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MET HI 440: Twentieth-Century American Social History
Significant themes in American social history in the twentieth century, including radical and protest movements, mass media, ethnic movements and conflict, urban disorders, and attitudes. Basic themes vary with the instructor and semester.
MET HI 450: American Popular Culture: Humor and History
The increase in scholarly and popular interest in humor during the past several decades demonstrates a heightened awareness of the significance of humor in American culture. This course analyzes the historical and sociological patterns of humor and their relation to social change and conflict in twentieth-century America. Includes readings from the social sciences and humanities and a series of films.
MET HI 476: Special Topics: The American Presidency
This course will focus on the changing institution of the American Presidency from 1901 to the present. As it examines the policies and personalities of modern U.S. presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama, this course will pay special attention to the evolving concept of the "imperial presidency" over the past century. We will also consider how changes in our political culture, driven by the rapid evolution of new communication technologies, have transformed the office of the presidency.
MET HS 201: Introduction to Nutrition
Reviews basic concepts in nutrition including the function of nutrients and the effects of deficiencies and excesses. These basic concepts are then applied to current issues throughout the lifecycle including the role of diet in malnutrition, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and weight management. Dietary guidelines for prevention of chronic disease are stressed.
MET HU 221: Major Authors I
Introduction to major works of ancient and medieval European literatures that influenced later Continental, English, and American literature: the Bible, Homeric epic, Greek Tragedy, Virgil's Aeneid, and Dante's The Divine Comedy.
MET HU 400: Great Works of the Modern Era
The 20th century presented the most accelerated period of social evolution in human history: two World Wars were fought; technology developed at a dazzling pace; psychological exploration and scientific discovery assailed traditional conceptions of religion and the nature of reality; the relation of the individual to society fluctuated as new social and political models originated. Our main focus will be the literature and film within this time frame, but parallel developments in art and music will also be discussed.
MET IS 308: Exploring Philosophy through Film: Knowledge, Ethics, & Personal Identity
This introduction to philosophy revolves around selected films and related texts that provoke serious reflection on issues of knowledge, ethics, and personal identity. The main objective of the course is to provide an introduction to the nature of philosophical inquiry and analysis by exposing the student to specific philosophical problems and issues. By focusing on film as the visual and narrative medium in which these problems and issues emerge, the student will also consider the ways in which art (with the focus here being on cinematic art) can represent and embody philosophical questions, ideas, and positions. Related objectives include the development of critical thinking and writing skills as well as the cultivation of the student's appreciation of film as an art form.
MET IS 312: Food Stuff: A Taste of Biology
This course, we will explore biological principles in the context of food. It will focus on biodiversity, evolution, biochemistry, symbioses, and humans in the biosphere. Students will be encouraged to make their own connections about the world of food by learning about biological interactions and relationships.
MET IS 325: Explorations in the Essay: History, Theory, Practice
The purpose of the course is threefold: first, to introduce students to a wide variety of essay forms, arranged historically and considered in historical context; second, to provide the opportunity to practice these forms and by imitating models to become more adept and polished writers of the essay, and finally, to explore the theory of the essay, by examining discussions among literary critics concerning the defining characteristics of the genre.
MET IS 327: The Meaning of America: People, Identity, and Conflict that Built a Nation
The course examines the philosophical underpinnings of what it means to be an American and the experiences of ordinary men and women in the making of modern America. It will look closely at the ideas of those who founded the nation and how this affected the idealism which became the American identity. The role of immigration, the change from agrarian to urban industrialized society, the growth and influence of labor unions, the shift of the U.S. from maker to buyer of goods and services, and how the ideological notion of what it means to be American evolved will be examined. How events shaped lives and national identity will be discussed. The course will look at ordinary workers and their communities and how they adjusted to changing events and forces around them.
MET IS 333: Manipulating Life: The Ethics and Science of Biotechnology
This course will explore the science behind new technologies in biology, but it will also address the ethical questions that define and direct the application of these approaches, especially in humans. Students initially will be expected to master the basic biology of DNA, gene expression, and genomics. The course will require students to learn the basic components of ethical theory and apply them to living organisms in general and to human life in particular.
MET IS 345: Rethinking the Classics: Contemporary Takes on the Canon
This interdisciplinary course pairs well-known "classic" texts with more contemporary, perhaps lesser-known works that, in one way or another, respond to the earlier examples. The course focuses on traditions (literary, cinematic, and so forth) to emphasize genre and cultural history, and, as one of its goals, moves toward discussions of aesthetics. The course will examine the timeless quality of any work we consider a "classic" and also challenge the idea of timelessness by thinking about dialogues that exist between centuries and cultures and art. Contemporary examples will allow students to think of how other voices and perspectives (gender, ethnic, racial) may question the stability of what we often deem enduring or artistic. The course pushes beyond a simple comparison/contrast approach and mere discussions of influence. Instead, we will think through the implications (theoretical, political and aesthetic) of revision, adaptation, and the intertextual. Finally, the class asks students to formulate their own aesthetic criteria through a close reading of both primary texts and secondary critical essays which will supplement the readings, film screenings, and artwork.
MET IS 350: Nature and the Divine in Myth, Literature, and Art
Over time and throughout cultures, human understanding of a divine presence, of a god or gods, has been intimately connected to our relationship with nature. In some myths, the divine is thought to be inherent in the forces of nature; in others, God stands outside, controlling nature and passing that control to human beings. Still another world view suggests that humans, nature, and the divine are all one thing, as represented in metaphors such as the circle or web of life. This course introduces students to some of the world's mythic traditions, applying them to the enduring cultural issues surrounding humanity's relationship to nature and our role as stewards of the environment. We will follow a roughly chronological syllabus, with readings from the Bible and classical mythology through the writings of Emerson and modern works such as Ceremony by Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko. Students will also be exposed to visual art (including Celtic Christian and Native American design) and some film.
MET IS 360: Literature, Film, and the American Dream
This course will examine the nature of the American Dream as seen through fiction, essays, poetry, autobiography, historical documents, and art. It will follow a chronological pattern with the Dream evolving from the Puritan fathers? desire for religious freedom to the Revolution's emphasis on political liberty, the 19th century's focus on self reliance, and the quest for the good life characteristic of the 20th century. At the same time, such characteristic thematic elements as the desire for equality, individual expansion and achievement, and the maturation of the soul will be examined in terms of their impact on all the different permutations of the Dream.
MET IS 362: Mathematics that Matter in the Twenty-first Century
In this course students will expand their knowledge of the mathematics of probability, algebraic thinking, geometry, and statistics, with a focus on contemporary developments and applications. The course will examine the applications of mathematics in contemporary contexts via readings and explorations. 4 cr
MET IS 367: Jobs, Wages, and the Global Economy
This course introduces fundamental concepts of micro and macro economics within the context of the labor market. In micro economics, we focus on the supply and demand for labor, looking at trends in labor force participation, college attendance, and wage differentials. In macro economics, we focus on the ability of the economy to create enough jobs to maintain full employment. We will also cover current topics related to the functioning of the labor market, including a discussion of income distribution and poverty, and the employment impact of international trade and outsourcing.
MET IS 370: China, the Emerging Superpower: A Model for Development?
Online offering. The course will assess whether China will remain a friend or become a foe for the U.S., argue whether China's road to modernization is an apt model for other developing nations, analyze China's past to discover patterns and traditions that still exist, and study the interaction between China and the world community to determine its future role as a world leader. For further information, please call the Office of Distance Education at 617-358-1960.
MET IS 380: Landscape, Climate, and Humans
This course will provide students with an introduction to environmental science with a dual focus in physical geography and climatology. Students will learn to interpret major themes in Earth History and human affairs through interactive lessons that include online lectures, outside reading, and extensive online maps, diagrams, and animations. We will discuss the interactions of climate, physical geography, and human activities in the formation of a dynamic, living Earth. The action of weather, humans, and non-human organisms on the Earth's surface will tie the course together as we end with biogeochemistry and a look at the origin of life. (4 credits)
MET IS 385: Interior and Exterior Landscapes: Understanding Native American Cultures
The indigenous people of North America have a unique experience of negotiating cultural boundaries, alien ideologies, and inscrutable behaviors that appear in everything from personal interactions to national policy, and their own cultural and religious traditions have survived despite a dominant culture that has sought to both annihilate and romanticize them. This course is about that cultural interaction and offers an opportunity to understand Native American cultures in their own terms through the voices of their people expressing themselves in literature, film, and other cultural productions and to nderstand America from the perspective of the cultures of its original inhabitants.
MET IS 400: Great Ideas
This course will complement HU 400 by focusing on the philosophical, scientific, and political concepts that underlie the foundations of modern western history.