University Courses (Division 495)


The University Courses Division sponsors a number of First-Year Seminars (UC 150, 151, 152, 153) which provide a unique small-class educational experience to first-year students. (A complete list of First-Year Seminars offered by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts can be found in the first section of this Course Guide.) These seminars, open to all first-year students, are small-group classes (approximately 15-25 students) taught by outstanding regular and emeritus faculty from many different departments on a variety of topics. They provide a stimulating introduction to the intellectual life of the University by exposing new students to engaging subject matter and by offering the opportunity for active participation that a small class can 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.

All First-Year Seminars can be used to complete part of the College's general requirements. UC 153 fulfills the Introductory Composition requirement. Other seminars count toward satisfying the Area Distribution requirements: Humanities (UC 150), Social Sciences (UC 151), or Natural Sciences (UC 152), Quantitative Reasoning, or Race & Ethnicity.

The University Courses Division also offers Collegiate Seminars, which are open to any student who has completed the Introductory Composition requirement. Intended especially for lower-division students and taught by regular professorial faculty members, Collegiate Seminars provide additional opportunities for first- and second-year students to personalize their education through a small-group course. Interaction between student and teacher, made possible by the small size of the class, facilitates deeper learning and encourages the development of a learning community where dialogue among students as well as between student and teacher takes place.

All Collegiate Seminars count toward satisfaction of the College's distribution requirements in one of the three major divisions: Humanities (UC 250), Social Sciences (UC 251), or Natural Sciences (UC 252). All emphasize critical thinking about important and central topics, and feature further instruction in writing.

111/Soc. 111/AOSS 172/NR&E 111. Introduction to Global Change II. No credit for seniors. (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. Global Change II will examine the growth and spread of the human population, and the problems of global environmental change produced by recent human advances in technology and institutions. We will consider the methods available for detecting global change, and then examine change in a number of key resources, including land, water, the atmosphere, and biological diversity. The course concludes by considering the political and policy considerations relevant to the transition to a more sustainable future. Global Change II is appropriate for all students and will assume no prior background. The homework and laboratories will depend heavily on the use of computers to perform spatial analysis, develop quantitative reasoning, write critically, and to promote personal interaction with the faculty. Three 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour lab/discussion per week. Grades will be based on weekly written lab exercises, midterm, and final exam. An expanded course description can be found at http://www.sprl.umich.edu/GCL/core.sequence.html (Killeen)
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150. First-Year Humanities Seminar. First-year students. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with permission of department.
Section 001 Understanding and Appreciating Poetry.
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, one of the major arts. Reading assignments: close, analytic reading of a few poems for each 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. (Barrows)

Section 002 The Arts Alive: An Introduction to the Arts in Ann Arbor. "The Arts Alive" is an introduction to the performing and visual arts taught from the perspective of a working arts critic. Pre-performance class discussion prepares students for attendance at dance and classical music concerts, theater presentations and museum tours. We consider issues aesthetic, ethical, economic affecting artist, critic, and audience. Visits with artists and critics, post-performance debriefings, and writing assignments enable students to sharpen their eyes and ears and to employ their critical acumen and analytical skills. Students should note that many performances, pre-concert talks, etc., take place outside of scheduled class time. (Nisbett)

Section 003 Fictional World of Ernest Hemingway. "All stories, if continued long enough, end in death, and he is no true storyteller who would keep that from you." This stark observation by Ernest Hemingway pinpoints his basic pessimism regarding the human condition. For him, the harsh realities of that condition are violence, suffering, absurdity, disorder and, finally, death. Nevertheless, despite its tragic nature, life still can often be a delight love and friends are especially rewarding. You will enter this compelling Hemingway world through the reading of short stories, plus such longer works as The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms. Since this course is discussion and not lecture, your active oral participation at each meeting is a non-negotiable expectation. There will be frequent short papers and no final examination. (Shafter)

Section 004 Magic, Religion, and the Bible. What role does "magic" play in modern religious life? What impact has the Bible had on modern views of magic and its relationship to religion? As a means for exploring these and related questions, this seminar offers students the opportunity to engage in a series of studies on magic in the ancient world. We will study relevant biblical passages, examine artifacts reflective of the broader ancient Near Eastern and ancient Mediterranean magical traditions (Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Anatolian, Syro-Palestinian, Jewish, Christian, and Greek) and survey modern approaches to the study of magic. Students will investigate such topics as the definition and vocabulary of magic, magic as a ritual complex, magic's relationship to science and religion, and the impact of cultural bias (or the insider-outsider perspective) on the images of magic rendered by both ancient authors and modern interpreters. Course requirements include three papers (10-12 pages), one presentation, and active class participation. (Schmidt)
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151. First-Year Social Science Seminar. First-year students. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission of department.
Section 002 Public Education for Blacks and Other Minorities. The purpose of this seminar will be to trace the development of elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education of Blacks and other minorities in the South from the Emancipation Proclamation to May 17, 1954. Particular emphasis will be focused on watershed judicial litigation, 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 in 1954. Of special importance will be seminar discussions revealing how Blacks and other minorities were successful in achieving an education in spite of the barriers confronting them. Students will be expected to read a number of the classic writings by authors such as W.E.B. DuBois, E. Franklin Frazier, Booker T. Washington, and John Hope Franklin. The writings of contemporary Blacks and minorities will be explored as well as books 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. (Palmer)

Section 003 Theories of Socioeconomic Class. Many students come to college keenly aware that race and gender play important roles in American political life, yet unsure how (or whether) to think about socioeconomic class. What defines a "class"? Do some classes rule over others? How do class interests affect government policies, media images, and our own life choices? In this course we will investigate such questions by examining classic theoretical writings (by such authors as John Locke, James Madison, and Karl Marx), as well as recent accounts (including those of Noam Chomsky and Christopher Lasch). We will also explore through both essays and films the complex relationship among class, race, and gender. (Weinberg)

Section 004 Medicine, Culture, and Creativity. Is the current health care system culturally competent? Can dialogue across differences improve communication in the medical setting as well as on campus? Can experiencing a culture's oral history and arts heighten awareness of its unique medical attributes and challenges? Students are invited to actively use their own legacies to address these questions, as well as readings, group discussion, invited speakers, and experiences outside of the classroom. Students will also review material designed to improve health providers' awareness of the African American, Asian American, Native American, and Latino/a populations, among others. (Nerenberg)

Section 005 Epidemics: Mass Disease in American History. From smallpox to AIDS, dramatic disease outbreaks both shaped and were shaped by American culture. This course explores how medicine and culture intersected to influence the causes of, and experiences of and responses to epidemics in America; it uses epidemics to illuminate the history of American society from colonization to the present. Lectures introduce new topics and summarize discussions. Discussions explore past perceptions and compare past and present; we will not discuss the present apart from the past. Readings (4-5 hours weekly) include modern histories, plus old newspapers, films, and medical journals. Readings available only for purchase cost about $30; other required readings available on reserve or for purchase cost about $125 more. Written assignments are two 5-page book reviews, a short weekly journal and an individual research project with parts due throughout the term. They will introduce you to the medical, graduate, and undergraduate libraries. (Pernick)

Section 006 Psychology of Interpersonal Relationships. This course is designed to assist members toward an understanding of the personal and situational forces that help and hinder persons in their relationships with each other and in their efforts to work and live together. It will also assist members to transform these social-psychological understandings into constructive actions for handling the problems and difficulties that inevitably arise when people are together. There will be opportunities to refine one's competencies at reflective listening, giving and seeking feedback, interpersonal observation, and mindfulness in thinking about issues. The class sessions are interactive and informal with brief information-giving, focused discussions, interpersonal learning exercises, and videotapes. Reading assignments are mainly through course handouts and other suggested sources. To stimulate personal reflection on interpersonal issues, class members maintain an observation log and a reading log and do a term paper on a relevant, self-selected topic. This work is also used as the source of evaluation and grading in the course. (Menlo)
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153. First-Year Composition Seminar. First-year students. (4). (Introductory Composition). May be repeated for credit with permission of department.
Section 001 Democracies in Danger.
We owe two of the fundamental terms connected with our political system to the ancient Athenians and Romans: "democracy" and "republic." The Athenian democratic and Roman republican systems of government allowed for quite significant degrees of popular sovereignty, achieved great artistic and political successes, and suffered notable failures. The purpose of this course is to examine the Athenian Democracy and the Roman Republic at times of crisis, examining both the theories and practices of their governments. Readings will include selections from Thucydides' The Peloponnesian War, Plato's Apology Politics, select orations and philosophic works of Cicero, and the historical work of Sallust. Course requirements will include four short papers (3-5 pages), an oral presentation, and a variety of in-class writing exercises designed to enhance expository-writing facility. No prior knowledge of Greek or Roman history is assumed. (Potter)
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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 90's: 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, 432 West Hall; 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 G155 Angell Hall. Cost:2 WL:5 Enrollment by override only: contact Fran Zorn at G155 Angell Hall (764-6410) or call 662-0683 and leave a message. (Zorn)
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280. Undergraduate Research-A (Grade). First or second year standing, and permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (EXPERIENTIAL). A maximum of eight credits of UC 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 per week. 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 bi-monthly research group meetings, 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.
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290. Disciplinary Study in a Second Language. Fourth-term language proficiency, and permission of instructor. (1). (Excl).
Section 001 Everyday Life and the Russian Imagination.
The Russian word byt roughly translates as "everyday life." However, to leave the definition there does not do justice to the rich connotations associated with this culturally loaded term, which has no precise English equivalent. This mini-course will explore how buttons, sausages, bath houses, long lines, communal apartments, and other phenomena of "mundane"existence are confronted by the twentieth-century Russian imagination. In order to develop a working definition of byt, we will look at a variety of chronologically, ideologically, and generically diverse texts, including journalistic, literary, and historical treatments of the topic. Requirements for the course include shorter readings, brief writing assignments, and participation in class discussion. Because there will be emphasis on improving students' ability to communicate in Russian, a significant portion of course activity will be conducted in Russian. (Nafpaktitis)
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350. Making Meaning in the Arts. (3). (HU).
"Making and Meaning in the Arts" is a course that aims to introduce students to some of the central questions surrounding the making and understanding of art. In five units, each devoted to a different art form, students will learn about the processes of creation and the work of understanding in the visual arts, dance, theatre, music, film and video. Each of the units will be taught by a two-person faculty team representing the functions of practitioner and critic in the second fields of art explored in the course. Work in the course includes short written responses and analyses, a small-group project, and a final examination. The cost of texts and course packs will be relatively modest. The course will be especially useful to students who are new to the arts, though others are welcome to enroll. "Making and Meaning in the Arts" offers students an opportunity to be part of an exciting new venture in pedagogy. Enrollment is limited to 100 students. (Jensen)
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390. Disciplinary Study in a Second Language. Fourth-term language proficiency, and permission of instructor. (1). (Excl).
Section 001 America Through Russian Eyes.
Living in America in the twentieth century, we have been exposed to images of Russia in movies, spy novels, newspapers, and on television. From revolution to Cold War to perestroika to post-communism, our visions of Russia have changed to meet unfolding political and cultural perceptions and purposes. Russian images of America have been changing, too, and in this mini-course, we will explore how the United States has been portrayed over the decades in a variety of Russian textual media, including literature, journalism, memoir, and historical accounts. Students will be encouraged to bring their own experiences in America to bear in classroom discussion on ideological, artistic, and historical motivations behind the assigned texts. Requirements for this mini-course include short readings, brief writing assignments, and participation in class discussion. Because there will be emphasis on improving students' ability to communicate in Russian, a significant portion of course activity will be conducted in Russian. (Nafpaktitis)
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490. Disciplinary Study in a Second Language. Fourth-term language proficiency, and permission of instructor. (1). (Excl).
Section 001 Languages Across the Curriculum.
See History 477.004. (Caulfield)
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