Core Curriculum

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  • CAS CC 101: Ancient Worlds: Core Humanities 1
    An interdisciplinary study of the origins of civilization, from Mesopotamia and the Hebrew Bible to the development of Greek civilization through Homer, tragedy, and the philosophy of Plato. We consider the contrasting values of the different cultures that have contributed to our own worldview with particular relation to the tension and or cooperation between the individual and society. Students also explore the nature of creativity in the works studied and by engaging with the visual culture of ancient Greece and the relation of beauty and power in the Parthenon and works at the MFA Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Creativity/Innovation
  • CAS CC 102: The Way: from Antiquity to the the Medieval World: Core Humanities 2
    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 focus on writing and oral / signed communication leads to an exploration of the nature of communication, while a study of Western and Asian art at the Museum of Fine Arts brings out the contrast of traditions and deepens Core's overall study of the relation of the individual to culture and to nature. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: First-Year Writing Seminar, Oral and/or Signed Communication.
    • First-Year Writing Seminar
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
  • CAS CC 111: Origins: the Big Bang, Earth, Life, and Humanity: Core Natural Sciences 1
    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, from a scientific perspective, our place in the cosmos. 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 as well as team-based investigation and original research. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • CAS CC 112: Religion, Community, and the Birth of the Social Sciences: Core Social Science 1
    Examines the religious basis of society alongside various 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) and concludes 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, with a particular focus on the nature of critical thought and the various modes of argumentation employed in the works studied Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS CC 201: The Renaissance, Rediscovery, and Reformation: Core Humanities 3
    Reading Petrarch, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Descartes, we examine the revival of the Classics and explore the new interest in the physical world and the nature of authority. Topics studied include the rise of national literatures, the origins of modern political and scientific thought, and the beginning of the novel. A study of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and Bach's music adds to our understanding of the foundations of the modern world, and a focus on writing and research complements our concern with authorship and its multiple modes of communication. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing, Research, and Inquiry; Research and Information Literacy.
    • Writing, Research, and Inquiry
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CAS CC 202: From Enlightenment and Romantic Revolt to the Modern World: Core Humanities 4
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    Through Voltaire, Kant, Austen, the English Romantic Poets, Whitman and Dickinson, as well as 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. Then, from 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, we see the roots of the modern world's questioning of what is knowable and our revaluation of the moral and philosophic bases of human life. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Ethical Reasoning, Writing-intensive Course.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS CC 211: Power, Political Forms, and Economics: Core Social Science 2
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    Builds on CC 112, considering the major events and processes that have shaped the modern world, 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. The course is writing intensive. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry II, Writing-intensive Course.
  • CAS CC 212: Reality, Science, and the Modern World: Core Natural Science 2
    Studies the paradigm-shifting scientific theories of quantum theory and relativity that created a new world view and forced the 20th century into a new understanding of our relation to reality. Examines chaos theory and parallels these ideas with current debates and discoveries in science, such as climate change and the phenomenon of allegedly "junk science". Considers the role of science in the modern world, how we know what we know, and the nature of truth in a 21st century context.
    • Scientific Inquiry II
    • Quantitative Reasoning II
    • Critical Thinking
  • 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.