Courses

  • KHC PO 102: How to Chg Wrld
  • KHC PS 101: Revolutions in the Conceptualization of Mind: 1950s to the Present
    The 1950s was the origin of the Cognitive Revolution, when the mind was first viewed as a computational, symbol-processing machine. A succession of other ideas has been offered to understand mind and behavior. Some approaches were initially scorned, such as evolutionary psychology; others were influential immediately, such as cognitive neuroscience. This seminar traces the different disciplines that have contributed to modern conceptions of mind, including anthropology, economics, and animal behavior. Students will be able to choose their own question of interest for focused exploration while the class broadly studies this explosive half-century of intellectual evolution.
  • KHC PY 101: Energy
    Ours is an energy intensive society. American energy consumption per capita is now over ten times what it was when our nation was founded, and the rest of the world is rapidly following our example. This is leading to increasingly severe worldwide problems such as the growing competition for scarce resources including fossil fuels (today's principal sources of energy by far) but also fresh water, agricultural land and mineral resources. Many countries face ever more severe problems of pollution, congestion, drought, and the growing effects of global climate change. The goals of this seminar are to examine the physical principles underlying the production, distribution and consumption of energy and to use this knowledge to explore and discuss such issues as energy conservation, public transport, the so-called hydrogen economy, electric and hybrid vehicles, nuclear power and carbon sequestration, as well as to evaluate the feasibility of various alternative sources of energy sources. During the Seminar, we anticipate freewheeling conversations relating to various energy-related issues, such as: Are we running out of oil? What is the evidence for anthropically caused Global Warming? What can be done to prevent (or prepare for) it? Can part or all of the problem be solved by alternative power sources? Is it feasible to capture and sequester the CO2 produced by fossil power plants? How important is it to conserve energy?
  • KHC RS 103: History and the Novel
    A series of close readings of major modern works of fiction. Focus will be on such topics as the novel's effort to speak the truth of history, its status as unintended historical symptom, its occasional conflictual relation with history, its rivalry with music in the effort to distill an essence of time, and the notion of literary history itself. CAS Divisional Assignment: HU; KHC Assignment: HU
  • KHC RS 105: Lorca, Buñuel, Dalí: Fable of Friends
    In the 1920s, three young men from the same university residence --a poet, a painter, and a film maker--tested boundaries between the arts. At the Residencia de Estudiantes, Madrid, Federico García Lorca drew Salvador Dalí into the world of poetry, and Dalí attracted Lorca to the world of art. Painter and poet were fascinated by the films of Luis Buñuel: Dalí collaborated with him on Un chien andalou and Lorca responded with a surrealist filmscript of his own. This course considers the differences between the verbal and the visual image and follows the three friends' uneasy search for common ground. (4 credits) CAS Divisional Assignment: HU; KHC Assignment: HU
  • KHC ST 111: Studio I
    The studios foster writing, research, and quantitative skills by exploring fundamental ethical, aesthetic, and social issues. They focus on the themes and problems raised by provocative modernist texts drawn from literature, film, psychology, philosophy, and the arts.
  • KHC ST 112: Studio II
    The studios foster writing, research, and quantitative skills by exploring fundamental ethical, aesthetic, and social issues. They focus on the themes and problems raised by provocative modernist texts drawn from literature, film, psychology, philosophy, and the arts.
  • KHC UC 103: Anger and Related Emotions
    If Homer's Iliad is the first work of Western literature, as it well may be, then the first word of Western literature is "anger." Homer begins his epic with a particular word for anger, "mênis." It is but one of several ancient Greek words for this emotion, and means something like wrath, righteous and vengeful fury. Consideration of Homer's famous portrayal of anger's meaning and effects will lead us to these questions, among others: what is anger and what shapes does it take? What leads us to feel it? Is it a good thing to feel, or is it to be suppressed on grounds of its irrationality, destructiveness, or its connection with possibly flawed quasi-moral notions such as honor? Are there ever good reasons to give it up (for example, a duty to forgive), and if so how should we understand forgiveness, reconciliation, and the like? Anger and its modulations (resentment, vengefulness, righteousness, indignation, malice, among others) certainly seem to be extraordinarily prevalent and influential at multiple levels-- social, interpersonal, and personal. In Homer and the Bible, even the relation between humans and the divine is fraught with anger. In exploring what anger is, we will delve into the philosophy of emotion, and therefore into the relation of emotion to reason as well as to feeling and mood. In discussing why we feel anger, we will examine its relation to self-esteem, honor, and more broadly our nature as social beings. We will also consider several emotions that are related to anger, such as envy, jealousy, and love. Our readings will extend from Homer through the Bible, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics (in particular, Seneca's On Anger), Shakespeare, to contemporary philosophers (some of whom approach the topic with issues of gender, race, and social standing in view). CAS Divisional Assignment: HU; KHC Assignment: HU
  • KHC VA 101: Art for the City
    Visual Art is a universal language where diverse areas of professional specialization can intersect and find a new voice and way of speaking to many people instead of an esoteric and isolated few. Significant social, political, and moral issues of our time require the ability to think from multiple points of view. This ability can be developed into a visionary skill, which in turn can be embodied in enduring and powerful forms of artistic communication. In this course students will examine the ways that visual art embodies contemporary issues and how these issues relate to content found in the liberal arts study disciplines including The Social Sciences, The Natural Sciences, and Life Sciences. This course will include a diverse range of contemporary practices in many art forms that we will discuss as a group through frank discourse. We will investigate the impact of visual arts on diverse domains of 'real world' industries and communities locally in the Boston Area and compare these with projects made worldwide. We will do this through lecture presentations, peer to peer dialogue, student to professional dialogue and research. The course will culminate with individual illustrated reports in the form of online portfolios. CAS Divisional Assignment: HU; KHC Assignment: Arts
  • KHC VA 102: Spaces of Art: The Place of Art in the Contemporary Museum, Gallery and Studio
    The goal of this course is for students to experience and reflect upon works of art within an architectural, institutional and cultural context. Students in this seminar will visit Boston-area museums to look closely at and question the role of art in the contemporary museum and beyond. In contrast to much of contemporary visual experience, which is mediated through screens and via printed material, students in this course will have the opportunity to give in- depth consideration to primary sources. Through experiencing the presentation of the work in the context of an exhibition, and in conversation with artists, curators, and other museum professionals, students will be challenged to think critically about the role of material form as related to meaning in specific works, and more broadly about the larger social context surrounding groups of work in an exhibition. CAS Divisional Assignment: HU; KHC Assignment: Arts
  • KHC XL 101: Global Shakespeares
    A Kuwaiti playwright, in the aftermath of 9/11, casts Hamlet as a jihadi terrorist and Ophelia as a suicide bomber. Hollywood directors set Othello and Taming of the Shrew adaptations in American high schools. The College Board, as it does almost every year, includes a Shakespeare essay on the AP English Literature exam. What can these diverse events tell us about the cultures that produce them and the plays that inspire them? Why do contemporary writers feel the need to parrot and parody "Shakespeare," and how much of this activity is about Shakespeare at all? This seminar provides an introduction to reading and writing about Shakespeare's plays. But it also takes a step back to consider Shakespeare as a phenomenon. Among others we'll look at feminist Shakespeare, postcolonial and nationalist Shakespeare, and sci-fi Shakespeare. Beyond learning about particular offshoots and adaptations, the deeper point is to make sure you never read a "Great Book" the same way again.