Courses

Course Offerings (Spring Term)

 
Spring 2022
Poetry in the Political & Sexual Revolution of the 1960s & 70s
Subject associations
FRS 102
What does artistic production look like during a time of cultural unrest? How did America's poets help shape the political landscape of the American 60s and 70s, decades that saw the rise of the Black Panthers, 'Flower Power,' and Vietnam War protests? Through reading poetry, studying films and engaging with the music of the times we will think about art's ability to move the cultural needle and pose important questions about race, gender, class, and sexuality. We will study Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde, Eileen Myles, and others. We will talk about The Beats, The San Francisco Renaissance and The New York School poets.
Instructors
Alexander Dimitrov
Spring 2022
Art and Science of Motorcycle Design
Subject associations
FRS 106
This is a hands-on seminar and laboratory experience about the engineering design of motorcycles. Students will restore or repair a vintage Triumph motorcycle and will compare it to previous restorations of the same make and model of motorcycle from other years (1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, and 1964). No previous shop or laboratory experience is necessary, and we welcome liberal arts students as well as engineering students. The class meets twice each week. Each session starts with a 90-minute precept followed by a 90-minute laboratory.
Instructors
Michael Littman
Spring 2022
1964: Tipping Point
Subject associations
FRS 108
There are certain years that define our history more than others. 1964 was one of those years. These twelve months were a tipping point after which the nation took a deep dive into the tumult of this fractious decade. The year began with Lyndon Johnson in the Oval Office after he had taken over the office following the tragic assassination of John F. Kennedy. The year would end with Johnson's resounding reelection victory against the right-wing conservative Barry Goldwater, a landslide that opened the doors to what the president called a 'Great Society.' This seminar takes a deep dive into the year.
Instructors
Julian Zelizer
Spring 2022
Getting Even: the Plots and Principles of Revenge
Subject associations
FRS 110
Have you ever wanted to "pay someone back" because you felt injured? After all, each of us has likely been wronged--and has pondered how that wrong is to be recompensed. We'll sample that dish "best served cold" by reading texts with revenge at the center of the story, depicting the heart-stopping dilemmas that accompany vengeance. These narratives write revenge's idiom, showing how it relates to "evenness" in justice, to theories of punishment, and to philosophies of honor and forgiveness. We will also engage with art depicting revenge and with the discourses of law and ethics to deepen our conversation.
Instructors
Sarah Anderson
Spring 2022
Imprisoned Minds: Religion and Philosophy from Jail
Subject associations
FRS 112
An introduction to religious studies and history of philosophy using classic works produced by imprisoned authors. Readings span the world's major religious and philosophical traditions and include works by Plato, Boethius, Marguerite Porete, Gandhi, Levinas, Martin Luther King, Jr., JP Sartre, and detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Works will be exegeted according to their contexts of origination while also asking what they have to teach us in an era of rising nationalism and mass incarceration.
Instructors
Mark Edwards
Spring 2022
The Evolution of Human Language
Subject associations
FRS 116
When, where, why and how did human language originate? There are no definite answers, but findings from many different areas of investigation (including paleontology, archeology, linguistics, animal communication, neurobiology, genetics, statistics), when considered in conjunction, shed light on these old and fascinating questions. Current research often gives rise to contrasting interpretations and hypotheses; the seminar will attempt to present a balanced picture and invite students to weigh all evidence.
Instructors
Christiane Fellbaum
Spring 2022
Life on Mars - Or Maybe Not
Subject associations
FRS 118
This seminar looks at science in the popular media. We'll examine these from the perspective of both science and of journalism, in order to understand what compromises science writers are forced to make as they turn technical information into engaging, readable informative pieces the public will readily engage with--without "dumbing down" the science so much that it's misleading or inaccurate. In order to do so, the instructor will draw on his more than 30 years of experience as a science journalist, and also on the experiences of visiting journalists and scientists who will help us analyze case studies from a wide range of media outlets.
Instructors
Michael Lemonick
Spring 2022
Truth and Imagination: Writing Fiction, Writing History
Subject associations
FRS 120
Fiction and nonfiction seem like different things: novelists make things up, but scholars document the truth. Yet on closer inspection they have a lot in common. The dividing line between truth and imagination gets blurred. What does 'truth' mean, anyway? Can something be true but not factual? This seminar is co-taught by a literary critic and novelist, and a historian and journalist. We explore great works of fiction, journalism, film, memoir, and history. We will learn from writers and journalists how stories are made. We will work on our own creative stories that engage with the issues most important to us today.
Instructors
Fara Dabhoiwala
Sophie Gee
Spring 2022
Connection and Communication in the Digital Bazaar
Subject associations
FRS 122
See website
Instructors
Swati Bhatt
Spring 2022
Global Health, Food Security, and the Environment: An Introduction to One Health Policy
Subject associations
FRS 125
This interdisciplinary seminar focuses on global health, agriculture, food security, and environmental sustainability. Basic epidemiology, public health and policy, history of food safety and security, climate change, essentials of zoonotic diseases, the politics of antibiotic resistance, and the national and international organizations that oversee health, agriculture, and the environment will be discussed.
Instructors
Laura Kahn