Courses without numbers are in the process of being approved as new honors courses. The course numbers will be posted once the new courses are approved.

Fall Semester

Department: Art
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Sarah R. Cohen
Course: Art of Enlightenment in France and England (TARH 252z)

Description: This course examines art produced in France and England during the eighteenth century, a period of rich cultural and intellectual exchange known as the "Enlightenment." We explore the original context, use and significance of the art, as well as the association between artmaking and other forms of cultural inquiry and expression during this era of profound societal change.  The art that we examine includes painting, sculpture, graphics and decorative arts, and we address a number of key trends that developed in France and England through a process of influence, exchange and rivalry between these two European powers. These trends include the playful, sensual style known as the Rococo; complex treatments of gender; the fascination with nature and science; and the increasing importance of classicl paradigms in the second half of the century.

Through the lens of eighteenth-century art, students, also acquire the fundamental skills of art history research and writing.  In a series of short, focused, writing assignments, students learn to analyze works of art and to assess their significance within their particular historical contexts.  We engage the process of art historical writing step by step, from generating and organizing ideas to techniques of language, style, and editing. Students also read and analyze primary and secondary art history publications that exemplify art historical research. We read excerpts from two art treatises written by eighteenth-century English painters; we examine a museum exhibition catalogue focusing upon the connections between Rococo decorative art and the Chinese export porcelain trade; and we read two recent scholarly books that focus upon single works by eighteenth-century French painters.

General Education: Writing Intensive
The professor will be applying for this course to meet the following gened requirements: Arts.  More information will be posted as it becomes available.
Department: Biology
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Richard Zitomer
Course: Genomics & Biotech: Broad-ranging Impact on Mankind (T BIO 176)

Description: The sequencing of the genomes of a large number of organisms, from bacteria to human, has provided enormous insights into a wide range of human endeavors. Almost no aspect of human knowledge has been untouched by the information being compiled including both the obvious, such as medicine, agriculture, psychology, anthropology, and environment sciences, to the less obvious, such as history, sociology, language and communication, and ethics.  The ongoing sequencing of the genomes from a large number of individual humans has led to the design of individualized medical treatments for people with the same diseases, changes in biologists understanding of race, and a clearer picture of the evolution of the human species.  Genome sequencing has also driven new technologies designed to explore further the use of the information gathered.

The goal of this course will be to familiarize students with the nature of the information that can be gathered from genomics, and where the field will be going in the future. Examples will be used to emphasize the broad range of fields impacted by the new technology. Also, given the high information content of genomes, 12 billion bits for the human genome, data analyses has required the development of specific computer programs and web resources. Students will be introduced to these freely available tools, and with appropriate access to sufficient computers, will be assigned simple research problems for the students to learn how to use the web resources and programs.

General Education:  Natural Sciences

Department: Chemistry
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: TBA
Course: Chemical Principles I: Advanced General Chemistry I (TCHM 130)

Description: Energy, enthalpy, thermochemistry, quantum mechanics and atomic theory, general concepts of bonding, covalent bonding and orbitals, gases, liquids, and solids. Only one of A CHM 120 and A CHM 130H may be taken for credit.

Prerequisite(s): One year of high school chemistry and one year of high school physics or concurrent enrollment in college physics. Students will also be required to pass a test to assess their knowledge of chemistry fundamentals on the first day of classes. Those not passing the test will be advised to enroll in A CHM 120.

General Education: Natural Science


Department: Computer Science
College/School: College of Computing and Information
Instructor: Prof. Seth Chaiken
Course: Honors Introduction to Computer Science (TCSI 201)

Description: Students will learn how computers and computer software work. In contrast to most other introductory computer science courses that use abstract examples to show how software works and should be written, this introductory course will use small personal robots. Students will learn how they can write programs to control the robots. We will get the robot, with increasing sophistication, to sense its environment and to move about, explore and change its environment. As we get robots to do more and more, we learn more about the computer hardware and software that underlies them. We will develop, utilize and improve the skills in solving problems through careful logical thinking, patience and debugging that are characteristic of computer science and programming.  Although numerics and some geometry and algebra will be involved, little explicit high school mathematics or calculus will be required. Three hours of class and 2 hours of laboratory are required each week. Team based laboratories and frequent in-class exercises are combined with individual quizzes, exams, and programming and analytical homework projects encourage active learning throughout the course.

Using the robots, students will learn three important things. First, they will learn the semester's lessons in the Computer Science discipline and in developing and writing computer software. Second and third, the students will learn group technical communication and teamwork skills through the teambased exercises and presentations of solutions. Feedback from employers and recruiters of UA graduates indicates that these are the basis of skills they are looking for in the technically savvy graduates they wish to hire. The programming and analytical skills form the nucleus needed for the follow on course (CSI310, Data Structures) and built upon throughout the CS curriculum.

General Education: none


Department: Educational Theory & Practice
College/School: College of Education
Instructor: Prof. Carol Rodgers
Course: The Audacity of Hope in Education: Learning from Doing Education (TTAP 211)

Description: This course is an introduction to the thinking of John Dewey and the roots of Progressive education in the United States. We will focus on three of Dewey’s works that are particularly relevant to contemporary education: Education and Experience (1938), The School and Society and The Child and the Curriculum (one volume, 1902/1904), and selected chapters from Democracy and Education (1916). We may also read a small portion of How We Think (1933) as well as a limited number of secondary sources.

In the spirit of Dewey, we will constantly weave experience into theory and theory into experience, testing our own personal beliefs and assumptions about teaching and learning against these. The core learning experiences we will engage in jointly will be a semester-long observation of the habits of the moon in an attempt to understand (a) the movements of the moon, earth, and sun in relationship to each other, and, (b) how we come to understand those movements. Themes of the course include: experience, reflection, community, continuity and interaction, the structure of subject matter, and democracy.

General Education:(unclear at this time - more information provided as it becomes available)


Department: English
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Langdon Brown
Course: Comedy as a Dramatic Genre (TENG 226)

Description: This course will consider comedy as a dramatic genre, as a contested literary term, and as a literary mode.  Readings will include dramatic works that exemplify the genre (examples: /Lysistrata, Brothers Menaechmus, Twelfth Night, The Importance of Being Earnest)/; theoretical/critical essays by a variety of authors (examples:  Erich Segal, George Santayana, Northrup Frye, Suzanne Langer, Henri Bergson); and at least one example of a non-dramatic comic text such as Richard Russo's /Straight Man/.  We will consider concepts and terms associated with comedy such as humor, laughter, farce, slapstick, and so on. Students will make short presentations of research projects in class, will write short essays on topics central to discussion and will write one research paper.

The course will be based around discussion and include breakout groups for examination of options in answering and debating critical questions, casual in-class student performance of short scenes and student response, and viewing of scenes from plays in film versions and student response.  Students will be expected to read plays and critical commentary on plays as well as write short response papers.  The course will include in class workshop of writing and a final paper or project.

General Education: Humanities


Department: LLC French-Studies
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Mary Beth Winn
Course: Women in Medieval France (TFRE 201W)

Description: A study of women in France from the 5th through the 15th centuries, as viewed in literature, history, and the arts. The course will examine the many roles and occupations of women in society (queen, tradeswoman, artisan, peasant, nun, etc.) against the background of the prevailing ideas about the nature of woman. Object of desire as well as incarnation of evil, daughter of Eve or of the Virgin, woman was at once worshipped and maligned. If the ideal woman was “chaste, silent, and obedient,” others were warriors, writers, and saints. In the 12th century, Heloise (c. 1100-1164) achieved notoriety first for her liaison with the university scholar Abelard and then as Abbess of the convent of the Paraclete, while Eleanor of Aquitaine (c. 1122-1204), queen of France and then of England, championed the literary and artistic works of the troubadours. Fifteenth-century France gave birth to the heroic figure of Joan of Arc and to the first major female writer to champion women’s causes, Christine de Pizan, both of whom will be studied in the course.  Other readings will include works by the renowned poet, Marie de France, and selections from chronicles, letters, instruction manuals, lyric poetry, plays, fabliaux, and the Romance of the Rose. Musical selections of troubadour lyrics as well as examples of medieval art, especially illuminations from medieval manuscripts that depict women in their multiple roles, will be examined.  Students will present summaries of various texts to launch discussion by the class. Students also view art works and films, listen to recordings of lyric pieces, and  examine materials held in Special Collections.

General Education: Humanities; Europe; Writing Intensive; Oral Discourse


Department: History
College/School: Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Warren Roberts
Course: Getting to Know Albany (THIS 261Z)

Students at the University at Albany have daily contact with the city of Albany, but often know little about it. They drive its streets but don’t really see what is there, nor do they learn much about its history. The purpose of this course is to remedy that shortcoming. The course will introduce students to Albany, its history, its architecture, and its neighborhoods. This will be done through class lectures and discussion, reconstruction of the city’s past through slides that depict old Albany and walking tours that will expose students to Albany’s historic neighborhoods, parks, churches, synagogues, and monumental public buildings. This will include the New York State Capitol (the most costly building in all of nineteenth-century America) and the Empire State Plaza (the most costly complex of buildings in all of twentieth-century America). The course will also pay attention to the University of Albany, past and present. It will include examination of previous campuses (there were three), and today’s campus, designed by E.D. Stone. Walking tours of the campus will include the imposing and architecturally important complex of buildings that run along Fuller Road, engines of high-tech growth in upstate New York.

General Education: Writing Intensive


Department: History
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Carl Bon Tempo
Course: Public Policy in Modern America (THIS 220Y)

Description: This course explores the history of public policy in twentieth-century America. We will focus on three different public policy issues during the semester: poverty, African American civil rights, and immigration. In exploring these particular policy issues, the course’s lectures and readings will focus on several questions. How and why does change come on a given public policy issue? (Conversely, why does change in public policy not occur?) What role do politics play in public policy-making? How do “average” Americans contribute to the policy-making process? How have issues of race, class, gender, and ethnicity shaped public policy debates? What type of leadership is most effective in the public policy-making process? Finally, can the study of history help public policymakers today – or help us better understand public policy issues today?

As such, this course should be of particular interest to those majoring in history, political science, and sociology – and also to any students interested in modern politics and public policy.

The course will have significant research, writing, and oral components. For the first three quarters of the semester, I will lecture on the history of poverty, civil rights, and immigration policy. We will also complete a series of readings that will form the basis of extensive class discussions. In addition, at the beginning of the semester, students will choose a contemporary public policy issue and then use the following weeks to research its history. The goal of this project is two-fold: (1) learn the history of the public policy issue, (2) explore how that history affects contemporary debates. Over the last quarter of the semester, students will give oral presentations – of about 20 minutes – based on their research project. Students also will hand in a 10-12 page paper summarizing their findings. As a result of the discussion and oral presentation components, this course satisfies the University’s General Education oral discourse requirement (in addition to the US history requirement.)

General Education: U.S. History(2); Oral Discourse
Department: Mathematics and Statistics
College/School: Arts & Sciences
Instructor: TBA
Course: Honors Calculus II (T MAT 119)

Honors version of second-semester calculus. Same topics as A MAT 113, but topics are covered in greater depth. For students with more than average ability and more than average interest in mathematics. Students with a strong interest in mathematics or the physical sciences should consider taking T MAT 119 instead of A MAT 113. T MAT 119 substitutes for A MAT 113 toward the prerequisite in any course. Only one of A MAT 113 & T MAT 119 may be taken for credit.

Prerequisite(s): T MAT 118, a grade of A in A MAT 112, or permission of the instructor.
Department: Philosophy
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Jason D'Cruz
Course: Deception and Self-Deception (TPHI 140) Description: Deception is ubiquitous. Sometimes it has a public face, in the form of advertising or political speeches. Sometimes it is a private matter, as in betrayals of friendship or of marriage. Although often ill intended, deception can also be motivated by mercy and compassion. In many circumstances, deception can seem indispensable to living with others and to living with ourselves.

In this course we will examine deception and self-deception from the perspective of moral philosophy, cognitive psychology, and literature. In the first unit of the course we will discuss and refine philosopher Harry Frankfurt’s distinction between telling a lie (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman”) and merely failing to respond to the truth (“Your call is important to us”). In the second unit, we will focus our analysis on narratives of great deceivers. One of the figures we will study is Frédéric Bourdin, the infamous French serial imposter who is reputed to have taken on at least 39 false identities. To aid us in our analysis, we will examine empirical studies of self-justification, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias. In the final unit of the course we will pose normative questions such as, “Is lying sometimes morally justifiable?” and, “What is wrong, if anything, with ‘white lies’?” Finally, we will evaluate the findings of sociological studies on cheating on exams from the perspective of moral theories. Readings will be taken from classic and contemporary philosophical sources, literary sources, as well as experimental work in social and cognitive psychology.

The writing component of the course will emphasize the process of writing. You will learn how to formulate a thesis; how to support it with evidence and argument; how to assess the persuasiveness of your writing given your audience; how to write in a clear, terse, and forceful style; and, most importantly, how to revise an unwieldy first draft into a piece of polished prose. Reading, writing, and discussing will each function as modes of critical thinking, a skill that will prove indispensible throughout your academic career and beyond.

General Education: The professor will be applying for this course to meet the following gened requirements: Humanities; Oral Discourse.  More information will be posted as it becomes available.
Department: Physics
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: William Lanford
Course: Honors Physics I: Mechanics (T PHY 141)

Description: Course content will follow A PHY 140. However, topics will be covered in more depth and at a somewhat more advanced level. Students with a strong interest in physical sciences should consider taking T PHY 141 instead of A PHY 140. Only one of A PHY 140 or T PHY 141 may be taken for credit.  Prerequisite (or taking one of these courses concurrently): A MAT 111 or 112 or T MAT 118.

General Education: Natural Science


Department: Psychology
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Robert A. Rosellini
Course: Advanced Introduction to Psychology (TPSY 102)

Description:  The course explores in greater detail than in APSY 101 the basic methods and points of view in the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include biological bases of behavior, personality organization, intelligence, motivation, emotions, learning, and social relations. This course is intended for students who have more than average interest in psychology and who are considering becoming psychology majors.  Note: only one of APSY 101 or 102 may be taken for credit.

General Education: Social Science

Department: Social Welfare
College/School: College of Social Welfare
Instructor: Prof. Loretta Pyles
Course: Community Change in a Globalizing World (TSSW 295)

Description:  Community Change in a Globalizing World is an undergraduate social work course (honors) designed to explore and critically evaluate a range of ways that groups work toward community change - domestically, transnationally and globally.  The course is concerned with endeavors initiated by grassroots organizations and non-governmental/non-profit organizations; some of the principal actors are low-income people, students, neighborhoods, identity groups, and community change professionals.  Throughout the course, students work to define what community means, explore the implications of globalization, and analyze their own social standpoint as global citizens. 

Utilizing a “problematizing” approach, the instructor and students strive to make transparent the tensions that exist when engaging in multicultural and socially unequal communities.  This course employs a democratic pedagogy including student-led discussions, lectures, multi-media and a community-based service learning project to facilitate outcomes.  The overall goal of the course is to encourage a life-long commitment to community engagement, social change and democratic practices. 

General Education: U.S. Diversity; Social Science.


Department: Sociology
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Angie Y. Chung
Course: Contemporary Immigration and the Second Generation (T SOC 240Z)

Description:  Contemporary immigration to the U.S. has been characterized by tremendous diversity in terms of race, class, gender, migration contexts, transnational linkages, and incorporation into American society.  This course focuses on various aspects of immigration from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean since 1965, including migration processes, community and identity, race/ class/ gender intersections, socio-economic and residential mobility, transnationalism, and acculturation into “mainstream” America.  Although the material will familiarize students with traditional approaches to U.S. immigration, the main goal of the course is to provide you with the intellectual tools to reflect on, critique and provide a more contemporary, global perspective on these different issues. 

Based on weekly writing activities and creative discussions on related current issues, we will explore the diverse social, economic, cultural and political contexts within which immigrants and their children have been incorporated into American society and the various theoretical perspectives that have been proposed to explain their possible future.  Questions we will seek to answer include: Why do immigrants migrate?  What kinds of advantages and disadvantages do these different immigrant groups face and why are some better able to adapt than others?  How do the identities and communities they create enable them to navigate the changing world around them?  How do the presence of immigrants and their children shape the neighborhoods, institutions, and social structures they occupy in the U.S. and their sending countries?  How is all of this becoming complicated by globalization, transnationalism, and economic restructuring?

General Education: U.S. Diversity; Global; Writing Intensive; Social Science. 

Department: Theatre
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Andi Lyons
Course: Understanding Design for the Performing Arts (T THR 120)

Description: This course will introduce students to the creative and historical processes, principles, and practices of design for the performing arts.  Using theatre as our primary focus, we will work toward understanding the vital roles that scenery, lighting, costuming, sound, and special effects play in the creation of any production.  Throughout the course, you will be encouraged to examine specific design processes and practices, which will help you to understand the effects that design decisions have on your perceptions of live performances and of the world around you.

The primary objective of this course is to help you develop an appreciation of the way in which visual and aural elements used in live production contribute to the overall meaning of the experience.  To accomplish this, we will investigate the resources available to designers working in the performing arts.  The intention is for you to gain an appreciation of the importance of each design element, and the way in which each becomes an integral part of the total production.  Additionally, you will come to understand more fully the art and science of design.  This will encourage you to form critical responses to what you see and hear around a core of principles that will improve your overall enjoyment of any live performance or theatrical event.  Finally, this course will provide you with a heightened awareness of how design affects the perception of virtually everything you see and hear in your daily life.

General Education: Arts


Spring Semester

Department: Anthropology
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Jennifer Burrell
Course: Human Rights and Wrongs

Description:   This course is designed to provide an overview of human rights and anthropology from theoretical and historical points of view and from the vantage point of engagement and practice.  Using a critical approach, we will move away from the notion of a set category or monolithic legal structure toward an understanding of a flexible and elastic set of conceptual frameworks used to accomplish transitions, make claims and gain access to resources.  In doing so, we will consider the increasing transnationalization of rights discourse and the growing terrain in which claims, legal and otherwise, are made through it. A series of international and national case studies will be examined.

Throughout the course, we will consider human rights practice, broadly understood, in various forms.  We shall do so with the premise that differential access to rights exists in the everyday lives of people and this is frequently addressed in ways that may not fit into our existing definitions of human rights.  These nevertheless constitute the defense of a right that has been abused due to legal, political or structural violence.

More specifically, course objects include the following:

1.       How anthropology’s colonialist heritage has led to a particular conception of
2.       How anthropological concepts and theories contribute to contemporary
      human rights debates, and the underlying assumption of these theories.
3.       How do human rights interact with local cultures?
4.       How anthropologists grapple with ethical and activist dilemmas involved in
      human rights advocacy work and contribute to policy making.
General Education:  Social Science; Global; Cross Cultural

Department: Art
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Adam Frelin
Course: Experiments in Visual Thinking

Description:  If asked to give a description of yourself, what would you say? How would you describe the world we live in? Could you describe it without using words? Photojournalists do it. So do architects, dancers, and designers. From filmmaking to urban planning, a multitude of professions rely on their ability to communicate visually everyday. “Experiments in Visual Thinking” is an idea-oriented course in which students learn how to think and communicate visually. Through individual and group projects, students will work toward developing an expanded visual vocabulary while learning how to visually convey their ideas and interests.

Where will the inspiration for these creative, visual projects come from? The answer is from everywhere. Though the end result may be visual, its impetus need not be. Visual or written, contemporary or historical, researched or imagined, everything is a potential springboard from which to visually create something new. Rather than start a project by determining the discipline to work within (painting, game design, landscape architecture...), we will begin each assignment by exploring a list of interests, issues, and concerns that are both relevant to the student and the contemporary world: the self, the environment, network culture, globalization, just to name a few. Each student will be asked to translate the topic into a visual outcome. Should it be a series of photographs or a website? A performance or a piece of furniture? Through a continual exchange of technical and conceptual feedback, each student will create a series of finished projects that illustrate their ability to think visually and act upon that thinking.

Class time will be devoted to lectures, class discussions, presentations, demonstrations, work time, and critique. Equally, this course will explore the expanded role of a visually creative person in the 21st century, not only focusing on the traditional role of creator, but also on the contemporary roles of facilitator, manager, and collaborator. Though being a creative thinker may be a prerequisite, no previous artistic experience is required for this course.

General Education: The professor will be applying for this course to meet the following gened requirement: Arts.  More information will be posted as it becomes available. 

Department: Biology
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. George Robinson
Course: Biological Consequences of Global Climate Change

Description: Gain general understanding of relationships between climate pattern and life on earth and how ecosystems function; gain particular understanding of how impending climate changes are likely to affect life forms, including wild ecosystems, agricultural ecosystems, and urban ecosystems in our region. 

Course Principles:
1.  Scientists accumulate facts and interpret them into theories.
2.  All facts demonstrate that atmospheric greenhouse gases continue to
     increase, mainly due to fossil fuel combustion. Recent changes in
     climate are consistent with theories that explain how greenhouse gases
     absorb solar energy.
3.  In addition to testing theories and acquiring facts, scientists are called
     on to make careful evaluations.
4.  Evaluations by all leading climate scientists present a range of predictions
     that center on a less stable future climate.
5.  Life is exuberant and tenacious.  It diversifies during stable climate periods
     and contracts during extreme climate periods and events. 
6.  All organisms have physical limits.
7.  No life form exists in isolation.
8.  The physical and biological histories of the Earth are strongly intertwined. 
     Most organisms modify their local environments, some organisms modify
     their regional environments, and a few organisms modify the global
9.  To a large extent, we humans now control our species' destiny, along with
     that of many other species.
10.  The consensus of social scientists and natural scientists is that we will
       need to mitigate against extreme climate change and adapt to
       uncontrollable events.
11.  When it comes to manipulating nature, you can never change only
       one thing.  

General Education: The professor will be applying for this course to meet the following gened requirement(s): Natural Science; Oral Discourse.  More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Department: Information Technology Management
College/School: School of Business
Instructor: Prof. Eliot Rich
Course: Strategic Sustainable Systems

Description:  To be part of the next wave of global business growth you will need to craft sustainable businesses practices, with an eye to your effect on future generations.  In this course we will study the relationships between business activity and the physical environment. First we will ground our discussion in basic concepts of business strategy and policy making.  Employing the techniques of systems thinking and simulation, we will learn about the effects of feedback and structure that drive business growth and failure, and experiment with strategies that support economic vitality while reducing negative effects on the global economy in a time of increasingly scarce resources.

The course is designed to feature simulation, lecture, and student-driven discussions.  Simulation exercises provide group-driven interactive learning.  Lectures will include work on systems theory, current topics and issues in sustainability, and problem structuring techniques.  Students will be taught how to critique and discuss current cases and literature in a seminar format, with increasing responsibility through the semester

General Education: The professor will be applying for this course to meet the following gened requirement(s): Intensive Writing; Oral Discourse.  More information will be posted as it becomes available. 

Constellation: Nanoscale Science
College/School:  College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering
Instructor: Prof. Eric Lifshin
Course:  Between Object and Image

Description:  This course will examine the relationship between objects and the images we form of them.  It will explore the process of observation both through the unaided eye and also with the use of a variety of instruments that make it possible to extend our normal vision to observe objects from the nanoscale to astronomical dimensions.  The subjects discussed will include the interaction of light with matter, optical devices including cameras, microscopes and telescopes, digital imaging, human vision, cognition and the creative process.  It will be demonstrated that keen observation, analysis and creativity are key requirements for both science and art, and that the boundaries between the two are often nonexistent.  Because of the broad range of topics covered, none will be explored in great depth, but it is hoped that this course will encourage further study and that their interrelationships will be more fully appreciated.
Department: English
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Martha Rozett
Course: Reading Shakespeare

Description:  This course is an introduction to the plays of the world’s most famous playwright.  Students will read six plays, including some of the less well-known ones that they are unlikely to have encountered before.  The course is intended to challenge students to hone their critical and analytical skills by reading other texts from the Elizabethan period that place the plays in their historical context, along with excerpts from some of the best-known Shakespeare critics of the past century.  Among the themes we’ll explore are political power struggles in some of the English and Roman history plays and how Shakespeare and his contemporaries understood the concept of “tragedy.”  We may also read contemporary essays that apply the “lessons” to be learned from Shakespeare to the world of business and politics and discuss the way “Shakespeare” has been appropriated as a source of wisdom and precedent throughout American popular culture.  Students will also have opportunities to perform scenes from the plays, to do research on the plays’ sources, and to improve their critical writing skills.

General Education: Humanities; Oral Discourse


Department: Philosophy
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Rachel Cohon
Course: Introduction to Ethical Theory

Description:  What is the basis of our moral judgments and attitudes?  What do right actions have in common that makes them right, and what do wrong actions have in common that makes them wrong?  (Is it that they are commanded by a divine being? Required by existing social rules?  Are actions right or wrong because of their consequences for human happiness?  Their conformity to a rule of reason?)  What sort of person is it best to be?  What is valuable in life?  We will examine answers to these classic philosophical questions about ethics in the works of traditional and contemporary authors.  These answers take the form of ethical theories.  We will study a selection drawn from these theories: the divine command theory, cultural ethical relativism, the moral sentiment theory, utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, and virtue ethics.  We will look closely at the justifications offered for these theories, and subject the theories to critical analysis.  In order to think and write clearly and reason well about these issues, we will begin with an introduction to logical arguments and we will work on the special skills required for writing philosophy.

General Education: Humanities

Department: Philosophy
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Nathan Powers
Course: Utopias and Distopias

Description:  For many centuries people have dreamed about what an ideal society (utopia) would look like, and worried about ways in which society could be much worse (dystopia). Utopian dreams and dystopian worries are powerful tools for thinking about what sorts of change a society should pursue and what changes should be avoided. This course examines the tradition of utopian and dystopian thought in Western culture, starting in ancient Greece but focusing on the modern period. Along the way, students will be encouraged to reflect on (and articulate) their own ideals. 

General Education: Humanities

Department: Political Science
College/School: The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
Instructor: Prof. Meredith Weiss
Course: Identities, Boundaries, & Mobilization

Description:  This course explores the political nature of identities, and particularly the way collective identities are shaped, maintained, and deployed. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, we will examine key dimensions of identity, modes and strategies of inclusion and exclusion, forms of “identity politics,” and questions of intersectionality (the overlapping of identity categories, as for race and gender). Course materials will span everything from theoretical approaches to identity mobilization, to nationalism and secessionism, to the politics of gender and ethnicity, and will combine conceptual works, case studies, and literature. Assignments will include a series of short reaction papers, a collaborative final project, and class presentations.

Class sessions will be primarily discussion-based, supplemented by lecture as well as film clips and other multimedia as appropriate.  Readings will draw from across subfields in Political Science – theory, American politics, comparative politics – as well as Sociology and History. Specific texts likely to be included are listed in the attached draft syllabus. Among the core works are (all or part of) Poletta & Jasper’s “Collective Identity and Social Movements,” Said’s Orientalism, Mansbridge & Morris’s Oppositional Consciousness, Anderson’s Imagined Communities, Habermas’s “New Social Movements,” Virginia Sapiro’s “Gender Politics, Gendered Politics,” and Strolovith’s Affirmative Advocacy.

General Education: Social Science; Oral Discourse

Department: Psychology
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Prof. Leslie F. Halpern
Course: Emotional and Social Development

Description:  Examination of emotional and social development from infancy through adolescence.  Topics will include the development of emotional expression and understanding, temperament, emotion regulation, effortful control, attachment theory, the emergence of the self and identity, self-control, and peer relationships. The contributions of culture and family socialization practices to children’s emotional and social development will be discussed. Students will also be introduced to research methods used in studying children’s emotional and social development.

In addition to learning course material through in-class lectures and discussions of course readings, there will be a lab component to this course.  Students will be expected to participate in designing and implementing a group research project.  Through the lab component of this course students will have an active learning experience that will introduce them first-hand to the multiple steps of the research process, including conducting literature reviews, hypothesis generation, study design, data collection, data analysis, and presentation of study finding.  As part of the lab component of this course, students will be required to conduct observational research.  Prerequisite(s): APSY 101 or permission of instructor.

General Education: The professor will be applying for this course to meet the following gened requirement(s): Literacy; Oral Discourse; Writing Intensive.  Further information will be posted as it becomes available. 

Department: Health Policy
College/School: Public Health
Instructor: Prof. Diane Dewar
Course: The Road to Reform: Health Care in the United States

Description: This course is an overview of the status, trends, and key policy issues concerning U.S. health care reform today.  Issues addressed will include current concerns in quality, access, financing, insurance coverage, and ethics in the delivery of care among selected state and federal reform efforts in the past 50 years.  Students will be exposed to an introduction to the politics of policymaking, and policy evaluation. 

This course will include a comparative assessment of U.S. health policies by determining which issues in the U.S. health economy have similar causes and with those in other nations, and which are specific to U.S. national circumstances.  Students will be sensitized to the fact that research methods play a critical role in the policy cycle, but social and political factors may supercede empirics in some cases.  

The learning objectives for this course are as follows: 

·         To understand the some of the basic problems in the U.S. health care system and how they compare to those in other countries

·         To identify current policy trends in the U.S. health care system and how they compare to those in other countries with similar issues

·         To appreciate the complexity of policy development and evaluation due to the interrelationship between political, social, legal, ethical  and economic goals within and among countries

·         To relate some of the basic frameworks that analysts and policy-makers use to develop and evaluate health policy

General Education: The professor will be applying for this course to meet the following gened requirement(s): Literacy; Oral Discourse; Writing Intensive.  Further information will be posted as it becomes available.