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Conservatory of Music

Double-Degree Program
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Arts and Sciences
 First-Year Seminar Program

The First-Year Seminar Program is designed to help students make the most of an Oberlin education. The shared objectives of first-year seminars are to provide students with:

1. skills necessary for critical thinking, writing, discussion and research;

2. an introduction to the personal value and social relevance of a liberal arts education and what it means to be a part of a liberal arts community of learning; and

3. an opportunity for entering students to test their ideas, learn from others, earn Writing Proficiency or Quantitative Proficiency, and get to know a faculty member well in a class with limited enrollment (14-16).

First-year seminars are offered by departments and programs within the College for both Fall and Spring semesters. The Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences strongly urges all College first-year students to enroll in a first-year seminar.

For up-to-date information on the Program, as well as expanded descriptions of seminars for 2003-04, please consult the First-Year Seminar Program Course Catalog or visit the First-Year Seminar Program's website for students.

First-Year Seminars for 2003-04:

112. Globalization Politics 3 hours

3SS, WRi

First Semester. This course will explore the issue of globalization through an examination of classical and contemporary debates about the nature of the international political economy. We will examine such topics as the historical development of the world market; competing theoretical explanations of its rise including liberal, state-centered and Marxist approaches; the impact of global forces on the nation-state; alternatives and sources of resistance to the globalization process such as nationalism and transnational social movements. Enrollment
Limit: 14.

Mr. Crowley

113. Us/Them: Russian and American Mutual (Mis)Perceptions 3 hours


First Semester. An exploration of Russian and American interactions from tsarist times to the present day. We will examine fiction and film to see how both cultures have viewed and continued to view the other. Included will be 19th century memoirs, along with works by Maxim Gorky, the satirists Ilf and Petrov, émigrés (including Vladimir Nabokov, Ayn Rand and third wave writers), as well as films by Lev Kuleshov, Georgij Aleksandrov, Ernst Lubitsch and others. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Forman

114. Origins and Treatment of Cancer 3 hours

3NS, WRi

First Semester. This seminar examines the biological chemistry underlying cancer research and treatment, and discussion of cancer-related scientific, social, political and ethical issues. Chemical principles will be developed as needed. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Fuchsman

116. Field-Based Writing: Ecology of the Vermilion River Watershed 4 hours

2NS, 2HU, WRi

First Semester. This course will examine the natural processes of autumn using the methodologies of ecology, the study of interactions between organisms and their environment. We'll focus on the changes in one site on the Vermilion River watershed through field trips and research into its history and plant and animal life. Writing, sketching, and photography will be our means of recording our observations. Weekly writing assignments will be discussed in class and with instructors in individual appointments. CR/NE only. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Cooper and Ms. Garvin

118. Through the Looking Glass: The Intersection of Race, Ethnicity,
and Gender with Social Class in Contemporary America 3 hours
3SS, CD, WRi

First semester. In order to better understand the relationship among social statuses (race, ethnicity, gender), social class and everyday life experiences, this course will focus on social demography and theories of identity formation and group interaction. We will employ current empirical data to investigate the demographic and social portraits of the United States in the new millennium. Emphasis will be placed on how demographic and social factors are entwined and how they interact to affect individual lives and identities. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. White

120. The Collision of Cultures in North America, 1492-1700 3 hours

3SS, CD, WRi

First Semester. An exploration of the complex interactions among Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans in North America during the first two centuries of European colonization. Emphasis on cultural bases of understanding and misunderstanding; the social impact of geography and disease; dynamics of intercultural conflict and cooperation; methods of historical analysis and problems of historical interpretation. Readings include a wide array of primary sources and recent scholarly studies from differing viewpoints. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Kornblith

127. The Last Romantics 3 hours

3HU, WRi

First Semester. A study of the poetry and several of the plays of William Butler Yeats in the context of his late Victorian and Modernist contemporaries. The influence of writers such as Oscar Wilde, T.S. Eliot and Pound on Yeats' poetic practice and theory will be assessed. Among his Irish contemporaries we will look at John Synge and Lady Gregory. In Yeats' work we will focus on the poetry collections Responsibilities, The Wild Swans at Coole, The Tower, The Winding Stair and other Poems, and Last Poems and plays such as Cathleen ni Houlihan, The Words Upon the Window-Pane, The Death of Cuchulain and Purgatory. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Olmsted

129. Coming of Age in African Literature 3 hours

1.5SS, 1.5HU, CD, WRi

First Semester. This course focuses on African writing, examining a non-western body of work from a non-western perspective. One important theme is the challenges facing youth in colonial and postcolonial Africa: the struggle to balance tradition and change; the quest for education; the development of political awareness. Several books offer an African approach to what in the west is called a "Bildungsroman," or novel of youth's coming of age. Texts include Laye's L'Enfant Noir, Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions, and Achebe's No Longer at Ease. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Podis, Mr. Saaka

132. The Body in Environmental History 3 hours

3SS, WRi

First Semester. Human Bodies are as much a part of our natural world as trees or rivers, and have an environmental history just as rich. In this first-year seminar, we will explore how changes in technology, environment and culture have changed the human body, bodily experiences, and ideas about human bodies. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Stroud

134. Crossing Borders: The Mysteries of Identity 3 hours
3HU, WRi

Second Semester. In Western cultures, identity often tends to be defined in binary terms: an individual is either black or white, male or female, straight or gay, and so on. This seminar will seek to explore the nature of identity by focusing on fiction, essays, and films in which categories of identity--specifically those of race, gender, and sexuality--are represented as fluid and ambiguous rather than as fixed and polarized. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Walker

136. Ways of Seeing, Ways of Knowing 3 hours

3HU, WRi

Second Semester. Is seeing believing? Can you always believe your eyes? Why do hoaxes and frauds work? We'll take up take up questions like these by exploring the literal and metaphoric perspectives we bring to narratives and other creative work and how such work projects or plays with perspective and "truth." Our inquiry will be pursued through writing and the give-and-take of discussion, as we examine prose narratives by O'Connor, Morrison, Kay, Fitzgerald and others, essays on identity and hoax, the graphic narrative Maus, The Wizard of Oz in its print and film forms, Orson Wells' F for Fake, and selected art. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Zagarell

137. The Brain Is Wider than the Sky: Neurobiology of the Mind 3 hours

3NS, WRi

First Semester. This seminar explores the human mind from the perspective of neurobiology. What are the evolutionary origins of the mind? How are our minds, our brains, and our behavior related? To what degree is the mind a product of genes or of culture? Topics such as sensory processing, language, memory, thinking, emotion, and consciousness will be explored in lecture, discussion, writing, coloring, library research, student oral presentations, and individual and group experiments. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Braford

139. Political Leadership 4 hours

4SS, WRi

Second Semester. In the American democracy, political leadership requires a willingness to seek tentative answers to questions that may have no final, unambiguous answer. These include: Does political leadership require certain personal qualities? Can you lead without political power? Without increasing governmental authority or decreasing personal liberty? This seminar deals with these and related questions through reading and discussing various case studies and other analytical perspectives and through writing and rewriting over the semester a "cumulative essay." Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Dawson

140. Religion, Ethnicity, and Politics in South Asian History 3 hours

3SS, CD, WRi

First Semester. This seminar analyses the historical developments leading up to independence in South Asia, when religious and ethnic identities became prime politically mobilizing factors in many competing anti-colonial movements. The violent 1947 partition of South Asia led to the creation of the Islamic republics of Pakistan and Bangladesh; while officially secular, India has also moved recently toward religiously defined nationalism. Cross-cutting these religiously defined communities, however, are powerful ethnic identities, including regional nationalisms and "caste-based" parties. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Fisher

141. The Writings of Women in Japanese Culture 3 hours

3HU, CD, WRi

First Semester. Women have long played a central role in the writing of literature in Japan. Classical narratives by women like The Tale Of Genji were the "bestsellers" of their day. As women's status in Japan declined in later centuries, their literary voices became somewhat muted. In modern times women have again figured prominently in the creation of literature. Through literary and historical readings, women's writings will be analyzed in a cultural context. Class format is discussion. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Gay

145. Diversity and Cultural Interactions in Medieval Spain 3 hours

3SS, CD, WRi

Second Semester. This course will explore the rich and complex social and cultural world of pre-modern Spain. The Iberian Peninsula included mixed populations of Muslims, Christians, and Jews as well as a history of Roman settlement and a Visigothic kingdom. We will examine the multiple ways in which these populations and historical strands interacted, lived together, fought one another, and borrowed from each other. Emphasis will be placed on intellectual and cultural interactions and on the interpretation of primary source documents. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Miller

148. Free Riding, Trust, and Reciprocity: Experimental Economics and
Human Behavior 3 hours
3SS, WRi
Second Semester. Experimental economics, sometimes known as "behavioral economics" tests hypotheses of economic interest using controlled laboratory experiments with human subjects. The seminar begins with a series of classroom experiments designed to illustrate important aspects of human behavior: buying/selling objects of value; trading in illegal substances; pollution of the environment, and reactions to minimum wages. The second will be "real-world" experiments run by the class. This year the topics will be Free Riding and Blind Trust. Note: CR/NE only. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Piron

149. War and Power 3 hours

3SS, WRi

First Semester. By looking at two international conflicts (the Gulf War between Iraq and the coalition that ousted it from Kuwait in 1990-91, and the war against the terrorist organization Al Qaida conducted primarily by the U.S.) students will analyze material on cooperation among states, balancing versus bandwagoning in regional alliances, and international relations theories concerned with power, norms, and identity. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Sandberg

155. Information, Knowledge, and the Internet 3 hours

3NS, WRi

First Semester. This course will look at ways in which technology is making, or is reputed to be making, fundamental changes in the ways we think and learn. Along the way we will look at techniques for evaluating information, and for presenting it clearly and effectively, both on paper and electronically. Students in this course will develop web pages, write papers and undertake research projects using both print and electronic references. No prior computer experience is necessary for this course. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Geitz

156. Biological Advances and Ethical Questions 3 hours

1.5HU, 1.5NS, WRi

First Semester. This seminar seeks to develop an appreciation for and understanding of recent discoveries and developments in biology and their attendant ethical issues for religious and secular traditions of thought. It will consist of class discussions, presentations and writing projects focused on understanding the technology behind and ethical implications of, for example, cloning, genomic sequencing, stem cell research, gene therapy, genetically manipulated crops, globalization, land use, etc. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Cruz, Ms. McClure

157. The Sense of Time and Place 3 hours

3HU, WRi

First Semester. We often treat time and place as background, focusing on characters and actions rather than their context. In this course we will read and view works that put time and place in the foreground to explore the relationship between our sense of self to time and place. We will also explore how artists characterize the relation between time and place. A second concern in this course is the nature of reading and viewing. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Day

158. Taoism 3 hours

3HU, CD, WRi

First Semester. An exploration of Taoist themes and motifs based on its philosophical classics and religious traditions. The philosophical texts include the Tao-te ching (Lao Tzu), the Chuang Tzu, and the Lieh Tzu. In addition, Taoism's extensive mythology, complex pantheon, ideal of personal transformation, array of physical and religious practices, and distinctive life-style will be explored in their cultural and historical context. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Dobbins

159. Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Central Asia:
Great Games and Silk Roads 3 hours
3SS, CD, WRi

Second Semester. What explains the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the contemporary politics of Central Asia and Afghanistan? This seminar studies the so-called "Great Game" --the imperial competition between Russia and Britain in the 19th century across the fabled "silk roads" of Asia, and the transformation of this competition in the 20th century into the Cold War rivalry of the Soviet Union and the United States. The focus will be on the social, economic, political and cultural factors that shaped the region, rather than the foreign policy dimensions of this history. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Hogan

160. Everyday Art: On the Uses of Beautiful Things 3 hours

3HU, WRi

Second Semester. This seminar investigates some ordinary questions about art that seem banal until one stops to think about them. We ask, for example, What is art for? Why are some things "works of art," but not others? In particular, we confront the fascinating social issues connoted by words like "artist" and "artisan," "work of art" and "artifact." Approximately half of the class meetings occur in the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Hood

161. Monument and Memory in Western Art 3 hours

3HU, WRi

First Semester. We will study how monuments create and preserve memory through their iconography, historical context, materials, and location. We will approach this broad topic in three ways: case studies of important historical monuments; examining Washington, D.C., the most important monumental complex in the United States; and looking at Oberlin's monuments. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Inglis

162. Cold War in Asia 3 hours

3SS, CD, WRi

First Semester. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought the Cold War to an abrupt end. This course investigates the cultural, social and political history of the Cold War in Asia. While we will be examining the ideological and security dimensions of U.S.-Soviet relations in detail, the emphasis will also be to explore the political, economic and ideological impact of the Cold War on Asian societies, with a particular focus on China, Japan and the two Koreas. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Jager

163. She Works Hard for the Money: Women, Work and
the Persistence of Inequality 3 hours
3SS, QPh, WR

First Semester. In the U.S., women earn less, on average, than men and are more likely to be part-time employees. Gender-based discrepancies impact the social positions of women and men in society. Further, racial/ethnic discrepancies within and between gender categories of labor persist as well. Students will learn about the U.S. labor market, the effects of globalization, theories that explain stratification and the causes and consequences of labor market inequalities. Topics will include occupational segregation, comparable worth, gender-based job queuing, and the association between paid and unpaid labor. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. John

164. To Hell and Back: Religious Views of the Underworld 3 hours

3HU, CD, WRi

First Semester. Called the land of the dead, Sheol, Hades, the abode of sorrows, or simply hell--the underworld is a repeated theme in Western and Eastern religions. This course studies views of hell in Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious texts and art, in ancient Sumerian myth, and classical Roman epic poetry. Texts include: The Epic of Gilgamesh, Virgil's The Aeneid, Dante's Inferno, Al-Ghazali's The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife, and The Three Worlds According to King Ruang. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Kamitsuka

165. Feeding the World 3 hours

3NS, QPh, WR

First Semester. This course examines issues of population and food production. World population structure, the history of agriculture, global impacts of the green revolution, and genetically modified foods will be discussed. The intent of the class is to raise profound issues that we will study while practicing skills associated with research including interpreting and manipulating data. The results of these projects will be presented to the class through papers and organized discussions. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Laskowski

166. America's Concentration Camps 3 hours

3SS, CD, WRi

First Semester. During World War II, while the United States was fighting against fascism, it operated concentration camps of its own. Nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans experienced this contradiction of living in American concentration camps. This course examines the history of the incarceration by reading historians' accounts and examining primary documents from the period. In addition, students will actively explore this history firsthand by conducting oral history interviews with Japanese American former prisoners. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Maeda

167. Who Was a Jew: Boundaries of Identity 3 hours

3SS, CD, WRi

First Semester. "Jew" is a far more ambiguous term than many assume. This course explores cases from antiquity to contemporary times where the boundaries of identity were unclear or contested. These include: early followers of Jesus who also considered themselves Jews; crypto-Jews ("marranos") of the Iberian Peninsula and New World who, while outwardly Catholic, preserved Jewish practices in secret for generations; Jews of China, India, Africa; radical Jews of late Tsarist Russia who adamantly asserted a secular form of Jewish behavior and belief. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Magnus

168. Other People, Other Worlds 3 hours

3HU, CD, WRi

Second Semester. This writing-intensive course invites students to explore the very different worldviews and systems of meaning created by other people, in other places and times, as represented by work in religious studies, autobiographies, novels, and films. Specific "worlds" considered will come from Indian, Native American, and Tibetan cultures. Students will think in an informed and critical way about cultural, religious, and historical difference and also explore what happens when "worlds" conflict. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. McMillin

169. Coasts in Crisis 3 hours

3NS, WRi

First Semester. Rising sea level and severe storms continue to cause coastal erosion yet coastal areas are more populated than ever. In light of this, what is the future of the American beach and beaches worldwide? In this seminar we will investigate the evolution and function of coastal environments over geologic time. We will also consider the recent effects of development and engineering solutions on coastal environments. We will then examine the factors that have led to existing coastal management strategies and the tensions between coastal development and the desire to preserve natural coastal environments. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Moore

170. Fabulous Histories/Factual Fictions: How Literature and History Inform Each Other 3 hours

3HU, WRi
First Semester. This seminar invites students to view literature and history not as mutually opposed, but as mutually informing disciplines. To this end, it will examine novels (like Salman Rushdie's Shame and Toni Morrison's Beloved) and historical analyses (like those by Hayden White and David Cohen) that deliberately cross boundaries presumed to define literature and history. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Needham

171. Media and Meaning 4 hours

4HU, WRi

First Semester. Television shows, movies, newspapers, magazines, CDs, DVDs, websites-these all profoundly influence the ways we understand and experience the world. In this course we will explore how such media produce meaning. To do this, we will examine a variety of different media "texts" and learn to read them more self-consciously, expanding our sense of what they mean to include how and why they mean what they do. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Pingree

172. The Religious Thought of Mohandas Gandhi 3 hours

3HU, CD, WRi

Second Semester. Mohandas Gandhi was among the most radical religious and social thinkers in the twentieth century. His non-violent resistance to colonial rule, as well as his commitment to asceticism, truth, and self-reliant egalitarian communities, won him many admirers and many critics. The course begins with a close look at his own writings from his autobiography and his newspaper articles. The second part of the course assesses his intellectual frameworks and strategies for non-violent non-cooperation from religious, historical, psychological, and political perspectives. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Richman

173. Europe in Revolution: 1848 3 hours

3SS, WRi

First Semester. In 1848, Europeans rose by the thousands from Ireland to Austria and Hungary to challenge regimes based on monarchy and aristocracy. The issues of 1848--nationalism, liberalism, and socialism, as inflected by issues of gender and ethnicity--have competed for the heart and soul of Europe ever since. The first half of the course emphasizes reading, discussing, and writing about primary documents, the second presenting and writing up group research projects. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Smith

174. Technologies of Writing: From Plato to the Digital Age 3 hours

3HU, WRi

First Semester. This course will consider how writing practices, old and new, affect the ways we write, read, think, and will look at how writing is influenced by historical events, cultural values, and technological advances. We will examine transformations in reading and writing, from oral culture to hypertext, and analyze the impact of these changes on our practices. Students will think critically about the changing nature of writing and write in many forms, including academic papers, experimental essays and websites. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Trubek

175. How Images Matter: Latin America through U.S. Eyes 3 hours

3SS, CD, WRi

First Semester. How is it that U.S. public opinion, identified with democracy at home, seemingly ignores the consequences of U.S. actions in Latin America? This course will pursue this inquiry by exploring a century of film, advertising, cartoons and television images of Latin America produced and consumed in the United States. Our purpose is to analyze the way that representations help determine what we see as the "truth" about Latin America, providing policymakers and the public alike with validations for interventionist policy. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Volk

176. Utopian Thought 3 hours

3SS, WRi

First Semester. This first-year seminar will read and discuss several works of utopian and dystopian (= 'negative utopian') literature. Emphasis is on utopian thought more than actual utopian communities. The reading list will include some of the following: Plato, More, Fourier, Morris, Gilman, Bellamy, Skinner, Huxley, LeGuin, and Callenbach. Critical thinking will be encouraged through discussion of assigned texts, with frequent writing assignments. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Wilson

178. Religion and the Environment 3 hours

3HU, WRi

First Semester. This seminar examines how religions (primarily Christianity and Judaism) have shaped Western attitudes and conduct towards the natural world--for better and for worse. Voices outside of and within these religious traditions have charged them with complicity in the devastating environmental effects of modern civilization. We will evaluate these charges and investigate how contemporary religious thinkers and institutions (from ecofeminists to the papacy) are developing more ecologically friendly views of the created order. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Kamitsuka

179. From Logic to Persuasion to Propaganda 3 hours

3NS, QPh, WR

First Semester. Argumentation and persuasion, more formally, the fields of logic and rhetoric will be used as a lens to examine contemporary culture. Students will learn how to construct arguments using tools from deductive and inductive logic, including the propositional calculus, the predicate calculus and elementary statistics. These tools plus others from classical rhetoric and the 'new rhetoric,' will be used to analyze and synthesize arguments in areas of current political and social controversy. A final theme is the development of persuasion into a science and an industry, in the form of advertising and propaganda. Enrollment Limit: 14. Mr. Henle

180. The Idea of 'the Folk' in American Culture 3 hours

3SS, CD, WRi

First Semester. This course will examine how, throughout the American twentieth century, the idea of "the folk" has been appropriated and manipulated for diverse ideological agendas, and particularly for the articulation of competing definitions of American identity. Special focus will be on the collectors (Ben Botkin, the Lomaxes) and performers (Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly) of the Popular Front era of the 'thirties, on the creation of a folk music canon through the Civil Rights era of the 'sixties, and on the disintegration of monolithic notions of a "folk" in the era of multiculturalism. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Goldsmith

181. Science From a Bird's Eye View: Ecology, Evolution, and the Study of Birds 3 hours

3NS, WRi
First Semester. Ornithology has contributed tremendously to our understanding of ecology and evolution. In this course, lectures, discussions, and writing exercises will consider avian diversity, adaptations for flight, the origin of birds in relation to dinosaurs, natural selection in Galapagos finches, the evolution of mating systems, social strategies, and cognitive abilities, and conservation issues. Along the way, we will use primary, secondary, and popular ornithological literature and video to illustrate how scientific information is compiled, evaluated, and disseminated. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Tarvin

182. Traditions of Health and Disease in Folk and Conventional Medicine 3 hours

3NS, WRi

Second Semester. This seminar explores scientific and cultural dimensions of diseases, as well as approaches to their treatment taken by a number of societies, ancient and modern. Topics will include: definitions of health and disease; merits of folk remedies, ranging from botanicals and mineral baths to maggots and leeches; challenges of modern drug discovery; and self-medication efforts of animals. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Allen

183. From Page to Stage 3 hours

3HU, WRi

First Semester. This course employs theories and methods for studying drama through examining relationships between verbal scripts and staged productions. By attending five to seven plays performed locally and in Cleveland, and by viewing video productions of related works, students will study nine to ten significant plays representing a variety of periods and styles, with attention to intersections of history, gender, race, and sexuality. Assignments will stress performing scenes, writing critical essays, and critiquing productions. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Gorfain

184. Shakespeare and History 3 hours

3HU, WRi

First Semester. Several of Shakespeare's plays present material from English and classical history, extending between truth and poetry, reality and the fictive world of the stage. We will explore several of these plays in relation to historical reality inferred from other historiographical forms, and we will consider the plays themselves as embedded in history, participating in the politics of their own times. We will also explore the problems of representation, interpretation, and imaginative reconstruction in our own writing. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Pierce

185. Representing the American Scene: The Ante-bellum Period 3 hours

3HU, CD, WRi

Second Semester. During the ante-bellum period diverse American writers vied for methods of representing the American scene. In this course students will read a range of sketches, stories, narratives, and essays by humorists (Thorpe, Harris, and Hooper), abolitionists (Stowe, Brown, Jacobs, Douglass, Harper and Whitfield), transcendentalists (Thoreau and Emerson), and "classical" writers (Whitman and Melville). We will examine both overlaps and divergences in the figures, practices, and values considered by the authors in order to explore how literature can enrich and complicate our sense of perceptions of the nation's cultural past and present. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Ms. Johns

186. What is Justice? Reflections through Western Literature, Philosophy and Religion 3 hours

3HU, WRi

First Semester. This course investigates interpretations of justice as developed in Western culture from its origins in the philosophy and drama of ancient Greece, through its theological interpretation in the medieval period, to its manifestation in modern political and cultural forms. A dominant theme will be the relationship between political justice and the special claims of religious traditions. We will look at the ways various literary genres have addressed these questions from antiquity to the current day. Readings will include Plato, Sophocles, Augustine, Dante, Iris Murdoch and John Rawls, among others. Enrollment Limit: 14.
Mr. Gangle

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