Classes in social sciences, humanities, philosophy and English help students enhance their written communication skills, gain exposure to the literary arts and acquire a better understanding of humanity. Societal and family issues, philosophical and aesthetic concepts, and composition and writing skills are all developed.
Intensive English Program
This class will help prepare you for HMS-101A. This is a writing-intensive class. There will be a focus on grammar, sentence and paragraph structure, proper pronunciation, and the ability to write a smooth-flowing, well-structured, understandable essay. In addition to writing, this class will also help with ready, speaking and listening.
Intensive English Program
An integrated skills intermediate-level course that aims to develop all skills in order to build toward academic readiness in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students read authentic materials such as essays, novels, magazine and newspaper articles, and textbooks, and work on reading skills such as faster reading, inference, and vocabulary development. They also listen to authentic materials such as films, websites, and lectures (live or recorded) and work on giving effective presentations using PowerPoint, visual aids, or handouts.
Intro to Literary/Critical Studies I
This class serves as an introduction to reading and writing about literary texts and critical theory, with a concentration on composition, critical analysis, and research. Students are requires to write essays based on the critical analysis of texts across a range of genres. Emphasis is placed on using writing as an extension of the thought and creative process, and as a tool that can be integrated across academic and artistic disciplines. There will be a focus on mastering the elements of the thesis-centered essay and developing research skills. Students who earn a C or above will register for HMS-201A in semester 4. Students who earn a C- or below will register for HMS-101A again in semester 3. Students must earn a C or better in order to pass this course.
Intro to Literary/Critical Studies II
While students continue to practice the critical thinking and writing skills acquired in HMS 101a, emphasis is placed on exploring literature and its relation to the other arts in greater depth, and on developing a writing style characterized by coherency, clarity of expression, and analytical rigor. Students are required to take HMS-201A in semester 4. Students must earn a C or better in order to pass this course.
This is a course in basic astronomy, which will provide an overview of our current understanding of the universe around us. Topics will include the origin of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets, interstellar matter, black holes, supernovas, space travel, and the possibility (or not) of extraterrestrial life, as well as the observational techniques we use to reveal the universe.
Science & Society
The science and Society course explores some of the most pressing science issues facing the human condition today. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and writing, the class will explore such issues as climate change, alternative energy, genetic engineering, emerging infectious diseases, and the overall forecast for the human condition in the next several decades. Students will gain an appreciation of how science can inform policies that will shape our society, and will recognize the limitations of our current knowledge in prediction how modern technology will shape the human condition in the future.
This course provides a background in the fundamental principles of evolution, including natural selection, adaptation, population genetics, coevolution, speciation, and macroevolution. Using historical texts as well as cutting-edge research papers, we will explore the ongoing development of Darwin's theory of evolution. Through the readings, activities, and dialogue supported by the course, students will learn to apply evolutionary concepts to both the natural and human-mediated world around them.
Ecology Environment and Anthropocene
Like any other organism, humans rely on their environment-most prominently the living part of that environment-in order to survive. But unlike any other species, humans have the ability to re-shape the diverse environments they inhabit in profound, fundamental, and potentially destructive ways. This course explores how living ecosystems function and how that functioning provides the resources required by both individual humans and the societies we form. It also considers how we have transformed our environment in ways that can threated both our won health and the health of the ecosystems upon which human civilization depends. Many scientists suggest that we have entered a new geologic epoch,the anthropocene; this course explores ways in which the "age of humanity" can become a sustainable-rather than apocalyptic-episode in evolutionary history.
Global History to 1800
This is a survey of global history that will expose students to the most salient forces, ideas, movements, and events of world history for 1200 to 1800.
Salvation from Despair: Spiritual Awakenings in the Ancient World
This course is a history of the creation and development of seven major religious, philosophical, and spiritual traditions that transformed the ancient world from China to Greece during the Axial Age (c.800-200 BCE). Students will examine scriptures and seminal writings that provided the founding truths of Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Greek philosophy and science, and that enriched and deepened the older Hindu and Hebrew traditions.
Psychology is a study of human mental processes, behavior and activities. This course is designed to familiarize students with major areas of psychology and provide them with knowledge of key psychological theories. The course covers basic topics of psychology such as origin of human knowledge, emotional and mental development, behavior in groups, psychological disorders and their treatment.
This course explores a wide range of philosophical conceptions of nature and examines how these theories have influenced the way we treat our environment, animals, and each other. We will consider, among other things, whether nature is dead, if there was ever such a thing as wilderness, whether we can restore or improve nature, and if so, who should have the power and authority to do so. Readings are selected from a variety of fields in the social sciences and cultural studies.
Introduction to Theory and Critique
The course introduces students to different modes of critical inquiry from the fields of modern political and social theory, gender and sexuality studies, postcolonial studies, and critical race studies. Students learn the theoretical foundations of concepts such as critique, ideology, power, subjectivity, freedom, and resistance and discuss their political relevance for understanding gender, class, and race relations, as well as the histories of capitalism, colonialism, and migration.
Culture, Identity, Power: 1300-1800
This course looks at the significance of cultural materials-architecture, painting, decorative arts, writing, ritual, and religious practices-in establishing and maintaining the power of rule. We will focus on two different regions of the world, between 1300-1800, in order to understand the development and consolidation of governing power in the modern world. Historical comparisons will enable students to gain skills in identifying and analyzing expressive forms of power, forged through a range of cultural practices. Throughout the course, students will use these insights to critically assess the use of contemporary cultural materials for power-making in our world today.
Telling Tales: Narrative and Meaning in The Humanities
Writing intensive course devoted to the questions: What does the term 'narrative' mean, why does it matter to culture and knowledge, and what do we do when we tell stories? Students will read and write about myths, stories and historical accounts, and study classical and contemporary theories of meaning, language, communication and authorship. Supplementary material will be drawn from work in poetics, linguistics, history, psychology, media and social science. The role of narration in film, music and the visual arts will also be considered.
Sexual Politics in Transnational Perspective
This class comparatively examines how sexuality and gender intersected with politics to shape modern societies. We will address the global dimensions of sexuality, but our readings will primarily focus on developments in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. Our weekly discussions will revolve around several interesting themes including gender-role construction, theories of sexual identity, state regulation of sexual behavior, and rise of LGBTQ emancipation movements. After discussing the significance of these themes on the local level, we will then examine them within large cultural, social and transnational contexts.
Contemporary Theories of Gender
This interdisciplinary course explores the concept of gender. This is approached through the lens of feminist and post-structuralist thinkers that address the establishment and subversion of sex and gender categories and hierarchies and their cultural manifestations, especially in the arts. The course will cover a range of topics form 20th and 21st century gender, queer, and Tran's theory, including gender binaries and spectrums, empowerment and subversion in popular culture, genes, hormones, biology, and contemporary trans activism.
Weimar Film and Culture: Modernity as Catastrophe
Combining the study of film, history, social movements, psychopathology and art, 'Weimar Film and Culture' presents a portrait of Germany at its moment of greatest cultural crisis: between WWI and Nazism, between artistic experimentation (the Bauhaus, Neue Sachlichkeit, Expressionism and proletariat culture) and conservative reaction. Weekly screenings feature classic silent and early sound films from directors like Fritz Lang and F.W. Murnau, with stars like Louise Brooks, Asta Nielsen, Emi Jannings and Peter Lorre.