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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only.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 2006 Fall through 2007 Spring are listed below; courses for later terms will be announced during 2007 winter term.

1. Mind and Brain

06F: 10A

Modern neuroscience is challenging the view we have of ourselves. If the mind is really separate from the brain, then why does damage to particular areas of the brain alter thinking? And why do psychiatric drugs alter personality traits? If, as some studies suggest, the ability to think and act morally rests in the frontal lobe of the brain, then are we truly responsible agents? This interdisciplinary course will examine philosophical issues such as the relation between mind and brain and the problem of free will in light of new developments in neuroscience. The course is divided into two segments.

In the first, we survey some of the main philosophical positions concerning how mind and brain are related and what, if anything, makes us the same person over time. And we evaluate these positions in light of modern neuroscience. In second segment of the course, we turn to the topic of whether we have free will and the related question of when punishment is justified. Drawing on literature concerning brain damage and 'moral personality', we consider the insanity defense. We then look at studies that suggest even those with 'normal' brains may not have the control we ordinarily take them to have and consider what if any the implications of such studies are for our current practices of punishment. Class of 2007 and earlier; Dist: PHR. Class of 2008 and later; Dist: TMV. Bumpus, Clark.

2. Assisted Reproduction in the 21st Century (Identical to Religion 19)

07W: 10A

This course will employ a multidisciplinary approach to examine the scientific, social, psychological, religious and ethical issues associated with assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), sperm and egg donation, surrogate motherhood, embryo and egg freezing, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and, perhaps in the future, cloning. Among the questions we will examine are: How is infertility defined and what are its causes? What are the consequences of ARTs for all the parties involved? What are the status of the embryos and rights of children produced by these technologies? Dist: TAS. Cramer, Green, Stern.

3. Alcohol and Addiction Medicine

07S: Tuesdays 1:00-4:00

In this survey course we consider symbolic and substantive roles of alcohol use in the lives of diverse individuals, families and societies. We look at symbolic aspects of alcohol use as we read and discuss selected literary works, and examine substantive aspects of use through reading and discussion of medically-based and social science texts. Students also become familiar with models of recovery for those individuals, families or societies harmfully affected by the use of alcohol and/or other drugs. During the first weeks of the term, Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School faculty present their respective interpretations of selected research findings and literary works and lead students in discussion. During the last weeks of the course, students focus on their own research into particular aspects of alcohol or other drug use and present key findings to colleagues. Dist: SOC. Alvord, Koop, Kopper, O'Donnell, Pease, West.

4. The Bauhaus

07S: 2

The Bauhaus was the innovative early 20th-century school for art and architectural where-among other things-modern design as we know it was invented. Part art academy, part commercial design school, and part architectural guild, the Bauhaus sought to produce artistic polymaths who could cross disciplinary and even economic lines that been separated since the Middle Ages. Bauhaus graduates were to be fine artists, visionary architects, hand-craftsmen, industrial designers, and social reformers, all rolled into one. This interdisciplinary course utilizes art history, architectural history, and modern European history to examine the institution that transformed 20th-century design and continues to exert a remarkable influence on contemporary architecture, applied arts, and artistic instruction. Dist: ART. Class of 2007 and earlier; WCult: EU. Class of 2008 and later; WCult: W. Heck, Jordan.

5. The Creative Process

06F: 2A

Through class discussions of journals and letters by creative persons (Van Gogh, Mozart, Chopin, Sand, and Duncan), films about their lives, panels and individual appearances by creative artists, students will explore the ways in which creators struggle to integrate their work processes with love and family life, face the compromises necessary to economic survival, deal with criticism, with physical and emotional stress and work blocks. Each student will also experiment in short exercises with a variety of creative media (film animation, visual arts, music, creative writing, dance, and drama), while simultaneously developing at least one medium of choice throughout the term. Students will keep journals of their own creative problems in their chosen art form(s), with a view towards integrating into their own artistic development the insights gained through the discussions. Final projects will be creatively absorbed into a public multi-media presentation with an accompanying booklet. Permission of the instructor is required and given after the first day of class. Supplemental course fee required. Dist: ART. Ehrlich.

6. Hindu Epics in Text and Performance

06F: 10A

The ancient Indian epics of the Ramayana and Mahabharata are stirring, martial tales of battling kings and demons, family loyalty and betrayal, romance, religion, and politics. These stories create, store, and transmit cultural and religious values and icons for millions of people in India and other Asian and Southeast Asian nations. In this course, we will use an in-depth examination of the Ramayana-by far the shorter of the two-as a framework for understanding not only these traditions but also the nature of orally transmitted epic literature. This course will be interdisciplinary in nature: using history, religious studies, literary criticism, anthropology, art history, ethnomusicology, and music and performance studies to examine some of the many written, oral, and performative versions of the Ramayana and Mahabharata throughout both India and Southeast Asia. The contemporizing of these powerful stories and their transmission through performance will define the interdisciplinary nature of the class. Performance training will be available in Indonesian music and Javanese shadow puppet theater, as well as supervision in other performative contexts. Students will create text and performance, both as a way of integrating the disciplines presented by the faculty, and to gain a personal experience of the meaning of epic and performance. Dist: ART; WCult: NW. For music students, it may count toward the ensemble requirement. Diamond, Ohnuma.

8. The Hollywood Film Musical

06F: 3A

This class examines the genre of the Hollywood musical during the studio era (ca. 1925-60). We will consider how music-song in particular-both alters and is altered by film practices; how filmmakers address the tensions between sound and image; the compromises required by collaboration; and cultural and historical issues that effected the development of the genre. Major figures include Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Busby Berkeley, Vincente Minnelli, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Jerome Kern. Prerequisites: None. Dist: ART. Class of 2007 and earlier; WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later; WCult: W. Lawrence, Swayne.

11. Sex, Death and Identity in Modern China

07W: 11

China's economic transformation and opening to the world have created massive social and economic changes while at the same time fostered profound social problems. This course explores some of the major social problems faced by China since the post-1978 economic reforms and examines their implications for China's future. Topics to be explored include crime, drug abuse, prostitution, HIV/AIDS, nationalist conflict, corruption, family breakdown, and juvenile delinquency. The course employs materials and methods from many scholarly disciplines and traditions: anthropology, sociology, history, political science, economics, and cultural studies. Dist: SOC. Class of 2007 and earlier; WCult: NW. Class of 2008 and later; WCult: CI. Rudelson.

12. Crusades and Jihad: The Mediterranean Experience (1095-1350)

06F: 2

The Crusades, launched in 1095 by European Christians who sought to secure military control over Jerusalem and the Holy Land, led to a period of sustained and largely hostile contact between Christian and Muslim cultures. The result engendered important and often unintended changes in religion, politics, economies, and cultural life of both Christendom and Islamdom, and this encounter defined Muslim-Christian relations for centuries. Through initial successes and then repeated failures in crusading, Europeans reshaped Western ideas about Christianity, a theology of sacrifice, themselves as Christian Europeans, and Islam and Islamicate culture. For Muslims, the Crusade period witnessed the formation and consolidation of Sunni Islam, its theology, its architecture, its educational institutions, and its political philosophy. The Crusades had important implications for Judaism as well, beginning with the Mainz massacres during the first crusade and marking the beginning of what one scholar has termed the "formation of a persecuting society" in the west. This course takes a comparative perspective, approaching the crusading experience from the European and the Islamic viewpoints. It will also explore the constructive and destructive impact of contact between peoples and the mutual influence of differing cultures, including current reference to the Crusades by contemporary Muslims and Christians. Dist: SOC or INT. Class of 2008 and later; WCult: CI. Gaposchkin, Reinhart.