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 these 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 Winter Term. They are open to all freshmen and should be elected along with other courses during the orientation period. Each will count toward satisfying the distribution requirements of the College in one of the three basic subject areas: Humanities (150), Social Sciences (151), or Natural Sciences (152).
150. Freshman Seminar. Freshmen; sophomores with permission of
instructor. (4). (HU). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 – Tragedy and the Human Condition. The readings in the seminar will consist of primary materials, but there will be a few presentations of critical theories and interpretations at the beginning of the term. For our purposes the many theories of tragedy can be reduced to this simple characterization: Tragedy is a serious drama, a serious presentation by speech and action of some phase of human life. The seminar will consider tragedies from Aeschylus to Arthur Miller and will study them in order to demonstrate how the formulation above has been adapted, modified or challenged by dramatists. The seminar is not a lecture course and the participants are expected to do most of the talking. There will be four written assignments, a midterm and a final examination, both based on take-home study questions. Aeschylus, Oresteia; Sophocles, Oedipus the King; Euripides, Electra, The Phoenician Woman, The Bacchae; Aristophanes, The Frogs; Shakespeare, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear; Ibsen, Ghosts, Doll's House; O'Casey, Juno and the Paycock; Miller, Death of a Salesman. (Graf)
Section 002 – 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 literacy 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 LIST: Sophocles, "Oedipus Rex," "Antigone," and "Electra"; 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; Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons; and D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers. (Firebaugh)
Section 003 – Understanding and Enjoying Poetry. While poetry is speech, a mode of communication among men and women, it is speech of a special kind, in which words are used, combined, in such a way as to produce not simply a straightforward utilitarian statement like a telegram or a set of directions, but a complex work of art that communicates in many-sided subtle ways. Now, it may well be that a taste for poetry is a gift, quite as much as the ability to make poetry, should be possible to deepen our appreciation of it by careful study of the exact ways in which poems make their appeal to us. The aim of the course will be to explore, by reading and discussing a variety of individual poems from both past and present, the ways in which poems work to produce the specific kinds of satisfaction they can offer us, and to help the individual reader develop a sense for the unique value of poetry, for one of the major arts. Reading assignments: close, analytic reading of a few poems for each class meeting, plus longer assignments of poems that will not be necessarily for the basis of class discussion. Short papers on single poems throughout the term, and a more extensive paper, towards the end, on the work of a particular poet chosen by each student individually. Text: The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Third Edition (Complete Edition, not the Shorter Edition). (Students who have access to the Second Edition should be able to use it without inconvenience). (Barrows)
Section 004 – 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 005 – Five Dramatists: Sophocles, Shakespeare, Shaw, Synge, and Shaffer. We will start with Sophocles' Oedipus the King, from 429 B.C., and end with Peter Shaffer's Amadeus, which premiered in 1983. In between we will study Shakespeare's Tempest and Hamlet, John Synge's Riders to the Sea and Playboy of the Western World, and G.B. Shaw's St. Joan. We may find a play to see, too. For the first half of the term we will read and discuss our plays, one each week. For the second half, we will look at all of the plays together, working at identifying common themes and values and discussing their significance to us as readers. That the last names of all five authors begin with "S" is not one of the common themes we will discuss. (Hornback)
Section 006 – The Modes of Fiction. The pleasure we derive from reading stories may be deepened by a study of the art of fiction, a phrase which implies an important set of relations between what is told and the manner of its telling. This course in The Modes of Fiction identifies some of these relations and shows how they operate in a variety of short pieces of fiction. It established a useful vocabulary of definitions (theme, subject, tone, etc.); it inquires into the interplay between the elements of fiction; it tries to discriminate between kinds of fiction and evaluate their effects. Its aim is to create a community of discourse about literature through a study of how stories are told. The course begins with two or three introductory lectures; thereafter analysis and discussion will be the usual class procedure. The course will also call for short written papers in the first weeks of the term culminating in a longer term paper. (Steinhoff)
151. Freshman Seminar. Freshmen; sophomores with permission of
instructor. (4). (SS). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 – Blacks and Jews: Dialogue on Ethnic Identity. This course will explore a wide variety of questions on ethnic identity, focusing primarily on the experience of Blacks and Jews. Initially, the class will explore the unique concerns and perspectives of minority groups and individuals. Discussion will move to a review of dominant historical issues for Blacks and Jews including socio-economic, political, and educational concerns. Special emphasis will be placed on Black-Jewish relations. Other topics such as integration and assimilation, inter-group and inter-personal relationships, will also be examined. Dialogue among students in the class will be an essential component of the course and it is expected that students selecting the class will be prepared to openly, critically, and sensitively participate to further an understanding of the issues. Extensive writing and reading will be required. There will be some guest speakers, films, and a simulation game as part of the instructional format. Students interested in this course must see David Schoem for an override. (Schoem)
Section 002 – The Making of U.S. Foreign Policy. Even many well-informed Americans seem perplexed about how foreign policy is made and administered. This seminar will examine the making of foreign policy decisions, taking into account the input not only of the President, his White House advisers and the Department of State, but numerous other players: The National Security Council, the Pentagon and other government departments; the CIA and other components of the intelligence community; the Congress, business and citizen groups, domestic and foreign lobbies. Using case histories, constructed from official documents and accounts of participants, the seminar will point up complexities of the process, constraints on the use of American military, economic and political power, limitations imposed by the practice of allied and United Nations diplomacy, the role of history and tradition. It will examine key decisions, from World War II and its aftermath to the American hostage crisis in Iran (1979-81) and the Reagan Administration's involvement in Central America. The textbook: All Fall Down: America's Tragic Encounter with Iran, by Gary Sick (Random House paperback). There will be a supplementary reading list. Course requirements will include a typed book report as a term project, a 15-minute oral presentation to the class; several short class writing assignments and a take home final examination. (Hovey)
Section 003 – War and Peace in the Middle East. The seminar will examine the impact of war on the process of peace-making and vice versa. World Wars I and II, as well as the wars of 1948-49, 1956, 1967, 1969-70, 1973, 1980, and 1982 will be treated in the course. Students will have the opportunity to engage in role-playing exercises throughout the term and to participate in an Arab-Israeli Conflict Simulation near the end of the term. (Tanter)
Section 004 – The Civilization of "La Belle Époque." In the quarter-century between 1890 and 1917 dominant European social classes crafted a civilization of distinction. Known as "La Belle Époque" to those who looked back with nostalgia from the barren vantage point of post-World War I Europe, this period was in fact one of the glaring contrasts between plenty and penury, militarism and pacifism, representative government and autocracy, scientific advance and anarchist assassination. It was a period of smug security laced with desperate anxiety and, as such, it both deserves and repays study by those who seek to understand themselves, their past and their prospects for the future. The reading load will be heavy - a book per week (some novels) – and grades will be based upon several papers as well as class participation. Some background in European history will be very useful. This will not, of course, be a chronological survey, we will use the techniques of social history to look at various classes and functional groups (like labor and business) as well as institutions such as education, bureaucracy and the military. We will pay particular attention to the attitudes and assumptions which held this society together and the First World War, which destroyed it – and them. (Peiter)
Section 005 – From Artifact to History in the Ancient Near East. This seminar offers an approach to history that proceeds from the tangible to the intangible (from the ground up – literally), using archaeological objects as a starting point for an inductive investigation of ancient activities and institutions. We shall take about fifteen artifacts during the term and concentrate on each one as a symbol of a particular complex of behaviors and thought in a selected society of the "Fertile Crescent" (e.g., a study based on the Egyptian mummy should lead to an awareness of the entire funerary complex in ancient Egypt and ultimately to insight into the ideas of death held by the Egyptians). Class sessions will follow a "partnership" type of format ("History, Inc."), the class becoming an investigative team. Each member will contribute in a common effort, and each student's contribution becomes significant to the work of his or her colleagues. To this end, research and writing assignments will be made. Our text will be an anthology of essays compiled by the instructor, to be available in the fall. Background readings: John Wilson, The Culture of Ancient Egypt; Sabatino Moscati, The Force of the Ancient Orient; O.R. Gurney, The Hittites; and W.W. Hallo and W.K. Simpson, The Ancient Near East: A History. (Early registrants for the course should plan to read at least two of these before class. (Orlin)
202. Poetry for the Eye: Drawing and Painting. (3). (Excl).
This course bridges the gap between the technical emphasis of the Art School and the analytical dissection of Art History. The general purpose is to make visual poetry to delight the eyes and the senses; it encourages and develops creativity in art and increases pleasure in the Museum of Art. Even totally inexperienced people have more talent than they would imagine. The course greatly increases that talent as the student personally experiences the problems and solves them and becomes familiar with the Museum's collections. The true basis of the course is "We learn by doing," St. Augustine. Instead of just looking, the student is taught to see like the artist who searches for deeper vision: The Design beneath the surface of Life. The non-traditional U.C. 202 chooses to draw and paint the world through the eyes of Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso. Time does not permit a deliberate emphasis upon technical skill, as in the art class. Instruction is a series of problems in (1) Design and Painting (2) Color as theory and practice, (3) Art History with the Art Museum as a source of knowledge and inspiration, (4) A Visual Dictionary of personally symbolic emotions, (5) The Psychology of the Artist. A final problem, over the last four weeks, constitutes an exam, calling for understanding of all the earlier material. Grades are given on the basis of a portfolio of daily classwork plus the final exam problem. In the classroom four pieces of work are performed every day so that the portfolio contains 104 pieces of work. The student has studied about art, but also created art in abundance. The supplies are chosen so as to be easily mastered by the inexperienced: lead pencils, magic-markers, colored paper. The text is a course-pack of Klee, Matisse, and Picasso. My course is a practical experience for those whose specialty lies elsewhere, but who feel the need of Art to complete their educations and their lives. Perfect attendance and concentrated effort during the whole class are required. Not keeping up in either way will result in failing the course: the perfect attendance and concentrated effort are inflexible conditions for enrolling in the course. Any student whose purpose in education is the amassing of grade points, instead of a life fulfilling experience is advised not to take this course. (Prendergast)
210. Perspectives on Careers in Medicine and Health Care. (4). (Excl).
This seminar is for students who have not been accepted to a graduate program and are still considering a career in a health-related profession. It is designed to help students acquire perspectives which will enable them to make a career decision. 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, 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. All students are expected to attend a one day conference in March: Ethics and Humanism in Medicine. Students are expected to respond in writing and in class to the visitors, to the reading materials and to films. A course pack and The Healer's Art by Eric Cassell are 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. For students interested in developing computer skills, some special instruction will be available. Students who wish to enroll in this course should call 662-0683 and leave a message which includes: name, address, telephone number, class (Fr, So, Jr, Sr), and the date and time you called. The instructor will get in touch with you. Enrollment will be by override only. (F.Zorn)
252. Modern European Societies. (3). (SS).
Designed especially for sophomores and juniors proposing to study abroad in Europe, "Modern European Societies" uses techniques of social history to analyze the development of Europe since the age of state-building in the 17th century with a special focus upon Europe since 1890. Major institutions (Army, education, bureaucracy, family) will be studied in relation to significant social classes and changing elite and mass attitudes. Lectures, discussions. Readings will consist of texts, monographs and novels, and students will be evaluated through essays and exams. The broad purpose of the course is to acquaint students with various aspects of the development of the country in which they wish to study and to understand the development of contemporary Europe as a whole. (Peiter)
265. Values and Science. (4). (HU).
An introduction to ways of thinking critically about modern problems that involve both science and values. Lectures will provide background in the nature of science, values, decision making, and other key ingredients needed to reach responsible conclusions. Discussions will allow students to explore one special topic of particular interest in more detail. During the term students will work in small groups, called "commissions," charged with bringing in a final joint report on a particular problem. Possible topics include: the arms race, chemical dumps, the energy crisis, nuclear wastes, genetic engineering, environmental causes of disease, or other problems that bring into focus science-values conflicts. The final report and a lecture log book are the main requirements of the course. (Steneck)
312. Soviet Media. (1). (Excl). Mandatory credit/no credit.
The Center for Russian and East European Studies is sponsoring a course on mass media in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, coordinated by Roman Szporluk, Professor of History and Director, CREES. The mini-course will consist of five parts: six lectures; a seminar; two film showings; discussions; and a written assignment. The course is scheduled to begin on March 2 and is expected to be completed by March 22. Dr. Owen V. Johnson, (U of M Ph.D. in history, 1981), Assistant Professor, School of Journalism, Indiana University, will be a key participant in this course. In addition to Professor Johnson, lectures will be given by Dr. Ruth G. Hastie and Roman Szporluk (both of whom have written on the history of the press in Russia/USSR and Eastern Europe) and by Dr. Andrzej Krajewski, Humanities Fellow in the Journalist in Residence Program, Communications Department. Others involved are participants in a seminar on the Soviet Media which will be presented to secondary school teachers on November 4. Readings for the course will be assembled in a course-pack, which will be available early in the Winter Term, 1987. (Szporluk)
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