110. Individual and Society I. Lloyd Scholars. (3) (Excl). A maximum of 20 Lloyd Scholars credits may be counted toward a degree.
Section 001 – Environmental Problem Solving.
"If today is a typical day on planet Earth, we will lose 116 square miles of rainforest, or about an acre a second. We will lose another 72 square miles to encroaching deserts.... We will lose (up to) 250 species. The human population will grow by 250,000."
- David Orr, Professor of Environmental Education, Oberlin
Does the ecological crisis seem overwhelming to you? In this course, we will explore innovative, cutting-edge solutions to environmental problems. The course has three main objectives: (1) to search for the best methods for solving environmental problems; (2) to study environmental "success stories;" and (3) to evaluate some of the solutions that are now emerging in the fields of law, economics, design, science, education, and citizen initiatives. Each student will be responsible for translating the lessons of the class into a creative, practical term-long project. We will be applying what we learn to solve some of the problems in our own community. (Sherman)
112. Studies in Social and Political History I. Lloyd Scholars. (3). (Excl).
A maximum of 20 Lloyd Scholars credits may be counted toward a
Section 001 – Jurisprudence. Jurisprudence is the study of how judges, lawyers, and philosophers justify and explain various conceptions of law and legal decision-making. We will examine several schools of jurisprudence throughout this course and vigorously scrutinize their benefits and disadvantages. While the readings will be diverse, we will constantly return to some basic questions and concerns. Among them, we will ask: (1) What is the difference between law and politics and why is that distinction worth investigating? Is politics simply an arena where the most powerful person wins whereas law exists to uncover truth? (2) How can one justify the law, in all its myriad manifestations, as autonomous and "logical"? What are the metaphysical assumptions implicit in these theories that allow them to justify the authority and autonomy of law? By exposing these latent assumptions, can we still view law, in principle, as impartial and infallible? (3) Is law really neutral with regard to the identities of members in society, or does it reflect the individual interests of certain groups? Do the theoretical underpinnings of law affect the marginal members of society the same way as the powerful? (4) Does law differ from morality? If so, what's at stake in such a distinction? That is, what do we gain and lose as a matter of theory by thinking of the two as different? Throughout Anglo-American jurisprudence, natural law and legal positivism have competed as the reigning intellectual tools to answer the above questions. Hence, we will read from various authors in those traditions. But we will also use more modern theories like feminist jurisprudence and critical legal studies to scrutinize the two dominant schools and to evaluate their utility and limits. (Kang)
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165. College Writing. (4).
(Introductory Composition). A maximum of 20 Lloyd Scholars credits
may be counted toward a degree.
Section 001 – Roe v. Wade and The Contemporary Politics of Pregnancy. On January 22, 1973, Justice Blackmun publicly announced these momentous words from the Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade: "Th[e] right of privacy ... is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy." This decision simultaneously acknowledged the existing controversies surrounding abortion and foreshadowed how abortion, in U.S. society, inspires "deep and seemingly absolute convictions." This class will not seek to "convince" or "convert" you; rather, we will inform and educate ourselves about how individuals, social movements, and social institutions transformed abortion [and more broadly, pregnancy] into an often violently contested legal and socio-political controversy during the past 25, "post Roe v. Wade" years. We will explore, for example, how individuals and social movements `used' abortion to express various cultural anxieties and to repetitively engage socio-political questions concerning women and men's "proper place" in society. In addition, we will analyze recent legal developments and public debates concerning the "politics of pregnancy." For instance, we will address so-called "maternal-fetal conflicts" (encompassing, e.g., fetal protection statutes and fetal abuse prosecutions) which evoke questions concerning whose rights, needs, and/or interests society shall privilege when a pregnant woman and `the fetus' apparently possess "competing" or mutually exclusive claims. Lastly, our class will investigate these topics through essay writing, oral presentations, and collective projects in order to develop our rhetorical and communicative skills. (Adwere-Boamah)
Section 002 – Political Science Fiction: The Social and Political Commentary of Visionaries, Malcontents and Radicals. What does Star Trek have to do with the Cold War? Why are so many people fascinated by the X- Files or tales of possible futures? The genre of science fiction is often used as a vehicle for social and political commentary – such as warnings of the dangers of communism, the horrors which gender injustices can result in, or a general condemnation of humanity's flaws and imperfections. It is our goal to examine books and films such as The Postman, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (AKA Bladerunner) and The Invasion of the Body Snatchers to acquire a sense of the messages which they convey. Students will examine issues and conditions which face, or may someday face, society in order to learn how to communicate their ideas through the development of writing skills. The genre of science fiction will be used as a vehicle to develop our own tools for the transmission of ideas and positions. In other words, this is NOT a course designed to teach us how to be writers of science fiction; rather, it is a course involving argumentative writing in which we will attempt to better our interpretations of a variety of books and films and the issues they put before us. (Barouth)
Section 003 – Representation of Women in Pop Culture. What are the pervasive ways in which women are represented in pop culture? Are images, icons, and idioms used to portray women as the "second sex?" What is the cumulative effect of female objectification on men and women alike? How might this objectification impact one's self-esteem? What are the social, political, and economic consequences of gender socialization? We will explore these questions and consider ways in which we can dismantle negative female representation and move toward self-empowerment. Coursework will include a multimedia forum of in-class film screenings, weekly reading and writing assignments, group discussion, and self-evaluation. The purchase of a course pack and textbook is required. Cost:2 (Frosti)
Section 004 – Writing about Mathematics. Hate math? Hate writing? This course will help you gain a greater understanding and appreciation of mathematics and writing. To develop your interest in math, we will examine how much math is used in fields not typically associated with math, e.g., literature, art, history, and law. To develop your interest in writing, we will study how writers in different fields describe math. Historians, philosophers, and mathematicians use similar techniques to make their descriptions of math understandable and interesting. Finally, we will learn how to write about mathematical concepts and processes in order to clearly explain math to others. This skill is extremely important in your learning of math because it enables you to gain a deeper understanding of mathematical theory beyond mere calculation. And, perhaps more importantly, the Calculus 115 course requires that students learn how to write about math. This course requires you to write four 4-6 page papers and weekly one-page papers, and to participate in class and writing workshops. We will use a course pack and two textbooks, which will cost about $60 total. If you love math, then this course will help you further develop your appreciation of this wonderful subject. If you love writing, this course will allow you to explore ways to write about math in order to enhance your writing skills. Cost:3 (Ichiye)
Section 005 – Politics and Sociology of Education. We will be concerned with the understanding and development of argumentative writing skills throughout this course. We will survey and practice tools used to compose argumentative essays through the study of writing theory and an exploration of contemporary issues in education. The specific content of this course will deal with two major issues facing education today and will give you the opportunity to compose a research paper on a topic that interests you. The first issue we will deal with is the tension that surrounds equity in elementary and secondary education. We will consider issues relating to disadvantaged students, gifted students, and gender equity in the K- 12 classroom. You will very likely be disturbed by the conditions that many students face in their schools. At the same time you may conclude that achieving equity in our public schools would compromise the education of the gifted to such a degree that the country's future would be jeopardized. The second topic we will explore is a fairly recent reform movement in higher education. Specifically, we will be considering cultural diversity in the curriculum and cocurriculum. Colleges and universities have historically witnessed intense debates over the content of their curriculums. The value of learning from non-western cultures has achieved legitimacy in the curriculum. The examination of "conservative" and "liberal" writings on this topic will give you the opportunity to discuss what you believe are essential elements of the college curriculum and cocurriculum. The final section of this course will be structured around a research paper. That is, you will select a topic relevant to the course, gather and synthesize a substantial amount of literature on the topic, and construct your own point of view on this issue. During the first half of the term, we will read the Chronicle of Higher Education on a weekly basis to become more familiar with issues facing education. (Johnson)
Section 009 – Filming Law: Representations of Law in American Trial Films. Along with westerns and gangster movies, legal films constitute a major genre in American film. This course aims to take the legal film as a cultural object which, when closely analyzed, illuminates popular conceptions of law as well as the changing expectation of justice as witnessed through the camera. Films like In the Name of the Father, The Accused, To Kill A Mockingbird, Philadelphia, Twelve Angry Men will be viewed and discussed along side of cultural theory both for their cinematic qualities as well as their contributions to popular constructions of legality that dominate our "legalistic culture." Through weekly writing assignments, and several essays, we will (1) attempt to hone the skills that help decipher the cinematic art as well and (2) investigate a genre of films that are receiving a new status of importance since the legalization of cameras in the courtroom in 1978. (Silbey)
Section 010 – The Individual from Juvenile Hall to Death
Row. This course will look through various lenses at the
criminal justice system, particularly at American institutions
of punishment and incarceration. Areas of focus will include, among others, the history and purposes of punishment, the juvenile
detention system, women in prison and their special needs, the
elderly prison population, prison conditions, the parole process, and the death penalty. By examining legal, psychological, and sociological perspectives, using as primary sources the popular
media, case studies, historical descriptions, philosophical writings, and the literature and art of prisoners themselves, we will seek
to better understand these institutions of punishment. Each week, discussions will focus on different aspects of this multi-faceted
system, with more time available for specific topics depending
on interest. We will use written responses to explore new or challenging
issues raised by each week's sources, and will have the opportunity
to examine chosen topics in greater depth through individual research
and composition. (Smith)
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