Core Curriculum

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  • CAS CC 101: Core Humanities I: Ancient Worlds
    An interdisciplinary study of the origins of civilization, from Mesopotamia and the Hebrew Bible to the development of Greek civilization through Homer, Athenian tragedy, and the philosophy of Plato. Contrasting values, philosophies and narrative traditions are considered. Students also explore the nature of creativity in the visual culture of Mesopotamia, Israel, and ancient Greece with visits to the Boston MFA. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, 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: Core Humanities II: The Way: Antiquity and the Medieval World
    What is the best way to live? Examining Aristotle, Confucius, Laozi, texts from India and the Middle East, Virgil, and the Gospels, students compare contrasting pre-modern views of "The Way," or the best human life, concluding with Dante's Divine Comedy. A focus on writing and communication enables students to articulate and understand the values of these texts, while visits to the Boston MFA engage students with the rich interpretive visual traditions that have followed. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, 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: Core Natural Science I: Origins- of the Big Bang, Earth, Life, and Humanity
    The origins of the physical world, and 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 the Big Bang, 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. Effective Fall 2018, 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 201: Core Humanities III: Renaissance, Rediscovery, and Reformation
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g. CAS CC 102 or WR 120).
    Through readings of Petrarch, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Descartes, Milton, and Cavendish, and the art of Michelangelo and Rembrandt, we examine the tensions between the recovery of the Classical tradition and authority in early modern political and religious thought. We also consider the imaginative move in genres such as the sonnet, tragedy, the early modern novel, essay, self-portraits, and epic. Note: Students who complete CC 201 have the opportunity to go to Florence over the January winter break. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, 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: Core Humanities IV: From the Enlightenment to Modernity
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., CAS CC 102 or WR 120).
    In this fourth semester of Core humanities, we explore works of philosophy, literature and art that address how we can critique Enlightenment and Romantic ideals of subjectivity, reason, and expression. Works by Voltaire, Kant, Austen, the English Romantic Poets, Goethe, Whitman and Dickinson, and Beethoven are included. We cross the threshold of the twentieth century with Chekhov's invention of modern theater, the radical perspective of Nietzsche, a philosophical critique of inequality by W.E.B. Du Bois, and Virginia Woolf's Modernist response to World War I. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, 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 212: Core Natural Science II: Science, Reality, and the Modern World
    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. Students parallel these theories with current debates about science, such as those concerning climate change and the phenomenon of "junk science." Considers the role of science in the modern world, how we know what we know, the roles of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and chaos theory, and the nature of truth in a 21st- century context. Effective Fall 2018, this course carries a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry II, Quantitative Reasoning II, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry II
    • Quantitative Reasoning II
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS CC 220: Multimedia Encounters with Core Texts
    Allows Core students to reimagine a favorite Core text in a new, digital format. Each section has students decide upon and develop a new mediation of a particular Core work to be made available to the Core community and beyond. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Digital/Multimedia Expression.
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
  • CAS CC 221: Making the Modern World: Progress, Politics, and Economics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., CAS CC 102 or WR 120)
    How did "society" emerge as a distinctive object of political engineering, normative discourse, and social scientific inquiry? What economic transformations helped shape theories of justice and social contract? Careful readings of Western social, political and economic thinkers between 1600-1900. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry II.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS CC 222: "Unmaking" the Modern World: the Psychology, Politics, and Economics of the Self
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g. CAS CC 102 or WR 120).
    Confronting the legacy of Enlightenment philosophy in the modern era, students encounter the postmodern psychological, political, and economic theories that expose the paradoxes behind freedom and individual rights ideologies framing slavery, colonialism, ethno-nationalism, capitalist exploitation, sexism, and institutional racism. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Social Inquiry II, Critical Thinking.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS CC 320: Extended Multimedia Encounters with Core Texts
    Invites students to re-imagine a favorite Core text in a new, digital format and context in an expanded version of CC 220. Each section focuses on a particular Core work to consider, reflect and develop a new mediation of that work. Prerequisite: Students must demonstrate previous experience of studying, performing, or otherwise engaging with the text on a sophisticated level, or must receive consent from the instructor. In Fall 2020, the textual focus is the Book of Genesis. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Digital/Multimedia Expression, Teamwork/Collaboration, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
    • Creativity/Innovation
  • CAS CC 350: Core Capstone
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: completion of one of the Core Curriculum's four two-semester course sequences.
    A workshop for students pursuing the Minor in Core Independent Studies to develop skills in writing, presentation, and public speaking. Students learn to synthesize, refine, and share conclusions reached in pursuit of their capstone project. To declare for this minor, use the Hegis code 1432. This course is not required for the Core Minor (Hegis code 1431).