History students are asked to create meaning from our past and present, developing an ability to understand a historical framework for the world evolving around them. Classes emphasize discussion and oral skills, writing with an emphasis on analytical essays and critical thinking. Students are asked to write history—to formulate, support and document their own views of the past. The use of primary texts is critical in all courses, and student research builds from primary document analysis.

Comparative Religions

.5 Credit
Students in Comparative Religion build understanding of the traditions of religious belief and the nature of the divine in history and across cultures. Students will read religious texts in their historical and cultural context. Writing will include both analytic and personal response. Readings include Huston Smith, The World’s Religions,The Gilgamesh Epi,; Herman Hesse, Siddhartha, selections from the Bhagavad Gita, the Old and New Testaments, Dostoevsky, the Koran, Rumi, and the Tao Te Ching.

Introduction to Economics

.5 credit
The term economics is derived from the Greek “rules of the household.” In this course, we look at the way in which economics governs our lives and homes, as well as our political institutions. We will consider the way in which economic actors (ourselves included) make decisions. The course includes a survey of basic economic concepts and terminology. We will take a thematic approach to economics. Articles from the newspaper and news magazines will serve as the backdrop for the class. Students will gain a greater ability to use economic terms and concepts to understand the world. The class concludes with a research assignment in which students design and produce an independent work centered around primary research.

Social Psychology

Not Currently Offered

.5 credit
How does a social context shape the way we understand, influence, and relate to ourselves and to one another? How do we understand ourselves? How do we maximize the degree of choice we exercise in our lives? And what are the purpose(s) served by our behavior? The field of social psychology looks at how these questions and their answers stretch when the context shifts from the individual to the group or social level. This course will focus on three core areas: social thinking, social influence, and social relations. The course will begin with a half dozen key research studies in their original form, from which students will weave initial questions and interests. From there, with individual questions in one of the three core areas, students will embark on reading through literature and other studies, teaching one another the key concepts, and building an experiment and research project. Students will build this course working together, sharing skills and interests to animate a seminar that pursues both individual and group goals. While much of of the learning will happen collaboratively, the formal written assignments will be designed as individual assessments. This class satisfies a humanities credit.

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