We are currently showing you 62 courses.

Course Title Department

Black Panthers, Brown Berets: Radical Social Movements of the Late-20th Century

Department: American Civilization
This course examines the histories of radical social movement organizations and individuals from the Black, Latin@, Asian, and Native American communities. We will explore their greatest achievements along with their deepest pitfalls, and ponder the teachings these experiences can provide for us today. Students will heavily utilize primary sources--film, theater, paintings,...
American Civilization

Girl Power Through the Ages: An Introduction to Feminist Theory and Practice

Department: Anthropology
Have you always wondered what it means to be a feminist? Then this is the course for you; A basic introduction to feminist theories and practices both historically and contemporarily. Reading and discussing seminal texts, engaging with depictions of feminists (both in popular culture and other forms), and exploring feminist activism will introduce students to the intersection...
Anthropology

Global Health: Inequality, Culture, and Human Well Being around the World

Department: Anthropology
This course examines human health in a global perspective. Using ideas and methods from anthropology, students will explore how inequality and culture intersect to produce the world's predominant health problems. Further, students will look critically at efforts to address the global burden of disease, using multiple case studies to help them develop more politically...
Anthropology

The Origin of Everything: Creation Myths Around the World

Department: Anthropology
This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting. Even today in the midst of rapid scientific advancements, we often ask some of life's most fundamental questions: how...
Anthropology

Black Lives Matter Less: How Structural Racism Affects the Health of Black Lives and Communities

Department: Biology
Black people in the US have shorter life expectancies, live with more physical and mental illness, and have more disability than White people. This course will help students connect health inequities to systematic racism in our society and its institutions, with a particular focus on the criminal justice and law enforcement system.Using a public health lens, this...
Biology

Forensic Science - CSI Providence

Department: Biology
What makes an expert witness an expert? What would the perfect crime look like? These are but a couple of the many questions we will explore during this course. Forensic science is an exciting field that combines scientific principles from many different science disciplines with technology and math resulting in new, sometimes surprising outcomes!This integrated course...
Biology

Moral Medicine: Questions in Bioethics at the Cutting Edge

Department: Biology
Medical science has brought enormous advantages in the 21st century: extending human life and reducing suffering. However, there are also major ethical and practical concerns arising with scientific progress. How do we frame, re-frame, and decide these controversial issues as ethicists, doctors, individuals, and as a society?In this course, students will develop an...
Biology

The Intersection of Health Care, Economics, and Policy

Department: Biology
The US health care system is complex. There are stakeholders vying over limited funds while trying to maximize multiple outcomes including patient health. In this course, we will explore the key stakeholders in the health care system including payers (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance), providers (e.g., physicians and hospitals), policy makers, and patients from...
Biology

Behavioral Game Theory: Experiments in Strategic Interaction

Department: Economics
Game theory is used to understand human behavior. The course will start with the study of the basic concepts of game theory and then will move on to the study of decision making by real people who are not perfectly rational. The course will help students understand how people really interact with each other in daily life, using both economic theory and experiments in economics.Standard...
Economics

Follow the Money: Capital and Finance in American Life

Department: Economics
The objective of this class is to bring clarity to the sometimes elusive nature of the financial system, and show its development in historical perspective. In doing so, it demonstrates that advent of an economy organized around capital was neither the inevitable product of market forces nor a preordained product of industrial development.

This approach demonstrates that...
Economics

Narratives of Revolution and (post)Colonialism: Race, Gender, and Human Rights

Department: English
The objective of this course is to have students develop their critical-thinking skills orally and in written form and to engage with questions of race, gender, and human rights through readings and screenings of postcolonial narratives. Students will partake in discussions of colonialism in Africa, and engage with a diverse canonical corpus comprised of film, theory, and...
English

Party Girls: Feminist Fiction Up Till Dawn, 1815 - 2015

Department: English
“This is the luxury of a large party, one can get near every body and say every thing.” This provocative line from Jane Austen’s Emma begs the question: why do we throw, attend, and obsess over parties? From strategizing invite lists to picking out the perfect dress, from rehearsing banal small talk to repeating scandalous gossip, from the nervousness...
English

Reading and Writing Workshop I: Utopia and Dystopia

Department: English
This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting. This intensive two-week workshop is intended for high school students who are not native speakers of English and who...
English

Reading and Writing Workshop II: Reflection and Reaction

Department: English
This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting. This intensive two-week workshop is intended for high school students who are not native speakers of English and who...
English

Who Are You To Judge? Modernist Fiction and Judgment

Department: English
Who is allowed to judge? Who is capable of it? Can the individual who judges separate herself from the judged? And by what law, category, and ethical right does judgement take place? This course will examine in what ways judgement, both juridical and social, becomes a problem in the twentieth century. By looking at questions of race, class, ethics, and philosophy, we will...
English

Climate & Climate Change: Scientific, Societal, and Global Implications

Department: Environmental Studies
What is climate change? How do humans interact with the climate system? How can science inform action? This course is designed to provide you with an understanding of the climate system on Earth, interactions between climate and human society, and how climate science is communicated and interpreted from various perspectives.

Topics include:
An introduction...
Environmental Studies

When Disaster Strikes

Department: Environmental Studies
This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting. Hurricane Katrina. The Indian Ocean Tsunami. The Lisbon Earthquake. The Black Plague. What are disasters, why do they...
Environmental Studies

A People's History of War in America from Independence to Iraq

Department: History
Exploring the lives of those who not only fought wars but those who lived through wars, this course explores the women, men, and children in U.S. history that shaped war. We delve into the experiences of women supporting families--and serving as spies. We investigate the decision of enslaved men to serve George Washington--or King George. We probe the effects of war-making...
History

Diplomacy

Department: History
The art of negotiation has never been more important than it is today. From the classroom to the boardroom, inter-personal skills and a clear conception of the give-and-take of personalities and tactical planning are vital elements of success in today’s world. This course is designed to encourage students to think critically about the history of theories of diplomacy...
History

History and Memory in America's Revolutions

Department: History
The American Revolution is a creation story: we look to it to tell us who we are. But the American Revolution did not affect all Americans equally—it looked very different to a sailor than to a slave. What were Americans’ lived experiences during the late 18th century? What were the promises of the Revolution, and for whom were they realized? What lies...
History

Humanities Seminar: Disruptive Thinkers, Ideological Conflict, and Social Revolution

Department: History
Experience what it’s like to participate in a Brown University seminar that will challenge your ideas and invigorate your thinking. In this course, you will engage with great thinkers in world history, explore great social movements of our time, and immerse yourself in key ideological controversies that underpin contemporary global society.
Revisit...
History

Resistance to Racial Equality From the Civil War to Donald Trump

Department: History
After the two-term presidency of Barack Obama - the first Black man to hold that office - was the election of Donald Trump a surprise? To many people, it was. The history of race in America is often told as a linear story of progress, beginning with the emancipation of slaves during the Civil War, continuing with the expansion of civil rights in the twentieth century, and...
History

The History of Islam in 10 Buildings

Department: History of Art
This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting. History has often been literally written in stone. Building types, architectural elements and stylistic tendencies of...
History of Art

Logic & Paradox

Department: Math
Logic is a system of rules upon which human reasoning is based. It is a tool that we deploy routinely in our everyday lives. It pervades every academic discipline, from mathematics to the sciences to the humanities. To philosophers, however, logic is a deep and complex subject of study in its own right. This course is devoted in part to exploring this system of rules, which...
Math

The Mathematical Proof: Origins, Importance, and Construction

Department: Math
The Pythagorean Theorem. The area of a circle. The quadratic formula. We know how to use these things, but where did they come from? In this course, students will not only be afforded a glimpse into the origins of these and other famous and familiar mathematical ideas and formulas, but they will also be equipped with the tools to compose their own mathematical proofs.From...
Math

Representing the 'Forever Wars': Culture and Global Debates Since 9/11

Department: Media Studies
This course takes as its starting point the fact that cultural production - in the form of literature, film and art - both teaches and contests the past and present. Therefore, producers of culture are often involved in major social and political debates using various cultural media to create and challenge narratives that governments, politicians, corporations and ordinary...
Media Studies

The *@#%* Media: Pulling Back the Curtain on Fake News

Department: Media Studies
We are going to focus on how the media covers three hot button issues. Our topics include the Donald Trump campaign and Presidency, the Black Lives Matter movement, and what happens when athletes speak up on topics outside the lines of sports. Together we will get closer to the media and determine whether there is a universal truth to reporting.Everywhere we turn—from...
Media Studies

Jazz and Hip Hop

Department: Music
This course is an exploration of Jazz & Hip Hop music and cultures, delving into their origins, impacts and similarities through a survey of their historical development, political significance, and social influence. We will explore how hip-hop has made bridges cross-culturally among not only Black communities nationally and internationally, but also among Latino and Asian...
Music

Contemporary Moral Issues

Department: Philosophy
Is abortion morally permissible? How about torture? Capital punishment? Is eating meat morally wrong? Are we morally required to help those in poverty? How do we take steps to rectify racial injustice (affirmative action, reparations, etc.)? Is pornography morally objectionable?

People have strong, conflicting beliefs about how to answer these questions. Often, these beliefs...
Philosophy

Contemporary Moral Issues: Bioethics and the Ethics of Technology

Department: Philosophy
This class surveys a range of ethical issues ranging from classic debates on abortion and euthanasia to those arising from emerging technologies, such as Big Data. In doing so, the course also aims to sharpen students' skills at critical thinking, analysis, and argumentation. In particular, students will learn how to dissect and analyze arguments with visual maps; they will...
Philosophy

Happiness: Philosophy and Psychology

Department: Philosophy
The course introduces the study of happiness by considering classic and contemporary research from the two most relevant disciplines, philosophy and psychology. Besides exposing the students to a topic of immediate human interest, the course also exposes them to two distinct modes of inquiry about it, allowing them to compare and contrast them.The course explores...
Philosophy

How to Live: Ethical Perspectives from Buddhism, Islam, and Native Americans

Department: Philosophy
How should we live? How should we relate to others, our world, and ourselves? Of course we have all heard many answers to these questions. In fact, it sometimes seems as if we've heard it all before. This course offers some answers that may be new to us. It will introduce us to the ethical perspectives of Buddhism, Islam, and Native Americans. By going beyond the fragments...
Philosophy

Introduction to Philosophy: Themes and Methods

Department: Philosophy
Although Philosophy has gotten something of a bad rap in recent years, the questions that drive it remain as important as ever, and an understanding of its methods becomes more vital every day. Is Philosophy really useful? How can we spot bad arguments? How do we construct good arguments? What exists? What is the grounding of Science? Are there such things as good and evil?...
Philosophy

Science, Perception and Reality

Department: Philosophy
Modern science throws light on many of the perennial questions of philosophy, sometimes seeming to confirm or refute old answers and sometimes suggesting new ones. Are sensory qualities, such as colors, in external things or only in our minds? Is the world governed by deterministic laws, and if so, what room is there for freedom of the will? Could space have extra dimensions?...
Philosophy

Themes from Existentialism

Department: Philosophy
By far the most popular philosophy course at Brown, this course on existentialist philosophy (taught by the current chair of the philosophy department) provides a unique introduction to philosophical thinking, by applying the methods of philosophical analysis and argumentation to questions and issues confronting all human beings: What is the meaning of a life with the distinctive...
Philosophy

Brothers in Arms: War, States, and Human Rights

Department: Political Science
Wars have scarred our world. They shape and define the political units we live in, they affect our economic lives, from the content of our shopping cart to the price of gas, and they infiltrate into our very social networks, defining friends and foes. For some, wars claim even greater prices. For others, wars are not only beneficial, but crucial for survival. In this course...
Political Science

Creating Change Through Public Policy

Department: Political Science
How do major, transformative changes in public policy take place? Why do some big public policy reforms succeed while others fail or languish for decades? Major public policy changes often begin in the orderly world of analysis - but end in the messy world of partisan politics. To succeed, a new initiative has to coincide with a political climate and a leadership capacity...
Political Science

Debating Democracy: Reform and Revolution

Department: Political Science
Can social and political reform ensure that all are free to participate in a democratic society? Or is revolution sometimes needed? What is revolution, anyway? And what is reform? How has this distinction been developed in the history of democratic political thought, for example in relation to the distinction between representative and direct democracy? What is needed today?

We...
Political Science

Democracy Matters

Department: Political Science
Why don’t Americans vote, and why don’t American youth know better? Voter apathy is a longstanding characteristic of U.S. democracy. With barely 60% of all eligible voters casting a ballot in the 2016 presidential election, the United States ranks near the bottom among its peers (28th out of the 35 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.)...
Political Science

Ethics and International Affairs

Department: Political Science
This course examines the complex relationship between ethics and politics in international affairs. Starting with an overview of different perspectives on the role of ethics and morality in international relations, the course then explores the ethical dimensions of issues central to foreign policy and the study of world politics, including the use of force, human rights,...
Political Science

Ethics and Law in Democracy

Department: Political Science
This course will take a deep look at some of the issues facing our democracy from the perspectives of the law, ethics, and political philosophy. Though the lens of classic and contemporary texts in moral and political philosophy, judicial opinion, and current events we will examine questions like: Should a nation sell the right to immigrate? What is the proper role of money...
Political Science

How the Judicial System Works: Trials and the Law

Department: Political Science
Taught by Judge Dennis Curran, Associate Justice of the Superior Court of Massachusetts, this course is intended for those who wish to have a “behind the scenes” look at how the judicial system works - at the legal mechanics behind the dramas and the way the law functions in practice when human lives and living is at issue. The course intends to quicken the student’s...
Political Science

International Ethics for a World in Transition

Department: Political Science
This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting. This course examines the complex relationship between ethics and politics in international affairs. Starting with an...
Political Science

International Relations: Enduring Questions and Contemporary Debates

Department: Political Science
This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting. Globalization is transforming the relationship between world events and U.S. politics. This course analyzes some of...
Political Science

Introduction to U.S. Law and The Way Lawyers Think

Department: Political Science
The law touches nearly all aspects of our lives, and a certain amount of basic legal knowledge is necessary to identify important legal issues that arise in daily life and in various industries. The way that lawyers think and analyze serves as a valuable foundation for individuals in many fields. Learn at an introductory level, from an attorney, about: the legal system...
Political Science

Political Theory and the Law

Department: Political Science
How should we evaluate the laws that govern and bind society? This course will examine the moral and political value of American law through the lens of political theory. As such, students will be able to evaluate for themselves whether laws are legitimate.During the course, we will read contemporary and classic political theory in light of the history of American...
Political Science

Taking Life to Save Life: War, Media and Humanitarianism

Department: Political Science
War. The bloody history of the 20th century is littered with them. The muddy trenches of World War II, the jungles of Vietnam and the deserts of Iraq are by now familiar images. But for those of us growing up in the 21st century, war in our time appears more chaotic and difficult to understand. Who is the enemy? Where is the enemy? Do battles have frontlines anymore, and...
Political Science

Terrorism in the United States

Department: Political Science
Nearly fifteen years after 9/11, terrorism continues to be a pressing security concern and a ubiquitous topic of conversation. It shapes domestic and foreign policy on an impressive array of issues, it is frequently mentioned in political debates, and it often appears in sensational newspaper headlines. In nearly all of these instances, though, the topic of discussion is...
Political Science

The Political Economy of Cities: American and Comparative Perspectives

Department: Political Science
This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting. More than half of the world's population now lives in urban areas, and this proportion is expected to increase. Why...
Political Science

The Power of Political Ideas

Department: Political Science
This course gives students a chance to undertake a fascinating and highly challenging process of political and intellectual exploration. In addition to well-established far right- and left-wing ideas, you will be exposed to and asked to evaluate such ideologies as Nihilism, Radical Feminism, Radical Environmentalism, and even Radical Islam.This will be an intense,...
Political Science

The U.S. In World Politics

Department: Political Science
Globalization is transforming the relationship between world events and U.S. politics. This course analyzes some of the main challenges, threats, and questions facing the United States in the first decades of the twenty-first century. In addition to introducing students to core theoretical perspectives, concepts, and debates in the study of International Relations and American...
Political Science

What are Prisons for? Rethinking Social Norms and Deviance

Department: Political Science
Why do prisons exist? As recently as the 1970s, respected criminologists predicted the demise of the prison. Yet in the last few decades, the United States has been home to the largest expansion of prisons in modern history. Far from remaining institutions “out there,” prisons affect everyday lives in complex ways. Things we buy are made by prisoners. City and state...
Political Science

Freud: Psychoanalysis and its Legacies

Department: Psychology
What does it mean to know yourself? Why is love so painful? What is the source of man’s belief in God? How does history repeat itself? Why do our dreams haunt us? Is there a difference between men and women? What is an Oedipus complex, and do you have one? Sigmund Freud devoted his life to answering these questions.In this course, we will dive deep into the...
Psychology

Moral Psychology

Department: Psychology
In everyday life, whether they may be trivial or significant, people often encounter situations that fall under the purview of morality. Sometimes people are tempted to commit a norm violation, such as telling a lie to obtain immediate rewards or avoid undesirable outcomes. Other times, people become a victim of or witness someone else's bad behaviors. Under such...
Psychology

Psychology of Good and Evil

Department: Psychology
How do we define good and evil? Are people born that way? What about social, environmental, and cultural forces? What are your individual vulnerabilities and strengths? Let's find out in this course!

The media is filled everyday with stories of unimaginable harm and unselfish heroes. Have you ever wondered what makes people behave the way they do? What can research...
Psychology

Believing in Business: Religion and Capitalism from Slavery to Silicon Valley

Department: Religious Studies
Recognizing that business organizations and capitalist principles shape the United States and the wider world in powerful ways, this course asks how and why this has occurred. To answer these questions, students will examine ideas, practices, people, and institutions typically understood as religious. Although we often think about religion as something that occurs primarily...
Religious Studies

Gods and Mortals: Athens, Rome, Jerusalem

Department: Religious Studies
Ancient texts are filled with deities, humans, and everything in between. What makes a god a god, and what makes a human a human? Where do they come from? How should they act? How do we, as humans, become more like the gods? In this course, we will look at a variety of ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish texts to see how writers in the ancient world answered these questions....
Religious Studies

Gender, Race and Class in Medical Research and Practice

Department: Sociology
This course looks at the ways in which historic ideologies about gender, race and class have influenced the practice of medicine. Thinking sociologically about the intersections of these and the practice of medicine, we will explore how medical research has justified, for example, involuntary medical experimentation on the basis of these views, and the ways in which medical...
Sociology

Social Impact of Natural and Manmade Disasters

Department: Sociology
This interdisciplinary course focuses on natural and human-initiated disasters and their impact on human life. We will explore how social dynamics such as culture, inequality and social structure influence vulnerability and shape how people face, respond, recover, or fail to recover from disasters, and examine as well how the media impacts the development of empathy or apathy...
Sociology

Unpacking Race in the U.S.: Theory, Concepts and Lived Experience

Department: Sociology
We often learn about race from "sound bites" in the media or experiences with family and friends which can be limited in scope. This course will provide an opportunity to thoughtfully analyze the social construction of race. We will take a historical look at how race is categorized and institutionalized in the U.S. and learn key concepts used to maintain racial...
Sociology

Beyond Broadway: The Life of the American Musical

Department: Theatre Arts
This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting. This course offers a study of historical contexts, political contexts, and the frames in which the musicals have developed...
Theatre Arts

Every Body is Extraordinary: An Embodied History of Circus and Street Arts

Department: Theatre Arts
This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting. How can you turn your world-view upside down? Why not hang it on a trapeze?

From Greco-Roman pantomimes to Balinese...
Theatre Arts