First-Year Seminars, offered under the University Courses division in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, provide a unique small class educational experience to first-year students.
Seminars are offered by outstanding faculty and emeritus faculty from many different departments on a variety of topics. Each provides a group of approximately fifteen students with a stimulating introduction to the intellectual life of the University by exposing them to engaging subject matter and offering the opportunity for active participation that a small class will afford. It is hoped 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 may discover a subject to pursue in further courses.
Seminars are open to all first-year students and should be elected along with other courses. 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).
Collegiate Seminars, offered under the University Course division (495) in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, provide a unique small class educational opportunity to students.
Seminars allow a student to personalize his or her education. Each seminar is taught by a regular professorial faculty member. Each is limited to approximately twenty 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 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.
Collegiate Seminars are open to any student who has completed the Introductory Composition Requirement. The 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 in one of the three basic subject areas: Humanities (250), Social Sciences (251), or Natural Sciences (252).
111/Sociology 111. Introduction to Global Change II. (4). (SS).
The purpose of this course is to guide students in learning about the natural world, the processes of science, and the role of human activities in shaping and changing the environment. The course will examine the evolution of life and the human species on earth and will focus on the spread of the human species including the advent of agriculture and cities; the spread of major world religions; the emergence of modern society; and the problems of global change produces by recent human advances in technology and institutions. The course is appropriate for all students and will assume no prior background. The homework and laboratories will depend heavily on the use of computers to develop quantitative reasoning, analytical thinking, writing, and to promote personal interaction with the faculty. Three 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour lab/discussion per week. Grades will be based on weekly written lab exercises, midterm, and final exam. (Ness, Teeri, Allan)
150. First-Year Seminar. First-year standing; sophomores with
permission of instructor. (4). (HU). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001. Understanding and Appreciating Poetry. The aim of the course will be to help students to learn to read poetry accurately and sensitively, to work towards an understanding of what the American poet Wallace Stevens means when he says: "In poetry, you must love the words, the ideas and the images and the rhythms with all your capacity to love anything at all." Class work will center on the day to day discussion of specific poems, supplemented by the writing of relatively brief descriptive analyses of assigned poems. Required text will be: The Norton Anthology of Poetry, ed. Eastman et al., Third Edition (complete edition, not the shorter edition). (Barrows)
Section 002. 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 or her classmates. (Squires)
Section 003. Images of Otherness: Black and White Perspectives on Race in American Literature and Popular Culture. This interdisciplinary course is designed for students with an interest in creative writing and in books and films that deal with racial questions. The general emphasis will be on ways black and white Americans view each other. The seminar will combine the elements of literary analysis, film and media criticism, and creative writing workshops. Class discussions will focus on the complexity and credibility of different artistic visions, and on political context rather than political rectitude. Students will explore the nature of voice, characterization and sympathetic imagination. The reading list will include: Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Joyce Carol Oates, Because It Is Bitter and Because It Is My Heart; Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man; William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! The movie series will include: Stanley Kramer, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?; Spike Lee, Jungle Fever; Marlon Riggs, Color Adjustment; Julie Dash, Daughters of the Dust. The students will be assigned three writing projects. The first (5-7 pp.) will be an autobiographical essay or short story on an early awareness of racial consciousness. In the second assignment, each student will write a short story (5-7 pp.) narrated in the first person by a character whose race is different from the author's. Some of these first and second pieces will be read aloud and discussed in class. The third assignment will be a term paper (7-10 pp.) on one of the books read in the seminar. (Lamar)
Section 007 – Ideology and Empire in the Ancient Middle East. This course is concerned with the evolution of states in the ancient Middle East and the ideologies that evolved with them to explain and justify their expansion and control other states. Students will explore different mediums (ritual, literature, art and architecture) that were used to express these ideologies, and the way that different ideologies conditioned the exercise of power in early empires. Themes that will be studied include the ideas of kingship, techniques of control, the influence of different imperial schemes upon each other, the social and institutional constraints upon autocratic regimes. The exploration of these themes will proceed through consideration and discussion of literary and artistic evidence from Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and finally Greek kingdoms. Throughout, a great deal of emphasis will be placed on methodology, on learning to ask questions of different types of evidence from different cultures that will lead to a greater understanding of those cultures. Students will be expected to present one oral report and to contribute to discussions of texts in class. The final grade will be based upon contributions in class and a ten page paper to be submitted at the end of the term. All readings will be in English, and no prior familiarity with the material is assumed. This section was added after the Time Schedule went to press. The time has not yet been determined. Contact Checkpoint for information regarding this section. (Potter)
151. First-Year Seminar. First-year standing; sophomores with
permission of instructor. (4). (SS). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001. Totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is conventionally regarded as a system of rule that is novel and unique in our century; it is usually seen as the principal alternative to constitutional government and democracy. In this seminar we will survey various definitions and models of totalitarianism as well as theories concerning its origins. We will then attempt to illustrate, and test the validity of, these theories and models by case studies that will include not only fascist or National-Socialist, Stalinist and neo-Stalinist regimes, but also regimes from earlier centuries that might be classified as totalitarian. Finally, we will examine whether currently democratic societies harbor any potential for a turn toward totalitarian rule. In the first few sessions, the instructor will introduce the main themes of the course. After that, the students will be expected to give oral reports backed up by written essays, to stimulate discussion. The grade will be determined by assessing the quality of these reports, by the intensity of class participation, and by a take-home final exam. The time schedule listing for this course has changed since the Time Schedule went to press. The correct time has not yet been determined. Contact Checkpoint for information regarding this section. (Meyer)
Section 002. Public Education in the South for Blacks and Other Minorities, 1863-1954. The purpose of the 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 in Plessy vs. Ferguson, from which the doctrine of "separate but equal" evolved, to the historic Brown vs. Topeka, Kansas Board of Education 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 Myrdalís An American Dilemma. Students will be expected to prepare readings, participate in seminar discussions, and develop a research topic preferably centered on one of the southern states under investigation in the seminar. (Palmer)
Section 003. Empowerment: Myths, Beliefs, Actions. Individuals and social groups manage – sometimes, in some circumstances – to take a greater degree of control over their lives. One can examine the stories of those periods of change: what was happening before, what was the person thinking, whom was the person interacting with, what can the person recall of the days and moments in which change seemed to occur? How do people come to choose to take risk? Are there characteristic features to these stories across situations, are there particular kinds of events that impel choice; myths or beliefs that help alter the sense of self; particular kinds of acts that can have a catalytic effect? Imaginative and hard-working students will join the instructor in thinking about these questions. We shall read books from an assortment of situations (struggles at a community and a personal level); looks at situations of disempowerment; and look at deformed versions of empowerment. Students will carry out field work, reading, and class discussion. The goal of our joint work will be to arrive at promising models: what are critical situations, what are strategic moments? (Ezekiel)
152. First-Year Seminar. First-year standing; sophomores with
permission of instructor. (4). (NS). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001. The Human Body in Sickness and in Health. How would you define health? How would you describe and define your own body and how it functions? This course asks you to explore the answers to questions like these for yourself, and also look at answers to these questions provided by Biology. We will compare and contrast our own answers and those provided by Biology with answers suggested by art, literature, and history. The intent of the course is to explore different constructions of the body – biological, social, personal – so that at the end of the semester we will respond to these questions again with a deeper, and revised, understanding of our personal constructions of health and body. We will explore "myths" and "facts" in the constructions of the human body and the intersection of belief with these constructions. The biology of the human body is presented as a framework for this exploration. Topics covered include: images of the body in art, in advertising, and in language; reductionism versus holism; psychosocial problems such as anorexia / bulimia and AIDS and reproductive behavior; asymmetries of health care – race, class, and gender issues as related to health. The format will be primarily interactive with discussion, small group exercises and mini-lectures. Emphasis will be on writing to learn. As students, you will be expected to keep a journal in which you reflect on your class experience and learning. A short paper will be required biweekly, with two longer papers during the semester. (Gates)
175/Slavic Surveys 221. Ukraine, Armenia and the Baltics: Culture and Ethnicity in the Other Europe. (3). (Excl).
See Slavic Surveys 221.
176/Russian 222. Russia Today. (3). (HU).
See Russian 222. (Makin)
177/Slavic Surveys 240. Introduction to Slavic Folklore. (3). (HU).
See Slavic Surveys 240. (Stolz)
178/Communication 178. Pornography: What's Sex Got To Do With It. (3). (SS).
See Communication 178. (Malamuth)
179/Religion 179. Mere Ritual, Meaningful Gesture: The Psychology of Sacred and Secular Rituals. (4). (HU).
We all engage in some form of ritual behavior – in our daily, private and personal behaviors, as well as on special times designated as ritual occasions. Yet our culture is in general hostile to ritual. The phrase "a mere ritual" has come to mean a totally meaningless and useless act. But our attitude of suspicion toward socially determined and predictable actions and interactions does not necessarily free us of ritual behaviors - perhaps our desire to be "spontaneous" and "original" only makes us less aware of the degree to which rituals and ritualized behavior pervade, and ultimately, give meaning to our lives. In recent years "ritual theory" has become fashionable in certain scholarly circles, reviving among historians of religion an interest that had been eclipsed by the study of sacred texts, myths, and doctrines. In the social sciences, ritual theory has revitalized interests and perspectives that had developed among psychologists and ethnographers since the 19th century. But many intelligent and reflective people have been interested in rituals for centuries, in Western and non-western traditions. We have, therefore, a rich literature on ritual, as well as timeless traditions of ritual practice. This course will explore the form, function, and meaning of a variety of rituals from three different perspectives: through the eyes of traditional thinkers (theologians and ritualists), in the theories of the modern psychologist of religion, and in the new formulations of "ritual theory." Class time will be apportioned as follows: approximately 20% to films and videos illustrating various kinds and aspects of ritual behavior, approximately 30% to discussion, and approximately 50% to lectures. The main objectives of the course are: (1) to initiate students in the academic study of religion, especially (2) the psychological study of religious behavior. But underlying these objectives is a primary goal, namely, exploring and questioning some of our assumptions about thought, action, and meaning in their connection to tradition, order, and spontaneity. Requirements: active and well-informed participation in discussions; four short papers (approx. 6 pp. each) on assigned topics, two of which will be returned for revision and rewriting. (Gómez)
210. Perspectives on Careers in Medicine and Health Care. (4). (Excl).
This course is for students considering a career in the health professions. It is designed to help them acquire perspectives to facilitate their decision-making process. Health care professionals visit the class and share their educational and professional experiences. Students become acquainted with the prerequisites for professional and graduate schools and spend time with dental, medical, osteopathic, nursing, and public health students. We consider problems facing the health professions in the 90s: problems of health care delivery, the high cost of medicine and its effect on the uninsured and underinsured. We discuss issues relating to malpractice and death and dying. 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 exploring a possible career direction. Evaluation is based on class attendance and participation in and completion of all assignments. The class meets Mon. 3-5, 4007 Angell; Thurs. 7-9:30 p.m. at 2130 Dorset Rd., Ann Arbor. A map showing the location of 2130 Dorset Rd. will be available at 1017 Angell Hall. Cost:2 WL:5 Enrollment by override only: contact Fran Zorn at 1017-H Angell Hall (763-2062) or call 662-0682 and leave a message. (Zorn)
250. Collegiate Seminars. Open to any student who has completed the introductory composition requirement. (4). (HU). May be repeated for
Section 001. Moral Issues in the Novel. We will look into some questions about the nature of moral actions and the process of moral growth and we will try our answers to these questions on some novel. 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 world of art. Emphasis on character, and on characters' awareness of self and of actions, rather than plot. We will read selections from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, as well as: Walter V.T. Clark, The Oxbow Incident; J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians; Albert Camus, The Fall; F.M. Ford, The Good Soldier; Margaret Atwood, Surfacing; R.P. Warren, All the King's Men; and perhaps one other novel. You will write a paper every other week and keep a journal for regular in-class writing. (Clark)
Section 002. The Nature of Language Change. Ongoing change is a universal
characteristic of all living languages. The processes by which languages
change and the analytical assumptions and methods employed by linguists
in studying these phenomena will form the subject matter of this seminar.
The seminar will focus on such topics as the development of the alphabet, how older texts are interpreted, how linguists reconstruct undocumented
older stages of a language, lexical change (e.g., how words change meaning, how new words enter a language, and how words fall into disuse), and how
social, cultural and political changes (e.g., the spread of Christianity, the Norman French invasion of England, European expansion to the New World)
can affect the history of a given language. Exemplification will come from the history of English. This course does not require any previous background
in linguistics. There will be one textbook: Jean Aitchison, Language
Change: Progress or Decay?, supplemented by a course pack. Grades will
be based on a series of short written assignments dealing with class discussions
and the readings as well as on a final essay-style take-home exam. (Dworkin)
Section 003. Kant, Goethe, Nietzsche, Freud: A Genealogy of the Modern Mind. For Winter Term, 1993, this course is jointly offered with German 241. (Amrine)
Section 004. Language in Society: Power, Solidarity, and the Law. Is there such a thing as right and wrong in spoken language? Before you attempt to answer this question, consider this statement: "Although public discrimination on the grounds of race, religion and social class is not now publicly acceptable, it appears that discrimination on linguistic grounds is publicly acceptable, even though linguistic differences may themselves be associated with ethnic, religious and class differences." In this seminar, we will compare the concepts non-standard and non-mainstream, and we will discuss the repercussions of choosing linguistic solidarity over power. We will look specifically at discrimination in the educational system and in employment practices based on language differences. Language varieties which have been the focus of such discrimination include Black English Vernacular (BEV) and Hawaiian-Creole English. The only prerequisite is an open mind, but the requirements include: extensive readings; research projects; thoughtful pa ipation; willingness to share your opinion and listen to opinions different from your own. (Lippi-Green)
Section 005. Moses: The Man and the Tradition. Was there an historical Moses? Who, according to the Bible, was Moses? What influence has Moses exerted on the ancient, medieval, and modern worlds? To be sure, the sheer magnitude of Moses' influence does not emerge simply by reference to his role in the Bible; yet these traditions provide Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with their most ancient and extensive accounts about Moses, the man of God. This course introduces the student to the academic study of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament through a series of studies focused on the pivotal Moses traditions. The course is designed to challenge the modern reader with a set of vigorously debated questions about the formation of the Bible and its impact on private, communal, and public life. Readings for the course will be focused on biblical books of Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy in English translation. the following Moses stories will be given particular attention: The Sojourn in Egypt and the Birth of Moses; The Call of Moses; The Plague Stories; The Passover; The Exodus; Trials and Rebellions; Jethro and the Law Courts; Sinai-Horeb and the Law; Covenant as Credo; The Golden Calf; and the Death of Moses. These will be supplemented with regular course pack readings in works by modern authors and commentators. In addition to regular class attendance and active seminar participation, the student will be required to write three 1500-word essays (4-5 typed pages) on set topics covered in the course. The final exam will consist of a topic question which the student will prepare beforehand, but write on at the time set for the exam. (Schmidt)
251. Collegiate Seminars. Open to any student who has completed the introductory composition requirement. (4). (SS). May be repeated for
Section 001. Alternative Realities: Science and the Study of Human Perception. This course will investigate a number of questions about the nature of human perception, about the nature of science, and about the relationship between them. A number of broad, highly subjective, inherently interesting questions about the nature of perception will be investigated. The broadest of these questions will the question of cultural relativism: Do people from widely different cultures experience immediate reality in fundamentally different ways? However, these questions will provide a vehicle for introducing more fundamental questions: How can such questions be meaningfully investigated? And, especially, can such questions be asked from within the framework of modern (positive, operational) science? The goal will be to expose the students to the philosophy of science in a palatable manner, with an emphasis on the discussion of the limitations of scientific investigation and an introduction to alternative modes of inquiry. The alternative realities to be explored will be those attributable to cultures, subcultures, cults, historical eras, substances (i.e., drugs), and mental illness. Most importantly, the scientific enterprise itself, as one mode among others, of establishing an order of reality will also be presented in this context. The readings for the course will be broad and eclectic. Selections will be assigned from: Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception; Allison Lurie, Imaginary Friends; Owen Barfield, Saving the Appearances; Walker Percy, Message in the Bottle; Thomas Szasz, The Myth of Mental Illness; Helen Keller, The World I Live In; and Theodore Roszak, Where the Wasteland Ends. We will also focus some discussions on a number of contemporary movies which will be viewed in informal, supplementary classes held at the instructor's home. These will include: Do the Right Thing; Koyaanisqatsi; Field of Dreams; and Dances with Wolves. Finally, an MTS conference will be established in which the students can have continuing interactions among themselves, and with the instructor. The students' grades will be entirely determined by writing papers. The students' writing will be individually developed and evaluated through individual tutorial meetings held every three or four weeks at the instructor's office. Cost:3 (Pachella)
252. Collegiate Seminars. Open to any student who has completed the introductory composition requirement. (4). (NS). May be repeated for
Section 001. Ocean Resources: Uses and Misuse. Oceanography provides a good introduction to science, scientific thinking, and the unity of scientific knowledge. Study of the resources of the oceans combines elements of biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and engineering with complex social and economic problems. This course will address a number of equivocal issues facing ocean scientists and makers of marine policies. Students will be asked to examine critically some of the conflicting demands being placed on the oceans by today's societies. Some examples are the conflicts that emerge from protection of natural beaches and wetlands as opposed to the economic benefits of coastal developments such as marinas and harbors and from protection of endangered species as opposed to the undeniable need for more food for more people. Other questions we will discuss will include: Why hasn't the U.S. ratified the Law of the Sea treaty? Should ocean dumping be outlawed? How badly has humanity impacted the marine environment? Why save the whales? Each student will select one of the weekly topics and lead class discussions on this topic. A major whole-class topic will involve all students. Two written papers and one written exam will be required. (Meyers)
262/RC Interdivisional 262. AIDS: The Challenge to Society. (4). (Excl).
This multi-disciplinary course on AIDS will emphasize the biomedical and psychosocial aspects of this worldwide epidemic. Fundamentals of the immune system will be covered, as well as virology, etiology, and epidemiology. The course will further emphasize the cultural, political and ethical issues that surround societal responses to the epidemic. Topics include: immunology of AIDS, fundamentals of viruses and retroviruses, the epidemiology and natural history of HIV infection, AIDS drug development and history, ethical and legal issues in drug and vaccine development, AIDS in minority communities, AIDS in women and children, cultural issues in AIDS research and treatment, the challenge of behavioral change, AIDS prevention and education, and local and international impact. Throughout, students can expect to gain insight into how the scientific enterprise interfaces with the larger society and its prevailing values. The course will meet for two 1-1/2 hour lecture periods per week; in addition, students will meet for a two hour discussion period per week. Short commentary papers, an individual or group research project/paper, and mid-term and final exams will be assigned. This course is open to students who have taken at least one college-level natural science course, and is especially intended for those considering careers in the biomedical, public health, or psychosocial fields. (Sloat and Ostrow)
280. Undergraduate Research-A (Grade). First or second year student in LS&A, and permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). A maximum of six credits of 280 and 281 may be counted toward graduation.
This course provides academic credit for students engaged in research through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). To receive credit, the student must be working on a research project under the supervision of a University of Michigan faculty member. Students may elect the course for 1-4 hours of credit. For each hour of credit, it is expected that the student will work three hours. The grade for the course will be based on a final project report evaluated by the faculty sponsor and on participation in other required UROP sponsored activities, including monthly peer advising sessions, and submission of a journal chronicling the research experience. Students will receive a letter grade for this course. This course is open only to students enrolled in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.
281. Undergraduate Research-B (Credit). First or second year student in LS&A, and permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (INDEPENDENT). A maximum of six credits of 280 and 281 may be counted toward graduation.
This course provides academic credit for students engaged in research through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). To receive credit, the student must be working on a research project under the supervision of a University of Michigan faculty member. Students may elect the course for 1-4 hours of credit. For each hour of credit, it is expected that the student will work three hours. The grade for the course will be based on a final project report evaluated by the faculty sponsor and on participation in other required UROP sponsored activities, including monthly peer advising sessions, and submission of a journal chronicling the research experience. This course is offered for credit / no credit only. This course is open only to students enrolled in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.
299. Race, Racism, and Ethnicity. (4). (SS). (This course fulfills the Race or Ethnicity Requirement).
University Course 299 will take historical and theoretical approaches toward understanding race as a social construct, and racism and its dynamics of power, dominations, and resistance. The course will draw from literature, personal narratives, and essays by members of the fours principal historically excluded groups in the U.S.: African Americans, Asian/Pacific Americans, Native Americans, and U.S. Latinos and Latinas. Course materials, lectures, and discussions will profile these groups as well as approach race and ethnicity by analyzing popular culture, this historical formation of racial ideology, and our own institutional efforts at multiculturalism. Midterm exam, written assignments, and a final paper. Cost:3 (Aparicio, Kelley)
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