Courses tagged with "Undergraduate" (50)
This course is a workshop for students with some experience in writing essays, nonfiction prose. Our focus will be negotiating and representing identities grounded in gender, race, class, nationality, sexuality, and other categories of identity, either our own or others', in prose that is expository, exploratory, investigative, persuasive, lyrical, or incantatory. We will read nonfiction prose works by a wide array of writers who have used language to negotiate and represent aspects of identity and the ways the different determinants of identity intersect, compete, and cooperate.
This course is for advanced students who wish to build confidence and skills in spoken English. It focuses on the appropriate oral presentation of material in a variety of professional contexts: group discussions, classroom explanations and interactions, and theses/research proposals. It is valuable for those who intend to teach or lecture in English and includes language laboratory assignments. The goal of the workshop is to develop effective speaking and listening skills for academic and professional contexts.
Analysis and practice of various forms of scientific and technical writing, from memos to journal articles. Strategies for conveying technical information to specialist and non-specialist audiences. Comparable to 21W.780 but methods designed to deal with special problems of advanced ELS or bilingual students. The goal of the workshop is to develop effective writing skills for academic and professional contexts. Models, materials, topics and assignments vary from semester to semester.
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.
This subject, cross-listed in Literature and Women's Studies, examines a range of American women authors from the seventeenth century to the present. It aims to introduce a number of literary genres and styles- the captivity narrative, slave novel, sensational, sentimental, realistic, and postmodern fiction- and also to address significant historical events in American women's history: Puritanism, the American Revolution, industrialization and urbanization in the nineteenth century, the Harlem Renaissance, World War II, the 60s civil rights movements. A primary focus will be themes studied and understood through the lens of gender: war, violence, and sexual exploitation (Keller, Rowlandson, Rowson); the relationship between women and religion (Rowlandson, Rowson, Stowe); labor, poverty, and working conditions for women (Fern, Davis, Wharton); captivity and slavery (Rowlandson, Jacobs); class struggle (Fern, Davis, Wharton, Larsen); race and identity (Keller, Jacobs, Larsen, Morrison); feminist revisions of history (Stowe, Morrison, Keller); and the myth of the fallen woman (take your pick). Essays and in-class reports will focus more particularly on specific writers and themes and will stress the skills of close reading, annotation, research, and uses of multimedia where appropriate.
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.
This subject is devoted to reading and discussing basic American historical texts that are often cited but often remain unread, understanding their meaning, and assessing their continuing significance in American culture. Since it is a "Communications Intensive" subject, 21H.105 is also dedicated to improving students' capacities to write and speak well. It requires a substantial amount of writing, participation in discussions, and individual presentations to the class.
This course studies the national literature of the United States since the early 19th century. It considers a range of texts - including, novels, essays, and poetry - and their efforts to define the notion of American identity. Readings usually include works by such authors as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Emily Dickinson, and Toni Morrison.
What is a "life" when it's written down? How does memory inform the present? Why are memoirs so popular? This course will address these questions and others, considering the relationship between biography, autobiography, and memoir and between personal and social themes. We will closely examine some recent memoirs: Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life, Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father, Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying, Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel, and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home. Students will write two brief papers: a critical essay and an experiment in memoir.
As a "Sampling," this class offers 6 units, with a strong emphasis on close reading, group discussion, focused writing, and research and presentation skills.
Roman Literature of the Golden Age of Augustus Caesar, produced during the transition from Republican to Imperial forms of government, was to have a profound and defining influence on Western European and American societies. These writings ultimately established lasting models of aesthetic refinement, philosophical aspiration, and political ambition that continue to shape modern cultures. This class will be exploring the Golden Age of Latin Literature from an historical perspective in order to provide an intensive examination of the cultural contexts in which these monumental works of classical art were first produced. Readings will emphasize the transition from a Republican form of government to an Empire under the rule of Augustus Caesar and the diversity of responses among individual authors to the profound structural changes that Roman society was undergoing at this time. Particular attention will be devoted to the reorganization of society and the self through textuality, the changing dimensions of the public and the private, the roles of class and gender, and the relationship between art and pleasure. Writings covering a wide variety of literary genres will include the works of Caesar, Cicero, Catullus, Livy, Virgil, Horace, and Ovid, with additional readings from Cassius Dio for background.
This course looks at comedy in drama, novels, and films from Classical Greece to the twentieth century. Focusing on examples from Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Molière, Wilde, Chaplin, and Billy Wilder, along with theoretical contexts, the class examines comedy as a transgressive mode with revolutionary social and political implications. This is a Communications Intensive (CI) class with emphasis on discussion, and frequent, short essays.
Central to our era is the gradual movement of all the world's regions toward a uniform standard of economic and political development. In this class we will read a variety of recent narratives that partake of, dissent from, or contribute to this story, ranging from novels and poems to World Bank and IMF statements and National Geographic reports. We will seek to understand the many motives and voices – sometimes congruent, sometimes clashing – that are currently engaged in producing accounts of people in the developing world: their hardships, laughter, and courage, and how they help themselves and are helped by outsiders who may or may not have philanthropic motives. Readings will include literature by J. G. Ballard, Jamaica Kincaid, Rohinton Mistry, and John le Carré, as well as policy documents, newspaper and magazine articles, and the Web sites of a variety of trade and development commissions and organizations.
Humans are social animals; social demands, both cooperative and competitive, structure our development, our brain and our mind. This course covers social development, social behaviour, social cognition and social neuroscience, in both human and non-human social animals. Topics include altruism, empathy, communication, theory of mind, aggression, power, groups, mating, and morality. Methods include evolutionary biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, social psychology and anthropology.
When John Locke declared (in the 1690 Essay Concerning Human Understanding) that knowledge was derived solely from experience, he raised the possibility that human understanding and identity were not the products of God's will or of immutable laws of nature so much as of one's personal history and background. If on the one hand Locke's theory led some to pronounce that individuals could determine the course of their own lives, however, the idea that we are the products of our experience just as readily supported the conviction that we are nothing more than machines acting out lives whose destinies we do not control. This course will track the formulation of that problem, and a variety of responses to it, in the literature of the "long eighteenth century." Readings will range widely across genre, from lyric poetry and the novel to diary entries, philosophical prose, and political essays, including texts by Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Mary Astell, David Hume, Laurence Sterne, Olaudah Equiano, Mary Hays, and Mary Shelley. Topics to be discussed include the construction of gender identities; the individual in society; imagination and the poet's work. There will be two essays, one 5-6 pages and one 8-10 pages in length, and required presentations.
This subject offers a broad survey of texts (both literary and philosophical) drawn from the Western tradition and selected to trace the growth of ideas about nature and the natural environment of mankind. The term nature in this context has to do with the varying ways in which the physical world has been conceived as the habitation of mankind, a source of imperatives for the collective organization and conduct of human life. In this sense, nature is less the object of complex scientific investigation than the object of individual experience and direct observation. Using the term "nature" in this sense, we can say that modern reference to "the environment" owes much to three ideas about the relation of mankind to nature. In the first of these, which harks back to ancient medical theories and notions about weather, geographical nature was seen as a neutral agency affecting or transforming agent of mankind's character and institutions. In the second, which derives from religious and classical sources in the Western tradition, the earth was designed as a fit environment for mankind or, at the least, as adequately suited for its abode, and civic or political life was taken to be consonant with the natural world. In the third, which also makes its appearance in the ancient world but becomes important only much later, nature and mankind are regarded as antagonists, and one must conquer the other or be subjugated by it.
This course examines some leading examples of major genres of storytelling in the Western tradition, among them epic (Homer's Odyssey), romance (from the Arthurian tradition), and novel (Cervantes's Don Quixote). We will be asking why people tell (and have always told) stories, how they tell them, why they might tell them the way they do, and what difference it makes how they tell them. We'll combine an investigation of the changing formal properties of narratives with consideration of the historical, cultural, and technological factors that have influenced how tales got told. In keeping with its CI-H and HASS-D label, this course will involve substantial attention to students' writing and speaking abilities.
This subject offers a broad survey of texts (both literary and philosophical) drawn from the Western tradition and selected to trace the growth of ideas about the nature of mankind's ethical and political life in the West since the renaissance. It will deal with the change in perspective imposed by scientific ideas, the general loss of a supernatural or religious perspective upon human events, and the effects for good or ill of the increasing authority of an intelligence uninformed by religion as a guide to life. The readings are roughly complementary to the readings in 21L001, and classroom discussion will stress appreciation and analysis of texts that came to represent the cultural heritage of the modern world.
As we read broadly from throughout the vast chronological period that is "Homer to Dante," we will pepper our readings of individual ancient and medieval texts with broader questions like: what images, themes, and philosophical questions recur through the period; are there distinctly "classical" or "medieval" ways of depicting or addressing them; and what do terms like "Antiquity" or "the Middle Ages" even mean? (What are the Middle Ages in the "middle" of, for example?) Our texts will include adventure tales of travel and self-discovery (Homer's Odyssey and Dante's Inferno); courtroom dramas of vengeance and reconciliation (Aeschylus's Oresteia and the Icelandic Njáls saga); short poems of love and transformation (Ovid's Metamorphoses and the Lais of Marie de France); and epics of war, nation-construction, and empire (Homer's Iliad, Virgil's Aeneid, and the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf).
This course comprises a broad survey of texts, literary and philosophical, which trace the development of the modern world from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century. Intrinsic to this development is the growth of individualism in a world no longer understood to be at the center of the universe. The texts chosen for study exemplify the emergence of a new humanism, at once troubled and dynamic in comparison to the old. The leading theme of this course is thus the question of the difference between the ancient and the modern world. Students who have taken Foundations of Western Culture I will obviously have an advantage in dealing with this question. Classroom discussion approaches this question mainly through consideration of action and characters, voice and form.
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