Race plays a huge, and sometimes unseen, part in our lives. The Understanding Race Project is engaging three overlapping audiences in an exploration of race, using a tour of Race: Are We So Different? a dynamic exhibition at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. The goals of the Understanding Race Project include an exploration of the idea of race as a social construct that has no biological basis, and as an idea that grows in meaning when examined at the intersections of other identities, such as gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and religion. The Understanding Race Project offers myriad opportunities for conversations about race, emphasizing student engagement, highlighting local experience and expertise, and looking beyond the black/white dichotomy.
This theme semester, coordinated by Comparative Literature, explores translation — an interaction between languages, media, cultures, and disciplines. Where do we encounter translation in our daily lives? Who translates? Why translate? What lessons do we learn from translating? We approach these questions from numerous perspectives: critical and creative, interdisciplinary and international. In this wider sense, translation is at the heart of our community, our university, and the world at large.
Sponsored by the Department of Linguistics, together with faculty from several departments, this theme semester examines the vital role that language plays in all aspects of human life. Its multidisciplinary programs explore, among others, linguistic theory, the role of language in philosophy, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, developmental and social psychology, social-cultural anthropology, ethnic and gender studies, evolutionary biology, and information theory.
Led by the Program in the Environment, the Exhibit Museum of Natural History, the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, and the Michigan Society of Fellows, this theme semester’s lectures, films, exhibitions, and other activities explore the ways in which water is essential to life on Earth and its role in human health, the global economy, cultural traditions, art and literature, and much more.
The theme semester invites the campus and community to consider a question which has been central to philosophical, religious, and political thought for millennia; engagement with it is considered a hallmark of education in the liberal arts. This vast theme will attempt to focus on the role of the college experience in formulating answers to this enduring question. Students will be encouraged to develop their abilities at moral discernment, to value the diversity of ways that others engage and answer the theme question, to ponder the obligations of citizens in communities — from local to international — and to make the commitments necessary to live meaningfully in their individual and communal lives.
Meaningful Objects: Museums in the Academy, led by the Museum Studies Program and the Museum of Art, is part of a continuing celebration of the renovation and reopening of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and the Museum of Art earlier in the year.
Organized by the Astronomy Department and the Exhibit Museum of Natural History as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, marking the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical observation through a telescope by Galileo Galilei.
Organized by the Center for the Study of Complex Systems, the Energy theme semester featured student writing contests, prizes for energy conservation ideas, a new course on the human and social behavioral side of energy use and demand, and visiting speakers on energy innovations and history.
Sponsored by the Center for Chinese Studies
Sponsored by the Exhibit Museum of Natural History
Sponsored by the Department of Physics
Sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies
Winter 2004 — Brown vs. Board of Education: Fulfilling the Promise
Sponsored by the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, the Program in American Culture, and the Departments of History, Psychology, and Sociology
Sponsored by the Center for Russian and East European Studies
Sponsored by the Program in Women's Studies in collaboration with the University of Michigan Museum of Art
Sponsored by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts with additional help from the Arts of Citizenship Program, the Edward Ginsberg Center for Community and Service Learning, and the University Library
Sponsored by the Office of Dialogues on Diversity
Sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment
Fall 1997 — Genders, Bodies, Borders
Sponsored by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Women's Studies Program
Fall 1996 — Food Throughout Global History
Winter 1996 — Death, Extinction, and the Future of Humanity: Approaching the Millennium
Sponsored by the Program on Studies in Religion
Winter 1994 — The Theory and Practice of Evil
Sponsored by the Program on Studies in Religion
Fall 1993 — Working in a Multicultural Society: The Changing Face of Labor
Sponsored by the American Culture Program and the Center for Research on Social Organization
Fall 1992 — The Americas, Then and Now: Beyond 1492
Sponsored by the American Culture Program
Winter 1992 — The Comedy Semester
Sponsored by the Department of English and the School of Music
Winter 1984 — Patriarchs, Prophets, Demons: The Major Victorians Revisited
Sponsored by the Departments of History and English and the Center for Western European Studies
Winter 1980 — Experiment in Education: The Eighteenth-Century Semester
Sponsored by LSA and the School of Music