Skip to main content


Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

College Courses

College Courses, introduced in 1968-1969, are interdisciplinary in nature and are intended to appeal to students of widely differing backgrounds and interests. Courses scheduled to be offered from 2010 Fall through 2011 Summer are listed below; courses for later terms will be announced during 2011 winter term.

1. Assisted Reproduction In The 21st Century

11W: 2A

This course aims to provide an informed understanding of the scientific, psychological, social, ethical, religious and legal issues underlying debates about infertility and assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs). Among these technologies are in vitro fertilization (IVF), sperm, egg and embryo donation or freezing, surrogate motherhood, intracytoplasmic sperm insertion (ICSI) for male factor infertility, and, perhaps in the near future, cloning. Drawing on ethical, religious or feminist perspectives, some have questioned the appropriateness of using these technologies. The issues/questions we will examine include the following: What is meant by “infertility”? What are appropriate ways of responding to it? What is the status of the embryos that are routinely manipulated (frozen, biopsied or destroyed) in this context? How are we to assess new approaches to resolving infertility, such as the use of donor eggs or surrogate parenting? Who should have access to these technologies and who should pay for them? What is the status of research on egg freezing, and how might its routine accomplishment change our society? Course requirements include a research paper utilizing the interdisciplinary approach on which the course is based. R. Green, Cramer.

2. American Sign Language Poetry, Literature and Performance in Translation

11S: 10A

American Sign Language (ASL) has a rich poetic and literary tradition, not well known outside of the Deaf community. This work is available to us only through video, film and live performances, as well as a growing body of critical writing (and video) about it.

This course will study important works of ASL poetry, storytelling, and new performance genres in translation, always using the original performances as touchstones. The class will be co-taught by the Dartmouth faculty member and a series of visiting Deaf artists and scholars, each of whom will give a public performance or lecture that will be pertinent to the class. In addition, x-hours and extra lab time will be devoted to learning beginning ASL from a Deaf teacher, so as to increase students’ appreciation of the richness of this language and its culture. Dist: LIT; W Cult CI. Polansky.

3. Evidence and The Ethics of Argument

11S: 12

We are bombarded with argument everywhere we look. Whether it’s at a rally for health care reform or flipping through images in a magazine, we are 24-hour recipients of messages trying to persuade us to do, buy, act, and believe. Those who use these tools of persuasion wield enormous power, power that must be used responsibly. But what are the ethical bounds of argument? If the end goal is “just,” does it really matter if evidence is “adjusted”in the process of persuasion? Does it matter if a “fact” is wrong, if the ultimate point is true? Can there sometime be a “Truth” that belies all evidence? How does one argue for or against such “Truths?”

The course is designed for students planning for a career in leadership, government, public policy, or any field in which persuading others is vital to success. The course uses the law’s Federal Rules of Evidence as a grounding document from which we will try to tease out the elements of effective argument, as well as one community’s collective “Ethic of Argument.” Other course materials draw from ethics, literature, history, popular culture, comparative law, courtroom trials, politics, and public policy. Students will apply these principles in a variety of writing and multi-media formats, as they complete, as groups, comprehensive public policy portfolios, advancing a policy issue of their choosing. Dist: TMV. Kalish.

4. Dramatic Storytelling: A Playwriting/Screenwriting Workshop

10F: Mondays 6-9 PM (and an occasional one-hour meeting on Sundays, arranged)

Harold Pinter, John Patrick Shanley, David Mamet, Neil Labute, Susan-Lori Parks, Arthur Miller, Tom Stoppard – these are just a few of the significant playwrights of the latter half of the twentieth century (and the early part of the 21st) who have done significant work, in some cases their best, in film. This course is a workshop where the student will have the opportunity to tell the same story in both forms, as a play and a film script, and determine in which way the story is most effectively told. After starting the course with an exploration of the screenplay’s origins as the filmed version of the “well-made play,” and then traveling through to the modern day when the screenplay has developed its own form and structure, we will use what we’ve learned about the history and its master practitioners to develop and present story ideas, to make a choice of a specific story, and to write and present both first and final drafts of that same story as both a play and a screenplay. We will then have a public reading of one form or the other – the student will be given the opportunity to choose – in a final presentation at the end of the term. Dist: LIT. Phillips, Sutton.

5. Mapping Health and Disease

10F: 10A

This course introduces the principles and methods used to understand health and disease in a geographical context. Monitoring epidemics, tracking outbreaks, and studying access to health care are Important in achieving wellness in a population. Concepts presented in class are explored using a geographic information system (GIS). Learning takes place through lecture, discussion, readings, GIS lab, and a term project. Previous course-work in geography or a health is recommended, but not required. Dist: TAS. Berke, Shi.

11. Book Arts Studio Seminar

F10: 2A

A studio-based seminar in which students explore the relationship between text, image, and form through letterpress relief printing techniques and the creation of book structures. Lectures and readings will familiarize students with historic and contemporary literature on the book form. Students will study exemplars from the extensive holdings of Rauner Special Collections and the Sherman Art Library in historical hand press and contemporary artist’s books. Limited enrollment. Supplemental Course Fee. Dist. ART. Halasz, Hamlin, Borezo.

8. City , Cinema, Self

11W: 3A

The idea that the city and the self are intertwined is not new; nor is the idea that theater and art provide special channels of access to the human mind, ones that bypass reason in shaping experience. In the Republic, for instance, Plato considers how in crafting cities and myths, we may design better human beings, or worse ones, creating them from without and within. The advent of new materials, new technologies and new media forms brought these ancient concerns vividly to life as well for artists and architects in the early twentieth century. What is the role of a building or a city in shaping human experience? How should we think about the role of motion pictures and electronic media in constructing and framing human experience? What might these mean for an individual’s conception of self and identity? This course is a study of some key ideas about the designed environment and the individual in modernity, particularly as they arise and are expressed in the “modernist” movements in architecture and cinema in the first half of the twentieth century and with additional attention to the way as in which the same issues play forward to today. Readings and media texts from philosophy, architecture, film, and media studies. Dist: ART. Levey, Williams.

10. Archaeology and Language: Greeks, Hittites, and Trojans in the Second Millennium B.C.E.

10F: 11

Two hundred years ago, the Aegean Bronze Age was the stuff of Homeric legends and a few enigmatic Biblical references. This course begins by tracing how advances in scientific archaeology and linguistics led to the rediscovery, first of the ancient Near Eastern world in general, and next, of the civilizations we know today as Mycenaean and Hittite. Finally, we turn to the problem of the identity of the Bronze Age Trojans and the circumstances of the legendary war they fought against the Mycenaean Greeks on the northwestern border of the Hittite Empire. Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: W. Rutter, Pulju.