DirectorN. Ries
PROGRAM SITE

The Common Core Curriculum consists of four required interdisciplinary components. The first two components are taught by faculty members from across the university who work together to develop these courses: all sections of these two courses share common texts. Legacies of the Ancient World explores texts from the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern world that have given rise to philosophical, political, religious, and artistic traditions that continue to influence academic and intellectual discourse and critical thought. In Challenges of Modernity, students explore a variety of texts that engage with the modern ideas and phenomena that have shaped the world in which we live. Scientific Perspectives on the World (SP) courses engage issues of broader social significance that require scientific literacy. These courses are multi-disciplinary in focus: the topics of SP courses span the study of the physical world, biological processes, human behavior, mathematical methods, and technological innovations. Communities and Identities (CI) courses provide students with a multi-layered understanding of identities, cultures, and human experiences in particular geographically distinct communities and regions of the world.

Students are expected to complete the four common core courses by the end of their sophomore year. Approximately half of the fall 2019 FSEMs fulfill a Liberal Arts Core Curriculum requirement.

Courses - Legacies of Ancient World

Explores ancient texts that articulate perennial issues, such as the nature of the human and the divine; virtue and the good life; the true, the just, and the beautiful; the difference between subjective opinion and objective knowledge. These texts exemplify basic modes of speech, literary forms, and patterns of thinking that establish the terminology of academic and intellectual discourse and critical thought across many different societies: epic, rhetoric, tragedy, poetry, epistemology, science, democracy, rationality, the soul, spirit, law, grace. Such terms have shaped the patterns of life, norms, and prejudices that human communities have continually challenged, criticized, and refashioned throughout history. To highlight both the dialogue and conflicts between the texts and the traditions they embody, this course, taught by a multidisciplinary staff and in an interdisciplinary manner, focuses on both the historical contexts of these texts and the ongoing retellings and reinterpretations of them through time. The course includes texts from the ancient Mediterranean world that have given rise to some of the philosophical, political, religious, and artistic traditions associated with “The West,” emphasizing that Western traditions were not formed in a vacuum but developed in dialogue and conflict with other traditions. Common to all sections of this component are classic works such as Homer, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, Plato, and a Roman text. Complementary texts or visual materials from the ancient period, in and beyond the Western world, and/or response texts from the medieval or contemporary periods are added by faculty in individual sections.

Legacies of the Ancient World: Good Society 

Explores ancient texts that articulate perennial issues: the nature of the human and the divine; virtue and the good life; the true, the just and the beautiful; the difference between subjective opinion and objective knowledge. These texts exemplify basic modes of speech, literary forms, and patterns of thinking that establish the terminology of academic and intellectual discourse and critical thought across many different societies: epic, rhetoric, tragedy, epistemology, science, democracy, rationality, the soul, spirit, law, grace. Such terms have shaped the patterns of life, norms, and prejudices that have been continually challenged, criticized, and refashioned throughout history. To highlight both the dialogue and conflicts between the texts and the traditions they embody, this course, taught by a multidisciplinary staff and in an interdisciplinary manner, focuses on both the historical contexts of these texts and the ongoing retellings and reinterpretations of them through time. Moreover, the course includes texts from the ancient Mediterranean world that have given rise to some of the philosophical, political, religious, and artistic traditions associated with “The West,” emphasizing that Western traditions were not formed in a vacuum but developed in dialogue and conflict with other traditions, some of which lie beyond the geographical area of “The West.” Common to all sections of this component are classic works such as Homer, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, Plato, and a Roman text. Complementary texts or visual materials from the ancient period, in and beyond the Western world, and/or response texts from the medieval or contemporary periods are added in individual sections or groups of sections. Thus, some groups of sections may have particular themes. These themes will be identified at registration every term. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Legacies of the Ancient World core requirement. 

In this section of Legacies of the Ancient World, students will focus on the various mentalities of antiquity--from the flinty Romanitas of Caesar's opponents to the apocalyptic visions of justice of the Hebrew prophets. Students will see how the great books of antiquity are both representative of these mentalities and critical of them. Above all, students will learn through the study of literary genre and ethical argument "how to think like a book." The emphasis will be on close reading, both in class and out, and on practicing writing analytically. 

Noah Dauber, associate professor of Political Science, specializes in the history of political thought. His focus is on the emergence of the idea of the state in early modern Europe.

Professor Gallucci 

Explores ancient texts that articulate perennial issues, such as the nature of the human and the divine; virtue and the good life; the true, the just, and the beautiful; the difference between subjective opinion and objective knowledge. These texts exemplify basic modes of speech, literary forms, and patterns of thinking that establish the terminology of academic and intellectual discourse and critical thought across many different societies: epic, rhetoric, tragedy, poetry, epistemology, science, democracy, rationality, the soul, spirit, law, grace. Such terms have shaped the patterns of life, norms, and prejudices that human communities have continually challenged, criticized, and refashioned throughout history. To highlight both the dialogue and conflicts between the texts and the traditions they embody, this course, taught by a multidisciplinary staff and in an interdisciplinary manner, focuses on both the historical contexts of these texts and the ongoing retellings and reinterpretations of them through time. The course includes texts from the ancient Mediterranean world that have given rise to some of the philosophical, political, religious, and artistic traditions associated with “The West,” emphasizing that Western traditions were not formed in a vacuum but developed in dialogue and conflict with other traditions. Common to all sections of this component are classic works such as Homer, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, Plato, and a Roman text. Complementary texts or visual materials from the ancient period, in and beyond the Western world, and/or response texts from the medieval or contemporary periods are added by faculty in individual sections. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Legacies of the Ancient World core requirement. 

John A. Gallucci is Professor of French at Colgate University. His area of specialization is in early French literature.

Faculty Profile for Professor Sindima 

Explores how the texts of the ancient world have informed the ethical, philosophical, political and religious thought of the modern West. Most of the texts are from the Mediterranean world, Greece and the Middle-East as these regions shaped Western civilization. Indeed, to speak of Western civilization, is to refer to the impact of Greek thought, Jewish, and Christian values. The ideas of democracy and ethical values, for instance, trace their roots to Greece and the Judeo-Christian tradition. Likewise, the idea of freedom of conscience is the product of the Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther and runs through Saint Augustine to Aristotle. So, the study of the ancient world is really an investigation into Greek philosophy and the Middle-Eastern religious values, or through Judaism and Christianity in particular. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Legacies of the Ancient World core requirement. 

Harvey Sindima is professor of philosophy and religion, and a Colgate Presidential Scholar. He teaches courses on world religions; the Christian tradition; religion, science, and the environment; and religion, war, peace and reconciliation. He has numerous publications in religions, Christian theology and theological movements, terrorism, religion and capitalism, and philosophy. The objectives of his FSEM are to familiarize students with the texts that shaped the foundations of Western thought, and to develop a deeper understanding of the power of philosophical and theological thought in shaping the social-political framework and structure.

Professor Stahlberg 

Explores ancient texts that articulate perennial issues: the nature of the human and the divine; virtue and the good life; the true, the just and the beautiful; the difference between subjective opinion and objective knowledge. These texts exemplify basic modes of speech, literary forms, and patterns of thinking that establish the terminology of academic and intellectual discourse and critical thought across many different societies: epic, rhetoric, tragedy, epistemology, science, democracy, rationality, the soul, spirit, law, grace. Such terms have shaped the patterns of life, norms, and prejudices that have been continually challenged, criticized, and refashioned throughout history. To highlight both the dialogue and conflicts between the texts and the traditions they embody, this course, taught by a multidisciplinary staff and in an interdisciplinary manner, focuses on both the historical contexts of these texts and the ongoing retellings and reinterpretations of them through time. Moreover, the course includes texts from the ancient Mediterranean world that have given rise to some of the philosophical, political, religious, and artistic traditions associated with “The West,” emphasizing that Western traditions were not formed in a vacuum but developed in dialogue and conflict with other traditions, some of which lie beyond the geographical area of “The West.” Common to all sections of this component are classic works such as Homer, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, Plato, and a Roman text. Complementary texts or visual materials from the ancient period, in and beyond the Western world, and/or response texts from the medieval or contemporary periods are added in individual sections or groups of sections. Thus, some groups of sections may have particular themes. These themes will be identified at registration every term. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Legacies of the Ancient World requirement. 

Professor Ben Stahlberg is broadly interested in the ways in which intellectuals think about (and often re-envision) religion. Of late he has been working on the ways in which Jewish “practice” is rethought or re-conceived after the Holocaust.

Courses - Challenges of Modernity

Modernity is a crucial element of the intellectual legacy to which we are heirs. A matrix of intellectual, social, and material forces that have transformed the world over the last quarter millennium, modernity has introduced new problems and possibilities into human life. Within modernity, issues of meaning, identity, and morality have been critiqued in distinctive ways. People of different social classes, racial groups, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual identities have contributed to an increasingly rich public discourse. The human psyche has been problematized, and the dynamic character of the world, both natural and social, has been explored. Urbanization and technological development have transformed the patterns of everyday life. Imperialism has had a complex and lasting impact on the entire globe. The human capability to ameliorate social and physical ills has increased exponentially, and yet so has the human capacity for mass destruction and exploitation. In this course, taught by an interdisciplinary staff, students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. To ensure a substantially common experience for students, the staff each year chooses texts to be taught in all sections of the course. This component of the Core Curriculum encourages students to think broadly and critically about the world that they inhabit, asking them to see their contemporary concerns in the perspective of the long-standing discourses of modernity.

Professor Coyle 

Modernity is a crucial element of the intellectual legacy to which we are heirs. A matrix of intellectual, social, and material forces that have transformed the world over the last quarter millennium, modernity has introduced new problems and possibilities into human life. Within modernity, issues of meaning, identity, and morality have been critiqued in distinctive ways. People of different social classes, racial groups, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual identities have contributed to an increasingly rich public discourse. The human psyche has been problematized, and the dynamic character of the world, both natural and social, has been explored. Urbanization and technological development have transformed the patterns of everyday life. Imperialism has had a complex and lasting impact on the entire globe. The human capability to ameliorate social and physical ills has increased exponentially, and yet so has the human capacity for mass destruction and exploitation. In this course, taught by an interdisciplinary staff, students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. To ensure a substantially common experience for students, the staff each year chooses texts to be taught in all sections of the course. This component of the Core Curriculum encourages students to think broadly and critically about the world that they inhabit, asking them to see their contemporary concerns in the perspective of the long-standing discourses of modernity. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement. 

Professor of English, Michael Coyle is founding President of the Modernist Studies Association, Past President of the International T.S. Eliot Society, and has served on the advisory board of the National Poetry Foundation. He writes about modern poets like T.S. Eliot and Langston Hughes, jazz, race and modernist culture.

Professor Douglas 

Modernity is a crucial element of the intellectual legacy to which we are heirs. A matrix of intellectual, social, and material forces that have transformed the world over the last quarter millennium, modernity has introduced new problems and possibilities into human life. Within modernity, issues of meaning, identity, and morality have been critiqued in distinctive ways. People of different social classes, racial groups, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual identities have contributed to an increasingly rich public discourse. The human psyche has been problematized, and the dynamic character of the world, both natural and social, has been explored. Urbanization and technological development have transformed the patterns of everyday life. Imperialism has had a complex and lasting impact on the entire globe. The human capability to ameliorate social and physical ills has increased exponentially, and yet so has the human capacity for mass destruction and exploitation. In this course, taught by an interdisciplinary staff, students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. To ensure a substantially common experience for students, the staff each year chooses texts to be taught in all sections of the course. This component of the Core Curriculum encourages students to think broadly and critically about the world that they inhabit, asking them to see their contemporary concerns in the perspective of the long-standing discourses of modernity. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement. 

Professor Ray Douglas is a historian, with a particular interest in the ways in which bad ideas have tended to produce bad outcomes. The period under examination in this course has generated some of the worst and most damaging ideologies in human history. We'll have a lot to talk about.

Professor Stern 

Modernity is a crucial element of the intellectual legacy to which we are heirs. A matrix of intellectual, social, and material forces that have transformed the world over the last quarter millennium, modernity has introduced new problems and possibilities into human life. Within modernity, issues of meaning, identity, and morality have been critiqued in distinctive ways. People of different social classes, racial groups, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual identities have contributed to an increasingly rich public discourse. The human psyche has been problematized, and the dynamic character of the world, both natural and social, has been explored. Urbanization and technological development have transformed the patterns of everyday life. Imperialism has had a complex and lasting impact on the entire globe. The human capability to ameliorate social and physical ills has increased exponentially, and yet so has the human capacity for mass destruction and exploitation. In this course, taught by an interdisciplinary staff, students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. To ensure a substantially common experience for students, the staff each year chooses texts to be taught in all sections of the course. This component of the Core Curriculum encourages students to think broadly and critically about the world that they inhabit, asking them to see their contemporary concerns in the perspective of the long-standing discourses of modernity and this particular section pays particular attention to the interdependent and confluence of the material and ideological structures of class, colonialism, gender, race, and sexuality. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement. 

Professor Mark Stern is the chair of the Department of Educational Studies whose interdisciplinary teaching and research looks at the relationship between education policy, urban policy, and political economy.

Professor Reinbold 

Modernity is a crucial element of the intellectual legacy to which we are heirs. A matrix of intellectual, social, and material forces that have transformed the world over the last quarter millennium, modernity has introduced new problems and possibilities into human life. This course will explore some of the distinctive features of modernity – including the question of what we might mean by the term “modernity” itself. We will explore a variety of “texts” that embody and engage with this topic. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement. 

Professor Jenna Reinbold studies the interaction of religion and law in the contemporary world. Her particular focuses include controversies over the separation of church and state in the U.S., and the role of religion and secularism in the spread of universal human rights.

Courses - Communities & Identities

As the world's fourth most populous country, modern Indonesia is home to over 260 million religiously and ethnically diverse individuals. Despite its substantial population and rich regional cultures, Indonesia is often overlooked both in American popular discourse and at American universities. This course pushes back against this unfortunate pattern of neglect. Students approach Indonesia as a valuable window into a whole host of global issues including: the legacy of European colonialism, the complexities of nation-building, cultural evolution, religious revivals, literature and the arts, economic development, and climate change. The vibrancy and paradoxes of modern Indonesian lives are highlighted.

A multidisciplinary survey of the varied communities and identities of France. It focuses on France as a leading member of the European Union, as a former major colonial power, and as a leader in the arts. Using history, films, photography, literature, and journalism, the course will examine France's efforts to come to terms with its colonial past; its self-examination through the "politics of memory"; the different "communities" within France itself--youth, religious groups (e.g., Jewish, Muslim, Catholic), the communities of refugees and immigrants and the divisions within those groups; and its vibrant culture, with a particular focus on French cinema. The course will also examine the current political landscape in France.

Explores how the idea of "Latin America" came to be and the various political purposes it has served from the colonial encounter to the contemporary moment. This is not a traditional survey course that gives an overview of the regional mosaic we have come to call "Latin America." Instead, it illuminates how the very notion of Latin America as a discrete world-region has been conjured and politicized at key historical moments, emphasizing the underlying social inclusions, exclusions, and global relations fueling these multiple (re)inventions. In addition to the central themes of race, nature, and anti-imperialism, the crucial role of the United States as an interventionist foreign power also looms large in this story.

The archipelago of islands and mainland nations called the Caribbean constitutes a complex montage of races, ethnic groups, languages, and nations. Stretching from Guyana in South America to as far north as the Bahamas, minutes from the coast of Miami, the region is joined by a common history of slavery, imperialism, and resistant self-definition. This course studies literature, film, and music of the region to trace a socio-cultural history of the Caribbean. What are the continued effects of slavery and imperialism on the Caribbean? How does African-Creole culture in particular respond to these continued effects? How do tourism, advertising, music, and film inform/construct people’s relationship to the Caribbean in the global present?

Offers a wide-ranging and challenging introduction to contemporary India--its famed social, political and cultural diversity, its conflicts and contradictions, its literature and history. India as it is known today, with its population of more than a billion, is a recent creation, a product of the partition of the South Asian colonies of the British Raj (Empire). How has such a diverse region come together, and been held together, as one nation? How have its conflicts and contradictions—of class, caste, ethnicity, language, religion and politics—been managed by its rulers and politicians? How have these conflicts and contradictions been captured in novels and on film? The course goal is to subject the “Idea of India” to a detailed investigation, beginning in the present, and working through a process of excavation, discovery, and critique.

Engages in dialogue with popular discourses, scholarly literature, and primary information sources of Japan and those who live in the island nation state. Focuses on key social and cultural issues that characterize contemporary Japan while also paying attention to its historical experiences and traditions that variably shape the present. Examines such topics as changing ‘western’ views on the Japanese, diversity in Japanese society, socio-demographic challenges, literature and religion, Japanese political economy and globalization, societal response to natural disasters, and popular culture. Employs a wide range of learning methods, including lecture, class discussion, films, hands-on experiences (e.g., calligraphy), and intensive projects which require students to collect, analyze, and synthesize a wide range of scholarly and non-scholarly sources. Ultimately aims to nurture students’ ability to understand and empathize with the logic (and illogic), experiences and emotions of the Japanese people; that is to say, to understand them as you would understand yourselves.

Provides an overview of North American Indians by drawing on case studies from four groupings: New England tribes; Iroquois; Cheyenne; and Pueblos. These cultures are studied in terms of their historical and political relationship to Anglo-American society and institutions, attending to Native Americans' resistance to attempted conquest by European or American powers, the creation of reservation systems, and the use of institutions (e.g., the Bureau of Indian Affairs, schools, missions) to change Native American cultures. Students also examine the response of Native Americans to outside pressures. Students explore other issues, such as sovereignty, identity, gambling, repatriation, land claims, and education, and their impact on North American Indians. Videotapes and Native American artifacts are studied throughout the semester.

The Latin American country Peru evokes dramatic and conflicting images of spectacular natural settings, ancient ruins, cosmopolitan cities, shantytowns, street children, poverty and more. It is a country of extremes. This course offers an interdisciplinary inquiry into this ecologically and culturally diverse land. The course begins by exploring the distinct geography and ecology of the central Andean region (rainforest, mountains, desert, and ocean) in order to understand how these features have shaped the societies that inhabit the region of present-day Peru. This involves analyzing the evolution and organization of Pre-Columbian societies, paying special attention to the Inca civilization. It also examines the ideologies, institutions and practices introduced with the Spanish conquest and era of colonialism in order to understand their impact on indigenous society and their relevance to the state of underdevelopment that characterizes contemporary Peru. Study of present-day Peru juxtaposes rural and urban life, the ties between the two spheres, and the crisis conditions that enveloped both ways of life until recently. Specific issues include the internal armed conflict, the coca culture and cocaine economy, shantytowns and land invasions, oil extraction and indigenous resistance, among other compelling issues. Throughout the term, this course emphasizes the many paradoxes of this intriguing land.

A multi-disciplinary introduction both to the region conventionally referred to as the Middle East, and also to the academic discipline of Middle Eastern Studies. In other words, it is a study of the people, religion, history, and culture of the region, and also about the politics of studying that region. One of the presuppositions is that a careful, rigorous, and critical study of cultural studies can help one understand one’s own assumptions, presuppositions, etc. Among the topics students examine are the multiple interpretations of religion, including sects within Islam, that exist in the region; a variety of cultural practices and various languages; and the effect of imperialism and colonialism on the area. Readings include what current native commentators are saying on cultural, economic, and social debates.

Examines Russian society, culture, and identity through eras of Tsarism, revolution, social engineering, war, and societal transformations. Explores Russia's distinctiveness — its place in the world, struggles, and successes — looking at how Russians themselves understand and contest this heritage. Examining the roots of Russian identity, students consider the images of leaders from Peter the Great to Stalin and Vladimir Putin, as well as the work and legacies of artists, writers, and composers. Another major focus is peoples' everyday lives during political and social upheavals. Students examine what life was like during the Stalinist 1930s, through the traumas of World War II ("The Great Patriotic War"), Perestroika in the 1980s, and the post-Soviet present. Students learn about the dynamic ways that culture, history, politics, and identity intertwine in any society.

Examines the archaeology, culture, history, economics, religion, literature, arts, politics, law, and individual lives of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Indians — Colgate’s closest Native American neighbors — from the period before European contact to the present day. Students place Iroquois experiences in North American Indian contexts (comparing the Iroquois, e.g., to the Cherokee), especially regarding the loss and persistence of tribal sovereignty; and investigate Iroquois relations with New York State and the United States, especially in regard to competing land claims.

Examines the complex geographic, historic, social, racial, literary, political, and artistic fabric of Cuba. Historical readings explore major themes of Cuban history, while literary and personal narratives provide insight into social and political realities. These themes are complemented by a study of Cuban film, dance and music as agents of identity formation.

A multidisciplinary look at communities and identities in Bolivia, a country in the heart of South America that has captured transnational attention for its Andean panpipe music, its majority indigenous population, and its social movements. The course uses music, dance, film, history, memoir, political documents, policy reports, anthropology, and journalism to grasp different community articulations in Bolivia. Along with historical understandings of Bolivian communities, the course takes a special look at thematic issues that, while locally grounded, have global resonances: indigenous rights, water, resource extraction, neoliberalism, coca and cocaine, and Andean music and dance.

Professor Nakhimovsky 

Core Russia looks at Russian society, culture, and identity from Tsarism through the Bolshevik revolution and its aftermath and onto the present day. We study histories, primary texts (in translation), and also some fiction and poetry. Students will work on a paper that examines a contemporary phenomenon of their choice in the light of the past (though other possibilities are considered). Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 187C and satisfy the Communities and Identities core requirement requirement. 

Professor Alice Nakhimovsky has written many books on Russian literature and culture, concentrating on the Soviet period and Soviet Jews. Her present project is a book called “Parallel Lives,” about the intertwined lives of seven Russian Jews, from 1900 to 1953.

Professor Etefa 

Surveys the culture, religion, communities, history, and socio-economic developments of Ethiopia from the ancient times to the modern period. Ethiopia is home to over 80 ethnic groups with striking cultures that are distinct from Western traditions. Major themes include peoples and languages; traditional customs and beliefs; Christianity and Islam; marriages; community service organizations; literature, novels; education; ethnic relations; traditional art and music; colonial resistance; sports; socio-economic developments; natural resources usage; Ethiopia and Europe; the Ethiopian revolution; Ethiopian immigrants in the United States; traditional harmful practices; and politics. Emphasis is also given to contemporary issues. Lectures are supplemented by discussions, film presentation, group activity, and coffee ceremony. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 173C and satisfy the Communities and Identities core requirement. 

Originally from Ethiopia, Tsega Etefa is associate professor of history and Africana and Latin American studies program. His research focuses on ethnic relations in East Africa including Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya while his teachings include CORE Ethiopia, Darfur, Somalia, and other African history courses.

Professor Solomon 

Aims to provide students with an overview of the social, cultural, political, and economic dynamics that have shaped life in South Africa. Students and faculty work together to better understand the way in which the country of South Africa came into being, how that national identity has been a site of struggle and contestation, particularly in the case of the struggle to overcome Apartheid, and how South Africans are working to overcome the legacy of racism and oppression that has marked much of the social and cultural experience of South Africa. In doing so, students investigate the changing dynamics of race, gender, and culture in South Africa, with a particular focus on understanding the ways South Africans are actively reshaping and unsettling existing social identities and distinctions. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 190C and satisfy the Communities and Identities core requirement. 

Ryan Solomon is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. His research focuses on issues of citizenship and migration, mainly in the context of South Africa. His teaching largely focus on issues of democratic engagement and dialogue.

Professor Woolley 

Examines the fabric of California’s syncretic cultures in historical, geographic, sociologic, artistic, racial, literary, political, and economic contexts. The diverse settlement patterns, environmental and economic challenge/opportunity, explosion of art forms, and continuous creation of new communities often foreshadowed trends of the entire nation. Readings explore major themes and issues of California history, while literary and personal narratives provide insight into social and political realities, including the struggles of successive waves of immigrants to interact with the established populations. Artistic and architectural expressions that document cultural phenomena offer tangible examples of the creative forces that shaped Californian intellectual and physical communities. Sociological case studies as well as economic, political, and environmental reporting assist students to understand the challenges, failures, and victories of the composite California culture. Underlying all of this is a continuous study of the variegated geography of California, which has both offered and required substantial human choices. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 172C and satisfy the Communities and Identities core requirement. 

Susan Woolley is Associate Professor of Educational Studies and Director of LGBTQ Studies. Her research focuses on gender, sexuality, and the experiences of LGBTQ students in California and New York K-12 public schools.

Courses - Scientific Perspectives

Remote sensing is the art and science of obtaining information about a phenomenon through a device that is not in contact with the object. The remote sensing process involves collection and analysis of data about energy, reflected from or emitted by an object. Remote sensing is used to better understand, measure, and monitor features and human activities on Earth. After an introduction to the interplay among science, technology, and remote sensing, students examine the development of remote sensing technology. Students focus on the physical principles upon which remote sensing is based, explore the basic tools of photography and photograph interpretation, and consider the principles of acquiring and interpreting data collected by non-photographic sensors. Throughout the semester, students consider how remote sensing has improved our understanding of biophysical processes using a case-study approach to demonstrate the theoretical underpinnings. Finally, consideration is given to the ethical implications of remote sensing.

Examines some of the major questions that inform human understanding of the living world. Covering long-standing biological questions as well as questions emerging from the latest discoveries, students explore the great diversity of life and how organisms adapt and change. Students use this framework to tackle new and relevant issues arising from our study of biology. The approach is student-active and hands-on; students work together to explore a few of the mysteries of the natural world.

Explores how infants and adults acquire native and foreign languages. What goes on in the brains of new-born infants before they discover the meanings of words? What might be the linguistic and social consequence of acquiring an English dialectal accent, distinguishing or not distinguishing between Mary, merry, and marry? Why do some adults succeed in learning a second language, while others do not? Why are some Japanese unable to tell the difference between rice and lice? When a girl had no contact with a language speaking community, is she able to acquire her first language after puberty? Are bonobo chimpanzees able to learn human language? Students read books and articles that address these issues, watch films and have some direct experience of learning a difficult second language. Physiological, linguistic, psychological, and social factors that determine whether one succeeds or fails to acquire native and foreign languages are discussed.

Management of the Earth's energy, mineral, and water resources is a subject of ongoing controversy and debate. This debate revolves around two related issues: the diminishing supply of some resources and the environmental cost of resource extraction and energy production. This course examines the origin and geologic setting of Earth's resources, and how these factors influence resource exploration, extraction, and use. Environmental and economic aspects of resource extraction are explored. Students examine the public debate about resource management and conservation, as well as the roles of politics and the media in shaping this debate. This course emphasizes student-led discussions of case studies dealing with current resource-related topics. The purpose of this course is to create a framework in which resource issues can be evaluated, integrating the scientific and social issues inherent in resource development.

The fusion of sperm and egg cells to form a single-celled zygote is the initial step in development in most multi-cellular organisms. In humans, repeated divisions of this single fertilized egg are responsible for the production of more than 70 trillion cells of greater than 200 different types. In this course students examine how a fertilized egg undergoes division, how the stem cells produced by these divisions become "determined" to form cells of particular types, and how these determined cells finally differentiate into the highly specialized cells that make up most tissues and organs. As this process is examined, students also explore the relationship between cells and developmental patterns, and investigate how genetic and environmental factors can influence (and alter) cell fate. Biological, social, and ethical aspects of the human manipulation of development are also considered, including examination of such topics as cloning by nuclear transfer, reproductive technology, fetal surgery, stem cells, and embryonic gene therapy.

Introduces students to statistical thinking by examining data collected to solve real-world problems. A wide range of applications are considered. Topics include experimental design, descriptive statistics, the normal curve, correlation and regression, probability theory, sampling, the central limit theorem, estimation, hypothesis testing, paired observations, and the chi-square test. Particular emphasis is given to the models that underlie statistical inference. This course is no longer crosslisted as MATH 102.

Examines a key global health issue, such as AIDS or Cancer, from an interdisciplinary approach. The readings introduce students to the history, politics, science, and public health issues of the disease. Students will examine the epidemiology of the disease, examining how geography, socioeconomic status, and other factors influence transmission and treatment, and statistical measures used to analyze data about causes, cures and spread of disease will be introduced. Finally, the impacts of the disease on communities at different scales will be examined.

Examines a key global health issue, such as AIDS or Cancer, from an interdisciplinary approach. The readings introduce students to the history, politics, science, and public health issues of the disease. Students will examine the epidemiology of the disease, examining how geography, socioeconomic status, and other factors influence transmission and treatment, and statistical measures used to analyze data about causes, cures and spread of disease will be introduced. Finally, the impacts of the disease on communities at different scales will be examined.

Explores water technologies and their evolution through time, and how the technologies related to water distribution and treatment evolve with human’s understanding of and interaction with water. Through the lens of science and engineering, students examine the role water plays in human health, the environment, and sustainability. Focused on history of water transportation; water quality issues, coinciding with an improved understanding of water following advances in chemistry, biology, and physics; and modern and emerging problems related to water and water technology. Students cover topics on the application and limitation of scientific knowledge, and broader impacts that technology has on past and current societies.

Applies rhetorical theories and methods to scientific discourse in the public and academic sphere. Students develop an understanding of the relationship between research and writing, and they practice these skills by examining historical and current scientific debates and controversies. Through looking at case studies, students will gain an increased understanding of how, where, and when scientific research is influenced by (and influencing of) different audiences and communities. Students will examine and work with qualitative research methods, genre theory, rhetorical style, and multimodal compositions.

Professor Fuller 

Ecology and the Quality of the Environment 

Many of the key environmental problems that face society today involve how biotic systems are affected by alterations of physical and/or chemical factors. Students are introduced to ecological concepts that explain the nature of the environment and their relationship to environmental problems. Topics include human population dynamics, community and ecosystem dynamics, biodiversity and habitat fragmentation, invasive species, water pollution, hazardous waste disposal, renewable and nonrenewable resources, and climate change. Environmental degradation and pollution are approached from an ecological perspective, but also will address environmental ethics, environmental justice and economic and political aspects of environmental problems. Students read position papers that address both sides of an environmental problem and discuss the merits of both sides of different environmental issues. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 159S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement. 

Professor Fuller is the Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies whose research interests center on trophic relationships and energy flow in stream ecosystems, predator-prey interactions, algal-bacterial interactions and, more recently, he has been studying the delayed recovery of acid-stressed streams in the Adirondack Mountains. Professor Fuller teaches Evolution, Ecology and Diversity as well as Ecology, Limnology and Advanced Aquatic Ecology and in the Environmental Studies Program.

Professor McHugh 

Discovering Biology: Invasive Species 

Provides students with an introduction to biological processes through the lens of biological invasions. The practice of science and how we communicate science are considered through explorations of invasive plants and animals in terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Biological invasions are considered in the framework of broad ecological and evolutionary concepts, and in the context of global change. Students deliberate in written reports and class presentations on specific ways in which invasive species affect biodiversity, how they adapt to new environments, and how humans play a role in homogenizing biodiversity. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 110S and satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement. 

Professor Damhnait McHugh is a marine biologist who studies the evolution of animal diversity, both ancient and recent. Recently she has become very interested in the ecology and evolution of animals and plants that humans introduce to new habitats, in the sea or on land.

Faculty Profile for Professor Geier 

Emerging Technologies: The Science and Potential Implications of Nanotechnology 

Imagine repairing your body without surgery and no longer burning fossil fuels. Imagine everyone enjoying abundance with no manufacturing costs. Imagine also the loss of all personal privacy and the irreversible poisoning of the planet. Such are the hopes, hype, and fears of nanotechnology—the study of materials and devices with dimensions on the nanoscale (1 x 10-9 m, the realm of assemblies of molecules). This course provides an introduction to the science and potential implications of molecular nanotechnology. Scientific and sensationalist visions of nanotechnology will be critically examined through a combination of readings, lectures, discussions, and student presentations. Students develop an appreciation for the nanoscale, an understanding of the excitement and challenges, and an awareness of societal and ethical implications. Through the lens of nanotechnology, students learn about the process of science, and gain insights applicable to the broad landscape of scientific discovery and emerging technologies. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 105S and satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement. 

Professor Rick Geier is an organic chemist whose research group studies reaction routes and conditions used to synthesize porphyrinoids. Porphyrinoids are important in nature (e.g., the red heme group responsible for oxygen transport in blood, and the green chlorophyll pigments that allow plants to absorb energy from the sun are members of the porphyrinoid family). Beyond their relevance in biology, porphyrinoids are used in molecular devices for application in solar energy, computing, data storage, catalysis, and medicine.

Professor Jimenez 

Dogs are a fascinating study organism. From their very beginnings their evolutionary history contains unpredicted effects across all levels of biological organization. From the social construct of being a wild animal (wolf), to becoming dependent on man (domestication), and colonizing our homes and our beds (inter-species bonding). The history of this single species provides a rich learning opportunity to introductory biology students. Course readings and discussions include an exploration of most branches of biology, in an inter-disciplinary manner: evolution, ecology, genetics, physiology, and behavior, with the constant of exploring how dogs are unique to each of those branches in biology. Emphasis is on the interaction between wild animals and early humans, and tracks that interaction through time as the domestication of the dog has progressed. Further exploration includes physiological aspects of canine biology that are beneficial for humans, for example, cancer research. Students are challenged to formulate questions about science and how science relates to the inter-species relationship we have created with “man’s best friend” Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 188S and fulfill the Scientific Perspective core requirement. 

Professor Ana Jimenez is an animal physiologist interested in why small dog breeds live significantly longer than large breeds.

Professor Keating 

Reading People: The Art & Science of Nonverbal Communication 

Despite our very human way with words, much interpersonal communication flows through nonverbal channels. Facial gestures, gaze patterns, postures, vocal pitch and tone, touch and interpersonal distance, scents and odors, and even static, morphological structures of face and body channel crucial information about individual qualities and intentions. These messaging systems strongly influence how individuals "read" and respond to one another. However powerful, nonverbal cues can be difficult to precisely identify and measure. For example, perceivers attribute age, social status, sex, and even beauty at a glance, but which cues enable this, how, and why? Are emotions expressed the same way in every culture? Why are nonverbal first impressions so impactful; what makes them so “sticky?” Is there a nonverbal formula for charisma? If humans are so sensitive to nonverbal cues, why are they such poor lie detectors? These and other questions are probed by exploring the scientific literature on nonverbal communication and by conducting research designed to test some of its theoretical models. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement. 

Dr. Caroline (Carrie) Keating investigates the skills, traits, and motives associated with social dominance, leadership, and charisma. She teaches seminars in leadership, social bonds, cross-cultural human development, and nonverbal communication.

Professor Crotty 

Our current use of energy is unsustainable. Fossil fuels, which were deposited on Earth over hundreds of millions of years, will largely be exhausted over the course of just a few hundred years. Global climate change makes our situation even more unsustainable—we need to stop using fossil fuels long before they run out if we want to avoid catastrophic environmental change. This course takes a quantitative approach to learning about our current energy use, so that students can understand how our personal choices and lifestyles affect energy use. Please note that some of the assignments will require mathematics at the pre-calculus level. We also discuss how we might meet our energy needs in the future through renewable resources: what technologies are available now, what are their costs, and how much energy can they provide. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 101S and satisfy their Scientific Perspectives core requirement. 

Patrick Crotty is a theoretical physicist and uses techniques from physics, mathematics, and engineering to study the dynamics of neural networks. He also has longstanding extracurricular interests in history, sociology, and geography, in particular the factors (including resource usage/depletion) that influence the rise and fall of civilizations.

Professor Loranty 

Maps, Technology, and the Changing Geography of Exploration 

For centuries humans have created and used maps to explore our planet. Over the past few decades technology has radically altered the ways we generate and interact with maps. Students aim to understand the nature of these changes, and what they mean for how we explore the world around us. Students use GPS, drones, satellite data, and web-based tools to map and explore a variety of environments; from forests and trails on campus, to nearby cities. A series of case studies will help us to understand how these new geographic tools are advancing our scientific understanding of the physical and social processes that shape our world, and also how these tools impact society. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement. 

Professor Mike Loranty is a geographer who uses field and satellite data to study vegetation change in the Arctic. His current projects examine the effects of wildfire on forest regrowth and permafrost in Siberia.

Professor Keith 

Elements, like iron, and alloys, like bronze, have entire “ages” name after them. Students read accounts of how elements and molecules have affected the course of civilization from ancient to current times. Students may be familiar with notorious elements like uranium and plutonium and their impact on world events, but how did tin change the course of history? Moving quickly from elements to molecules, the course looks at some of the roles molecules have played in colonization, health, environment, lifestyle, and so forth. The emphasis is not on the history of molecules, but rather molecules in history. As students explore these interesting histories, they pull in a few of the relevant scientific observations and molecular structures that give rise to the important characteristics of particular “world rocking” molecules. This course is centered on outside reading and class discussion with the addition of some short basic lectures on fundamental chemistry to provide context. The plan for this fall includes Uranium (energy and weapons), Salt (food preservation and conquest), Nitrogen (food production and explosives), Water (clean drinking and infrastructure), Ethanol (from fermentation and distillation to use and abuse), and Progesterone (birth control and women's rights). Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 158S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement. 

Jason Keith is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Colgate University. His research is based on the application of Density Functional Theory to various projects involving electronic structure, spectroscopy and mechanism. His primary research efforts focus on transition metal systems. While his research frequently focuses on fundamental concepts such as bonding, applied projects in his group are more commonplace and are often related to clean energy and the environment.

Professor Adams 

Natural Disasters: Science, Media, and Movies 

Natural disasters are part of the normal processes that shape the Earth, but can have dramatic and tragic impacts on human populations around the globe. Many of us, however, only witness these events through news media coverage or movies. This course will (a) introduce the science behind many natural disasters – including earthquakes, asteroid impacts, storms, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis – while (b) also considering how media stories and films present, frame, or incorporate disaster science – and how this representation can impact our perception of natural disasters. Students gain a practical understanding of natural disasters, and learn to critically analyze the representation of science in popular media. NOTE: Attendance is required at movie screenings, in addition to the scheduled class meetings. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 176S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement. 

Professor Aubreya Adams is a geologist/geophysicist specializing in earthquakes, volcanos, and the drivers behind plate tectonics. She’s also a big fan of really bad disaster movies.

Professor Seo

Statistics are everywhere. We find statistics in estimating the audience size of a popular show, interpreting political polls, forecasting the weather, projecting the stock market, etc. This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of statistical ideas and methods that primarily focus on how to collect, organize, analyze, and interpret applications in real life. Topics include experimental design, descriptive statistics to explore data, probability theory, Normal and sampling distributions, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, and correlation and regression. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 143S and satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement. 

Gunog Seo is an assistant professor of mathematics. Her research interests are mathematical biology, spatial ecology, population dynamics, mathematical modelling of infectious diseases, biological invasions, dynamical systems, bifurcation theory, differential equations.

Professor Barreto 

Modernity is a crucial element of the intellectual legacy to which we are heirs. A matrix of intellectual, social, and material forces that have transformed the world over the last quarter millennium, modernity has introduced new problems and possibilities into human life. Within modernity, issues of meaning, identity, and morality have been critiqued in distinctive ways. People of different social classes, racial groups, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual identities have contributed to an increasingly rich public discourse. The human psyche has been problematized, and the dynamic character of the world, both natural and social, has been explored. Urbanization and technological development have transformed the patterns of everyday life. Imperialism has had a complex and lasting impact on the entire globe. The human capability to ameliorate social and physical ills has increased exponentially, and yet so has the human capacity for mass destruction and exploitation. In this course, taught by an interdisciplinary staff, students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. To ensure a substantially common experience for students, the staff each year chooses texts to be taught in all sections of the course. This component of the Core Curriculum encourages students to think broadly and critically about the world that they inhabit, asking them to see their contemporary concerns in the perspective of the long-standing discourses of modernity. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement. 

Professor Danny Barreto is an Assistant Professor of LGBTQ Studies program and regularly teaches courses on masculinity, gender and sexuality in Latin America and Spain. His research is on issues of sexuality, language, nationalism and migration in Galicia, a territory in northwest Spain.

Global Engagements

Courses in this component provide the opportunity to analyze the conditions and consequences of human diversity in its local and transnational forms. To satisfy this requirement, each student will successfully complete a designated course that inquires into the ways that people seek to make sense of a diverse and increasingly interconnected world. Global Engagements (GE) courses come from departments and programs throughout the university, and they take a variety of forms. For instance, a course in this component might ask students to do one of the following:

  • examine the consequences of globalization in one or more of its many forms,
  • investigate issues or processes that have an impact that can be fully understood only by using a global perspective,
  • experience the cross-cultural understanding that comes from intensive language learning or study group participation,
  • cross boundaries by examining how diversity finds expression in human culture, or
  • consider human diversity in dimensions such as race, class, and gender.

Ultimately, the GE requirement seeks to empower students to live responsibly in contexts that require an understanding of the complexity of human beings and their impact, whether in the United States or in the broader world.

A Global Engagements course may count toward a student’s major or minor; it may also fulfill an Area of Inquiry requirement. The requirement must be completed prior to graduation.

Global Engagements courses will be identified in the registration materials available each semester. Use the Core Area dropdown box on the course offerings page or click "View All" below. 

Courses - Global Engagements

 

Introduces students to a range of approaches and problems in the descriptive analysis of peace and conflict. Juxtaposes core theoretical texts on war and violence from the social and human sciences with detailed ethnographic case studies. Practices of contemporary conflict are paired with the interpretive paradigms whose aim is to understand and resolve them. For example, case studies in terror are paired with the field of trauma studies; specific regional conflicts with theories of global networks; and contemporary mass violence with analysis of genocide perpetration. Introduces students to important methodological paradigms from the social sciences, chiefly from anthropology, sociology, and geography, as well as humanities-based approaches from comparative religion, literature, and language studies.

This introduction to modern standard Chinese emphasizes understanding and speaking, with practice in reading and writing approximately 300 characters in either traditional or simplified forms. It covers basic structural patterns and vocabulary needed for ordinary conversation as well as future development.

Offers continued training in Modern Standard Chinese, with emphasis on reading and writing skills. Grammar review is combined with introduction to variations in speech and writing. Recitation and conversation sessions, role-play, and skits reinforce listening and speaking ability. By the end of the year, students may expect to communicate in both speech and writing on everyday topics.

 

Explores the dramatic challenge of producing a Greek tragedy. Students focus on a Greek play of global impact, one that is performed all over the world today in a variety of different cultural and social contexts. Students begin with an introductory segment that explores what is distinctive about Greek tragedy and has made it a central part of an increasingly complex theatrical canon. The course concludes with students working in groups to experiment with and stage their own interpretations of scenes from the play.

The Booker Prize is awarded annually to a new novel published in the UK by an author from the UK or a former territory of the British Empire. Recently the prize has also been opened to American authors, a source of great controversy. Students follow the year's Booker Prize proceedings, and the class schedule will be built live alongside developments in the prize season over the course of the fall semester. In addition to analyzing these texts as works of literature, students will dissect the evolving aesthetics and politics of the prize. Why is the Booker a cultural phenomenon in England and what does it mean to consider the former "Empire" through these texts? What roles do the judges, the sponsors, and the British and international reading public have? Students read one novel from the Booker longlist, all six novels on the shortlist, as well as supplementary critical essays relevant to the texts at hand.

Examines lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer film cultures from transnational and global perspectives. Courses on LGBTQ cinema most often focus on North America and Western Europe, well-known for their prolific output of gay, lesbian, and transgender film and media. Less frequently included are the wide range of films produced (since the 1980s and 1990s) from India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Egypt, Tunisia, Guinea, Uganda, Israel, and Russia. Analyzing these films alongside contemporary theoretical discussions of gender and sexuality, students explore how LGBTQ concerns from non-Western countries continue to test the possibilities of film and media aesthetics and politics, and bring the cinematic form in dialogue with the complexities and geopolitics of gender and sexuality.

Designed to increase the student’s ability to understand, speak, read, and write French, this course emphasizes development of reading comprehension. A review of the more difficult points of intermediate grammar is included. A major focus is the acquisition of skills necessary for the study of literature. This course includes vocabulary study, conversational practice, and short compositions based on readings. 

Language Placement Guidelines

Offers an overview of various bodies of literature written in French outside of France, focusing on five main geographical areas that historically constituted the French empire: the Caribbean, North Africa, West and Central Africa, Asia, and North America. Full texts as well as excerpts from a variety of genres are studied in the context of the history and geography of those regions. Through the exploration of key literary texts, particular attention is given to the effects of colonialism on language, identity, and artistic creation.

Language Placement Guidelines

Completes the presentation of basic structures of German and helps students develop greater facility and sophistication in using these structures - in comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Continue the exploration of German cultures begun on the 100 level with a focus on Germany in Europe.

The second semester of an introductory study of the elements of the Greek language. A thorough and methodical approach to the basics is supplemented, as students progress, by selected readings of works by ancient authors.

Surveys the history of South Asian from the expansion of the Mughal Empire in the early modern period and the rise of the British colonial power in the 18th and 19th centuries to the emergences of modern nation states. The course also looks at the different political, economic, and cultural trajectories that these nation states, particularly India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, have taken since independence. With the aim of developing a historical perspective to the complex and often paradoxical social, religious, and political identities that the region of South Asia exhibits today, this course introduces students to a diverse set of primary sources ranging from Mughal court chronicles, European travel accounts and autobiographies to public speeches and official correspondences. Although this course complements the survey of the ancient and medieval history of South Asia taught in HIST 268, no prior background in South Asian history is required. (AS)

The first semester of intermediate-level study of Japanese, this course completes the presentation of basic structures of the language. There is continued emphasis on oral communication, with practice in reading simple texts and acquisition of an additional 500 Chinese characters by the end of the term.

Covers representative works of fiction by Italian, French, English, Russian, Hungarian, American, Canadian, and Israeli Jewish writers. Not all nationalities are covered in the syllabus for any given year. Discussion centers on a close analysis of the novels, comparing individual and national responses to the Jewish 20th-century experience. By including fiction written across Europe, North America, and Israel, while limiting the time frame to the years following World War II, the question of whether there exists one or more approaches to fiction that are characteristically Jewish is addressed. All readings are in English translation.

Religions of Resistance: Gender, Sexuality and Performance in the Caribbean 

Studies African-derived religions and practices in the Caribbean, particularly the ways in which they constitute anticolonial and decolonial perspectives and practices. By exploring texts drawn from cultural studies, religious studies, literature, theatre and anthropology, students will develop an analytical framework through which to examine concepts such as syncretism and hybridity, ritual and bodily performance, and the construction of gender and sexuality. Key concerns in this course are the empowerment of women and people of diverse gender and sexual identities in religious contexts, black identity in the Caribbean and beyond, and the creation of new spaces for marginalized voices to be heard.

Introduces students to a range of approaches and problems in the descriptive analysis of peace and conflict. Students juxtapose core theoretical texts on war and violence from the social and human sciences with detailed ethnographic case studies. Practices of contemporary conflict are paired with the interpretive paradigms whose aim is to understand and resolve them. For example, case studies in terror are paired with the field of trauma studies; specific regional conflicts with theories of global networks; and contemporary mass violence with analysis of genocide perpetration. In the process, introduces students to important methodological paradigms from the social sciences, chiefly from anthropology, sociology, and geography, as well as humanities-based approaches from comparative religion, literature, and language studies.

The revolution in biotechnology has given humanity powers unimaginable a few decades ago. Bioethics within the Western cultural tradition examines moral and ethical dilemmas arising from the interface of human experience and advances in biology, medicine, and technology (human embryonic stem cell applications, cloning, genetic engineering, euthanasia, etc.). Global bioethical inquiry places moral and ethical bioethics deliberations on the international stage, with a focused exploration of diverse and competing transnational theoretical debates. The course undertakes a critical study of comparative religious ethics and global bioethics issues within Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity.

Continues to improve the student’s ability to understand, speak, read, and write Spanish and emphasizes development of reading comprehension. It includes a review of the more difficult points of intermediate grammar and focuses on the acquisition of skills necessary for the study of literature. Vocabulary study, conversational practice, and short compositions based on readings are included. Instructors will determine eligibility of students with more than 3 or 4 years of secondary school Spanish following review of language background. 

Language Placement Guidelines

The course explores the diversity of literary voices in Latin America, from pre-Columbian texts to the contemporary writings of Castellanos, Rulfo, and García Márquez. This survey introduces students to the most important developments in Latin American literary history as it examines questions of cultural, ethnic, gender, and class identities.

Language Placement Guidelines

Explores the dramatic challenge of producing a Greek tragedy. Students focus on a Greek play of global impact, one that is performed all over the world today in a variety of different cultural and social contexts. Students begin with an introductory segment that explores what is distinctive about Greek tragedy and has made it a central part of an increasingly complex theatrical canon. The course concludes with students working in groups to experiment with and stage their own interpretations of scenes from the play.

Explores gender from a variety of angles, and in tandem with race, ethnicity, class, religion, sexuality, and other markers of identity. Students develop vocabulary and tools to speak and think critically about oppression, patriarchy, social change, and common assumptions about the world and people around us. A primary goal is to explore both the forces that feed into inequality and discrimination, and ways to resist, challenge, and overcome those forces. Students explores issues ranging from bodies, work, families, identity, politics, medicine, history, and the media, as well as the ways in which feminist movements around the world have addressed these topics.