B CUSP 107
Through collaborative and interdisciplinary learning, students develop a knowledge base, skills, habits of inquiry, and imaginative vision. Focuses on individuals, society. Offered: A.
For Autumn 2010 Course Title: Autonomy and Alternatives: Personal Choices and Social Realities
All of us are confronted with choices every day: Can we do what we want to do? Or will we do what others require us to do? How do we balance the two? How do we account for the choices we actually have--or the feeling that those are not the choices we really want? Just as these are practical questions connected to our personal identity and social responsibility, they are also issues that have fascinated writers, philosophers, politicians, and artists for centuries.
This team-taught course will introduce ways of thinking about these core questions and themes concerning individual choices and social responsibility through a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including literary and cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, political theory, and history. We will enjoy a range of texts including poetry, fiction, philosophical and critical essays, film, and personal narratives that deal with these questions in different ways and contexts. The assigned texts, in addition to lively discussion and thoughtful written work, are meant to help students investigate complex issues of history and "differences" across race, gender, culture, ethics, and politics.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lectures, discussions, in-class activities such as debates, role-plays, field trips, and community service or involvement.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments (both graded and ungraded) will be designed to develop your ability to read and understand complex works across disciplines, to engage in rigorous yet collegial debate and argument, to cultivate your unique style as a writer, and to deepen your understanding and appreciation of the relationship between personal choices and social realities.
You will be asked to write reflective and argumentative essays, to do research on new topics, and to engage in classroom discussions and activities. There will be quizzes on the reading, a mid-term examination, and a final paper. There will also be multimedia options for some assignments.