Core Curriculum

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  • CAS CC 101: Core Humanities I: Ancient Worlds
    The origins of civilization, an interdisciplinary study. Beginning with Mesopotamia and the Hebrew Bible, we move on to the development of Greek civilization through Homer, tragedy, and the philosophy of Plato. Students also engage with the visual culture of ancient Greece and the relation of beauty and power by examining the Parthenon and works at the Museum of Fine Arts. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS CC 102: Core Humanities II: The Way: Antiquity and the Medieval World
    How to live: examining Aristotle, Confucius, Laozi, the Bhagavad-gita, Virgil, and the Gospels, students compare Biblical and Classical, and explore Eastern, views of "The Way," or the best human life, concluding with Dante's Divine Comedy. A study of Western and Asian art at the Museum of Fine Arts brings out the contrast of traditions and highlights our focus on the relation of the individual to culture and to nature. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS CC 111: Core Natural Science I: Origins
    The origins of the physical world, a scientific parallel to CC 101. Explores how the fields of astronomy, earth science, biology, and anthropology help us to understand our place in the cosmos from a scientific perspective. Topics include Big Bang theory, evolution of the stars and earth, evolution of life, and the origins of human life and society. Assignments include computer-based and experimental laboratory work. Carries natural sciences (with lab) divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS CC 112: Core Social Science I: Religion, Community, and the Birth of the Social Sciences
    Examines the religious basis of society and attempts to reform it (St. Augustine, Luther and Calvin, John Locke), early European attempts to understand other cultures (Spanish missionaries in Latin America, Jesuits in China), concluding with twentieth-century social scientists analyzing religious experience (William James, Durkheim, Evans-Pritchard). We discuss what is a just war, whether we have natural rights, and whether tolerance is a utopian ideal. Carries social sciences divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS CC 201: Core Humanities III: The Renaissance, Rediscovery, and Reformation
    Reading Petrarch, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Descartes, we examine the revival of the Classics and explore the new interest in the physical world. Topics studied include the rise of national literatures, the origins of modern political and scientific thought, and the beginning of the novel. The art of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and the music of Bach complete this journey through a period that laid the foundations of the modern world. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS CC 202: Core Humanities IV: From the Enlightenment to Modernity: Journey from the Enlightenment through the Romantic Revolt to the Modern World
    Through Voltaire, Kant, Rousseau, Austen, the English Romantic Poets, Whitman and Dickinson, and the music of Beethoven, we examine questions of social hierarchy and what it means to know, the relation of subjectivity to reason, and our relationship with nature. A look at the radical perspective of Nietzsche, returning to 20th-century America with W.E.B. DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk, and ending with Virginia Woolf's Modernist response to World War I. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS CC 211: Core Social Science II: Power, Political Forms, and Economics
    Considers the major events and processes that have shaped the modern world both in the United States and globally and looks at the roots of these changes in the works studied in first year Core. Ideas of human rights and self-determination, the relation of the individual and society, and the relation of power and economics to society. Readings are drawn from classic works of social and political theory: Thucydides, Ibn Khaldun, Hobbes, Rousseau, Tocqueville, Weber, Adam Smith, Marx, Durkheim, and Malinowski. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS CC 212: Core Natural Science II: Reality, Science, and the Modern World
    Studies the paradigm-shifting scientific theories which created a new world-view and forced the 20th century into a new understanding of our relation to reality, beginning with quantum theory and relativity and then exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics, emergent properties, neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Carries natural science divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS CC 250: Core Capstone
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: completion of one of the Core Curriculum?s four two-semester course sequences.
    A workshop for students pursuing the Core Interdisciplinary Minor to develop skills in writing, presentation, and public speaking. Students learn to synthesize, refine, and share conclusions reached in pursuit of their capstone project.