focus on the literature, politics, and culture of 20th century India. We will discuss writing by Raja Rao, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Ismat Chughtai, Mahashweta Devi, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, and others. Drawing on both popular and documentary films, we will explore this literature in the contexts of colonialism, nationalism, class and caste politics, gender, the state, regionalism, religion, notions of development, and globalization. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW LIT

Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

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FYSE 1163 - Letter of the Law      

Letter of the Law
In this seminar we will study the representation of law and lawyers in a selection of literary works from Sophocles’s Antigone to John Grisham’s A Time to Kill. We will be concerned with issues of justice, equity, the letter of the law, law and customs, law and politics, and punishment and retribution as they manifest themselves in some of the following works: Antigone, Billy Budd, The Lottery, The Trial, In Cold Blood, and A Time to Kill. We will also view some episodes of L.A. Law. Writing will emphasize the development of a strong critical stance, precise thinking and use of language, and effective implementation of evidence in supporting an argument. CW LIT

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1167 - Shakespeare's Characters      

Shakespeare's Characters
Shakespeare’s reputation owes much to his characters. Yet memorable as these are, they abound in inconsistencies. What did they mean in Shakespeare’s time, and how do they still succeed? What explains the charisma of Bottom, the idiot who cannot act, or the appeal of Shylock, the vicious stereotype of Jewishness? Othello’s jealousy renders him a murderer, yet he elicits empathy; Desdemona is first assertive, then submissive. What do these contradictions mean? What do they tell us about attitudes towards race, gender, psychology, and theater in Shakespeare’s time and today? Addressing such questions, we will develop critical thinking and writing skills. Texts will include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and contextual readings. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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FYSE 1170 - Dealing with Atrocities      

Dealing with Atrocities
Occurrences of atrocities affecting large numbers of people show no sign of ending. How do these atrocities start and why? How do societies rebuild afterwards, and how might this rebuilding conflict with the healing process of individuals? How can the often competing goals of justice and reconciliation be balanced? What do subsequent generations in society owe to victims of large-scale atrocities? To explore these and other issues, a few main cases will be examined in depth – such as events in European colonialism and the Holocaust – as well as students choosing additional examples for comparison and further research. 3 hr. sem. CMP CW HIS

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1174 - The Art & Era of Andy Warhol      

The Art and Era of Andy Warhol
During his lifetime, Andy Warhol was often regarded as a charlatan, but since his death in 1987, his art, life, and career have been the subjects of unceasing investigation and speculation. Was his art a put-on? How should we interpret his often-contradictory statements? What is his place in the history of art and of his era? We will study his art works closely, evaluate his own words, and consider the evaluations of others in an attempt to understand his significance. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1175 - The Game of Go      

The Game of Go
Go is an ancient board game which originated in East Asia and is now played and studied by over 30 million people worldwide. The game is intellectually demanding and rigorous as well as highly creative and intuitive. In this seminar we will study the fundamentals of play, record and critique our games, and learn the history of Go and some of its outstanding practitioners. Additionally, we will gain some appreciation of Asian arts and cultures through our readings and writing projects. There will be plenty of game practice, analysis, some film and anime discussion, and a class tournament. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW DED

Fall 2012, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1183 - Psychology and Meaning of Life      

Psychology and the Meaning of Life
The goal of this seminar will be to explore what psychology can teach us about the meaning of life. We will start with earlier, more philosophical models (Freud, Frankl, Maslow) and conclude with modern empirical approaches to the study of “happiness” and “meaningfulness” (Seligman, Czikszentmihalyi, Kasser). This seminar will include a substantial service-learning component in which students will volunteer in community organizations and use those experiences as material for class discussion and assignments. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1184 - The Journey Within      

The Journey Within: The Spiritual Pursuit in Literary and Mystical Traditions
A fundamental teaching of the world’s religious traditions is that the source of love, the fulfillment of life, and the treasure of heaven are found within. With texts from antiquity to the present as our guides, we shall explore themes such as the concept of the soul, the discovery of a deeper self, the spiritual awakening, and the nature of the mystical experience. We shall consider questions related to religious and psychological experience such as: Where does the self reside? Why is it important to “know thyself”? What is the state of consciousness described as enlightenment? How does one rise above the sorrows and struggles of the world? Finally, we shall try to understand how turning within does not mean fleeing from the world, but engaging in the world around us in a more profound and meaningful way. Readings will include works from the Upanishads, Plato, Marcus Aurelius, St. Teresa of Avila, Tolstoy, Emily Dickinson, Herman Hesse, and J.D. Salinger. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW PHL

Spring 2012, Fall 2013

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FYSE 1198 - Darwinian Medicine      

Darwinian Medicine
Is it better to fight a fever or let it run its course? Why do pregnant women get morning sickness? In this course, we will look at modern humans and their health from the perspective of evolutionary biology. Students will be introduced to the basics of evolution by natural selection and will learn to interpret morphological, biochemical and behavioral aspects of humans and their pathogens in this context (such as how and why the level of virulence of a disease changes when human habits change). Readings will include Why We Get Sick, Evolving Health, and numerous papers from the primary literature. 3 hrs. sem./disc. CW SCI

Spring 2014

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FYSE 1199 - Smart Energy Choices      

Smart Energy Choices
As readers of the popular press, we are deluged with information about the strengths and limitations of many energy sources. Using the tools of quantitative thermodynamics, we will compare and contrast fossil fuels and nuclear energy, as well as alternative energy sources such as plant-derived biofuels, hydrogen (in combustion and fuel cells), solar power and wind power. We will also examine the economic and environmental consequences of each of these energy sources. It is strongly required that students have a full year of high school chemistry and physics. 3 hrs. sem/3 hrs. lab CW SCI

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1203 - Beast in the Jungle      

The Beast in the Jungle
In this course we will explore some literary texts in which the practice of exploration itself yields a complex confrontation with, and often breakdown of, identity and will. The westerner’s longing to separate him or herself from home and make contact with a foreign “other” arises from the high purposes that set imperial adventures in motion in the first place. Readings will include Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Forster’s Passage to India, Waugh’s Handful of Dust, Bowles’ Sheltering Sky, Stone’s Dog Soldiers, Duras’ The Lover, Greene’s A Burnt-Out Case. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2011, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1206 - French Films/American Remakes      

CMP CW

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1207 - Stories, Myths & Natl Identity      

Stories, Myths, and National Identity
What is national identity, and how important is it? How does national identity interact with and affect personal identity? How is the age of a nation determined? How does a nation become a state? Can a state become a nation? What are "invented traditions"? We will look at the way different texts and media are used in creating a sense of belonging, or not belonging, to a nation. We will study texts by Herodotus, Goethe, Fichte, Wagner, Shakespeare, Defoe, Nora, Yeats, Cooper, Turner, others. We will view films including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Capra), Lawrence of Arabia (Lean), Last of the Mohicans (Mann), The Promise (Trotta). 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR LIT SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1210 - Global Japanese Culture      

Global Japanese Culture
In this seminar we will examine the construction of Japanese cultural identity as products, ideas and people move across the borders in and out of Japan. Social scientists have been particularly interested in the appropriation of non-Japanese practices and products in Japan, as well as, the great success of some of Japan’s cultural and consumer products from Toyotas to Pokemon in the global marketplace. We will examine the issues of cultural hybridity, identity, and globalization using text such as Millennial Monsters, Remade in Japan, and Japan after Japan. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW SOC

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1211 - Godel, Escher, Bach      

Gödel, Escher, Bach
At the turn of the 20th century, mathematics took an introspective turn when its practitioners attempted to organize reasoning itself into an axiomatic system of theorems and definitions. The results were provocative and ended in a kind of paradox when logician Kurt Gödel proved that all formalized logical systems would necessarily contain some unprovable truths. Reading Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach, we will discover the connections among seemingly disparate fields of mathematics, visual arts, and music. Our journey will pass through the philosophical worlds of Lewis Carroll, Artificial Intelligence, non-Euclidean geometry, Zen Buddhism, and crash head-on into questions about the nature of human consciousness and creativity. 3 hrs. sem. CW DED

Spring 2014

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FYSE 1212 - Mathematics For All      

Mathematics for All
What kinds of mathematical knowledge are necessary for full participation in contemporary democratic society? How well, and how fairly, do our schools educate students in quantitative skills and reasoning? By what measures might we judge success? We will learn about different approaches to mathematics education in light of these questions. Readings will include selections from Mathematics for Democracy: The Case for Quantitative Literacy (L.A. Steen, Editor), as well as recent articles by education researchers. To connect theory and actual practice, students in this class will conduct a service-learning project in a local school. All are welcome, regardless of mathematical background. 3 hrs. sem. CW

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1214 - Space, Time, & Measurement      

Space, Time, and Measurement
The ability to precisely measure time and distance is essential to modern science and technology. As measurement technologies developed, they led to scientific discoveries that redefined our fundamental understanding of space, time and measurement themselves. We will follow this process from Galileo’s pendulum through Einstein’s theory of relativity and modern applications in quantum mechanics and cosmology. We will use historical and scientific texts, analytic writing, and a few hands-on activities to understand these ideas and their impact on science and society. 3 hrs. sem. CW DED SCI

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1217 - Animal Cognition      

Animal Cognition
Can animals use language? Are animals self-aware? Do animals try to deceive others? Are animals able to reason and make decisions? Can most of animals’ behavior be explained with simple learning mechanisms, making humans uniquely cognitive beings? In this seminar we will explore similarities and differences between animals and humans with regard to their mental abilities. In considering this issue, we will read and discuss scientific studies as well as popular literature anecdotes that examine various aspects of animals’ ability to think, with the goal of assessing how animals’ cognitive abilities compare to humans’. 3 hrs. sem./disc. CW

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1222 - Playing the Part      

Playing the Part: Text Analysis and the Revelation of Character
In this seminar we will apply the actor’s techniques of text analysis and character development to the study of dramatic literature in the hopes that these tools can illuminate the texts in ways conventional approaches might not. This is not a performance class nor is acting experience a prerequisite. We will read six plays, and, using the technical tenets of Stanislavsky-based method acting, chart the characters’ progress through the script. We will watch plays on film, and travel to see a professional production. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW LIT NOR

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1225 - Romantic Comedy in Film & Lit.      

Romantic Comedy in Film and Literature
How has romantic comedy portrayed courtship and gender relations? We will explore the subject by looking at classic plays and contemporary films. In particular, we will consider the long standing conventions of the romantic comedy to better understand its evolution and contemporary expression. We will begin by reading a selection of Shakespeare's comedies such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, and As You Like It, among others. In addition, we will watch screen adaptations, such as Much Ado About Nothing and related films such as Shakespeare in Love. We will then consider other dramatists of romantic comedy including Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw. Finally, we will shift our focus to contemporary romantic comedy on screen and how the genre has evolved in popular culture. 3 hrs. sem./screen. ART CW

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1228 - World of Winston Churchill      

World of Winston Churchill
In this course we will examine the making of the modern world through the life of Winston Churchill, one of the architects of Post-WWII Europe and the contemporary Middle East. As a parliamentarian, champion of the British Empire, war-time leader, international negotiator, and unparalleled orator, Churchill’s impact is extraordinary. Major course themes will include British parliamentary life, colonial empire, World War I, state formation in the Middle East, the rise of Nazism, World War II, the United Nations, and the early Cold War. Course materials will include historical and political analysis, as well as Churchill’s speeches and film screenings. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR HIS SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1229 - Discovering Infinity      

Discovering Infinity
"Infinity" has intrigued poets, artists, philosophers, musicians, religious thinkers, physicists, astronomers, and mathematicians throughout the ages. Beginning with puzzles and paradoxes that show the need for careful definition and rigorous thinking, we will examine the idea of infinity within mathematics, discovering and presenting our own theorems and proofs about the infinite. Our central focus will be the evolution of the mathematician’s approach to infinity, for it is here that the concept has its deepest roots and where our greatest understanding lies. In the final portion of the course, we will consider representation of the infinite in literature and the arts. (four years of secondary school mathematics) 3 hrs. sem. CW DED PHL

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1230 - Fictions of Growing Up      

Fictions of Growing Up
One kind of novel that has retained great appeal is the so-called ‘novel of education’ (German bildungsroman ) which traces the individual’s growth from adolescence into adulthood. We will read some of the best known “novels of education” written in English (by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, James Joyce, Edith Wharton, J.D. Salinger, and Jeffrey Eugenides). We will consider whether the novels confirm the findings of important psychologists (Freud, Erikson, Maslow) about adolescence and maturity. Through extensive reading, writing, and discussion we will learn to express ourselves with greater clarity, accuracy, and power. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1232 - Making Babies Brave New World      

Making Babies in a Brave New World
In this seminar we will examine the fundamentals of human reproduction and modern reproductive intervention strategies. As rapid discoveries in medical technologies have allowed us to push the limits of the human body, questions remain as to whether we should pursue, permit, or regulate such advances. We will explore scientific, societal, ethical, and individual issues surrounding the control of fertility and infertility, fetal life, birth, and the neonatal period. Through critical review of the literature, writing, and informed dialogues, students will gain an understanding of key topics in reproductive medicine. 3 hrs. sem. CW SCI

Fall 2012, Fall 2013

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FYSE 1238 - The Trojan War      

The Trojan War
The myth of the Trojan War exerted a defining influence on Greek and Roman culture, and has played a central role in the Western tradition ever since. In this seminar we will examine the historicity of the Trojan War and how ancient writers used it to explore themes such as the nature of heroism, the workings of the gods, and the relationship between the individual and society. We will also consider how our modern ideals about heroic action compare with those of ancient times. Readings will include selections from Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Vergil, and Ovid. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1244 - The Geology of National Parks      

Geology of National Parks
The collision of continents, the passage of glaciers, and time itself have sculpted our country, creating landscapes that have captivated humankind's attention for generations. This seminar will develop the sequence of events that have led to the formation of many such natural wonders found in our national parks. The seminar will proceed through lectures focused on basic geology and plate tectonic theory; textbook readings about specific parks; in-class and homework exercises that develop familiarity with important geologic materials and methods; and weekly video "excursions" to the parks. 3 hrs. sem. CW SCI

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1246 - Race/Difference in 20th-C Amer      

Race & Difference in Twentieth-Century America
In this seminar we will investigate "race" as a social, cultural, and political phenomenon in the United States across the 20th century. By examining a variety of primary source material, including novels, autobiographies, and essays (e.g., Nell Larson’s Passing, 1929; Piri Thomas’s Down These Mean Streets, 1967; Ruth Frankenberg’s White Women, Race Matters, 1993; and Vicki Nam’s Yell-Oh Girls, 2001), and films (e.g., Birth of a Nation, 1915; Imitation of Life, 1959; and Crash, 2004), we will analyze how the concept of race changed over time and how individuals and institutions defined and experienced race. Themes and topics to be covered include race and popular culture, race and identity, and race and social relations. 3 hrs. sem. CW HIS NOR SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1247 - Everyday Life in South Africa      

Everyday Life in South Africa, 1948-Present
In this seminar we will explore some of the social worlds of South Africans amid the country's recent decades of turbulent and dramatic change. We will look at how different groups within the nation's diverse population have understood and experienced the rise of the apartheid system, its demise, and its legacies in their "everyday" lives and interactions. We will draw from various sources - non-fiction, fiction, film, music, and other forms of popular culture - to interpret these social dynamics and their ongoing significance in a post-apartheid society. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW HIS SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1255 - Collapse of Complex Societies      

Facing the Apocalypse: How Complex Societies Fade and Collapse
In this seminar we will examine how and why historically complex societies have failed. We will explore the roles of population pressure, environmental degradation, warfare, and other factors in the collapse of such ancient urban societies as the Classic Maya, Chaco, and the Roman Empire. Likewise, we will explore how societies seemingly well-adapted to their geographic environments, such as the Vikings in Greenland, ultimately succumbed to extinction. Reviewing academic and popular explanations for societal collapse worldwide, we will ultimately engage the modern era and investigate the fragility of contemporary societies. CW HIS SOC

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1257 - Laughter/Tears: Beckett, et al      

Laughing Through Tears: The Comedy of Beckett, Pinter, and Frayn
In this seminar we will explore various comic forms in the plays of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, and Michael Frayn, including farce, satire, comedy of manners and menace, situation comedy, and parody. Students will be engaged in class discussion, oral presentations, film viewing, and extensive written work. Acting experience is helpful but not a requirement. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW LIT

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1259 - Science and Science Fiction      

Science and Science Fiction
More than just rocket ships, ray guns, and robots, science fiction frees us from the bounds of Earth’s present condition and allows us to explore worlds with alternate possibilities and futures, both positive and negative, for humankind. Often through interactions with and examples of things decidedly non-human we discover more about what it means to be human. We will read both science fact and science fiction (but not fantasy) literature to try to understand more about our humanity, our present world, and what might become of each in the future. Topics will include space travel, energy and the environment, the nature of the universe, and the meaning of life. We will write both fact-based essays as well as fictional stories. 3 hrs. sem. CW

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1260 - Holocaust Landscapes      

Holocaust Landscapes
The Holocaust was a profoundly geographical event that caused mass displacement and migration, destroyed or fundamentally changed communities, and created new places to control, exploit, or kill millions of people. In this seminar we will focus on material and mental landscapes – the places and spaces – of the Holocaust, particularly as victims experienced these landscapes, and how such landscapes have been selectively re-imagined as sites of memory. History, geography, autobiography, and visual sources will provide material for class discussion, research, and writing. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR HIS

Spring 2014

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FYSE 1263 - African American Migrations      

We Got to MOVE:African American Migrations
In this course we will consider the phenomenon of migration in 20th century African American life. We will draw on texts from fields such as literature (works by Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Lorraine Hansberry, and Dinaw Mengestu), art (paintings by Jacob Lawrence and Kerry James Marshall, FSA photos), music (blues, soul, and hip hop), sociology (Cayton and Drake, Black Metropolis), American Studies (Griffin, Who Set You Flowin’), and history (Berlin, The Making of African America). Our objectives will be to understand both the actual impact of the migrant experience on the African American community and African American artists’ creative responses to it. 3 hrs. sem. CW HIS NOR

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1266 - Literary Narratives      

Literary Narratives
Beginning with a sequence of related tales from the Arabian Nights, we will focus sharply on a series of works composed of multiple and sometimes radically divergent narratives. We will explore ways in which authors working in a variety of traditions succeed in creating unified literary experiences that exceed their individual parts, paying particular attention to matters of sequencing, pacing, juxtaposition, and repetition, as well as shifts in narrative pattern, perspective, and tone. Among the authors we will consider are Poe, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Sherwood Anderson, Hemingway, and Nathanael West. Especially recommended for students contemplating a major in Literary Studies. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1269 - First Language Acquisition      

First Language Acquisition
A normally-developing child can acquire any human language in the right environment, yet it is much more difficult for adults to achieve native proficiency in a second language. Why? In this course we will explore questions such as: How does first language acquisition happen? Is it effortless? Are humans “hardwired” with language? Is it true that after the “Critical Period,” i.e., the onset of puberty, humans have lost this capacity? We will also explore social and cultural constraints on language acquisition, and learn basic techniques for collecting and analyzing data in language acquisition research. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1272 - Lit.& Philosophy of Friendship      

Literature and Philosophy of Friendship
In this seminar we will explore major works of literature and philosophy from earlier centuries on the ideal of friendship. What are the traditional obligations of “true” friendship? Are they different from those of the Facebook age? Is friendship like love? Is true friendship between the sexes possible? Does racial difference affect friendship? Is homoeroticism or homophobia part of friendship? Readings include Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Cicero, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Bacon, Kant, Emerson, and Thoreau as well as selected texts in non-European traditions. Special emphasis will be placed on grammar, rhetorical style, public speaking, and multimedia presentation. 3 hrs. sem. E CW EUR LIT

Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015

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FYSE 1280 - Breaking the Code: Alan Turing      

Breaking the Code: The Enigma of Alan Turing
British mathematician Alan Turing broke the Nazis' prized Enigma cipher in World War II, created the foundations of computer science, and pioneered the fields of artificial intelligence (“Can Machines Think?”) and neural networks. Turing was arrested for homosexuality and forced to undergo hormone treatments. He died by cyanide poisoning at a relatively young age. His brilliant achievements and tragic death have been the subject of biographies, essays, plays, novels, and films, most recently the Academy Award winning The Imitation Game. We will explore the life and works of this remarkable individual in the context of the war and its aftermath. 3 hrs. sem./screening CW DED EUR

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1282 - Chaos, Complexity, Self-Org      

Chaos, Complexity, and Self-Organization
How does the complex emerge from the simple? Can complex phenomena, such as life and consciousness, be reduced to a purely physical description in terms of “fundamental particles” interacting through “fundamental forces”? Are there phenomena so complex that they cannot be reduced to a more fundamental level? Questions such as these lie at the heart of complexity science, a new conceptual framework for understanding emergent complexity in the natural and social sciences. Texts will include James Gleick, Chaos, and M. Mitchell Waldrop, Complexity. Students will learn to write simple simulation programs using Mathematica software. Students with high school algebra, pre-calculus, and some familiarity with computer programming will be comfortable with the content of this course. 3 hrs. sem. CW DED SCI

Spring 2012

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FYSE 1283 - Transitional Justice      

Transitional Justice: Reckoning with the Past
In this seminar we will examine how emerging democracies reckon with former authoritarian regimes and their legacies. In contrast to stable democracies, societies in transition that seek to overcome a legacy of large scale human rights violations—and minimize the risks of their recurrence—must search for a delicate political compromise that will bring some justice without undermining the new order. Several case studies from Asia, Latin America, South Africa, and postcommunist Europe will help us understand the forces and factors that shape the dilemma: to prosecute and punish versus to forgive and forget. Course readings will be supplemented by documentaries and fiction films. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1286 - Keys to Dan Brown's Inferno      

The Keys to Dan Brown’s /Inferno/
In this project-oriented seminar we will seek to examine, identify, and distinguish fact from fiction in the Dan Brown novel, Inferno (May 2013) popularized already on television and social media. We will explore in greater depth the codes, symbols, and secret passageways of Florence, Dante’s own Inferno, and Brown’s other novels. We will create and publish electronically a 21st century illustrated annotated guide to the novel using the latest in new technologies, wikis, Google mapping, graphics, and video. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1287 - LA Immigration & Amer Dream      

Latin American Immigration and the American Dream
Transnational migration, especially from Latin America, is transforming the ethnic composition of the United States at a time when our class inequalities are widening and our consumption levels are becoming unsustainable. In this seminar we will focus on migration streams from Mexico, Central America, and other parts of Latin America, and explore the implications for future generations. Will large migration streams make American society more tolerant and increase economic opportunities for the poor? Are large migration streams the product of inevitable historical forces, or do they instead result from decision-making by American elites? 3 hrs. sem. AAL CMP CW SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1291 - The Art of the Personal Essay      

The Art of the Personal Essay
"One writes out of one thing only -- one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art." Launching ourselves from James Baldwin’s assertion, in this seminar will examine the artfulness of the personal essay by reading and critiquing examples from the genre’s beginnings in Michel de Montaigne’s Essais (“attempts”) in the 1580s, through such major modern American essayists as E.B. White, Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Stephen Jay Gould, to the contemporary scene of Dave Eggers, David Sederis, and emerging graphic essayists . What is essential to the genre? What has changed and continues to change? We will also attempt to force the last drops from our own personal experience. ART CW LIT

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1295 - Visions of Mortality      

Visions of Mortality
In this seminar we will examine the nature, meaning, and implications of our mortality. We will begin by examining historical and contemporary philosophical views on death and by considering questions such as: Can an understanding of death tell us anything about what makes life good? How should the fact of our mortality influence the lives we lead? We will then address contemporary biomedical issues regarding death, considering questions such as: How does technology influence our conception of death? What attitude ought we to embrace regarding increasing advances in life-extending medical treatments? Readings will likely include works by Tolstoy, Lucretius, Nagel, Camus, and Callahan. 3 hrs. sem. CW PHL

Fall 2012, Fall 2015

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FYSE 1300 - Ecological History New England      

From the Forest Primeval to the Hardwood Grove: Exploring the Ecological History of New England
The New England landscape has been profoundly shaped by people; the traces of human activity can be seen in even its wildest corners. In this course we will trace the evolving relationship between people and forests, as recorded in literature, historical documents, and the trees themselves. We will use a variety of sources to reconstruct how New England forests have changed over the last 300-400 years, while tracing the simultaneous changes in how people perceived the forests around them. We will end by asking what the past teaches us about the future of New England forests in a time of rapid ecological change. 3 hrs sem. CW

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1301 - Rome on Stage and Screen      

Ancient Rome on the Stage and Screen
In this seminar we will investigate the long history of Roman drama, from the ancient world to Shakespeare’s plays and contemporary films. As we explore the representation and reception of ancient Rome, we will address the following questions: What is the relationship between drama and history? To what political purposes can drama and film be used? How does the representation of characters change over time? How are women portrayed? Why does Rome continue to influence the modern world? Texts will include Octavia and the Satyricon; Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra; films will include Quo Vadis? and I, Claudius. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1302 - C.S. Lewis Phil/Imagination      

C.S. Lewis: Ecology, Philosophy, and Imagination
In this course we will explore the writings of C.S.Lewis, with an eye to how important philosophical and theological ideas evident in his non-fiction essays and books find expression in his major works of fantastic fiction: The Chronicles of Narnia and the Ransom Trilogy. Particular emphasis will be given to the implications of his views of nature and ecology (including ecological practices). We will focus on Lewis’s own writing, especially his fantasy novels, but will also read a small selection of writing about Lewis, such as Alan Jacobs’ The Narnian. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT PHL

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1304 - Solvitur Ambulando      

Solvitur Ambulando
/Solvitur ambulando/: “It Is Solved by Walking.” The phrase is Latin, but it goes back to Diogenes and expresses the practical and embodied elements of problem solving and the creative process. We will look at the literature and lore of walking throughout history, myth, philosophy and literature, and take three walks of our own, alone, and with partners. Reading will include Wordsworth, Stevenson, Thoreau, Rebecca Solnit, Chatwin, Dr. Johnson, Montaigne, Basho, Hirsch, William James, Gary Snyder, and David Abram. CW

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1306 - Mountains of the Northeast      

Mountains of the Northeast
The mountains of the northeastern U.S. are an integral part of the cultural and natural history of this region. In this seminar we will consider topics germane to northeastern mountains including the geologic origin of the northern Appalachians, characteristics of mountain environments, changing perceptions of northeastern mountains over time, mountains as resources for modern society, and challenges facing these environments today and in the future. Readings and discussion will be combined with field excursions to enhance our understanding of mountains from a variety of perspectives. 3 hrs sem./disc. CW SCI

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1307 - Fascism & Masculinity, 1919-45      

Fascism and Masculinity Around the World, 1919-1945
In this seminar we will explore how ideas about masculinity shaped the character and goals of fascist movements around the world between 1919 and 1945. We will investigate conceptions of gender, sexuality, race, and nation as manifested in paramilitary organizations, leadership cults, international sporting competitions, and the reorganization of work and domestic life. Texts will include scholarly monographs as well as films by Leni Riefenstahl, narratives by kamikaze pilots, and debates about cultural “degeneracy.” The seminar will provide an introduction to the historiography of fascism, methods of transnational inquiry, and the study of gender and sexuality. CMP CW HIS

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1309 - The True Believer      

The True Believer
When he published The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, social thinker Eric Hoffer sought to explain exactly what inspires people to commit themselves passionately to causes defined by their unyielding belief. Like Hoffer, we will examine not only what has motivated individuals over time to join extremist social, political, and religious movements, but also the psychologies of those who have led them throughout history. We will try to determine precisely who the true believer is, and whether true belief is generally of greater benefit or harm to the believer and to broader society. CMP CW PHL

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1311 - Fellini and the Art of Cinema      

Federico Fellini and the Art of Cinema
In this seminar we will examine some of the films of the great Italian director Federico Fellini (The White Sheik, I vitelloni, La strada, The Nights of Cabiria, Il bidone, La dolce vita, 8 ½/, /Amarcord). We will analyze these films in relation to contemporary Italian society and discuss how the philosophical and ethical questions they present relate to our own reality today. Special attention will be paid to uncovering the artistic underpinnings of Fellini’s cinema through formal analysis of the films. ART CW EUR

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1313 - Exploring Literary Translation      

Disturbing Difference: Exploring Literary Translation
Translation is fundamental to cultural exchange in a globalizing world. Yet few of us are conscious of the role it plays in our lives, and fewer still actually practice the art of translation. In this seminar, we will examine current thinking in translation theory, sample excellent translations, talk and write about them, and then develop our own skills by translating works from various genres and languages for consideration by the group. [Note: Students are required to have a strong reading knowledge of at least one language other than English and be prepared to translate from that language into English.] CW

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1316 - The Work of Art      

The Work of Art: Labor in Contemporary Literature and Visual Culture
In this seminar we will examine imaginative accounts of work and workers in recent literature, art, and film. Garment workers, miners, computer programmers, taxi drivers, teachers, and sex workers will take center stage as we consider the shifting meanings of paid and unpaid labor in contemporary culture. Class materials will consist of an international mix of novels, poems, photographs, performance pieces, theoretical texts, documentaries, and feature films. Topics to be considered include women’s work, labor migrations, the rise of service work and other forms of “affective” labor, and the representation of the body at work. 3 hrs. sem. ART CMP CW

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1317 - The Philosophy of Human Rights      

The Philosophy of Human Rights
What are human rights? What duties, if any, flow from them, and who is morally obligated to bear those duties? In this course, we will investigate the philosophical origins and development of the concept of human rights. We will critically analyze both historical and contemporary moral perspectives on the existence and nature of human rights. What does it mean to say that one possesses a human right? In addition to examining the existence and nature of human rights, we will take a closer look at the issue of human rights related to world poverty and humanitarian intervention. 3 hrs. sem. CW PHL

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1332 - Reading Africa      

Reading Africa
What do we know about Africa? In this seminar we will explore this vast continent through novels written about it. African and non-African writers will help us discover the continent’s geographies, histories, cultures, and politics. We will study particular phenomena affecting Africans over the centuries including colonialism, dictatorial rule, humanitarianism, the women’s rights movement, and racism. With the help of films and student presentations, we will focus on Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW SOC

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1335 - Cold War Culture      

Cold War Culture
“Without the Cold War, what’s the point of being American?” So asks Rabbit Angstrom, the main character in John Updike’s 1990 novel, Rabbit at Rest. In this course, we will examine the Cold War’s impact on American culture throughout the period 1945-1991, with a focus on art, literature, television, film, consumer culture, and politics. Texts will include Luce, The American Century; Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking; Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle; and Plath, The Bell Jar. Films will include The Thing from Another World!/, /Dr. Strangelove, and Terminator. 3 hrs. sem CW HIS NOR

Fall 2011, Fall 2013

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FYSE 1336 - Tell About the South      

“Tell About the South”: Exploring Southern Cultures*
In William Faulkner's novel Absalom, Absalom!/, Southerner Quentin Compson's Harvard roommate says to him: "Tell about the South. What's it like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all?" These questions, posed by a Canadian, underpin our class study. In this seminar we will investigate the widespread perception of the South as a distinctive region that may—or may not—be in jeopardy of disappearing into a more homogenous national identity. By examining southern culture through a variety of disciplinary lenses, we will begin to explore why, how, and with what results this regional identity has evolved. Together we will explore the South’s social, economic, and cultural development, focusing on artistic representations of the region in literature, film, photography, music, and popular culture. CW NOR

Fall 2011, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1337 - Forests and Carbon Neutrality      

Can Vermont’s Forests Help Us Achieve Carbon Neutrality?
As interest in finding local energy sources has risen in recent years, Vermont’s landscape is increasingly being looked to as a source of local, renewable fuel. In this course, we will explore the ecological consequences of increased use of forests for energy production and examine how the shift towards biomass-based energy contributes to Middlebury’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality. Using both published research and our own field investigations at local research sites, we will explore the ability of the local landscape to supply biomass, and consider the possible unintended ecological consequences of that change in land use. 3 hrs sem. CW SCI

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1338 - Biology of Stress      

Biology of Stress
Stress is a concept that permeates many aspects of our daily lives, yet most people know surprisingly little about the underlying biological causes of the body’s stress response. In this course we will explore the physiological, behavioral, and cognitive consequences of chronic and acute exposure to stressors. What are the evolutionary benefits of the stress response? How are various diseases linked to stress? Why are some people better at coping with stress than others? We will use Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky as our primary text, and this will be supplemented with readings from scientific journals. 3 hrs sem. CW SCI

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1340 - Race, Class & Educ. Inequality      

Race, Class, and Educational Inequality
In this course we will critically examine race and class inequality in education. We will primarily focus on the U.S. education system, paying particular attention to the often-confusing labyrinth that students and families must navigate. Students will be asked to reflect on their own educational path and how their social position has potentially shaped their educational experiences, opportunities, and outcomes. We will engage theatre, hip-hop, and popular media sources to interrogate the ways schools, students, and teachers are portrayed. Finally, we will examine the impact of educational policies on students, families, and teachers. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1341 - The Bronte Sisters      

The Brontë Sisters
Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë produced some of the most outstanding and outrageous fiction and poetry in English. In this course we will read four of their novels: the classic Jane Eyre and the somber, visionary Villette (both by Charlotte), the wild and gothic Wuthering Heights (Emily’s only novel), and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (by Anne), a strident critique of women’s social oppression. In addition, we will read some of their poetry and their fanciful juvenilia. Readings will also include theoretical, historical, and biographical essays about the Brontës’ lives and literature. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1342 - Creativity in the Digital Age      

Creativity in the Digital Age
How have the digital tools of contemporary culture shifted notions of creativity and originality? In this course we will examine digital authorship in remix culture, fan culture, and cross-media production. We will explore shifts in notions of author and audience as they play out in online sites like Facebook, Livejournal, Youtube, and Twitter. We will read academic and popular writing addressing these questions, and students will also investigate questions of digital culture through creative production. Class work will include primary and secondary research, analytic writing, blogging, and video remix. 3 hrs. sem/3 hrs. screening CW SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1343 - The Migrant Experience      

The Migrant Experience
Migration is a powerful force shaping both individual identities and composition of communities. Some scholars have argued that mobility increasingly defines what it means to be modern. In this course, we will explore migration experiences through literary works ranging from The Grapes of Wrath to How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents. We will supplement these works of literature with selections of research articles from the social sciences that engage the questions and situations depicted in the works of fiction. Through readings, class discussions, and an array of writing assignments, we will gain a deep understanding of the migration experience as well as how scholars from different disciplines approach migration as an object of study. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1344 - Culinary History of Italy      

Time Around A Table: A Culinary History of Italy
Food is a window into the culture and values of any society. In this seminar we will explore the history of Italian culture by investigating the ever-changing issues relating to food, through books, articles, films, recipes, and cooking. How did production and consumption change over time? What did the Ancient Romans eat? What was Italian cuisine like before pasta and tomatoes? What triggered the Italian appetite to change? Such questions allow us to examine what culinary choices reveal about today’s Italy. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR HIS

Fall 2011, Fall 2013

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FYSE 1345 - Art & Nature of Contemplation      

The Art and Nature of Contemplation
What would it be like to attend to oneself, to others, and to the world with the concentration and insight of a Zen-inspired poet? How does a forest, a river, a neighborhood, or a city feel to an artist in open attentiveness to the immediate environment? This semnar invites students to experience contemplative knowing of self and surroundings through mindfulness meditation and through daily reflections in words, sketches or photographs. We will learn about the traditional origins of meditation and more recent uses of mindfulness for personal wellbeing. To give context to our own practice we will engage critically with essays, poems, art installations, and films that have arisen from contemplations of nature in ancient and modern times. Our study begins with Japanese poets Saigyo and Basho, the classic filmmaker Ozu, and the anime director Miyazaki. We then explore and compare meditative works by American and international writers and artists Annie Dillard, Andy Goldsworthy, and Maya Lin. We will conclude with the question of the relationship between mindfulness and social awareness in the works of Shigeru Ban. 3 hrs. sem/disc. AAL ART CW

Fall 2011, Fall 2015

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FYSE 1346 - Math Models Bio & Epidemiology      

Mathematical Modeling in Biology and Epidemiology
Population growth, species interactions, and the transmission and treatment of infectious diseases have long been central foci in biology. Mathematical modeling has tremendously influenced the ongoing research in these areas and has greatly contributed to our understanding. In this course we will investigate a variety of discrete and continuous mathematical models used in these areas. We will explore original research and will learn how to critique existing models. We will formulate and investigate our own questions by building, analyzing, and testing new models. (Calculus) 3 hrs. sem. CW DED

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1347 - Everything A Cappella      

Singing A Cappella
In this seminar we will explore the role of vocal music in art, society, and personal expression through the history and style of a cappella singing from antiquity to the present. We will create a cappella group performance projects that emphasize vocal sounds, different cultural traditions, and individual talents. Group discussions will address how this music reflects human experience and society. Writing assignments will include music reviews and essays. Concepts in vocal technique, improvisation, and ensemble singing will be explored. Specific interest in vocal music is encouraged but no prior vocal study is required. ART CW

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1348 - The EU, A Global Actor      

The EU: A Global Actor
With 27 members and 498 million citizens, the European Union (EU) has become a global actor that is hard to ignore. In this course, we will focus on the historical development of this unique economic and political entity and on its increasing importance in the world. We will reflect on both the opportunities and the limitations of the EU to solve global issues. We will study the inner workings of the EU as well as its role in several policy areas such as trade, development, security, and environmental policy. We will also address the EU’s impact on neighboring countries and the bilateral relations of the EU with key players in the world, notably the United States, Russia, and China. 3 hrs sem. CW EUR SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1349 - Amer Constitutional Democracy      

American Constitutional Democracy
In this seminar we will examine the principles and practices of the American political regime. Our goal is to grasp the evolving relationship between major public controversies in American politics, and the theoretical writings on liberty and equity that have influenced America’s political development. Topics and texts will include the founding debates and documents, Tocqueville’s interpretation of American democracy, Mill’s defense of liberty, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and a range of landmark Supreme Court cases that confront the enduring tension between majority rule and the protection of minority rights. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR PHL SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1350 - Prejudice in America      

Prejudice and Discrimination in America
Prejudice and discrimination have long been the focus of psychological research, yet clear solutions to these intractable problems remain elusive. In this course we will explore the origins of stereotypes and their relationship to prejudice and discrimination. We will consider historical and contemporary prejudice, explore its prevalence, its social and personal consequences, as well as possible avenues to reduce or eliminate its existence. We will read research literature, news stories, legal writings, fiction, and social commentary. Although we will focus primarily on ethnicity and race, prejudice based on sex, sexual orientation, and other dimensions will also be considered. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1351 - Ancient Alexandria      

Ancient Alexandria: Crucible of Religious Innovation
Alexandria was one of the most important cities of the ancient Mediterranean world. Melding elements of Pharaonic Egypt and Alexander the Great’s world, it became a major center for the arts and sciences. It also became a crucible for religious innovation, which will be the focus of this seminar. Reading both ancient and modern sources, we will examine the ways Alexandria’s earliest leaders linked Egyptian and Hellenistic religious traditions, the role of Alexandria’s Jews in the shaping of Diaspora Judaism, the contributions its churches made to the development of Christianity, and how the proponents of these traditions interacted with one another. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CMP CW HIS PHL

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1352 - Narrating Space & Place      

Narrating Space and Place
In this seminar we will study how space and place are represented in literature, film, and art. We will get acquainted with theories about the differences between space and place, place and non-place, as well as the exchanges between urban, suburban, and rural environments. We will read texts by Jorge Luis Borges, Georges Perec, and César Aira; discuss the theories of Gaston Bachelard and Marc Augé; analyze artwork by Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Johann Moritz Rugendas; and comment on modern urban planning in Latin America. Writing assignments will focus on strategies for narrating and describing places, both the real places we live in, and the imaginary spaces we project in our mental world, from college campuses and rural towns, to metropolises and cemeteries. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1353 - Poetry in Exile      

Poetry in Exile
In this seminar we will read and study poetry written in Spanish and English. We will cover a selection of 20th and 21st century Spanish-American and Spanish poets who wrote in exile, such as Vicente Huidobro, Pablo Neruda, Jorge Luis Borges, Federico García Lorca, César Vallejo, Cristina Peri Rossi, Julia Álvarez, and many others. Our main purpose is to undertake close readings of poetic texts, taking into consideration issues of voice, space, and diasporas. This seminar will be taught in Spanish and will cover comparisons between the two languages. This is an appropriate seminar for native speakers of Spanish, students who are bilingual, and students who have scored 720 or above on the Spanish SAT II, or 5 on the Spanish AP. AAL CW EUR LIT LNG

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1354 - The American Dream      

The American Dream: Fact or Fantasy?
This seminar is designed for non-native speakers of English, and aims to answer the question, “What is the American Dream?” We will consider the ways that the American Dream has been conceptualized by historians, politicians, journalists, activists, and artists. We will read works by authors such as Alexis de Tocqueville, James Baldwin, Betty Friedan, Howard Zinn, Maya Angelou, Julia Alvarez, and Jennifer Hochschild. Film screenings include How the West Was Won (1962) and Crash (2004). Students will develop a range of skills for academic speaking, reading, and research, and will write multiple drafts of short and long papers. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1355 - Oratory: Winning the Soul      

Oratory: Winning the Soul with Words
What do the great speeches of history have in common with a winning slam poem, an inspirational locker room speech, or a TEDTalk gone viral? Do the tools of persuasion change when the speaker is fictional? With guidance from Aristotle and Winston Churchill, we will apply the principles of rhetoric to a wide variety of speeches in which a highly-motivated speaker attempts to “win the soul” of the audience. In addition to analytical writing, students will deliver two short speeches of their own, completing an immersion into oratory designed to help them communicate with precision, empathy, and authority. CW

Fall 2011

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FYSE 1356 - Disability/Difference/Society      

Disability, Difference, and Society
In this seminar we explore the varied and evolving meanings of disability—as condition, lived experience, and analytical framework—and the contexts that shape these meanings. Dominant issues, including representation, education, employment, bioethics, institutions, community, and policies and rights, will serve as our touchstones for research, analysis, and learning. We will pay rigorous attention to the links between disability and other significant social categories, such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, sexual orientation and identification, and age. While the United States is highlighted in this class, transnational and global components will figure significantly as well. Course materials and assignments offer different disciplinary approaches and writing styles, fostering both individual and collective work. Films, on line exhibits, music, advertising, popular media, and the material world reflect the wide range of sources on which this course draws. CW NOR SOC

Spring 2012, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1357 - White People      

White People
White people are often invisible when it comes to having a race. In this course we will begin by considering the formation of whiteness in post-Civil War America. We will read histories of whiteness, such as Grace Elizabeth Hale's Making Whiteness and David Roediger’s The Wages of Whiteness, as well as consider important milestones in whiteness, from the films Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind to the blog "What White People Like." Finally we will use essays, blogs, photographs, and videos to make white people at Middlebury visible by documenting how they represent themselves through belief systems, language, dress, and rituals. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR

Spring 2012

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FYSE 1358 - Values and Objectivity      

Values and Objectivity
Objectivity is desirable in many forms of inquiry, including science, law, and scholarship. Many think that objectivity requires that inquirers’ social, political, and moral values play no part in their judgments. But is this the correct link between objectivity and values? If so, how much of our current inquiry is genuinely objective? If not, how would it be possible to speak objectively about values? Does objectivity presuppose its own set of values? Are some social and political arrangements (e.g., democracy) more effective in securing objectivity? 3 hrs. sem. CW PHL

Spring 2012

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FYSE 1359 - The American Art Museum      

The American Art Museum
Americans are awash in a sea of art. Only some of it, however, finds its way into museums where it is seen in temporary exhibits or permanent collections. Who decides what gets in or stays out? Why do museums have most of their collections hidden away? What roles do auction houses, art dealers, and collectors play? What determines the monetary value of art? In this seminar we will probe answers to these questions and create an exhibit of objects that tells us much about ourselves but is unlikely ever to be seen in a museum. Our primary text will be The Art Museum From Boullée to Bilbao by Andrew McClellan. 3 hrs sem. ART CW NOR

Spring 2012

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FYSE 1360 - From Synapse to Self      

From Synapse to Self
The discoveries of psychology and neuroscience challenge long-standing Western conceptions of personal identity, the permanence of the self, and the nature of free will. Can networks of neurons alone store memories and give rise to thought, agency, and moral behavior? Are all thoughts and behaviors biologically determined? Is our sense of a unitary, permanent self an illusion? In this seminar we will explore these questions; examine the relationships between nervous system function, mental processes, and personal identity; and survey the development and influence of "brain science" by reading and discussing the works of scientists, philosophers, novelists, and artists. 3 hrs sem. CW SCI SOC

Spring 2012

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FYSE 1361 - Intro to Contemporary China      

Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Culture, Politics, and Society
Is China poised to rule the world? Are we already living in the shadow of China’s economic dominance? Is China’s soft power transforming global culture? Is China a fragile superpower? In this seminar we will prepare to answer these questions, all of which have been raised in recently published books, by studying some of the important people, events, ideas, stories, and films in 20th- and 21st-century China. Our inquiry will be guided by the assumption that we cannot understand what China’s rise means until we acquire a basic understanding of Chinese culture, politics, and society. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW HIS

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1362 - Sophocles and Athens      

Sophocles and Athens
What can we learn from Sophocles, the tragic playwright whose life spans the Athenian 5th century BCE? Why do his tragedies—composed against the background of Athens’ incredible achievements, its radical democracy, but also its ever more aggressive foreign policy—reflect so poignantly on the human condition? In this seminar we will trace Sophocles’ effort to probe the mysteries of the soul, both of the individual and of the community, and to confront the riddle of human existence. In addition to studying his seven surviving plays in their historical context, we will also consider their profound impact on later thought and art, including opera and film. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2012, Spring 2014

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FYSE 1363 - Humans, Computers, & Souls      

Humans, Computers, and Souls
In this seminar we will contrast two philosophies of human nature, known as physicalism and integrative dualism. The physicalist view, represented by noted figures such as philosopher Daniel Dennett and biologist Richard Dawkins, understands humans as complex biochemical computers whose minds are reducible to physical brains. A competing view, referred to by philosopher Charles Taliafero as “integrative dualism”, sees humans as both spiritual and physical beings. We will touch on philosophy of computation, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and philosophy of soul, with readings from Dennett, Dawkins, Taliafero, and also Raymond Kurzweil, C.S.Lewis, and others. 3 hrs. sem. CW PHL

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1364 - Spark, Creativity, Life, Art      

Spark! Creativity, Life, Art
In our seminar, we will explore processes by which ideas emerge and are given life as works of art that are performed, exhibited, installed, or projected. Our exploration will be hands-on and experiential, an opportunity to dig deeply into personal creativity and to experiment with many media. We will pay special attention to individual ways of perceiving, handling materials, making choices, creating products, and making meaning. We will write about everything: experience, belief, discovery, readings, artists, process, and product. Readings will come from traditional and contemporary literature about creativity. A self-designed final project will cap the semester. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1365 - Soc Entrepreneurship-Justice      

Social Entrepreneurship and Social Justice
What is social entrepreneurship? What is social justice? How do these ideals complement each other? In this seminar we will study the theory and practice of social entrepreneurship and apply what we learn to issues related to the development of societal solutions to large-scale: poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, and expansion of human rights. Students will undertake research projects on how to implement a specific solution, based on their own ideals and interests, in collaboration with the Middlebury Center for Social Entrepreneurship. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1366 - Literature's Seven Deadly Sins      

Literature's Seven Deadly Sins
Because sin is the indispensable engine of most stories worth telling, this seminar will introduce students to the critical analysis of poetry, drama, and fiction through an encounter with literary representations of each of the Seven Deadly Sins. While our main business will be to investigate how literature invites us to understand—and perhaps even love—the sinner, we will also take time to consider both the traditional (religious, moral, philosophical) and modern (psychological, political) understanding of these moral lapses, and to speculate about why different observers perceive one or the other of them as being especially heinous or, conversely and perversely, a virtue in disguise. Readings will include Dickinson, Yeats, Shakespeare, Pinter, Coetzee, and Dickens. CW LIT

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1367 - Remembering the Civil War      

Confederates in Our Attic: Remembering the Civil War
“The Civil War is our felt history—history lived in the national imagination,” wrote Robert Penn. Certainly, the Civil War occupies a prominent place in our national memory and has served to both unite and divide Americans for the past 150 years. In this seminar we will examine the cultural, social, and intellectual terrain of myth, manners, and historical memory of the American South. We will focus particularly on the ways in which Americans have chosen to remember their civil war through literature, (Gurganus’ The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, Frazier’s Cold Mountain), film (Gone with the Wind, Glory, Ken Burns’ Civil War, Sherman’s March, C. S. A./), and other visual arts (including works by Kara Walker, and civil war photography from Brady to the present). We will also consider institutions, places, and objects associated with historical memory (Gettysburg, Richmond’s Monument Avenue, Stone Mountain, disputes over displays of the Confederate flag) with an eye toward exploring the war’s presence in the collective imagination of the nation. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1368 - Many Faces in Science      

Many Faces in Science
Are scientists very different from artists? In this seminar we will read biographies of Nobel Prize winning scientists including Marie Curie, Richard Feynman, James Watson, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Linus Pauling, and Kary Mullis to learn the human and artistic sides of these scientists. While we will look at the impact and significance of the work of these scientists, we will not focus on technical details of their science. We may, in the end, discover that they are also fun-loving, creative artists, far from the “scientist” stereotype. 3 hrs. sem. CW

Spring 2013

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FYSE 1369 - U.S. Economy & Immigrants      

Immigrants and the U.S. Economy
The demise of national origin quotas for U.S. immigration in 1965, and its replacement with an emphasis on family reunification, opened the gates to a large and increasing flow of immigrants from the developing countries. Accordingly, this seminar will focus, within an interdisciplinary framework, on such currently pressing immigration issues as: are native-born low-skill workers displaced by recent immigrants? Is English language proficiency crucial for immigrant assimilation in the labor market? What is the role of close-knit communities in facilitating immigrant entrepreneurial activities? The mixture of perspectives should help shed light on diverse immigration policy options. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Spring 2013

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FYSE 1370 - Fiction Northern New England      

Fictions of Northern New England
In this seminar we will read recent works of fiction set in northern New England. Our goals will be to develop critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking skills while becoming more familiar with the region where you are attending college. Our focus will be the cultural, social, and economic circumstances that shape character and setting. Readings will include Where the Rivers flow North, by Howard Frank Mosher; In the Fall, by Jeffrey Lent; The Cider House Rules, by John Irving; Olive Kitteredge, by Elizabeth Strout; Affliction, by Russell Banks; Empire Falls, by Richard Russo; The Beans of Egypt, Maine, by Carolyn Chute. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT NOR

Fall 2012, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1371 - Virginia Woolf in Context      

Virginia Woolf in Context
In this seminar we will focus on the novels, essays, and short stories of Virginia Woolf, considering them in the light of her social, political, and artistic contexts and commitments. We will explore in particular the tension in her work between Victorian values and aesthetics and the progressive goals of the modernist movement. Our readings will take us from the early novels (Voyage Out, Night and Day) to the later experimental works (To the Lighthouse, Orlando, The Waves). Some of the topics central to the seminar will be Woolf’s engagement with modernism and its key figures (such as James Joyce); her treatment of gender and sexuality in her essays and elsewhere; and her struggles with mental illness. We will intersperse our reading of Woolf’s prose with consideration of some film versions of her work, and we will conclude the seminar with a reading of Michael Cunningham’s 1998 creative homage to Mrs. Dalloway: The Hours. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1372 - The Personal & the Political      

The Quiet American’s Book of Laughter and Forgetting the Thing around your Neck: The Personal and the Political
If one of the ideas behind the famous 1960s statement “the personal is political” is to suggest that how we conduct ourselves in our private lives can affect structures of power in society at large, the reverse is also true. The political/social/cultural systems in which we live affect, if not determine, the kinds of relationships we have with other people. In this seminar we will explore some of these reciprocities in works of fiction and memoir by Milan Kundera, Chimamanda Adichie, Alexander Maksik, Philip Klay, and others, with occasional complementary readings in political theory and other types of analysis. Emphasis is on collaborative inquiry and various modes of response to the material. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW LIT

Fall 2012, Fall 2015

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FYSE 1373 - Diversity in a Global World      

Managing Diversity in a Globalizing World
While Canada has been a pioneer in adopting a multicultural approach to govern its society, France stands out for its reluctance to embrace a similar model. In this seminar we will compare these two countries’ experiences managing ethnic diversity through a variety of sources: theoretical writings, ethnographies, memoirs, and films. Throughout our examination of the Canadian and French contexts, we will also interrogate current debates over multiculturalism in the United States. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1374 - The Champlain Basin      

The Champlain Basin
From the Green Mountains to the east and the Adirondacks Mountains to the west, the Champlain Basin is a natural laboratory in which to study many of the forces that shape the earth. In this seminar we will use the fundamentals of physical geology and limnology to develop an appreciation and understanding of the geologic landscape of Vermont and New York. We will investigate how these mountains were built, how rivers and glaciers erode them, and how the Champlain Basin came into its present shape. Excursions will include local field areas as well as work on Lake Champlain using Middlebury’s new research vessel the R/V Folger 3 hrs sem/3 hrs field each week CW

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1375 - America: Liberty & Justice      

America: 'With Liberty and Justice for All'
" . . . with liberty and justice for all": These words conclude the Pledge of Allegiance, written over one hundred years ago to reflect the values of the American nation in the wake of civil war and dramatic social change. Yet throughout the history of this republic, the fruits of liberty and justice have been unavailable to many. We will explore how Americans have envisioned these ideals, and the struggles waged by different groups to realize them. 3 hrs. sem. CW HIS NOR

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1376 - WWII & Japan's Long Postwar      

WWII and Japan's 'Long Postwar'
With the death of Emperor Hirohito in 1989, debate re-ignited over Japan’s prewar empire, wartime atrocities, and role in the Cold War – all of which converged in the question of Japan’s “long postwar.” Through a variety of novels, films, and essays, we will explore how this question continues to serve as a paradigm for addressing questions of Japan’s postwar cultural identity, economic prosperity, and social dislocations. Our larger objective will be to analyze how the tensions between the diverse national histories, experiences, and memories of World War II continue to inform the geopolitics of East Asia today. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW HIS SOC

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1377 - Terror in the Soviet Union      

The Revolution Devours her Children: Violence and Terror in the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union holds the distinction of being one of the most violent regimes in history. The regime promised its citizens peace and abundance, but the main way it found to establish this worldly utopia was to purify society through violence. Long before Stalin, state-initiated terror was used to cleanse the hearts and minds of the general public. In this seminar we will examine how terror played an integral role in the revolutionary project, how the show trials, secret police, and the gulag developed. Our sources will include secret archival documents, private diaries, court testimonies, fiction, films, and historical scholarship. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW HIS

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1378 - American Environmentalisms      

American Environmentalism in the 1970s
Environmentalism emerged as a political and cultural force in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. In this seminar we will study the historical development and transformation of contested “environmentalisms” after 1960 through primary documents including books, magazines, photographs, advertisements, and films. We will analyze portrayals of the environment in crisis, as well as criticisms of different strands of environmentalism for their challenges to ideas of economic growth and their struggles to address social inequalities, particularly those of class and race. Student work will include essays, oral presentations, and independent and group research projects. 3 hrs. sem. CW HIS NOR

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1379 - Art and the Environment      

Art and the Environment
“The land is not the setting for the work but a part of the work.” So did the artist Walter de Maria describe The Lightning Field (1980), a site-specific, environmental work of art built in an isolated part of western New Mexico. In this seminar we will discuss the different ways that recent artists have used, commented upon, and at times altered their surrounding environment. We will take an expansive view of the term "environmental" in our seminar as we explore natural, urban, media-based, and conceptual artistic environments. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW NOR

Fall 2012, Spring 2015

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FYSE 1380 - Information & Structure      

Information & Structure
In this seminar we will study the relationship between raw information and the structures that are used to organize, translate, transmit, and make sense of it. We will consider information broadly, ranging from physical to virtual and from analog to digital, as it is acted upon by structures including physical, chemical, biological, physiological, and neurological phenomena, as well as by the human constructs of language, art, mathematics, engineering, and computer science. Along the way we will encounter the concepts of entropy, approximation, noise, and ambiguity that are inherent in the information that surrounds us in both our academics and daily lives. 3 hrs. sem. CW

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1381 - Physics for Educated Citizens      

Physics for Educated Citizens
Climate change, dirty bombs, meteor impacts, energy sources, radiation, spy satellites, night-vision goggles, computer chips: All can be understood with physics. Education is another name for feeding your curiosity within structured guidelines, and curiosity will be central to this seminar. Our resources will be a textbook, Physics for Future Presidents, and non-technical articles, many of which you will seek out on your own. Our aim will be to develop a working knowledge of physics as it applies to important topics, and to effectively communicate that knowledge through discussions, oral presentations, and formal writing. No prior physics is required. 3 hrs. sem. CW DED

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1382 - Wars Within: Civil Conflict      

The Wars Within: Causes and Consequences of Modern Civil Conflict
Why does civil war break out? How does a state return to a ‘civil peace’? What role does the international community play, if any? In this seminar we will explore the cycle of civil war and civil peace through the lens of social science. We will consider the utility (or futility) of state-building efforts and debate the proper role of intervention by the international community following a frank assessment of the effects outsiders have had on civil wars. Prominent cases will include such conflicts as Somalia, Haiti, Kosovo, and the developing crisis in Syria. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1383 - Muslim Politics in the West      

“The Muslim” — Politics and Perceptions in the West*
Do Muslims pose special challenges for Western societies? Are Muslims particularly prone to violence? Are “their” values compatible with “ours?” In this seminar we will explore constructions of “the Muslim” in Western societies by discussing the following topics: the history of Muslim migration to the West; portrayals of Muslims by Western writers and media; Muslims voices about their place in Western societies; the extent of anti-Muslim sentiments throughout the West; and contemporary political conflicts such as those surrounding the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, the Danish cartoon controversy, and the banning of veils in France. 3 hrs. sem./disc. CMP CW

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1384 - Reading the Book of Job      

Reading the Book of Job
Why do the innocent suffer? Why do we want to believe that the world is “fair” and “ordered”? The Book of Job asked these questions millennia ago. Framed by a prose tale about the “patience of Job,” with a happy ending, the core of the book is a debate in poetry, between an impatient Job and his “friends”, with no satisfactory ending at all. We will study the book itself and its retellings and interpretations through novels, poetry, drama, philosophy and art, including works by Kafka, Camus, William Blake, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Kant, and Robert Frost. 3 hrs. sem. CW PHL

Fall 2012, Fall 2013

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FYSE 1385 - Great Transformations      

Great Transformations
In this seminar we will explore the phenomenon of globalization by examining historical moments of rupture and revolution—the transition to modernity, the rise of the state and national identity, the social movements of 1968, the collapse of communism, and the rise and crisis of neoliberalism. We will examine both classic and recent texts, films, music, and manifestos to understand what constitutes a truly great transformation. Emphasis will be placed on the global stage, but the American experience will also be highlighted. 3 hrs sem. CW HIS SOC

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1386 - Latin Am & Status of Writing      

Latin America and the Status of Writing
Formal education, and in particular higher education, is heavily based on writing as a recording technology. In this seminar we will examine how Latin Americans have questioned the institution of writing in the “modernization” of society, focusing on issues such as the clash between cultures of literacy and orality, the literary rendering of oral performances, and contemporary scenes of narrative production (the cartonera movement, hip-hop, and graffiti artists). We will develop our conceptual framework by reading authors such as Ángel Rama, Walter Ong, and Jack Goody, and focus our eyes and ears on works by Latin American artists such as Ricardo Palma, Mario Vargas Llosa, Rappin’ Hood, and Graciliano Ramos. 3 hrs. sem. AAL ART CW

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1387 - Childhood Identities      

Visualizing Iberian Identities through Childhood
This seminar will be taught in Spanish. What can we learn about culture, history, and national identity from a child’s perspective? How do competing national and cultural ideologies shape narratives of childhood? In this seminar we will explore the ways in which narrative, film, and painting represent childhood as an experience intimately tied to social, political, and cultural histories in Spain, and to questions of self and national identity. We will read works by authors such as Pérez Galdós, Pío Baroja, Federico García Lorca, Fernando Fernán Gómez, Ana María Matute, Manuel Rivas, and Emily Teixidor. We will view films including El espíritu de la colmena, Cría Cuervos, El viaje de Carol, Barrio, and Pa Negre. We will view paintings by Murillo, Goya, Sorolla, and Picasso.
This is an appropriate seminar for native speakers of Spanish, students who are bilingual, and students who have scored 720 or above on the Spanish SAT II, or 5 on the Spanish AP. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR LNG

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1388 - Not Just Child's Play      

Not Just Child’s Play: Depictions of War, Work, Trauma, and Rebellion in Childhood
The UN Child Bill of Rights states that “The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation,” yet whether as victims or willing participants, children far under eighteen often enter the work force, and many live at the epicenter of armed conflicts. Through fiction, non-fiction, memoir, and film, we will consider historical and contemporary depictions of global youth, from the Holocaust to modern sweatshops and memoirs of childhoods gone awry, with an eye toward understanding the political, economic, and social consequences of childhood cut short. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1389 - Six Novellas      

Six Novellas
An in-between genre, the novella wanders like a novel but narrows in like a short story. In this seminar we will explore the form and meaning of six novellas by exceptional writers of modern and contemporary fiction. Texts will include Toni Morrison’s Sula, Marguerite Duras’ The Lover, Tao Lin’s Shoplifting from American Apparel, Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy. Students will respond both formally and informally to these works through literary analysis and narrative criticism. Discussions will include critical attention to constructions of race, gender, dis/ability, class, and sexuality as well as investigation of notions of home, family, and spirituality. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2012

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FYSE 1390 - Geography of War and Peace      

The Geography of War and Peace
Whether it is military maps employed in the defense of the Han dynasty or the logistic support for cruise missiles in the Gulf War, geography has always been associated with war and the exercise of power. However, the field of geography also has a lesser known tradition that emphasizes social justice and resistance to oppression. In this seminar we will examine how geography and geographers engage in the propagation and execution of wars and in the education and mobilization for peace. Students will be actively involved in unraveling the story of the geography of war and peace through research projects, fieldtrips, and an online exhibition. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Spring 2013

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FYSE 1391 - Cults and Violence      

Cults and Violence
It is often assumed that religious cults are prone to violence since many seek to transform society into an idealized state based on their theology. Yet history suggests that cultic groups are more often the targets of violence or that they peacefully await the millennial kingdom. In this seminar we will consider a range of factors that produce cultic violence. We will examine such cases as violence and anti-Mormonism in 19th-century America; the collective suicide of 900 Peoples Temple members in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978; the 1993 assault by the American government on the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas; and apocalyptic violence by the Japanese group Aum Shinrikyo. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Spring 2013

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FYSE 1392 - Sociology & Utopia      

Perfect? Utopias, Dystopias, and the Sociological Imaginary
Don’t mess with perfection: the promise, as well as the trap, of utopian visions. Utopian literature criticizes existing worlds, offering plans for a better society, and better people to stock it. Since one person’s utopia can be another’s dystopia, this “good society” often intensifies tensions it promises to resolve. From Plato’s Republic to Marx’s Communist Manifesto, we will study utopias and dystopias as theories of society and as expressions of sociological perspectives. We will use sociology to explore the possibilities and limits of utopian thinking, and then turn the tables and use utopias to rethink the uses of sociology. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Spring 2013

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FYSE 1393 - Introduction to Mindfulness      

Introduction to Mindfulness
Basic sitting and walking meditation will be taught and practiced. We will use the breath to foster relaxed attention and to gain perspective on our restless minds. We will emphasize these techniques and learn how to use them in daily life and academic endeavors. We will read texts from the contemporary Tibetan and Zen Buddhist traditions, but the meditation will be employed in nonsectarian fashion applicable to any belief system. Truth should be verified by one’s experience. Students will write papers, give presentations, and keep journals. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW

Spring 2013, Spring 2015

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FYSE 1394 - Renaissance-Use/Abuse of Power      

The Use and Abuse of Power During the Renaissance
What comes to mind when you hear the words “Renaissance power?” Corruption, beheadings, and excommunication? The Tudors and the Medici? In this course we will examine Renaissance texts that address how to obtain, preserve, and exercise power. We will begin with the amoral politics of Machiavelli’s The Prince, and conclude with a selection of Montaigne’s Essays, in which the author asserts that extending mercy is the noblest virtue. Along the way, we will read Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice in order to explore how race, religion, and gender reconfigure power arrangements in complicated, and often unexpected, ways. Our literary texts will be complemented by films such as The Princess of Montpensier, The Merchant of Venice, and episodes from the television series The Borgias. No prior knowledge of the Renaissance is expected, as we will discover the period together through our readings and viewings. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR LIT

Spring 2013

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FYSE 1395 - Literature on Trial      

Literature on Trial: Banned Books, Dangerous Books, Dirty Books
Some of the best-known works of literature—from Animal Farm to Madame Bovary to The Satanic Verses—have been banned, removed from library shelves, forbidden in schools, or otherwise condemned at the state or national level. The reasons for such censorship vary as widely as the troublesome texts themselves: works are outlawed for obscenity, religious blasphemy, political dissent, or other conflicts with the reigning socio-political system. In this course we will read a range of works banned by various countries; in addition, we will read reports of the legal and political debate which accompanied the censorship of these works. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1396 - Digital Media Literacy      

Digital Media Literacy
From Wikipedia to texting, Facebook to PowerPoint, digital media have dramatically changed how we read, write, and communicate in the 21st century. In this course, we will explore what it means to be “literate” today, considering how we read, research, write, create, and present ideas and information, and how these changes impact our society. We will focus on educational practices, with outreach into local schools to explore how we should teach literacy for the next generation, and prepare students for a 21st century liberal arts education. 3 hrs. sem/lab CW

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1398 - Speechmakers Studio      

Speechmakers' Studio
Our teachers will be great speeches wherever we find them: from Antiquity and the Elizabethan stage, to Hollywood, the Civil Rights Movement, and TEDTalks gone viral. We will explore various theories of oratory, and, like students of classical rhetoric, we will emulate masterworks in order to sharpen our own persuasive skills. As speakers, we will practice vocal and physical techniques used by actors, as well as their methods for scene preparation. Throughout the semester, students will write and deliver speeches of their own, completing an immersion into speechmaking designed to help them communicate with precision, empathy, and personal conviction. 3hr. sem./disc. ART CW

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1399 - The Ramayana      

The Ramayana/: A Tale of Love, Valor, and Duty*
The Ramayana (‘Journey of Rama”) is an ancient, yet still powerfully relevant, Hindu epic that narrates the story of Prince Rama, a divinely human avatar (descent) of the cosmic deity Vishnu. Rama’s ultimate destiny is to triumph over evil, but his victory is fraught with moral dilemmas about fate, loyalty, duty, gender relationships, the definition of an ideal man and ideal woman, and the conflict between good and evil. Close readings, analysis, and discussions of the epic will be augmented with imagery drawn from different media, both historical and contemporary. Connections will be made to contemporary politics and social issues. 3 hrs. sem. AAL ART CW

Fall 2013, Spring 2014

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FYSE 1400 - The Vermont Landscape      

The Vermont Landscape
The Vermont landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10,000 years. In this course we will systemically examine how geological, biological, and human forces have affected Vermont. In particular, we will explore the role of Native cultures on the landscape; ecological revolutions set off by the arrival of Europeans and the industrial revolution; the growing population of Vermont; and the effects of farming, logging, international trade, transportation systems, and energy development on the landscape. We will conclude by focusing on current themes, such as the rise of the local food movement and climate change. 3 hrs. sem. CW HIS NOR

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1401 - Bad Kids      

Bad Kids
Young people are a regular source of panic for adults. Families, schools, medicine, and psychology communicate what it means to be a "normal" young person; reformatories, courts, prisons, and other institutions convey the consequences for rule breaking. The social control of young people depends on the categories created to differentiate them from adults. In this course we will: examine the labels of child, juvenile delinquent, at-risk youth, hyper-criminal, adolescent, teenager, and emerging adult to understand the ideas of normalcy embedded in these socially constructed categories; consider how class, race, and gender intersect with the mechanisms of control exerted over young people who deviate from the norm; and explore social movements and youth cultures that attempt to resist adult pressures to be good boys and docile girls and redefine the experiences of young people. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1402 - The Social Life of Wilderness      

The Social Life of Wilderness
In this seminar we will examine evolving American ideas of “wilderness” from a social science perspective. We will explore how ideas of what wilderness is—or should be—play out in complex cases including the removal of Native Americans from some U.S. National Parks and the establishment of wilderness parks in poor countries that cater to tourists. Through a focus on the nearby Adirondack Park, which contains both land designated in the New York state constitution as “forever wild” and the homes of 130,000 people, we will explore historian William Cronon’s question: “How do you manage a wilderness full of human stories?” 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1403 - Open Class Learning Hisp World      

Open Classrooms: Learning in the Hispanic World
What do children and teenagers need to learn—both inside and outside of the classroom—in order to become adults in Hispanic societies? How does the experience of learning in modern Spain and Latin America compare to our experience here, at Middlebury College? With these questions in mind, we will examine conflicting portrayals of young learners in Spanish-speaking contexts through literature and film. Two extreme definitions of learning will be explored and, if necessary, challenged: learning can be understood as fostering the growth of independent individuals, but also as a disciplinary process that stifles freedom and reproduces inequality. Our reflection will focus on issues of personal identity, affectivity, family relationships, class, gender, politics, and nationhood. This seminar is appropriate for native speakers of Spanish, bilingual students, and students who have scored 720 or above on the Spanish SAT II, or 5 on the Spanish AP. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW LNG

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1404 - Language and Identity      

Language and Identity
In this seminar we will explore the multiple ways in which language is used in society to express, create, and perform identities. We will analyze—from a sociolinguistic perspective—how variation in speakers’ linguistic resources (pronunciation, syntax, word choice, language choice, etc.) can serve as tools to shape, stereotype, or subvert national, regional, ethnic, racial, gender, and other types of identities. We will draw examples from linguistic research, literature, film, television (particularly “reality” TV), political discourse, popular songs, internet memes, and other media in the United States context as well as in other societies. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1405 - Language and Social Justice      

Language and Social Justice
In this seminar we will explore questions: What is the relationship between language and power? How does linguistic prejudice contribute to social inequality? Is language a human right, and if so, what are the implications? We will engage with scholarly, journalistic, and artistic works, including writings by Julia Alvarez, James Baldwin, Deborah Cameron, Lisa Delpit, William Labov, Rosina Lippi-Green, Thomas Ricento, Richard Rodriguez, Amy Tan, and many others. Students will develop a range of reading, writing, and oral presentation skills, and will receive frequent feedback on their work throughout the semester. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1406 - Food Battles      

Food Battles: A Critical Look at Food in Our Lives
The development of high yield agricultural practices have allowed people to migrate en masse to cities with the opportunity for different lifestyles. It also meant the birth of “big business food” and some highly unethical practices. In response, the government established the FDA; but does it truly help the health of the nation? In this course we will examine commercial food from field to table, giving special attention to controversies such as genetically modified food, use of pesticides, food additives (including sugar and salt), and animal welfare issues. We will discuss the FDA’s role in safeguarding the public and whether the food industry is anything more than a profit-making business. 3 hrs. sem. CW SCI

Spring 2014

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FYSE 1407 - Gender & the Making of Space      

Gender and the Making of Space
In this seminar we will investigate the complex relationship between gender and architecture, examining how the design of the built environment (buildings, urban spaces, etc.) can reinforce or undermine ideas about the respective roles of women and men in society, from the creation of masculine and feminine spaces to the gendered nature of the architectural profession. By looking at both visual evidence and textual sources, we will also uncover how the social construction of gender roles and gendered spaces are—and continue to be—inflected by race, class, and sexuality. CW HIS NOR

Spring 2014

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FYSE 1408 - Environmntl Literature/Justice      

Environmental Literature and Justice
In this seminar we will embark on an exploration of environmental issues in American literary narratives. We will look at the environmental movement in the U.S. and read, analyze, discuss, and write about texts such as: Carson’s landmark work of 20th century environmental consciousness-raising, Silent Spring; Steinbeck’s novel about Dust Bowl migrants, The Grapes of Wrath; Silko’s protest against uranium mining and nuclear testing on indigenous lands in Ceremony; and Callenbach’s vision of an ecologically sustainable world in Ecotopia. By considering these and several other texts, we will also investigate environmental issues through the lens of the environmental justice movement and take a closer look at today’s environmental inequalities, encompassing race, class, and gender. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW LIT

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1409 - Circus Maximus      

Circus Maximus!
In this seminar we will examine entertainment in ancient Rome, specifically the city's festivals, circuses, and games, including theatrical performances, burlesque, acrobatics, athletics, chariot races, wild-beast fights, and gladiatorial contests. We will explore the infrastructure of entertainment, both the 'infamous performers' associated with sport and spectacle—namely, prostitutes, gladiators, and actors—as well as Rome's most famous venues: the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus. Lastly, we will investigate the emergence of parallel forms of entertainment in the modern world, most notably the American circus in the 19th and 20th centuries, and more recent circuses, such as Bread & Puppet and Cirque du Soleil. CW EUR SOC

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1410 - Nomadic Cultures in Film      

Nomadic Cultures in Film
In this seminar we will study how filmmakers have channeled sedentary cultures’ apprehension of—as well as fascination with—nomadism. We will explore a selection of films that focus on a variety of nomadic cultures: nomadic empires (Mongol); traditionally itinerant cultures such as the Roma (Golden Earrings) and Native Americans (Dances with Wolves); contemporary global nomads (Eat, Pray, Love); and science fiction nomads (The Road). What makes a nomadic lifestyle both attractive and menacing? What role does the ethnic and social background of nomads play in the way they are perceived by non-nomads? How have concepts such as cultural identity, home, and belonging shifted with the development of new global communications? 3 hrs. sem./screening ART CMP CW

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1411 - Social Class & Environment      

Social Class and the Environment
In this seminar we will explore the consequence of growth, technological development, and the evolution of ecological sacrifice zones. Texts will serve as the theoretical framework for in-the-field investigations, classroom work, and real-world experience. The Struggle for Environmental Justice outlines resistance models; Shadow Cities provides lessons from the squatters movement; Ben Hewitt's The Town that Food Saved describes economy of scale solutions, and David Owen's The Conundrum challenges environmentalism. Texts will guide discussions, serve as lenses for in-the-field investigations, and the basis for writing. 3 hrs. sem. CW NOR SOC

Fall 2013

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FYSE 1413 - Lyme Disease      

Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is fascinating from medical, public health, and ecological perspectives. In this seminar we will explore the disease in an interdisciplinary fashion. We will look at the history of—and controversy around—its diagnosis, treatment, and control. Because Lyme has a tick vector and animal reservoirs, we will consider how the local environment affects it. Connections to other zoonotic diseases (SARS, West Nile, EEE) will be made. Readings will come from Bull's Eye: Unraveling the Medical Mystery of Lyme Disease by Eldow, Lyme Disease: The Ecology of a Complex System by Ostfeld, and primary sources. 3 hrs. sem. CW SCI

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1414 - Computing and Society      

Computing and Society
Computing has contributed to tremendous advances in communication, science, medicine, economics, the arts, and many other fields and areas of our lives. We now employ myriad computational tools that enhance our ability to interact and to express ourselves creatively. Our access to vast amounts of information and raw data holds the promise of helping us solve some of humankind’s most vexing problems, from global health and poverty to climate change. In this seminar we will study some of the big ideas in computing that underlie the ongoing explosion of innovation we are experiencing, and will analyze the many ways in which computing affects society. 3 hrs. sem. CW DED

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1415 - Narratives of Identity      

Narratives of Identity
"Who are we,” writes Scott Turow, "but the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and believe?” In this seminar we will examine different narrative strategies and literary devices that writers use to construct identity. What are the time-honored conventions and bold innovations used in stories, novels, and memoirs to fashion selves? Can Damon Galgut's daring experiments in his autobiographical novel In a Strange Room create an identity with the power and conviction of that found in The Autobiography of Malcolm X? What insights are to be found in Toi Derricotte’s exploration of racial identity in The Black Notebooks? Always, we will consider ethnicity, class, gender, place, and politics as they shape identity in the stories we hear, tell, and believe. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW LIT SOC

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1416 - Talking the Talk      

Talking the Talk
In this seminar we will discuss literary works that show particular interest in dialogue or that explore difficulties of communication among characters of different cultural, educational, and linguistic backgrounds, and among figures who vie for dominance within conversational and related arenas. We will consider writers’ uses of regional dialects, cant, and slang, and gender (and other) differences in spoken language. Readings will include novels by James, Conrad, Lawrence, Forster; stories by O’Connor; and a play by Pinter. Writing will emphasize the development of a critical stance, precise thinking and use of language, and effective implementation of evidence in supporting an argument. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1417 - Espionage in Film and Fiction      

True Lies: Espionage in Film and Fiction
We will study the depiction of fictional spies in literature (Ian Fleming’s Bond novels), film (The Bourne Identity), television shows (Alias, Homeland), and parodies (Burn After Reading) in an attempt to address the following questions: Why have narratives about spies and spying been so commercially successful since the mid-19th century? How has the genre changed to reflect the development of new technologies and major historical events (WWII, the Cold War, and the War on Terror)? How do ideas of gender and nationalism affect the depiction of the extraction of information in controversial ways, e.g., bribery, seduction, torture, and hacking? 3 hrs. sem. ART CW

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1418 - Global Youth      

Global Youth
In this seminar we will explore global manifestations of youth culture and politics. We will map connections across time and place, exploring how young people around the world respond to global economic change, unemployment, lack of opportunity, and barriers to education and mobility. We will use key concepts from Human Geography, such as scale, space, place, region, and globalization to explore both everyday experiences and momentous mobilizations of young people. We will work to understand geographies of difference and of interconnection, linking the uses of social media, organizing, and cultural production around the world with those of students at Middlebury. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1419 - Civil War & Civil Rights      

Civil War & Civil Rights
War is a time of national emergency, where the rules governing everyday life often get suspended to meet a more pressing need. What rights of citizens remain protected in these circumstances, and what gets sacrificed? Using scholarly works and historical documents from the American Civil War, we will explore the challenging issues that government leaders faced, including the suspension of habeus corpus, confiscation of private property, profiling of certain social groups, censorship of the mails and the press, and conscription of civilians for service in the military. 3 hrs. sem. CW HIS NOR

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1420 - Impressionism      

The Impressionists: Painters of Modern Life
Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cassatt: these familiar names evoke works of art beloved by museum-goers around the world. However, in their own times, these artists were considered radical creators of shocking canvases that threatened the French art establishment. In this seminar we will examine how and why Impressionism emerged as the first important style of modern art by following its evolution from a style that was reviled by the critics to its eventual acceptance. To provide a framework, we will examine works by important writers including Baudelaire and Zola, as well as the political and social situation in France. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW EUR

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1421 - Art of Storytelling      

The Art of Storytelling
Epic Asian tales such as India’s Bhagavad-Gita, Iran’s Shahnameh, and China’s Xiyouji have inspired artists for centuries and continue to capture the imaginations of comic book artists today. In this seminar we will delve into the Asian classics and their many painted, sculpted, and printed interpretations in order to understand why artists depicted these compelling narratives in such drastically different ways. In short papers, we will explore themes including racial identity, gender roles, and social hierarchies. For the final project students will create their own one-shot comic based on an Asian short story or folktale. 3 hrs. sem. AAL ART CW

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1423 - The Story of Geometry      

The Story of Geometry
The field of geometry is thousands of years old and over time has undergone a number of revolutionary changes. In this seminar we will study geometry through a historical lens. Beginning with the axiomatic geometry of Euclid, we will trace the development of the subject, learning how the realization in the mid-19th century that one of Euclid’s axioms could be dropped led to the exciting discovery of hyperbolic and spherical geometries. We will learn how these geometries relate to the modern notions of manifolds and curvature, concluding with a discussion of Perelman’s breakthrough proof of the century-old Poincaré Conjecture. 3 hrs. sem. CW DED

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1424 - Science & Democracy      

Science and Democracy
The scientific method has been heralded as inherently democratic, based as it is on observation rather than authority. Yet the relationship between science and democracy is much more complex, with scientists carrying authority based on their specialized knowledge. In this seminar we will explore the challenges of integrating science and democracy, investigating how science can be used to serve democratic goals and where there are tensions. We will consider such questions as whether or not the commercialization of science makes it difficult to serve the needs of a diverse society well, whether or not it is important to have diverse representation within scientific communities in order to produce objective knowledge, and what the appropriate role of scientific experts might be in developing sound public policy on topics such as climate change, health policy, medical research, and food safety. 3 hrs. sem. CW PHL

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1425 - Physics of Musical Sounds      

The Physics of Musical Sounds
In this seminar we will study the physical phenomena associated with the creation and transmission of sounds, especially those related to conventional musical instruments (both acoustic and electric, including the human voice). The categorization of sounds according to their harmonic content will be discussed, and we will also consider electronic means of production, transmission, and processing of sound. (This course assumes familiarity with high-school trigonometry) 3 hrs sem./lab CW DED SCI

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1426 - Globalization      

Globalization: So Far, So Good
In the past two decades, we have seen a number of protests against globalization. The most notable of these occurred in 1999 in Seattle, but protests continue to the present day with demonstrations held at, for example, the World Economic Forum in Davos. In this seminar we will explore the history of globalization and study its military, environmental, economic, sociocultural, and demographic dimensions. We will see, among other things, that people talk about different things when they discuss globalization, and that they may be in favor of some aspects and violently disagree with others. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1427 - American Political Tradition      

The American Political Tradition
In this seminar we will study the theoretical ideas that informed the creation and development of America’s political system and consider some of the major contemporary challenges to American democracy. Topics to be treated include the political thought of the American Founders, the place of religion in public life, the nature of written constitutions, American political culture, race in American politics, and the role of America in the world. Readings will include selections from the Federalist Papers, Alexis de Tocqueville, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, John Dewey, Theodore Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and many other primary source documents. 3 hrs. sem. CW HIS NOR

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1428 - The Other in Latin America      

In Search Of the Other in Latin America
Who is the Other? What does the Other reveal about me? How does it shape my beliefs and attitudes? In this seminar we will develop a theoretical, analytical, and practical approach to the concept of the Other, conceived as both an exterior entity and a component of the self. We will examine critical texts by modern thinkers such as Octavio Paz, Todorov, and Levinas. We will also discuss fictional and non-fictional narratives primarily focused on the encounter of civilization and barbarism in Latin America. Students will be required to conduct field research on the topic of Otherness, either on campus or in the local community, and write about their experiences dealing with the Other. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW LIT

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1429 - Matthew: Then and Now      

Interpretations of Matthew: Then and Now
The Gospel according to Matthew was the most quoted gospel in early Christianity, and it remains a favorite today. What is so special about the teachings and stories of Jesus in this text, compared with the Gospels of Mark, Luke, and John? This seminar explores how people have read and understood Matthew over time. We will study the book itself and its interpretations in the writings of Augustine, Luther, Teresa of Avila, and Tolstoy, as well as in music and film. We will also examine the text’s changing physical forms and varying translations, especially in Bibles of the European Reformation. 3 hrs. sem. CW PHL

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1430 - Cinematic Sociology      

Cinematic Sociology
In this seminar we will develop our sociological imagination by viewing, discussing, and analyzing popular films. Rather than considering them simply as "entertainment," we will explore the various ways that popular films can be a vehicle for social commentary, analysis, and criticism, particularly about controversial topics such as race, gender, and sexuality. Films to be screened will include The Help, 27 Dresses, and The Little Mermaid, among others. 3 hrs. sem. SOC (C. Han) CW SOC

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1431 - Food, Identity, and Power      

Food, Identity, and Power
Food sustains not only bodies but also national, ethnic, and social identities. Notions of order and transgression, nature and culture, have long affected how and what people eat. Using interdisciplinary approaches, we will examine the practices and politics of food and eating in a range of regions. How does eating, this most basic and universal of human practices, both reflect and create difference? How are symbolic and “real” food systems linked to national and international politics? Finally, how are contemporary food practices influenced by modernization and globalization? 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1432 - Sexuality and Power on Stage      

Sexuality and Power on Stage: Female Trouble, Closet Homos, and Shameless Queers
What do Webster’s Duchess of Malfi, Wedekind’s Spring Awakening, and Kushner’s Angels in America have in common? In this seminar we will study a selection of major Western dramatic works in which bodies and their desires constitute the central problem for society and the state. Students will learn how to analyze dramatic texts from the director’s as well as the actor’s perspective by focusing on action, diction, characterization, and large themes. Secondary readings will locate each text within its specific historical context. In addition to discussions we will stage scenes and watch cinematic renderings of the plays when available. 3 hrs. sem. ART CMP CW

Fall 2014

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FYSE 1433 - Biology of Attraction      

Biology of Attraction
Why is one person attracted to another? We will explore both the evolutionary origins of mate choice and the physiological mechanisms that underlie attraction. The process of sexual selection, first proposed by Charles Darwin, shaped the mating decisions and courtship displays in all animal species, and we will consider how the same process shaped human preferences and potentially human intelligence more broadly. Based on recent research with rodents, we will also consider how neural connections and hormone levels influence feelings of love and lust. The Mating Mind and The Chemistry Between Us will be our primary texts, supplemented by journal articles. 3 hrs sem. CW SCI

Spring 2015

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FYSE 1434 - Humans Geological Environment      

Humans and Their Geological Environment: Ancient to Modern
The health and welfare of human populations is intimately connected to the natural environment, ranging from catastrophic phenomena such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and floods to less-catastrophic yet equally important factors such as soil, water, and climate. In some cases, events that occurred thousands of years ago are recorded in written accounts of oral histories such as volcanism in ancestral Klamath Indian lands and Noah’s Flood. In other cases, geological and archeological studies are required to understand past human-geological connections, and current research into modern problems (e.g., arsenic in groundwater and climate change) may inform public policy. Readings include popular and scientific literature and oral histories. 3 hrs. sem. CW

Spring 2015

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FYSE 1435 - Awe, Happiness, Positive Psych      

Awe, Happiness, and Positive Psychology
When have you felt awe? What makes people happy? Are there clear, predictable explanations for why some people are happy and resilient in life while others are not? How might experiencing awe or being particularly happy relate performance at work or in school or more broadly to general subjective well-being and physical health? In this seminar we will explore what makes us happy and why it matters—not only to us as individuals but also to society. We will read empirical research articles, popular books, and blogs to learn how researchers measure awe, happiness, and wellbeing. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Spring 2015

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FYSE 1436 - Mystics, Saints, and Shamans      

Mystics, Saints, and Shamans
What is the nature of a mystical experience? Are “mysticism” or “sainthood” phenomena with a universal core found equally across cultures? What is the role of cultural and social contexts in the formation of such experiences and phenomena? How exactly do we define who is a saint or a shaman? This course will be a comparative study of extraordinary experiences and manipulations of reality claimed by charismatic religious figures across time and space. We will discuss a wide variety of examples from traditionally renowned saints of the medieval Islamic world to contemporary New Age leaders in America. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW PHL

Spring 2015, Fall 2015

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FYSE 1437 - Language, Culture, Individual      

Language, Culture, and the Individual
How does language shape our experience of the world? What does pronunciation reveal about cultural identity? What can we learn about language from the way small children speak? How do communicative strategies vary across languages? Why do languages change over time? Through the lens of linguistics, we will explore the structure and usage of language in daily life. We will discuss speech and text samples from conversations, novels, advertisements, anime, children’s shows, and more. Languages discussed will include English and Japanese, but no background in any foreign language is necessary, as translations and transliterations will be provided. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1438 - Vermeer      

Vermeer: Forgeries, Fictions & Films
Since his rediscovery in the 19th century, Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer has received sustained and enthusiastic praise for his refined paintings of everyday life in 17th-century Holland. In this course we will examine how Vermeer’s art and life have been evaluated from the 17th to the 21st century. We will not only contextualize Vermeer in his own time and place, but we will also consider how his work has elicited a range of responses in modern times, including forgeries, novels, and films. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW EUR

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1439 - Language and Ethnic Identity      

Language and Ethnic Identity
Language is a central feature of human identity. In this seminar we will explore the multiple ways in which language is used in society to express, create, and perform these identities. We will analyze—from a sociolinguistic perspective—how variation in speakers’ linguistic resources (e.g., pronunciation, syntax, word choice, language choice) can serve as tools to shape, stereotype, or subvert national, regional, and other types of ethnic identities. We will draw examples from linguistic research, literature, film, television, political discourse, popular songs, the internet, and other media in the United States as well as in other societies. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1440 - Mahatma Gandhi: Myth & Reality      

Mahatma Gandhi: Myth and Reality
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), known as the Mahatma or Great Soul, was both revered and despised. Lauded as the ‘Father’ of independent India, he was nevertheless blamed for its partition. Seen as the champion of Untouchables, he was distrusted by those he called the children of god. Characterizing himself as a Hindu reformer and an Indian nationalist, he was ultimately assassinated by a Hindu nationalist. Who was Gandhi and why was he opposed? In this seminar we will read primary and secondary sources to examine Gandhi’s ideas and actions, paying particular attention to the contradictions in his life. 3 hrs. sem. ) AAL CW HIS

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1441 - The good Body      

The “good” Body
In this seminar we will examine the roles bodies play in defining our public and private identities. What indications of beliefs, access, and cultural values do our bodies provide? What counts as a “good” body? Who has one (or doesn’t), and why? The many different answers to these and related questions impact every body in our Middlebury community and beyond. Topics will include aesthetic and ideological issues relating to the body; course work includes physically based workshops, oral presentations, written analyses and creative responses. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1442 - Fifty Shades of Italy      

Fifty Shades of Italy: an Exploration of Contemporary Italian History, Culture and Society
Italy is the land of a seductive culture that for centuries has inspired undeniable romanticism and continues to capture the imagination of many. But there is more to Italy than beautiful landscapes and world famous cuisine. From the darkness of fascism and terrorism, to the sophisticated colors of Italian fashion and design, to the dramatic tones of illegal immigration, we will explore, discover, or critically revisit the many shades that together compose the complexity of the Italian mosaic. Our interdisciplinary approach will include short stories, essays, newspaper articles, films, music, and images. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR HIS

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1443 - Plagues, Past and Present      

Plagues, Past and Present
In this seminar we will consider how infectious diseases emerge, why they persist, how they can be eradicated, and why some diseases believed to be “under control” have returned. We will study pathogens and human biology with particular attention to how biological, behavioral, and social factors converge to support endemic and epidemic disease in people. Readings will include books, articles written for the layperson, and primary scientific literature that examine epidemic disease from the Middle Ages to the present, with predictions for the future. We will pay particular attention to the evolution of pathogens and new diseases within populations. 3 hrs. sem. CW SCI

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1444 - Writing Immigrant Lives      

Writing Immigrant Lives
In this seminar we will study, analyze, and write immigrant stories and histories from Latin America and the colonial and post-colonial Caribbean. How do we write the history of a family member, living or deceased? How is history different from biography? We will analyze diverse written, oral, and visual texts about transnational experiences including works by Julia Alvarez, Derek Walcott, Tânia Cypriano, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Rodriguez, Ruben Blades, and others. Ultimately, with the aid of primary sources, oral history, genealogy, law enforcement records, as well as other, less conventional resources, we will reconstruct and write the transnational lives of immigrants in our families and communities. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW HIS

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1445 - Theatrical Literature      

The Theatrical Literature of Social Change
In this seminar we will begin with the question: how can art, specifically theatrical art, impact the world around us? We will explore a variety of contemporary works for the theatre that examine the possibilities of change (political, cultural, environmental). The seminar will also contain experiential components—students will be required to devise and perform various scenarios designed to impact a specifically targeted issue, and lead a discussion subsequent to each presentation. Authors to be read include American writers Anna Deveare Smith, Eve Ensler, and the Tectonic Project and British writers Caryl Churchill, David Hare, Robin Soans, Lucy Kirkwood, and others. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1446 - Acoustic Ecology      

Acoustic Ecology
Acoustic ecology is the study of sounds in relationship to life and society. An interdisciplinary field, it explores the social, cultural, scientific, and ecological aspects of the sonic environment. In this seminar we will gain auditory literacy by experiencing the world through sound (e.g., noise, speech, music). Topics will include the impact of noise on society; the urban experience through sound (especially Berlin and New York); aural architecture; production and reception of speech; representations of sound in literature and the visual arts; and even emotional responses to certain songs. Sources include texts by neuroscientists, literary scholars, linguists, anthropologists, musicologists, and others; music, and films. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1447 - Capturing Nature      

Mastodons, Mermaids, and Dioramas: Capturing Nature in the Americas
Why did 18th-century museums stuff and mount exotic and domestic animals? Why does the American Museum of Natural History still house dioramas of so-called "native peoples" hunting? How has the study and staging of nature transferred into various kinds of artistic expression? In this seminar we will examine the intertwining of art, science, and ecology in the United States from the 1700s to the present day. Objects of study will include museum dioramas, scientific models, artifacts, and artworks collected during scientific expeditions, as well as the work of Walton Ford and Christy Rupp, contemporary artists whose works engage ecological issues. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW NOR

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1448 - Music, Race, and Place      

Music, Race, and Place
In this seminar we will consider how the rise of urban African America shaped and was shaped by the evolution of contemporary black music. We will examine blues, soul, and early hip hop music in their historical and spatial contexts, beginning with the Great Migration, progressing through the heyday of centers of black life like New York’s Harlem and Chicago’s Bronzeville, and ending with the development and decline of high-rise housing projects. Driven by the recurrent questions of “why here?” and “why now?” we will work to understand what the growth of these various musical forms meant to urban African America. 3 hrs. sem. CW HIS NOR

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1449 - Computer Music for Poets      

Electronic Music for Poets and Dreamers
In this seminar students will experience a hands-on introduction to electronic music, designed for those with little or no experience in the medium. No musical or technical background is required. Rather than presenting electronic music as a technological matter, this course will allow students to use creative projects to explore and express their own passions about their lives and the world around them. Written and spoken projects will explore the history of the medium and artists who have created significant work. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1450 - Psychology/Emerging Technology      

Psychology and Emerging Technology
Technology and new media, such as smart phones and social media, are changing how we think, relate, connect, and learn. We will read cultural accounts of the recent changes in our society as well as examine what recent psychological literature tells us about the pros and cons of our wired world. We will review related research on such topics as attention, relationships, video games, the psychological effects of social media, brain and mind, learning and education, and relationships. The seminar will involve critical analysis and understanding of research in a new field, examined in the contexts of our own lives and experiences. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1451 - Power and Petroleum      

Power and Petroleum in Asia, 1890-Present
From Standard Oil’s marketing of kerosene in 1890s China to 21st century conflicts over undersea reserves in the western Pacific, oil has played a key role in Asia’s modern development. In this seminar we will examine the expansion of European, American, and Japanese petroleum companies in East and Southeast Asia, the role of oil in the Pacific War, and China’s present-day efforts to fuel its growing economy. By analyzing novels, films, advertisements, and historical scholarship, we will learn about modern changes to local patterns of resource extraction as well as the emergence of new understandings of nature, illumination, and production. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW HIS

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1452 - 1906 SF Earthquake & Fire      

Urban Disaster: The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake & Fire
On April 18, 1906, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked San Francisco. Although the trembling lasted only about 60 seconds, its aftershocks – including a devastating fire that leveled much of the city – were felt for significantly longer. Using scholarly readings as well as a mix of primary sources such as photographs, maps, letters, and memoirs, students in this seminar will examine the 1906 earthquake and fire from an historical perspective. We will use this episode of urban disaster and reconstruction as a lens to understand the built and natural environment, Progressive politics, and race relations in America at the beginning of the 20th century. 3 hrs. sem. CW HIS NOR

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1453 - Karma      

Karma
Why do things happen to us as they do? For many throughout Asia, the answer is or has been karma, the ancient Indian notion that over multiple lifetimes individuals reap the effects of past actions. We will examine this powerful idea of moral causality in depth, considering strikingly varied versions in classical Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, and the wealth of practices believed to improve future lives (and ultimately lead to liberation). We will also investigate the diverse and surprising consequences of karma in some Asian societies—including the justification of social hierarchy, the mistreatment of some groups, and the emergence of vegetarianism—as well as the role of karma in literature and film, especially in East Asia. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW PHL

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1455 - Teachers and Students      

Teachers and Students, Ancient to Modern
Hillel used to say, “The shy one cannot learn, and the impatient one cannot teach.” Confucius said: “If I lift up one corner and the student can't come back with the other three, I won't do it again." Cultures ancient and modern have reflected on the responsibilities of teachers and students, grappling with what constitutes an effective teacher or a successful student. What are the virtues—and perils—of discipleship? Of charisma? Should a teacher be gentle or forceful? Strict or lenient? Are teachers creators or conduits of tradition? In this seminar we will explore these questions in a range of historical periods and places, using film, literature, religious, and philosophical texts. Texts will include the Bible, Analects, and writings by Plato, Rousseau, and Helen Keller; films will include Dead Poet’s Society. 3 hrs. sem. CW PHL

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1456 - Reading Jared Diamond      

Reading Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond is a best-selling author on topics of world prehistory and environmental conservation. In this seminar we will read and discuss Diamond’s work alongside that of his critics. By taking parallel case studies from New Guinea, Mesoamerica, and Greenland (for example), students will learn critical thinking and analysis skills while also undertaking a survey of world cultures. The core questions facing the class are “why has the world turned out this way, and not some other?” and “what are the causes and consequences of environmental degradation?” 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1457 - Sherlock Holmes Across Media      

Sherlock Holmes Across Media
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first created Sherlock Holmes in 1886. Since then, the consulting detective has continued to solve mysteries in literature, radio, film, television, and digital media. Indeed, Sherlock Holmes inspired what many think of as the earliest media fandom. Why has Sherlock Holmes continued to be such a fascinating figure for almost a century and a half? How have Holmes and his sidekick Watson (or Sherlock and John) transformed in their different iterations across media, culture, and history? And what does it mean for contemporary television series Elementary and Sherlock to reimagine Sherlock Holmes for the digital age? 3 hrs. sem. ART CMP CW

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1458 - Schemes, Bubbles, & Crashes      

Pyramid Schemes, Bubbles, and Crashes
In this seminar we will study the anthropology of exchange, then use it to analyze ethnographies of financial speculators, labor migrants, microcredit borrowers, and other agents and victims of global capitalism. We will focus on conflicting obligations to kin and to creditors, on how people in different cultures and social classes juggle these obligations, and how the growth of financial debt can turn social relationships into commodities. Studying debt and how it is leveraged in different societies and historical eras will show why capitalism is so vulnerable to speculative booms, swindles, and collapses. 3 hrs. sem. ) CMP CW SOC

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1459 - Money/Morals & Global Politics      

Money, Morals, and Madmen in Global Politics
Non-state actors bring resources (money), new norms (morals), and revisionist aims (madmen) to global governance. In this seminar we will look at how private actors, including corporations, non-governmental organizations, and terrorist groups, have shaped development and conflict around the world. Throughout, we will reflect on how these groups represent societal interests and work to improve or undermine state sovereignty and global governance. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1460 - How Ideas Change the World      

How Ideas Change the World
How can citizens put their ideas into action and achieve social change? For example, how did citizens in the United States prompt politicians to pass a health care law, or protestors in Tunisia force a transition to democracy? In this seminar we will study why policymakers respond to new policy ideas from citizens, intellectuals, and social movements. To answer these questions, we will examine case studies from around the world—including Iran, China, and the United States—involving questions of environmental policy, enfranchisement, and social welfare. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW SOC

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1461 - Fellini and the Art of Cinema      

Film Form, Film Meaning: Fellini and the Art of Cinema
In this seminar we will discover the hidden art of cinematic form. How do movies construct meaning? Why are they often so emotionally engaging? How is cinema related to the other arts (literature, painting, photography, music)? In the first half of the seminar we will analyze six films by Federico Fellini—one of Europe’s most famous auteur directors (La strada, La dolce vita, 8 1/2, among others). In the second half of the seminar, students will analyze films of their choosing (any film by any European director). Armed with the critical skills gained through analyzing Fellini, groups of students will then screen their films to the entire class, complete a major classroom presentation, and engage in original research. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW EUR

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1462 - Animal Encounters in Lit.      

Animal Encounters in Literature
Animals have haunted literary texts ever since Aesop’s fables. What different roles do they play? In this seminar we will explore the complexity of representing animals in literature by studying novels and short stories that imagine wildlife, revisit the myth of animal metamporphosis, or use animals as symbols for other purposes. We will discuss what specific social, political, and linguistic issues these literary texts address and in some cases, how they complicate our understanding of the human/animal divide. Texts include: Balzac, Passion in the Desert, Kafka, The Metamorphosis, and Darrieussecq’s dystopian novel Pig Tales. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1463 - Scholars Communicate Meaning      

How Scholars Communicate Meaning
Students will explore the texture of the text, learn to identify an issue, research, then organize their findings in oral and written presentations of that work using 21st century means and technologies. Drawing from a palette of creative works such as Pale Fire, S./, /Mission Impossible III, Star Trek IV, Sandrine’s Case, The Woman in White, and TED talks, you will find patterns and meaning in a random, hyperlinked world of associations and interconnections, and then organize and articulate them to an audience. 3 hrs. sem. CW LIT

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1464 - Intro Postcolonial Literatures      

The Empire Writes Back: Politics and Literature from Postcolonial Africa, the Caribbean, and South Asia
A hundred years ago, Britain ruled about a quarter of the world’s population, and the British Empire covered approximately a quarter of the earth’s land surface. Though most of the colonies have won formal independence, the effects of global imperialism continue to be felt, and arguably Empire has taken on other forms. In this seminar we will discuss fiction, poetry, and drama by postcolonial writers such as J. M. Coetzee, Derek Walcott, Daljit Nagra, Wole Soyinka, Mahashweta Devi, Jean Rhys, Arundhati Roy, Edward Said, and Frantz Fanon, addressing questions about the nature and effects of colonization, anti-colonial resistance, representation, agency, and power. 3 hrs. sem. CMP CW LIT

Fall 2015

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FYSE 1465 - Feasts/Festivals/Ancient World      

Feasts and Festivals of the Ancient World
In this seminar we will examine Greek and Roman feasts and religious festivals through an exploration of mythology, ritual, and sacrifice. While ancient myths revealed tensions between the human world and the natural and divine orders, festivals commemorating the myths offered opportunities to enact and resolve these tensions ritually. As feasts figured prominently in festivals, we will also seek to understand how food and drink, and the contexts in which they were consumed, served as markers of ethnicity, social class, and gender. Lastly, we will investigate the meaning of prohibitions against certain foods, including beans, raw flesh, and human meat. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR SOC

Fall 2015

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