21L.704 Studies in Poetry - British Poetry and the Sciences of the Mind (MIT)
Do poems think? Recurrent images of the poet as an inspired lunatic, and of poetry as a fundamentally irrational art, have often fostered an understanding of poets and their work as generally extraneous to the work of the sciences. Yet poets have long reflected upon and have sought to embody in their work the most elementary processes of mind, and have frequently drawn for these representations on the very sciences to which they are thought to stand - and sometimes do genuinely stand - in opposi
21W.730-4 Expository Writing: Analyzing Mass Media (MIT)
This course focuses on developing and refining the skills that will you need to express your voice more effectively as an academic writer. As a focus for our writing this semester, this course explores what it means to live in the age of mass media. We will debate the power of popular American media in shaping our ideas of self, family and community and in defining social issues. Throughout the semester, students will focus on writing as a process of drafting and revising to create essays that a
21H.968J Nature, Environment, and Empire (MIT)
This course is an exploration of the relationship between the study of natural history, both domestic and exotic, by Europeans and Americans, and concrete exploitation of the natural world, focusing on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
21H.104J Riots, Strikes, and Conspiracies in American History (MIT)
This course uses readings and discussions to focus on a series of short-term events that shed light on American politics, culture, and social organization. It emphasizes finding ways to make sense of these complicated, highly traumatic events, and on using them to understand larger processes of change in American history. The class also gives students experience with primary documentation research through a term paper assignment.
21L.705 Masterworks in American Short Fiction (MIT)
For some reason, American literature (like French, Irish, and Russian, among others) has been especially productive in major works in fictional forms shorter than the novel. Our task in this course will be to survey that field, by looking at particular moments of high accomplishment. We will, in addition, consider some of the ways in which literary formulae can be used and varied, and some of the impacts of elements of narrative construction.
18.465 Topics in Statistics: Nonparametrics and Robustness (MIT)
This graduate-level course focuses on one-dimensional nonparametric statistics developed mainly from around 1945 and deals with order statistics and ranks, allowing very general distributions. For multidimensional nonparametric statistics, an early approach was to choose a fixed coordinate system and work with order statistics and ranks in each coordinate. A more modern method, to be followed in this course, is to look for rotationally or affine invariant procedures. These can be based on empiri
12.517 Dynamics of Complex Systems: Biological and Environmental Coevolution Preceding the Cambrian
This seminar will focus on dynamical change in biogeochemical cycles accompanying early animal evolution -- beginning with the time of the earliest known microscopic animal fossils (~600 million years ago) and culminating (~100 million years later) with the rapid diversification of marine animals known as the "Cambrian explosion." Recent work indicates that this period of intense biological evolution was both a cause and an effect of changes in global biogeochemical cycles. W
17.960 Foundations of Political Science (MIT)
This course continues from the fall semester. The course introduces students to the fundamental theories and methods of modern political science through the study of a small number of major books and articles that have been influential in the field. This semester, the course focuses on American and comparative politics.
21H.447 Nazi Germany and the Holocaust (MIT)
The rise and fall of National Socialism is one of the most intensively-studied topics in European history. Nevertheless, after more than half a century, popular views of Nazism in the media and among the public remain simplistic-essentialized by equal parts fascination and horror. Adolf Hitler, for instance, is often portrayed as an evil genius of supernatural ability; while the Nazi state is similarly imagined to have held absolute power over every aspect of its subjects' lives. Such characteri
21H.927J The Economic History of Work and Family (MIT)
This course will explore the relation of women and men in both pre-industrial and modern societies to the changing map of public and private (household) work spaces, examining how that map affected their opportunities for both productive activity and the consumption of goods and leisure. The reproductive strategies of women, either in conjunction with or in opposition to their families, will be the third major theme of the course. We will consider how a place and an ideal of the "domestic&q
21F.084J Introduction to Latin American Studies (MIT)
This course is designed as an introduction to Latin American politics and society for undergraduates at MIT. No background on the region is required. Overall workload (reading, writing, class participation, and examinations) is similar to that of other HASS-D courses. Many of the themes raised here are covered in greater detail in other courses: 21F.020J (New World Literature), 21F.716 (Introduction to Contemporary Hispanic Literature), 21F.730 (Twentieth and Twentyfirst-Century Spanish American
21H.346 France 1660-1815: Enlightenment, Revolution, Napoleon (MIT)
A century and a half ago, Alexis de Tocqueville argued that the Revolution of 1789 in France constituted the culmination of long-term administrative and social changes, rather than a rupture with the past. In this class, we will consider that Tocquevillian insight by examining four aspects of French experience from the reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV, to the rule of the Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte: Absolutism, Enlightenment, Revolution, and Empire. Through the study of primary and secondary sou
4.175 Case Studies in City Form (MIT)
This course serves as an introduction to urban form and design, focusing on the physical, historical, and social form of cities. Selected cities are analyzed, drawn, and compared, to develop a working understanding of urban and architectural form. The development of map making and urban representation is discussed, and use of the computer is required. A special focus is placed on the historical development of the selected cities, especially mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth century periods of exp
21W.735 Writing and Reading the Essay (MIT)
This is a course focused on the literary genre of the essay, that wide-ranging, elastic, and currently very popular form that attracts not only nonfiction writers but also fiction writers, poets, scientists, physicians, and others to write in the form, and readers of every stripe to read it. Some say we are living in era in which the essay is enjoying a renaissance; certainly essays, both short and long, are at present easier to get published than are short stories or novels, and essays are feat
21L.707 Writing Early American Lives: Gender, Race, Nation, Faith (MIT)
This course focuses on the period between roughly 1550-1850. American ideas of race had taken on a certain shape by the middle of the nineteenth century, consolidated by legislation, economics, and the institution of chattel slavery. But both race and identity meant very different things three hundred years earlier, both in their dictionary definitions and in their social consequences. How did people constitute their identities in early America, and how did they speak about these identities? Tex
11.493 Legal Aspects of Property and Land Use (MIT)
This course is designed to offer an advanced introduction to key legal issues that arise in the area of property and land-use in American law, with a comparative focus on the laws of India and South Africa. The focus of the course is not on law itself, but on the policy implications of various rules, doctrines and practices which are covered in great detail. Legal rules regulating property are among the most fundamental to American, and most other, economies and societies. The main focus is on A
17.509 Social Movements in Comparative Perspective (MIT)
This course seeks to provide students with a general understanding of the form of collective action known as the social movement. Our task will be guided by the close examination of several twentieth century social movements in the United States. We will read about the U.S. civil rights, the unemployed workers', welfare rights, pro-choice / pro-life and gay rights movements. We will compare and contrast certain of these movements with their counterparts in other countries. For all, we will ident
21M.410 Vocal Repertoire and Performance: African American Composers (MIT)
The primary focus of this Vocal Repertoire and Performance course is placed upon the works of African American composers and concert artists. Students gather biographical data and explore art songs, operatic arias, ensembles, choral masterpieces, and arrangements employing sacred and secular texts. Additionally, students conduct inquiry into works representative of their own heritage. This course is required for vocalists in the MIT Emerson Music Performance program; others may be admitted by au
The Gold Standard in Cancer Research
Phil Gold, Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Oncology, discovered the first and most widely used blood test for cancer, CEA, making early detection and better treatment possible. Meet a McGill legend.
21A.217 Anthropology of War and Peace (MIT)
This class has been reorganized to focus primarily on the War in Iraq. As in previous years, the class still examines war in cross-cultural perspective, asking whether war is intrinsic to human nature, what causes war, how particular cultural experiences of war differ, and how war has affected American culture.