University Courses (Division 495)

101. Methods of Thinking. ECB writing assessment. (4). (Introductory Composition).

This course has two aims: (1) to improve the student's ability to read with understanding, to think critically, and to write well; (2) to help the student to achieve a better understanding of the nature of intellectual activity and of education. College work is, and should be, different from high school work, requiring different and more sophisticated intellectual skills and techniques. But almost all courses in college concentrate exclusively on their own special subject-matter. A sociology course concentrates on teaching you sociology, a chemistry course on teaching chemistry, and so on. College instructors rarely teach in an explicit and direct manner the intellectual techniques and frameworks necessary for successful college work. They assume that you have these skills already or can somehow pick them up along the way, while they go ahead and teach their own special subjects. University Course 101 attempts to teach these skills directly and explicitly, to make your college career more successful and to sharpen abilities which will be invaluable in later life whatever field you may work in. This is a course for the person who is seriously interested in intellectual activity. It is not a remedial course and it is not an orientation course. Some of the materials which we will discuss will be complex and profound, and a number of the topics lie on the intellectual frontiers of our time.

The topics for discussion will include the following: the nature of argumentation, evaluation of arguments and positions, methods of reading, types of critical thinking; special intellectual problems in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences problems such as the relation between theory and reality, bias and subjectivity in the social sciences, the nature and justification of the humanities; questions about education, including morality in education, diverse ideals of the educated person, open admissions, reverse discrimination, academic freedom, and the unionization of the faculty. This course will be taught in small sections of no more than fifteen students each, so that students can receive individual attention. Readings will be assigned covering the above topics. We will proceed by class discussion supplemented by some lectures. There will be a number of writing assignments throughout the term. (J. Meiland)

150. Freshman Seminar. Freshmen; sophomores with permission of instructor. (4). (HU). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 Creativity, Media, and Society.
Following a brief exploration of the nature of creativity in the arts and the media, the seminar will focus on the presence or absence of creative effort in television and film today, with special emphasis on their effects on society. Outstanding examples of creative work in both media will be examined in class as springboards for discussion. A few short field trips to studios to watch work in progress may be planned at hours convenient to the group. No previous contact with television or film production is required, nor is this course designed for students who intend to major in radio, television, or film. A reasonable amount of weekly reading and the writing of frequent short papers should be expected. (Stasheff)

Section 002 Metaphors We Live By. Metaphor is for most people a device of the poetic imagination and the rhetorical flourish a matter of extraordinary rather than ordinary language. Moreover, metaphor in typically viewed as characteristic of language alone, a matter of words rather than thought or action. For this reason, most people think they can get along perfectly well without metaphor. We have found, on the contrary, that metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action. Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature. The concepts that govern our thought are not just matters of the intellect. They also govern our everyday functioning, down to the most mundane details. Our concepts structure what we perceive, how we get around in the world, and how we relate to other people. Our conceptual system thus plays a central role in defining our everyday realities. If we are right in suggesting that our conceptual system is largely metaphorical, then the way we think, what we experience, and what we do every day is very much a matter of metaphor. But our conceptual system is not something we are normally aware of. In most of the little things we do every day we simply think and act more or less automatically along certain lines. Just what these lines are is by no means obvious. One way to find out is by looking at language. Since communication is based on the same conceptual system that we use in thinking and acting, language is an important source of evidence for what the system is like. from Lakoff & Johnson, Metaphors We Live By. Other principal texts include: Canetti, Earwitness, D. Antin, Talking at the Boundaries, T. Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Lewis Thomas, The Medusa and the Snail, B. L. Whorf (Carroll, Ed.), Language, Thought and Reality. (Lawler)

Section 003 The Lost Generation and After. The seminar will examine the relationship between the form of the short story and social change during the early part of the twentieth century. Alienation, disillusionment, expatriation, abandonment of the traditional plot structure, are a few of the ideas to be studied. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Sherwood Anderson, Joyce, Chekhov are a few of the authors to be discussed. Creative writing germane to the course will be encouraged, and a term paper will be required. (Haugh)

Section 004 The Scope of Tragedy from Aeschylus to Sartre. A close reading of representative tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Shaw, and Sartre. Our objective is threefold: 1) to view each play as a complete whole to be understood and enjoyed in itself; 2) to enlarge our view by studying it in the context of the author's other plays, which reflect more fully his deepest interests and concerns (intellectual, moral, political), which are also the concerns of his society and his times; 3) to try to discover in these widely diverse works the common elements of matter and form which make them universal and timeless in their appeal. This will be a seminar in fact. In most sessions one or two students will initiate and lead discussion by reading brief papers. An extended essay on a topic of the student's choice growing out of the readings and discussions will be due toward the end of the term. (Greenhut)

Section 005 The Young and the Old: An Exploration Through Literature. Intensive reading and discussion of a number of literary works drama, fiction, biography in which the theme of the relations of youth and age is central. Works read and discussed will be drawn from the ancient and the modern world. Students will be asked for several sorts of papers: analysis of a problem as presented by one of the authors; evaluation of its literary treatment; autobiographical, fictional, or poetic treatment of some generational conflict drawn from their own experience; a critical review of a work other than assigned reading, as of a film, television or stage production. Oral presentation will be encouraged as a supplement to written work. READING LIST: Sophocles, "Oedipus Rex", "Antigone", and "Elektra"; Shakespeare, "King Lear", "Romeo and Juliet"; Edmund Gosse, Father and Son; Henry James, Washington Square; Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh; Saul Bellow, Mr. Sammler's Planet; and Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons. (Firebaugh)

151. Freshman Seminar. Freshmen; sophomores with permission of instructor. (4). (SS).May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 Learning to Write for Newspapers and Magazines.
This is a writing course designed to give students practice in the preparation of news and feature stories. Student work will be discussed in the seminar sessions and in individual conferences with the instructor. Subject matter for the written material will be drawn from the arts and sciences activities on the campus. Requirements: one piece of writing each week plus a longer term paper due the last week of the Fall Term. (J. Field)

Section 002 From Peasant to Proletarian: Studies in the Impact of Industrial Capitalism on the Lives of Ordinary (and Some Extraordinary) European People. The past 300 years have witnessed radical changes in the way Western people live, think, play and work. Western society has been transformed as novel political and economic arrangements have flowed from and compelled changes in technologies, class structures, and individual values. Our modern world did not just happen it was made, for good or ill. We shall try to find out how and why. The technical goal of this course is to teach students to think, write and speak logically and coherently and to sharpen existing skills. Accordingly, we will stress reading, writing and in-class discussion. Several short essays will be required and there will be one or two longer statements on a specific subject (or subjects) germane to the course material and chosen in consultation with the instructor. There will be no exams unless, of course, public opinion demands them. Readings, both novels and monographs, will include: Laslett, World We Have Lost; Hammond and Hammond, Village Laborer; Thompson, Making of the English Working Class; Zola, Germinal; Marx, Communist Manifesto; Orwell, Road to Wigan Pier; Wylie, Village in the Vaucluse and Shoenbaum, Hitler's Social Revolution. (Pieter)

Section 003 The Year Two Thousand. We will consider what can be called the Age of Turbulence rapid, headlong change and the forces which have created and influenced the vast transformations which are taking place. This has been called the Age of Multiple Revolutions and we shall refer to the following dramatic developments The Research Revolution, Technological Change, the Skills Revolutions, Civil Rights, The Women's Movement, the Revolution in Energy, Communications, Ecology, the Population Explosion, and the Revolution in Attitudes. We shall also explore the impact which these developments have had upon the economy, the educational system, leisure, and labor-management relations. Students will be required to become acquainted with the current literature in these areas and to prepare several short papers. (Haber)

152. Freshman Seminar. Freshmen; sophomores with permission of instructor. (4). (NS).May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 Chemistry and Society: Mutual Interaction.
This seminar will examine the development and practice of chemistry and chemical technology as a reflection of scientific and technological response to societal needs, pressures and concepts, as well as the effects of chemical theories and products on society, science and the environment. Topics to be considered will include the scientific method and serendipity, motivations for academic and industrial (pure and applied) research, the origins and evolution of chemistry including the scientific basis for alchemy and the language of chemistry, the significance of chemical analysis for evaluation of risk and safety, humanistic aspects of the study of chemistry, depiction of science and scientists in literature, the influence of chemical theory and phenomena on literature, and the chemical component in biology, medicine, geologic phenomena and agriculture. Each student will examine an aspect of science (or a scientist) of particular interest to her/him, a report on which will be presented to the seminar for discussion. (Elving)

153. Freshman Seminar. Freshmen; sophomores with permission of instructor. (4). (N. Excl).May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 Great Periods, Problems, and Men in the History of Mathematics.
Today, pure mathematics tends to stress abstract structures and generalities. There are many different algebras, numbers, and geometries; some of them were inspired by real world problems; some of them developed extraordinary applications later; some are merely beautiful creations of thought. In following the development of mathematics such persons as Euclid, Archimedes, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Lobachevsky, Felix Klein, Bertrand Russell, and Gödel will be met. The course will require library reading, including some exploration of source materials, participation in discussions and presentations, as well as lectures. Problem material will be used to illustrate historic difficulties and solutions. A good working knowledge of high school algebra and geometry will be adequate background for the course. It is suggested that students purchase Howard Eves, Great Moments in Mathematics (Before 1650), Dolciani Mathematical Expositions Number 5, published by the Mathematical Association of America in l980. Also useful would be its sequel, Great Moments in Mathematics (After 1650), Exposition Number 7, 1981; Lucas N. H. Bunt, Phillip S. Jones, and Jack D. Bedient, The Historical Roots of Elementary Mathematics, (Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1967). (Phillip Jones)

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.