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Division of Humanities & the Arts

Perspectives: Core Requirements Course Descriptions

Fall 2014

Artistic Perspective

ART 10000: Introduction to Visual Arts of the World (Intro. Principles)
Course Description: Concepts underlying content, formal structure and historical development of the visual arts; art as a global phenomenon from prehistory to the present; relationship of art to the natural world, the built environment, political and other human institutions, and the realm of spirituality.

MCA 12100: Introduction to Film Studies
Course Description: The course examines the artistic and social power of film as a medium of audiovisual communication. The course emphasizes the analysis of narrative feature films, but also pays attention to non-fiction and experimental forms. The course offers a systematic view of how cinema tells stories, organizes information, patterns, light and sound, and creates unique aesthetic and social experiences. Aspects treated by the course include sound, editing, cinematography, film style, narrative and non-narrative forms, the organization of film production, and the relations of film to broader artistic, social, and historical contexts. Special attention is given to the ways film is now related to television, video and new computer technologies. 

MUS 10100: Introduction to Music
Course Description: Concepts underlying the understanding and enjoyment of music. Examples from around the world highlight matters of form and content. Attendance at concerts, both on and off campus, as well as guided classroom listening aid in the development of listening and communication skills.

MUS 10200: Introduction to World Music (Introduction to World Folk)
Course Description: An exploration of music from around the world and its relation to historical, social, and cultural forces. Investigates music related to religion, ritual, politics, work, and social function in terms of musical form, style, and literary content.

MUS 14500: Introduction to Jazz
Course Description: An introduction to the important figures and diverse styles of jazz. Emphasis will be on listening to jazz and its unique characteristics including identifying various instruments and their roles in jazz ensembles. Attendance at concerts both on and off campus as well as guided classroom listening will aid in the development of listening and communication skills. The influence of folk and popular music from all related cultures will be discussed as well as social issues that affected the music growth and popularity.

THTR 13100: Introduction to Theatre (Introduction to Theatre Arts)
Course Description: The related creative arts of playwright, director, actor and designer; their collective contributions to the form of the play that ultimately evolves on stage. Discussion of the institutions in contemporary American theatre.


Global History and Culture Perspective

ANTH 10100: General Anthropology
Course Description: Humankind from its prehistoric beginnings in Africa and its evolution to the present; human nature; cultural bias and fallacies of cultural and racial superiority; society, social groups (ethnic, racial, class, etc.) and social stratification; cultural change and diffusion; the cultural vs. the individual and biological; the interaction among biology, environment, and culture; conflict, culture change, and modernization; and ritual, symbol, beliefs, values, customs and language.

ASIA 10100: Asian Culture and its Peoples
Course Description: The major factors that have shaped the Asian countries and peoples; geography, civilization, migration, and settlements of ethnic groups; philosophies, religions, historical events, leaders, and modern political and socioeconomic institutions.

ASIA 20200: Contemporary Asia
Course Description: The cultural tradition of Asia in general and of China and Japan in particular. The peoples and their psychological, educational, social, artistic, political and economic behavior.

ASIA 20500: Contemporary China
Course Description: Historical events, political, cultural and socio-economic conditions, and foreign relations of the People's Republic of China since 1949. Analysis of the Cultural Revolution; economic growth of the People's Republic; relations with the U.S. and the former Soviet Union; Communist leadership to the present.

BLST 10200: African Heritage and the Caribbean-Brazilian Experience
Course Description: Analysis of historical conditions which shaped the lives of African peoples in the Caribbean and Brazil emphasizing cultural continuities, human organization and similarities in global Black experience among Africans on the continent and in the Western hemisphere, vis-a-vis European politico-economic control and cultural impact.  

HIST 20600: Modern Europe
Course Description: An overview of social, economic, political, and intellectual developments in Europe from the Enlightenment to the present, and an introduction to the study of history. Topics include the problem of revolution, industrialization and the transformation of rural societies, the emergence of liberalism and the challenges it has faced in the twentieth century.

HIST 27600: Africa in Modern World
Course Description: A social history of Africa from the 19th century to the present, with emphasis on state formation, impact of the slave trade, and resistance to colonialism.

WCIV 10100: World Civilization I: Prehistory to 1500 AD
Course Description: An examination of the civilizations of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas through a comparative study of selected places and themes. The dynamics of hunter/gatherer, pastoral and agrarian societies, urbanization, trade, imperialism, slavery, feudalism, the centralization of the state, religion and secular thought are among the topics discussed.

WCIV 10200: World Civilization II: 1500AD to present
Course Description: A study of the major forces that have shaped the modern world of Asia, Africa Europe and the Americas. Selected themes include the interaction of the Western and non-Western world, the scientific revolution, capitalism, imperialism, industrialization, economic growth and stagnation, revolutions, counter-revolutions, modern political ideologies, the global crisis of the 20th century and emerging global interdependence.


Literary Perspective

JWST 11300: Introduction to Jewish Literature
Course Description: This course surveys the literature and culture of the Jews from the Bible onward, tracing the evolution of the text as a central concern of Jews throughout the centuries in legal, linguistic, religious, and cultural terms. Jewish American fiction will round out the course, along with modern Hebrew literature, underscoring the urgency of Biblical themes and religious tradition, translated and reworked for modern eyes and ears.

THTR 21100: Theatre History I
Course Description: The development of theatre and drama from tribal origins to 1640 (including Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Medieval/Renaissance periods).

THTR 21200: Theatre History II
Course Description: The development of theatre and drama from 1640 to 1900, including Jacobean, Restoration, Romanticism, Early Melodrama, Naturalism.

THTR 21300: Theatre History III
Course Description: The study of plays and production styles prevalent throughout the Twentieth Century in Europe and America. This course will consider a selection of important plays and such important movements as: Symbolism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Expressionism, Theatre of the Absurd, Theatre of Images, the rise of the Broadway musical, the Off-Off Broadway theatre movement, the rise of Afro-American and Latino schools of writing and production, New German Realism, Post-Modernism, etc.

WHUM 10100: World Humanities I
Course Description: An introduction to world literature and its relationship to the traditions and societies from which it springs. Study of major works from antiquity to the seventeenth century.

WHUM 10200: World Humanities II
Course Description: An introduction to world literature and its relationship to the traditions and societies from which it springs. Study of major works from the eighteenth century to the contemporary period.

WHUM 10312: World Humanities: Modern World Literature
Course Description: World Humanities 10312 is an introduction to literature. In the course of the term, you will develop a range of skills in literary study through careful reading, class discussion, and written analysis of a range of works by contemporary Anglophone writers.


Natural Scientific Perspective

ASTR 30500: Concepts of Astronomy (Methods in Astronomy)
Course Description: Designed to fulfill the 30000-level core science requirement, the course covers the fundamental physical laws that underlie the motions of heavenly bodies, including Newtonian mechanics and Einstein's theory of relativity, planetary, stellar and galactic evolution; the methods, techniques and instruments used by modern astronomy, including the Hubble Space Telescope and planetary space probes.

EAS 10000: The Dynamic Earth
Course Description: Basic concepts of geology. The materials, structures, and surface features of the earth, and the processes which have produced them.

EAS 10100: The Atmosphere
Course Description: An introduction to the processes and phenomena of our atmosphere. Topics include clouds, sky color, greenhouse effect, storms, climates and Ice Ages.


Natural Scientific Perspective with Interactive Component

BIO 10004: Strategy of Life (Human Biology)
Course Description: An introduction to the questions explored and the methods and tools used in the modern study of human biology, with particular emphasis on metabolism, genetics, physiology and bioethics. Intended for non-Science Majors.

CHEM 11000: Exploring Chemistry: Energy and Environment
Course Description: This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of chemistry: measurement, atoms and atomic structure, chemical bonding, molecular structure, and energetics; and the application of these to issues of topical interest, such as ozone layer depletion, climate change, ocean acidification, and alternative energies.

EAS 10400: Climate change: The issue of Global Warming (Perspectives on Global Warming)
Course Description: This Life and Physical Sciences common core course in lecture and lab format will establish a basic understanding of how the physical processes in the atmosphere and environment interact to yield the basic patterns and phenomenon observed via weather systems and long-term climate change. To establish a basic understanding of how the physical processes in the atmosphere and environment interact to yield the basic patterns and phenomenon observed via weather systems and long-term climate change.


Self and Society Perspective

ANTH 20100: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
Course Description: Human universals and differences in family life, economics, politics and religion in societies around the world. Insights about American life and about how the world's peoples are interdependent. Emphasis on major controversies and issues about gender relations, economic development, inequality, violence and aggression, religion, healing and cultural identity.

ANTH 35000: Race and Racism
Course Description: An examination of the idea of race from biological, sociocultural, and historical standpoints, particularly as it arose in support of the development of western European colonialism and imperialism. Also investigated will be the role of race/racism via-a-vis socioeconomic inequality, gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality.

ECO 10250: Principles of Microeconomics
Course Description: This introductory course develops the basic tools and methods of microeconomics analysis. The choices of individual decision makers are analyzed in studying how markets operate. The fundamentals of supply and demand, consumer and firm behavior, and market interactions are examined. Applications to current macroeconomic issues are discussed in the course, for example, the role of government in markets.

ECO 10350: Principles of Macroeconomics
Course Description: This introductory course develops the basic tools and methods of microeconomic analysis. Issues of employment and unemployment, inflation, the level of output and its growth, and other important current policy problems are examined within the framework of models that economists use. The main area of current applications will be the United States economy, but attention will also be given to international economic issues.

PSY 10200: Psychology in Modern World
Course Description: An introduction to the study of human development and learning, personality and motivation, sex differences, attitudes, aggressions, interpersonal attraction, behavior in groups and work settings, abnormal behavior and its treatment. Emphasis on the ways in which psychological theory and research can be applied to individual and social problems

SOC 10500: Introduction to Sociology
Course Description: The language of sociology, the sociological perspective, and basic areas of sociological inquiry. Topics include: culture, socialization, self and society, social stratification and social class. The family, religion, polity, community organization, collective behavior, mass culture, social order and social change.

WS 10000: Women's/Gender Roles in Contemporary Society
Course Description: An introduction to issues that arise when women's lives and gender roles become the focus of critical inquiry. How do different societies and academic disciplines define women? How do women's experiences vary in relation to factors such as race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, age and nationality? How have women resisted, adapted to, and transformed women's space in the United States and elsewhere.


United States Society Perspective

PSC 10100: US Politics & Government (American Government and Politics)
Course Description: An analysis of processes, values and problems of American Government and Democracy. Special emphasis given to national political institutions and issues.

USSO 10100: US Development and People (US Society)
Course Description: Analysis of how a powerful nation-state evolved from a tiny offshoot of European colonial expansion. Elucidates major forces that have shaped the modern world: religion, land policies, technology, industrial capitalism, democracy, nationalism, socialism, racism, sexism, and imperialism.


Logical – Philosophical Perspective

PHIL 10200: Intro to Philosophy
Course Description: An introduction to some of the central questions of philosophy, concerning our knowledge of the external world, causation, God, mind and body, freedom, justice, and moral judgment, via philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Mill, Kant, Russell, Wittgenstein and Rawls.

PHIL 20100: Logical Reasoning
Course Description: This course provides students with an introduction to the elements of logical reasoning. Basic Rules and methods of assessing validity and proving arguments as they occur in natural language are introduced (such as truth tables and rules of inference). The goal of the course is to enable students to translate and evaluate arguments in natural language using the basic tools of modern logic. The focus of this course enables it to serve as an excellent form of preparation for SATs, LSATs and other standardized tests, as well as an analytic resource for further academic studies.

PHIL 30500: History of Philosophy I: Ancient
Course Description: A survey of early Greek philosophy, centered on the figures of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Some attention is paid to pre-Socratic philosophers (e.g. Heraclitus, Parmenides) and to at least one current of thought after Aristotle (e.g. Stoicism, Skepticism, neo-Platonism, or early Christian theology)

PHIL 34905: Biomedical Ethics
Course Description: Treats issues such as abortion, euthanasia, extraordinary means, confidentiality, human experimentation, genetic control and allocation of limited life-saving therapy.

PSC 12400: Political Ideas and Issues
Course Description: The relevance of political theory in the examination and solution of current political controversies. The course will cover such themes as justice, legitimacy, civil liberties, civil disobedience, the nature of man, society and the state. Focus will be on great writings in political thought from all periods.