The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877
This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. The primary goal of the course is to understand the multiple meanings of a transforming event in American history. Those meanings may be defined in many ways: national, sectional, racial, constitutional, individual, social, intellectual, or moral. Four broad themes are closely examined: the crisis of union and disunion in an expanding republic; slavery, race, and emancipation as national
The American Novel Since 1945
In "The American Novel Since 1945" students will study a wide range of works from 1945 to the present. The course traces the formal and thematic developments of the novel in this period, focusing on the relationship between writers and readers, the conditions of publishing, innovations in the novel's form, fiction's engagement with history, and the changing place of literature in American culture. The reading list includes works by Richard Wright, Flannery O'Connor, Vladimir Nabokov, Jack Keroua
Global Problems of Population Growth
This survey course introduces students to the important and basic material on human fertility, population growth, the demographic transition and population policy. Topics include: the human and environmental dimensions of population pressure, demographic history, economic and cultural causes of demographic change, environmental carrying capacity and sustainability. Political, religious and ethical issues surrounding fertility are also addressed. The lectures and readings attempt to balance theor
European Civilization, 1648-1945
This course offers a broad survey of modern European history, from the end of the Thirty Years' War to the aftermath of World War II. Along with the consideration of major events and figures such as the French Revolution and Napoleon, attention will be paid to the experience of ordinary people in times of upheaval and transition. The period will thus be viewed neither in terms of historical inevitability nor as a procession of great men, but rather through the lens of the complex interrelations
Dante in Translation
The course is an introduction to Dante and his cultural milieu through a critical reading of the Divine Comedy and selected minor works (Vita nuova, Convivio, De vulgari eloquentia, Epistle to Cangrande). An analysis of Dante's autobiography, the Vita nuova, establishes the poetic and political circumstances of the Comedy's composition. Readings of Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise seek to situate Dante's work within the intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages, with special attenti
African American History II
African American History II is a course that examines the broad range of experiences of African Americans from the close of the American Civil War to the 1980s. We will explore both the relationship of blacks to the larger society and the inner dynamic of the black community. We will devote particular attention to Reconstruction, the migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North, and the political machinations of the African American community.
Jews and Christians Through History
This course will explore a number of issues which emerge from the history of Christian theology: How did a negative image of Judaism develop within Christianity? In what ways did these unfavorable teachings contribute toward violence against the Jews over the centuries?What is the relationship between Christian anti-Jewish teachings and Anti-Semitism? Is there any corresponding Jewish hostility towards Christians? In what ways have Jewish authors reacted to developments within the Christian trad
Creole Language and Culture, Spring 2007
This course introduces students to the language of Haitian Kreyòl, or Creole, and to the culture of its speakers. The course is intended for students with no prior knowledge of the language and will develop both reading and writing skills--emphasizing communicative competence as well as grammatical and phonetic techniques. Importantly, this study of Kreyòl explores the language's social and cultural elements, as seen in Haiti and elsewhere in the Caribbean. The course includes an anthropolo
Medicine and Public Health in American History, Fall 2007
This course offers an introduction to differing conceptions of disease, health, and healing throughout American history, the changing role and image of medicine and medical professionals in American life, and the changing social and cultural meanings and entanglements of medical science and practice throughout American history.
Environmental Philosophy, Fall 2007
The aim of this course is to enable participants to bring together materials from various disciplines bearing on our current environmental crisis, and from this integrated perspective to evaluate possible ways in which the crisis might be resolved. Disciplines to be consulted include ecology, thermodynamics, economics, value theory, and environmental history, among others. This project will rely on the integrative skills of philosophy to discern how materials from these disparate sources fit tog
Nuclear Warfare, Spring 2008
Nuclear Warfare (PHYS20061) is offered by the Physics Department as an introductory course for non-science majors. The course provides an overview of a broad range of topics regarding nuclear weapons. Although the emphasis is on nuclear weapons, we will consider other weapons of mass destruction, particularly in the context of the threat due to terrorism and rogue states. The goal is to be informed of the background history and technical issues so as to know how best to deal with them in the fu
Beyond Burma - Studying Buddhism and Buddhist Culture around the World
In this lesson, students learn about the 2007 military violence against protesting monks in the devoutly Buddhist country of Myanmar. After investigating and “curating” an exhibit on the history, basic tenets, practices, and global influence of this ancient faith, students consider the implications of the military regime’s actions on Buddhist society in Myanmar.
An Examination of Interviews from the American Slave Narratives and the American Folklore Collection
Students will examine and interpret interviews obtained by authors working for the Federal Writer's Project during the 1930s. A close study of the narratives will allow students to: Understand the specific tasks undertaken by men and women employed by one of the work relief programs of the New Deal; Obtain a more personal sense of the past by examining the lives and careers of ordinary men and women interviewed during the period of the Federal Writer's Project; Learn about the process and issues
Thomas Jefferson's Plan for the University of Virginia: Lessons from the Lawn
This lesson plan focuses on Thomas Jefferson's belief about the role of education in a democratic society, and the relationship between learning and educational setting. The lesson could be used in U.S. history, social studies, and geography courses in units on Thomas Jefferson and his democratic principles or the history of education in America.
Winslow Homer in the National Gallery of Art
This in-depth study traces Homer's extraordinary career from the battlefields, farmland, and coastal villages of America, to the North Sea fishing village of Cullercoats, the rocky coast of Maine, the Adirondacks, and the Caribbean. Includes zoom option for close study, video clips, and an interactive slide show.
Painting in the Dutch Golden Age: A Profile of the Seventeenth Century
Painting in the Dutch Golden Age: A Profile of the Seventeenth Century examines the culture and art of one of the world's greatest periods of creativity. The sheer volume—and outstanding quality—of the paintings produced can scarcely be paralleled. A 164-page book provides background information about the newly independent Dutch Republic and the nexus of its art and civics. Chapters look at landscape, still life, portraiture, and genre and history painting. Also included are artist biographi
Triumph of the Baroque, Architecture in Europe (1600-1750)
This site presents two centuries of European architectural history and explores the most famous architects of the baroque era. Learn how painting, sculpture, architecture, landscape, and urban planning during this era converged to produce buildings and structures with a heightened sense of drama and power.
This site provides a brief history of painting in Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries, when English artists began developing their own styles in marine, allegorical, and landscape painting. Paintings are organized in online tours of British conversation pieces and portraits, landscapes of Constable and Turner, the Royal Academy of Art, British and American grand manner portraits, and British and American history paintings.
A More Perfect Union
This lesson is designed to show the process of perfecting the Union through changes made to the Constitution and through the powers delegated to each branch of government by the Constitution. The lesson encourages student deliberation on race in America by familiarizing students with Senator Obama's speech entitled, A More Perfect Union, his famous race speech, given at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia in March 2008. Students are asked to read the speech for homework, guided by e
A Date Which Will Live in Infamy
This site shows the typewritten draft of the December 8, 1941, speech in which Franklin Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan. The draft shows Roosevelt's hand-written edits, including his change of the phrase a date which will live in world history to a date which will live in infamy. Students can also listen to the beginning of the speech.