250. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors
students. (3). (SS).
Section 001 – Law, Culture, and American Minority Groups. This course is centered on the status of minority groups in the United States. It is both historically oriented and interdisciplinary in approach. It begins with the making of the Constitution and deals with nineteenth-century issues such as citizenship, slavery, the status of American Indian tribes and Asian laborers. The second half of the course deals with twentieth-century issues. Although some focus will be provided by the student-led roundtable discussions, the following groups will be discussed: religious minorities (Amish, Mormons), Native Americans (land controversies, gaming), racial minorities (Japanese-American internment), immigration reforms, and the great battles – legal, political, and social – of the Civil Rights Movement. WL:1 (Wacker)
Section 003 – The Expanding Universe in America: Men, Women, and their Reactions to Science. This is a seminar about science as a human activity. Using the growth of our knowledge about the local stellar swimming hole, the Milky Way as one galaxy among millions, and the "discovery" of the expanding universe, we will examine the ways in which scientists have worked, among themselves and among the wider public. Discussions will include gender roles, political drivers, science education, the personality of science, the "scientific method," and the role of media in public support of science. Readings will include autobiographies, fiction, and archive materials. This is NOT a science course, and it is not intended for science concentrators. (Lindner)
251. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors
students. (3). (HU).
Section 001 – Imagination. The Romantics claimed that Imagination was both an artistic and cognitive faculty; the seminar will begin by considering both the structure of the Romantic literary Imagination and the romantic theory of knowledge in works by Wordsworth, Blake, and Coleridge. Attention will then shift to more general questions: Does artistic Imagination tell us anything about reality? Can Imagination become a rigorous mode of cognition? What is its relationship to rationality? Does some form of imagination have a place in science and ethics? The nature of metaphorical thinking will be considered, as will the function of Imagination in scientific revolutions (Kuhn, Barfield, Goethe), ethics (Schiller), the psychology of perception, and the visual art (Cezanne, Merleau-Ponty). (Amrine)
252. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors
students. (3). (NS).
Section 001 – Concepts in Twentieth Century Physics. The revolutionary concepts that have developed within this century and that are now the basis for our understanding of the physical world are presented and discussed. Following a brief summary of definitions and principles of classical physics, Einstein's Special Relativity and then quantum mechanics will be introduced and discussed. We will then study the elementary particles that comprise, and the fundamental forces that govern the functioning of the Universe, including concepts such as parity and time reversal non-conservation. The course concludes with an introduction to astrophysics and cosmology. The course emphasis is on concepts and ideas; no prior physics nor advanced math are required. One goal of the course is to increase the "Scientific Literacy" of students not otherwise studying science. The classes will mostly be informal lectures. A field trip to the Fermi National Accelerator laboratory will be arranged for late in the term. Readings from the text: The Great Design; Particles, Fields, and Creation (Robert K. Adair; Oxford, 1987) will be assigned. Two book reports, a term paper, occasional homework assignments, a midterm, and a final exam will be the basis for the course grades. (Jones)
Section 002 – The Great Ideas of Physical Science. This seminar may be viewed as a physical science equivalent of Great Books. Its aim is to examine the great ideas of the physical sciences from the 13th century to the present, to see them in the context of their own time, to gauge their impact upon succeeding generations, and to assess their role in the cultural development of this century. The main prerequisite is a curiosity about scientific ideas and a willingness to put as much reading time into the course as would be expected for either the Great Books or one on the history of the novel. A background in introductory physics, chemistry, astronomy and calculus will be helpful, but is not necessary. There will be two ninety-minute discussions per week, together with such other modes of discourse as seen possible and appropriate. Each student makes at least two presentations during the term, in addition to four essays of 2500 words and three of 4000-5000 words on various pragmatic or philosophical themes. Grades will be based upon papers and, to a lesser degree, in-class contributions. It should be noted that by far the majority of students are non-science majors. WL:3 (Dunn)
Section 003 – Race and Racism. This course examines the relationship between science and racist social policies historically and in the present day. Through a focus on polygeny, eugenics, the holocaust, and the relationships between race and intelligence and crime, the course particularly examines how anthropological work has been used and abused in socio-political arenas. During the course we will grapple with questions about the existence and definition of race, the validity of various biological claims for racial differences in behavior and the consequences of basing social policy on these claims. Students will come to appreciate how the worlds of science, politics, and society are interrelated and how their relationship has been used to undermine and sometimes promote different racial and ethnic groups. Requirements: Class participation is required. Students will be responsible for presentations/leading class discussion after the fourth week and for a written version of their presentation. There will be a final take-home exam. (Caspari)
370. Junior Seminar on Research Methods. Honors
student and permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). May be repeated
for a total of 8 credits.
Section 001 – Rhetoric of Evidence in Research. Credits: 2 or 3 * This upper-class course is concerned with modes of inference from evidence across all of the arts and sciences, from physics through the humanities. The discussion will emphasize commonalties among disparate disciplines in the rhetorical modes in which ambiguous evidence is used: modes such as preponderance-of-evidence arguments, statistical inference, graphics, experiments, or abduction. The seminar meets weekly, Tuesday evenings. Often an invited faculty guest will review the history and the reasoning underlying some earlier publication (handed out the week before), whereupon the seminar will weigh in with a generalized critique. The attack might question the target article's exclusion of plausible alternatives, for instance, or anomalies not pursued, or ambiguities remaining; or it might inquire as to the origin of the disciplinary community's a priori agreement that certain questions of this sort need not have been raised in the main text. In past years, the tenor of these sessions has corresponded to that of a strenuous doctoral defense, but the outcome is rarely so predictable. Maximum class size 15, by permission of the Honors Office. (Bookstein)
* To receive two hours of credit, the student must either submit a term paper drawing upon themes common to some subset of these presentations (not necessarily those of the student's own concentration) or take charge of the seminar for one half of one of these sessions, using a reading of his or her own choice. Those wishing three credit hours must both submit a paper and lead half a session.
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