Residential College Courses

Most RC courses are open to LS&A students and may be used to meet distribution requirements.

Core (Division 863)

Written and Verbal Expression

105. Logic and Language. (4). (N.Excl).

Argument is the focus of this course, both in symbols and in language. We deal with the forms of arguments, the applications of them, what makes them valid or invalid, weak or strong. We do this in two concurrent ways: a) Microcosmically, we examine the structure of arguments, what makes them tick. In the deductive sphere we deal with the relation of truth and validity, develop logic of propositions, and enter the logic of quantification. In the inductive sphere, we deal with argument by analogy, and causal analysis, and with elementary probability theory. b) Macrocosmically, we do the analysis of real arguments in controversial contexts, as they are presented in classical and contemporary philosophical writing: ethical arguments (in Plato); argument about religion (in Hume) and about knowledge (in Descartes); political argument (in J.S. Mill); and legal arguments as they appear in Supreme Court decisions. In all cases both substance and form are grist for our mill. Time demands on students are substantial. Class periods (two 1-hour meetings and one 2-hour meeting each week) are a mixture of lecture and discussion. Open to all LS&A students. (Cohen)

Foreign Language

190. Intensive French I. No credit granted to those who have completed French 100, 101, 102, or 103. (8). (FL).

Intensive courses meet twice a day in lecture and discussion, four days a week. Students may also become involved in language lunch tables, coffee hours, and other social events. There is a language laboratory in the College, and the language teachers are available for counseling and additional help. If a student begins a new language, proficiency is normally attained in one year through the Residential College program. The goal of this course is to provide the student with a basic but solid knowledge of grammatical structures and syntax, a functional vocabulary, a familiarity with intonation patterns and native pronunciation, and practice in speaking and writing. Upon completion of this course the student can understand simplified written texts or short spoken passages without the aid of a dictionary, and carry on a short, elementary conversation. (Carduner)

191, 193, 194. For information on these intensive language courses (191: German; 193: Russian; 194: Spanish) see description for 190 (above). (191: Zorach; 194: Moya-Raggio)

290. Intensive French II. Core 190. No credit granted to those who have completed French 230, 231, or 232. (8). (FL).

The goal of this course is to expand vocabulary and mastery of grammatical structures and syntax to the level of competency required to pass the Proficiency Exam. This entails communication with some ease in speaking and in writing with a native speaker and understanding the content of a text of a non-technical nature (written and spoken), and presenting a general (non-literary) interest. (Carduner)

291, 294. For information on these intensive language courses (291: German; 294: Spanish) see description for 290 (above). (291: Zorach; 294: Moya-Raggio)

320. Seminaire en français. Proficiency test. (4). (HU).
Section 001.
After having situated Brittany in France, we will try to see its originality. Through readings about Brittany we will study its culture and its history. We will also see Brittany through its writers, its poets and its singers. Throughout the term we will have the chance to view slides on Brittany and Chateaubriand's itinerary in Brittany where he was born. We will listen to traditional music and revolutionary songs connected with the M.L.B. (Mouvement de Liberation de la Bretagne). (Catherine Masson)

Section 002. This is an introductory course in the eighteenth century. We shall read works by les philosophes who, skeptical in religion, materialist in philosophy and hedonist in ethics, believed in the idea of progress. They felt that reason controlled by experience was, despite its limitations, the ultimate judge and the best guide available for the conduct of life. Tracing the popularization of scientific knowledge in literary form, the role of law within society, new economic and educational theories, we shall try to define what constituted the esprit philosophie and see how it became in turn revendicateur and in some cases, revolutionnaire. Texts will include: Montesquieu, Les Lettres persanes, De l'esprit des lois (selections); Voltaire, Les Lettres philosophiques; Rousseau, Discours sur les science et les arts, Discours sur l'origine de l'inegalitie parmi les hommes; Buffon, Pages choisies, (Histoire naturelle); Diderot, Entretien entre d'Alembert et Diderot, Le reve d'Alembert, Encyclopedi (selections). (Brian Morton)

Section 003. A successful francophone Senegalese writer, Ousmane Sembene is also a filmmaker of renown. In this course we shall read several of his short stories (from Voltaique and LeMandat ) and a novel (Xala), some of which Sembene himself has turned into films. (Such is the case with La noire de..., and Xala, for instance.) We shall also screen those of his films that are available in the USA. This will be done with a view to gaining an understanding of what accounts for the success this artist, who never went far in his formal education, has met with in Africa. (Jonathan Ngate)

324. Readings in Spanish. Proficiency test. (4). (HU).
Section 002 Contemporary Latin American Short Story.
The short story has traditionally been a very popular literary genre in Spanish-speaking Latin America. This course is based on the reading of a series of short stories written by famous contemporary Latin American writers. A brief history of the development of the short story in Latin America will be presented, as well as different views on the general characteristics and different types of short stories. The importance and advantages of this literary form will be discussed and the perspective of the Latin American writers and critics on this particular literary form will also be explored. Following Julio Cortázar's idea that the short story is the "end result of a struggle between life and the written expression of that life, a living synthesis as well as a synthesized life," the short stories to be read in this class will lead the reader beyond the mere anecdote to the discovery of a different world: the despair of Juan Rulfo's peasants in El llano en llamas, the suffocating atmosphere of rural Colombia in Gabriel Garcia Marquez Los Funerales de la Mama Grande and El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba, the conflict of contemporary urban man in Jose Donoso's Cuentos, the decadence of a class in pre-revolutionary Cuba as seen by Guillermo Cabrera Infante in Asi enla paz como en la guerra, and the almost fantastic world of Julio Coratazar's El final del juego. (Moya-Raggio)

Arts (Division 864)

285. Photography. (4). (Excl). Materials fee.

An introduction to the medium of photography from the perspective of the artist. It includes an overview of photography's role in the arts, the development of an understanding of visual literacy and self-expression as they relate to the photographic medium, and the development of basic technical skills in black and white and color photographs. A visual emphasis is maintained in both presentation and course work, and the student works with the medium towards a goal of personal expression. (Hannum)

287. Printmaking. (4). (Excl). Materials fee.

Developing an understanding of the art of printmaking through lectures, demonstrations, practical studio experience, examples, and individual and group discussions. The course will focus on creating original prints, exploring images, visual ideas, and the possibilities of self-expression. Emphasis will be placed on linoleum cut, wood-block, and silk-screen techniques. Field trips to the School of Art to observe intaglio and lithography, and to the University of Michigan Museum of Art will be a part of the class experience. Approximately eight projects will be assigned. A sketchbook/notebook is required. Class attendance is mandatory, as well as lab time spent outside the scheduled class period. There will be a studio lab fee. (Cressman)

289. Ceramics. (4). (Excl). Materials fee.

This course presents basic problems in forming clay, both throwing and handbuilding techniques, calculating, preparing, and appying glazes, stacking and firing kilns, and operating a ceramics studio. The student is required to participate in the complete process: the assumption of studio responsibilities and regular class attendance are mandatory. The theory, practice, and history of ceramics are integral parts of this study and are used to encourage individual sensitivity to the material. There will be a studio fee. (Crowell)

Humanities (Division 865)

Arts and Ideas

291. The Experience of Arts and Ideas in the Nineteenth Century. (4). (HU).
Romanticism and Realism.
This interdisciplinary course will examine two major expressions of 19th century art: Romanticism and Realism in the short story, poetry, drama, the novel, painting, architecture, and music. In selected works of Poe, Goya, Byron, Delacroix, Friedrich, Büchner, and Gericault, we will explore the struggle of the Romantic artist to free himself from the bonds of social convention and from the prison of history. This leap to freedom was an act of aesthetic and moral defiance: not only did the artist project alternate realities (or alternate histories) of the imagination, but he also chose to play, within those fantastic worlds, the lonely role of the outlaw, the brooding anti-hero, the satanic genius. In some respects Realism represents a criticism and a parody of the Romantic leap to freedom. In the works of Dickens and Courbet, we will see the evolution of a grittier and more compromising struggle: the struggle to find one's role within society as an actor in the social and political drama of one's own historical moment. The tensions between these opposing aesthetic impulses the Romantic escape versus the Realist participation - find a complex expression in the works of James, Degas, Monet, and Ibsen. These artists explore the paradox of the aesthetic object which is at once within society, within the historical moment, yet always magically removed from it. (Sowers, et al.)

330/German 330. German Cinema. (3). (HU).

See German 330. (Zorach)

Comparative Literature

210. Classical Sources of Modern Culture. (4). (HU).

This course will provide an introduction to selected works, both major and less well known, of Classical Antiquity. Through these works we will trace the origins and development of the great themes of the journey, the descent into the underworld, and the quest of love. At the same time, we will examine the discovery of writing of visual illusionism in Western art, and the way in which these technologies altered not only aesthetic form but also personal values. This course is interdisciplinary, involving a study of both literature and the visual arts of this period. Readings: Homer, The Odyssey; Euripides, The Trojan Women, Medea, The Bacchae; Plato, Phaedo; Vergil, The Aeneid; Ovid, Metamorphoses; Marcus Aurelius, Meditations; Petronius, Satyricon; John Boardman, Greek Art; Mortimer Wheeler, Roman Art and Architecture. (Sowers)

314. Literature of the Absurd. (4). (HU).

The course will consider the prose and drama of major European and American writers of "the absurd," examining the senses in which "the absurd" constitutes a radical reaction to the presuppositions underlying the 19th century "Realism" about the nature of society, of individual human consciousness, and of language itself. Attention will be focused on the characteristic structural and stylistic devices of the absurd, as well as on its thematic concerns and underlying meanings: psychological, philosophical, and political. Works selected for study will be from American, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Polish, and Czech literatures. We will address the following kinds of questions: What gaps in the literary system of the late 19th century opened the way for the emergence of the literary absurd? How is absurdism related to other anti-Realist tendencies (e.g., symbolism, Dada, surrealism)? What are the ways in which we now understand this "alternative" literary language. Why has it been so productive in addressing certain psychological, philosophical, and political issues in this century? (Eagle)

410. Upperclass Literature Seminar. (4). (HU).
Moral Issues in the Novel.
We will look into some questions about the nature of moral actions and the process of moral growth. We will try our answers to these questions on some novels. The idea is to bring fiction out into the practical world to some extent and also to bring some non-aesthetic ways of seeing from the practical world to the work of art. More emphasis on character than plot. We will read selections from Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics, and perhaps selections from recent writers on moral and cognitive growth. Novels include Lord Jim, by Joseph Conrad; Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men; The Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison; Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt; Morte D'Urban, by J.F. Powers; Portnoy's Complaint, by Philip Roth; Surfacing, by Margaret Atwood; and The Fall by Albert Camus. Conceivable additions: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce; Ring Lardner short stories; A Flag for Sunrise by Robert Stone. The class will run as a true seminar. Each seminar member will write a paper every two or three weeks, copies of which will go to all other seminar members before our weekly meeting. No midterm. Final depends on performance of class as a whole. The reading load is moderately heavy. Open to sophomores by permission of instructor only. (W. Clark)

451/Russian 451. Survey of Russian Literature. A knowledge of Russian is not required. (3). (HU).

See Russian 451. (Brown)

Creative Writing

220. Narration. Permission of instructor. (4). (HU).

Suggested assignment: 1250 words of prose fiction every two weeks. The class meets as a group up to two hours per week. Collections of short fiction and short novels by established writers are read and discussed. Every student meets privately with the instructor each week. (Hecht)

221. The Writing of Poetry. Permission of instructor. (4). (HU).

The amount of poetry each student is required to submit is determined by the instructor. The class meets three hours per week as a group. Student's poems are presented to the class for appraisal and criticism. In addition, each student received private criticism from the instructor every week. Contemporary poetry is read and discussed in class for style. Students are organized into small groups that meet weekly. (Mikolowski)

320. Advanced Narration. Hums. 220 and permission of instructor. (4). (HU).

This course is designed for writers of longer fiction who can benefit from instruction and peer feedback. Three 15-20 page short stories or three 20-25 page segments of longer works are due at evenly spaced intervals during the term. Everyone in the class reads everything submitted. The class meets three times a term, as a workshop, to discuss everyone's work. Each student meets with the instructor each week for private discussion of work both completed and in progress. Enrollment is limited to a maximum of six students, usually students who have completed narration and/or tutorials. Permission of instructor is required. (Hecht)

325, 326. Creative Writing Tutorial. Hums. 221 or 320, and permission of instructor. (4 each). (HU).

Tutorials allow students whose writing has attained a high degree of sophistication to work in an extended project under close supervision. Tutorials also provide an opportunity for students who want to write, no matter how sophisticated their work, to have their efforts recognized both with constructive criticism and academic credit. Reading may or may not be assigned, depending upon the background needs of the individual student. Tutorial students meet privately with the instructor each week. Permission of instructor is required. (Hecht, Mikolowski, Balducci)

425, 426. Creative Writing Tutorial. Permission of instructor. (4 each). (HU).

See 325, 326 for description.


280. Fundamentals of Drama Study. (4) (HU).

This course is open to all University undergraduates of at least sophomore standing, and is designed especially to introduce students to the world of theatre and drama. No prior experience or particular disposition (like "artistic" or "literary") is required only an open curiosity about plays, playwrights, theatres, and theatre experiences at different times in Western cultural history. We will read, discuss, see, and experimentally perform pieces of seven dramas by playwrights preeminent in the theatre's history. Each of these major plays represents a different set of theatrical conditions stage size and shape, acting style, costuming and scenic decor, audience make-up within which the dramatist worked and by which the theatrical performance communicated to the audience. The aim is to know these seven plays and their potential theatrical "meanings(s)" intimately enough to want to see them performed again and again. Augmenting this group of plays will be eight more, of which a reading acquaintance is required. The method of the course is a combination of discussion, practical experiment, and guest lecture. Visitors from several University departments will give formal lectures on broad background topics; most classes will include both prepared and impromptu scene presentation and discussion. There are two short (3-5 pp.) analytic writing exercises required, as well as a midterm exercise (not a graded exam) and an end-of-term presentation which involves the entire class in concert. The plays being performed in the Ann Arbor/Detroit area during the term will serve as our primary texts, but we will also deal with a "classic" from each of the following areas: Ancient Greek, Medieval, Elizabethan, 18th Century, Late 19th-Early 20th Century, Post World War II. (Walsh)

382. Molière and His Theatre. Hums. 280 or permission of instructor. (4). (HU).

A survey of the career of Jean Baptiste Poquelin, from the early farces to the great comedies. Twelve plays will be examined in detail through scene presentations and analyses. One short term paper comparing an early with a late play of Molière with regard to techniques of plotting and characterization. Particular attention will be paid to the theatrical conditions pertaining in Molière's day. The course will also include a workshop in the comic techniques of the Italian commedia dell'arte. Opportunities for scene presentations in the original French and for FLAIR credit. (Walsh)

385. The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht. (4). (HU).

A comprehensive study of the development, nature, and influence of Bertolt Brecht's playwriting, dramaturgy, and dramatic theory both in its German setting and in its impact on international theatre. Class method will utilize practical experiment and demonstration, attendance at available performances, a final project, written exercises, and discussion. (Ferran)

480. Dramatic Theory and Criticism. R.C. Hums. 280 and three drama courses or permission of instructor. (4). (HU).

This course is intended for upperclass concentrators in drama. The course has two strains, one purely theoretical, the other practical. The theoretical one consists of reading several thinkers who have wondered what drama is and have inquired philosophically into the matter. The assumption behind this strain of the course is that we need to be acquainted with a wide variety of theories about the drama before we can either settle upon our own or confidently criticize a play. The wisdom of the best drama theorists will increase our own critical abilities. The practical strain will consist of writing critical reviews of several area productions. In addition to the written reviews (at least three), a long term paper on some theoretical topic, to be chosen in consultation with the instructor, is required. Also, everyone will keep a journal, which will be handed in frequently. The readings include the three or more plays to be reviewed and the following theoretical/critical works (some in excerpt only): Bernard Dukore, (ed.), Dramatic Theory and Criticism; Suzanne Langer, Feeling and Form; Eric Bentley (ed.), The Theory of the Modern Stage; Francis Fergusson, The Idea of a Theater; Stark Young, The Theater; Richard Southern, The Seven Ages of the Theatre; J.L. Styan, Drama, Stage, and Audience; Peter Brook, The Empty Space; Aristotle, Poetics (ed. Francis Fergusson); Bertolt Brecht, The Messingkauf Dialogues; Bernard Breckerman, Dynamics of Drama. (Ferran)

485. Special Drama Topics. Sophomore standing. (1-2). (HU). May be repeated for a total of 4 credits.

A mini-course consisting of eleven lectures on plays being performed on Ann Arbor stages. Lectures are open to the public. Students electing the course for credit will take a comprehensive written exam at term's end, for which a reading study of the pertinent plays will be assumed. (Ferran, Walsh, & guests)


250. Chamber Music. (1). (Excl).

All students who are interested in participating in small vocal and instrumental ensembles can enroll for one hour of credit. Ensembles have included: madrigal singers (meeting time has been M &/or T 6-7:30); mixed ensembles of strings and winds (meeting M &/or T 7:30-9:00); brass quintet; intermediate recorder ensemble; string quartet; woodwind quintet; and some other duos and trios. Responsibilities include 3-4 hours of rehearsal time per week (some individual and some group rehearsal) and participation in one or more chamber music concerts per term, if appropriate.

251. Operatic and Choral-Orchestral Masterworks, 1700 - 1825. (4). (HU).

This course deals with an in-depth aesthetic and musical analysis of several significant masterworks in which the composer has combined one or more of the other performing and creative arts with the art of music. Opera, orchestral, and choral works, oratorio, and song cycles are among the musical forms studied. Open to all undergraduates.

253. Choral Ensemble. (1). (Excl).

The "Residential College Singers" ensemble is a combination of recitation and lab activities. The group meets for a three hour period each week. Besides rehearsing and performing some of the great choral literature from 1600 to the present, the class studies the historical significance of each composition and its composer and the way in which it reflects the period of history that it represents. A complete musical and aesthetic analysis is made of each work studied. The course may be elected each term for credit and will satisfy the arts practicum requirement.

Interdivisional (Division 867)

350. Special Topics. Concurrent enrollment in an associated course. (1-2) (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.
The course will serve as a core resource for several other courses in the Residential College Freshman Seminars, Humanities, Social Science courses, and Interdivisional 355, "Nuclear Warfare". Presentations will focus on the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the possible effects of nuclear war, the historical context of twentieth century warfare and arms control, the possibilities of nuclear war and the strategies of the anti-nuclear peace movements in Europe and the United States.

Section 002 Health and Lifestyle. This is a one credit mini-course consisting of six two-hour seminars exploring concepts of health promotion and personal responsibility for health. The course will cover subjects including: how people make decisions about their health, effective strategies for changing health-related behaviors, identification of areas in which individuals can take charge of treating illnesses, and specific health topics such as stress, nutrition, exercise, alcohol, and smoking. The course focus will be aimed toward students interested in changing personal health habits as well as those who may be considering health-related careers. (McLaren)

355. Nuclear War. (2). (Excl).

The course examines the history of nuclear war from l945 to the present. It covers the development of nuclear weapons and of the political objectives and military strategies for their use. It gives particular attention to the present arms race and to future developments that will influence that race. An important theme is the role and responsibility of scientists and engineers in past and future nuclear developments. Other themes include the technology of nuclear weapons and delivery systems; the physical and social effects of nuclear war; the political, economic, and military ramifications of a nuclear arms race; and the responsibilities of citizens of nuclear states. (Collier)

370. Western and Non-Western Medicine. Permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

This course is a cross-cultural offering in the sociology of knowledge, using basic concepts involved in health and medical practices of classical China, India, and the contemporary West. It will compare how three major cultural traditions have understood the relation of health to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual processes, the kinds of interventions that are appropriate, and the social arrangements that are needed for health care. Students will be introduced to areas in which the traditions are beginning to come together, and to the implications these could have for health care. (Heirich)

Natural Science (Division 875)

263/Urban Planning 263. Energy and the Environment. (4). (NS).

This course introduces the concepts of energy and the environment, which then serve as a basis for discussion of pollution, scarcity of resources, possible technological catastrophe, and man's future. Basic science and the political-economic aspects of problems and possible solutions are emphasized. Topics include alternative energy sources, the ultimate limit to consumption of resources, risks associated with nuclear power, and fossil fuel resources. Possible energy futures for America and their implications in terms of life-styles, policies, and ethical considerations are explored through lectures, discussions and simulation games. Only rudimentary concepts in science and mathematical reasoning are assumed. Prerequisite: 2-1/2 years high school math. (Rycus)

Social Science (Division 877)

220/Soc. 220. Political Economy. (4). (SS).

This course is designed to develop a critical comparative analysis of modern socio-economic systems from a political-economic perspective. We begin with a study of modern capitalism examining the views of both its defenders and its critics. Then we go on to consider alternatives to modern capitalism, including both existing systems and possibilities envisaged by movements for fundamental social change. Students will be encouraged to explore their own interests and ideas about alternative systems as well as to develop their capacity for political-economic analysis. This year the course will include study of the political economy of militarism in modern societies. (Weiskopf)

310/Geography 310. Food, Population, and Energy. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

The aim of this course is to examine the relationships between growing populations, their agricultural resources and their energy sources through the study of the continuing food supply issue. How are people's nutritional needs satisfied by traditional diets and farming systems? What is a "good" diet? Why do famines and malnourishment occur? What effects do government policies have on the equitable supply of food and the development of farming: in industrialized countries, in Third World countries? How have multi-national corporations shaped food preferences and supplies through commercialization? How does population growth complicate the food supply problem in many countries? What has been the effect of rising cost of fuel and fertilizer? These and other questions will be considered in a lecture and discussion format. (Larimore)

352(315)/Anthro. 352. Social Perspectives: Cross Cultural Study of Women. One social science course or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

See Anthro. 352. (Harding)

412/Geography 412. Problems in European Regional Geography. (3). (SS). May be repeated with permission of instructor.

This course is designed to be an introduction to the lands and peoples of Western Europe: Scandinavia, the member states of the European Community, and, in Central Europe, Switzerland and Austria. General physical characteristics, development and present state of farming, sources of energy, centers of industry, transportation systems: these are some of the topics to be discussed, together with distribution patterns of languages and religions. Readings will be recommended during the term; a general reference is George W. Hoffman (ed.), Geography of Europe. (Kish)

lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.