In the fall of 1978 the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts introduced a program of freshman seminars, each taught by a faculty member to a class of approximately fifteen students. The program has proved highly successful. Although only a modest number of seminars can be offered, they will afford some freshmen an unusual educational opportunity.
Seminars are offered by outstanding members of the faculty from many different departments, on a great variety of topics. Each should provide a group of beginning students with a stimulating introduction to the intellectual life of the University by exposing them to engaging subject matter, instruction by an experienced member of the faculty, and the opportunities for active participation that a small class will afford. Our hope is that students who take a seminar will find in it a sense of intellectual and social community that will make the transition to a large University easier. Some no doubt will discover a subject that they will want to pursue in further courses.
The seminars described below will be offered in the fall term. They are open to all freshmen and should be elected along with other courses during the registration period. Each will count toward satisfying the distribution requirements of the College in one of three basic subject areas: Humanities (150), Social Sciences (151), or Natural Sciences (152).
The success of its program of Freshman Seminars has led the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts to create a second program of seminars: the Collegiate Seminars. The Collegiate Seminars for fall term are described below.
Like the Freshman Seminars, the Collegiate Seminars are an unusual educational opportunity. They provide an opportunity for the student to personalize his or her education. Each Collegiate Seminars is taught by a regular professorial faculty member, and each is limited in size, usually to 20 students. Interaction between student and teacher, made possible by the small size of the class, facilitates deeper learning and allows the student to get to know a faculty member personally. Moreover, students find that in seminars, they learn much more from one another because a learning community develops, and dialogue among students as well as between student and teacher takes place. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT EACH STUDENT TAKE AT LEAST ONE SEMINAR DURING THE FOUR YEARS AT MICHIGAN.
There are several important differences between the two programs of seminars. Freshman seminars are open to all freshmen and only to freshmen, while the Collegiate Seminars are open to any student who has completed the Introductory Composition Requirement (either by placing out or by having taken an appropriate composition course). The Collegiate Seminars emphasize critical thinking about important and central topics and feature further instruction in writing.
All Collegiate Seminars count toward satisfaction of the College's distribution requirements.
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. [Cost:2] [WL:5. Admission restricted to Honors freshmen through overrides at the Honors Office.] (J. Meiland)
150. Freshman Seminar. Freshmen; sophomores with permission of instructor. (4). (HU). May be repeated for credit.
SECTION 001 – LANGUAGE AND LANGUAGES. This seminar will look at language as a means of communication and language as the faculty of speech. Weekly readings will be assigned. Extensive discussion and active participation on the part of students will be expected. The class will first briefly examine the theories on the origin of language. Do only humans possess this faculty? What organs are used for producing speech, and how do they function? Then it will explore how one accounts for the diversity of languages, how they can be classified (by type and by genealogy), and how they are described as systems. Illustrations will be provided chiefly by English, although other ancient and modern languages of interest will be considered for comparison. Grammatical "correctness" will be discussed with reference to standard language, and local (Southern, Eastern, non-American) and social (Upper and lower class speech, Black English, slang, jargon) dialectical variation. The question will be asked why languages change over time, whether change brings about improvement, and what can be found out about languages in prehistory not attested by written documents. What are the intellectual and social consequences of the relatively recent invention of writing, and of printing? Attempts at creating and propagating artificial languages for international communication and better understanding among nations will also be reviewed. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (Pulgram)
SECTION 002 – HUMANS AND LANGUAGE. This course will cover the nature of language, its use and its influence on humans, individually and collectively. We shall discuss topics such as: How many languages are there? Do all languages have grammar? Do languages change: Are some languages or some types of speech better than others? Why must Canada have more than one official language? And the like. There is no foreign language proficiency requirement, but discussion will include not only English, but other languages, ancient and modern, on a comparative basis. During class discussions, students will be encouraged to draw from their own experiences in the use of language or how language has had an effect on them. In addition, they will be asked to do an in-depth study of a topic from among those covered and then write a term paper based on their readings or even on data from a language, which they have collected, and thus demonstrate to what extent they understand the role of language in our lives and in our communities. (Morgan)
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 film, television or stage production. Oral
presentation will be encouraged as a supplement to written work. READING
Sophocles, "Oedipus Rex," "Antigone," and "Electra" , "King Lear," "Romeo and Juliet" Gosse, FATHER AND SON James, WASHINGTON SQUARE Butler, THE WAY OF OLD FLESH Bellow, MR. SAMMLER'S PLANET Turgenov, FATHERS AND SONS T.H.Lawrence, SONS AND LOVER. [Cost:2] [WL:3] (Firebaugh)
SECTION 007 – ETHICS – GOODNESS AND BADNESS OF CONDUCT. Broadly, the science
of ethics or morals is concerned with character and behavior that is approved
or disapproved. Thus, the science of morality seeks intelligent, reliable
judgment of behavior and character. The terms approval and disapproval indicate the point of view from which ethical science investigates its field. Critical thought undertakes to order such specifics as just, saintly, ought, honorable, courageous, intemperate, treacherous, perverse, corrupting, and related
ideas under the general rubric of value. Therefore, it is the purpose of this seminar to explore the behavior and character associated with composing
a "symphony of values" by each student. Each student will be required
to write two brief papers (not to exceed 10 pages), one on her or his symphony
of values and one on a moral, personal interest. Grades will be determined
by the QUALITY not quantity of participation, class discussion, and papers
submitted. The required reading will include:
Feldman, Fred. INTRODUCTORY ETHICS, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 1978., Charles. RIGHT AND WRONG, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1987. Additional reading will be assigned in class. (Cash)
SECTION 009 – CREATIVE WRITING. A workshop in which the student will obtain practice in writing informal autobiographical essays, short fiction, and poems. The student's work will be read and discussed in class and will also be discussed in scheduled conferences with the instructor. The student should be prepared to submit about six copies of each written assignment for the use of his classmates. [Cost:1] [WL:4] (Squires)
151. Freshman Seminar. Freshmen; sophomores with permission of instructor. (4). (SS). May be repeated for credit.
SECTION 006 – CURRENT ISSUES IN SPORT SOCIOLOGY. CSP section. See Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP) section in this GUIDE. This structured seminar on the current issues, developments, and trends in sport sociology will be analyzed from various contributing theoretical and research bases. Critical new developments will be addressed as they occur. Topics include such disparate elements as status, race relations, ethical values, business life, social deviance, recruiting practices and reward systems. (Vaughn)
SECTION 007 – PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE SOUTH FOR BLACKS AND OTHER MINORITIES, 1863-1954. The purpose of this seminar will be to trace the development of elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education of Blacks and minorities in the southern states of the United States from the Emancipation Proclamation to May 18, 1954. Particular emphasis will be focused on judicial litigations from the supreme court decision of Plessy vs. Ferguson, from which the doctrine of "separate but equal" evolved, to the historic Brown vs. Topeka, Kansas Board of Education of 1954, which upheld the fundamental principle that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional. Of special importance will be seminar discussions revealing how Blacks and minorities were successful in achieving an education in spite of the barriers confronting them in the states where they resided and resulting from court decisions, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Students will be expected to read a number of the classic writings of Black and minority authors such as W.E.B. DuBois, E.Franklin Frazier, Booker T. Washington, John Hope Franklin, and many others. The writings of contemporary Blacks and minorities will be explored as well as books about Blacks and minorities such as Gunnar Myrdal's, AN AMERICAN DILEMMA. Students will be expected to prepare readings, participate in seminar discussions, and develop a research topic preferably centered around one of the southern states under investigation in the seminar. [Cost:1] [WL:3] (Palmer)
210. Perspectives on Careers in Medicine and Health Care. (4). (Excl).
This is a CSP section. See Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP) section in this guide.
This seminar is for students who are considering a career in a health-related profession. It is designed to help them acquire perspectives which will facilitate their decision making process. Health care professionals visit the seminar and share their educational and professional experiences. Students become acquainted with the prerequisites for professional schools and spend time with dental, medical, osteopathic, nursing and public health students. We consider problems of health care delivery, issues of death and dying, and ethical questions related to the health professions. Students are expected to respond in writing and in class to the visitors, to the reading materials, and to films. Two course packs serve as the required texts. All students are responsible for taking definite steps toward the development of their own goals through a self-inventory of their values, skills, and interests and through a term paper in which they investigate a possible career direction. Evaluation is based on class attendance and participation in and completion of all assignments. The class will meet on Mondays from 3:00-5:00 p.m. and on Thursdays from 7:00-9:30 p.m. at 2130 Dorset Rd., Ann Arbor. [Cost:2] [WL:5. Enrollment is by override only: contact Marcy at 1017 Angell (764-9128) or call 747-3607.] (Zorn)
250. Collegiate Seminars. Open to any student who has completed the introductory composition requirement. (4). (HU). May be repeated for credit.
SECTION 001 – LITERACY. The goal of this seminar is to introduce the student to the study of literacy. In the broadest sense, literacy is the study of the written word. This includes the nature and consequences of particular writing systems, the uses of writing by the individual and within society, and the context in which writing is deployed. We will look at evidence about reading and writing from sources as diverse as the following: administrative uses of writing including coins, charters, and monumental inscriptions; elite and popular art including needlepoint samplers, quilts, pottery and painting, belles lettres; and popular literate products such as diaries, journals, copybooks. A goal of the course is to enable students early in their careers to understand how different disciplines approach the same problem and how this is articulated in the writing of the discipline. The course will address a number of central questions: (1) What is literacy? How do different fields define this question and what are the consequences of their choice(s)? (2) What roles do reading and writing serve in a society? Who learns to read and write? (3) How do writing systems evolve? What is the relationship between speaking and writing? Between reading and writing? (4) How do we learn to read and write? What are the consequences of literacy and illiteracy? (5) What was the effect of the shift from writing to print from manuscript to book? (6) How has the computer affected our notions of literacy. The course assignments will include weekly writing, peer review, and collaborative papers. [Cost:1] [WL:5, Wait until classes start and then attend the first class meeting. If students drop, others will replace them.] (Keller-Cohen)
SECTION 002 – METHODS OF INQUIRY IN LINGUISTICS. The goal of linguistics is to describe and explain the structure and function of human language. In this course we will look at the kinds of questions linguists ask about language and how they go about answering these questions. Our focus will be on four methods that linguists have used to achieve this goal: (1) socio-historical linguistics (which investigates language change by studying patterns of social, stylistic, and geographic variations within a language); (2) typology (which studies patterns of variation in structure across languages); (3) structural analysis (which provides a description of the grammar and sound structure of a particular language); and (4) experimental linguistics (which involves the development and testing of specific modes of communicative behavior, or models of the speech mechanism itself). In our study of each of these methods, we will ask how this approach to language enhances our understanding of language structure. Readings, class discussion, and writing assignments (several short and one longer) will emphasize critical evaluation of the methods of linguistic inquiry, thereby introducing students to the art of linguistic argumentation. (Beddor)
SECTION 003 – IN SEARCH OF SELF-IDENTITY. The main topic of this course is youth's uncertainty about one's life and destiny. This issue is raised in a considerable number of literary works of the European Middle Ages. The protagonists struggle with doubt, face conflict, make decisions, and find happiness, misfortune or tragedy. In tracing the theme of search for self-identity the class will study works from the 10th to the 13th century. The earliest examples will be Christian legend and sacred drama. Works of the 11th century are Europe's first animal epic and the first knightly romance. While in spiritual literature the theme appears in rather rudimentary form, it becomes more complex in works of a worldly character. It is the clearly secular literature of the 12th and 13th centuries that further develops the concept of search and contains elaborate forms of the theme. An attempt at elaboration is seen in the pre-courtly historicizing romance which provides cases of father-son conflict and quest for self-realization in the fantastic Orient. The fully developed theme comes with stories, Arthurian and non-Arthurian, of around 1200 and later. The main body of investigation consists of romances in which the important constituent motifs of the search are namelessness, growing up without parents, feelings of guilt and shame, efforts to redeem oneself, risk of one's life for people in need and for justice, generation-gap, rebellion against and search for one's god. Texts: Coursepack and Wolfram von Eschenbach's (PARZIVAL) (Vintage, V-188). Besides reading and discussing the texts each student will write three to four short papers, give a brief oral presentation and write a midterm and a final exam. [Cost:1] [WL:1] (Scholler)
SECTION 004 – BHAGAVAD-GITA: A TEXT IN CONTEXT. BHAVAGAD-GITA is a very important Hindu religious text, read widely by the Hindus and alike. The University does not currently provide a systematic course dealing with this important text. The proposed course will deal with the Bhagavad-Gita from a particular critical angle, to study it in its changing context. It will explore the following dimensions: (1) Bhagavad-Gita in its historical textual context. The Bhagavad-Gita is part of the famous Indian epic Mahabharata. This epic is the largest known epic poem of about 100,000 verses and its composition and evolution raise important textual and historical issues. How and why a religious text such as the Bhagavad-Gita came to be incorporated into the epic is an important question. (2) Bhagavad-Gita as a philosophical synthesis of previous religious-philosophical traditions. A product of post-Buddhist Hindu India, the Bhagavad-Gita represents a conscious attempt to bring together divergent philosophical traditions and create a new synthesis. It synthesizes traditions of action and renunciation, and polytheism and monotheism. (3) Divergent interpretations of the Bhagavad-Gita. The text as handed down became an important religious document of great authority, and every subsequent philosophical-religious tradition had to interpret it in a unique way to find support for its own doctrines. We will investigate some of the divergent interpretations of this text and the reasons for these divergent interpretations. (4) Bhagavad-Gita in the context of divergent political philosophies. In the recent times, the text has again become important for various reasons. Nationalist leaders like B.G. Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi used this text to derive inspiration for their nationalist struggle against the British. In this process, they interpreted the text again in divergent ways to suit their own political purposes, one deriving a message of justified violent struggle and other deriving non-violence from the same text. Reading materials for this class will include a variety of approaches to this text. Students will be expected to select particular dimensions of this text and do focused reading and writing. There will be greater emphasis on trying to understand how and why a religious text gets interpreted so differently by different people and at different times, than just the contents of the text. There will be weekly discussions, short papers, a longer term-paper and a presentation. Such an exercise will help students in their reading, writing and thinking processes, and will prepare them to study other texts in their context. (Deshpande)
SECTION 005 – WRITING ABOUT OURSELVES. This seminar will introduce students
to recent writing about ourselves: as children of our families, products
of our times and places, heirs of our histories – and tellers of our stories.
The writings are drawn from America, Australia, and Germany, from women
and men, from Blacks and whites. They also represent a broad spectrum of
forms of writing, not some narrow kind of "autobiographical writing,"
but oral records, memoirs, essays, historical poems, narrative films, and fictions of biography and autobiography. How people are represented as known, and set within the stories of their lives as well as our own, will be the
focus of the seminar. There will be several writing assignments, at least
one of which will include the option of verbal portraiture. The readings
will be chosen from
Theodore Rosengarten, ALL GOD'S DANGERS: THE LIFE OF NATE SHAW, Handke, A SORROW BEYOND DREAMS, Didion, SLOUCHING TOWARD BETHLEHEM and THE WHITE ALBUM, Magnus Enzensberger, MAUSOLEUM, Wenders, ALICE IN THE CITIES, and Auster, CITY OF GLASS and GHOSTS.
[Cost:3] [WL:4] (Bahti)
SECTION 006 – WHAT CAN WE KNOW ABOUT THE HISTORICAL JESUS? Jesus continues to fascinate people from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Christians of all persuasions acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. This was already the belief of the evangelists, yet Matthew, Mark, and Luke also tell us that Jesus was very reluctant to make grandiose claims about himself. Is the Jesus of history significantly different from the Christ of faith? Many modern Jews insist that Jesus can be understood as a teacher of his time, albeit a somewhat unconventional one. Does this assessment do justice to the historical evidence? Many Christians as well as most Jews agree that Jesus did not intend to found a new religion. Can the breach between Judaism and Christianity be traced back in any way to the lifetime of Jesus? According to the Muslims, Jesus is a great prophet, even the forerunner of Muhammed. Do the gospels warrant the view that Jesus prepared the way for Islam? Occasional critics of Christianity have claimed that Jesus did not exist. Is it a plausible reconstruction that the Christians turned a mythical savior into a historical figure? Unless one is satisfied with pat solutions based on one's own convictions, these questions cannot be answered quickly. Serious study of the gospels is called for. This study, however, is not easy – the basic difficulty being that the gospels are not neutral eyewitnesses' reports, but documents of faith written between 35 and 70 years after Jesus was crucified. Yet, we need not despair. By the help of a handful critical methods, which are continually being refined, progress is possible. The seminar will foster the appropriation and execution of these scholarly methods, the mastery of which may benefit the students also when they address other problems. Grades will be based on exercises applying the different methods to the gospel texts. The exercises will be rehearsed orally before the class, which will act as a critical forum. (Fossum)
SECTION 007 – WRESTLING WITH RELIGION IN THE 19TH CENTURY. The eighteenth-century Enlightenment tended to put down belief in metaphysical ideals like divinity. Indeed, one of those philosophers, the Baron d'Holbach, declared that if there is a God, then he must be a tyrant because even in the face of his cruel treatment, he required praise from his subjects. Ministers explain this irrational situation by maintaining that God's nature is a mystery to mortals, but still, d'Holbach slyly points out, they know enough to portray him as a benevolent. We will read Voltaire's witty CANDIDE to represent a characteristic point of view from the Enlightenment. Nineteenth-century writers tried to restore a sense of divine order in the universe against this onslaught of "rationalism." Schleiermacher's advocacy of sentiments as the truest foundation of religious faith, rather than ideas of principles, proved to be a major response to the challenge of atheism. Another came from Carlyle, whose SARTOR RESARTUS – in elegant English prose - teases the reader into perceiving an absolute spiritual unity underlying the seeming meaninglessness of the world. Tennyson's doubts about religious faith and Nietzsche's confident assertion that God is dead are two further readings in a course of rich intellectual fare and literary value. No more preparation is assumed than a mind eager to learn and to sharpen analytical skills. Among the requirements are several papers critically studying individual texts or problems. Some of these, after correction, will be re-written and linked to form a discussion of term-paper length. (Hafter)
SECTION 009 – READING POEMS, WRITING VERSE. This will be first of all, a course in close reading. We will read poems because there the need for close reading is most acute, and we will concentrate on poems written in meter. Secondarily, and as a support to close reading, it will be a course in the verse – a kind of writing aimed at discovering through direct experience the limitations and attendant possibilities for expression that a certain form provides. Such writing assignments will be carefully structured; students will not be expected to have any experience in or aptitude for creative writing. There will also be frequent short papers of explanatory nature, a longer paper, oral presentations by small groups, and a final exam. The course is intended for upperclassmen of diverse interests. For those considering concentration in English, it will be a suitable substitute for the prerequisite, English 240. [Cost:1] [WL:1] (English)
251. Collegiate Seminars. Open to any student who has completed the introductory composition requirement. (4). (SS). May be repeated for credit.
SECTION 001 – EVOLUTION AND THE ORIGIN OF HUMAN RACES. The study of human evolution is undergoing a revolution, as traditional sources of information based on the fossil record are no longer unique. Genetic information provides new, sometimes contradictory information and the resulting conflicts are widely reported in the press and news magazines. This seminar will examine some of the current discussions about the origin of human races, using at least one popular book and recently published articles as the basis of the focus. There will be a series of readings, and associated short "position papers" assigned. (Wolpoff)
SECTION 002 – THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY IN NORTH AMERICA. The class consists of an anthropological approach to the history of the later immigration to the United States and Canada, the formation, acculturation and perseverance of immigrant communities, and the nature of ethnic boundaries and interethnic relations in American society. Specific topics to be covered include: assimilation, bilingualism, stereotyping and discrimination, ethnic associations including the ethnic church, ethnic media, the ethnic family and household, ethnic politics, ethnic labor and the revitalization of the ethnic subcultures. Class requirements include several short papers, some of which will be based on ethnographic fieldwork and one exam. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Lockwood)
SECTION 003 – SOCIAL CHANGE IN THE UNITED STATES. At present, the United States is experiencing dramatic changes in its social, economic and demographic composition. Processes which started in the post-World War II era are continuing and will shape the nation's structure in the next century. The causes and consequences of five basic social changes will be examined in this course. First, there have been shifts in the social and economic roles of women. On the one hand, these involve educational and occupational gains for many women. On the other, they involve delayed marriage, low fertility rates and high rates of marital disruption, and – for some – prolonged spells of poverty. Second, the nation's economic structure has changed such that high-paying jobs in the manufacturing industries has grown. Many commentators argue that an outcome of these shifts is an economic polarization such that the gap between the rich and poor has grown much wider. Third, immigration has become very significant in both meeting economic needs and changing the country's ethnic composition. Unlike earlier periods when almost all persons entering the United States or the American colonies came from Europe or Africa, today's immigrants come from Asia and Latin America. Fourth, there are continuing issues about equal opportunities for women and minorities. Despite the Civil Rights Revolution of the 1960s with its laws prohibiting discrimination, Blacks and women continue to lag far behind white men on indicators of occupational status and earnings. Finally, there are geographic shifts in population and economic activity. The most rapidly growing areas are now along the Atlantic in the South, altering a century-long pattern of economic dominance and the growth in the Midwest. (Farley)
SECTION 004 – SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF THE UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE. This seminar will introduce students to the discipline of social psychology by employing its concepts to understand how students are affected by attending a university - and how they may affect the University. Social psychology is the study of the relationships between individuals and their social environments. The university is an important and encompassing social environment for its students. It is at the same time a locus for friendships, a large organization, and a culture. It has the potential for altering students' goals, values, and skills. Many studies, including several at The University of Michigan, have shown that students do change psychologically as a consequence of their experiences here. Some students change the university. The Seminar will review the research and the theories that have been offered to explain their findings. Students will also conduct field research on the campus, to learn about the nature of this university as a social environment and the methods of social psychology. (Gold)
252. Collegiate Seminars. Open to any student who has completed the introductory composition requirement. (4). (NS). May be repeated for credit.
SECTION 001. THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS: ECOLOGY, ECONOMICS, AND ETHICS. Many experts believe that the decade of the 1990's provides us with our last opportunity to deal constructively with the daunting environmental problems facing the world today. In the words of Thomas Lovejoy, the Assistant Secretary for External Affairs of the Smithsonian Institution, "I am utterly convinced that most of the great environmental struggles will be either won or lost in the 1990s, and that by the next century it will be too late to act." Understanding environmental problems requires an appreciation of both the physical and biological processes that explain the workings of human society. Environmental science is a complex mixture of earth science, ecology, economics, and political science. In this seminar, we will first explore the causes and consequences of our contemporary environmental problems. Students will be introduced to those areas of ecology, especially population ecology and ecosystems ecology, that are most useful in understanding the technical dimensions of environmental problems. Technical aspects of several specific issues will be considered in detail. Armed with an understanding of cause, we will then turn our attention to the diverse approaches advocated by prominent environmentalists in formulating policies designed to alleviate or solve environmental problems. Students will read and discuss articles that attempt in various ways to incorporate insights derived from ecology into economic or political theory. We will also devote some time to exploring the field of "environmental ethics," in order to determine whether the environmental issues have an ethical dimension, in addition to scientific, economic, and political dimensions. The course involves two meetings per week, each for an hour and a half. One meeting each week will be used to consider technical material; the other, to discuss assigned articles and films. A take-home exam will be administered to test students on technical material. Students will also be required to write several short papers and to make an oral presentation in class. No background in biology is required. [Cost:3] [WL:1] (Martin)
SECTION 002. EXPERIMENTAL INQUIRY IN PSYCHOLOGY: MIND, BRAIN, AND PERCEPTION. While the text assigned for the seminar will cover a substantial portion of what is now Psychology as a Natural Science (Psychology 170 and 190) the seminar itself will focus predominantly, in additional reading, writing, speaking, thinking, and in discussion, on the following five topics: (1) History and Historical Controversy in Psychology. We will consider the importance of Darwin and evolutionary theory, the early comparative and experimental psychologists, Fechener, Wundt, Romanes, Thorndike, Watson, and the early neurophysiologists. Controversies include localization of function in the brain, evolution of the human mind, the mind-body problem among others. (2) Nature of Experimental Inquiry in Psychology. The evolving nature of the psychological laboratory experiment, experimental design, hypotheses, and the use and misuse of statistics in treating psychological data. The use of computers in Psychology. Students will be required to use the message system and Confer and encouraged to develop skills in word processing should they not already possess some. All of these matters will be dealt with, not in abstract, but in context. (3) Biological Foundations of Psychology. Current approaches in sensory physiology and in the study of the brain as they impact on the study of behavior will be discussed. Equally important are some of the more recent approaches to ultimate causation of behavior as evidenced in evolutionary biology. (4) Behavior as the Principal Subject Matter. The experimental analysis of behavior from the behaviorist's viewpoint together with the presumed antithetical approach characteristic of the new cognitive revolution in Psychology with its emphasis on the nature of mind and information processing. (5) Perception. As the principal means of taking in information from the environment it will also be a logical outgrowth of the material discussed in topics #3 and #4 above. Students who have taken the seminar should be able to bypass the introductory psychology courses should they wish to take further coursework in psychology. Extensive content will be sacrificed at the expense of developing a critical, even healthy skeptical, but not cynical, approach to the subject matter of psychology. Early in the course students will present short papers in class and then write them up for my critique. In the second half of the course I will ask for longer papers and group projects will be set up for class discussion. A decided emphasis will be on the organization and articulate expression in class discussion, presentation and written work. In the written work the grammar and sentence structure will be as important as the expression of ideas. [Cost:2-3] [WL:1,5: Call the instructor] (Stebbins)
299. Racism in the United States: Causes, Consequences, and Change. (4). (Excl).
This is an interdisciplinary course taught by a team of faculty and graduate students using innovative techniques to explore the following topics: (1) A critical analysis of the concepts of race, racism and ethnicity; (2) Historical and contemporary forms of racial discrimination and inequality in the US; (3) Examination of competing explanations of racial inequality; (4) Analysis of other forms of discrimination; (5) Exposure through literature and other means to the experiences of people of color; and (6) Ways in which we encounter racism every day and how change can be brought about. Simulation, exercises, lectures, out of class assignments, films and staged debates will be used. Students will be expected to participate very actively in large and small group settings.
342. Ethics and the Professions. (3). (HU).
This course will introduce students to ethical issues associated with the professions – law, medicine, engineering, nursing, business, teaching, research, and so on. Lectures will be general and introductory. Their main objective will be to provide a framework for thinking about and confronting ethical dilemmas. Outside class assignments will provide different options for students to gain more understanding of one or two professional areas. The course will make extensive use of audio-visual materials, the classics, popular literature, computer conferencing, and other teaching resources. Its main purpose is to foster critical thinking about problems that could become important after graduation. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (Steneck, Hosmer)
488. Alternative Futures. (3). (SS).
The object of this course is to increase your understanding of the meaning of the future; in human terms, in social terms, in civilizational terms. The overall purpose is not only a scholarly examination of various conceptions of the future but an attempt to construct a humanly meaningful and ecologically sustainable future for you and me; and the Third World people as well. To examine various forms of the future, that is to say various options which we have as individuals and as society. Within the particular forms of the future, to examine the concept of man, that concept of society, the concept of eschatology (man's ultimate destiny or purpose) and how they relate to each other. To discern what is the meaning of human life underlying various conceptions of the future and how this meaning relates to the meaning of our life. To synthesize the various findings in order to arrive at a sustainable model of the future. Future is you and me and if we make it. Course work will consist of readings, lecture-seminars, class discussions, for this is basically a seminar course. Three short papers (four-five pages each), and a final paper are the basis for the grade. The final paper is an independent research paper. No specific texts. (Skolomowski)
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