Online courses directory (457)
Sometime after 1492, the concept of the New World or America came into being, and this concept appeared differently - as an experience or an idea - for different people and in different places. This semester, we will read three groups of texts: first, participant accounts of contact between native Americans and French or English speaking Europeans, both in North America and in the Caribbean and Brazil; second, transformations of these documents into literary works by contemporaries; third, modern texts which take these earlier materials as a point of departure for rethinking the experience and aftermath of contact. The reading will allow us to compare perspectives across time and space, across the cultural geographies of religion, nation and ethnicity, and finally across a range of genres - reports, captivity narratives, essays, novels, poetry, drama, and film. Some of the earlier authors we will read are Michel Montaigne, William Shakespeare, Jean de Léry, Daniel Defoe and Mary Rowlandson; more recent authors include Derek Walcott, and J. M. Coetzee.
Globalization is a fascinating spectacle that can be understood as global systems of competition and connectivity. These man-made systems provide transport, communication, governance, and entertainment on a global scale. International crime networks are outgrowths of the same systems. Topics include national identity, language diversity, the global labor market, popular culture, sports and climate change.
However, an increase in integration has not brought increased equality. Globalization creates winners and losers among countries and global corporations, making competition the beating heart of the globalization process.
The globalization process exemplifies connectivity. Globalization is unimaginable without the unprecedented electronic networks that project dominant cultural products into every society on earth.
Learn how to identify and analyze global systems and better understand how the world works.
Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.
This course will discuss HIV/AIDS in the US and around the world including its history, science, and culture as well as developments in behavioral and biomedical prevention, experimental AIDS vaccines, and clinical care issues. The course will also include a discussion of the populations that are particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and a look at future challenges facing people infected and affected by the AIDS pandemic.
This course focuses on the Great Depression and World War II and how they led to a major reordering of American politics and society. We will examine how ordinary people experienced these crises and how those experiences changed their outlook on politics and the world around them.
The Great Depression and World War II permanently changed American politics and society. Topics include: the Great Crash, the New Deal, Roosevelt, the home front, the Normandy Invasion, and the atomic bomb. Explores those events through film, novels, newspapers, and other historical documents.
What is a "life" when it's written down? How does memory inform the present? Why are autobiographies and memoirs so popular? This course will address these questions among others, considering the relationship between biography, autobiography, and memoir and between personal and social themes. We will examine classic authors such as Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Mark Twain; then more recent examples like Tobias Wolff, Art Spiegelman, Sherman Alexie, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Edwidge Danticat, and Alison Bechdel.
Perhaps no story is as essential to get right as the history of capitalism. Nearly all of our theories about promoting progress come from how we interpret the economic changes of the last 500 years. This past decade’s crises continue to remind us just how much capitalism changes, even as its basic features—wage labor, financial markets, private property, entrepreneurs—endure. While capitalism has a global history, the United States plays a special role in that story. This course will help you to understand how the United States became the world’s leading economic power, revealing essential lessons about what has been and what will be possible in capitalism’s on-going revolution.
Do I need to have taken economics before?
No. Though there will be discussion of economic ideas, professors will assume no prior economic training.
I am not familiar with American history, but I am interested in how capitalism works. Can I take this course?
Yes. We will have relevant links to helpful background material for each section that should make it possible for those with no knowledge of U.S. history to take the class.
Is this class about economic thought like Smith, Marx, Ricardo, Hayek, etc.?
This class is primarily about what actually happened rather than theories of what happened. While we will touch on important economic thinkers, this class will focus more on the people and institutions that developed capitalism in the United States. If you want to know how capitalism works and came about, this is the class for you.
Will certificates be awarded?
Yes. If you complete the work and achieve a passing grade in the course, you can earn a Honor Code Certificate, which indicates that you have completed the course successfully. Certificates will be issued by edX under the name of CornellX, designating the institution from which the course originated.
What will help me complete this course?
We have found that the best help you can get is other people in the real world. Enlist friends, co-workers, family, and other people to take the class with you. Ask your friends on Facebook or Twitter. Arrange a time during a lunch break or an evening to discuss the week’s videos and readings. Think of this “MOOC club” like a book club! You will get more out of the material and be much more likely to finish.
I want to read more about American Capitalism!
Professors Baptist and Hyman just wrote a course reader expressly for this MOOC (though it is also being taught at Cornell University).
Containing every reading from the MOOC, as well as additional readings from leading scholars (that could not be had for free!), this course reader provides the student with more background for every topic.
Each reading is introduced and discussed by the professors. Each reading, as well, has additional questions for the student to discuss with their friends.
Are there prerequisites?
This course is designed to be accessible for people without a strong background in U.S. history. Nevertheless, we make reference to many people, locations, events, or developments that may be unfamiliar to some students. Below are sources for additional information.
Wikipedia is a very helpful source for a quick definition or description of most of the material in this course. It can help you answer most factual questions you might have.
Digital History is a website that can serve as an online text book if you need a stronger grounding in U.S. history.
For more difficult questions, you can post a question on the discussion board where your fellow students may be able to help you.
An e-book has been designed for this class, containing all the readings and some additional essays by leading scholars in the history of capitalism, including the professors. American Capitalism: A Reader [Kindle Edition] Amazon.com.
This class examines how and why twentieth-century Americans came to define the "good life" through consumption, leisure, and material abundance. We will explore how such things as department stores, nationally advertised brand-name goods, mass-produced cars, and suburbs transformed the American economy, society, and politics. The course is organized both thematically and chronologically. Each period deals with a new development in the history of consumer culture. Throughout we explore both celebrations and critiques of mass consumption and abundance.
This course covers the history of American foreign policy since 1914, current policy questions, and the future of U.S. Policy. We focus on policy evaluation. What consequences did these policies produce for the U.S. and for other countries? Were/are these consequences good or bad?
This course examines the causes and consequences of American foreign policy since 1898. Course readings cover both substantive and methods topics. Four substantive topics are covered:
- major theories of American foreign policy;
- major episodes in the history of American foreign policy and historical/interpretive controversies about them;
- the evaluation of major past American foreign policies--were their results good or bad? and
- current policy controversies, including means of evaluating proposed policies.
Three methods topics are covered:
- basic social scientific inference--what are theories? what are good theories? how should theories be framed and tested?
- historical investigative methodology, including archival research, and, most importantly,
- case study methodology.
Historical episodes covered in the course are used as raw material for case studies, asking "if these episodes were the subject of case studies, how should those studies be performed, and what could be learned from them?"
This course provides a basic history of American social, economic, and political development from the colonial period through the Civil War. It examines the colonial heritages of Spanish and British America; the American Revolution and its impact; the establishment and growth of the new nation; and the Civil War, its background, character, and impact. Readings include writings of the period by J. Winthrop, T. Paine, T. Jefferson, J. Madison, W. H. Garrison, G. Fitzhugh, H. B. Stowe, and A. Lincoln.
The television landscape has changed drastically in the past few years; nowhere is this more prevalent than in the American daytime serial drama, one of the oldest forms of television content. This class examines the history of these "soap operas" and their audiences by focusing on the production, consumption, and media texts of soaps. The class will include discussions of what makes soap operas a unique form, the history of the genre, current experimentation with transmedia storytelling, the online fan community, and comparisons between daytime dramas and primetime serials from 24 to Friday Night Lights, through a study of Procter & Gamble's As the World Turns.
This course is a seminar on the history of institutions and institutional change in American cities from roughly 1850 to the present. Among the institutions to be looked at are political machines, police departments, courts, schools, prisons, public authorities, and universities. The focus of the course is on readings and discussions.
This is a seminar course that explores the history of selected features of the physical environment of urban America. Among the features considered are parks, cemeteries, tenements, suburbs, zoos, skyscrapers, department stores, supermarkets, and amusement parks. The course gives students experience in working with primary documentation sources through its selection of readings and class discussions. Students then have the opportunity to apply this experience by researching their own historical questions and writing a term paper.
Western philosophy and theoretical mathematics were born together, and the cross-fertilization of ideas in the two disciplines was continuously acknowledged throughout antiquity. In this course, we read works of ancient Greek philosophy and mathematics, and investigate the way in which ideas of definition, reason, argument and proof, rationality and irrationality, number, quality and quantity, truth, and even the idea of an idea were shaped by the interplay of philosophic and mathematical inquiry.
This course introduces students to some of the major social theories and debates that inspire and inform anthropological analysis. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate a range of theoretical propositions concerning such topics as agency, structure, subjectivity, history, social change, power, culture, and the politics of representation. Ultimately, all theories can be read as statements about human beings and the worlds they create and inhabit. We will approach each theoretical perspective or proposition on three levels: (1) in terms of its analytical or explanatory power for understanding human behavior and the social world; (2) in the context of the social and historical circumstances in which they were produced; and (3) as contributions to ongoing dialogues and debate.